The Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has written to parishes to advise that, further to a communication from the Taoiseach’s department this afternoon, First Holy Communion and Confirmation ceremonies are to be deferred until further notice and no ceremonies should be rescheduled until public health advice allows.
In a letter addressing parents and children, teachers and priests, Bishop Leahy said it is with great regret that, following both the email from the Taoiseach’s department today and last week’s recommendation from the HSE, it is necessary to defer First Holy Communion and Confirmation ceremonies until further notice.
“Due to the uncertainty at the moment regarding the impact of the Delta variant, we have been strongly advised that no ceremonies should be rescheduled until public health advice allows,” Bishop Leahy wrote in the letter.
“I deeply regret that we are in this position again of having to defer these special celebrations that you all had committed to and were so looking forward to. Your preparations still stand.
“However, I appreciate this is a huge disappointment to all concerned and I would dearly wish if circumstances were different. It is not something we anticipated a number of weeks back when we were requested to defer until after the anticipated post July 5th lifting of restrictions.
“But given that the Taoiseach’s request, based on public health advice, has come so quickly following last week’s recommendation from the HSE in the Mid-West, it is clear that there is really no choice but to take this on board.”
Bishop Leahy acknowledged the huge inconvenience and disappointment this will be to families. “I also regret the timing and that families have only a matter of days to react ahead of the first scheduled ceremonies next week. While this is very difficult for people to take, we should not ignore warnings given about the substantial threat from the Delta variant and subsequent advice from the Taoiseach’s department relating to this.
“If anything, this latest COVID-19 set-back is reminding us all again of our vulnerability. COVID has, indeed, reminded us of many things but, above all, our need to do whatever we can to protect the vulnerable in society. So, it is with a heavy heart that I ask you to accede to the Government’s strong advice to defer,” he concluded.