Allen Parish Newsletter 29th March 2020


29th March, 2020 -- Fifth Sunday of Lent


Spring Forward!

Remember the clocks go forward one hour this weekend.



Every Catholic is entitled to a dignified Christian burial.

All Funeral Masses in Church and burial in Cemetery are strictly private at this time.

- All Confirmation ceremonies are cancelled until further notice.
- First Confessions cancelled until further notice.
- Do This in Memory First Communion preparation programme cancelled until further notice.


We might not be able to go to Mass this Sunday because we all need to stay home to keep each other safe and well, but we can still make time for God at home. You might like to take out the Family Bible, light a candle, take a moment to be quiet and ask God’s blessing on each member of your family before you begin.

“May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home. During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours” (Bishop Denis)


We remember in our prayers all those whose anniversaries occur at this time:-

Seamus and Eileen Cooke
Paddy & Bea Duggan, Allenwood North

We also remember in our prayers those who have recently died

Maud Deeley, Kilmeague
Kay Judge, Naas
Richard Kelly, Fenagh, Co. Carlow and formerly Ballyteague



At the outset I want once again to pay tribute to all of you for the generous and committed responses you have given to guidelines and restrictions that we have received from the Government and health authorities. With further restrictions announced yesterday, I ask once again for your full co-operation with these. We all need the gift and grace of perseverance these days.

I compliment the many great initiatives happening at a local parish level. I think of the garda I met today in Carlow who told me they are more than willing to help delivering prescriptions to the vulnerable and elderly; I think of the many parishes who are organising volunteer outreach groups and those who are using different means to project scripture messages of hope and reassurance in these challenging times.

On our Churches remaining open ...
I was delighted with the new restrictions, announced yesterday, that places of worship could remain open. I think this is very important for our people. It’s lovely that people, respecting social distancing, can quietly walk into a church, light a candle, offer a prayer, spend time in adoration. Obviously public Masses across the diocese will not resume until further notice. I thank you for the creative use of webcams, social media, parish radio, Facebook and much more to bring a message of reassurance and comfort into many homes.

On those who work in hospitals and attend the sick ...
A huge debt of gratitude to all involved in healthcare who are tireless in ensuring our health and wellbeing. I pay special tribute to our priests who are often called to attend to the sick (observing strict protocols) and also to priests who assist as chaplains in the hospitals for emergency calls. Your dedication standing on the frontline, fighting this virus, is deeply appreciated.

On celebrating Holy Week ...
Unfortunately, Holy Week will be celebrated this year behind closed doors.

On the Chrism Mass ...
As with Holy Week, the Chrism Mass will be celebrated behind closed doors. I am currently exploring different options at how best to offer the celebration so that the greater number of people are able to follow proceedings online.

Every blessing & thanks,



Pope Francis’ Prayer to Mary during the coronavirus pandemic
O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.


An Act of Spiritual Communion
This is a simple and loving act of Spiritual Communion we are called to make in these times, while we are unable to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist:
My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.

COVID-19 Support Line for Older People
ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Professional staff are available to answer queries and give advice and reassurance where necessary. The support line is open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024. Hours may be extended to meet the demand.

Third Age Ireland
Third Age Ireland is a national organisation who take care of the elderly. SeniorLine is one of their programmes and could be very helpful to you at this time. SeniorLine has been the national, confidential listening service for older people, run by trained older volunteers since 1998. This peer-to-peer helpline for older people receives in excess of 10,000 calls per year. If you are feeling worried, stressed or isolated at this very unnerving time, please feel free to ring this FREEPHONE service anytime between 10am and 10pm on any day of the week on 1800 80 45 91.