SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – Year A
24th May 2020
Why all this waiting?
Why did Our Lord spend 40 days convincing his followers of his resurrection? Why did he make them wait another 10 days before sending the Holy Spirit upon them at Pentecost? We will be left wondering – but we can speculate. Surely it was because our conversion takes time. Sometimes a long time. There is a mental, intellectual distance to travel and then there is the transformation of our natures by grace which can be likened to the growth of a plant from a seed. It’s not something that can be rushed.
We are re-living those ten days between the Lord’s Ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. We’re encouraged to pray more intensely during these days, actually 9 days between the two feasts, because that is how the apostles and Our Lady spent those days. We’re told in today’s first reading, they gathered in Jerusalem, in the ‘Upper Room’ where they’d previously gathered with Jesus for the Last Supper, and they joined “in continuous prayer”.
Prayer is the most important activity in the Christian life. Our Lord Jesus told us this. All the saints tell us this. It is not surprising then that the devil will use his most subtle and seductive means to prevent us from doing it: ‘It doesn’t seem to work for me… I just don’t feel like doing it… It feels strange speaking in my head, even more speaking out loud to someone who’s not there… ‘ and the cleverest of all: ‘I don’t need to pray because God already knows what I need and that I love him.’ To all these excuses, we need to make a firm response. Our Lord Jesus himself spent time praying to his Father. In today’s gospel reading we eavesdrop on that prayer at the Last Supper which was on our behalf. Of course, he knew that the Father knew what he was about to pray for – and still he prayed!
The apostles were being prepared to be sent on a mission to the ends of the earth. Pope Francis insists that that same mission continues today: the Church is on permanent mission. All those who have achieved much for this mission have prayed much. The Missionaries of Charity get up at 5am every morning for an hour of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament before their morning Mass. The Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton Sheen recommended all priests to spend an hour with God before the Blessed Sacrament each day. He had never missed a single Holy Hour since the day of his ordination. Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN that has been such a powerful consolation to many across the world during the lockdown, and her sisters, would spend five hours each day before the Blessed Sacrament. It seems if we’re serious about our faith and the work of Christ we need to give serious time for prayer. Without prayer, even the Sacraments we receive cannot be fruitful within us. They could even be falling on a hard pavement. If we pray we can be useful to God. Without prayer we are useless.
The disciples gathered with Our Lady in the ‘Upper Room’. They were longing for the Eucharist, the Mass, which was probably not celebrated until after Pentecost. We know that certain places help us to prayer: Lourdes… our churches where Our Lord Jesus waits for us in the Blessed Sacrament. All these are denied to us just at the present. But still we should ‘gather’ with our household or even just ‘gather’ with the Lord himself, construct and vocalise our prayers and beg for transforming grace.
MASS TIMES & INTENTIONS FOR 6th SUNDAY OF EASTER
All Our Masses can be found and live streamed on our Facebook Page
Saturday 6.30pm People of the Parish
Sunday 10.00am Special Intentions (KP)
Sunday 6.30pm Joseph Tyler
Monday 9.30am Bernard & Hilda Oldroyd
Tuesday 7.30pm Rudolf & Jadwiga Osuch
Wednesday 9.30am Rick Thompson (sick)
Thursday 9.30am (OF) Lew Allen
Thursday 7.30pm (EF) Ints of Bogus Sankowski (sick)
Friday 9.30am In thanksgiving to Our Lady of Rushen for favours received
Saturday 9.30am Members of Padre Pio Rosary Group & families
EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT: (live-streamed)
Sunday: 4pm to 5pm with Rosary for Vocations and Benediction
Thursday: 6.15pm to 7.15pm
Friday: 8.30am to 9.30am (with Morning Prayer at 8.30am)
Saturday: 10am to 11am
CONFESSIONS: heard in the garden by appointment. Call 343216
NOVENA BETWEEN ASCENSION & PENTECOST: daily from Friday 22nd to Saturday 30th May at 12.15pm
HOW TO WATCH OUR LIVE-STREAMED MASSES & DEVOTIONS ON FACEBOOK
1. Google ‘Facebook’ and find ‘Login’ or ‘Set up an account’
2. Create an account if you need to. You don’t have to give any information you don’t want Facebook to know. You will only need a correct email address for verification that you are not a robot. (You can even use a different name/alias if you wish)
3. When you have successfully created an account, type “Our Lady of Lourdes and St Peter Chanel Parish” into the Facebook search bar at the top. Our profile picture is a painting of our Church. Click on our name.
4. Then “Like” our page. Next to “Like”, click where it says “Follow” and make sure notifications are turned “On”. If you do this, a “notification” will always alert you to when we go live with a red box next to the bell in the blue Facebook bar at the top. We go live around 1-2 minutes before Mass starts.
