Week end message Aug 29
As I write this message (on Thursday) it is pouring with rain – and this coming weekend is ‘Bank Holiday Weekend’, so, as I was reminded this morning, this is ‘typical Bank Holiday weather’. In other respects, however, this is a very unusual Bank Holiday, as we still suffer from the effects of the pandemic, and many of us (rightly) are worried about a further spurt of infections and how that will affect us all.
A question which, I am sure, we have all asked at one time or another over the past six months is: “How did this pandemic happen?”,and perhaps also a second question: “Why did it happen?” How and why can such things happen in God’s good creation? How and why can such things happen in a world in which we have made such great advances in science (including medicine) and technology?
When we stop to think about it, we could realise that these questions are very similar to the objection which Peter made against Our Lord’s prediction of his suffering and death, which we hear in this weekend’s gospel (Matthew 16: 22). “God forbid, Lord, this must not happen to you!” Peter said – and we may say the same: God forbid, this should not happen to us.
Why did Our Lord suffer and die for us and for our salvation? Because human beings have done evil in God’s good creation. It is that evil we need Our Lord to save us from; and it is that evil which put Our Lord to his suffering and death. And we can see that evil in the eruption of the pandemic, and certainly in its spread, as decisions taken by governments have weakened the ability of nations to confront the pandemic, and actions of human beings continue to flout the regulations and encourage the virus to continue to spread.
Against that, of course, we see the wonderful and selfless activities of so many people to help others in so many ways. If it was not for the health workers, care workers, emergency services, and probably an even greater number of other workers who have supported them in various ways, together with the numbers of people who have helped friends and neighbours to obtain food and to keep in contact, the effects of the coronavirus would have been so much greater. In the generosity and kindness of so many people, their attention to duty and their love for their fellow men and women, we see the power of the Holy Spirit at work, and we can recognize the saving presence of Our Lord himself.
We pray that Our Lord himself will stay with us during these difficult times, and that he will send the Holy Spirit to us to empower and encourage us to do what is right, so that a better, more just, and more generous world will be created as the pandemic eventually recedes.
Celebration of Mass in Public in our Churches:
Last week over 60 people attended Mass in Narborough, between the three celebrations, and about 40 attended Mass in Lutterworth on Saturday and Sunday combined.
Please be aware that it will be essential to book a place at Mass on every occasion that you wish to attend. Nobody will be allowed to attend who has not pre-booked. It is not permitted to book for every Sunday, or even for a number of weeks.
Please also remember to bring a mask to wear when coming to Mass –imposed restrictions are still in place.
At Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus:
Please ring 079 0113 4564 on the following days, and at these times:
Monday 31st August between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
Wednesday 2nd September between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
Friday 4th September between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
Times of Mass next weekend:
- 5.30pm on Saturday 5th September;
- 11am on Sunday 6th September;
- 10.30am on Tuesday 8th September (Feast of Our Lady’s Birthday)
At St. Pius X, Narborough:
You may book by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (0116) – 2863676
at the following times on the following days:
- between 6pm and 7pm on Monday 31st August;
- between 6pm and 7pm on Thursday 3rd September;
- between 10am and 11am & between 5pm and 6pm on Friday 4th September.
Times of Mass next weekend:
- 10am on Saturday 5th September;
- 10am on Sunday 6th September;
- 10am on Sunday 6th September;
I am very grateful to those of both parishes who have volunteered to act as stewards or cleaners or both. The Churches would not be allowed to open for public Mass without you – so you are crucial to our success.
This week I will celebrate Mass in public at Our Lady of Victories and St. Alphonsus on Saturday (5.30pm) for Father John Feeley RIP, and on Sunday (11am) for Mary Kurian RIP. The intentions for Mass next weekend (5th and 6th September) will be announced next week.
This week I will celebrate Mass in public at St. Pius X Narborough at 10am on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday; and in private (the doors will not be open) at about 9am on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. There will be no Mass celebrated on Tuesday. The intentions of these celebrations will be: Saturday 10am Winifred Foot RIP; Sunday 10am Mary Smith RIP; Monday 10am Maureen Morrissey RIP; Wednesday the people of the parishes (Mass in time of pandemic); Thursday Father William Wells RIP; Friday Canon John Duckett RIP. Next weekend Saturday (5th September) 10am Edwin Wood RIP; Sunday (6th September) 10am Welfare of Alan Dodds; Monday (7th September) 10am Patricia Mary O’Neill RIP.
