Weekend message April 22

Dear friends,

This Sunday is the Second Sunday of Eastertide, Divine Mercy Sunday We tend to think of mercy as being in some sense subservient to justice, as though doing justice was of greatest importance, and once we have achieved that, then we try to be merciful. Of course we realise that we hope that God doesn’t treat us in the same way – we do not hope for strict justice from God, but for mercy on us poor sinners. But for us humans in this sinful world, we prize justice, and see mercy as an important addition to it.

Mercy has been thought to soften the hardness or sharpness of strict justice. Justice requires full restitution for any wrong, whereas mercy will recognize when that is out of reach for the wrongdoer. Justice demands that the punishment should fit the crime, whereas mercy might recognize the pressures that brought the criminal to his criminal actions. So justice comes first, and then, if we can, we see whether we can be merciful and ‘forgive’ some of the debt. Justice is giving to other what we owe to them; mercy is giving more than is owed.

But is that the best way to look at justice and mercy? St. Thomas Aquinas thought not. He says that for God it is mercy that comes first, and justice follows. His reason is that nothing and nobody owes God anything. God didn’t have to create anything. The whole of creation, everything that lives, including ourselves, is an underserved gift – in other words, it is mercy. Only after God has created the world, is there anything for God to do justice to.

Perhaps that could help us to understand better the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and to put them into practice. Why should we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, house the homeless, visit the sick, visit those in prison, and bury the dead? Not because they have done anything to ‘earn’ it, but as gift to those in need, as we have received gifts from God which we have not earned. Why should we counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish the wrongdoer, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear wrongs patiently, and pray for the living and the dead? Not because these are ‘due’ to them, but out of generous love for God and for our fellow men and women.

On the Feast of Divine Mercy, we ask God for mercy and forgiveness, and recommit ourselves to offer mercy to others.

The Bishops of England and Wales are encouraging us all to attend Church to celebrate Mass with the community. I know that many are still very wary of attending because of the (very real) fear of contracting disease, and in our parishes we will continue to do everything we can to minimize that risk.

· All are encouraged to be fully vaccinated (double vaccination and booster).

· All (except those who are exempt) are still required to wear masks or face coverings, to protect themselves and others.

· We are now permitted to sing; however, masks or face coverings must be worn during singing.

· Hand sanitizers must still be used on entry into the Church or hall.

· The windows must be open for ventilation whenever the Church or hall is being used by a number of people.

· It is no longer necessary to take the names of all who attend (and advance booking is also not needed).

· Holy water may be provided at the entrance once again – but needs to be refreshed at least once a week.

· Anyone who feels unwell or tests positive for covid-19 should not attend Church or any social activity in the parish.

Please think very carefully about whether you should attend Church if you are feeling unwell; and please do not attend if you may be infectious or if you have been in contact with anyone who has had a positive Covid test.

Confessions: I will hear confessions from 9 until 9.30am on Saturdays at St. Pius X, Narborough; and from 4.30pm to 5.00pm on the first Saturday of the month at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth.

At St. Pius X, Narborough:

Times of Mass this week & next weekend:

· 10am Saturday 23rd;

· 9.30am Sunday 24th;

· 10am Monday 25th.

· 10am Saturday 30th;

· 9.30am Sunday 1st May;

· 10am Monday 2nd.

At Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth:

Times of Mass this week & next weekend:

· 5.30pm on Saturday 23rd;

· 11am on Sunday 24th;

· 10.30am Tuesday 26th;

· 10.30am Thursday 28th;

· 5.30pm on Saturday 30th;

· 11am on Sunday 1st May.

A prayer for Ukraine

Loving God, we pray for the people of Ukraine,

for all those suffering or afraid,

that you will be close to them and protect them.

We pray for world leaders,

for compassion, strength and wisdom to guide their choices.

We pray for the world that in this moment of crisis,

we may reach out in solidarity to our brothers and sisters in need.

May we walk in your ways so that peace and justice

become a reality for the people of Ukraine and for all the world. Amen.

Pray for Peace is very important that we all pray for peace, pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire the aggressors with thoughts of peace, and above all pray for the people of Ukraine at this devastating time.

