Weekend message Oct 16

Dear friends,


I saw the following notice in a shop window in Lutterworth a couple of weeks ago: “Do not go to bed angry. Stay awake and plot your revenge.”

In Sunday’s reading from St. Matthew’s Gospel we hear of two groups of influential Jews plotting their revenge on Our Lord. He turns the tables on them, and the passage concludes with him giving them this advice: “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”


For months now we have been restricted in rendering to God what belongs to God. We wish to be able to celebrate together as we have in the past, but the coronavirus is causing us serious difficulties in gathering for worship – and many of us are understandably very wary of any contact with others, including in Church. Because of these difficulties, as we know, the ‘Sunday Obligation’ remains suspended.


We can still render God our thanks and praise – including our thanks to God for the wonderful and selfless work of so many people in the healthcare services and agencies, who regularly put their own health at risk in order to care for others. And we can still praise God for all the blessings we have received, and still do receive, despite the pandemic and its serious effects. Many of you, I know, have been pleased to render thanks and praise to God on a regular basis by accessing one or more of the many celebrations of Mass being live-streamed, or on YouTube, and by other means provided by the wonders of the cyber age (and God be praised for all these wonders too!).


But we must also render to Caesar, and this means obeying the restrictions imposed by the Government. We do this in part in order to make it clear to all that we wish to do our best to keep everyone safe and (if possible) coronavirus-free. Rendering to Caesar means we obey these restrictions even when they seem unfair (restricting the attendance at a wedding to 15 and at a funeral to 30, regardless of the Covid-related capacity of the Church) and even when they are bizarre (restricting the number attending a baptism to 6, including the child to be baptized, which, I think, makes it practically impossible to baptize triplets).


Scientific advice, it seems, was for much stricter measures to be imposed now, and to cover the whole country. For good Christians, I think this means that we must be more vigilant, more careful to avoid the risk of infection ourselves or the risk of infecting others, and to take whatever precautions we can – and pray earnestly to God that he inspire the scientists working on the provision of an effective vaccine.


Last weekend 83 people attended Mass at St. Pius X Narborough between the three celebrations (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) and 50 people attended Mass at Our Lady of Victories and St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth between the two celebrations (Sunday and Tuesday). We have been advised to stop celebrating the Saturday evening Mass at Our Lady of Victories, so for the time being the only Mass on a Saturday will be 10am at St. Pius X, Narborough (which will be the Sunday Mass).


Each week we hope to be able to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend Church. However, I would ask that you all use the booking system, and do so in good time, so that if there is pressure due to the number of persons who wish to attend, it may still be possible to find a way to accommodate everyone. Because I will be on holiday during the week beginning 19th October, please note that you will need to book this week for attendance at Mass at St. Pius X Narborough on Saturday 24th October, Sunday 25th October, and Monday 26th October, as well as the usual bookings for Saturday 17th, Sunday 18th, and Monday 19th October.


This week Mass will be celebrated in public at Our Lady of Victories and St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth, at 11am on Sunday, and at 10.30am on Tuesday; and at St. Pius X Narborough at 10am on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The intentions of these celebrations will be; at Lutterworth Sunday 18th Peter Marr RIP; Sunday 25th Paul Luke RIP.  At Narborough the intentions will be: Saturday (17th October) 10am People of the Parish; Sunday (18th October) 10am Alan Gower RIP; Monday (19th October) 10am a private intention. Next weekend Saturday (24th October) 10am People of the Parish; Sunday (25th October) 10am Doug Partridge RIP; Monday (26th October) 10am Mary Tyers RIP. Mass will be celebrated at 11am at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth for Francis D’Mello RIP on Sunday 1st November.


Booking Arrangements for next weekend:


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 Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus:


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 19th October between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm

Wednesday 21st October between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm

Friday 23rd October between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm


Times of Mass next weekend:

  • 11am on Sunday 25th October;
  • 10.30am on Tuesday 27th October.


At St. Pius X, Narborough:

You will be unable to book for a place at St. Pius X Narborough this week.


Times of Mass this weekend:

  • 10am on Saturday 17th October;
  • 10am on Sunday 18th October;
  • 10am on Monday 19th October.


Times of Mass next weekend:

  • 10am on Saturday 24th October;
  • 10am on Sunday 25th October;
  • 10am on Monday 26th October.


