Weekend Message September 26
Do you remember the ‘poster’ which a few years ago was displayed prominently on the front of the presbytery at Lutterworth, and many other places too, with a picture of Pope Francis and the legend: ‘How have you been merciful today’? This was to promote the ‘Year of Mercy’ which Pope Francis had inaugurated, encouraging us all both to ask for mercy from Our Lord in the sacrament of confession, and every day to find practical ways of ‘being merciful’ to others. The Church has a longstanding tradition of encouraging all its members to being merciful, and in the Year of Mercy we were all encouraged to remember once again the seven ‘corporal works of mercy’ and the seven ‘spiritual works of mercy’ and to find ways of carrying them out.
I was reminded of this yesterday when another priest asked my advice about a particular situation where he was being asked to show mercy on behalf of the Church – and I didn’t know the answer. Being merciful, but at the same time being honest and just, is not always easy. I still don’t know the answer, and have left messages on the answerphones of two other priests. I hope that one of them can solve the problem.
Sunday’s gospel – a brief parable about two sons, one of whom tells his father he will do what his father orders, but doesn’t, and the other who ‘answers his father back’, but then does what he was told. Our Lord is telling us that it isn’t enough for us to say we are merciful: we must do it – and, as Pope Francis says, we must be merciful every day.
So what were these 14 ‘works of mercy’? 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: 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.
Last Week we were very fortunate in being able to celebrate First Holy Communion for three of our younger members and their families on Saturday during Mass at 10am. We were unable to welcome our young members and their families with a parish party – hopefully we can do so at some future date.
Altogether, including our First Holy Communion families, 93 people attended St. Pius X Narborough for Mass between the three celebrations (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) and nearly 50 people attended Mass at Our Lady of Victories and St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth between the three celebrations (Saturday evening, Sunday, Tuesday). 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.
I am very grateful to those of both parishes who have volunteered to act as stewards or cleaners or both, and to the hoovering group at St. Pius X, for their willingness to serve our communities. Without your assistance, we would be unable to open our Churches at all. I am also grateful to all who attend Mass for complying with the regulations which we now have to follow.
Readers: Thank you to those who have already volunteered to join our Readers’ Rota at St. Pius X, Narborough. More volunteers are needed, so if you are willing please let me know, and also state which Mass(es) you will be attending.
This week I will celebrate Mass in public at Our Lady of Victories and St. Alphonsus, Lutterworth, at 5,30pm on Saturday, at 11am on Sunday, and at 10.30am on Tuesday.; at St. Pius X Narborough at 10am on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday; and in private (the doors will not be open) at about 9am on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The intentions of these celebrations will be Saturday (26th September) 10am Barbara Dunne RIP; Sunday (27th September) 10am Jean Randall RIP; Monday (28th September) 10am Maureen Condon RIP; Tuesday Canon Peter Coyle RIP; Wednesday James & Sheila Young RIP; Thursday Kathleen Smith RIP. Next weekend Saturday (3rd October) 10am Jakob Zankar RIP; Sunday (4th October) 10am People of the Parishes; Monday (5th October) 10am Mary Coyle RIP.
For the foreseeable future I will not be able to celebrate Mass on Friday morning because I will be teaching students at Oscott College from 8.45am until 12.10pm. There are 10 students in 1st year at the College, beginning training to become priests. One of them has been sponsored by this Diocese.
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:
Monday 28th September between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
Wednesday 30th September between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
Friday 2nd October between 9.30am and 10.30am or between 6pm and 7pm
Times of Mass next weekend:
- 5.30pm on Saturday 3rd October;
- 11am on Sunday 4th October;
- 10.30am on Tuesday 6th October.
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 6pm and 7pm on Monday 28th September;
- between 6pm and 7pm on Tuesday 29th September;
- between 5pm and 6pm on Friday 2nd October.
Times of Mass next weekend:
- 10am on Saturday 3rd October;
- 10am on Sunday 4th October;
- 10am on Monday 5th 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.
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.
If you know of any reason why they should not marry, please inform Father John immediately.
Please pray for 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 Dennis Mansell, Hugh Mellor, Sheila Knight, Alan Dodds, Pat Johnston, Patricia Mary O’Neill, Mary Kuriam, Nicholas Lash, 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, so that I can add them to the list.
During October we are invited to contribute to special causes: Special collection boxes will be available in the Church porches for the weekend of 3rd and 4th October for our annual autumn collection for CAFOD, to assist the work of the Church in caring for starving people overseas; 10th and 11th October for the support of the Holy Places in Palestine; 17th and 18th October for Peter’s Pence; 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.
Parish Magazine: Mrs Sasse has kindly worked hard on producing a new edition of the Magazine for our two parishes. In the circumstances, producing hard copies would not be sensible, but she is happy to send it by email to anyone who would like a copy. Please contact her on [email protected]. I’m sure that she would also be very grateful for ‘copy’ to go into a future edition of the magazine.
A Message from LACY – Leicestershire Active Catholic Youth: Due to the recent ‘local lockdown’ in Leicester, Oadby, Wigston, and some surrounding areas, the ‘Day With Mary’ has been postponed to 4th October at 4pm. For further information please look on the LACY facebook page.
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, and there will be no newsletter to take into Church. A newsletter will be available, but if you take one you will be asked to ensure that you take it away with you after Mass.
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.
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.
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.
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