Join us for Rosary

Month of Our Lady 
Dear brothers and sisters,

I hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe these strange times.
May we please join the Holy Father for daily rosary during this month of May. I have attached below the full text of Pope Francis’ letter to all the faithful this month of May.
You can join us everyday at 6.00pm, starting from tomorrow Friday May 1st.

Meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/78145203409?pwd=cXc1U3gxcUU4clVPWFNLMmJrWWFWZz09
Meeting ID: 781 4520 3409 Password: 8F5rty

Masses from our Church St. Clare’s will be streamed live starting from Sunday 3rd of May at 9.30am. Find out more here!

Wishing you every grace and blessing,
Fr. Emeka.

Pope-Francis-Month-of-May

Wednesday Prayer – 29th April 2020

Psalm 61

In God alone be at rest, my soul; for my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock, my stronghold, my fortress: I stand firm.
In God is my safety and glory, the rock of my strength.
Take refuge in God, all you people. Trust him at all times.
Pour out your hearts before him for God is our refuge.
For God has said only one thing: only two do I know:
that to God alone belongs power and to you, Lord, love;
and that you repay each one according to their deeds.

Litany of Praise

(Give praise and thanks for all God is and all He does in your life)

Response after each prayer:

Lord, you are my rock and my stronghold!

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:17-22

Christ came to bring the good news of peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. Through him, we both in the one Spirit have free access to the Father. So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors; you are fellow-citizens with the holy people of God and part of God’s household. You are built upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets, and Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone. Every structure knit together in him grows into a holy temple in the Lord; and you too, in him, are being built up into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

The word of the Lord.

Reflection:  (Fr.Raniero Cantalamessa)

Through the Spirit we are “at home” with God! St.John in his first letter writes: “We can know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us his Spirit”.

This has a practical consequence for us. The Holy Spirit is the answer to loneliness, which, along with fear and weakness, is the greatest cause of human suffering. What really overcomes suffering?  Certainly not finding yourself in the midst of a great crowd, but rather having a friend, someone to share thoughts with, a companion. If we are open to him, this is what the Holy Spirit wants to be to us. It was Saint Basil who said that the Holy Spirit was “the inseparable companion” of Jesus during his life on earth, and that the Spirit wants to be the same for us. St.John Chrysostom adds that Jesus “always had the assistance of the most agreeable Spirit” just as he seems to suggest that Moses, all his life long, had his brother Aaron as companion and counsellor.

If it is possible for weakness to provide an occasion for us to experience the strength of the Spirit, it is possible for loneliness to be the occasion and also the stimulus for us to experience the Spirit as “sweet guest”. By faith we know that no one is ever truly alone in this world. If we need to speak with someone about something, and it is simply not possible to find anyone to speak to, we can learn, little by little, to talk it over with that guest who is discretion itself and who also is “perfect consoler” and “wonderful counsellor”.

The Spirit reveals himself at various times, either in power and dynamism or in tenderness and intimacy, and we experience him, sometimes in one way and sometimes in another, depending on our need, our disposition and the grace of the moment. On Sinai, Moses perceived God in the thunder and the stormy wind; Elijah, on the same Mount Horeb, perceived God in the gentle breeze.

Intercessions

Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

Closing Prayer:  (Timothy Dudley Smith)

Spirit of life within me, possess this life of mine;
come as the wind of heaven’s breath, come as the fire divine!
Spirit of Christ, the living Lord, reign in this house of clay,
till from its dust with Christ I rise to everlasting day.

Universal Prayer – Third Sunday of Eastertide

As the sons and daughters of our Almighty Father, let us ask for His help as we travel through the joys and the sorrows that we meet along our pilgrim path.

Let us pray for Pope Francis, for our bishops and all who explain the Scriptures to us; may our hearts be set alight by the power of God’s word and may our souls be restored to their youthful vigour.

Risen Lord . . . Stay with us on our journey

Let us pray for our government, for the National Health Service and for all who provide their equipment; through mutual co-operation and prompt action, may they help to bring an end to the present pandemic and save the lives of countless people.

Risen Lord . . . Stay with us on our journey

Let us pray for the front-line workers in the fight against the coronavirus, especially the scientists working to find a reliable vaccine to protect against future outbreaks; may the Lord bless their work and reward them for their dedication and skill.

Risen Lord . . . Stay with us on our journey

Let us pray for all who have died in recent weeks, especially those in care homes and hospices; may they be safe in the tender embrace of the Father and may the pain of those who mourn for them be softened by their happy memories of the past and the sure hope of the fullness of joy their loved ones will come to know in God’s everlasting presence.

