Weekend post Aug 28
The Peter Principle: According to this principle, proposed in the 1960s, people in employment or in voluntary service are promoted until they reach their level of incompetence. If they reach their ‘level of incompetence’ at a fairly young age, they can stay there for a very long time, which causes a serious problem for everyone else. What can be done about it? There are two main solutions (within the law). One is to give them an apparent further promotion, which gives them a title and status which appear to be higher than they enjoyed before, but at the same time removes them from having much of an effect on anyone. (This is often known as ‘being kicked upstairs’) The second is to enable them to retire, in the hope that they will then find a role (such as ‘seeing more of the family’) where they can’t do much damage.
As Parish Priests get older, they may gradually become more incompetent, so the Church provides the Bishop with a mechanism for calling a halt to the problem. When he reaches the age of 75, a Parish Priest has to offer his resignation to the Bishop. He doesn’t resign or retire from being a priest, but offers to resign from the role of being in charge of a parish. It is then the Bishop’s decision whether or not to accept his resignation.
My 75th birthday being ‘on the horizon’, I have been contemplating how to frame my letter to the Bishop. I want to write early enough to give him time to think about his decision, and also to give time for him to discuss the matter with me, and perhaps to form a better idea of how incompetent I have become. He may, if he judges it to be wise and prudent, ask me to stay on for a limited time, such as another two or three years, or even perhaps five years; and he would probably wish me to stay on until the autumn following a birthday, since the autumn is when appointments to parishes are usually made.
One reason why this mechanism for removing ageing and incompetent parish priests is necessary is that it is hard to ‘let go’. Most of us priests are not married men, and never have been married; and we don’t have children and grandchildren to become the focus of our time and such energy as we may still possess. Relinquishing such a role is a very clear statement that we are ‘getting past it’, and that the decline which we have to admit noticing is permanent and irreversible. It is a (perhaps small) part of the death which we know we all have to face, but probably prefer not to think about.
St. Paul tells us that to live is Christ, and to die is gain, because we will be with Christ, who died for us (Phil 1:21). So to offer my resignation to the Bishop is to offer the work I have done to the Lord, hoping that it will be an acceptable offering, despite the very many mistakes made and the very many sins committed all the way through. The real importance of this letter of resignation, then, would be in learning to accept the love of the Lord, who will receive this offering and who, we pray, will both forgive my sins and even turn the mistakes to good, for those who love him (Romans 8:28).
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, and the first Holy Communion group, then this will lengthen the time of Mass at Narborough even further.
What would be your views on starting Mass in Narborough at 9.30am on Sunday? I am grateful to all of you who responded to my questionnaire last weekend. I will put out the questionnaire again on Sunday for the benefit of those who have not yet been able to reply.
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.
Refreshments After Mass: We intend to offer refreshments after Mass in both venues as soon as possible. In Narborough we will start next 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.
**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 84**
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 30th August;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday 31st;
- between 7pm and 8pm on Friday 3rd September.
Times of Mass next weekend:
- 10am Saturday 4th September;
- 10am Sunday 5th;
- 10am Monday 6th.
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.
From next week 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, and Tuesday:
- 5.30pm on Saturday 4th September;
- 11am on Sunday 5th ;
- 10.30am Tuesday 7th;
- 10.30am Thursday 9th .
At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be Saturday (28th August) Private Intention (MW); Sunday (29th ) Deceased relations of Mrs S Tambipillai; Monday (30th ) People of the Parishes. Wednesday Joan Price RIP; Thursday Peter Merrion RIP; Friday Anna Pullen RIP. Next weekend Saturday (4th September) Edwin Wood RIP; Sunday (5th) Welfare of William Coates ; Monday (6th ) Private Intention.
At Lutterworth the intentions for Mass will be: Saturday (28th August) 5.30pm Father John Feeley RIP; Sunday (29th) The People of the Parishes; Tuesday (31st) the Holy Souls. Next Saturday (4th September) 5.30pm People of the Parish; Next Sunday (5th) Father John Feeley RIP; Next Tuesday (7th) 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.
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.
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.”
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-Third 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