The following link is for the Leicester Ukrainian Community website set up to advise how to help:


Caritas Social Action Network: 1. Poverty Challenge Following the pandemic, many households now face new hardships as prices rise. Caritas Social Action Network, the Catholic agency addressing poverty and injustice in England and Wales, has released a new booklet to increase awareness of Catholic Social Teaching on poverty, and to inform local responses. This can be downloaded from www.csan.org.uk

2. Refugees from Ukraine CSAN is in close contact with the UK government on responding to the war in Ukraine. Guidance on how Catholic households and groups can support refugees from Ukraine is available on the CSAN website and updated as new information becomes available. www.csan.org.uk/ukraine

Bishop Patrick wishes our two parishes to become a single parish. Please let me know if you think of any advantages or disadvantages of merging the two parishes into a single parish.

In the meantime there are some steps that we must take:

· We need to compile and publish a combined ‘parish handbook’ for our two parishes, detailing who is responsible for the various aspects of parish life;

· We need to arrange a joint meeting of the two parish finance committees, to review our finances and resources, and to consider the spending priorities over the next five years (this should take place when the accounts for the current financial year, just ending, have been finalized);

· We need to consider how to form a parish committee covering both parishes.

· A parish trip will be arranged for members of both parishes this summer. (We would be very welcome to make a trip to Marlow in August – it is on the banks of the Thames, and if the weather is good I am told a very pleasant setting) Please let me know if you are interested – if so we can make a provisional booking

· Possible difficulties were raised concerning the idea that telephone contact would be made with those unable to join us at Mass at the present time. Consequently, this idea will have to be delayed for a while until those difficulties can be dealt with.

Confessions: I will hear confessions from 9 until 9.30am on Saturdays at St. Pius X, Narborough; and from 4.30pm to 5.00pm on the first Saturday of the month at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth.

Mass Intentions: At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will Saturday (23rd) Mary Copson RIP; Sunday (24th) Welfare of Steve Ball; Monday (25th) John Lawrence RIP. Wednesday Gerard Sullivan RIP, Thursday People of the Parishes; Friday John Cooper RIP. Next weekend Saturday (30th) Doug Murray RIP; Sunday (1st May) Deceased friends & relations of R Coates; Monday (2nd) Emmanuel Armeni RIP.

At Lutterworth the intentions for Mass will be: Saturday (23rd) David Janssens RIP; Sunday (24th) People of the Parishes. Tuesday (26th) Holy Souls. Thursday (28th) Holy Souls. Next Saturday (30th) Alan Reed RIP; Sunday (1st May) People of the Parishes. Tuesday (3rd) Welfare of Jennie Reed. .

Prayers for the living and the dead:

Please pray for Adam Reed, Bernadette Stean, David Janssens, Margaret Pugh ,Ashley Adams, David Sygrove, Noreen Merrion, Marie Almey, and for all who have died recently.

Please also pray for Jennie Reed, Vivian Kettle, Ann Spurrier, Beulah Blomfield, Diana Coughlin, Tony Thorlby, Hayley & Kaci Dunnill, John Southern, Monica Teeling, Peggy Merrell, Jane Bolsover, Suzanne Foxon, Jim Oxley, John Burns-Sweeney, Tom McDermott, Dave Knapper, Teresa Maugham, Mary Dunne, and Juanita Zaman and for all who are ill.

Please let me know of any others who have died, or anyone who is ill and asks for prayers.

Scrabble Group: Will restart meeting on 9th May. Mondays 2pm – 4 pm for relaxed scrabble. At Lutterworth Catholic Church Hall. No winners, beginners welcome, just fun playing scrabble; cake and hot drink. Please contact Jo 01455 554298.

Evergreens: Bingo on Tuesdays from 1.30 pm until 4pm approx., in St. Pius X Narborough Parish Hall. Entry £2. All welcome.

Next Sunday is the Third Sunday of Eastertide

Parish Priest’s contact details address 52 Leicester Road, Narborough. Leicester. LE19 2DF; telephone (0116) 2863676; email johnhadley1971@gmail.com

With my prayers for every Easter blessing, Father John