Bishop Fleming issues Diocesan Guidelines on Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

March 13th, 2020

Dear Father,

Care of the Vulnerable is at the heart of our pastoral ministry. The Covid-19 (Coronavirus) as a pandemic is a threat to all of us and makes everyone vulnerable.  Conscious of the seriousness of the virus and in line with the norms issued by the Irish Bishops, I issue the following guidelines to you:

Having consulted priests and people the public celebration of Mass in this diocese is suspended until March 29th, when the situation will be reviewed.

Priests are encouraged to say Mass privately in their churches and, where possible to use webcam and radio to allow parishioners to join the celebration.

The churches of this diocese should remain open to allow people to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.

The church will continue to welcome those who come for Baptism, Confession, the celebration of their marriage and the celebration of funerals.  However, a designated family member must assume the responsibility of ensuring that the congregation is less than 100 persons, including children.

The anointing of the sick and those for Baptism must be administered without human touch preferably with cotton buds which can then be disposed of appropriately.

The celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation is suspended until further notice.

All those who gather for any of the above celebrations must in accordance with medical advices sit about 6ft apart.

Observance of these guidelines is mandatory until and including March 29th, when they will be reviewed.

Personal Care

If you have to self-isolate, please let me know so that I can ensure that you are properly cared for.  If you have any flu like symptoms, please contact your doctor in the interest of caring for yourself and others.

If you visit those who are sick, please ensure that you do not stay too long and sanitize yourself in accordance with the recommended  health guidelines.

With God’s help and with the support of each other’s prayers and co-operation, the pandemic will soon end.

With every best wish,


Yours sincerely,

+John Fleming

Bishop of Killala