Weekend Message Feb 26


Our Lady of Victories

St. Pius X,                                               & St. Alphonsus,

Narborough                                        Lutterworth



Dear friends,


The Lenten Fast  One of the earliest Christian writings, the Didache, records that the Christian faithful fasted twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, throughout the year, unless there was a Feast on one of those days. There was also no fasting between Easter and Whitsunday. At the time, pious Jews and the Pharisees fasted on Mondays and Thursdays; but just as the Christian ‘Sabbath’ was Sunday (to mark the day of the Resurrection) instead of the Jewish Saturday, so also the fastdays were Wednesday (the day of Our Lord’s arrest) and Friday (the day of Our Lord’s death).


Fasting was from meat and from wine; water, broth, flour, and bread were eaten instead; and for most of the time fruit, milk, and eggs were also permitted. There was no limit to the quantity: it was more like our ‘abstinence’.


A stricter fast was kept on Good Friday and Holy Saturday – at some places, nothing at all could be eaten on those two days. Later, in memory of Our Lord’s own 40 days’ fast, a fast of 40 days was kept as preparation for the Feast of Easter. Sundays were not included in these 40 days, because Sunday was the Day of Resurrection. In the East, Saturdays also were not days of fasting, except for Holy Saturday, so in the East the time of preparation lasted for 8 weeks instead of six weeks and a half. In some places, eggs and milk were not to be eaten during the Lenten fast, along with meat and wine.


The purpose of the Lenten fast was to accompany a time of repentance, as preparation for the worthy celebration of Easter. Since repentance was associated with ashes, the custom arose of sprinkling ashes on the heads of the faithful at the start of Lent, which therefore came to be known as ‘Ash Wednesday’.

A sermon of Pope Leo the Great calls on the faithful people to use the season of Lent as a time of purification and sanctification. This involves penance for past sins, and breaking sinful habits; and the exercise of virtues, particularly almsgiving, reconciliation with those from whom we have been estranged, and ‘burying the hatchet’.


The season of Lent begins this Wednesday. Mass will be celebrated at St. Pius X, Narbrough at 9am and 7.30pm, and at Our Lady of Victories and St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth, at 10.30am and 6pm. Most importantly, it is a time for renewal: for us to determine how in practice we are to show greater love for our brothers and sisters, greater compassion to those in need, and firm repentance for past sins.


Stations of the Cross Sundays 4pm at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth; Fridays 7pm at St. Pius X, Narborough


Walk With Me Lenten booklets, with readings for every day during Lent, will be available this weekend. They are offered free of charge, but donations to help defray the cost to the parish would be acceptable.


Pray for Peace The news from the Ukraine is very bad, and we have no idea how much worse it will get. It is very important that we all pray for peace, pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire the aggressors with thoughts of peace, and above all pray for the people of Ukraine at this devastating time.


Woman’s World Day of Prayer Friday 4th March 22, 11am at All Saints Church. Narborough.


Lenten Lunch (proceeds to CAFOD) Saturday 12th March, 11.00 – 13.00. Entrance fee £3.50, which covers either soup and a roll, or bacon or sausage roll. Hot drink and a piece of cake, there will be a raffle ticket given included in the entrance price. Raffle prizes gratefully received. More details to follow.


Lenten Collection for CAFOD will also be taken during the weekend of 11th and 12th March.


Men’s and Women’s Lenten Retreats The Diocese is organising a retreat for women on Saturday 12th March (at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Nottingham) and a retreat for men on 19th March (at the Briars in Crich). The women’s retreat will be lead by the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph and will be focused on ‘Make the tent you live in larger; lengthen its ropes and strengthen the pegs!’ how we live out our faith in all areas of our lives and the people we interact with. The Men’s retreat will take as its theme: ‘Friendship with Christ & Friendship in Christ’ exploring how we can grow in friendship and fraternity. Email adult.formation@dioceseofnottingham.uk for more information and to book your place.


St. Patrick’s Day Bishop Patrick McKinney will celebrate Mass on St. Patrick’s Day at 11am, Thursday 17th March, at St. Patrick’s Church, Beaumont Leys Lane, Leicester. LE4 2BD. All are welcome to attend.


How could our parishes improve our care for our members who are unable to join with us in our regular worshipping community because of the lasting effects of the pandemic?


The ‘pre-synod’ discussions before Christmas raised this issue and some suggestions were made. For our care for our brothers and sisters to be more effective, volunteers will be needed. Can you help in one of the following ways?


  • Regular (once a month) telephone contact with those who are unable to join us at Mass at present. The suggestion was that a group of telephonists would be needed.


  • Regular visits to our members who are elderly, ill, or housebound.


  • Join the parish Society of St. Vincent de Paul or other ‘outreach’ groups.


Please let me know if you are able and willing to help in any of these ways.


How could our two parishes work together in caring for those less fortunate?

Lutterworth & Villages Foodbank: Our two parishes have been supporting the foodbank generously for eight years. This is always a difficult time of year for many poor families, and steeply rising fuel costs are making this much worse. The foodbank has these shortages which it would be delighted if we could help to fill:

Soap         Hand Wash   Shampoo       Pasta Sauce             Pasta Snacks

Coffee      Hot Chocolate          Tinned Rice Pudding          Rice Snacks

Tinned Meat (not corned beef)                        Tinned Potatoes       Instant Mash

Tinned Soup       Tinned Spaghetti     Tinned Custard        Breakfast Cereal

All donations can be left in either of the two Churches.

  • Tools With A Mission. “We have a mission to empower people in Africa living in extreme poverty to create their own livelihoods. We do this by sending trade kits full of tools that are used in skills training centres, offering the trainees a way to put poverty in the past for good and begin their own sustainable careers.”

