Tuam Parish
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Excerpt from Statement by Archbishop Michael Neary on the publication of the Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes

January 13th 2021

I welcome the publication by the Minister for Children of the Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. The Report contents are a cause for shame as we are confronted in our very recent history with the scandalous way in which vulnerable women and children in our society were deprived of care and dignity and subjected to humiliation.

The Church of Jesus Christ was intended to bring hope and healing, yet it brought harm and hurt for many of these women and children. Many were left broken, betrayed and disillusioned. For them, and all of us, these revelations seriously tarnished the image of the Church. The delight and joy which we associate with the birth of a new baby instead became clouded with darkness and gloom. This was a time when single pregnant women and their children were labelled as “unmarried mothers” and “illegitimate”, and then judged, stigmatised, and ostracised by their own families, by their communities, and the Church. These attitudes were wrong and very sad. The Church failed in its responsibility to love and cherish those who were thus diminished. What this Report makes clear to me is that when the Church is not serving with compassion, it is failing. For that I am genuinely sorry.  As a Church leader I apologise unreservedly.

The Tuam Children’s Home was owned by Galway County Council and operated by the Bon Secours Sisters. The Council, on behalf of the State, was responsible for the residents. While the diocese never had an administration role in the running of the Home, it had a pastoral one, in that the priests of Tuam parish served as chaplains…

...Again, I acknowledge and humbly ask forgiveness for the abject failure of the Church for the pain and suffering visited on those women and their children in the Mother and Baby Homes nationally.

Michael Neary

For full text of statement visit: https://www.catholicbishops.ie/2021/01/13/statement-by-archbishop-michael-neary-on-the-publication-of-the-report-of-the-commission-of-investigation-into-mother-and-baby-homes/

 

January 10 2021

Dear Parishioners,

On behalf of Father Seán and myself, we wish you a safe, healthy and blessed New Year.  While these are challenging times now and once again, we are being asked to make many sacrifices, we have much to look forward to in 2021, especially the vaccination roll out.  The Bible is full of hope, underpinned by our faith.   Deuteronomy 31:6 calls on us to ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.’

Today’s Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord and the second reading (Acts 10:34-38) remind us too of that promise and confidence.  ‘God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good.’  We can follow in Jesus’ footsteps doing our own good – checking in on people living alone, ‘phoning a friend in a nursing home, praying for our loved ones’ safety and that of our fellow parishioners. 

The latest Government restrictions impact many aspects of our parish life, including the Cathedral restoration.  Fortunately, to this point, the project was on track.  Any tasks that can be done off site will carry on – for example stonework and fittings for the sacristy.  On site activity ceased on Friday (8 January) and, in line with national guidelines, will be revisited at the end of the month.

We continue to be grateful to all of you for your generosity.  If you have received a form, we would appreciate you returning it in the envelope provided before the end of January.  Next week, we hope to resume contact of the remaining parishioners.

‘Through the Paschal Mystery we have been buried with Christ in Baptism, that we may walk with him in newness of life.  And so, let us renew the promises of Holy Baptism, which we once renounced Satan and his works and promised to serve God in the holy Catholic Church’ (excerpt from the Missal, 3rd Edition).

Fr. Pat Farragher, Adm.

 

Archbishop Michael has published a Pastoral Letter entitled Covid -19: Challenge to Faith and Opportunity for Faith.

The Pastoral Letter may be accessed at the following link

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