23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) 6th September 2020
MASS TIMES AND INTENTIONS
Sun 6th Sept
11.30 am Mary Valda Barry, RIP
Mon 7th Sept Feria
7pm Pauline Ellul, RIP
Tues 8th Sept The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
10 am Pat O Brien, RIP
Weds 9th Sept No Mass
Thurs 10th Sept Feria
7pm May Brennan, intentions
Fri 11th Sept Feria
10 am Pauline Ellul, RIP
Sat 12th Sept The Most Holy Name of Mary
5pm Marie Bloom, RIP
Please pray for the sick and those who care for them, today especially for the frail elderly and for those who work as carers.
Changes to the Booking in System for Mass:
Fr Peter writes:
Here are the safeguards:
It is most important that we can track and trace everyone who comes to Mass should the need arise, and also that we can comply with the restrictions that apply to our numbers.
However, since weekday numbers are fairly low, you do not need to book to attend weekday Masses but MUST give your name and contact telephone number to the steward when you arrive.
You must book to attend the weekend Masses – Saturday at 5:00pm and Sunday at 11:30am.
For a weekend Mass - Please phone (07592 183178),or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call into the Parish Office. We will need your name, phone number, names of those attending, and the weekend Mass you wish to attend. If you have not supplied these details beforehand, you will not be able to attend the Mass.
Please do not come to Mass if you are in the vulnerable category and shielding at home.
Please do not come to Mass if you are feeling unwell.
Social distancing guidelines mean that St Mary’s can accommodate 60 parishioners at each Mass. I have tried to give as many alternative Mass times during the week to spread out our normal Sunday congregation. Remember – any Mass will serve as a Sunday.
Please remember to alcohol gel your hands when you enter and leave the church.
You must leave two seats empty between you or your family group and the next parishioner.
Offertory money can now be deposited in baskets as you enter the porch.
For the time being, private prayer in the Church is suspended.
Fr Peter writes: It is so good to see many of you returning to Mass. We have all lived through a momentous year.
2020 is far from over, and while health experts try to predict what we can expect in the next few months, please try to use this period of “open churches” and public Mass to visit Our Lord and receive Him into the best possible home – which is you.
You might like to consider coming to a weekday Mass instead of a Sunday. Until the lifting of the restriction to our normal Sunday Obligation is over, every weekday Mass serves as a Sunday.
The stewarding team and I have done everything possible to make sure that any fears you might have can be forgotten. Windows and doors are all open, alcohol gel is in good supply at every entrance and exit, and the church is thoroughly cleaned after each Mass. This weekend, I will re-introduce votive candles at statues – but please respect the 2meter ruling regarding social distancing.
Our Parish Finances and The Wall:
Fr Peter writes: This week I was able to have a zoom parish finance committee meeting which gave us a chance to review the impact the pandemic has had on the parish. Two urgent matters came to our notice. First, our weekly income falls far short of parish bills and necessary spending. This is understandable given the effect of the pandemic and the restrictions placed on churches to ensure parishioners feel safe when attending Mass and thus the impact on the offertory collection – which is almost half its usual amount. I have refrained from putting a weekly collection amount in the newsletter for the past few months – but feel it is now imperative to inform you of the amount. I shall begin to do this next weekend. Having said all this, I want to thank all of you who responded to my letter in July and have contributed since and through the pandemic. St Mary’s relies on donations to meet the up-keep costs for the church, halls and presbytery.
Secondly, the retaining wall at the boundary with the high road - the heat and dry weather conditions of August have exacerbated the cracks and a large fissure has widened facing the bus stop, and the wall now needs to be urgently repaired. Given its proximity to the bus stop and the main road, it could be very dangerous if the wall collapsed. This would also jeopardise the safety of the bank of earth it supports and thus the car park. We know the cost of this will be at least £30,000.
Both situations put St Mary’s in an unprecedented position and I have to ask for your prayers and continued generosity. Over the next few days and weeks I will outline a wall fundraising campaign. Regarding our ability to meet every day parish expenses, I emailed a leaflet in July and, if you have not yet done so, you may like to choose one of the options listed there to continue to support our wonderful parish. The leaflet is attached.
These notices are never easy to write or distribute – but St Mary’s is a precious parish with a spirit filled community and we just need to get ourselves into a position before the pandemic.
Fr Peter writes: I could still do with a few more stewards particularly at the 11:30am Mass on Sunday. The more we have in church – the easier it will be welcoming, seating parishioners and cleaning afterwards. Please take a look at the Mass times and see if you would like to be a steward. You must be under 70 and in good health.
Some News about Fr Peter:
Fr Peter writes: If I have been looking “a bit peeky” of late, “under the weather”, a bit “grey around the gills”, it is because I have not been “a 100%” of late. So in early October I have to have an operation to patch me up. I will need a month to recover and will hopefully return early November. Fr Terry will make a very welcome return and look after Masses while I am away convalescing. Two requests – please keep me in your prayers and secondly keep supporting Mass, our Wall project and each other
First Holy Communion Masses:
Fr Peter writes: For the next three weekends at 10am on Saturday and 10am on Sunday our parish children will be making their First Holy Communions.
We are going to do something completely new and attempt to celebrate the First Holy Communion Masses – outside – in my garden! We have ordered a tent – special bunting and balloons. Fantastically, Helen is going to play her harp at each celebration. If the weather is inclement we will celebrate inside the church (without the tent). These Masses will be streamed (the only ones during the week). Please keep these amazing children their families and Holly in your prayers.
Baptisms, Sacrament of Marriage and Funerals.
Fr Peter writes: Baptisms can now be organised and like Weddings: the maximum number permitted to attend is 30. For weddings, a simple nuptial mass may be celebrated.
Funerals: the maximum number permitted to attend is 30. A simple requiem mass may be celebrated.
The return of the Sacrament of Reconciliation:
Fr Peter writes: As of Monday, you can return to the Sacrament of Confession with certain safeguards:
Please do not come to confession if you are feeling unwell or shielding at home.
I will be available for confession Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 11am – 12 noon. Please come to the presbytery.
Due to social distancing and ventilation, I will either hear confessions in the presbytery garden or, if it is raining, in church.
Due to above practicalities, all confessions will be face to face.
Being St Mary’s Parish - Staying in touch - Registration & Parish Census:
Fr Peter writes: It is very important that I am able to keep in touch with you. The shepherd needs his flock. Please update your parish details using the parish census sheet and return to me hand delivered via a volunteer who can come to the presbytery. It is so important that we stay in touch with each other. I will endeavour to send out a weekly newsletter to those without computers. If you are receiving post from us but have an e mail address, please let us know your e mail address. I will also use the live streamed Masses to convey notices.
Masks at Mass:
It is now mandatory that parishioners wear masks or face coverings when attending Mass. The priest is not required to follow this protocol. Masks should not cover eyes and ears – but mouth and nose. Children under 11 are not required to wear masks.