FURTHER GUIDANCE FOR CORONAVIRUS SITUATION Holy Thursday, 9TH April 2020

From Archbishop House:

Holy Thursday, 9TH April 2020

  1. I wish to support an initiative that asks as a celebration of Easter, and as an act of prayerful solidarity to lift spirits at this time of social isolation, Cathedral and Church bells should ring at 12 noon on Easter Sunday. Where feasible, each parish should, carry out this gesture.

 

  1. The health care authorities have updated their advice concerning funerals. The entire text was sent to parishes two days ago.  I re-produce some details regarding funeral services:

In order to ensure that families and loved ones, funeral directors, the religious and others who officiate at services and other workers are protected, a number of restrictions have been put in place. Representatives of faith communities and cultural groups will provide guidance to their own communities on how they will organise revised funeral arrangements. These will take account of the restrictions that have to be put in place.

When arranging funerals during the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the key messages in the HSE guidance include:

  • In light of current restriction on mass gatherings and the requirement for physical distancing, public reposals and gatherings at funeral homes are discouraged. The funeral should be private and limited to a maximum of ten people as advised by the public health authorities. Only the following should attend:
  • members of the person’s household
  • close family members
  • close friends if the deceased has no household or family members.
  • Numbers attending funerals, however, may be restricted further in smaller enclosed places. Social distancing must be practiced at all times. Depending on local circumstances individual churches or other funeral locations may also put in place restrictions on numbers.
  • Mourners should follow the advice on social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral gathering.
  • Social distancing of at least 2m between identified groups is recommended for everyone.
  • Physical interactions including shaking hands and hugging should be avoided.
  • Arrangements should not be advertised in papers and online (the funeral notice can be placed but the arrangements should not appear).
  • Families can advise relatives privately of the funeral arrangements. The following wording has been suggested as an example:

            A private funeral will take place due to government advice regarding public    gatherings. Those who would have liked to attend the funeral, but due to       current restrictions cannot, please leave a personal message in the section           below ‘Condolences’.

 

  • In the papers, a similar message can be written with reference to www.rip.ie<http://www.rip.ie> or funeral director company website to offer the family condolences.
  • The use of condolence books is discouraged and people are recommended to send condolences through social media, online websites, text or by letter.
  • The family should be advised that they may have a Memorial Service at a later date.
  • Where possible, close contacts and relatives of the deceased should use their own transport for attendance at the funeral.

This guidance relates to all funerals, including bereavements that are COVID-19 related and non COVID-19 related. Families of the deceased are asked to respect any advice or restrictions that might be put in place during this difficult time.

Unfortunately, due to the restrictions in place at this time, family and friends of the deceased will not be able to have gatherings after the funeral service. While this will undoubtedly be difficult for all concerned, there will be an opportunity, in time, for family and friends and the wider community to come together to celebrate the life of the deceased

  1. Information of services by Crosscare and Accord Dublin. I include a copy of a Press Release issued today.  You might like to draw attention to these services in Parish communications and thus let people know of these important Diocesan initiatives

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has drawn attention to the ongoing services being offered in the current crisis by two of the Diocesan Agencies, Crosscare and Accord Dublin.   He paid tribute to these agencies for their creativity and concern in continuing to provide these services.  The services include care for the homeless, emergency food support as well as on-line relationship counselling.

Conor Hickey, Director of Crosscare illustrated the wide range of services currently being offered by Crosscare.

“I am extremely proud of the way the team in Crosscare have responded to the crisis. From early on,  priorities were established and resources concentrated on keeping key services open. Good contingency planning and regular communication with all staff and volunteers has meant that the staff group remain united and morale is generally as good as can be expected under these trying circumstances.While some of our face to face services have had to be adapted to meet HSE requirements, as much as possible we are continuing to provide supports through other remote means including phone and web based technologies.  Full details of our current service provision for our service users is as follows:

  *   Our Homeless Services including our residential facility for young people are open and operating normally and in line with HSE guidelines.  We are working closely with the HSE, Dublin Regional Homeless Executive,  Tusla and other government bodies, local authorities and colleagues in other similar organisations to ensure that our service users’ needs are supported and our people are kept safe.

  *   At the request of the HSE we are taking over the management of an extra 100 bed facility in the city centre designed to cocoon vulnerable people out of existing overcrowded homeless services.

  *   Our Food Banks remain open to support those most in need at this difficult time and we have made changes at a local level to ensure that the health of all involved is safeguarded.

  *   Additional food parcels are being delivered to families and individuals across the city from our centre in Blanchardstown.

  *   Our Community Cafes remain open providing takeaway services to protect the health of our teams and customers.

  *   Our Carecall team are operating a normal service making calls daily to all our clients. In partnership with the charity ALONE we are supporting the work of their helpline by taking over lists of older people who require daily contact and higher levels of support. We have also transferred 11 of our staff who were confined to home to ALONE to help them deal with the surge in numbers calling their helpline.

  *   All Youth Services are being offered through telephone and on line support platforms.

  *   Our Drugs and Alcohol Programme team are carrying out online sessions with their clients.

  *   Our Voluntary Clubs team continue to support the local volunteers across the city.

  *   Crosscare Information and Advocacy Services remain very busy with all services now being offered by phone and email.

On its part Accord Dublin today announced a new help line for people struggling with relationship issues.

 

ACCORD Dublin has setup a helpline to provide support for people struggling with  relationship issues during this time of self-isolation.  The contact number is 01 9059555.  The line is open from 10 until 1 pm every Monday to Friday.

More details from their new website www.accorddublin.ie<http://www.accorddublin.ie>