The charity has collectors in the Leicester area. They are looking for:

agricultural tools, builders’ tools, carpenters’ tools, electricians’ tools, motor mechanic’s tools, plumbers’ tools, power tools, sewing machines, knitting machines, haberdashery, fully working IT equipment (minimum Windows 7), and Bibles in modern English.

They are unable to take broken tools (but will sharpen and clean off rust), lawn rakes, long handled shears, lawnmowers, printers, scanners, typewriters, disability aids, clothes and shoes, bikes, books, embroidery and curtain materials, or kitchen tools.

A member of our congregation, Veronica Smyth, is the local collecting point for TWAM and her garage holds all donations until there is sufficient for the area rep to take them to the headquarters. Please contact Mrs Smyth by phone or by email. Phone : 0116 2777556. Email: vas58@btinternet.com

Future Plans Bishop Patrick’s plan for the future of the Diocese involves a number of structural changes. Among all of these, he suggests that our two parishes would merge and become one parish. This would make no difference to the number of Churches (two) and the number of weekend Masses (four) which are currently celebrated in those two Churches. There would still be one parish priest for the whole area, as there is now. The major changes are that there would only be one Bank account instead of two, one parish finance committee instead of two, and one parish committee for the merged parish. The parish would also have a new name, and would still have a parish priest. Bishop Patrick has not yet asked for our comments on the proposals, but we need to think about them to be ready for the time when we are asked for our opinion.

Government Easing of Plan B restrictions In response, and after consulting the insurers, the Bishops of England and Wales have updated their guidance for the use of Churches and other places of worship and for the use of parish halls.

  • All are encouraged to be fully vaccinated (double vaccination and booster).
  • All (except those who are exempt) are still required to wear masks or face coverings, to protect themselves and others.
  • We are now permitted to sing; however, masks or face coverings must be worn during singing.
  • Hand sanitizers must still be used on entry into the Church or hall.
  • The windows must be open for ventilation whenever the Church or hall is being used by a number of people.
  • It is no longer necessary to take the names of all who attend (and advance booking is also not needed).
  • Holy water may be provided at the entrance once again – but needs to be refreshed at least once a week.
  • Anyone who feels unwell or tests positive for covid-19 should not attend Church or any social activity in the parish.

Please think very carefully about whether you should attend Church if you are feeling unwell; and please do not attend if you may be infectious or if you have been in contact with anyone who has had a positive Covid test.

Please let me know if there are other measures which we should adopt, or if any of these measures are unclear.

This Sunday is the Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time (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.

At St. Pius X, Narborough:

Times of Mass this week & next weekend:

  • 10am Saturday 26th February;
  • 9.30am Sunday 27th;
  • 10am Monday 28th.
  • 9am & 7.30pm Ash Wednesday 2nd March.
  • 10am Saturday 5th;
  • 9.30am Sunday 6th;
  • 10am Monday 7th.


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 this week & next weekend:

  • 5.30pm on Saturday 26th February;
  • 11am on Sunday 27th;
  • 10.30am Tuesday 1st March
  • 10.30am & 6pm Ash Wednesday 2nd March;
  • 10.30am Thursday 3rd.
  • 5.30pm on Saturday 5th;
  • 11am on Sunday 6th;


At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be Saturday (26th) Terry Barber RIP; Sunday (27th) Deceased friends & relations of K&M O’Connor; Monday (28th) Bernadette Martin RIP. Wednesday Intentions of Mary McGreevy; Thursday John Culley RIP. Next weekend Saturday (5th) Deceased members of the Doyle & Widdison families; Sunday (6th) Deceased friends & relations of V Gower; Monday (7th) Deceased friends & relations of S Gray.


At Lutterworth the intentions for Mass will be: Saturday (26th) People of the Parishes; Sunday (27th) Holy Souls; Tuesday (1st March) Ronald Latchford RIP; Ash Wednesday 10.30am People of the Parishes; 6pm Holy Souls; Thursday (3rd) Holy Souls. Next Saturday (5th) People of the Parishes; Sunday (6th) Helen Marr RIP; Tuesday (8th March) Holy Souls; Thursday (10th) Holy Souls.


Prayers for the living and the dead:


Please pray for Noreen Merrion, Marie Almey, and for all who have died recently.


Please also pray for Beulah Blomfield, Diana Coughlin, Tony Thorlby, Hayley & Kaci Dunnill, John Southern, Monica Teeling, Peggy Merrell, Jane Bolsover, Suzanne Foxon, Jim Oxley, John Burns-Sweeney, 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.


Confirmation: Please will all those who wish to be confirmed collect a book from me to help with preparation.


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.”

Scrabble Group: Mondays 2pm – 4 pm  for relaxed scrabble. At Lutterworth Catholic Church Hall. No winners, beginners welcome, just fun playing scrabble; cake and hot drink. Please contact Jo 01455 554298.

Evergreens: Bingo on Tuesdays from 1.30 pm until 4pm approx., in St. Pius X  Narborough Parish Hall. Entry £1. All welcome.

English Martyrs’ School  Mr. Matthew Calen, who has been deputy principal and, since Christmas, has been acting Principal, has now been appointed Principal of the school. Congratulations to him, and we look forward to working with him in the future.


Next weekend is the First Sunday in Lent

Parish Priest’s contact details address 52 Leicester Road, Narborough. Leicester. LE19 2DF; telephone (0116) 2863676; email johnhadley1971@gmail.com

Reminders from previous weeks:


Home Visits, including Confession, Holy Communion, Sacrament of Anointing,  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. Please also let Father John know if anyone wishes to make confession or would like to receive the sacrament of anointing for the sick.

Financial matters:


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