5. You’ll see that all our Live-Stream Mass times are permanently pinned to the top of our page, so you will always know when we should be going live. Scroll down below this if you want to watch live or replay a Mass.
If you have any queries about any of this, please give us a ring.
From this Saturday evening all our ‘Sunday’ Masses (Saturday Evening, Sunday Morning and Sunday evening [Student Mass]) will also be live streamed on our YouTube Channel.
HOW TO WATCH OUR LIVE-STREAMED MASSES & BIBLE STUDY ON YOUTUBE
1. Google ‘YouTube’ (N.B. you do not need to create an account to watch).
2. In the search bar at the top of the YouTube screen type in “Our Lady of Lourdes and St Peter Chanel”, as with our Facebook page, our picture is a painting of the Church.
3. This will take you to our channel page which contains all our previous videos. On our channel page you should see the first video is a link to the next Mass to be streamed on YouTube.
4. From here you can set a reminder for when Mass is to begin by clicking the “set reminder” button on the video.
5. As with Facebook, we go live around 1-2 minutes before Mass starts.
First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 1:12-14
St Luke is the only evangelist to tell us that the Ascension of the Lord took place near Bethany, not far from the Mount of Olives. Here he lists all the eleven remaining apostles and describes them going back into the city of Jerusalem to prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit through “continuous prayer”. There are no short cuts.
Second Reading: First Letter of St Peter 4:13-16
Suffering insults for being a Christian may be a sign of the Spirit’s presence in our life for it is a proof that our faith is alive enough to arouse contradiction.
FEASTS THIS WEEK
Monday: St Bede the Venerable.
Tuesday: St Philip Neri.
Wednesday: St Augustine of Canterbury.
Friday: St Paul VI.
WE NEED TO PREPARE FOR THE RE-OPENING OF OUR PARISH CHURCH
Here is a summary of a letter received from Bishop Drainey during the week about the plans to re-open our parish churches for personal prayer.
There is a multi-faith task force, including Cardinal Nichols, working with the Government on this matter. See the following link for the Government’s latest comments on the task force and the reopening of places of worship:
In the meantime, the diocese is going to make bulk purchases of various necessities for sanitising the churches and to assist people in keeping their hands clean as they make their private visits when permission has been granted.
• Sufficient supplies of alcohol hand sanitisers. This should be at least 65% alcohol with anti-viral properties. Please note this is distinct to the more common antibacterial hand sanitisers which will not suffice.
• Sufficient supplies of normal household disinfectant and detergents suitable for cleaning church surfaces.
• Sufficient supplies of disposable gloves.
• Sufficient supplies of cleaning materials, including disposable cloths, gloves and aprons for those who clean.
• Sufficient bin bags to double bag refuse.
• Floor Marking Tape to mark off appropriate distances on the floor and on benches.
• Appropriate materials for signage such as: “please sanitise your hands,” “entrance”, “exit”, “do not touch” etc, these can be home made.
Full compliance with established procedures will be a requirement for clergy and all volunteers. Opening churches must be safe and be shown to be safe. The openings will most likely be in stages until normality returns. When the moment comes to open churches each parish that is to open must have a team of helpers/volunteers who can assist in marshalling people while they are in the Church and who will ensure that the Church is sanitised both before the visit and after.
Obviously, the team must comprise of people who are able for the task. Note that people over 70 or who are in the vulnerable category cannot be co-opted for this work. Neither can the priest do this work on his own, nor must he try. Not every parish will be able to assemble such a team so it may be that only some churches in each area will be opened while others remain closed for the time being. Again, we should begin to recruit helpers/volunteers immediately so as to be ready when permission is given to open the church for prayer in private.
At present it is very important that we do not make any changes to the present procedures of churches being closed to the public, no public services and no coffins in churches.
Those who are concerned about churches being closed are invited to write to their MP.
In the light of these guidelines, would you please email or phone me if you would be able to assist with the opening and maintaining of the parish church, when the time comes, either as a ‘cleaner’ or as a ‘steward’.
APPEAL FOR GARDENERS
Our trusty team of gardeners who have looked after the garden in front of the church and 119 have asked for a rest – and we’re extremely grateful to them for all they have done for so long. It does mean we need some new volunteers. Please email or phone me if you think you can help. Tasks to suit all ages and abilities.
CAFOD CORONAVIRUS APPEAL
CAFOD, our Catholic Agency for Overseas Development has launched a Coronavirus emergency appeal. Coronavirus (Covid-19) has now spread worldwide, with confirmed cases in many countries where CAFOD works. The effects of coronavirus on developing countries are likely to be devastating. Many countries have very weak healthcare systems and will not be able to cope. Families without enough to eat and without access to clean water, possibly living with other diseases, will be particularly vulnerable to Coronavirus.
