Roman Catholic Church

ISLE OF MAN

Welcome to the official website of the
Roman Catholic Church on the Isle of Man.

 The Isle of Man is one of the 18 pastoral areas which make up the Archdiocese of Liverpool,
and on the Island there are 7 Roman Catholic churches

For details of PUBLIC WEEKDAY AND SUNDAY MASSES at a church near you, please CLICK THE ‘READ PARISH NEWSLETTERS’ BUTTON BELOW, and select the LATEST NEWSLETTER for your area, or SCROLL DOWN and look at the GREEN BOXES where you’ll find NEWS HEADLINES from our churches around the Island, for the coming week.

Our Lady Star of the Sea
and St Maughold, Ramsey
St Patrick’s, Peel
Parish Priest
Father Brian O Mahony CSSp
T: (01624) 813181
E: ourladystarofthesea@rcaol.org.uk

St Mary of the Isle and St Joseph, Douglas
St Anthony’s, Onchan
Parish Priest and Area Dean:
Monsignor John Devine
T: (01624) 675509
E: saintmaryiom@rcaolp.co.uk

St Mary’s, Castletown
St Columba’s, Port Erin
Parish Priest
Fr Joseph Kiganda CSSp
Deacon – Rev’d Alan Molloy
T: (01624) 822272
E: saintmarycastletown@rcaolp.co.uk

THANK YOU FOR VISITING US!

YOU’VE REACHED THE INFORMATION HUB
FOR ALL OUR ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES

ALL MASSES & SERVICES  IN
St MARY & St JOSEPH, DOUGLAS

are live-streamed 

THIS WEEK in St MARY & St JOSEPH, DOUGLAS

SUNDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2023
MASS at 11am

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MONDAY 6 FEBRUARY
to  FRIDAY 10 FEBRUARY
MASS EACH DAY AT 12:10pm
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SATURDAY 11 FEBRUARY  
11am – 12noon – Confessions & Exposition
Our Lady of Lourdes
Day of Prayer for Sick & Carers

MASS at 5pm
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SUNDAY 12 FEBRUARY 
MASS at 11am
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AROUND OUR PARISHES THIS WEEK


ONCHAN  – St ANTHONY of PADUA

SUNDAY MASS at 9:30am

For details of Masses  this week
SEE THIS WEEK’S NEWSLETTER


SOUTH – ST MARY’S, CASTLETOWN

SUNDAY MASS at 9am

For details of Masses  this week
SEE THIS WEEK’S NEWSLETTER


SOUTH – ST COLUMBA’S, PORT ERIN

SUNDAY MASS at 11am 

For details of Masses  this week
SEE THIS WEEK’S NEWSLETTER


WEST – ST PATRICK’S, PEEL

SUNDAY MASS at 9am
For details of Masses 
SEE THIS WEEK’S NEWSLETTER


NORTH
OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA & ST MAUGHOLD

SUNDAY MASS at 11am
For details of Masses 
SEE THIS WEEK’S NEWSLETTER
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Greetings
from Monsignor John

NEWSLETTER

29th January  2023

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Year A for Sundays – Cycle 1 for Weekdays

Dear Parishioners,

A couple of Sundays ago we celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the day when Jesus was baptised by John.

This Thursday, 2nd February, we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas.

Perhaps the story of Mary and Joseph bringing the baby Jesus to the Temple speaks more to our experience of mums and dads bringing their babies to church for baptism than the story of the adult Jesus in the River Jordan.

Did Jesus cry when they brought him to the temple? Was it just Mary and Joseph or did other family members come along? It’s a challenge getting a baby ready for Baptism. Will the baby need feeding or its nappy changing at the last minute? Will the godparents turn up on time? To add to their nervousness, parents want to get the responses right. They may also be anxious about the family celebration afterwards. I sometimes think a crying baby is a massive distraction – that’s until I realise that it’s all about the baby…. Meanwhile older toddlers take advantage of the vast space a large church provides to break free and run wild. Simeon and Anna didn’t have smart phones but all proud grandmas and aunties take their turn holding the baby as they pose for photos. Baptism ceremonies can feel chaotic but that never diminishes their significance as a sacred moment.

Anglican priest and theologian Malcolm Guite has written a poem for Candlemas.

He explains it as follows: Though the 12 days of Christmas ended at Twelfth Night and Epiphany, there is another sense in which this season, in which we reflect on the great mystery of God in Christ as an infant, continues until February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

This feast came to be called by the shorter and more beautiful name of Candlemas because the day it celebrates, recorded in Luke 2:22-40, is the day the old man Simeon took the baby in his arms and recognised him as ‘A Light to enlighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.’….

