Weekend Message Sept 24
Thanksgiving: At this time of year we are encouraged to thank God for all the blessings we have received. During the last weekend in September we are invited to thank God for the harvest, not only for the crops that the farmers hope to have gathered by then, but also the fruits which may still remain to be gathered, and for the flocks and herds of animals which have enjoyed pasture during the summer, and the fish in the seas and the birds in the air. Our food comes from a variety of sources, and we thank God for this variety, as we remember also the great number of people – farmers and farm labourers, fishermen, food processors, transporters, wholesalers and shopkeepers – who enable this great variety to be available for us to purchase in our shops and supermarkets.
Next week, we are encouraged to remember the great many people in other countries who do not have access to the amount of food and drink that we are used to, and, in particular, the great many who do not have enough to eat. We are invited to take Friday 1st October as a ‘Family Fast Day’ and to contribute to feeding these starving millions by donating through CAFOD or other agencies working to deliver food and clean water to them.
How can we give thanks to God after 18 months of restrictions and hardship brought about by the coronavirus and its effects? How can we thank God as we cautiously emerge from restrictions (and submit to a few remaining, such as the need to wear face coverings in Church, in shops, and on public transport)? How can we thank God as we notice the numbers of people who ignore the restrictions, regardless of the potential harm they will do to others (ourselves included)?
It is at times such as this, when thanksgiving is more difficult, that it is also more important that we find ways in which we can give heartfelt thanks to God. Our Lord gives us a clue when he talks about forgiveness and healing. It is not the healthy people who go to the doctor, he tells us, but the people who are ill. Similarly, it is the sinners who go to Our Lord for forgiveness. It is when we are having difficulty in keeping to God’s ways, when we are failing God and ourselves and other people, that God’s mercy enables us to rise up above our own failings and frailty and have the confidence to do good.
It is the same with thanksgiving to God in difficult times. If we are tempted to give up, or to get depressed, or to think that nothing matters much any longer, reflecting on the blessings we have received from God, and thanking God for them, can be the means by which God can raise us up to give us the confidence to see what we can do to help ourselves and to help others, and together and with God’s help to make the best of what we have and of who we are.
We may perhaps find inspiration in the experiences of the people of Israel about two and a half millennia ago.
The ‘chosen people of God’ had fallen on hard times. They were always in fear of attacks from the local ‘superpower’, Assyria, and to make matters worse, another power, Babylon, was starting to flex its muscles. How could Israel survive? And yet the people were urged always to thank God for his goodness. ‘Even if the fig tree does not blossom, and there is no fruit on the vine; even if the olive harvest fails and the fields afford no food; there are no sheep in the fold, and the stalls stand empty of cattle, even so I will praise the Lord and exult in God my Saviour’. (Habakkuk 3:17).
Our Lord himself may have had such prophecies in mind when he celebrated the Last Supper with his friends. He knew that the time for his arrest and death was very close, but while they were eating the meal ‘he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it’ he said, ‘this is my body’. Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant…’’ (Mark 14: 22-24)
When we celebrate the Eucharist, these words of Our Lord are repeated, so that we may all be invited to take part in Our Lord’s thanksgiving. The word ‘Eucharist’ itself means ‘thanksgiving’ or ‘gratitude’.
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.
Refreshments After Mass: We intend to offer refreshments after Mass in both venues as soon as possible. In Narborough we are already offering tea, coffee, and biscuits after morning Mass on both Saturday and Sunday 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 are already offered after Mass on Thursday morning and will soon be offered also on Sunday morning.
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-Sixth 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**
Confessions: I will hear confessions from 9 until 9.30am on Saturdays at St. Pius X, Narborough; and from 4.30pm to 5.00pm on the first Saturday of the month at Our Lady of Victories & St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth starting 2nd October.
Time of Mass on Sunday at Narborough From next weekend, Mass on Sunday at St. Pius X will start at 9.30am. Mass on Saturday and on Monday will remain at 10am.
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 27th September;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday 28th;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Friday 1st October
Times of Mass next weekend:
- 10am Saturday 2nd October;
- 9.30am Sunday 3rd;
- 10am Monday 4th.
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 2nd October;
- 11am on Sunday 3rd;
- 10.30am Tuesday 5th;
- 10.30am Thursday 7th.
At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be Saturday (25th September) Betty Foster RIP; Sunday (26th) Intentions of Bill Dunphy; Monday (27th) Intentions of St. Pius X Conference of the SVP. Wednesday People of the Parishes; Thursday Kathleen Smith RIP. Next weekend Saturday (2nd October) Jakob Zankar RIP; Sunday (3rd ) Henry Spencer RIP; Monday (4th) Winifred Foot RIP.
At Lutterworth the intentions for Mass will be: Saturday (25th September) 5.30pm People of the Parish; Sunday (26th) Holy Souls; Next (28th ) Holy Souls. Next Saturday (2nd October) 5.30pm People of the Parish; Sunday (3rd) Holy Souls; Next Tuesday (5th ) Holy Souls.
Prayers for the living and the dead:
Please pray for Jay Mallett, Betty Foster, Father Michael Sharratt, 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.
First Holy Communion: Those preparing to make their First Confession and First Holy Communion will meet on Saturday mornings at St. Pius X Parish Hall. 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).
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.
CAFOD Collection: The autumn collection for CAFOD will be taken next weekend. Envelopes will be available this weekend at St. Pius X Narborough; and we are all invited to keep a ‘family fast day’ on Friday 1st October.
LEICESTERSHIRE ACTIVE CATHOLIC YOUTH (LACY) are sending out a warm invitation to all young people, their families and friends to an amazing “First Physical Event” since the beginning of COVID. “What Do You Know About Angels?” SUNDAY 3RD OCTOBER. Lots of interesting activities, sharing Faith, Fun and Food! Fr. Simon Gillespie will be leading us in thoughts, ideas and the Celebration of an uplifting Mass especially for young people. Come and share the time with the LACY Team at St. Thomas More, Catholic Parish Rooms and Field, Knighton, Leicester, LE2 3HN. 2.00 P.M. – 5.00 P.M. See poster on LACY facebook page, your own parish media and newsletter. For further information or booking onto the day contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
We’re looking forward to sharing this day with YOU!
Christus Vincit Following Pope Francis’ exhortation, 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: can resume. However, “It is strongly recommended that a risk assessment for both the activity and the space is completed for the gathering.”
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-Seventh 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