It is not just a public health emergency. Many of the world’s most vulnerable people will lose their jobs and be unable to support their families. The poorest and most marginalised communities, working hard to transform their lives, will be pushed further into poverty.
CAFOD is adapting its programmes to help manage the risk of Coronavirus in communities and working with local Church aid agencies on the frontline of this crisis. They are already working to get food to where it is needed most; to improve hygiene, handwashing and sanitation in communities and households; producing radio messages, posters and leaflets in local languages on risks and prevention; and training community volunteers to carry out awareness campaigns. In order to continue protecting and improving the lives of those in poor communities, your prayers and gifts are needed now more than ever.
While we are not able to hold collections in our church, you can donate at https://cafod.org.uk/Give/Donate-to-Emergencies/Coronavirus-appeal,
or make a bank transfer to the parish account and attach a note saying ‘Cafod coronavirus appeal’. Thank you.
PLEASE WRITE TO OUR MP TO ASK HER TO VOTE TO PREVENT ABORTION FROM BEING EXTENDED TO N IRELAND
The vote was postponed last week. However the Statutory Instrument will be re-introduced shortly, and will be voted on within 28 days. We will let you know the date in due course.
We need to keep up the pressure on the Government to withdraw these regulations for good. Sadly, abortions will still be able to happen in Northern Ireland throughout this period. If you have not yet done so, please contact your MP and ask him/her to vote against the Statutory Instrument when it is re-introduced, and to speak against the abortion regulations in Parliament. Please contact Diana Johnson at JOHNSOND@parliament.uk and ask her to
• Speak out against the regulations
• Vote against the Statutory Instrument
Key points to make:
The regulations lack moral legitimacy.
These regulations permit abortion on demand and even abortion up to birth in some cases.
Authority for abortion law in Northern Ireland should be returned to the people of Northern Ireland and their political representatives at Stormont.
79% of the people in Northern Ireland who responded to a public consultation on the regulations rejected the Government’s proposals.
According to the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, John Larkin, the minister "exceeded his powers" in introducing these abortion regulations.
Mr Larkin also questioned whether the legislation gives adequate protection, under the European Convention on Human Rights, to the rights of those who oppose abortion on religious or philosophical grounds.
DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES
As we’re not able to go on to Lourdes this year, the diocese is bringing you the next best thing – a virtual pilgrimage.
Bishop Terry s is leading a programme of online services from St Mary’s Cathedral at around the times our various celebrations would have been taking place. You can take part in this journey of faith – which has the theme “Lourdes I am” – to visit Our Lady and St Bernadette by walking, running or travelling in your wheelchair for anything from 100 yards up to a few miles – while observing the rules concerning social distancing, of course – to add to our daily total. Simply email the distance you’ve completed to email@example.com by 5pm each day.
They are using the Middlesbrough Diocesan Lourdes Facebook page to record the journey and post daily updates and welcome you to post photographs and comments about your own day’s journey.
The journey began on Thursday May 7 with 10am Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, which was celebrated by Bishop Terry.
The Middlesbrough Diocesan Pilgrimage and Hospitalite Facebook group is a closed group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2369269478/) but anyone who has ever been to Lourdes or ever plans to go is welcome to join on request. Search for the group on Facebook and ask to join.
We are now in Lourdes! Mass for the Lourdes Pilgrimage was celebrated here at Our Lady of Lourdes & St Peter Chanel at 10am (it would have been the International Mass in the Underground Basilica). In the afternoon there will be a Service of Reconciliation at 3pm.
CONFESSION Now that we are able to meet one by one across two metres in the garden there is the possibility of the Sacrament of Confession. Please ring 343216 to make an appointment.
‘HOME RETREATS’ FROM AMPLEFORTH ABBEY
Starting last Saturday 9 May, the Monastic Community is offering a series of simple Home Retreats. Each consists of a 10-15-minute reflection, given at 11am each Saturday morning by various members of the monastic community. The emphasis is on how monastic values can help us engage more fruitfully with the challenges and opportunities of life. Each session concludes with suggestions for further reflection, and you are invited to join them at 8:15pm to pray Compline. Go to https://www.ampleforth.org.uk/abbey/news (includes text containing the reflections and suggestions)
Watch later on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZLhmufPHEJWsXgVaM-kfQw/featured Saturday 9th May 'Listen and Live' with Fr Kevin Hayden OSB “Listen” is the very first word of the Rule of St Benedict. This retreat will focus on some ways in which listening to our lives can help unlock the riches already there.
