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God does not do social distancing - Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly

Noel Dundon

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Noel Dundon

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nd@tipperarylive.ie

Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly

Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Kieran O'Reilly

In his sermon for Sunday morning Mass in the Cathedral of the Assumption, the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly urges people to stay safe.

The Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Kieran O'Reilly, told his audience for Sunday morning Mass today that God does not do social distancing as he urged people to engage in their own 'domestic Church' during this period of isolation.

In a wide ranging address during Mass from the empty Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles, which was streamed live on the Thurles parish website, Archbishop Kieran said that despite the circumstances the faithful finds itself in, God has not abandoned his people and is closer than ever to them.

"Social distancing is not for God. Despite us bot being able to come to Church, he is as close to us as ever," Archbishop O'Reilly said.

And, he also encouraged families to avail of their own domestic Church by engaging in prayer together, since the Churches of the Archdiocese haven been closed in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines. Praying together and enjoying each others company during the period of lock down will help, he said, and he had a special word for those who were supposed to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Archdiocese over the past number of weeks. Their day will come he said, as he wished all young people off from school at the present time, the very best, as well as their parents, grandparents, family and friends.

Archbishop Kieran was joined by Rev Fr Vincent Stapleton for the Mass, and Fr Stapleton encouraged people to reach out for help, if they need it. "There are plenty of people only too willing and able to help if you need it, so please pick up the phone and make contact. We know these times are hard for everyone but there is somebody out there ready to help," he said.

There were also special prayers for all those fighting the coronavirus pandemic from the front line and for all those who may be  suffering in any way at this time, as well as those who have gone to their eternal reward.

With attendance at Mass prohibited for the time being, the faithful were encouraged to log on to social media, websites, radio and TV to avail of the many daily services being provided across all platforms. However, personal prayer and reflection, and prayer within the family was also greatly encouraged at this time.

Archbishop Kieran concluded Mass by encouraging people to stay at home and only to move out when absolutely necessary. And, to stay safe.