Weekend message Feb 20
Pope Francis’ Message for Lent: The following is an abstract from the Holy Father’s message, which was published on 11th November 2020.
During this season of conversion, let us renew of faith, draw from the living water of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God, who makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, as preached by Jesus (Matthew 6: 1-18) enable and express our conversion. The path of poverty and self-denial (fasting), concern and loving care for the poor (almsgiving), and childlike dialogue with the Father (prayer) make it possible for us to live lives of sincere faith, living hope, and effective charity.
Faith calls us to accept the truth and testify to it before God and before our brothers and sisters. In this Lenten season, accepting and living the truth revealed in Christ means, first of all, opening our hearts to God’s Word, which the Church passes on from generation to generation. Christ himself is the truth. By taking on our humanity, even to its very limits, he has made himself the way – demanding, yet open to all – that leads to the fullness of life. Lent is a time for believing, for welcoming God into our lives and allowing him to make his dwelling among us. Fasting involves being freed from all that weighs us down – like consumerism or an excess of information, whether true or false – in order to open the doors of our hearts to the one who comes to us, poor in all things, yet full of grace and truth, the Son of God, our Saviour.
Hope as living water, enabling us to continue our journey. Hoping with Christ and because of him means believing that history does not end with our mistakes, our violence and injustice, or the sin that crucifies love. It means receiving the Father’s forgiveness from his open heart. In these times of trouble, when everything seems fragile and uncertain, it may appear challenging to speak of hope. Yet Lent is precisely the season of hope, when we turn back to God who patiently continues to care for his creation which we have often mistreated. St. Paul urges us to place our hope in reconciliation. “Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5: 20). By receiving forgiveness in the sacrament that lies in the heart of our process of conversion, we in turn can spread forgiveness to others. Having received forgiveness ourselves, we can offer it through our willingness to enter into attentive dialogue with others and to give comfort to those experiencing sorrow and pain. God’s forgiveness, offered through our word and actions, enable us to experience an Easter of fellowship.
Love, following in the footsteps of Christ, in concern and compassion for all, is the highest expression of our faith and hope. Love rejoices in seeing others grow. Hence it suffers when others are anguished, lonely, sick, homeless, despised, or in need. Love is a leap of the heart; it brings us out of ourselves and creates bonds of sharing and communion. Love is capable of building a new world. No mere sentiment, it is the best means of discovering effective paths of development for everyone. Love is a gift that gives meaning to our lives. It enables us to view those in need as members of our own family, as friends, brothers or sisters. To experience Lent with love means caring for those who suffer or feel abandoned and fearful because of the Covid-a9 pandemic. In these days of deep uncertainty about the future, let us keep in mind the Lord’s word to his servant: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you” (Isaiah 43:1). In our charity may we speak words of reassurance and help others to realize that God loves them as sons and daughters.
May Mary, Mother of the Saviour, ever faithful at the foot of the cross and in the heart of the Church, sustain us with her loving presence. May the blessing of the Risen Lord accompany all of us on our journey towards the light of Easter.
Two ways for us to show practical charity during Lent:
CAFOD Collection: One way is to be generous in the annual Lenten collection for CAFOD. This will be taken next weekend (27th & 28th February, & 1st March). The needs of the poor people in many third world countries have been made very much worse by the pandemic. Please be generous in responding to this Lenten appeal.
Walk for Water: Sharon Burman and Claire Harrold are walking 10 miles per week in support of CAFOD’s ‘Walk for Water’ appeal. If any parishioner would like to support their endeavour, please hand your donation to Sharon in person, or leave it in the ‘parish collection’ box in the St. Pius X Church porch, or put it through the presbytery letterbox.
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.
Lenten Booklets: I still have a few copies of ‘Walk With Me’ for Lent, for distribution, free of charge, to those who would like one. If you would like a copy but will not be attending Church please let me know and I will try to deliver a copy to you.
The Church of Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus in Lutterworth will be closed for public worship and private prayer until further notice. For the time being, however, the Church of St. Pius X in Narborough will remain open for Mass at 10am on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. However, this decision will be kept under review, and if it seems that safety is compromised, the Church of St. Pius X will also close.
Arrangements for attending Church for Mass: 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 not allowed to kneel down while in Church: please stand or sit as appropriate, but please do not kneel. All who attend (except for the cleaners who remain behind to sanitize the building) should leave immediately after Mass has finished, not stopping in Church to talk to people; and please also maintain a social distance as you follow others out of Church, avoiding any ‘congregating’ in the porch, or the lobby, or at the back of Church. I am very grateful to the stewards & cleaners who support the public celebration of Mass.
