WelCom May 2020:
The life of a Catholic does not cease when the church closes its doors and we’re confined to household ‘bubbles.’ The National Liturgy Office (NLO) has been pro-active with a wide range
of support during the Covid-19 lockdown period. We have prepared statements for the bishops based on advice provided by the Government. Communications have been timely and regular between Fr John O’Connor, Acting Director, and David McLaughlin, Communications Adviser for the New Zealand Catholic Bishop’s Conference, keeping media news services up to date with how the Catholic Church is responding to
The NLO website www.nlo.org.nz has published supporting resources from around Aotearoa and overseas. This includes information about times for Mass online in every diocese, prayers and special blessings in the time of a pandemic, online retreats offered before Easter, latest information from the Vatican, including times and links for live broadcasts from Pope Francis. Initiatives from the dioceses include In Reverse, the daily prayer during a time of isolation by Fr James Lyons and Stations of the Cross from the parish of Wellington South, highlighting the ethnic diversity of St Anne’s Newtown through their own stories.
On Good Friday we created an online liturgy We wait on the promise of God, which included people from different dioceses, offering their own insights into the Passion of Jesus Christ according to John. This enabled families to participate, and wove our three official languages as well as prayer and music from the traditional Good Friday service. Viewed by almost 10,000 people, many commented on the beautiful community of faith highlighted and a need for more opportunities in the future.
Catherine Gibbs is Administrative Assistant, National Liturgy Office.