TALK ON ST PETER BY FR PETER
On the back of the talk on the miracles of Lourdes, our very own Fr Peter Taylor will be live-streaming a talk entitled St Peter: A realistic model of discipleship on 31st May (Pentecost Sunday) at 8pm. Fr Peter, whilst studying in Rome for the Priesthood, was a guide for five years at the ‘Ufficio Scavi’ (the excavations under St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican) and would regularly lead groups of pilgrims and history students to the tomb of St Peter under the High Altar of the Basilica.
St Peter is an integral figure to the early Church and is the most named person in the New Testament after Our blessed Lord. This talk offers us a better insight into this central figure in the life and history of the Church and perhaps to see him as a realistic model for discipleship in 21st Century Britain. The talk was organised for the students, but will be available for all in the parish (and beyond) to watch and participate in and will be streamed to the Parish Facebook page.
BIBLE STUDY every Tuesday evening at 8.15pm on our YouTube channel
YOUTH CLUB GET-TOGETHER online via Zoom every Friday evening at 7.15pm. Contact Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
CONFIRMATION CLASSES continue in our online format as usual on Wednesday evenings.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION We are unable to set a date for this but I will keep you informed via email.
YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THE PARISH
THANK YOU to those who are managing to support the parish financially during this difficult time. The envelopes through the door and the new Standing Orders (we had our first bank statement during the week since the lockdown) are making a difference. It is our only source of income.
• Drop an envelope through the door of 115 Cottingham Rd (when you are out shopping)
• Put aside each week what you can afford and drop it in when passing.
Just a reminder of our bank details in case you would like to set up a Standing Order:
Our account details are as follows:
Barclays Bank, Middlesbrough.
Sort code: 20-56-90,
Account name: Diocese of Middlesbrough
Account number 43496074
FOODBANK RUN BY THE VINEYARD CHURCH ON VULCAN STREET
We support the foodbank run by the Vineyard Church on Vulcan Street HU6 7PS (01482 343333). They are meeting a growing and urgent need by those struggling across the city. They collect on Mondays & Thursdays between 11am & 1pm. They are short of tinned veg, soup, spaghetti, hotdogs, meatballs etc, UHT milk, dried pasta, rice, noodles, pasta sauce.
Thank you for the Mass intentions received this week. What is the meaning of offering money to a priest to celebrate a Mass? Will he not do it for nothing? Of course. But the money is an ‘offering’ not a payment. It is a small sacrifice we make to join to the great offering of Jesus to the Father. It is a ‘token’ to symbolise the offering of ourselves. In these days when there are so many important intentions to pray for can I encourage you make some small sacrifices and request some intentions for our daily Masses.
IN DANGER OF DEATH priests are available for the administering of the Last Rites: absolution, anointing of the sick and holy communion.
ASSISTANCE FOR THOSE SELF-ISOLATING We have a group of volunteers to provide assistance to vulnerable people in the parish and area for example with shopping. If you would like to volunteer to join this group please email me. If you know someone who needs assistance or you need assistance at any stage yourself, please email or phone me on 01482 343216.
MASSES WITH THE BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND & WALES The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has organised a live-streamed Mass to be celebrated every Thursday at 7pm by a Bishop from their Cathedral Church. The Masses continue this 21st May with Bishop Mark Davies at Shrewsbury. The live stream of these Masses can be found on the Bishops’ conference website (www.cbcew.org.uk).
DISPENSATION FROM EASTER DUTIES
In their letter of 18th March 2020, the President and the Vice-President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said “in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the “serious reason” why this obligation does not apply at this time.”
Many of the faithful will be aware of their Easter Duties; that is to receive Holy Communion during the Easter Season and by custom, to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation beforehand. The Code of Canon Law (CIC 920) says each of the faithful is obliged to receive holy communion at least once a year. This precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season unless it is fulfilled for a just cause at another time during the year. The requirement for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation comes from the need to be in a state of grace to receive Holy Communion (CIC 916). As it is not possible for the faithful to receive Holy Communion at this time, and into the future, the Bishops of England and Wales have dispensed the Easter Duties for the year 2020.
The Bishops have asked that all should make a Perfect Act of Contrition at this time. Perfect contrition (or a Contrition of Charity) is true and real sorrow for our sins which is created when we realise the immense love of God for each one of us. We express this contrition when we realise how we offend God by our sinful words, deeds and omissions in contrast to the immeasurable love and mercy that he continually shows us. This requires us to be contrite of heart for what we have done, know and be overwhelmed by the love and mercy of God for his children, and to approach this grace with humility and resolution not to sin again.
AN ACT OF CONTRITION
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy
Fr William Massie (Parish Priest)
Fr Peter Taylor (Assistant Priest)
Alex Corser (Pastoral Assistant)
115 Cottingham Road HULL HU5 2DH
Telephone: 01482 343216
New email address: email@example.com
Parish website: ollspc.com