St. Mary's Church alone has over 120 baptisms each year, over 400 children for First Holy Communion and a similar number for Confirmation. That scenario is repeated in the other Lucan parishes as well as every parish throughout Ireland and beyond. This past year however all have been put on hold. The backlog continues to grow and the numbers for the current year are rapidly adding to that logjam.
At present it's impossible to say anything definite about possible dates and times for anything, all will depend on how the numbers stack up when a significant number of the population have had the vaccine. Much as we would like it to change quickly we have to be guided by the public health advice. When we can return to public worship it is likely that it will be with severely restricted numbers. This will necessitate a multiplicity of celebrations of the Sacraments to get through the huge numbers; it's not ideal but we will have to work within the public health constraints.
At least our church can remain open for private prayer and it was wonderful to see the steady stream of visitors over the Easter Week-end, all mask wearing and making good use of the hand sanitizers at the church doors. Social distancing within the church also makes for a safe environment for all. The chairs and kneelers are sanitised regularly also. St. Mary's is open from after Mass each morning at 10:30am until 6:00pm each evening Mon - Sat. When a funeral occurs, this is usually at 11:00am and the Church is also closed at that time.
When the situation changes we will put a Baptism booking facility on the Parish website offering a range of dates. Dates for the other Sacraments will also be published online.
When the housebound, who prior to the pandemic had been having holy communion brought to their homes, have had their vaccination we hope to resume home visits by ministers of the Eucharist who have also been vaccinated, as this will be permitted under guidelines soon to come into force.
A word of thanks
Church income has taken a huge drop in the past year, in particular the Sunday collections - people have responded generously with their online contributions and we are deeply appreciative of that support. In particular we are relying on Easter Dues Offerings at this time and again we are grateful to all who have responded in these difficult times.
St. Mary's Lucan