Takehomenews 14 March 2021
Fr Colin writes:
In addition to this newsletter, please take a card giving the times of the services for Holy week and Easter. Services will be shorter this year. There will be no Reconciliation Service this year but there will be confessions after morning Masses in Holy Week and on Maundy Thursday morning. There will be no procession on Palm Sunday. Palms will be distributed at the end of Mass. The only service where it will be necessary to book a place is for the Liturgy of the Passion at 3pm on Good Friday. Please ring the parish office to book a place. Like all services, it will be livestreamed and there will be livestreamed only Stations of the Cross at 7pm on Good Friday. A cross will be placed outside the church on Good Friday for the benefit of those who wish to come when the church is closed. There is no 6.30pm Mass on Holy Saturday. The Easter Vigil takes place at 8.30pm, but there will be no blessing of fire or sprinkling with the new Easter Water. Hopefully, we will be able to return to normal next year.
The new planned giving offertory envelopes are available today. Please ask after Mass by the presbytery lobby at the back of the church but please observe social distancing. If you wish to start using envelopes or a box is not available for you, please complete one of the forms on the table at the back of the church. There are also forms for Standing Orders and Gift Aid. We will be speaking more about this at the end of Mass. Please do not start using the new envelopes until the 11 April.
We have now reached the mid- point of Lent. Let us intensify our efforts as we meditate more on the Cross. Finally, a big thank you to all mothers on this Mothers Day, particularly for all your extra hard work during the pandemic period.
St Patrick & St Joseph
We have two Major feast days this week—St Patrick on Wednesday and St Joseph on Friday. Masses will be at 9.am as usual on both days. We are now in the year of St Joseph which concludes on 8th December. As Friday is a Solemnity there is no need to abstain from meat that day.
Novena Prayer to St Joseph
Ever glorious St Joseph, good and faithful servant, God was pleased to place his own family in your care. We thank you for being such a wonderful example of humility and faith, of prayerfulness and courage, in your ordinary daily life.
Through your intercession, may God grant us the blessing of living continually in his presence, and responding to his love in our daily lives. And When we have lived our days on earth, may God give us the great joy he gave you – that of entering eternal life in the company of Jesus and Mary. Most Loving St. Joseph, accept our Novena prayers and obtain for us through your powerful intercession, the favours and graces we ask for in this Novena.
Pause to call to mind your special intention…
St Joseph, Pray For us.
Add: Our Father…, Hail Mary…, and Glory be to the Father…, Amen.
4th Sunday of Lent (B)
The sequence of destruction and rebuilding is the theme of our readings today. It is a cycle that we are experiencing in our own times. The destruction of life and jobs and well-being that COVID has caused is being followed by the current hope of recovery albeit not immediate. Today’s switch to rose-coloured vestments in the middle of Lent is another indication that something better is on the way. We are not out of the wood yet. There is still much to endure, restrictions to bear but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For Christians, that light is the glory of the resurrection. The one who lives by the truth comes out into the light.
The sequence of destruction and rebuilding is described in the Second book of Chronicles. In today’s first reading, we are given a summary of what went wrong: the people of Israel failed to keep the Covenant and were faithless. They took other Gods, ignored the prophets that God sent and defiled the Temple, which was a great sign of God’s covenant with his people. As a result, invaders took Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple and deported the people. Utter ruin was the consequence of Israel’s failure to fulfil the Covenant with God. They were banished to exile in Babylon until God through the head of Good King Cyrus came to their rescue. God had not abandoned them. God ordered King Cyrus to re-build the Temple in Jerusalem, and with it the restoration of the Covenant.
Jesus made several predictions of his impending arrest and death in the Gospels, and early in St John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks about it in a rather abstract way. He talks not so much about being ’handed over’ but as being ’lifted up’. He refers to Moses who lifted up the serpent in the desert and all who looked on the serpent was saved. In the same way, all who look up at the Cross where Jesus was crucified on the heights of Calvary, will be saved. The serpent lifted up brought salvation, and so Jesus lifted up on the Cross brings salvation to all who look on him. In our church, we have to gaze upwards to see our large crucifix. It is not something we look down on, but something we look up to. Even so that the Cross was the result of our sins, it has become through God the means of our salvation. The sequence of destruction and rebuilding can be seen through the Cross alone. The destruction of Christ’s body is followed by the rise of his body on Easter Sunday. It is through Jesus that the world might be saved and through him the new Covenant established. This is God’s great gift to us. We have been saved through God’s love for us sinners.
World Day of Prayer
Friday 19th March is the World Day of Prayer and it starts at 10.am. If you would like to join, google ‘World Day of Prayer’. At the back of the church there are booklets entitled ‘Build on a Strong Foundation’, which provides the material which will be used on the day. In fact, if you were unable to join the link, the booklet provides plenty of material for individual prayer and use.
Parish Council Meeting
The Parish Council will meet by Zoom on Thursday at 7.45pm
Extra Services in Lent
These services will be livestreamed only:
Tuesdays 7pm-8pm Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction
Fridays 7pm Stations of the Cross
Funeral of ELIZABETH SABIN-QUARM (Teresa)
The funeral Mass for ELIZABETH SABIN-QUARM (Teresa) will be on Friday 19th March at 11am. Attendance at the Mass will be at the invitation of the family, although the Mass will be livestreamed for anyone to see.
Cardenal’s Lenten Appeal
This appeal will be open to the end of Lent. Envelopes are available at the back of the church. Donations can be put in the box by Our Lady’s altar. Our donations will assist various areas of diocesan life: Marriage and Family Life, Youth and Evangelisation, Cartas Westminster and the Education Service.
New Altar Cloths
Many thanks to those who have indicated that they would like to contribute towards purchasing new altar cloths. Please use one of the Gift Aid envelopes if you are able to gift aid your donation.
Census 2021 - Everyone Counts”
Households across Barnet will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021. The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.
Census 2021 will be a 'digital first' census. Census day will be on Sunday March 21 2021 but households will receive a letter in early March with unique access codes, allowing people to complete their questionnaire online as soon as they receive their letter. However, there will be a National freephone Contact Centre for requesting paper questionnaires or answering questions.
Census statistics help the Council, local community groups and the local health service (amongst others) to understand the local area and all the residents that live there, and help in important decision making such as the need for local housing, Transport, GP surgeries or local nurseries.
That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them. Results will be available in about 12 months, although personal details will be locked away securely for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.
If you have any questions you can visit: www.census.gov.uk or alternatively contact Stephen Pal, ONS Census Engagement Manager for Barnet by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.