“Covid-19 is a challenge to our faith – and an opportunity for faith” – Archbishop Neary

20 Nov 2020

  • Pastoral letter available in English and Irish

Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, has issued a Pastoral Letter on the Covid-19 pandemic (see below).  In it, he acknowledges the current challenges with which people are contending and offers a message of hope.

Archbishop Neary recognises that one of the most challenging aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic for people of faith is the restriction on the practice and living out of that faith.  In this situation, he says that both courage and faith will be crucial if we are to cope, because “faith enables us to cope with disappointment without abandoning hope”.

Drawing inspiration from the story of the People of God in the Old Testament, the Archbishop continues his reflection by suggesting that we can learn from their experience of being challenged, confronted, and yet consoled by God.  And far from being a naïve pursuit, “religious faith creates community and encourages altruism,” Dr. Neary says.

While the pandemic has placed quite an amount of additional pressure on parents and families, at the same time “Covid-19 has enabled us to spend quality time with family members in the home”.  The Archbishop goes on to note that while “we are deprived of the togetherness occasioned by the public celebration of Mass, many [families] create a ‘sacred space’ in their own home where family prayer can take place,” and the diocesan prayer card Prayers For My Family, published last year, has proved to be an invaluable resource.

A most edifying example of the importance of faith as a lived reality was abundantly evident during the summer months as parishes prepared for the resumption of public celebrations of Mass the sacraments.  Archbishop Neary praises the teams of volunteers who worked closely with members of Pastoral Councils and the local priests in planning and preparing, cleaning and sanitising the churches in order to ensure that when the time came they “would be safe secure places for public worship”. This public worship is not possible for now, the Archbishop acknowledges, because of our desire to co-operate with and support all those who are working to suppress the virus.  In the meantime, he commends all those priests who have responded to the situation in often very creative ways.  He also expresses his appreciation and gratitude to the priests and all who assisted them in preparing the candidates for Confirmation and for celebrating the sacrament when it was not possible for the Archbishop to do so.

This year has been especially challenging “for those who had to lay to rest a family member in a way which is counter-intuitive to the Irish psyche,” the Archbishop says.  It has been also a most challenging time for those who have family members and loved ones in hospital or nursing homes, as indeed, it has been for the many couples who had planned to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage.

Archbishop Neary draws his Pastoral Letter to a close with a resounding note of hope.  He says “while the present experience constitutes a huge challenge to faith, yet in so many ways the situation brings out the best in people, awakening the need for and appreciation of connectivity and community.  Goodness, generosity and gentleness are in evidence in service, neighbourliness and volunteerism.  […].  As a people of hope, we commit ourselves to welcoming and contributing to the decisive transformation made possible by the God who brings order out of chaos, light out of darkness, and new life out of situations where none seemed possible.”

Pastoral Letter: COVID19 – A Challenge to faith and opportunity for faith

Faith Gatherings Twelve Months Ago
This time last year we had just celebrated the Annual Marriage Anniversaries Mass as we honoured those husbands and wives who have provided us with such extraordinary witness of married love.  Those family celebrations were truly inspirational and most enjoyable. 

Another important occasion in the Diocesan diary was the Annual Meeting with the Principals in our Post-Primary Schools. We are very indebted to them for the part they play in the formation of our young. The work being done by the Post Primary Advisory Committee in the Catechetical area is hugely significant and deeply appreciated.

As priests we looked forward to the annual In-service in October when we endeavour to discern how best to present Christ’s gospel in the changing and challenging culture of today. 

During the month of November last year, we acknowledged the great work being done by our young people in serving the Church and becoming involved in Church related organisations in their parishes as they were honoured with the John Paul II Award.  That celebration illustrated the generosity, availability, exuberance and joy of our young, their sense of belonging as well as believing.  That award ceremony illustrated what faith means to those involved and the way they are happy to give public expression to it.  Parents enjoyed the occasion and were understandably very proud of their sons and daughters. 

Looking back on those occasions, just twelve months ago, there was so much that we took for granted – freedom of movement, unrestricted social gatherings, pilgrimages, participation in public worship at Mass and the sacraments, regular visits to family and friends.  What a contrast to the restrictions with which we contend today, living as we do in a heightened state of anxiety which has implications for our mental, physical and spiritual health.  How do we cope as we try to adapt to the changed situation?

Coping with Covid-19
This pandemic has presented us with many challenges, including, and not least, challenges to the practice and the living out of our faith.

