Weekend message Aug 14

Dear friends,

The Assumption of Our Lady As we celebrate once again this weekend the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, we remind ourselves why we honour Our Lady so much in the Church, and in particular why we celebrate her Assumption into heaven.

It may seem strange to give such honour to someone who is, after all, a human being and a creature of God just as much as we are. Every human being who has ever lived, and who ever will live, needs to be redeemed by God, and the only means that God has offered for our redemption is through Jesus Christ, the Word of God made man. So we read that there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and humankind, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for us all. (1 Tim 2: 5-6)

However, Mary deserves special mention, because she was the mother of the Redeemer, and as such we honour her as the sublime human person; and because of her role as Mother of Christ, she is also honoured as mother of all the Redeemed.

Mary’s early life seems to have been unremarkable. St. Luke seems to think so. Right at the start of his gospel, he tells us about two good persons, Zechariah and Elizabeth, both worthy in the sight of God, who scrupulously observed all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. We can understand why they deserved to be honoured as the parents of John the Baptist. But all he says about Mary is that she was a virgin betrothed to Joseph. Nothing remarkable really.

The life of the Holy Family also appears to have been unremarkable. When Our Lord started his public ministry, preaching to the people, healing those who were ill, the people of Nazareth were unimpressed, because they knew his family – who does this man think he is, they said. So the family must have seemed quite ordinary, and will certainly have had to cope with all the usual problems of life, working for a living, faced by hostility from the local gentry and the occupying forces, and suffering the usual upsets. Mary of course knew there was something special – she had heard the message of the Annunciation, she had heard the forecast of Simeon, no doubt there had been other episodes. But these were all so strange as to be incomprehensible. Once Our Lord’s public ministry began, these occurrences increased, such that we know his family wanted to take him away, thinking that he must be mad. And yet Mary believed and never lost that faith, so that she was even there at the foot of the Cross. She is the model of our faith and perseverance.

Every human person is offered the grace of salvation; but it cannot take effect unless it is accepted. We are all called to co-operate with God’s work of redeeming us. Mary was no different in that regard – but with Mary we can see full and continued co-operation in all that God asked of her. St. Paul says that, as children of God, we are coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so that we may share his glory (Romans 8: 17). Mary accepted her share in the sufferings of her son, as Simeon had foretold; and as Our Lord accepted death, taking sin on himself for us all, so Mary as mother of the Lord also shared in his death, and for this reason she too would share in his Resurrection and his glory.

The Resurrection of Our Lord is God’s acceptance of his suffering and death. So also Mary’s sacrifice of her life, as the Mother of the Lord, is also accepted by God in her Assumption into heaven. The redemption for which we hope is of our whole being – body, soul, spirit, and including also our powers of reason and our sociability; so also Mary is not redeemed only in part, but as her whole being. Assumed into heaven she is with Our Lord in her entirety, and as such she is the prototype of all the redeemed. Where she has gone, we hope to follow.

In virtue of his death and Resurrection, Our Lord is constituted in power at God’s right hand. For this reason, St. Paul tells us, God raised Jesus high, and gave him the name which is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every being should bend the knee, and every tongue acclaim him as Lord to the glory of God (Philippians 2: 9-11). As Mother of the Redeemer, Mary shares in his power as Lord by virtue of her Assumption. As Our Lord is ‘in power’ at God’s right hand as our redeemer, so Mary is enthroned in power as mother of all the redeemed.

Home Visits, including Holy Communion for housebound people: These are now permitted, but anyone visiting a housebound person (whether to administer Holy Communion or just a visit) should not visit anyone else during the same morning or afternoon. Visits should be short (in order to minimize the likelihood of passing on an infection) and hand sanitization must be used before and after the visit. If you would like a home visit, or know anyone who would like to be visited, please let Father John know.

Social Activities: these can resume. However, “It is strongly recommended that a risk assessment for both the activity and the space is completed for the gathering.”

So we really need volunteers so that we can start to share refreshments after Mass again at weekends – while still ensuring safety, of course, by observing rules of hygiene. Please let me know – preferably in writing – if you are willing to help.

**Responding to changed government guidelines, we have now been able to bring more benches back into use at St. Pius X, as well as at Our Lady of Victories. That means that we now have a maximum capacity of 84.**

Booking Arrangements for next weekend:

At St. Pius X, Narborough:

You may book by email: johnhadley1971@gmail.com  or by phone: (0116) – 2863676

at the following times on the following days:

  • between 7pm and 8pm on Monday 16th  August;
  • between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday 17th;
  • between 7pm and 8pm on Friday 20th.

