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Dear Parents/Guardians

I hope everyone is safe and well.

We have all been anticipating the celebration of First Reconciliation and First Communion for a long time now. It has not been possible to make arrangements before now as it was necessary to deal with the safe reopening of the church first so that we could then see how we could best facilitate the celebration of the sacraments. A cohort of parish volunteers have been trained and rostered for every Mass and celebration during each week, without whom we could not open and on whom we continue to depend long term if the church is to remain open..

We are delighted to be able to announce dates for the celebration of the sacraments now. However, please note that cancellation may be necessary if the COVID restrictions change or if the church is obliged to close for any reason. However, we hope that will not occur.

Many of our experiences: shopping, leisure, holidays, etc. have all been reshaped to ensure the safeguarding of the health of all while the COVID-19 infection continues to persist. It also impacts on the shape of celebrations in the church and consequent restrictions. We are obliged by law to observe the restrictions as they apply to us.

A maximum of 50 people are permitted in the church of St Philomena in Palmerstown for all celebrations. We must, therefore, organise the celebrations of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion accordingly and within the law.

We have circulated individual letters today to parents/guardians advising the date for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion during the months of September/October 2020. We cannot presume that it is still your wish that your child receive the sacraments and so we are requesting parents/guardians to please complete the form attached to the letter stating your intention. If we do not receive the form by 22 July 2020, we will remove your child’s name from the list.

Please note that following:

FIRST RECONCILIATION: Your child may be accompanied BY ONE ADULT ONLY. Please arrive at the church 15 minutes before the ceremony is due to start.

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION: Your child may be accompanied by TWO ADULTS ONLY. Please arrive 15 minutes before the Mass is due to start.

Please read all the accompanying resources and guidelines included with your letter to ensure the protection of the wellbeing of all and to prepare your child well.

Social distancing will be practiced by all in attendance at the ceremonies. The parish stewards will guide you throughout both ceremonies. There are no toilet facilities available in the church currently. Adults are encouraged to wear masks in the church, as in all enclosed spaces. All will exit directly after the ceremony to reduce the time in enclosed space and to facilitate sanitisation of the building.

If you did not receive a letter regarding your child's First Holy Communion, please email the Parish Office on and provide us with your Child's name and address, School they attended and the name of their Teacher and we will arrange to send you the information.

Every blessing on your family

Canon Tony Reilly
Parish Priest

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