As followers of Jesus Christ faith will be crucial if we are to get the strength to cope and continue on our journey.  Faith can surface as we, deprived of the customary securities of life, make adjustments and are challenged to distinguish between what is essential and what is of lesser importance.  Courage and faith will be required.  While they are not the same, they are interrelated as we face unfamiliar terrain.  It is inspiring how people have responded to those challenges and have shown their Christian faith in care for others, in prayer and in creative responses to the restrictions on gathering for worship.  As we continue on this journey in uncertain times faith will be crucial in giving us the courage and strength to cope. 

Living in the age of the instant makes demands on faith. We grow impatient if there is a delay.  Yet, faith is the ability to live with delay without losing trust in God’s promise.  Faith enables us to cope with disappointment without abandoning hope.  We know from experience that the road between the real and the ideal can be long and challenging and yet faith sustains us as we undertake the journey.  The Bible constantly keeps before us the way the people of God had to cope with adversity, puzzlement and plague.  They thought they could create a “Promised Land” on their own terms and be masters of their destiny.  Time and again they failed to read the signs God was giving them.  Circumstances confronted them which seemed to frustrate their plans and dash their hopes. So often they had to take corrective action, listen again to what the Lord was saying to them, and make adjustments. 

Enabled by Faith to Read the Signs
As a people of faith, we can learn from them and be guided by the way God relates to, challenges, corrects, confronts and consoles his people in the Bible.  How are we coping with the restrictions – working from home, deprived of public celebration of Mass, confined to low numbers at funerals and weddings, unable to socialise in pubs and attend sporting occasions?  In many respects, due to the marginalisation of faith, we inhabit a rather closed world where the larger questions, when they arise are addressed in a very narrow and confined area.  People of faith are readily dismissed as living in the past.  Faith however is never naive, blind or unquestioning. It does not and cannot avoid the major questions which we face.  Religious faith creates community and encourages altruism. How we relate to God is reflected in our relationship with others where there is loyalty, love, generosity and trust.

Personal and Family Prayer
Faith enables and encourages us to see beneath the surface, providing us with a broader panorama so that we can evaluate, make connections, see the implications, and come to a deeper appreciation of what we may have neglected or overlooked.  For example, family life has been subjected to enormous pressure.  Parents endeavour to combine professional responsibility with parenthood as they work to educate their children and provide them with values which may be ridiculed by their peers. Covid-19 has enabled us to spend quality time with family members in the home, providing opportunities for understanding, encouragement, affirmation and development. 

As we are deprived of the togetherness occasioned by the public celebration of Mass, many create a “sacred space” in their own home where family prayer can take place as they light a candle of hope to dispel the darkness and play suitable reflective music and read a passage from scripture. Individuals and families are discovering new strength, support and meaning in traditional prayers like the rosary.  Last year the Archdiocese of Tuam produced a beautiful Prayer Card.  It is short, simple, succinct, inclusive, relevant to our situation today and conducive to prayer.  In that way the home becomes a domestic Church and reminds us of the way the early Church met in people’s homes. 

Generosity of Volunteers in the Local Church
So many find solace in a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in their local church.  As people were preparing for the resumption of public celebrations of Mass and the sacraments, so many volunteers and Pastoral Councils became involved in planning, preparing, cleaning and sanitising our churches so that they would be safe secure places for public worship.  This was a most encouraging sign and a good barometer of faith and what the Mass means to people.  It is also a clear illustration that religious faith is not just about believing but also about belonging in a local community, that significant network of relationships which indicates that people are there for each other.

Coming together to worship God and celebrate the Mass is at the heart of our identity as followers of Jesus Christ.  In recognition of our responsibilities of co-operating with the public health authorities and their efforts to suppress the virus, this is not possible for now.  It is, however, deeply disappointing for many people of faith.  In this context priests have been ministering creatively online and on digital media.  While those online Masses do not substitute for being present at the celebration of the Eucharist, they are an important element in maintaining a prayer life and a sense of the sacred and they help to give a sense of community to those involved.  Priests, whose ministry is defined by pastoral and sacramental care, want to journey with their people and are at pains as to how best to do this, acknowledging the situation which confronts us.

While I look forward each year to celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation and meeting the candidates and their families, this was not possible since the “lockdown” on the 12th March as Confirmation ceremonies had to be multiplied in keeping with the public health requirements, physical distancing, and restricted numbers.  I wish to express my appreciation and thanks to the priests for the way in which they administered the Sacrament of Confirmation and First Holy Communion in very challenging circumstances.  I want to register my gratitude to parents, the teachers, the Primary Catechetics Committee and all those who prepared the children for those sacraments.  Our priests have been relating that in view of the smaller numbers involved in the ceremonies there was an opportunity to focus on the essential meaning and the simplicity of the sacrament and this contributed to a very prayerful experience. 