Please pray for Dave Knapper, Alan Dodds, Michael Maloney, Teresa Maugham, Debbie Bourke, Sheila Knight, Elizabeth Fullerton, Mary Dunne, Ranjit Mann, Juanita Zaman, (all parishioners or relatives of parishioners), and Father Michael Horrax (retired priest of this Diocese) who are seriously ill; and for Pat Johnston, Patricia Mary O’Neill, Mary Kuriam, Nicholas Lash, Carolina Johnson, Elaine Smith, Mary Smith, and all who have died recently. Please let me know of any others who have died, or anyone who is ill and asks for prayers, so that I can add them to the list.
Reminders from last week and previous weeks:
The ‘Sunday Obligation’ remains suspended until further notice. The Bishops remind us that people who have been ‘shielding’, or who are caring for anyone who is extremely vulnerable, should not attend Church. Those who are ‘vulnerable’, including those who are over 70 years of age, should think carefully before attending, to make sure that they feel they can do so safely. Children younger than 16 years old, and persons who are physically disabled or who have learning difficulties, must not attend Church unless they are accompanied by a responsible adult, who will be expected to look after them and ensure that safe practice is maintained. Toilets will not normally be open.
When Attending Mass in any Catholic Church:
Face masks must be worn. When you arrive at Mass, a steward will check that you have pre-booked. You will be asked to sanitize your hands in the porch, and to wear your face mask. There is no holy water in the porch, and there will be no newsletter to take into Church. From next weekend (5th to 7th September) a newsletter will be available, but if you take one you will be asked to ensure that you take it away with you after Mass.
If you have brought an offering for the parish collection, please put it into the box which will be available in the porch. The collection will not be taken during Mass in the usual way. There will also be a box in the porch for items for the foodbank or for Mary’s Meals.
A steward will show you where you can sit. Places are marked on the benches or chairs, to ensure that all persons keep a safe ‘social distance’. Couples from the same household may occupy a single place. Families may sit together.
Holy Communion will be distributed at the usual time during Mass. The host must be received in the hand. There will be no ‘dialogue’ at that time. The chalice cannot be shared. Those receiving Holy Communion are requested to maintain the social distance in the line in the main aisle waiting to receive; and to come up to the line marked on the floor of the Church.
At the end of Mass, please do not stop in the porch. If you wish to talk to anyone, please wait until you are outside the Church building. This is to avoid causing an obstruction for those wishing to leave.
Recycling Textiles: If you are clearing out wardrobes and chests of drawers, or will be doing so at the end of the summer, remember that the parishes can earn money by recycling textiles. The firm we use will take clean clothes, shoes, handbags, belts, sheets and pillowcases, and curtains. Any such items (bagged of course) can be left on the doorstep of the presbytery, 52 Leicester Road Narborough, for us to recycle. In the past we have been paid 30p per kilogram. Please note that the firm will not take duvets, pillows, or cushions, and we cannot recycle those.
Contributions to the parish funds: I know that many of you who used the envelopes to make your contributions would like to continue to do so. The boxes of envelopes are available for those who use them. If you would like your box of envelopes, please let me know and I can produce it for you.
I mentioned some weeks ago that I have received a directive from the diocese that all parishioners must be encouraged to make their contribution to the Church collection by standing order or electronic means if possible. However, that is, of course, your choice, and I have arranged for a box to be available in the Church porch at every celebration of Mass so that you can make your contribution that way if you prefer to do so.
I will provide the parish Bank details to anyone who would like to donate in that manner – many of you already do so (and I am very grateful indeed). I can provide standing order mandates for anyone who wishes – please just ask.
Gift Aid: I have been asked about Gift Aid. I have copies of the form to complete, so if you are a taxpayer and would like the tax paid on your contributions to be given to the parish, please ask me for a form.
With best wishes to you all, and assuring you all of my prayers,