Welcome to the website of St Matthew’s Parish, Ballyfermot. We hope you will find any information that you may require on our site, but should you need any help, please don’t hesitate to contact us in the Parish Office.
As you are probably aware, we have installed a webcam to allow parishioners and others to view our celebration of the Eucharist and other services in St. Matthews. If you would like to see the webcam, you’ll find a link in the menu above, or else just click here!
Like everyone else in Dublin, I suppose, I was foolishly hoping that the corona virus could be brought under control, but this is not what has happened and so we’re upset. At this stage people’s anxiety has deepened as they feel that their efforts are not working. Older people may feel it’s unfair that they have to bear the brunt of the restrictions, though it is for their own safety. Younger people may feel that they should not be restricted as they are likely to recover if they get the virus. People are fed up and just want to find someone to blame so that they may excuse themselves in their behaviour. But the fact is that many young and old are catching the virus and that this is having a terrible effect on their health, and the number dying is not going down. Compassion for all who are effected is what is needed, not anger and resentment.
The pandemic has hit us hard, because until this pandemic arrived, we as a country were doing so well. Please God we will continue to do well, but it is such a different situation now that we cannot expect that everyone will be as well-off as before, and there will be more need to take the needs of others into account. For the moment it’s a matter of staying calm, and following the guidelines for the sake of each other. When people have more time on their hands, they can reflect and be creative, and many are to be commended because they have found ways of doing so in a way that has helped others. We can all likewise use the opportunities we have to pray and this will enable us to see the good that God wishes to bring about at this time, and to control the ill-effects of the virus.
Following on directions from the government, the Archbishop has informed us that we are placed on Level 3 of the Government’s National Recovery Plan for at least a three week period. This means that St Matthew’s Church will remain closed from midnight tonight (Friday, 18th Sept.). No public Masses will take place, except for funerals and weddings where attendance will be limited to 25. Parish Masses will be transmitted on the web from St Matthew’s at the usual Mass times. We are allowed to open for private prayer, and will do so from Monday onwards from 10.30am till 12 noon. Unless the period of lockdown is further extended, we will still go ahead with the dates arranged in October for the First Holy Communions. Keep this in your prayers as we wouldn’t want to disappoint the children again.
As you are aware the annual collection for Crosscare was planned to take place over this weekend but has now had to be cancelled. As you will appreciate, at this time of crisis, Crosscare need our support now more than ever before to help those most in need in our communities, viz. the homeless, the hungry poor and the young people. Donations can be made on line at www.crosscare.ie
I am very grateful for all the support and co-operation. When the Church re-opens we will again have the same necessary restrictions as up till now. They include measures like sanitising your hands, social distancing, and wearing facemasks. The obligation to attend Mass on a Sunday does not apply during these times of the pandemic and those who are vulnerable or who have been in touch with those affected by the virus should not attend. Entry only will be by the front doors and Exit only by the back doors. Exception will be made for those in wheelchairs. Toilets will be open, but those who use them will be expected to use hand sanitisers and clean the toilet furnishings after use. Only priest and sacristan will be allowed in the sacristy at Mass-times. The collection baskets will be at the back of the Altar. People will not be allowed to gather around outside after leaving the Church. Holy Communion will be brought to the people in their seats and they may receive only in the hand.
Covid 19 Funeral Arrangements in St Matthews Church (These to be changed).
We offer our condolences to all those who are mourning the loss of a loved one at this time. We understand that this is a difficult time for you. We do not wish to make it any more difficult for you. However, to safeguard the wellbeing of all who attend the funeral in St Matthew’s Church we ask everyone to respect certain arrangements.
If you arrive before the hearse, do not gather outside the Church. On arrival enter through the front door of the Church and take your seats.
All we can allow in the Church at the moment are 25people. So sit only in the places where there is a yellow marker. (We have installed outdoor microphones so that those who are outside can follow the Mass, but they must observe social distancing.) Two people from the one household may sit together, and no more.
Leave the front seats available for the chief mourners who will arrive with the hearse.
Those who are doing readings or bringing up symbols (mementos) of the deceased should sit at the end of seats so that they do not have to pass anyone on leaving their seats.
For the distribution of Holy Communion everyone should stay where they are and Holy Communion will be brought to you.
At the end of Mass the priest and coffin will go out first, and then starting from the seats nearest the Altar, people will leave the Church by the same door by which they entered. So stay in your seat until the people in the seat in front of you have moved 2 meters past you.
Transmission of the ceremony through our website will continue until the singer has finished her singing.
Move away from the Church when you come out. Social distancing will not allow people gathering in front of the Church.
We would be very grateful if people would co-operate with the stewarding and follow these necessary arrangements.
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament Wednesday and Friday
This week we had exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on the main Altar after Mass till 12 noon on Wednesday and may of those attending Mass remained on for it. Because many were present we can do it again and we will see if, by having it on a second day each week, people will still be prepared to stay back. We will , however finish each day at 11.30 am, as staying on till 12 noon seems too long, and nobody else is coming to join those already there.
Crosscare Annual collection 19/20 September (Now postponed)
Crosscare COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update (abbreviated)
Crosscare’s focus has always been to serve the most vulnerable in our society. During this crisis we are working hard to ensure that the essential services we provide remain available to our service users while operating in line with Government and HSE advice.
Our Homeless Services are working closely with the HSE, DRHE, 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. Crosscare opened a new inner city 100 bed cocooning services for people who are homeless to keep them safe from the virus.
Our Food Banks remain open to support those most in need at this difficult time. Close to 7,000 emergency food parcels have been delivered to vulnerable individuals and families as a crisis response since the pandemic began. Our Community Cafes remain open providing takeaway services. Our Carecall team are operating a normal service making calls daily to all our clients.
Services are open and working more intensely with smaller numbers of particularly vulnerable young people. Our Drugs and Alcohol Programme team are carrying out online sessions with their clients. Our Voluntary Clubs team continue to link in with and support our volunteers by phone and other web-based technologies.