A Challenging Time
It has been a particularly difficult and lonely time for those who had to lay to rest a family member in a way which is counter-intuitive to the Irish psyche.  We remember them in our prayers in a special way at this time.  For those in nursing homes and hospitals and for their families it has been a very trying time as visits were discouraged and impossible.  Many couples who had planned to celebrate their love in the Sacrament of Marriage have been seriously inconvenienced by the pandemic.

Patience Generating Hope
Coping with all of these challenges will require a robust faith in God as we witness the world which we have known collapse in front of us.  In this delicate situation our fears will be exploited as we become more conscious of our fragility and vulnerability.  Yet solidarity, support, neighbourliness and community have all taken on a new urgency.  Our response to the challenge posed by this pandemic will demonstrate who we are, what we believe and what kind of future we wish to create. Pope Francis encourages us to respond to the coronavirus pandemic with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness and to remain united. 

While the present experience constitutes a huge challenge to faith, yet in so many ways the situation brings out the best in people, awakening the need for and appreciation of connectivity and community.  Goodness, generosity and gentleness are in evidence in service, neighbourliness and voluntarism.  All of this became abundantly clear in the responsibility which is being expressed by the way in which people abide by the restrictions for the good of all, and the sacrifices which families make.  As a people of hope we commit ourselves to welcoming and contributing to the decisive transformation made possible by the God who brings order out of chaos, light out of darkness and new life out of situations where none seemed possible.

As we draw ever closer to the season of Advent, we get a new and deeper appreciation of what it means to practice patience as we wait and watch for the homecoming of God at Christmas.

November 2020


Treadlitir: COVID19 – Idir dhúshlán agus dheis d’ár gcreideamh

Cruinnithe Creidimh Dhá Mhí Dhéag ó Shin
Cothrom an ama seo anuraidh, bhí muid díreach i ndiaidh an tAifreann bliantúil a cheiliúradh do lánúin phósta agus iad ag ceiliúradh cothrom lá a saol pósta. Ócáid álainn is ea í ina dtugann muid aitheantas do na mná agus fir chéile atá ina n-eiseamláirí iontacha de ghrá an phósta. Bhain muid inspioráid agus taitneamh as na ceiliúrthaí teaghlaigh sin go léir.

Mórócáid eile i ndialann na Deoise ná an cruinniú bliantúil le príomhoidí na meánscoileanna. Táimid faoi mhórchomaoin acu go léir as an ról a imríonn siad i múnlú an aosa óig. Tá obair thar na bearta á dhéanamh ag an gCoiste Comhairleach Iar-bhunscoile i ndáil le cúrsaí caiticeasmaice, agus is mór againn a n-iarrachtaí ar fad.

Bhí muide, mar shagairt, ag súil go mór leis an gcúrsa inseirbhíse a bhíonn againn gach Deireadh Fómhair, tráth a dhéanann muid machnamh ar an mbealach is fearr chun soiscéal Chríost a chur i láthair i gcultúr dúshlánach, luaineach na linne seo.

I mí na Samhna seo caite thugamar aitheantas don obair éachtach atá á dhéanamh ag ár n-aos óg ar son na heaglaise, agus iad gníomhach in eagraíochtaí a bhaineann leis an eaglais ina bparóistí áitiúla féin. Bronnadh Gradam Eoin Pól II orthu agus an onóir sin tuillte go maith acu. Léirigh an ceiliúradh sin flaithiúlacht, díograis, spleodar agus lúcháir ár ndaoine óga, agus níor fágadh aon amhras ach go bhfuil a gcreideamh beo beathach iontu, agus go bhfuil siadsan beo beathach ina gcreideamh. B’fhollasach ón an searmanas bronnta sin chomh tábhachtach is atá a gcreideamh dóibh siúd a ghlac páirt ann, agus chomh sásta is atá siad é a léiriú go poiblí. Bhain tuismitheoirí lán-taitneamh as an ócáid agus bhí siad fíorbhródúil as a gcuid páistí, mar ba cheart dóibh.

