On Sunday 29th March 2020 (5th Sunday of Lent), Bishop Paul Swarbrick of Lancaster, together with the scattered faithful of the Church all united in prayer, re-dedicated England to Mary the Mother of God.

Pope Francis held the special Urbi et Orbi on Friday from the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Usually a colorful event reserved only for Christmas Day and Easter Sunday, this extraordinary blessing was held in keeping with the gravity of the current global situation, as more than half of the world’s population is confined to their homes to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Standing in a deserted St. Peter’s Square with a steady rain falling, Pope Francis spoke to the world through all the means of modern communication: Facebook, YouTube, TV, and radio.

Special Pastoral Measures for Coronavirus

Bishop Paul has issued these special measures regarding the sign of peace and reception of the precious blood from the chalice. He also requests that those who receive Holy Communion on the tongue should receive on the hand for the greater good of the community. 

Lent Pastoral (Year A)
My dear people,
The term ‘self-isolate’ has become familiar to us all in recent weeks in connection with the threat to life posed by the corona-virus. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in some way ‘selfisolated’ when faced with the threat to eternal life posed by sin.

He was led into the wilderness not to avoid contact but to prepare to do battle with the enemy. We must take seriously risks to life. We must take even more seriously risks to eternal life.

Pope Francis has called on the world’s Christians and people of goodwill to join together to pray the Lord’s Prayer on Wednesday, 25 March at 11am UK time (midday in Rome). On Friday 27 March at 5pm UK time (6pm Rome), the Pope will pray on the steps of St Peter’s basilica. Although the square will be empty, there will be a period of Adoration and readings from Scripture. At the end of the service, the Holy Father will impart his Urbi et Orbi blessing and will offer a Plenary indulgence for the COVID-19 pandemic.


View this post on Instagram

PT: Eu sei que muitos de vocês se confessam para a Páscoa a fim de se reconciliar com Deus. Mas muitos me dirão hoje: “Mas, padre, onde posso encontrar um sacerdote, um confessor? Não se pode sair de casa! E eu quero fazer as pazes com o Senhor, quero que Ele me abrace, que o meu Pai me abrace. O que posso fazer se não encontro um sacerdote?”. Você faz o que diz o Catecismo. É muito claro: se você não encontra um sacerdote para se confessar,Nfale com Deus, ele é seu Pai. Diga-lhe a verdade: “Senhor, eu fiz isso e aquilo. Perdoa-me”. Peça-lhe perdão de todo o coração, com o Ato de Contrição e prometa-lhe: “Depois, eu vou me confessar, mas perdoa-me agora”. E logo você retornará à graça de Deus. ES: Sé que muchos de ustedes con motivo de la Pascua van al confesarse para reencontrarse con Dios. Pero muchos me dirán hoy: “Padre, ¿cómo puedo encontrar un sacerdote, un confesor, si no se puede salir de casa? Y yo quiero hacer las paces con el Señor, quiero que Él me abrace, quiero que mi Papá me abrace... ¿Qué puedo hacer si no encuentro sacerdotes?”. Haz lo que dice el Catecismo. Es muy claro: si no encuentras un sacerdote para confesarte, habla con Dios, que es tu Padre, y dile la verdad: “Señor, he hecho esto, esto, esto... ¡Perdóname!”. Pídele perdón con todo tu corazón, con el Acto de Dolor, y prométele: “Me confesaré cuando pueda,”. Y volverás a estar en gracia de Dios inmediatamente. FR: Je sais que beaucoup d'entre vous, pour Pâques, vont se confesser pour se retrouver avec Dieu. Mais beaucoup me diront aujourd'hui : "Mais mon Père, où puis-je trouver un prêtre, un confesseur, pourquoi ne puis-je pas quitter la maison ? Et je veux faire la paix avec le Seigneur, je veux qu'Il m'embrasse, je veux que mon père m'embrasse... Que puis-je faire si je ne trouve pas de prêtres ? Vous faites ce que dit le Catéchisme. C'est très clair : si tu ne trouves pas un prêtre pour te confesser, parle à Dieu, il est ton père, et dis-lui la vérité : "Seigneur, j'ai fait ceci, cela, cela ... Pardonne-moi", et demande-lui pardon de tout mon cœur, avec l'Acte de contrition et promets-lui : "Je me confesserai plus tard". Et immédiatement, vous reviendrez à la grâce de Dieu.

A post shared by Pope Francis (@franciscus) on


Letter on public acts of worship in Catholic Churches in England and Wales in light of COVID19

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice. Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing. However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation. Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day. We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the 'serious reason' why this obligation does not apply at this time. You will find more details about the pathway of prayer and sacramental life we are now to take in the accompanying document and on the Bishops’ Conference website (www.cbcew.org.uk). Your own bishop and parish priest will provide further support, encouragement and information about our way of prayer together in the coming weeks. The second vital aspect of these challenging times is our care for each other. There are so many ways in which we are to do this: being attentive to the needs of our neighbour, especially the elderly and vulnerable; contributing to our local food banks; volunteering for charitable initiatives and organisations; simply keeping in touch by all the means open to us. During these disturbing and threatening times, the rhythm of the prayer of the Church will continue. Please play your part in it. The effort of daily kindness and mutual support for all will continue and increase. Please play your part in this too. For your commitment to this, we thank you. "The Lord is my shepherd, There is nothing I shall want." May God bless us all.

Vincent Cardinal Nichols President, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP Vice-President

Download: When Mass cannot be celebrated publicly

What Catholics need to know about COVID-19