Weekend message Jan 8
May God, the source and origin of all things, pour out his blessings in abundance upon you, and keep you safe from harm throughout the year. May he order your days and your deeds in his peace, grant your prayers in this and in every place, and lead you happily to eternal life. (From the Form of Blessing for the New Year)
We have just celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany.
“In the three wise men, let all the nations worship the Author of the universe; and let God be known throughout the whole world, so that everywhere his name may be great…Ever since those three wise men were called from their far-off land and were led by the star to recognize and worship the king of heaven and earth, the Lord has been praised and worshipped throughout every nation. And surely their worship of the Lord exhorts us to imitation, so that, as far as we can, we should be at the service of this grace which invites all people to Christ.” (From a sermon of Pope Leo the Great)
We are now once again under a ‘lockdown’, which may last until March: However, unlike previous occasions, Churches have (for the moment) been allowed to open for private prayer and for public worship, under strict conditions of stewarding, cleaning, sanitizing, and social distance; and all who attend must wear a face covering, sanitize their hands on entry and exit, and ensure that they do not come into physical contact with one another. We have all been advised to review our practice to ensure that we are safe and secure for all who attend.
Consequently, the Church of Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus in Lutterworth will be closed for public worship and private prayer after Mass on Sunday morning until further notice. Reviewing the circumstances of the Church, it has been decided that we cannot remain open and assure those attending, and particularly the generous volunteers who have acted as stewards and cleaners, that we can keep them safe from the spread of the virus.
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. The Church is larger, and without pillars, intruding walls, or side chapels, and with windows which can be opened to allow circulation of fresh air, is much easier to keep safe and to clean and sanitize. I am very grateful to our generous helpers who have signified that they are willing to continue for the time being. 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 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. Please remember that we are not allowed to kneel down while in Church: please stand or sit as appropriate, but please do not kneel. Please also remember that we should leave immediately after Mass has finished, not stopping in Church to talk to people; but please also maintain a social distance as you follow others out of Church – please avoid any ‘congregating’ in the porch, or the lobby, or at the back of Church.
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.
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 and 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 11th;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday 12th;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Thursday 14th;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Friday 15th.
Times of Mass for next weekend:
- 10am Saturday 16th;
- 10am Sunday 17th:
- 10am Monday 18th.
At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be: Saturday (9th January) Neville Wilson de Roze RIP; Sunday (10th January) Deceased friends & relations of Mrs. M Moore; Monday (11th January) Deceased members of the Morrissey family. Tuesday Welfare of Conor & Jackie Murphy; Wednesday Nicholas Coote RIP; Thursday Peggy Ward RIP; Friday For the people of the parishes in time of pandemic. Next weekend Saturday (16th January) Mary & John Smith RIP; Sunday (17th January) Deceased members of the O’Connor & Thacker families; Monday (18th January) Terry Barber RIP.
Prayers for the living and the dead: please pray for Michelle Bradshaw, Linda Burton, Sister Ursula O’Keefe, Michael Garvey, Peggy Ward, Nicholas Coote, and all who have died recently.
Please also pray for Canon Owen O’Neill, Robert Williamson, Freda Williams, Susan Moore, 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.
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.
Reminders from previous weeks:
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.
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.
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