Times of Mass next weekend:

  • 10am Saturday 21st August;
  • 10am Sunday 22nd;
  • 10am Monday 23rd.

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

It is no longer necessary to book your place at Mass at Our Lady of Victories. However, all who attend Mass will be required to sign in on arrival, and to sanitize their hands.

Times of Mass next Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday:

  • 5.30pm on Saturday 21st August;
  • 11am on Sunday 22nd;
  • 10.30am Tuesday 24th.

At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be Saturday (14th August) John & Molly Rich RIP; Sunday (15th) People of the Parishes; Monday (16th) Eric Barr RIP. Wednesday Barbara Dunne RIP; Thursday James & Sheila Young RIP; Friday John & Freda Pyle RIP. Next weekend Saturday (21st August) Private Intention (S & CR); Sunday (22nd ) Kevin Thompson RIP; Monday (23rd ) Deceased parishioners & benefactors.

At Lutterworth the intentions for Mass will be: Saturday (14th August) 5.30pm Mary Kuriam; Sunday (15th ) Robert Williamson RIP; Tuesday (17th ) People of the Parishes.  Next Saturday (21st  August) 5.30pm the Holy Souls; Next Sunday (22nd  ) The People of the Parishes; Next Tuesday (24th ) the Holy Souls. 

Prayers for the living and the dead:

Please pray for Roman Smith, Kit Stappard, Sister Francis Martin, Sister Margaret Mary Herlihy, Father Andrew Smith, Doreen Sullivan, and for all who have died recently.

Please also pray for Father John Cairns, Monica Teeling, Peggy Merrell, Jane Bolsover, Suzanne Foxon, Jim Oxley, Beulah Blomfield, Tom McDermott, Joseph Armeni, 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.

First Holy Communion: We hope to begin preparation for First Confession and First Holy Communion in September. I am very grateful to those who have already indicated that they wish to be included. Candidates should be in Year 3 at school from September (or older). Please let me have any names and contact details so that a group can be organized.

Confirmation: Bishop Patrick is willing to start administering the sacrament of Confirmation. I am grateful to those who have already said they wish to be confirmed. Are there any others who would like to join the group? Please let me have any names and contact details. Candidates for Confirmation should be in secondary education (or older) in September this year. Because of the continued restrictions, preparation for Confirmation will be delayed until the autumn.

Discernment Evenings for young people considering their future role in the Catholic Church, at the Vocations Centre, the Old Friary, 247 Gordon Road, Nottingham NG3 2LG, will be held each month starting 7pm Thursday 24th September.

Christus Vincit Following Pope Francis’ exhortation to young people, young people aged between 18 and 35 are invited to meet together. The first meeting will be start at 6.30pm on 7th October at St. Barnabas Cathedral, Derby Road, Nottingham, NG1 5AE; it is hoped that other groups can be set up elsewhere in the Diocese.

Lourdes: Special Collection:

Bishop Herouard has informed the Bishops that urgent work is needed to maintain the Lourdes Sanctuary Work is needed at the Upper Basilica, the Crypt Chapel, the belltower, and the spire. Lourdes has been a place of pilgrimage and of healing for decades, and we are all asked to contribute towards the work. If you would like to do so, there will be a collection box in Church at Lutterworth this weekend; and other contributions can be sent to me to add to the total.

Next weekend will be the Twenty-First Sunday of the Year (Ordinary Time).

**Important notice concerning car parking*

Please park in the Church car parks whenever possible. If that is not possible, for whatever reason, please ensure that you are not causing an obstruction of the roadway or driveways to properties, and please remember that homeowners may wish to park outside their own homes. Please exercise Christian Charity when parking your car.

English Martyrs’ School Congratulations to our Sixth Form students who received their A Level, BTec and AS results on Tuesday 10th August.  Consistent with our long-established record of superb results, this year we are celebrating 87.4% grades A*-C and 100% pass rate at A Level.

Reminders from previous weeks:

Financial matters:

Planned Giving Envelopes (Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth): The new boxes of envelopes started in April If you require your box, please ring June (01455 – 553730) or Ashley (01455 – 553493) or email Father John.

Planned Giving Envelopes (St. Pius X, Narborough): The new boxes of envelopes started in April. They are available from the sacristy in Church, or email Father John.

Standing Orders: 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.

Recycling Textiles: At the moment the firm are no longer collecting in the Leicester area and has no plans to restart collections here. I hope to have better news soon.

With my prayers for your wellbeing and salvation, Father John