Page 3 - Church Review JUNE 2020 [IM)
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Church Review is published monthly and usually available by the first Sunday. Please order your copy from your Parish by annual subscription. €40 for 2020 AD.
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The Revd. Nigel Waugh,
The Rectory, Delgany, Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
T: 01-287 4515. T: 086 1028888. E:
 ISSN 0790-0384
The Most Reverend Michael Jackson,
Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough, Primate of Ireland and Metropolitan.
At the beginning of last month, we were introduced to five phases of return from the restrictions within which we have been living since the Government first responded to the coronavirus COVID 19. The phases are spread out over a period with three weeks in between each phase. They run alongside five medical criteria that an Taoiseach spelled out on the day before the five phases were introduced to us. Realistically, we have five criteria working alongside the five phases. They need to work together for us to make progress and to feel progress. This is the roadmap towards a sustainable civic life that will eventually bear a resemblance to life as we used to know it. This is an extremely ambitious plan. Always a plan will have its detractors. Always any of us feels we could have drawn the plan up better. Irrespective, this is the plan before us.
We are all encouraged and required to work towards it. Isolation and social distancing are the contributions you and I can make. Testing and tracing, medical and nursing care are the contribution countless frontline healthcare workers and scientists are making. Enabling us to be fed and safe and educated are the contributions others who are also in the frontline are making. At every point in this response, there is service and there is sacrifice. Those who are doing these things deserve not only our thanks but also our gratitude. And overwhelmingly they have both.
The success of the plan now depends on a number of things. The marching together of the medical criteria in relation to delaying and halting the virus and protecting the most vulnerable is paramount. Many of us may well be asking: What can we do? There is any number of things we can do. They all emerge from the word compliance. Every little step each of us takes will help to protect others and ourselves. Each of us is an essential part of this jigsaw. As I have tried to say before, our civic duty and our Christian discipleship come together in this shared effort with everyone else. From the outset, we have heard of the dreaded and deadly impact of the coronavirus on health and on the economy. In recent times, we have heard more about mental wellbeing and the impact that restrictions (lockdown) are having on those who are enclosed within themselves and those who are enclosed within households where there is fear and where there is abuse.
The phrase: behind closed doors carries an ominous and a frightening ring.
There is another component. We hear little of it. Yet it is in a very specific way for us to do. It is the spiritual dimension, often overlooked, often rejected as unnecessary because invisible. The spiritual dimension lies in our hands in days when more and more of us can turn our hands to less and less. Care and prayer can and do march together in the life of the Christian. Care is a human instinct. Prayer is a human instinct. It was, after all, the disciples who came to Jesus to ask him as their teacher to give them a prayer. They felt they were lagging behind the disciples of John the Baptizer. We, as the disciples
of today, can and must pray. We must pray for and with those who are putting themselves out in front line services in these dangerous days. And we must pray to God for them and for those who are dying
and for those who are surviving the coronavirus. For the Christian person, prayer deepens and enhances connection. Connection is a virtue we have identified over the past months. Prayer is multiple belonging. Prayer is a channel of peace.
And prayer will continue to be needed as we progress through the five stages of Reopening Ireland. There never will be no coronavirus again. There currently is no sign of a vaccination. Flattening the curve is no more than what it says. People have died. People are dying. People will die. People have cared. People are caring. People will care. I invite you all to pray.
† Michael
Archbishop’s Letter
JUNE 2020
Noeleen Hogan
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Due to the Covid 19 crisis, this issue is not printed but only available online.
COVER: St. Matthew’s Church and grounds

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