Weekend message December 3
From: John Hadley
Sent: Friday, December 3, 2021 7:57 PM
Subject: weekend message from Father John
The Immaculate Conception (8th December)
We all receive countless blessings from God. The first of such gifts to us is that God has created us and established us in this world which God created as good. There are, of course, many problems in our world, from the natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tornados, tsunamis, and the like, and the various life forms which devour other life forms (including, if they get the chance, us human beings – who in turn do a great amount of that consumption). And as we are all too uncomfortably aware, it is a world of sinners, and we all know that we add to the total amount of moral evil by our on greed, lust, pride, and so on. But still it is a good world that God has created, and he has created us to do good in that world.
A further blessing which God extends to all human beings is the call to salvation. We are not merely constrained to live and die in this world; we are all called to something further and better, life of love with God. When we are baptized, we receive an immediate share in God’s redeeming love. But, as we know all too well, that doesn’t take away our sinful desires and proclivities, and we all have our own ways of refusing God’s loving kindness.
But we also have our own ways of responding positively to God’s call, by showing our love for God and for one another, by co-operating with God’s plan to bring together people into a loving unity, and by receiving God’s forgiveness for our sins and by carrying out Our Lord’s command to forgive others as we wish to be forgiven.
Mary received the immediate share in God’s redeeming love right from the moment of conception – unlike the rest of us, she didn’t have to wait until baptism. But she grew up, as we all do, in a world of natural disasters and moral evils, and had to cope with the effect that these problems and difficulties and sinful actions had on her and on her family. Unlike us, however, she did not have sinful desires, and she did not respond to sinful acts, or to natural difficulties, by giving in, as we do, to sinful actions of our own. When it came to God’s call to her to become the mother of the Redeemer, her first reaction – as it would have been for all of us – was to be afraid. But she quickly overcame that, and accepted God’s call without any further objections or delays.
Did she understand what it would entail? Certainly not – as we know from the Gospels, the life of Our Lord, and particularly his death, caused her great pain. But she did not waver from her commitment.
We put up barriers in the way of God’s call to us; we give in to all sorts of sinful ways because of our pride, greed, anger, and so on. Mary shows us a better way, and because of her willingness to accept God’s call, she opened up for us all the way of salvation.
Preparing for the Synod: in our Parishes:
As mentioned over the past few weeks, Pope Francis wants all of us to be involved in preparing for the Synod. For the second stage in this preparation, Bishop Patrick asks us all to consider two further questions:
- Who feels marginalized or separated from our parish community?
- What two practical steps should we take as a community to reach out to the marginalized and separated people, and listen to them?
Bishop Patrick suggests that we try to think of one immediate step we can take and one longer term step. As with the first set of questions, we are encouraged to attend parish meetings to discuss these questions. As before, I propose that we all reflect on these questions, write down our thoughts, and there will be a box in both Churches to receive them. Also, I suggest that after all the Masses on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th December, the parish hall or the Church itself will be available for those who wish to meet and discuss these questions further. I will attend these gatherings, though after Sunday morning Mass in Narborough I will have to leave in time to go to Lutterworth for Mass at 11.
Face coverings – Sunday Obligation – feeling marginalized
Some of our parishioners may feel marginalized because they still don’t feel safe in Church, or in any enclosed space where people gather. They may also feel guilty because they have not been going to Church, and this may lead them to feel even more ‘on the margins’ of our community.
Our Bishops have suggested that we should all consider very carefully how important it is to attend Church with the community on the ‘first day of the week’ to celebrate the Lord’s Supper together. But they also recognize that there are many who are still vulnerable, and that Christian charity requires of all of us that we take appropriate steps to try to avoid infecting others, or at least minimize the chances of doing so.
Our willingness to continue to wear face coverings in Church is one aspect of this Christian charity to others. Another aspect, however, is to understand that there are those who are exempt from face coverings for medical reasons, and that some may be unable to wear them (for example because of difficulties with breathing) even though they may not be officially exempt.
Another aspect of our Christian charity is to ensure that we do not attend Church if we are feeling unwell. In the past we may have been told that we should attend Church if (for example) we have a heavy cold – but that is no longer the case. If we feel unwell, we should stay at home and pray there – perhaps (if we wish) accessing Mass online, or otherwise ensuring that we read some passages from Scripture and say prayers for the community and for those in need. But we really should avoid, so far as possible, spreading our illnesses to others.
I usually still have to attend Church, even if unwell, because I need to preside at Mass – but even so I will take steps to avoid as much contact as I can, so hopefully will not have affected anyone from our community with the heavy cold I had two weeks ago!
This weekend is the Second Sunday of Advent (Year C).
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.
