Border will dictate who can go to Mass

Border Bishop says he is aware of the fear, frustration and inconvenience Covid-19 has put on people

Border will dictate who can go to Mass

Bishop Larry Duffy, the Bishop of Clogher.

Cross-border parishes in the Clogher diocese will see Mass available in some and not in others.

New Covid-19 Restrictions on both sides of the border will mean some church-goers in parts of south Donegal will not be able to attend while others in part of the same diocese in Northern Ireland will be okay.

The Diocese of Clogher encompasses all of Co Monaghan, most of Fermanagh and portions of Tyrone, Donegal, Louth and Cavan.

It has a Catholic population of 88,000, across 37 parishes, which are served by 54 priests and one deacon. There are 85 churches in the diocese. Bishop Larry Duffy is the Bishop of Clogher.

Twenty of the parishes of the diocese are in the Republic of Ireland while 15 are in Northern Ireland.

In a statement today Bishop Duffy said the spread of the Covid-19 north and south of the border has now resulted in additional restrictions being put in place over the coming days.

"This is a very trying time for people, particularly after so many have made such tremendous efforts to comply with regulations and to provide for the common good and the public health of all.

"As Bishop of a diocese that is divided by the border, I am very aware of the fear, frustration and inconvenience that people are experiencing.

"I am especially conscious of the loss felt by so many on the southern side of the border at not being able to celebrate public Mass together.

"In fact, in some of our parishes Mass is available in one part while not in the other. The Eucharist is an essential part of the spiritual nourishment of Catholics and I look forward to the day when we can all celebrate it again," he said.

He added the restrictions call us to personal responsibility; to comply with public health and hygiene requirements and to look out for the needs of others.

"So many are doing that on the frontline and in our schools and public services. In fighting this contagious virus, all of us need to do the same in whatever walk of life we are in.

"As Christians we are all especially called to serve each other, to be Christ to each other in every situation. St Teresa of Ávila, whose feast we celebrate today, puts its well: Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours."

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