Weekend message Feb 26
The Lenten Fast: We are encouraged to fast during Lent – a season of self-denial, prayer, and good works. How do we ensure that our fasting is pleasing to God? We know it might not be: the prophet Isaiah makes that clear to us. “You do business on your fast days, you oppress your workers; you quarrel and squabble while you fast, and strike the poor man with your fist. Fasting like yours today will never make your voice heard on high. Is that the fast which pleases me?” (Isaiah 58: 3-5)
Pope Francis has a suggestion for our fasting:
Fast from hurting words; say only kind words.
Fast from sadness; be filled with gratitude.
Fast from anger; be filled with patience.
Fast from pessimism; be filled with hope.
Fast from worries and have trust in God.
Fast from complaints; contemplate simplicity.
Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
Fast from bitterness; fill your hearts with joy.
Fast from selfishness; be compassionate.
Fast from grudges; be reconciled with one another.
Fast from words; be silent and listen.
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 this 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.
EASTER At the moment we do not know how we may be able to celebrate Easter this year. No doubt I will receive information and advice in the next few weeks. I am consulting with volunteers at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth to determine the Holy Week programme there. I expect to be able to celebrate Mass in public for the weekend of Palm Sunday (27th and 28th March) at St. Pius X, Narborough. I very much doubt that we will be able to celebrate Maundy Thursday evening Mass; and I suspect that the usual Good Friday afternoon liturgy will have to be very different from normal – probably reduced to the readings and, in particular, the Passion; the prayers of the Faithful; probably a simple ‘showing of the cross’ without the veneration; and finally Holy Communion. The Easter Vigil (if we are permitted to hold it at all) will certainly be very much curtailed.
The Church of Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus in Lutterworth will be closed for public worship and private prayer until further notice. I do not yet know whether it would be possible to celebrate any of the Holy Week and Easter ceremonies at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus; the safety of those attending must not be compromised. The Church of St. Pius X in Narborough will remain open for Mass at 10am on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Decorating the Church during the Easter Season: I am very hopeful that we will be able to celebrate Easter, even in a reduced manner, at St. Pius X Narborough, and that we may be able to start to celebrate Mass in public again at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth, soon after Easter, even if we cannot open for Easter itself. If anyone would like to contribute to decorating the Churches during the Easter season in memory of their loved ones who have died, please write the names of those to be remembered (by name, or ‘friends and relations of…’, as you wish) together with your contribution, and leave it in the box provided at St. Pius X, Narborough, or drop it into the letter box at Our Lady of Victories, Lutterworth. I will try to ensure that lists of those for whom we are praying are prepared.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (0116) – 2863676
at the following times on the following days:
- between 7pm and 8pm on Monday 1st;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday 2nd;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Thursday 4th:
- between 7pm and 8pm on Friday 5th.
Times of Mass for next weekend:
- 10am Saturday 6th;
- 10am Sunday 7th;
- 10am Monday 8th.
At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be: Saturday (27th February) Ray & Barbara Curry RIP; Sunday (28th February) Deacon Peter Brogan RIP; Monday (1st March) Canon Giles Goward RIP. Tuesday Angela Beresford RIP; Wednesday Michael Hart RIP; Thursday David Laurel RIP; Friday For the people of the parishes in time of pandemic. Next weekend Saturday (6th March) Deceased friends & relations of Alison Hirrell; Sunday (7th March) Deacon Peter Brogan RIP; Monday (8th March) Michael McMillan RIP.
Stations of the Cross:
7pm on Fridays during Lent. 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 will 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 last 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 Deacon Robin Pollard (of the parish of St. Peter’s, Hinckley), Susan Moore, Bob Dorward, Ranjit Mann, Maria Olga dos Santos, Sister Assumpta Mulroe, and all who have died recently.
Please also pray for Jim Oxley, Beulah Blomfield, Gary Fox, Canon Owen O’Neill, Tom McDermott, Freda Williams, Andrew Madden, Joseph Armeni, Dave Knapper, Teresa Maugham, Debbie Bourke, Elizabeth Fullerton, 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.
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 email@example.com. 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 about any candidates for these sacraments. So far I have received four applications for First Confession and Holy Communion, and six 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. Obviously no face to face preparation can possibly begin until April 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