Weekend message Sep 4
The Ministry of Hospitality: From time to time, over the past 18 months, we have heard horror stories from the ‘hospitality sector’ of the British economy. We have been told how important that sector is to the economy, and how much they have suffered during lockdowns and curfews and restrictions on numbers of people meeting together indoors (or even outdoors). We are told that this sector is of great importance to the economy as a whole, and this special pleading has resulted in permission for venues such as pubs, restaurants, and night clubs to open without much apparent regard for social distancing or face coverings (I have no idea whether or not they do much sanitizing).
What is true for the nation’s economy is true also of our own Church community. Since we were permitted to open our Churches again for public worship, all Catholic churches have had ‘stewards’ to check people in, make sure they sanitize their hands, and show them to a free seat. This ‘ministry of hospitality’ is far more important than just attending to these practicalities. Everyone who comes to worship in our Churches, no matter who they are, should feel welcome and be encouraged to become a part of our worshipping community. St. John remarks that by his death Our Lord would ‘gather together in unity the scattered children of God’ (John 11:52). In our welcome, we continue the work of the Lord.
St. John sees the people at worship gathered together in unity as the branches of the one true vine. St. Paul sees the community as the body of Christ, and elsewhere as the bride of Christ. All of us at prayer should do our best to make sure that those present feel welcome, so that the life of Christ may flourish in us all.
The welcome does not extend only to the start of Mass, and does not cease with the final blessing. For a year, we have been told to ask people to leave Church quickly, in order to minimize contact. Now that we can begin once again to offer teas, coffees, and biscuits after Mass, we are able to continue the ‘ministry of hospitality’ after Mass as well as before Mass. I hope that this will be another way in which we can all do the Lord’s work of gathering together in unity the scattered people of God.
Refreshments After Mass: We intend to offer refreshments after Mass in both venues as soon as possible. In Narborough we will start this weekend, after 10am Mass on both Saturday and Sunday. Refreshments will be offered in the Parish Hall. I am very grateful to those who are willing to help by making the tea and coffee and serving it. In Lutterworth refreshments will be offered soon after Mass on Thursday morning and Sunday morning.
Time of Mass on Sunday at Narborough Since 1st August last year, when we were permitted to celebrate Mass together again, the time of Mass at St. Pius X Narborough on Sunday has been 10am, the same as on Saturday and Monday. Mass in Lutterworth is at 11 o’clock, and it takes half an hour to remove my vestments, drive to Lutterworth (just over ten miles), and vest for Mass there. Consequently, I am usually a few minutes late starting Mass. However, now that more people will be able to attend Mass in Narborough, the time for Mass will probably increase; and if we are able to start the children’s liturgy again, this will lengthen the time of Mass at Narborough even further.
I have been asking for your views on starting Mass in Narborough at 9.30am on Sunday. I am grateful to all of you who responded to my questionnaire over the last two weekends.
Home Visits, including Holy Communion 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.
This weekend is the Twenty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
**Responding to changed government guidelines, we have now been able to bring more benches back into use at St. Pius X, as well as at Our Lady of Victories. St. Pius X now has a maximum capacity of 74**
Booking Arrangements for next weekend:
At St. Pius X, Narborough:
You may book by email: [email protected] or by phone: (0116) – 2863676
at the following times on the following days:
- between 7pm and 8pm on Monday 6th September;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday 7th;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Friday 10th.
Times of Mass next weekend:
- 10am Saturday 11th September;
- 10am Sunday 12th;
- 10am Monday 13th.
At Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth:
It is no longer necessary to book your place at Mass at Our Lady of Victories. However, all who attend Mass will be required to sign in on arrival, and to sanitize their hands.
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 next Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday:
- 5.30pm on Saturday 11th September;
- 11am on Sunday 12th ;
- 10.30am Tuesday 14th;
- 10.30am Thursday 16th.
At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be Saturday (4th September) Edwin Wood RIP; Sunday (5th) Welfare of Willow Coates ; Monday (6th ) Intentions of Maud Bright. Wednesday Bernard & Joan Lamyman RIP; Thursday John & Molly Rich RIP. Next weekend Saturday (11th September) Michael Hart RIP; Sunday (12th) People of the Parishes; Monday (13th) Kate Marriott RIP.
At Lutterworth the intentions for Mass will be: Saturday (4th September) 5.30pm People of the Parish; Sunday (5th) Father John Feeley RIP; Tuesday (7th) the Holy Souls. Next Saturday (11th September) 5.30pm People of the Parish; Next Sunday (12th) Holy Souls; Next Tuesday (14th) the Holy Souls.