Ag féachaint siar ar na hócáidí seo, nach raibh ach dhá mhí dhéag ó shin, is suntasach na rudaí ar ghlac muid leo gan iontas: go raibh muid in ann taisteal cibé  áit ar mhaith linn, tionóil shóisialta gan srianadh, oilithreachtaí, freastal ar an Aifreann agus glacadh na sacraimintí go poiblí, agus cuairteanna rialta ar ár muintir agus ár gcairde. Is mór t-athrú atá tagtha ar ár saol  agus muid ag treabhadh linn faoi  scáth seasta an vireas a théann i bhfeidhm ar ár sláinte mheabhrach, fhisiciúil agus spioradálta. Conas is féidir linn a chinntiú nach dtéann cúrsaí sa mhuileann orainn agus muid ag iarraidh dul i dtaithí orthu.

Ag déileáil le Covid-19
Is iomaí dúshlán atá le sárú againn anois de bharr na paindéime, agus ina measc siúd, tá dúshláin a bhaineann le cleachtadh agus cur i ngnímh ár gcreidimh.

Is mór an cúnamh a bheidh ár gcreideamh dúinne, lucht leanúna Íosa Chríost, le bheith in ann do na dúshláin seo agus chun leanúint ar aghaidh ar an aistear. Seans go músclófar ár gcreideamh arís agus muid ag teacht isteach ar shaol nach bhfuil an tseasmhacht chéanna ag baint leis agus nuair is gá dúinn idirdhealú a dhéanamh ar na rudaí atá riachtanach sa saol agus na rudaí nach bhfuil chomh tábhachtach sin. Beidh misneach agus creideamh ag teastáil. Cé nach ionann iad, tá dlúthbhaint acu lena chéile nuair nach eol dúinn céard atá romhainn ar an turas seo. Is údar inspioráide í an chaoi a ndeachaigh daoine i ngleic leis na dúshláin. Léirigh siad an creideamh Críostaí a bhí acu lena gcuid paidreacha, leis an aire a thug siad dá chéile, agus leis na bealaí cruthaitheacha a d’fhreagair siad do na srianta a bhí ar bhailiú le chéile don Aifreann. Is mór againn ár gcreideamh, mar is ón gcreideamh a fhaigheann muid an mhisneach agus an neart a bheith againn le tabhairt ar chursaí an tsaoil atá amach romhainn.

Tá taithí againn sa lá atá inniu ann ar rudaí a fháil ar an toirt, agus is dúshlán é seo dár gcreideamh. Éiríonn muid mífhoighneach le moill ar bith. Ach is ionann creideamh agus a bheith ábalta maireachtáil le moill gan muinín a chailliúint i ngealltanas Dé. Cuireann creideamh ar ár gcumas muid déileáil le díomá, gan dóchas a chailliúint. Mar is eol dúinn ónár dtaithí féin, is mór idir an fhírinne agus an idéal agus is fada agus casta an bóthar eatarthu, ach cothaíonn ár gcreideamh muid ar an aistear sin. Sa Bhíobla féin, tá raidhse scéalta faoi phobal Dé ag dul i ngleic le cruachás, mearbhall agus plá. Cheap siad go bhféadfaidís “Tír Tairngire” dá gcuid féin a bhunú mar ba mhian leo agus máistreacht a ghlacadh ar an saol. Ach thug siad neamhaird arís is arís eile ar chomharthaí Dé. Tháinig deacrachtaí rompu a chuir isteach ar a gcuid pleananna agus á gcur ó dhóchas. Arís is arís eile d’fhill siad ar bhóthar a leasa trí éisteacht agus glacadh lena raibh an Tiarna ag rá leo.

An Creideamh dár gCumasú chun Comharthaí a Léamh
Is féidir linne, mar phobal creidmheach, foghlaim ó na scéalta a insítear faoi phobal Dé sa mBíobla. Is féidir linn treoir a thógáil ón gcaidreamh idir iad féin agus Dia, ón gcaoi a gcuireann sé dúshláin rompu, a cheartaíonn sé iad, a a sheasann Dia ina n-aghaidh, agus amanna eile, a thugann sé sólás dóibh. Cén chaoi a bhfuil muide ag déileáil le srianta na linne seo: ag obair ón mbaile, Aifreann poiblí sa séipéal ceilte orainn, dornán daoine ceadaithe ag sochraidí agus bainiseacha, agus gan a bheith in ann bualadh le daoine i dteach ósta, ná freastal ar ócáidí spóirt? Tá an saol dúnta síos ar go leor bealaí, go mór mór leis an mbealach nach bhfuil spás tugtha d’ár gcreidimh labhairt faoina ceisteanna móra na linne. Gan an creidimh is dearcadh cung gearr thearmach atá ann. Ní thugtar cluas do dhaoine le creideamh mar go gceaptar nach bhfuil tada le rá acu le saol an lae inniú. Ach níl creideamh soineanta, dall, ná gan cheistiú riamh. Ní sheachnaíonn an creidimh ceisteanna móra ár linne, mar ní féidir leis iad a sheachaint. Cothaíonn creideamh diaganta pobal, agus spreagann sé an t-altrúchas. Léargas ar ár gcaidreamh le Dia is ea ár gcaidreamh le daoine eile, ina bhfuil dílseacht, grá, flaithiúlacht agus muinín le brath.