Risen Lord . . . Stay with us on our journey

Despite being unable to come together for the Breaking of Bread, let us pray for Father Emeka and our parish community; may we recognize the presence of Christ in every person and strive to accompany them in their daily lives by our prayers and our practical help.

Risen Lord . . Stay with us on our journey

Let us turn to Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of us all, and ask her to walk with us each day: Hail Mary . . .
Let us make our own petitions to the One who always hears us.

Father, in a world filled with fears, uncertainties and bewildering challenges, but with faith in the truth of your promises, we place our lives in your hands and rest in your unending love. We make this prayer through Jesus, our Saviour, our Lord and our Brother. Amen.

Wednesday Prayer – 22nd April 2020

Psalm 33

I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble shall hear and be glad.
Glorify the Lord with me. Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free.
Look towards him and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed. This poor man called him; the Lord heard him
and rescued him from all his distress.
The angel of the Lord is encamped around those who revere him, to rescue them. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
He is happy who seeks refuge in him.

Litany of Praise

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good
for his love endures for ever.

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:1-7

Blessed be the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth as his sons, by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, so that we have a sure hope and the promise of an inheritance that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away, because it is being kept for you in the heavens. Through your faith, God’s power will guard you until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed at the end of time. This is a cause of great joy for you, even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials; so that, when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have been tested and proved like gold and then you will have praise and glory and honour. The word of the Lord.

Reflection: (Fr.Silvester O’Flynn OFM.Cap.)

The familiar saying goes: ‘Seeing is believing’. But seeing is not sufficient for believing. For seeing only touches the outer, physical evidence, whereas believing belongs to the interior, invisible areas of life. Once, there was one preacher of the kingdom: Jesus, sent by the Father. And then, in the time of the resurrection, the one became many when the Church was born: the risen Lord sent out the disciples in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit, in time, inspired four evangelists to write down the Church’s memory of Jesus Christ for teaching all ages. Four gospels, one for each point of the compass, N,E,W and S. But even four gospels are not enough to convince people that the Messiah has come. A fifth gospel is needed: the gospel written by you and me in the evidence of our lives.

Cautious Thomas needed time. He was sceptical of words alone. He would wait to observe the behaviour of those who were speaking so excitedly of the appearance of the Lord to them. Down the years of history the witness of people like Francis and Dominic, Clare and Therese, stirred the faith of people more effectively than libraries of learned books. People are moved to believe when they meet the risen Lord in authentic people of grace.

Easter is to hear the risen Lord say to you: ‘I am sending you out’. To easter with him is to rise into . . . believing that you are loved by God, and daring to hope and trust in his presence and power. In the power of the Spirit let there be . . . new life in your heart, new light in your face, and new joy in your believing. The Messiah has been sent by the Father. And he has sent you, baptised Christians, to win the world from the darkness of sin. Blessed are those whose life enables others to see and to believe.

Intercessions

Hear us, Lord of Life!

Closing Prayer

Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain, he that for three days in the grave had lain. Quick from the dead my risen Lord is seen: love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving or in pain, thy touch can call us back to life again. Fields of our heart that dead and bare have been: love is come again like wheat that springeth green!

Universal Prayer for Second Sunday of Eastertide

Rejoicing in this day made by the Lord, let us make our petitions to the Father with deep faith, constant hope and fervent love.

For the Church led by Pope Francis under the guidance of God’s Spirit, that the people of God will proclaim their faith in the Lord by their generous and loving service to their most vulnerable brothers and sisters: we pray to the Lord.
Hear us, Lord . . . You are our strength and our song.

For world governments, that the present pandemic will lead to a new understanding and recognition that all peoples are united in the one human family in which every person must be valued and supported: we pray to the Lord.
Hear us, Lord . . . You are our strength and our song.

For the victims of the coronavirus, that the dead will receive the inheritance of eternal life in heaven, in all its fullness, and the sick will be strengthened by their sure hope in the truth of God’s promises: we pray to the Lord.
Hear us, Lord . . . You are our strength and our song.

For all who care for the sick, that their skill, compassion and courage will be richly blessed by the Lord and that they will be supported by our prayers, our self-discipline and our generosity: we pray to the Lord.
Hear us, Lord . . . You are our strength and our song.

For all who face an uncertain future in our weakened economy, that the end of the pandemic will herald a time of renewed employment, financial stability and a redistribution of the wealth of our nation: we pray to the Lord.
Hear us, Lord . . . You are our strength and our song.

