Weekend message Oct 3
In Sunday’s Gospel reading, Our Lord quotes one of the psalms while speaking to the leaders of the people: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see”. As we continue to cope with life under the coronavirus pandemic, we might well reflect on those personal and social qualities which came to be rejected by the people of our own time and country and by our leaders, but have now proved to be cornerstones of life.
For so many years, we were told that there was ‘no such thing as society’, that we should all just look to our own interests, that ‘profitability’ was the highest priority. In contrast, such qualities as kindness, generosity, compassion, solidarity, were sidelined or rejected outright.
But over the past few months the importance of these qualities and others of a similar stamp has become evident to most people; and the stories of those who, without good cause, flout the rules for their own purposes cause anger and disgust in the minds of the great majority.
A consequence of the pandemic, then, has been to bring back into view the importance of being (or at least trying to be) virtuous: prudence (wear a mask or face-covering), moderation (stock up by all means, but leave some for others), courage and fortitude (where would we be if so many health workers had not been courageous beyond the call of duty?), solidarity and compassion (look after each other, and particularly those less able to look after themselves). We are demanding not just greater competence from our political leaders but greater honesty and transparency.
If in response to the pandemic we can, as a nation, develop a more virtuous way of living, we will undoubtedly develop also the more important virtues – for we cannot develop some virtues and leave the others untouched. So as a people we would become more just, more charitable, more merciful – which brings us back to last week’s message, and the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
The corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry (and thirsty), clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, give shelter to the homeless, bury the dead. The spiritual works of mercy: counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear wrongs patiently, and pray for the living and for the dead.
Two weeks ago we were fortunate to be able to celebrate First Holy Communion for three of our young members. At present we have no idea how we may be able to prepare our young people for Confession and Holy Communion, or for Confirmation, next year, but first we need to know how many would like to make these preparations. Then we will discuss with families and catechists and helpers how we may proceed.
First Confession and Holy Communion: Candidates must be in Year 3 at school (or above). Confirmation: Candidates must be in secondary school (or later). Please let me know as soon as possible, and certainly before the start of December, of any candidates for these sacraments.
Last weekend 73 people attended St. Pius X Narborough for Mass between the three celebrations (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) and over 40 people attended Mass at Our Lady of Victories and St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth between the three celebrations (Saturday evening, Sunday, Tuesday). We have been advised to stop celebrating the Saturday evening Mass at Our Lady of Victories, so from Saturday 10th October the only Mass on a Saturday will be 10am at St. Pius X, Narborough (which will be the Sunday Mass).
Each week we hope to be able to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend Church. However, I would ask that you all use the booking system, and do so in good time, so that if there is pressure due to the number of persons who wish to attend, it may still be possible to find a way to accommodate everyone. Because I will be on holiday during the week beginning 19th October, please note that you will need to book a week in advance for attendance at Mass at St. Pius X Narborough on Saturday 24th October, Sunday 25th October, and Monday 26th October.
I am very grateful to those of both parishes who have volunteered to act as stewards or cleaners or both, and to the hoovering group at St. Pius X, for their willingness to serve our communities. Without your assistance, we would be unable to open our Churches at all. I am also grateful to all who attend Mass for complying with the regulations which we now have to follow.
Readers: Thank you to those who have already volunteered to join our Readers’ Rota at St. Pius X, Narborough. More volunteers are needed, so if you are willing please let me know, and also state which Mass(es) you will be attending.
This week I will celebrate Mass in public at Our Lady of Victories and St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth, at 5,30pm on Saturday, at 11am on Sunday, and at 10.30am on Tuesday; 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 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The intentions of these celebrations will be Saturday (3rd October) 10am Jakob Zankar RIP; Sunday (4th October) 10am People of the Parishes; Monday (5th October) 10am Mary Coyle RIP; Tuesday People of the Parishes (Mass in time of pandemic); Wednesday Patrick, Kathleen, and Margaret McEntee RIP; Thursday Peter McMahon RIP. Next weekend Saturday (10th October) 10am Winifred Foot RIP; Sunday (11th October) 10am Father Terry Fellows RIP; Monday (12th October) 10am Johnny Morrissey RIP.
For the foreseeable future I will not be able to celebrate Mass on Friday morning because I will be teaching students at Oscott College from 8.45am until 12.10pm. There are 10 students in 1st year at the College, beginning training to become priests. One of them has been sponsored by this Diocese.
Booking Arrangements for next weekend:
Please remember that it will be essential to book a place at Mass on every occasion that you wish to attend. 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.
At Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus:
Please ring 079 0113 4564 on the following days, and at these times:
Monday 5th October between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
Wednesday 7th October between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
Friday 9th October between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
Times of Mass next weekend:
- 11am on Sunday 11th October;
- 10.30am on Tuesday 13th October.
At St. Pius X, Narborough:
You may book by email: [email protected] or by phone: (0116) – 2863676
at the following times on the following days:
- between 6pm and 7pm on Monday 5th October;
- between 6pm and 7pm on Tuesday 6th October;
- between 5pm and 6pm on Friday 9th October.
Times of Mass next weekend:
- 10am on Saturday 10th October;
- 10am on Sunday 11th October;
- 10am on Monday 12th October.
Because I will be on holiday during the week beginning 19th October, please note that you will need to book a week in advance for attendance at Mass on Saturday 24th October, Sunday 25th October, and Monday 26th October.
Holy Communion at Home for the Housebound: We are now permitted to administer the sacrament of Holy Communion to those at home, but under very strict conditions. If anyone who is housebound would like Holy Communion, please let me know and I will try to make suitable arrangements.
Wedding: Colette Frances Teeling and Richard James Elsley intend to marry at St. Pius X, Narborough on Saturday 17th October. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate some good news! Please do keep Colette and Richard in your prayers as they prepare for married life together.
If you know of any reason why they should not marry, please inform Father John immediately.
Please pray for Dave Knapper, Michael Maloney, Teresa Maugham, Debbie Bourke,
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 Father Terry Fellows, Dennis Mansell, Hugh Mellor, Sheila Knight, 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.
During October we are invited to contribute to special causes: Special collection boxes will be available in the Church porches for the weekend of 3rd and 4th October for our annual autumn collection for CAFOD, to assist the work of the Church in caring for starving people overseas; 10th and 11th October for the support of the Holy Places in Palestine; 17th and 18th October for Peter’s Pence; and 24th and 25th October for the support of the Church’s missionary activity. If you are unable to come to Church but wish to contribute to any of these causes, please send your contribution to Father John.
Parish Magazine: Mrs Sasse has kindly worked hard on producing a new edition of the Magazine for our two parishes. In the circumstances, producing hard copies would not be sensible, but she is happy to send it by email to anyone who would like a copy. Please contact her on [email protected]. I’m sure that she would also be very grateful for ‘copy’ to go into a future edition of the magazine.
A Message from LACY – Leicestershire Active Catholic Youth: Due to the recent ‘local lockdown’ in Leicester, Oadby, Wigston, and some surrounding areas, the ‘Day With Mary’ has been postponed to 4th October at 4pm. For further information please look on the LACY facebook page.
Recycling Textiles: At the moment the firm are no longer collecting in the Leicester area and have no plans to restart collections. If anyone knows of any other organization willing to collect clothes and other textiles in our area, please let me know.
Reminders from 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. 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, and during October, an extra box for the special collection we have been asked to take.
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. If the Church is full to (Covid related) capacity, the steward may need to keep certain benches available for families.
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 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.
Contributions to the parish funds: I know that many of you who used the planned giving 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 will provide the parish Bank details to anyone who would like to donate by Standing Order or similar electronic means – 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 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, Father John