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 weekend:
At St. Pius X, Narborough:
You may book by email: email@example.com or by phone: (0116) – 2863676
at the following times on the following days:
- between 7pm and 8pm on Monday 22nd;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday 23rd;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Thursday 25th:
- between 7pm and 8pm on Friday 26th.
Times of Mass for next weekend:
- 10am Saturday 27th;
- 10am Sunday 28th;
- 10am Monday 1st March.
At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be: Saturday (20th February) Ron & Audrey Baker RIP; Sunday (21st February) Peter Bartram RIP; Monday (22nd February) Michael Mears RIP. Tuesday Bernard & Joan Lamyman RIP; Wednesday Sylvia Leader RIP; Thursday Father Jim Duffy RIP; Friday For the people of the parishes in time of pandemic. Next weekend Saturday (27th February) Ray & Barbara Curry RIP; Sunday (28th February) Deacon Peter Brogan RIP; Monday (1st March) Canon Giles Goward RIP.
Stations of the Cross:
7pm on Fridays during Lent, starting on Friday 26th February. At present, no advance booking, but all who attend must provide the stewards with names and contact details (email or telephone); must wear a mask or face covering and maintain social distance. This is experimental, and if we are unable to maintain safe practice it wil have to be discontinued.
Please note that if, in the opinion of the stewards and safeguarding officer, safety cannot be maintained, the Church will have to close for public worship. We experienced some problems during the week, which are of concern to myself and to the stewards. We hope that these problems will not be repeated.
Prayers for the living and the dead: please pray for Susan Moore, Bob Dorward, Ranjit Mann, Maria Olga dos Santos, Sister Assumpta Mulroe, Canon Giles Goward, Sean Moore, Sheila Coupland, Robert Williamson, Susan Bettle, Michelle Bradshaw, and all who have died recently.
Please also pray for Beulah Blomfield, Gary Fox, Dorothy Tiffin, Canon Owen O’Neill, Tom McDermott, Freda Williams, Susan Moore, Andrew Madden, Joseph Armeni, Dave Knapper, Teresa Maugham, Debbie Bourke, Elizabeth Fullerton, Mary Dunne, 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.
Senior Safeguarding Co-ordinator for the Diocese of Nottingham: The Catholic Diocese of Nottingham seeks to appoint an experienced Safeguarding Professional to lead and manage its safeguarding service. Working with the Bishop, the Diocesan Trustees, the Safeguarding Commission, and Clergy and Parishes of the Diocese, this person will lad and develop safeguarding strategy and practice to the highest levels, and implement national policies and procedures fully and consistently.
This is a key senior role, central to the commitment of the Bishop and the Diocese to minimize safeguarding risks, achieve excellent outcomes with and for children and vulnerable adults, and enable a protected, supportive environment in which the Mission of the Church demonstrably takes place safely across the Diocese.
The successful applicant will be a highly motivated, energetic, and enthusiastic individual with proven team leadership skills, and an expertise is, and commitment to, safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. Salary £43,800 – £47,800 dependent on qualifications and experience. For more information and an application pack email firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date 28th February 2021. Interviews are expected to take place in person on Monday 8th March 2021.
Statement on Marriage: By order of the Bishop, the following statement is to be published in February.
Marriage is a lifelong vocation of a man and a woman to a community of life and love open to children, and, between the baptized, it is a Sacrament. Aware of the many pressures today which can endanger family life, the Church is constantly concerned to make sure that those of you planning to marry are prepared as well as possible. We would like to remind those who wish to marry of the following:
- It is important that a couple go to see their priest in good time before their wedding. Normally, at least six months notice should be given.
- Marriage preparation is carried out by the Priest, often assisted by a group from the parish. Courses arranged on a Deanery basis are recommended.
- Catholics are reminded of their obligation to preserve their faith and to do all they can within the unity of their partnership to have all their children baptized and brought up in the faith and practice of the Catholic Church.
- Non-Catholic partners will be informed of this promise, but they are not asked to make this or any similar promise.
- Dispensation for a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic to take place in a non-Catholic Church can only be granted for a serious reason. Couples who wish to marry in a non-Catholic Church should discuss the matter with their priest in good time before their wedding day to see whether a dispensation could be granted.
All couples marrying these days need the support of the local Church. In this way they will be strengthened in their preparation for marriage, in celebrating their marriage, and in living out their covenant with one another.
We wish to thank all those married people who show such constancy and fidelity to their vocation of marriage. May their example inspire those planning to marry in the Church.
Reminders from previous weeks:
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. Obviously no face to face preparation can possibly begin until March at the earliest.
Recycling Textiles: At the moment the firm are no longer collecting in the Leicester area and has no plans to restart collections here. If anyone knows of any other organization willing to collect clothes and other textiles in our area, please let me 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.
With best wishes to you all, and assuring you all of my prayers, Father John