For all our parishioners that we, the Church, despite our forced isolation, will continue to be a praying community, giving glory to the Risen Lord and placing all our hope in Him: we pray to the Lord.
Hear us, Lord . . . You are our strength and our song.

Let us ask the help of Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted and Queen of Peace: Hail Mary . . .

Let us make our own particular petitions for those who have asked for our prayers.

Father Almighty, hear our prayers and empower us with your love to be the community You want us to be, the Church Christ formed us to be, and the family the Spirit inspires us to be. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday Prayer – 15th April 2020

Psalm 99

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing for joy.
Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us, we belong to him,
we are his people, the sheep of his flock.
Go within his gates giving thanks.
Enter his courts with songs of praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.
Indeed, how good is the Lord, eternal his merciful love.
He is faithful from age to age.

Litany of Praise

We bless your holy name!

Scripture Reading: John 14:23-27

Jesus said: Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make a home in him. Anyone who does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not my own: it is the word of the Father who sent me. I have said these things while still with you; but the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: (Pope Francis – The Joy of Discipleship)

The joy of the Gospel is not just any joy. It consists in knowing one is welcomed and loved by God. God is the One who comes to save us and who seeks to help, especially those who are fearful of heart. His coming among us strengthens us, makes us steadfast, gives us courage, makes the desert rejoice and blossom – that is, when our lives become arid. And when do our lives become arid? When they lack the water of God’s Word and his Spirit of love. However great our limitations and dismay, we are not allowed to be sluggish and vacillating when faced with difficulty and our own weakness. On the contrary, we are invited to strengthen the weak hands, to make firm the feeble knees, to be strong and to fear not, because our God always shows us the greatness of his mercy.
He gives us the strength to go forward. Thanks to his help, we can always begin again. Why? Because he is waiting for you, he is close to you, he loves you, he is merciful, he forgives you. And we are able to open our eyes again, to overcome sadness and mourning to strike up a new song. And this true joy remains even amid trial, even amid suffering, for it is not a superficial joy; it permeates the depths of the person who entrusts himself to the Lord and confides in him.
No one has ever heard of a sad saint with a mournful face. This is unheard of. It would be a contradiction. The Christian’s heart is filled with peace because he knows how to place his joy in the Lord even when going through the difficult moments in life. To have faith does not mean to never have difficult moments but to have the strength to face those moments, knowing that we are not alone. And this is the peace that God gives to his children.

Intercessions

Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

Closing Prayer

You are the King of Glory. You are the Prince of Peace.
You are the Lord of heaven and earth.
You’re the Son of righteousness.
Angels bow down before you, worship and adore,
for you have the words of eternal life, you are Jesus Christ the Lord. Hosanna to the Son of David. Hosanna to the King of Kings. Glory in the highest heavens for Jesus the Messiah reigns!

Universal Prayer for Easter Sunday

On this Day made by the Lord, when Christ our Redeemer rose triumphant from the grave, let us make our petitions to the Father with joy and gladness in our hearts.

Let us pray for Christians throughout the world; despite the present anxieties, may we all be strengthened in our faith and renewed in our mission to spread the Good News of the Resurrection to the ends of the earth.

Lord of Life . . . Hear our prayer

Let us pray for all those who hoped to have been baptized or received into full communion with the Church this Easter; may the Lord uplift them in their disappointment and sustain them in their faith.

Lord of Life . . . Hear our prayer

Let us pray for world governments; may they co-operate in their efforts to contain and to overcome the present pandemic and learn to work with mutual trust to restore the physical and economic health of all peoples.

Lord of Life . . . Hear our prayer

Let us pray for the countless victims of the coronavirus receiving treatment in hospitals and at home; may the Risen Lord be their strength, their hope and their trust.

Lord of Life . . . Hear our prayer

Let us pray for all who are involved in the care of the sick – doctors, nurses, scientists, paramedics and carers; may the Lord reward them for their generous and selfless service and protect them as they work.

Lord of Life . . . Hear our prayer

Let us pray for all who have died; may they now share the glory of the Risen Lord in the company of all the angels and saints and may those who mourn be comforted by the sure hope of the welcome their loved ones will receive.

Lord of Life . . . Hear our prayer

Let us pray for every member of our parish community; may we show our faith in the truth of God’s promises by the loving care and consideration we show to all our brothers and sisters.

Lord of Life . . . Hear our prayer

Let us now turn to Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of us all: Hail Mary . . .

Let us make our own petitions to the Father.

Father, with love and gratitude in our hearts, we ask you to continue to change our darkness to light, our doubt to faith and our weakness to strength. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord. Amen.