It had always been prophesied that God would one day come into the Temple that human beings had built for him,
though Solomon, who built the first temple had said ‘even the Heavens are too small to hold you much less this temple I have built’.

Candlemas is the day we realise that eternity can come into time and touch us in the form of a tiny child, that God appears at last in His Temple, not as a transcendent overlord, but as a vulnerable pilgrim, coming in His Love to walk the road of life alongside us.

A Sonnet for Candlemas
They came, as called, according to the Law.
Though they were poor and had to keep things simple,
They moved in grace, in quietness, in awe,
For God was coming with them to His temple.
Amidst the outer court’s commercial bustle
They’d waited hours, enduring shouts and shoves,
Buyers and sellers, sensing one more hustle,
Had made a killing on the two young doves.
They come at last with us to Candlemas
And keep the day the prophecies came true
We glimpse with them, amidst our busyness,
The peace that Simeon and Anna knew.
For Candlemas still keeps His kindled light,
Against the dark our Saviour’s face is bright.
(Malcolm Guite)

Speaking this week, Pope Francis has described Benedict XVI as “a gentleman” and said that with his death “I lost a father.” He said: “For me, he was a security. When faced with doubt, I would call for the car, go to the monastery and ask him about it.”
Reflecting on his own pontificate, which will reach the ten-year mark on 13 March, Pope Francis said at first, the news of a South American pope was greeted with surprise by many inside and outside the Church. Later, he said, “they began to see my flaws and they didn’t like them.” Concerning criticism he has received recently, through books and documents circulated among cardinals under pseudonyms, Pope Francis said that for him, as for everybody, it is better not to be criticised, for the sake of his “peace of mind.” But although criticisms are “like a rash, a bit annoying,” the Pope said, “I prefer them, because it means there is freedom of speech.” He added that what is important, is that criticisms should be made “to our faces because that’s how we all grow.” Criticism is worse, when it is “underhanded,” he said.

Pope Francis was then asked about the issue of homosexuality. Being homosexual, he said, “is not a crime” but is a part of the “human condition.” With regard to the rights of people who identify as LGBT, the Pope said: “We are all children of God, and God wants us as we are and with the strength that each of us fights for our dignity.
Pope Francis went on to criticise laws that criminalise homosexuality, which he described as “unjust.” He said: “I think there are more than 50 countries that have legal condemnation and of these, I think about 10, a little bit more or less, have the death penalty for homosexuality. They don’t mention it directly, but they say “those who have unnatural attitudes.” He then called on bishops who discriminate against persons with homosexual attractions and LGBT communities to take a different approach. The Pope then mentioned the Catechism of the Catholic Church which affirms “that people with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed, not marginalized…..”

 

TO DOWNLOAD OR READ  THIS  NEWSLETTER  IN FULL – CLICK HERE

Father John 

Monsignor John Devine OBE MA VF
Saint Mary of the Isle   Hill Street       Douglas      Isle of Man     IM1 1EG

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The Sending: A Franciscan Benediction Attributed to the earliest followers of St Francis

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers,
half-truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice,
oppression and exploitation of people,
so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed
for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in the world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done
to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
Amen

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‘MY LORD GOD, I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I AM GOING’
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, I will trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” (Thomas Merton)

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CHRIST IS PRESENT

Into this world, this demented inn,
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ has come uninvited.
But because he cannot be at home in it,
because he is out of place in it, and yet he must be in it,
his place is with those others who do not belong,
who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak,
those who are discredited,
who are denied the status of persons, tortured, exterminated.
With those for whom there is no room,
Christ is present in this world.
He is mysteriously present in those for whom there seems to be nothing but the world at its worst.
Thomas Merton

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Pope Francis’ message to Young People on Youth Sunday:

‘I am reminded of the words which God spoke to Abraham: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (Gen 12.1). These words are also addressed to you. They are words of a Father who invites you to “go”, to set out towards a future which is unknown but one which will surely lead to fulfilment, a future towards which He Himself accompanies you. I invite you to hear God’s voice resounding in your heart through the breath of the Holy Spirit.’

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A Poem of Remembrance

So what is heaven? In each year’s eleventh month we ask: So what is heaven?
(And on the eleventh day at the eleventh hour reply: An end to war at least!)
We ask this not abstractly but from the place of loss.