Urnaí Phearsanta agus Urnaí Theaghlaigh
Cuireann ár gcreideamh ar ár gcumas, agus spreagann sé muid, gan glacadh le rudaí mar a dhealraíonn siad ar an gcéad amharc. Tugann ár gcreidimh dearcadh níos fairsinge dúinn a ligeann dúinn rudaí a mheas agus rudaí a cheangail le chéile. Tríd ár gcreidimh faigheann muid tuiscint níos fearr ar na rudaí a d’fhéadfadh a bheith ligthe i léig againn nó neamhaird tugtha againn orthu. Sampla amháin is ea saol an teaghlaigh, atá faoi bhrú millteanach na laethanta seo. Oibríonn tuismitheoirí ar a seacht ndícheall chun freastal ar chúramaí gairmiúla agus tógáil clainne, ag saothrú chun oiliúint a chur a ngasúr agus luachanna a thabhairt dóibh a bhíonn ina n-ábhar magaidh ag an socaí uaireanta. Thug Covid-19 an deis dúinn am fiúntach a chaitheamh lenár dteaghlaigh sa mbaile, agus lig sé dúinn breis tuiscint a fháil ar a chéile, spreagadh agus tacaíocht a thabhairt dá chéile, agus thug sé deis forbartha dúinn.

Airíonn muid uainn an muintearas a bhaineann le teacht le chéile don Aifreann, ach ina áit sin, is iomaí duine a chruthaigh “spás beannaithe” ina dteach féin. Seo áit ar féidir leis an teaghlach teacht le chéile, coinneal a lasadh in  san dorchadais, píosa ceoil chiúin a chasadh agus sliocht as an scrioptúr a léamh. Tá daoine aonair agus teaghlaigh araon ag baint maitheas, tacaíocht agus brí as paidreacha traidisiúnta ar nós an Phaidrín. Rinne Ard-Deoise Thuama cárta álainn urnaí anuraidh. Tá sé gearr, gonta, simplí, le usáid ag gach duine, baineann sé le saol na linne seo agus cuidíonn sé linn guí. Is í an teaghlach an eaglais bheag, agus cuireann sé i gcuimhne dúinn an chaoi ar bhuail na chéad Chríostaithe le chéile ina gcuid tithe.

Flaithiúlacht na nOibrithe Deonacha san Eaglais Áitiúil
Faigheann go leor daoine sólás as tamall a chaitheamh os comhair na Naomhshacraiminte sa séipéal áitiúil. Sa tréimhse sin ina raibh muid ag ullmhú d’athoscailt na séipéal le haghaidh cheiliúradh an Aifrinn agus na sacraimintí, ghlac go leor oibrithe deonacha agus Comhairlí Tréadacha páirt i bpleanáil, ullmhú, glanadh agus díghalrú na séipéal sa chaoi is go mbeidís slán sábháilte don phobal teacht le chéile len Aifreann. Ábhar misneach ba ea seo, agus léiriú follasach ar a thábhachtaí is atá an tAifreann do dhaoine. Tugann sé le fios freisin go bhfuil níos mó i gceist le reiligiún ná creideamh amháin, go mbaineann sé freisin le rannpháirtíocht i bpobal áitiúil, an líonra suntasach sin de dhaoine a thaispeánann go mbíonn daoine ag faire amach dá chéile.

