Weekend Message Aug 21

Dear friends,

On Friday (21st August) we celebrated the feast of St. Pius X, the patron saint of the Narborough parish, who was Pope from 1903 to 1914. He was a very devout priest, bishop, and Pope, who encouraged devotion to the Blessed Eucharist and allowed children to receive Holy Communion when they were about 8 years old, instead of having to wait until they were about 12 years old, as had been the case previously.

As Pope, he was faced with two sets of serious difficulties. As more people were educated, and science made great, and sometimes startling, progress, so many people started to question the teaching of the Church. At the same time, people were becoming more assertive politically, and this led to the Church being under attack as an institution in many European countries, notably France.

He was very much concerned with ensuring that the Church was properly organized, and tried (though, it has to be admitted, not altogether successfully) to promote the authentic teaching of the Church in the context of these great changes in society.

Our present Holy Father, Pope Francis, is also concerned to promote the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the context of considerable developments in understanding the natural world, and our care for it, and understanding society and the vast variety of ways in which people relate to each other. His teachings can perhaps be summarised in two words: love and joy.

Both Pope Pius X and Pope Francis have faced considerable opposition, but their ways of dealing with it could scarcely be different. Pope Pius X enforced strict discipline and would not allow anybody to criticize, or even question, his teachings. Pope Francis, on the other hand, welcomes differences of opinion and has steadfastly refused, from the beginning of his Pontificate, to silence his opponents.

As it was vitally important, in the early years of the 20th century, that Catholics followed the lead of Pope Pius X, in order for the Church to be ready to deal with the great challenges it was to face over the next 40 years, so it is vitally important now that we all follow the lead of Pope Francis, and reflect in our lives the love and joy of the Gospel, and of our fellowship with and in Jesus Christ.

As we now celebrate Mass in public a few times each week in our two Churches, it is important to remember Pope Pius X’s devotion to the Blessed Eucharist, and find ways of ensuring that we remain fully part of the Church, the Body of Christ, even if we are unable physically to attend Church and to receive Holy Communion.

As Pope Pius X was concerned that children as young as 8 years old could receive Holy Communion, I am now making plans to enable the three young people who were preparing for their First Holy Communion to receive Our Lord in this special manner soon.

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. The Church of Our Lady of Victories and St. Alphonsus is being repainted, so cannot be open on weekdays.

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. For some reason, the government appears to think that it is more dangerous to attend Mass than to go to the pub.  

Booking Arrangements:

At Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus:

Please ring 079 0113 4564 on the following days, and at these times:

Monday 24th August            between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm

Wednesday 26th August     between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm

Friday 28th August               between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm

These arrangements may change for future weeks.

Times of Mass:

  • 5.30pm on Saturday 29th  August;
  • 11am on Sunday 30th August;

 Please note that Mass will not be celebrated on Tuesday or Thursday because the Church is being repainted.

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 6pm and 7pm on Tuesday 25th  August;
  • between 6pm and 7pm on Thursday 27th August;
  • between 10am and 11am & between 5pm and 6pm on Friday 28th August.

Times of Mass:

  • 10am on Saturday 29th  August;
  • 10am on Sunday 30th August;
  • 10am on Monday 31st August.

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 the people of the parishes, and on Sunday (11am) for Kevin Thompson RIP. Next Saturday (29th August) Mass will be celebrated for Father John Feeley RIP, and next Sunday (30th August) Mass will be celebrated for Mary Kurian RIP.

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 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; and at 8.30am on Thursday. The intentions of these celebrations will be: Saturday Intentions of Sam Jones; Sunday Rose Sullivan RIP; Monday Fr. Joseph McGovern RIP; Tuesday the people of the parishes (Mass in time of pandemic); Wednesday Deceased benefactors of the Johnson Fund; Thursday Deceased parishioners and benefactors; Father John Seabrook RIP; Saturday 10am Winifred Foot RIP; next Sunday 10am Mary Smith RIP.

Please pray for 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 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, though there will be one for you to take away with you at the end if you wish.

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 can only be received as the host, and 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.

Online Primary School Tuition: A former teacher who has left teaching due to coronavirus can offer online tuition for primary age children, every evening, and Saturdays until 1pm. Visit www.topteachingtuition.co.uk for more details.

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

Father John