Unlike the case of Christ, we don’t proclaim the death of those we’ve loved
To be the source of life; yet we profess their resurrection, too.
The Afterlife is, as seen from here, an act of trust,
A surrendering to Love and to Eternity of those who’ve gone before.

So what is heaven? Better say what it is not:
Not an everlasting frigid calm, all white robes, harps and halos;
Nor a reward for lives spent ‘being nice’ and minding ‘p’s and ‘q’s.

Ask Jesus what it’s like, and he replies with tales of harvests, parties, feasts:
The gathering up of all that’s been, shorn now of hurt,
The remembering of the unloved and forgotten,
The pardoning of what we’d not forgiven,
The welcoming of things that did not fit.

So what is heaven? This:
An arc of covenant that spans all vales of tears,
The Beyond that touches our today with peace,
The assurance that what we’ve lost is found,
Now home and safe, at one with God.

Canon Rob Esdaile (Parish Priest at St Dunstan’s and St Hugh of Lincoln Catholic parishes in Woking, Surrey)

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ARCHDIOCESE OF LIVERPOOL 
SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE

Donate by text to the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London.
All donations will  support those suffering in Ukraine. 

Text HELPUKRAINE to 70085 to donate £2
Text HELPUKRAINE to 70450 to donate £3
Text HELPUKRAINE to 70460 to donate £5
Text HELPUKRAINE to 70470 to donate £10 
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Season of Creation

HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS issued a MESSAGE FOR THE WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CARE OF CREATION
1st September 2022. To read it CLICK HERE

“Listen to the voice of creation” is the theme and invitation of this year’s Season of Creation. The ecumenical phase began on 1 September with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and concludes on 4 October with the feast of Saint Francis. It is a special time for all Christians to pray and work together to care for our common home.

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.

Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognise that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.

 

 

ARCHDIOCESE OF LIVERPOOL – SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE

As an act of solidarity, Archbishop Malcolm is wearing a pectoral cross given to him by Bishop Hryhoriy (Gregory) Komar, the auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy (diocese) of Sambir-Drohobych in the Lviv region of western Ukraine. The diocese has 220 parishes, with 285 priests serving 400,000 members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Ordained a priest 20 years ago in Lviv and a graduate of the Jesuit-run Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, Bishop Komar was consecrated in 2014 at the young age of 38 by Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv, the head of the worldwide Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Another PRAYER FOR UKRAINE has been sent to us  by Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, Eparchial Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London – To read and/or download the prayer CLICK HERE

Archbishop Malcolm has approved the launch of an Archdiocesan urgent appeal in support of Ukraine. A text message function has been set up allowing people to donate to the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London. The Ukrainian Archbishop in the UK maintains direct contact with the people of Ukraine. All donations will be used to support those suffering in Ukraine. The text numbers are:

Text HELPUKRAINE to 70085 to donate £2

Text HELPUKRAINE to 70450 to donate £3

Text HELPUKRAINE to 70460 to donate £5

Text HELPUKRAINE to 70470 to donate £10

TO DOWNLOAD OR READ A SEPARATE DOCUMENT WITH TEXT NUMBERS CLICK HERE
If you have difficulty with your mobile, cheques payable to The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool can be sent directly to: Liverpool Archdiocesan Office, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA.
In addition to financial support, collections of essential items are being organised across the Archdiocese.

Updated information will be available as the situation develops on the Archdiocesan website: CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

A message from Fr Taras Khomych, a Ukrainian priest ministering within our Archdiocese:

‘If you know people who are not sure how best to express their support for Ukraine, the Ukrainian Institute in London has posted a list of suggested actions.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS 

An appeal from Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav
to the Sons and Daughters of the Ukrainian People in Ukraine and Abroad, and to all People of Good Will: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The recognition by the president of the Russian Federation of the “independence and sovereignty” of the self-proclaimed LNR and DNR creates serious challenges and threats for the entire international community and for international law, on the basis of which today people and their nations exist and cooperate. Irreparable damage has been done to the very logic of international relations, which are called to safeguard peace and the just order of societies, the supremacy of law, the accountability of state powers, the defence of the human being, human life and natural rights. Today all of humanity has been placed in danger—that the powerful have a right to impose themselves on whomever they wish, with no regard for the rule of law.

