Opening some churches

Dear friends,


At last some of our Churches are being permitted to open for private prayer only for a few hours each week. In the Leicester Deanery (which covers the whole of Leicester and South Leicestershire, as well as some areas surrounding the city) I have been informed that

  • Holy Cross, Wellington Street, Leicester will be open between 2pm and 5pm from Tuesday to Saturday;
  • St. Patrick’s, Beaumont Leys Lane, will be open between 10am and 12 noon on Sundays, and between 5pm and 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays;
  • Sacred Heart, Mere Road, Leicester, will be open between 10am and 12 noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and between 5pm and 7pm on Wednesdays and Fridays;
  • Our Lady of Victories, Market Harborough will be open between 10am and 12 noon on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.


I am told that Holy Cross, Leicester, have already started to open at these times for private prayer only; the other Churches mentioned will probably be opening at these times this coming week.


In order to be able to open for private prayer, a Church must have at least two volunteers to act as stewards for the whole time of opening. These stewards must be aged between 16 years and 69 years (inclusive), and must not be at risk themselves or caring for a person who is at risk due to age or an underlying health condition. The Churches must also have volunteers to clean the Church thoroughly after every day of opening. Looking forward to when it may be possible to open St. Pius X Narborough or Our Lady of Victories and St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth, and in particular for when we may have services of public worship again, it will be necessary for us to have volunteers to act as stewards and as cleaners. I do not know whether the age restrictions will still be in place in the future.


So I am asking for volunteers! Please let me know whether you would be willing to act as a steward or as a cleaner (or both!); and whether you are 70 or over, or under 70. I will probably need to be ready with lists of volunteers for when we are permitted to start celebrating Mass again in public, and it would be wonderful to think that we were ready to go on the first day possible. 


While we are unable to meet together for public worship, it is the more important that we pray privately alone or in our families. Our Lord urged his followers not to make a great show of prayer, but even to pray in your private room with your door shut, so that nobody knows that you are praying except for our Father in heaven, who sees all that is done in secret (Matthew 6: 5-6). We all know the prayers we can say wherever we are – the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be to the Father, Hail Holy Queen. Perhaps we would say the Rosary, the Miserere; and of course there are many other prayers we may have learnt to say. As a family, it would be a wonderful idea to be able just to spare a few moments together to consider who and what we wish to pray for – for those who are ill or those who have died; or for the support of our front line workers in the health services and care homes and those who support them; for wisdom for our governments and their advisers; for those who have been put out of work; for peace and justice – there are so many important issues for us to bear in mind, that perhaps to bring them to mind as a family would

be a good way to encourage family prayer.


I am very grateful to Father John Joe, Deacon Kevin, members of the parish committee, and all who have been willing to give me the benefit of their advice and offers of practical effort in regard to future possibilities. We will all need to pull together very effectively in the months ahead.


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


Sunday Welfare of Sheila Knight; Monday Angela Corcoran RIP; Tuesday the people of the parish (Mass in time of pandemic); Wednesday Sheila Dunn RIP; Thursday Assumpta Cummins RIP; Friday Intentions of Mrs V Smyth; Saturday Father Seamus Noctor RIP; next Sunday Welfare of Sheila Knight.


Please pray for Debbie Bourne, Mary Smith, Elaine Smith, Sheila Knight, Elizabeth Fullerton, Mary Dunne, Ranjit Mann, Juanita Zaman, (all parishioners or relatives of parishioners), Sister Philippa (of the convent in Derby) and Father Michael Horrax (retired priest of this Diocese) who are seriously ill; and for Anne Kemp, Sheila Dunn, Joan Lamyman, Sister Breege Leddy, Steven Moger, Anne Foong, Michael Ginnerty, Agnes Hanford, Father Richard Adam (of Mount St. Bernard’s Abbey), Sean O’Neill, and all who have died recently. Please let me know of any others who have died, or anyone who is ill and wishes to ask for prayers, so that I can add them to the list.


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.


I am very grateful to all of you who have been distributing my thoughts and messages to those who may not have been receiving them directly. Do please think of those members of our community who may not be ‘computer-savvy’ or do not have email, or perhaps may not have given me their email address. You are welcome to share these thoughts with anyone else who you feel may benefit from them or would like to read them. Please also continue to pass on to me any messages from them – including email addresses. I would very much like to reach as many members of our communities as possible, and if my thoughts are of any benefit to those who are not in our community, I would be delighted.


With best wishes to you all, and assuring you all of my prayers. Father John