11 October 2020
Fr Colin Writes:
There has been a revision to the number of people allowed to attend special events in the church. The number allowed to attend a baptism ceremony in the church has now been reduced to 6. This includes the baby but not the priest or steward. The number of attendees at a wedding is limited to 15. This includes the bride and groom but not the priest, registrar or steward. The number of attendees at a funeral is 30. This does not include the priest, pallbearers or steward.
Thank you for abiding to all these new rules and regulations. The Cardinal said the other day that with all the precautions we are taking including sanitising, cleaning and social distancing, the church is one of the safest places to be at the moment.
We are continuing to use the Track and Trace System when you come to Mass. If you have been to Mass at the same time last week, it will simply be a matter of ticking off you name and phone number, without writing it out again. I remind you that giving your details is optional. If you have a Smart phone you can register simply by scanning the code at the entrance notice board. Have a good week.
CAFOD Fast Day
This week our parish is marking CAFOD’s Family Fast Day to help people facing the worst of the coronavirus crisis. We’ve all felt the impact of this terrible disease—let’s come together to help the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world survive, rebuild and heal. Please pray for all those affected and donate online at cafod.org.uk/give or by using one of the envelopes. You can also give easily via text. TEXT CAFOD to 70085 to donate £10.00.
World Mission Sunday
Next Sunday is World Mission Sunday, our chance to show love and solidarity to our global church family. Through our prayers we support missionaries everywhere in spreading the Good News. By donating we respond to Christ’s call to tell everyone the Good News that God loves them. All parishes throughout the world celebrate World Mission Sunday because it is vital to the growth of the church and the spread of the Gospel in predominantly impoverished and remote areas overseas. The funds raised build much needed infrastructure from chapels and schools, to orphanages, clinics and dispensaries. There will be a second collection next Sunday for these missions.
MY MISSION PRAYER
Here I am, Lord
to share your love
with all people.
May I be empowered
and carried by you
to be courageous
in bearing faithful witness
to the merciful Father,
to the love of his Son
and to the divine life
in the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.
Saturday 10AM Mass
Now that the First Communions are complete, we will be resuming the Saturday Morning Mass at 10AM.
According to Thy Word
‘According to Thy Word’ is the autumn 6 - week reflection booklet, now available in the porch. Not surprisingly it centres on Mary, in particular to the words that she said to the Archangel Gabriel at he the Annunciation. The booklet can be used individually or you may wish to reflect together with other members of your family. It is appropriate to use it in these weeks leading up to Advent, but can be used at any time.
The Year of the Word
Because of events having been cancelled over the last six months, it has been decided to extend the Year of the Word until the beginning of 2022.
The total number of people at Mass last weekend was 252. We will take the final count this weekend.
If you wish to book a Mass intention, please contact the Parish Office (see front page for opening times). At the Weekend, please come to the sacristy.
Signing Secondary School Forms
I have left signed copies of the Certificate of Catholic Practice on the table at the back of the church. Please take one and enter the name of the child, address and date of birth. Please do not take one for somebody else. They must come to Mass to collect it. I am adopting this system this year because the parish centre is no longer open for me to have a signing session.
Finance Committee Meeting
The Finance Committee will meet on Thursday 22nd October at 7.30PM in the church.
28th Sunday of Year A
In the current situation, we are not getting many invitations. If we have a planning diary, it is now pretty empty. Many of the invitations that we did have were crossed out of our diaries. But things were different before. We may have had invitations to an event for which we received a special invitation card. Today’s readings are about a special invitation that we have all received. It is an invitation to a wedding feast. Well, that is what it is described as in today’s parable. In fact it is an invitation to the kingdom of heaven. That invitation came to us at our baptism. So we can count our baptism certificate as our invitation card.
In the parable there are several who do not accept this invitation to the wedding feast. One went off to his farm, another to his business and others were violent towards the servants who gave them the invitation. As these people declined the invitation, the king extended his invitation list to all those they found along the road, good and bad alike, Some of these had not come prepared—they were not wearing a wedding garment. So these too lost their chance of being a guest at the wedding feast.
So, what is this parable telling us? It is saying that it is not sufficient to hold on to our baptism certificate and present it when we reach the gates of heaven. It is saying that we must come prepared. Putting on our wedding garment means following God’s word, abiding by the teachings of Christ, sharing God’s love, being kind, generous and compassionate. It means that we just can’t put our baptismal certificate away and forget about it. It means putting into action all that God calls on us to do. In effect we are constantly needing to renew our baptismal certificate.
But what is this wedding feast going to be like? What is it like to be in the kingdom of heaven? Unfortunately, nobody has come to tell us. We haven’t had any text messages from those who have made it to heaven. This is where the prophecies and Jesus’ own words give us some sort of idea. Today’s first reading from the prophet Isaiah describes the ‘wedding feast’ as being a banquet of rich food, fine wines and several people. There will be no need to socially distance in heaven! Furthermore, joy will be abounding. There will be no tears, no shame. There will be rejoicing and exultation that the Lord has saved us.
Today’s first reading is often used at funerals, it gives much consolation to the bereaved to know that their loved ones can experience something quite magnificent and spurs us on to pray for the repose of their souls. This reading is usually accompanied by Psalm 22, ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’, as it is in today’s Mass. Today’s response most appropriately is ‘In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever’. The Psalm reminds us how the Lord cares for us like a shepherd cares for his sheep, but also that we need to care for one another.
Help protect babies with cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot
Sadly abortion is currently available in the UK, right up to birth, for babies with cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot. All of these conditions can be corrected.
A cross-party group of MPs from the three largest parties in the UK Parliament have come together to bring forward the Abortion (Cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot) Bill. The Bill will change the law to clarify that cleft palate, cleft lip, and club foot are not grounds for abortion in the UK.
Can you help with getting your MP to support the Bill? Please visit www.standupandsmile.org.uk to email your MP asking them to support the Bill. It only takes 30 seconds.
Saints of the Week
Tuesday 13th St Edward the Confessor, is also regarded as a patron saint of difficult marriages.
Thursday 15th St Teresa of Avila is known as the patron saint of headache sufferers and writers.
Saturday 17th St Ignatius of Antioch is the patron saint of Church in Eastern Mediterranean and the Church in North Africa.