Weekend Message Dec 18
We have entered the final week of THE SEASON OF ADVENT. As we put up the cribs and the Christmas trees and the lights, and send and receive cards and presents, we think once again of the greatness of this gift which we are celebrating, even (perhaps specially) in these dark and uncertain times.
“In respect of his greatness and marvellous glory, nobody shall see God and live, for the Father is incomprehensible. But in respect of his love and kindly mercy, and of his infinite power, he grants even this to those who love him: to see God…because the things which are impossible with men and women are possible with God. We cannot see God by our own powers; but God, of his own will, appears to those whom he wills, when he wills, and as he wills.
For God can do all things: he was seen in former times prophetically through the Spirit, he is seen in the Son by adoption, and he will be seen in the Kingdom of heaven as Father. The Spirit prepares us for the Son of God, the Son brings us to the Father, and the Father bestows upon us incorruptibility for eternal life, which comes to everyone from beholding God. And those who see the light are in the light and are illuminated by its splendour, so those who see God are in God, partaking in his splendour. But God’s splendour gives life; so those who see God will share in God’s life.” (St. Irenaeus of Lyons)
“Grant, almighty God, that your people may be always watchful for the coming of your only-begotten Son, so that, as the author of our salvation has himself taught us, we may hasten, alert and with lighted lamps, to meet him when he comes. Amen.” (Opening Prayer at Mass: Friday of Advent Week 2)
“Stir up your power, O Lord, and come to our help with mighty strength, so that what our sins impede, the grace of your mercy may hasten; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” (Opening Prayer at Mass: Thursday of Advent Week 1)
The Diocese has made the following arrangements for our Spiritual Christmas preparation which we are all invited to share.
Praying with Our Lady through Advent – We invite you to pray one extra Hail Mary each day in Advent, asking for Our Lady’s prayers to help all of us as a diocese, open our hearts and minds to welcome Jesus afresh this Christmas. She was the first person to welcome Him into her life and her intercession can help us to draw closer to Him and feel His presence with us anew this Christmas. Every other day you will be able to watch people from our diocese pray the Hail Mary in different languages on the diocesan social media sites, search for Diocese of Nottingham or Bishop Patrick McKinney on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Living Advent Podcast – Living Advent is a weekly podcast series throughout Advent exploring the virtues of Hope, Love, Joy & Peace with people from across the diocese and how we can live them out. We speak to a young husband and father, a musician, a retired social worker and a police officer. Visit
www.dioceseofnottingham.uk/podcasts for links on how to stream or download it, or you can find it on your usual podcast service by searching ‘Living Advent Podcast’.
Worldwide Telecasts – the Holy Father will preside at Midnight Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica from approximately 6.25pm until about 8pm (GMT) on Thursday 24th December, and will give his Christmas Message and blessing ‘Urbi et Orbi’ from about 11am until 11.25am (GMT) on Friday 25th December. Contacts: [email protected] and www.eurovision.net/wf/worldfeeds/php
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.
Prayers for the living and the dead: please pray for Linda Burton, Sister Ursula O’Keefe, Michael Garvey, Peggy Ward, Nicholas Coote, and all who have died recently; and for Andrew Madden, Joseph Armeni, Dave Knapper, Teresa Maugham, Debbie Bourke, Elizabeth Fullerton, Mary Dunne, Ranjit Mann, and Juanita Zaman who are seriously ill. Please let me know of any others who have died, or anyone who is ill and asks for prayers.
Christmas Collection: On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day the collection is taken for the support of your priests.
Churches open again for the public celebration of Mass: St. Pius X, Narborough, and Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth, opened for the public celebration of Mass from Saturday 5th December. Arrangements are the same as before the recent lockdown began. Masks or face coverings will be required for those attending Mass (except for those exempted from wearing them); it is necessary for those attending Church to sanitize their hands on entering; and all need to keep social distance from each other (unless they are members of the same household or family). Young persons under the age of sixteen years, and all persons who suffer from physical or mental disability, must be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult. We are very grateful for the generosity and commitment of our volunteer stewards and cleaners, and for the co-operation and good sense of all who attend.