Holy Communion at Home for the Housebound: We are now permitted to administer the sacrament of Holy Communion to those at home, but under very strict conditions. If anyone who is housebound would like Holy Communion, please let me know and I will try to make suitable arrangements.


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 heard of two possible candidates for First Confession and Holy Communion.


Wedding: Colette Frances Teeling and Richard James Elsley intend to marry at St. Pius X, Narborough on Saturday 17th October. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate some good news! Please do keep Colette and Richard in your prayers as they prepare for married life together.


Please pray for Joseph Armeni, Dave Knapper, Michael Maloney, Teresa Maugham, Debbie Bourke,Elizabeth Fullerton, Mary Dunne, Ranjit Mann, Juanita Zaman, (all parishioners or relatives of parishioners), and Father Michael Horrax (retired priest of this Diocese) who are seriously ill; and for Father Terry Fellows, Dennis Mansell, Hugh Mellor, Sheila Knight, and all who have died recently. Please let me know of any others who have died, or anyone who is ill and asks for prayers.

During October we are invited to contribute to special causes: Special collection boxes will be available in the Church porches for the weekend of 17th and 18th October for the support of the Holy Places in Palestine; and 24th and 25th October for the support of the Church’s missionary activity. If you are unable to come to Church but wish to contribute to any of these causes, please send your contribution to Father John.


November: Month of Special Prayer for those who have died: On November 2nd the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, Mass will be celebrated at10am at St. Pius X, Narborough and at 10.30am at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth followed by a visit to the cemetery where many parishioners, including Canon Hazeland, first parish priest, are buried. The intention of this Mass will be ‘for deceased parishioners, deceased relatives, and those buried in the cemetery’.


If you would like a Mass to be celebrated for those who have died, please write down the names of any who you wish to be remembered in prayer during this month, and enclose it in an envelope together with any donation you wish to make for a Mass to be celebrated. This envelope can be dropped in at Church any weekend – in the collection box, or in the special ‘November List’ box when that is available, or in the Church post box (Lutterworth) or the presbytery (Narborough).


Recycling Textiles: At the moment the firm are no longer collecting in the Leicester area and have no plans to restart collections. If anyone knows of any other organization willing to collect clothes and other textiles in our area, please let me know.


Reminders from previous weeks:


The ‘Sunday Obligation’ remains suspended until further notice. The Bishops remind us that people who have been ‘shielding’, or who are caring for anyone who is extremely vulnerable, should not attend Church. Those who are ‘vulnerable’, including those who are over 70 years of age, should think carefully before attending, to make sure that they feel they can do so safely. Children younger than 16 years old, and persons who are physically disabled or who have learning difficulties, must not attend Church unless they are accompanied by a responsible adult, who will be expected to look after them and ensure that safe practice is maintained. Toilets will not normally be open.


When Attending Mass in any Catholic Church:


Face masks must be worn. When you arrive at Mass, a steward will check that you have pre-booked. You will be asked to sanitize your hands in the porch, and to wear your face mask. There is no holy water in the porch.


If you have brought an offering for the parish collection, please put it into the box which will be available in the porch. The collection will not be taken during Mass in the usual way. There will also be a box in the porch for items for the foodbank or for Mary’s Meals, and during October, an extra box for the special collections we have been asked to take, and during November for the ‘Prayers for the Faithful Departed’.


A steward will show you where you can sit. Places are marked on the benches or chairs, to ensure that all persons keep a safe ‘social distance’. Couples from the same household may occupy a single place. Families may sit together. If the Church is full to (Covid related) capacity, the steward may need to keep certain benches available for families.


Holy Communion will be distributed at the usual time during Mass. The host must be received in the hand. There will be no ‘dialogue’ at that time. The chalice cannot be shared. Those receiving Holy Communion are requested to maintain the social distance in the main aisle waiting to receive; and to come up to the line marked on the floor of the Church.


At the end of Mass, please do not stop in the porch. If you wish to talk to anyone, please wait until you are outside the Church building. This is to avoid causing an obstruction for those wishing to leave.


Contributions to the parish funds: I know that many of you who used the planned giving envelopes to make your contributions would like to continue to do so. The boxes of envelopes are available for those who use them. If you would like your box of envelopes, please let me know and I can produce it for you.


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