The Feast of Pentecost
Here is our Parish Newsletter for the week ahead. I hope you have been able to make the most of the good weather during the past few days in keeping with the Government requirements.
Politics and the media have been very evident during the course of the past week, but I hope, as a country, we can continue to make decisions and follow them with the well-being of everyone in mind and in doing so help to control the spread of the coronavirus. Remember it is the “hidden enemy.”
As you will be aware our Prime Minister has declared that he will ease some of the restrictions on social contact from Monday, 1st June, when our Government will allow up to six people to meet outside, in gardens and other private outdoor spaces – provided those from different households continue strictly to observe social distancing rules by staying two metres apart. He stressed that people should not go inside the homes of their friends and families, unless it is to access the garden.
These changes will mean friends and family can start to meet their loved ones which he acknowledged, for many, will be a long-awaited and joyful moment.
At the same time, he emphasised that minimising contact with others is still the best way to prevent transmission of the virus. So he advises that we should try to avoid seeing people from too many households in quick succession to avoid the risk of quick transmission from lots of different households and continue to control the virus.
He also stressed that to control the virus, everyone needs to stay alert, act responsibly, strictly observe social distancing rules, and stay two metres apart from those who we do not live with.
I suspect many of us will welcome these changes and I hope we will all respect and adhere to them.
But please remember those who cannot take advantage of these changes because of their “shielded” status and pray especially for them.
Please take care of yourselves too. Pray for each other and please pray for me.
May God bless you all.
Mass to view on line
Bishop Robert Barron’s daily Mass, which is available any time after 13.15 UK time will come to an end after Mass this Sunday due to the reopening of churches in the State of California.
I continue to celebrate Mass privately every day. The following Intentions will be remembered this week.
- Monday – Imelda Dempsey
- Tuesday – John & Elizabeth Lenehan
- Wednesday – Billy Knowles
- Thursday – The sick, NHS & Care Workers
- Friday – Pat Donald
- Saturday – Fr “P’s” Intentions
- Sunday – For the intentions of all our parishioners
As you are unable to celebrate Mass with me, 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
Please keep in your prayers this week:
- all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time and,
- Imelda Dempsey who has died. “Receive Lord into tranquillity and peace the soul of your servant whom you have called from this life. May she be taken up into glory with your Son in whose great mystery of love we are all united. Amen.”
Masses for the Sick and their Families, NHS Front-Line workers and those working in Social Care
Every Thursday one of our Bishops will be celebrating a special evening Mass for the sick, their families, NHS staff, and those working in Social Care.
Mass this coming Thursday, 4th June, will be celebrated by Bishop John Arnold from Salford Cathedral at 19.00.
Pentecost Sunday Mass
Pope Francis will be celebrating Mass, without a congregation, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Sunday at 9.00 UK time.
Please remember in your prayers this weekend those young people from our Partnership who had just begun their preparation to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation later in the year, which has now been deferred.
A Prayer for Carers, Nurses and Doctors
Lord Jesus, who healed the sick and gave them new life, be with doctors, nurses and carers, as they act as agents of your healing touch.
In desperate times, keep them strong yet loving; and when their work is done, be with them in their weariness and in their tears. Amen.
The Re-opening of our churches
With the possibility of a phased reopening of our schools in the near future, many of you may be wondering when our churches might reopen.
At present, there is no change in the Government regulations, which means that all churches and places of worship remain closed and all public acts of worship are forbidden.
Faith Leaders are currently in discussion with the Government developing plans which will enable the COVID-19 secure reopening of our churches initially for private prayer and later for public worship.
Bishop Robert envisages that a very small number of churches will be selected to pilot the reopening procedures, from which best practice will be determined into developing the approach which will be taken across the Diocese to allow more churches to open.
His utmost priority, when it comes to the reopening of our churches, will be the health and safety of the priests, deacons and all parishioners.
To ensure that we all return to safe environments, the Diocesan Property Department will undertake site-specific risk assessments to develop protocols and procedures which must be put in place and followed to enable a church to reopen safely and securely.
Parishes chosen to reopen in this first phase must have sufficient volunteers to be available to monitor adherence to these protocols such as social distancing regulations, attending to the cleaning and sanitising of each church after each period of opening and, for security purposes, to ensure that open churches are not left unattended. Obviously Bishop Robert will only choose those churches which can provide sufficient volunteers.
If you would be prepared to help if one or other of our churches should be chosen, please send me an email to that effect stating the amount of time you would be able to give. Volunteers should not be in any of the Government’s vulnerable or at risk categories.
In the meantime we must be patient, continue with our prayers at home and not allow ourselves to be misled by “Fake news!”
Your weekly offering is greatly valued and is our sole source of income
As our churches remain closed Fr. Patterson would ask those of you who may feel able, in what I am aware are difficult times for us all financially, to consider contributing your weekly offering by bank transfer directly into the parish account. It will help us meet our ongoing financial commitments. I am very grateful to those of you who have already chosen to do so.
Alternatively, you may wish to send a cheque made payable to the appropriate Account name below or you might put aside your envelopes each week and bring them along to church once we can reopen and celebrate Mass and socialise together.
The details for bank transfers
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
And finally …
More information and support may be found on our Diocesan website.