For the time being there will be no advance booking for Mass at St. Pius X. Stewards and welcomers will be at the door of the Church as before, and your name will be noted on the list, or else you will be asked to provide your name and a contact. You will also be asked to sanitize your hands on arrival. If this works well for the next few weeks, it will not be necessary to return to the prior booking arrangement, unless government advice changes again.
At St. Pius X, Narborough:
Times of Mass for next weekend:
- 10am Saturday 11th December;
- 9.30am Sunday 12th;
- 10am Monday 13th.
At Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth:
Mass will also be celebrated on Thursday morning at 10.30am. We are grateful to Father Maloney for agreeing to celebrate this Mass.
Times of Mass next Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday:
- 5.30pm on Saturday 11th December;
- 11am on Sunday 12th;
- 10.30am Tuesday 14th;
- 10.30am Thursday 16th.
At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be Saturday (4th December) Deceased members of the Baxter family; Sunday (5th) Joan Ayres RIP; Monday (6th) Deceased members of the Ginnerty family. Wednesday Deceased members of the Smyth family; Thursday People of the Parishes; Friday Holy Souls. Next weekend Saturday (11th December) Father Simon Nolan RIP; Sunday (12th) Suzanne Finnegan RIP; Monday (13th) Eric Barr RIP.
At Lutterworth the intentions for Mass will be Saturday (4th) 5.30pm Holy Souls; Sunday (5th) Dennis Cremins RIP; Tuesday (7th) Holy Souls. Next Saturday (11th) 5.30pm Holy Souls; Next Sunday (12th) People of the Parishes; Next Tuesday (14th) Holy Souls
Prayers for the living and the dead:
Please pray for Father Isidore Clarke OP, Brigid Davies, Vincent Roe, Joseph McGrady, Jacob Crawshaw, and for all who have died recently.
Please also pray for Hayley & Kaci Dunnill, John Southern, Monica Teeling, Peggy Merrell, Jane Bolsover, Suzanne Foxon, Jim Oxley, Beulah Blomfield, 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.
“HAVE YOUR SAY : SYNOD 2021 / 2023” Leicestershire Active Catholic Youth (LACY)will be hosting an afternoon of “Games, Fun and Faith” exploring the Synod. This will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 100 Beaumont Leys Lane, Leicester, LE4 2BD on Sunday 9th January 2022 – the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord – from 2.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. All young people, their families and friends are invited to share in the afternoon. The Pope is calling us to pass on views and thoughts to our Priests, Bishop and with each other! We value your ideas! A great opportunity to voice them..Light refreshments will be available! Full details on the LACY facebook page. Look out for our poster! We’d love to hear from you. Book in with us or just come along. All welcome. Contact information: [email protected] or [email protected].
First Holy Communion: Those preparing to make their First Confession and First Holy Communion will meet on Saturday mornings at St. Pius X Parish Hall, and on Sunday mornings at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus Parish Hall. 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).
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. I have tried to contact all candidates to arrange for preparation to begin. If you asked to be included in the preparation for Confirmation and have not received an email from me, please let me know.
Social Activities: can resume. However, “It is strongly recommended that a risk assessment for both the activity and the space is completed for the gathering.”
Ratcliffe College Community Carol Service:
The President of Ratcliffe College, Father Philip Sainter IC, invites members of our parishes to their Christmas Carol Service on Sunday 12th December, beginning at 4pm. Refreshments afterwards int he College Refectory.
Lutterworth Parish Shared Table It has been decided to move this event to a date in January – more details later.
The Universe Catholic Weekly is thrilled to announce that we have launched our new online newspaper with the full support of our first subscriber none other than His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols. If you are interested in subscribing, go to www.universecatholicweekly.co.uk or call us on 0743661 7650 and ask for Michelle. Special offer: Only £20 for 3 months.
Discover how Jesus is speaking to you in Scripture – On Tuesday 7th December at 7:30pm Sr Hyacinthe a Dominican Sister, catechist, tutor, writer and joy filled follower of Jesus will lead a workshop on Zoom introducing the 4 senses of Scripture. These skills are great ways to help us see how we can use and understand scripture more in our own lives and in catechesis too. Register for the talk by visiting www.dioceseofnottingham.uk/onlineevents
Encountering God in your daily work – For four Wednesdays, starting on 12th January at 7pm, the diocese will be running an online course looking at how we can encounter Jesus in our daily work and how it can help us to grow in holiness too. We spend more hours in a week at work than doing most other activities (including going to church) so lets make an experience of daily glory rather than a daily grind. For more information visit: www.dioceseofnottingham.uk/onlineevents
Next weekend is the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday).
Reminders from previous weeks:
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.
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.
**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.
With my prayers for your wellbeing and salvation, Father John