In its decision the government of the Russian Federation unilaterally withdrew from a lengthy peace process, tasked with ensuring the restoration of dignified conditions for life on the territories controlled by Russia in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, for those impacted by Russian military aggression. The war, initiated against our people in 2014, has inflicted deep wounds on many of our fellow citizens: thousands killed, wounded, left in solitude. Yesterday’s step taken by the president of the Russian Federation destroyed foundational principles for a long-term process of restoring peace in Ukraine, created the path for a new wave of military aggression against our state, opened the doors for a full-scale military operation against the Ukrainian people.

We consider the defence of our native land, our historical memory and our hope, our God-given right to exist to be the personal responsibility and sacred duty of the citizens of Ukraine. The defence of our Fatherland is our natural right and civic duty. We are strong when we are together. Now has come the time to unite our efforts in order to defend the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Ukrainian state. The duty and responsibility of all of humanity—to actively work to avert war and protect a just peace.

We are convinced that the world cannot develop and find answers for the challenges of today by resorting to might and violence, by showing disdain for shared human values and the truth of the Gospel. I call upon all people of good will to not ignore the suffering of the Ukrainian people, brought on by Russian military aggression. We are a people who love peace. And precisely for that reason we are ready to defend it and fight for it.

Today we call out in prayer to the Almighty Creator, with a special appeal for wisdom for those entrusted with making important decisions for society, in whose hands lies the fate of humanity. We ask the Heavenly Father for assistance in restoring a just peace on Ukrainian land. We pray especially for those who defend Ukraine, who in these days are for us an example of loving sacrifice and dedicated service to their people. May the merciful Lord protect them from every danger and crown their efforts with the victory of truth and good.

We call for the gracious blessing of a loving God and Creator upon Ukraine and its people!
The blessing of the Lord be upon you.
+Sviatoslav, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Kyiv, Ukraine 

• We will be including the Novena prayer to Mary Untier of Knots at each Mass for the people of Ukraine.

TO DOWNLOAD OR READ SPECIAL PRAYERS FOR UKRAINE CLICK HERE

 

 


Prayer For Racial Justice

Mighty, and everlasting God. As your people come into your presence,
We are thankful for your graciousness, your mercy, and your love.
We continue to remember all those adversely affected by the COVID pandemic;
We pray that your Holy Spirit will be present with them,
To comfort and to heal; to sustain and be reconciled, one with another.
We remember all those who are hurting, disadvantaged and impacted by racial prejudice.
We also remember all those who have suffered at the hands of injustice.
May your Holy Spirit be present with them, to comfort and to heal;
To bring justice and reconciliation, one with another.
Faithful God, we commit this service into your hands.
We pray for every participant and every listener, that you will empower them with your strength;
That they might be courageous to say and do what is right and just,
And that your good and glorious, magnificent, and righteous name might be praised,
We pray in the name of your selfless Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
7 Oct 1931 – 26 Dec 2021

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion has said Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has died at the age of 90, was a “prophetic voice in the church and the world.”
Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has said: “The death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a huge loss to the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and to the whole of the Anglican Communion.”

Archbishop Tutu was a driving force behind the movement to end the policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991. He was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1984.
Archbishop Josiah said Desmond Tutu had been “a prophetic voice in the church and in the world”.
“When he spoke, people listened. He was a lively and engaging contributor to the Anglican Communion and its constituent bodies, and used his gifts to greatly enrich the Communion. His commitment to justice and peace, and particularly to racial justice and reconciliation, was and continues to be an example to us all.

“He was a great Disciple of Christ: as a priest and bishop he was a committed pastor and preacher. He will continue to inspire generations to come. We commend him into the arms of his Creator, and Saviour, and join with the whole Communion in praying for his family at this time.”

The current Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, said: “While we mourn his passing, as Christians and people of faith we must also celebrate the life of a deeply spiritual person whose alpha and omega – his starting point and his ending point – was his relationship with our Creator. He took God, God’s purpose and God’s creation deadly seriously. Prayer, the Scriptures and his ministry to the people God entrusted to his care were at the heart of his life.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a prophet and a priest, a man of words and action – one who embodied the hope and joy that were the foundations of his life. Even in our profound sorrow we give thanks for a life so well lived. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

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In January this year, Pope Francis instituted a Church-wide celebration of a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.
This special day took place this Sunday 25 July,
close to the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus.
The chosen theme is “I am with you always”.
You can read and/or download Pope Francis’ message for the first ever World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
BY CLICKING HERE

