Cork city parish launches lottery to counteract drop in donations during pandemic

Cork city parish launches lottery to counteract drop in donations during pandemic

The Cork Cathedral Family of Parishes is creating new ways to raise funds for parish upkeep and activities. Picture: Larry Cummins

A PARISH on Cork’s northside has been forced to reduce the number of Masses it holds, while the Covid-19 pandemic has also seen the need to establish a new stream of income.

The Cork Cathedral Family of Parishes, incorporating Blackpool, the Glen, Ballyvolane, and Sunday’s Well, is creating new ways to raise funds in a bid to support the upkeep and activities of the growing parish and has launched a new lotto.

Priest numbers in decline 

Over the past decade, the number of priests serving in the parish has declined.

The parishes merged three years ago and they are now served by Canon John O’Donovan and Fr Damian O’Mahony.

In addition, the closure of the Church of St Vincent’s has meant that the pastoral care of Sunday’s Well has become part of the Cathedral Parish.

The merging of the parishes and the reduction in the number of priests have meant that the number of Masses each week has also declined, from 33 to 23 Masses.

However, the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne remains one of the busiest churches in the diocese, with up to 150 funeral Masses alone per year.

Masses have been moved online due to the Covid restrictions, and Canon O’Donovan said Saturday Mass can typically see more than 1,500 people tuning in.

The pandemic has allowed for a new way of communicating with people, though the move to virtual Mass has seen a reduction in donations.

“Needless to say, our donations during the past year would have been down because you haven’t got people coming to Mass during the level 5,” said Canon O’Donovan.

“But people have donated online, and when people come to church for personal prayer, they will often drop money into a box for a donation, but our donations would not have been as large in the church as in normal times.”

The parish councils are anxious to grow the services offered by the combined parishes and want to ensure that each of the church buildings is maintained.

However, in order to do this, a new stream of income will be necessary.

The Cork Cathedral Family of Parishes is now hoping to create a new way of raising funds through the launch of a weekly parish lotto that commences tomorrow.

More information is available on the Cork Cathedral’s Facebook page. Tickets are also available at parish offices and local shops.

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