Weekend message May 29
The Feast of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost)
“I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy; your old men shall dream dreams and your young men see visions. Even on the slaves, men and women, will I pour out my spirit in those days.” (Joel 3:1-20) We might well say that we could do with some of that vision now, as we cautiously begin to emerge from 15 months governed by the pandemic. We have become so used to our lifestyles being depressed, our movements being severely curtailed, that we feel much in need of some visions or dreams, some signs that our future direction will be positive, some promise of excitement, anything to provide lasting life to our spirits. At the first Pentecost, St. Peter and the apostles were so filled with the Spirit that people thought they might be drunk: where is the Holy Spirit now when we so need it?
Our Lord promised his friends that when he returned to his Father in heaven – by his death and Resurrection and Ascension – he would ask his Father to send the Holy Spirit, to be our guide, our counsellor, to assure us of forgiveness, to give us courage and consolation. This promise is fulfilled in the Church. In the words of Saint Irenaeus: wherever the Holy Spirit is to be found, there is the Church, and wherever the Church is, there is the Holy Spirit, and every grace.
We look forward – very soon, we hope – to being able to meet again as the Church, with fewer restrictions on our gathering together. If we can come closer together – even if we still have to wear some face coverings – then we will be able to gather in greater numbers in the Church, and perhaps start to meet together in the parish halls for some refreshment as well. When we can do so, we need the Holy Spirit to inspire us, to help us to make the most of our freedom, to ensure that we still act responsibly, and that we find practical ways of caring for those who are still unable to come to Church, for whatever reason.
The Holy Spirit will be at work in everyone who looks after those who are housebound, those who are ill, those who cannot face the future without more assistance. The Holy Spirit will be with all those who feed the poor, and find them shelter and clothing. The Holy Spirit will be with those who help our younger members find their way again in the Church. The Holy Spirit will help us all find forgiveness as we regret our past selfish actions.
There were people in Corinth only a decade or so after the Resurrection of Our Lord who thought that to be filled with the Holy Spirit a person needed to ‘speak in tongues’. St. Paul thought differently: he teaches us that the more important gifts of the Holy Spirit were those which inspired faith, brought about healing, and could organize the community. The best gift of all was the gift of the love of God and of our neighbour. We do not have to leap about or dance or speak or act in surprising ways, to be inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. Perhaps the experience of the pandemic might help us to recognize the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the normal way of life, and the everyday life of the Church.
“Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful people, and enkindle within them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and the world will be recreated, and you shall renew the face of the earth. O God, you have taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit. Grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may all be truly wise, and always rejoice in your holy consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Mass in Spanish: Fr Limnyuy Gamsi will celebrate a Mass in Spanish at St. Peter’s Church, Hinckley Road, Leicester, on Friday 11th June at 7 p.m., with Confession available from 6:30 p.m. Advanced booking is not required. For more information, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 31st May;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday 1st June;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Friday 4th.
Times of Mass next weekend:
- 10am Saturday 5th;
- 10am Sunday 6th;
- 10am Monday 7th.
At Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth:
Please ring 079 0113 4564 on the following days, and at these times. It is not possible to leave a message outside these times:
- Monday 31st May between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
- Wednesday 2nd June between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
- Friday 4th between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
Times of Mass next Sunday and Tuesday:
- 11am on Sunday 6th;
- 10.30am Tuesday 8th. .
Arrangements for attending Church for Mass and other services: For the time being – until we receive further information – these arrangements are still in force. More guidance from Public Health England is expected before the Step 4 relaxation is reached on 21st June. 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 other 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.
At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be: Saturday (29th May) Jim O’Donnell RIP; Sunday (30th May) Pauge Carty RIP; Monday (31st May) Paddy Callan RIP. Wednesday Simon Sutherland RIP; Thursday Private Intention; Friday Henri Dulon RIP. Next weekend Saturday (5th June) Mary McNally RIP; Sunday (6th June) Intentions of the stewards and cleaners; Monday (7th June) Welfare of Geoff Wynne.
At Lutterworth the intentions for Mass will be: Sunday (30th May) Catherine Burns-Sweeney RIP Tuesday (1st June) People of the Parishes; Next Sunday (6th June) Robert Williamson RIP; Next Tuesday (8th June) Holy Souls.
Prayers for the living and the dead:
Please pray for Doreen Sullivan, Father Anthony Colebrook, Canon Owen O’Neill, and all who have died recently.
Please also pray for Jane Bolsover, Suzanne Foxon, Jim Oxley, Beulah Blomfield, Tom McDermott, Freda Williams, Joseph Armeni, Dave Knapper, Teresa Maugham, 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.
Caritas – Diocese of Nottingham: On Saturday 22ndMay we launched the diocesan Caritas organisation, with an online liturgy showcasing the work of volunteers around the diocese and hosted by the team at the Briars. ‘Caritas Diocese of Nottingham’ will help us to answer Christ’s call to mission, through giving practical expression to His love in our neighbourhoods and the promotion of fraternity, justice, peace, and the care of creation here in our local communities and in the wider world in which we live. ‘Caritas – Diocese of Nottingham’ has been launched at a most providential time, as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and seek to rebuild our lives and look to the future. It is my hope and prayer that ‘Caritas Diocese of Nottingham’ will help many people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, all people of goodwill, to play an important part in the building up of God’s Kingdom here on earth.
There are a number of resources now available following the launch:
- A 10-minute Youtube interview in which Paul Bodenham discusses the work of Caritas with Madeleine Strezynski, our new diocesan director of communications.
- A 15-page prospectus highlighting the work of Caritas planned up to 2024, which explains the six ‘ministries’ through which Caritas can support parish initiatives.
- A listening campaign, Lend an Ear, which, together with the online survey launched in April, will help us address the needs and opportunities created by the pandemic
- A network of Friends in Caritas through which volunteers in our parishes can find advice and support for new outreach projects.
Planned Giving Envelopes (Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth): The new boxes of envelopes started in April If you require your box, please ring June (01455 – 553730) or Ashley (01455 – 553493) or email Father John.
Planned Giving Envelopes (St. Pius X, Narborough): The new boxes of envelopes started in April. They are available from the sacristy in Church, or email Father John.
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.
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). I intend within the next week or so to make arrangements to meet those who have asked to prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Please let me know as soon as possible about any other candidates for these sacraments. So far I have received four applications for First Confession and Holy Communion, and six applications for Confirmation.
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.
With best wishes to you all, and assuring you all of my prayers, Father John