PRAYER FOR THE FIRST WORLD DAY FOR GRANDPARENTS AND THE ELDERLY

I thank You, Lord, for the comfort of Your presence: even in times of loneliness,
You are my hope and my confidence; You have been my rock and my fortress since my youth!
I thank You for having given me a family and for having blessed me with a long life.
I thank You for moments of joy and difficulty,
for the dreams that have already come true in my life and for those that are still ahead of me.
I thank You for this time of renewed fruitfulness to which You call me.
Increase, O Lord, my faith, make me a channel of your peace,
teach me to embrace those who suffer more than me,
to never stop dreaming and to tell of your wonders to new generations.
Protect and guide Pope Francis and the Church,
that the light of the Gospel might reach the ends of the earth.
Send Your Spirit, O Lord, to renew the world,
that the storm of the pandemic might be calmed,
the poor consoled and wars ended.
Sustain me in weakness and help me to live life to the full
in each moment that You give me, in the certainty that you are with me every day,
even until the end of the age.
Amen.

A Friendship Blessing – from Anam Cara:
A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue

May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.
May you be able to journey to that place in your soul
where there is great love, warmth, feeling and forgiveness.
May this change you.
May it transfigure that which is negative, distant or cold in you.
May you be brought into the real passion,
kinship and affinity of belonging.
May you treasure your friends.
May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
May they bring you all the blessing, challenges,
truth and light that you need for your journey.
May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging
with your anam ċara.

“PEACE” – A SONNET BY MALCOLM GUITE
Not as the world gives, not the victor’s peace,
Not to be fought for, hard-won, or achieved,
Just grace and mercy, gratefully received:
An undeserved and unforeseen release,
As the cold chains of memory and wrath
Fall from our hearts before we are aware,
Their rusty locks all picked by patient prayer,

Till closed doors open, and we see a path
Descending from a source we cannot see;
A path that must be taken, hand in hand,
Only by those, forgiving and forgiven,
Who see their saviour in their enemy.
So reach for me. We’ll cross our broken land,
And make each other bridges back to Heaven.

A PRAYER FOR ALL WHO ARE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA

It steals upon our loved ones,
it steals when we do not understand what is happening;
why it is happening?
The happening is that slow dying
The taking away of a precious loved one.
We see someone we loved and treasured,
someone who won our respect,

we see that person denied of dignity and slowing;
losing an awareness of life and living.
It hurts…oh, how it hurts.
Let prayer be our help;
let prayer be our strength;
let prayer rise like a fountain of love.
May we come together in prayer for our cherished one.
Dear God, we pray, may your will be done.

 

A Poem on the Death of His Mother….. by Seamus Heaney
When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall.
Little pleasant splashes
From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.

So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives–
Never closer the whole rest of our lives.

Pope Francis Prayer Intention for June:

 We pray for young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: may they grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness and patience.

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From EPISTOLA AD DAKYNS by T.E. Brown

… The next is where God keeps for me
A little island in the sea
A body for my needs, that so
I may not all unclothed go
A vital instrument whereby
I still may commune with the sky
Even now between its simple poles
It has the soul of all my souls
But then – whatever I have been
Whatever felt, whatever seen
The loves, the hates, the hopes, the fears,
The gathered strength of all my years
All that my life in one was wrought
Of complex essence shall be brought
And wedded to those primal forms
That have their scope in calms and storms
And I shall be the living heart
And I shall live in every part.
(T.E.Brown)


HOLDING AND LETTING GO

We have a call to live, and oh
A common call to die.
I watched you and my father go
To bid a friend goodbye.
I watched you hold my father’s hand,
How could it not be so?
The gentleness of holding on
Helps in the letting go.


For when we feel our frailty
How can we not respond?
And reach to hold another’s hand
And feel the common bond?
For then we touch the heights above
And every depth below,
We touch the very quick of love;
Holding and letting go.

(Malcolm Guite from The Singing Bowl)

WHEN ATTENDING MASS, PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING :

We are really grateful to our stewards who have given so much of their time throughout the crisis. As we gradually return to normality, we must be ready to perform U-turns. With their experience of monitoring social distancing and sanitising surfaces, they are prepared should the situation change.
Some dismiss our vigilance as unnecessary. Younger and more robust members of our community may opt for a casual approach to protective measures. For the sake of our vulnerable parishioners, we unapologetically err on the side of caution. Please, continue to sanitise your hands on arrival and on leaving our churches and maintain reasonable social distancing. Thank you 