Prayers for the living and the dead:
Please pray for Father John Cairns, Roman Smith, Kit Stappard, Sister Francis Martin, Sister Margaret Mary Herlihy, Father Andrew Smith, Doreen Sullivan, and for all who have died recently.
Please also pray for Monica Teeling, Peggy Merrell, Jane Bolsover, Suzanne Foxon, Jim Oxley, Beulah Blomfield, Tom McDermott, Joseph Armeni, 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.
Talk on Assisted Suicide by Baroness Grey-Thompson: On Thursday September 9th at 730pm, Baroness Grey-Thompson will deliver a talk entitled, ‘Assisted Dying: A Win for Autonomy or a Loss for Civil Society?’ Baroness Grey-Thompson, is a former Paralympian, disability rights campaigner, member of the House of Lords and opponent of legalised physician assisted-suicide who will address the Diocese on this vital moral issue, via Zoom. If you would like to attend this exclusive talk, please visit www.dioceseofnottingham.uk in order to register.
Banns of Marriage Please pray for Siobhan Mary O’Connell and Carl Waterfield who intend to marry in Cork, Ireland, on 25th September 2021. If anyone knows of any reason why they should not marry in the Catholic Church, please inform Father John or Deacon Kevin straight away.
First Holy Communion: We hope to begin preparation for First Confession and First Holy Communion in September. I am very grateful to those who have already indicated that they wish to be included. Candidates should be in Year 3 at school from September (or older). Please let me have any names and contact details so that a group can be organized.
In Narborough a meeting of parents of those who wish to prepare for the celebration of First Confession and First Holy Communion has been arranged for 9.45am this Saturday 4th in the Parish Hall. Parents of those who have applied to join the preparation group have already been informed of this meeting. We hope that the preparation can begin soon.
Confirmation: Bishop Patrick is willing to start administering the sacrament of Confirmation. I am grateful to those who have already said they wish to be confirmed. Are there any others who would like to join the group? Please let me have any names and contact details. Candidates for Confirmation should be in secondary education (or older) in September this year. Because of the continued restrictions, preparation for Confirmation will be delayed until the autumn.
Discernment Evenings for young people considering their future role in the Catholic Church, at the Vocations Centre, the Old Friary, 247 Gordon Road, Nottingham NG3 2LG, will be held each month starting 7pm Thursday 24th September.
Christus Vincit Following Pope Francis’ exhortation to young people, young people aged between 18 and 35 are invited to meet together. The first meeting will be start at 6.30pm on 7th October at St. Barnabas Cathedral, Derby Road, Nottingham, NG1 5AE; it is hoped that other groups can be set up elsewhere in the Diocese.
Social Activities: these can resume. However, “It is strongly recommended that a risk assessment for both the activity and the space is completed for the gathering.”
Next Weekend: will be Home Mission Sunday and a second collection will be taken for the support of the work of the missionary work of the Church in our own country.
Looking Ahead: Looking back over the past 18 months, and emerging (we hope and pray) from the pandemic:
I have listened to advice from parishioners and others about how we may move forward as Catholic communities after these difficult times. To start with, I propose the following events:
Forgiveness and Reconciliation:
I intend to celebrate a service of reconciliation, in which we are all encouraged to reflect on God’s enduring offer of forgiveness, recognize the guilt we all feel for what we have done or failed to do – and for what we wish we could have done but were prevented from doing by circumstances, and lovingly receive and accept the forgiveness of God. This will take place at 4.30pm on Saturday 18th September at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth. I will also celebrate such a service of forgiveness and reconciliation at St. Pius X, Narborough, when a time and date can be arranged.
Confessions: I intend to hear confessions from 9 until 9.30am on Saturdays at St. Pius X, Narborough, starting Saturday 4th September; and from 4.45pm to 5.15pm on the first Saturday of the month at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth starting 2nd October.
We are invited to pray in thanksgiving for the harvest during the weekend of 25th and 26th September. In the current circumstances I think we should generalize to thanksgiving for all God’s gifts to us, and for all the graces we have received during this time of pandemic.
Remembering those who have died:
During the month of November, it would be appropriate to celebrate Mass for those who have died in our communities, and from among our families, friends, and neighbours, during the past two years, whether directly due to the pandemic or not, and also to pray for all those who have died directly or indirectly from the coronavirus. Dates for these celebrations need to be arranged later in the autumn.
Next weekend will be the Twenty-Fourth Sunday of the Year (Ordinary Time).
Reminders from previous weeks:
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.
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