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Letter from Fr. Frankie on Holy Week


We will always remember Holy Week 2020.  No blessing of Palms, no  Foot Washing,  No Altar of Repose, No Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday, no Stations of the Cross in the Garden, no Easter Water or Dawn Mass, no Choir to sing our Easter Alleluia, sadly no Holy Communion.  Ceremonies of Holy Week are celebrated in empty Church and on the web cams in our sitting rooms.
We are isolated from each other, confined to our homes, cut off from those who are closest to us.  We feel vulnerable, uncertain and often afraid.  The whole world is united as one in our restrictions and isolation. 
This Holy Week we experience the Way of the Cross in a very personal way; it is the way of sickness, sadness, pain and fear. The cross we carry together with Jesus this week is called Covid-19 .  We remember Veronica and Simon, the ones who came to the help of Jesus.   These days we will remember all the Veronica and Simon people, the men and women of the front line, our health workers and all those who work locally and nationally to provide guidance , information and essential services to us all.  They work long hours, often under great stress and at great personal risk to themselves and their families. They are our hero's, our angels and they are our neighbours, family and friends.  They are Veronica and Simon.
This Holy Week the Garden of Gethsemane is real in every hospital and especially in every intensive care unit.  All of these patients are cut off from contact with their family.  Those who are making their final journey do so without the circle of love that is their closest family to keep vigil with them, to pray with them, to hold their hand and to kiss them goodbye.  For all of them this is the Garden of Gethsemane.  The Garden of Tears and a sadness beyond all words. A funeral takes place now without the circle of  a community, of family, neighbours and friends to reach out the hand of sympathy and support and to ease the pain of loss with a word of comfort.
The journey of Holy Week leads us to the Sunday of Easter.  The Sunday of hope when the stone of isolation can be rolled away.  We too can know the Resurrection, so we wait.  We wait with patience; we wait calmly; we wait in trust and with faith.  Jesus walks, suffers and waits with us this week. Spring has coloured the landscape of our lives with the buds and flowers of hope.
We wait too with Mary our Mother for the darkness to pass with the dawn of Easter.  Then we will know again the freedom of laughter; the consolation of our community; the touch and hug of our families and our children.  Our broken, bruised and sick world will be make well again.                                                                                              All will be well  and all manner of things will be well.
Easter will come.
The Risen Jesus reminds us that there is no need to be afraid.                  (Fr. Frankie)