Weekend message Aug 7
The Real Presence of Our Lord in Holy Communion: As we look forward to being able to mix and mingle with other people more widely and regularly, we look forward also to being able to welcome greater numbers of people into our Churches – without the present need for ‘social distancing’ restricting our numbers severely. We also look forward to more social gatherings for tea, coffee, and other refreshments after Mass. Hopefully we will also be able to visit people who have had to shield or isolate in their homes for so long. We have done our best to continue to be a community despite all these pandemic-related difficulties. Now we give a very warm welcome to these many ways in which we can start to be community in practice again.
I think that human beings are the only animals who prepare food and cook it. I’m not much of a cook (though I think my omelettes are getting better, and I rarely succumb to food poisoning), but I certainly appreciate good cooking, and eating a meal with another person or persons is preferable to eating alone. So it is not surprising that eating (and drinking) together is so important for making community. There is already a fellowship, of those who grew the food, tended it, harvested it, prepared it, cooked it; those who eat a meal together are brought into this fellowship.
Our Lord often spoke about the kingdom of heaven as a meal; and one of the great complaints made about him during his public ministry was that he was so willing to eat with the wrong people – willing to form table fellowship with them. It was very fitting that he wanted to eat a celebratory meal with his closest friends and companions before his death, and that he would choose food and drink to be the enduring sign of his boundless love for us all.
He promised that where two or three are gathered together in his name, he is there with them. But being the Son of God who became a man for us, he could go further, and make of this enduring sign, this food and drink, a way in which he could be really present among us – not merely in our thoughts, or in our imagination, or in the memory of the Church, but in reality. Such a thing would be beyond us, of course, but not too hard for God to do.
Our Lord calls us together in this table fellowship, sharing in this food and drink, for a purpose. We are to be a community which is a force for peace and harmony and justice in the world. We are to be a people of forgiveness, knowing that God has reconciled us with himself, and able in consequence to be reconciled to one another and to the wider community.
We could say that Our Lord is really present to us, so that we become Our Lord’s presence in the world. What a responsibility! Perhaps the first stage in discharging that responsibility is extending our own table fellowship, in the refreshments after Mass, and in the other ways in which we eat and drink together. The more we can do this with the joy of Christ, recognizing the fellowship of so many people who have had a hand in making our food, the more we may be able to share our fellowship in the Lord with others.
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.
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.”
Booking Arrangements for next weekend:
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 7pm and 8pm on Monday 9th August;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday 10th;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Friday 13th.
Times of Mass next weekend:
- 10am Saturday 14th August;
- 10am Sunday 15th;
- 10am Monday 16th.
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 14th August;
- 11am on Sunday 15th;
- 10.30am Tuesday 17th.
At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be Saturday (7th August) Billy Morrissey RIP; Sunday (8th) People of the Parishes; Monday (9th) Sylvia Leader RIP. Friday Thomas Hodge RIP. Next weekend Saturday (14th August) John & Molly Rich RIP; Sunday (15th) People of the Parishes; Monday (16th) Eric Barr RIP.
At Lutterworth the intentions for Mass will be: Saturday (7th August) 5.30pm People of the Parish; Sunday (8th) People of the Parish; Tuesday (10th ) Holy Souls. Next Saturday (14th August) 5.30pm Mary Kuriam; Next Sunday (15th ) Robert Williamson RIP; Next Tuesday (17th ) People of the Parishes.
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.
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 this weekend (and probably next weekend as well); and other contributions can be sent to me to add to the total.
**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.
Reminders from previous weeks:
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