Christmas Masses: Bishop Patrick has written to remind us that the ‘Sunday Obligation’ is suspended, and this extends also to Mass on Christmas Day. He also tells us that every Mass celebrated in Christmas week (that is, from 25th December to 1st January inclusive) is to be considered as a ‘Christmas Mass’ even if it is also the celebration of another Feast (such as St. Stephen, or the Holy Family).
The Church must be sanitized after every public celebration of Mass, and stewards must also be on duty for those celebrations. I am very grateful to the stewards & cleaners who have offered to be available to support the public celebration of Mass on the following days and times:
At St. Pius X, Narborough:
- 10am Thursday 24th December (Vigil Mass of Christmas);
- 8pm Thursday 24th (Christmas ‘Midnight’ Mass);
- 10am Friday 25th (Christmas morning Mass);
- 10am Saturday 26th;
- 10am Sunday 27th;
- 10am Monday 28th;
- 10am Saturday 2nd;
- 10am Sunday 3rd:
- 10am Monday 4th.
It is possible that there may also be Mass celebrated in public at 10am on Friday 1st January (New Year’s Day). That will be confirmed or otherwise in a future message.
At Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth:
- 4.30pm Thursday 24th December (Vigil Mass of Christmas);
- 10am Friday 25th (Christmas morning Mass);
- 11am Sunday 27th;
- 10.30am Tuesday 29th;
- 10.30am Friday 1st January;
- 11am Sunday 3rd January;
- 10.30am Tuesday 5th January;
- 10.30am Wednesday 6th January.
Please note that the Vigil Mass of Christmas at Our Lady of Victories and St. Alphonsus will be at 4.30pm and not as advertised in the Lutterworth Journal.
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.
Booking Arrangements for next week (including Christmas) and next weekend:
At Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus:
Please ring 079 0113 4564 on the following days, and at these times. It is not possible to leave a message outside these times:
- Monday 21st December between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
- Wednesday 23rd December between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
Times of Mass next week and weekend:
- 10.30am on Tuesday 22nd December
- 4.30pm on Thursday 24th December
- 10am on Friday 25th December
- 11am on Sunday 27th December
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 5pm and 6pm on Saturday 19th December.
- between 5pm and 6pm on Sunday 20th December.
- between 7pm and 8pm on Monday 21st December;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday 22nd December;
Times of Mass for Christmas & next weekend:
- 10am on Thursday 24th December (Vigil Mass of Christmas)
- 8pm on Thursday 24th December (Christmas ‘midnight’ Mass)
- 10am on Friday 25th December (Christmas morning Mass)
- 10am on Saturday 26th December;
- 10am on Sunday 27th December;
- 10am on Monday 28th December.
At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be: Saturday (19th December) Neville Wilson de Roze RIP; Sunday (20th December) Alan Gower RIP; Monday (21st December) Martin Johnson RIP. Wednesday Deceased members of the Carter family; Thursday 10am Welfare of Tom McDermott; 8pm People of the Parish; Friday 10am Kathleen Smith RIP. Next weekend Saturday (26th December) Marcela Cortes RIP; Sunday (27th December) People of the Parish; Monday (28th December) Gonda & William Collopy RIP.
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. So far I have received four applications for First Confession and Holy Communion, and five applications for Confirmation. I have obtained the books for use in these preparations; we will see how we may be able to start preparation for these sacraments in the New Year.
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:
MARRIAGE CARE: Our marriage preparation and support service enable couples to nurture faithful and fruitful marriages that last, as we draw on Catholic teaching and contemporary research to help couples focus on the quality of their relationship with each other.
Our latest resource, Preparing Together Anywhere, is facilitated by two trained volunteers via webcam. Groups of up to 7 engaged couples attend three 90-minute sessions over a period of 3 weeks, with additional resources to enable couples to reflect more deeply in between sessions on the commitment being entered into. Wedding plans may be on hold for some time, but couples need not put their preparation for marriage on hold.
Through our relationship counselling service (now available via webcam), we accompany, with compassion and practical wisdom, couples who find themselves in need of support on their journey. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, we know that increases in family stress and impending threat of relationship breakdown will plunge many more into financial difficulties. We are unique in asking couples who come to us for counselling only to pay what they can afford, reflecting our commitment to support those most in need. Please encourage couples to connect with us today at: www.marriagecare.org.uk.
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.
With best wishes to you all, and assuring you all of my prayers, Father John