TAKEHOMENEWS Sunday 4th July
Fr Colin writes:
Next Weekend we start our First Communions. The preparations this year have been shorter in time although not shorter in coverage. We have been unable to have the Celebration Masses between each section. The First Communion Masses will be on two Saturdays rather than the 10.30 Mass on successive Sundays. Another difference will be that attendance at these Masses is limited to 5 for each family. But of course it can be watched on livestream. Group A will have their First Communions at 2.00pm and 3.30pm this coming Saturday and Group B at 2.00pm and 3.30pm on Saturday 17th July. There will be a rehearsal for group A children this Friday 9th July, at 6pm in the church. Please pray for these children as they make this important step in their Sacramental lives. I am grateful to the catechists and all parents for their co-operation in this adjusted programme and indeed all the children who have made great progress in a short time.
We await to hear whether all the COVID restrictions will be lifted later this month and then to see whether social distancing etc. will be lifted in the church. In the meantime, we thank you for your great co-operation and for the vital work of the stewards, enabling us to open the church and be safe. There are some good practices that we have adopted which will be good to maintain even when restrictions are lifted. Fr Colin.
There will be a second collection today for Peter’s Pence. This is a worldwide collection to assist charities supported by the Vatican.
There will be a session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised on Sunday 5th September at 4pm in the church.
Next week is Sea Sunday, when the church prays for all those who live and work at sea. There will be a second collection for Stella Maris (the Apostleship of the Sea), the official maritime welfare agency of the Catholic Church. For an appeal talk from Bishop Paul Mason, and a video showing some of what Stella Maris does, please visit www.stellamaris.org.uk/SeaSunday. To donate and for more information please visit: www.stellamaris.org.uk/donate or text ’SEA’ to 70460 to donate £5.00. Stella Maris is dependent on voluntary donations, so please give generously. Thank you.
14th Sunday of Year B
It tends to be the case that prophets in the Old Testament have a hard time carrying out their mission and have little success in doing what they were sent to do. They have difficulty in changing people’s minds and attitudes. Jeremiah was one in particular who had to suffer much in his role as a prophet. Not only were their words not listened to but they often had to suffer banishment, imprisonment and sometimes death. It is interesting to read in today’s first reading that the Lord tells Ezekiel that he is to speak God’s word to the Israelites ‘whether they listen or not’. Even if they don’t listen, at least they should know that there is a prophet among them. Even Jesus who is the ultimate prophet, was not able to fulfil his mission amongst his own people. A prophet is only despised in his own country among his own relations and in his own house.
Paul, that great missioner and prophet, is conscious of the great gifts he received and knows the struggle of being entrusted with his mission. He recounts how he was given a thorn in the flesh but sees this as something positive rather than a hindrance to his work. And as we know, Paul had to suffer all sorts of insults, persecutions and hardships. Paul sees these as very much part of the mission. These weaknesses give him strength and determination.
In most of our extracts from St Mark’s Gospel we read about successes of Jesus’ public ministry—people being cured, Jesus’ teaching being accepted, people being converted and so on. Here we observe a rather disappointing episode—Jesus not being accepted and not being able to perform miracles because of their lack of faith. But all prophets—whether Ezekiel, Paul, Jesus or indeed ourselves—meet disappointment and a lack of response to our prophetic work. But we persevere. We continue on, knowing that we are doing God’s work. We became prophets at our baptism when we were anointed with Chrism, becoming like Christ as priest, prophet and King. When we are called by God and that calling is made manifest through baptism, what is required is simple fidelity. There is no promise of success, no indications that the message of the gospel will be welcomed, no guarantee of protection from enemies within and without. The call in the end is simply to be faithful and to trust in the strength of the Lord, and to know that defeat and weakness are signs, not of God’s abandonment, but for those with faith, the opportunity to experience the presence of God’s power.
Foodbank for the community
Non – perishable food is required for the foodbank, please leave your donations in one of the marked boxes in the church porch. This will run for the next 3 weeks and then resume again in September. Many thanks for your contributions to help families in need
This Week’s Saint
Tuesday - St Maria Goretti, October 16, 1890 – July 6, 1902) is an Italian virgin-martyr of the Catholic Church, and one of the youngest saints to be canonized. She was born to a farming family. Her father died when she was nine, and they had to share a house with another family, the Serenellis. Maria took over household duties while her mother, brothers, and sister Worked in the fields.
On July 5, 1902, eleven-year-old Maria was sitting on the outside steps of her home, sewing one of Alessandro's shirts and watching her younger sister, while her father’s business partners son, Alessandro was threshing beans in the barnyard. Knowing she would be alone, he returned to the house and threatened to stab her with an awl if she did not do what he said; he was intending to rape her. Maria’s family found her on the floor bleeding and took her to the nearest hospital in Nettuno. She underwent surgery without anaesthesia, but her injuries were beyond the doctors' help. Halfway through the surgery, she woke up. The pharmacist said to her, "Maria, think of me in Paradise." She looked at him and said, "Well, who knows, which of us is going to be there first?" "You, Maria," he replied. "Then I will gladly think of you," she said. She also expressed concern for her mother's welfare. The following day, 24 hours after the attack, having expressed forgiveness for Alessandro and stating that she wanted to have him in Heaven with her, she died of her injuries.
Her cause was opened because she was credited with some forty miracles after her death. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950, as a model of purity. Alessandro attended her canonization. She is the patron saint of chastity, rape victims, girls, youth, teenage girls, poverty, purity, and forgiveness.
We thank all parishioners who are paying by direct debit or envelopes and have signed a Gift Aid Declaration. We ask any parishioner who is a tax payer and donating through the loose plate to please consider donating instead by direct debit or envelope.
Any parishioner who has stopped being a tax payer should inform Susan in the office.