Preparing for Public Masses
At present the church is open for personal prayer each day from 1.00 to 3.00 pm. There are different doors in the main porch for entering and leaving and a one-way system of movement is in place inside the church. The door at the ramp for those with disabilities is also in use. Hand sanitisers are placed inside the church. We encourage those who wish to wear masks/ face coverings. To ensure social distancing, only every third bench is open. There are no public Masses or Confessions in the church as yet, and the number allowed into the church at any time is limited to fifty. We regret that for the present, the toilets are not available to visitors.
To begin celebrating public Mass, we still need more volunteers for cleaning and stewarding. If you are between the ages of 18 and 70, with no underlying health concerns, and are able to help with cleaning and stewarding at Mount Argus, even for one hour per week, please contact the office. Stewards and cleaners do not need to be Garda vetted, but we will keep a register of names and contact details for those who are volunteering; this is important in case tracing and testing needs to be done if one of the volunteers discovers they have the virus. If you can help with church cleaning and/or with stewarding, please contact us either by email (email@example.com) or by phoning the office (01 4992000).
We will not begin public Masses on 29 June. Public Masses at Mount Argus will begin on Monday, 6 July (which happens to be the Feast of St Maria Goretti). This week and next weekend, there will be no public Masses. We will continue to livestream Mass every morning and evening.
The Government has restricted the number attending Mass to 50 people. In order to allow everyone the opportunity to go to Mass once a week, we will initially have a system of phone booking to attend Mass. When you phone the office, we will ask for your name and phone number. This is so that we can contact you if the Mass is cancelled for any reason or if there is a funeral at that Mass in which case we will ask you to come to a different Mass. We will not keep your name and number after the Mass has been celebrated.
You might think it is strange to have to book for Mass but initially this will save people travelling to Mount Argus and then being turned away. If you are able to come to your weekly Mass on a weekday, this will help those who are working and are only free to come to Mass at the weekend.
I want to remind you that nobody is obliged to come out to church for Mass at present. Those who have symptoms such as a high temperature, a cough, shortness of breath or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste, should self-isolate for fourteen days and talk to their GP before they think of coming to Mass.
The Government is reminding us of the importance of personal responsibility. We have to continue to take care of ourselves and take care of one another because the pandemic is not over. The virus has not gone away, so we still need to be careful and to take all the necessary precautions. It is important that people’s lives are not put at risk in church. So let’s continue to have patience and to pray for one another and support one another.
Fr Paul Francis C.P.