• The Sunday obligation is still suspended.
• Please adhere to social distancing guidelines in place. Any children accompanying you must do the same.
• Please sanitise your hands when you enter and leave the church. Holy water fonts are not in use .
• There will be no hymns books, Mass books or newsletters.
• You will be guided to a bench by a volunteer steward. It may not be where you usually sit.
• Toilets will remain closed at all times except for a genuine emergency.
• Only the priest will be on the sanctuary – without deacons, servers, readers etc. 
• There will be no children’s liturgy or choir and no live singing.
• There will be no Sign of Peace.
• Holy Communion will now be distributed at the normal place in the Mass.
• You may only receive the Sacred Host in your hand and not on your tongue. Communicants must avoid skin to skin contact with the minister’s hands.
• People receiving Communion are instructed to approach the altar with their arms outstretched so as to maintain a reasonable distance from the minister.
• Please do not gather at the back of church to chat.
• Baskets will be available at the entrance (and exit) for your weekly Offertory collection.

This year is the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical ‘Laudato si’
Its message is just as prophetic today as it was in 2015.
The encyclical can provide the moral and spiritual compass for the journey
to create a more caring, fraternal, peaceful and sustainable world.
Catholics around the world are being encouraged to pause, wherever we are,
and say this prayer at noon each day:-

Loving God, Creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them,
you created us in your own image and made us stewards of creation.
You blessed us with the sun, water and bountiful land so that all might be nourished.
Open our minds and touch our hearts, so that we may attend to your gift of creation.
Help us to be conscious that our common home belongs not only to us,
but to all of your creatures and to all future generations,
and that it is our responsibility to preserve it.

May we help each person secure the food and resources that they need.
Be present to those in need in these trying times,
especially the poorest and those most at risk of being left behind.
Transform our fear and feelings of isolation into hope and fraternity,
so that we may experience a true conversion of the heart.

Help us to show creative solidarity
in addressing the consequences of this global pandemic.
Make us courageous to embrace the changes
that are needed in search of the common good.

Now more than ever may we feel that we are all
interconnected and interdependent.
Enable us to listen and respond to the cry of the earth
and the cry of the poor.

May the present sufferings be the birth pangs
of a more fraternal and sustainable world.
Under the loving gaze of Mary Help of Christians,
we make this prayer through Christ Our Lord.   Amen.

Prayer of Spiritual Communion used at live-streamed Masses
Lord Jesus Christ,
You promise to be with us when two or three are gathered together in your name.
You promise to be with us until the end of time.
You are with us when we hear your Word in the Sacred Scriptures.
You are with us in those who are hungry and thirsty, sick or in prison and in the face of the stranger.
You are with us in our beautiful world and in the very stuff of the entire Universe.
You are with me in the very depths of my being;
And you are with us in the consecrated bread and wine of the Eucharist.
Today I am unable to receive you in this Sacrament of your Body and Blood.
Lord Jesus, strengthen my belief that you are always with us until you come again.
I believe that one day I will see you face to face
when there will be no more suffering, no more tears and no more sadness.
Lord Jesus, stay with me and with those I love throughout this day and for the rest of my life.
You who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen

Pope St John Paul II – on his visit to England in 1982 – had this to say about
the place of sickness and suffering in the life of the church:

‘Today I make an urgent plea to this nation. Do not neglect your sick and elderly. Do not turn away from the handicapped and the dying. Do not push them to the margins of society. For, if you do, you will fail to understand that they represent an important truth. The sick, the elderly, the handicapped and the dying teach us that weakness is a creative part of human living, and that suffering can be embraced with no loss of dignity. Without the presence of these people in your midst you might be tempted to think of health, strength and power as the only important values to be pursued in life. But the wisdom of Christ and the power of Christ are to be seen in the weakness of those who share his sufferings.
Let us keep the sick and the handicapped at the centre of our lives.
Let us treasure them and recognise with gratitude the debt we owe them.
We begin by imagining that we are giving to them;
we end by realising that they have enriched us.’              (Southwark Cathedral, 28 May 1982)


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SOME WORDS FROM POPE FRANCIS

SOME OF THE POPE’S TWEETS ON THE PANDEMIC:
‘Today in the tragedy of a pandemic, in the face of the many false securities that have now crumbled,
in the face of so many hopes betrayed, in the sense of abandonment that weighs upon hearts, Jesus says to each one of us :”‘Courage, open your heart to my love”.’

‘The current pandemic has highlighted our interdependence: we are all linked to each other, for better or for worse. Therefore, to come out of this crisis better than before, we have to do so together, all of us, in solidarity’