Message March 24

Dear friends,


On Saturday 25th April I was due to go to Oscott College in order to lead a session on ‘The Existence of God’ for a number of men (I don’t know how many) from various dioceses who have started training to be ordained deacon. They are in their first year of training, which is to last four years. I am unable at present to take part in video conferencing so I have prepared a ‘distance learning module’ for them to do at home. There should be a follow-up session in four weeks’ time, for me to respond to their questions, so by then I hope that I will be able to lead an interactive session with them in some manner.


Meanwhile, as I mentioned in my message to you all last week, I have been giving some thought as to how to celebrate appropriately when we can meet again on a Saturday evening or Sunday. If you have any ideas please email them to me. I am very grateful to those of you who have already sent in some ideas. I don’t think any of us knows how long the restrictions will last. It has been suggested that it could be many months before we can meet again in Church. The longer that these restrictions last, the more important it will be that we celebrate appropriately when we can all meet together.


On Tuesday this week I will celebrate Mass ‘in time of pandemic’. The prayers have been specially written for this purpose, and you will find them at the end of this message.


Please pray for Mary Dunne, Ranjit Mann, Juanita Zaman, and Francis and Sally Watters (all relatives of parishioners) who are seriously ill; and for Jessica Lowndes, Anne Murray, Maureen Condon, and Assumpta Cummins, who have died recently.


This week I will celebrate Mass at approximately 9am each day for the following intentions:


Sunday Gerard Sullivan RIP ; Monday Douglas Murray RIP; Tuesday for the people of the parish; Wednesday Assumpta Cummins RIP; Thursday Jessica Lowndes RIP; Friday (Feast of St. Joseph) Fr Joseph McGovern RIP (on the day of his burial); Saturday Anne Murray RIP; and next Sunday Maureen Condon RIP. Please also pray for Fr. Stephan Foster who will be buried this week, and for Tony Bate, Betty Harte, and Christine Buide, whose funerals will all take place next week.


Meanwhile, please know that I am thinking of you all and looking forward to meeting you again in person. I pray for you, and ask that you pray for me and for all members of our two communities.


I hope you are all keeping well, happy, and virus free. If there is any way that I can help, please do let me know. Please also pass on these messages and my best wishes to those who may not receive emails from me.


Father John




Entrance Antiphon: Is 53:4 Truly the Lord has borne our infirmities, and he has carried our sorrows.


Collect : Almighty and eternal God, our refuge in every danger, to whom we turn in our distress; in faith we pray that you look with compassion on the afflicted, grant eternal rest to the dead, comfort to mourners, healing to the sick, peace to the dying, strength to healthcare workers, wisdom to our leaders and the courage to reach out to all in love, so that together we may give glory to your holy name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.


Prayer over the Offerings: Accept, O Lord, the gifts we offer in this time of peril. May they become for us, by your power, a source of healing and peace. Through Christ our Lord.


Communion Antiphon: Mt 11:28 Come to me, all who labour and are burdened, and I will refresh you, says the Lord.


Prayer after Communion: O God, from whose hand we have received the medicine of eternal life, grant that through this sacrament we may glory in the fullness of heavenly healing. Through Christ our Lord.


Prayer over the People: O God, protector of all who hope in you, bless your people, keep them safe, defend them, prepare them, so that, free from sin and safe from the enemy, they may persevere always in your love. Through Christ our Lord.