First Holy Communion and Confirmation – message to parents and children

Published on August 7, 2021

Friday, 06 August 2021

Dear parents / guardians,

I hope you are all well and enjoying the summer despite the downpours today.

The past week has brought us all further frustration, annoyance, and confusion upon confusion in regard to the public health guidelines and restrictions that apply to first Holy Communions and Confirmation.

Since the start of the pandemic we in Kilgeever parish have done our utmost to ensure the safety and health of not just parishioners but all people in our community. We have done so by abiding to the best of our ability with all relevant guidelines. We are grateful to those who have come forward to volunteer in various roles to ensure that all parish activities are done as safely as possible.

The latest public health guidance, issued today Friday 06 August, is that we should hold off on celebrating these sacraments until September when a decision will be given on them in the light of the increased numbers of people having been vaccinated and in light of covid infections at that stage.

Some bishops, including our own, have said that we could consider ignoring public health guidelines at this stage.

Some politicians have shown disrespect for the efforts of so many over the past 17 months by presuming that they are exempt from following the guidance the rest of us are asked to follow.

With so many members of our parish having made such sacrifices and efforts I feel it would be a terrible waste to risk throwing it all away at this stage for the sake of a delay of some more weeks.

Also, I would not want it on my own conscience that I contributed in any way to putting anyone’s health or life at risk by willfully ignoring public health guidelines in relation to this deadly virus.

As a result, at this stage we can take it that the First Holy Communion and Confirmation rotas are cancelled and will not be going ahead as we had originally planned for July and August.

When we are sure we can celebrate these sacraments in accordance with public health guidelines, new rotas will be worked out in consultation with yourselves. There may be the possibility of holding somewhat larger ceremonies at that stage, but time will tell.

I acknowledge the level of frustration and disappointment that so many of us feel but I believe it is still better to err on the side of caution than risk the health of any person.

Best wishes,

Mattie Long