Ag teacht le chéile le Dia a mholadh agus an t-Aifreann a cheiliúradh atá againn mar leanúnaí Íosa Críost. Mar gheall ar an bhfreagracht atá orainn i gcomhar leis na húdaráis um shláinte phoiblí agus a gcuid iarrachtaí chun an víreas a chur faoi chois, ní féidir linn teacht le chéile i láthair na huaire. Ní féidir a shéanadh gur ábhar mór díomá é seo do go leor dár bpobal creidimh. Sa chomhthéacs seo, chuaigh sagairt i muinín na cruthaitheachta agus na teicneolaíochta chun a ministreacht a dhéanamh ar líne. Cé nach bhfuil aon chomparáid idir an tAifreann ar líne agus a bheith i láthair go pearsanta ag ceiliúradh na hEocairiste, tá ról nach beag aige i leanúnachas a choinneáil inár gcuid urnaí agus i mothú na naofachta, agus cuidíonn sé le muintearas a chothú i measc siúd atá páirteach ann. Croílár mhinistreacht an tsagairt is ea an cúram tréadach agus sacraimintiúil, agus teastaíonn ó gach sagart an bóthar seo a shiúil i dteannta a phobail. Tá siad ar theann a ndíchill ag lorg na bealaí is fearr leis seo a dhéanamh, ach feasach i gcónaí ar an gcás ina bhfuilimid.

Bímse ag súil chuile bhliain leis na searmanais Chóineartaithe agus bualadh leis na hiarrthóirí agus a muintir. Faraor, ní raibh mé in ann é seo dhéanamh ó thus an dianghlasála ar 12 Márta. Bhí orainn méadú líon na searmanas chun cloí leis na riachtanais um shláinte phoiblí, an scaradh sóisialta agus srianta ar líon na ndaoine a bhí ceadaithe bheith insan séipéal. Ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a chur in iúl do na sagairt as an gcaoi a cheiliúraigh siad an Cóineartú agus an Chéad Chomaoineach sna dála dúshlánacha seo. Táim fíorbhuíoch freisin do na tuismitheoirí, na múinteoirí, do Choiste Caiticeasmaice na mBunscoileanna agus gach duine a d’ullmhaigh na páistí do na sacraimintí sin. Tá sé cloiste agam ó na sagairt go raibh deis acu sna searmanais bheaga seo díriú ar bhunbhrí agus ar shimplíocht na sacraimintí, agus gur chuir sé seo le cráifeacht na hócáide.

Tréimhse Dhúshlánach
Ba thréimhse uaigneach í seo, go mór mór do dhaoine a d’adhlaic duine dá muintir le nósanna coimhthíocha in áit na ndeasghnátha dúchasacha is dual dúinn. Guímid orthu siúd go speisialta na laethanta seo. Tráth fada dúshlánach ba ea seo do dhaoine i dtithe altranais agus san ospidéal, agus dá muintir, nuair nach raibh cuairteanna inmholta ná ceadaithe. Chuir an phaindéim isteach go mór freisin ar lánúin a raibh sé beartaithe acu a ngrá a cheiliúradh le sacraimint an phósta.

Dóchas ón bhFoighne
Beidh orainn creideamh láidir i nDia chun déileáil leis na dúshláin seo, agus an saol mar a bhí aithne againn air ag titim as a chéile os comhair ár súile. Tuigeann muid cé chomh lag is atá muid ach feiceann muid an chiall atá leis an seanfhocal “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine”. Léireoidh ár bhfreagra do dhúshlán na paindéime seo an mianach atá ionainn, an creideamh atá againn, agus an cineál todhchaí atá uainn. Impíonn an Pápa Proinsias orainn ár bhfreagra don choróinvíreas a fhréamhú insan mbealach a mhaireann muid, trínár nguibhe, le trocarire agus trua, an ghrá agus na haontachta.

Cé gur mór an dúshlán dár gcreideamh í an phaindéim seo spreagann sé maitheas i ngach duine, agus músclaíonn sé tuiscint ar an ngéarghá le muintearas agus pobal. Tá an maitheas, an fhlaithiúlacht agus an cineáltas le feiceáil sa gcaoi a bhfreastalaímid ar a chéile, mar chomharsan agus san obair dheonach.

Léiriú eile air seo is ea an fhreagracht atá á thaispeáint ag daoine agus iad ag cloí leis na srianta ar mhaithe leis an bpobal i gcoitinne, agus sna híobairtí atá á ndéanamh ag teaghlaigh. Mar phobal le dóchas, cuirimid romhainn glacadh leis agus cuidiú leis an athrú cinniúnach atá déanta ag Dia a chuireann ord ar an anord, a thógann solas ón dorchadas, agus beatha úr ó áiteanna nár ceapadh indéanta é.

Agus an Aidbhint ag druidim linn, tá tuiscint níos fearr againn anois ar cad is brí le bheith foighneach, agus muid ag fanacht is ag feitheamh le Dia theacht abhaile um Nollaig.

Samhain 2020

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Katie Crosby +353 (0) 86 862 3298