Fr Frankie Mulgrew has talked about the “coming of the dawn” as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic.
Jimmy Cricket’s younger son is the parish priest of St James and All Souls in Salford and Catholic chaplain at Salford University.
He has also been assisting with hospital ministry during the current crisis.
Fr Frankie is reported in the Catholic Universe talking about the importance of hope and love in response to the virus.
“The greatest message we can give anybody is the message that they’re loved, and to know they’re not alone,” Fr Mulgrew said in a recent interview with The Art of Dying Well.
“They’re loved enough that someone wants to be sat next to them in this difficulty, wants to stand with them on this front line… I think that’s really key.”
Fr Frankie has been supporting Fr Mark Paver, who is the lead chaplain at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.
He said chaplains have personal protective equipment (PPE) and take the lead from the hospital on whether they can go into wards to minister.
“We’ve got to have the gear on, and even with personal equipment – there’s still the eyes, hopefully you can still display a message of eyes of love,” he said.
However, he admitted it was “tricky” and these are particularly “difficult circumstances”.
‘No night lasts forever’
“It’s letting people know that they’re not alone really,” Fr Frankie explained. “And from the priest’s perspective; it’s that God never leaves them.
“I think that’s the key thing, that He never leaves them; and that he always joins them in their pain.”
He said it was “a great honour” to be able to help and support as a chaplain, but insisted: “The real heroes are the doctors and nurses.”
Fr Frankie added: “What I am holding onto is that basically, the dawn comes just after the darkest part of the night. The dawn is coming. No night lasts forever before the sun rises. And when it rises, boy, does it shine brightly.”
The UK government announced on 23 March it was imposing strict new curbs on life in the UK.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said public liturgies should cease until further notice because of the coronavirus.
Many churches have been getting around the problem by streaming their services online – including Fr Frankie.