Here is our parish Newsletter for the coming week and I do hope it finds you well and following our Government’s advice.
As I mentioned last week, I am very much aware that many of our parishioners do not have access to the internet so please share this information with others. Perhaps you could give them a ring.
If you know of people who haven’t passed on to me their email address and would like to receive future information from us in this way, please ask them to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other information, including where you can turn to for spiritual support and prayer may be found on our own Diocesan website www.rcdhn.org.uk/index.php
Please take care of yourselves and try to pray each day. Endeavour to read your bible, where you will find comfort and solace in God’s Word. Pray for each other and please pray for me.
Keep an eye out for one another in keeping with Government advice, remembering that some parishioners are self isolating.
May God bless you all
Our Churches are now completely closed
I am sure many of your will be aware that last Tuesday, Cardinal Vincent Nichols announced the total closure of all of our churches even for private prayer in keeping with the Governments advice.
The Cardinal stresses that we must all play our part to safeguard the NHS and to save ‘precious lives.’ His statement can be viewed at:
Mass to view on line
Bishop Robert Barron, or one of the other priests from Word on Fire, is celebrating daily Mass from his private chapel which you can view here www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass.
Please remember though that he lives in the USA so the time difference means the Mass doesn’t become available to us here until 12.30 each day. It may be accessed any time after that.
Mass is being lived streamed from our Cathedral and one or two other parishes in the Diocese. You can find all the information you need on the Diocesan website.
I continue to celebrate Mass privately for you all every day. As you are unable to celebrate Mass at present, you may wish to make this act of spiritual communion:
Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
Other Liturgical Restrictions
Not only is the celebration of Mass in Church suspended at this time, but the celebration of all other Sacraments and sacramentals is suspended until such time as we are allowed to reopen our churches.
In the current situation the Bishops have announced the following instruction:
All baptisms, confirmations, first Holy Communions and weddings are to be deferred until congregations are allowed to gather again.
Funeral Masses and Funeral Services are not permitted in our churches. A simple funeral service may be celebrated at the graveside or at the crematorium where numbers attending are limited to 10 people. These Local Authority restrictions are made in the light of the latest guidance from the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management and central Government. The funeral director will guide you in this regard.
Please keep in your prayers this week:
- all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital
- and all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Pat Donald and Brian Gilmore.
Why should we stay at home?
These words of the Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadker in his address to the nation on 17th March, 2020 is one reason why:-
My family has spoken about little else in recent days. My partner, my two sisters, and both their husbands are working in the health service – here in Ireland and in the UK. They are all apprehensive. They have heard the stories from China and Italy of hospitals being overwhelmed and medical staff getting sick. I am so proud of all of them. Not all superheroes wear capes, some wear scrubs and gowns … This is the calm before the storm – before the surge. And when it comes – and it will come – never will so many ask so much of so few.Prime Minister, Leo Varadker. 17 March 2020
The Rededication of England to Mary
It was at a time of national crisis that the young King Richard II in 1831 dedicated England to our Lady as her Dowry and as England’s protector and guardian.
This year we are called by our bishops to renew this dedication. It is surely providential that, as we enter a time of national crisis again, we are making such an important declaration of love for our Saviour’s Mother.
It was hoped that we could make this rededication together at Mass this Sunday which is no longer possible. But we can rededicate ourselves at home by saying the following prayer:
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world; and he has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the cross, O sorrowful Mother, intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith, fruitful in good works, we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee in our heavenly home. Amen
Please keep the staff of our school in your prayers. They are having to implement difficult decisions relating to our children’s education which inevitably will affect your family life and commitments.
They are working incredibly hard and I ask that you continue to give them your support, co-operation and understanding in what are challenging times for everyone.
St. Alban – pray for us. St. Patrick – pray for us.
Your weekly offerings
Several parishioners have been in touch with me about continuing to make their weekly offering contribution to our parishes.
If you feel able, bearing in mind the additional financial commitments you may be currently facing, might I suggest you retain your envelopes each week and bring them along once we can reopen our churches and celebrate Mass together.
Those of you who have not collected your new envelopes will be aware that your present envelopes will run out this weekend, but I hope you will feel able to save your contribution nonetheless.
Alternatively, you might consider contributing directly into the parish account by bank transfer. I am very grateful to those of you who have chosen to do so. The details for bank transfers are as follows:-
St. Alban’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 92010984
St. Patrick’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Felling St Patrick, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 52010453
(My apologies that the final digit (3) of St. Patrick’s Account Number was omitted in the website edition of the Newsletter last weekend preventing some of you from making a transfer. The error has been amended. The correct account number is as above: 52010453. Thank you to those who are contributing in this way.)
And finally – A Prayer for this Current Time
Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we pray to you through Christ the healer for those who suffer from the Coronavirus across the world. We pray for all who reach out to those who mourn the loss of each and every person who has died as a result of contracting the disease.
Give wisdom to our policymakers, skill to all healthcare professionals and researchers, comfort to those in distress and calm to us all in these days of uncertainty and distress. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.