Letter from the Archbishop of Dublin as country enters Level 5
As the country prepares to enter Level 5 Restrictions at midnight tonight (21 October 2020), Archbishop Michael Jackson has written to the clergy and readers of Dublin & Glendalough. He also read the letter to members of Diocesan Synods as they met online yesterday evening.
In his letter he says we are now encouraged to dig deep, to be careful of ourselves and of others, to follow the guidelines and look out for the vulnerable.
“All members of the United Dioceses are called upon to respond to this when our churches are effectively closed. Everything that we do as the people of God is now concerned with sowing in hope,” he says.
The text of the Archbishop’s letter is below and is followed by a link to a leaflet produced by the HSE which gives guidance on wellbeing at this time.
The announcement on 19th October of the introduction and application of Level 5 Restrictions countrywide (available here) brings with it a range of required compliance that many have been predicting and that is now about to come into effect. The word: Lockdown appeals to nobody. Yet it describes the situation in which we find ourselves as of midnight on Wednesday 21st October. We are being encouraged to dig deep and we have no option but to be careful of ourselves and of others, to follow The Guidelines and to look out for the vulnerable, the disabled and the enclosed in very particular ways. All of this brings sadness and disappointment, fear and anxiety in a three hundred and sixty degree perspective – personally, socially and economically to everyone in different ways. As I shared with all of you recently, there is an enhanced onus on people of faith to let the nation know that the church cares and prays for all members of society. Prayer and care bring together word and action.
This is a time not for recrimination but for consolidation. This is a time for heart and mind to work together sensibly and dutifully. This, above all, is a time to trust in The Spirit of God. The attached leaflet has been prepared by the HSE and offers pointers and guidance in the area of wellbeing. Throughout the initial period of the next six weeks where a number of essential services in society seek to keep open, wellbeing will come under intense strain in households, in workplaces, in schools and childcare facilities, in hospitals and nursing and residential homes, in shops, among many others, in the fears that countless people have for their life, livelihood and their own and their children’s future.
All members of the United Dioceses are called upon to respond to this when our churches are effectively closed. Everything that we do as the people of God is now concerned with sowing in hope.
I encourage you to live by the following verse of Scripture, in the hope of God’s presence in the present and the future: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:22.
May God protect and uphold us and all others in these days, Yours sincerely