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Public Mass Resuming

We welcomed parishioners back to Mass last Sunday and Wednesday, and it was joyful. We had 22 attending on Sunday and 12 on Wednesday. The Masses will continue every Sunday and Wednesday at 9.30 am, currently with a maximum of 28 people in Church and still available via livestream for those who cannot attend at this time. The stewards as usual were at their best and everywhere much organised with a comprehensive hygiene standard in place.

We are also going to start a Saturday evening (vigil) Mass on the 25th July at 6.00pm in the car park. It will be a typical drive in Mass. Drive into the car park and stay in your car or stand out beside your car. A small chair may be of help if you cannot stand for 35 minutes. This is an outside Mass only and there will be no access to the Church itself. We pray for clement weather to have it going and welcome more people back to Mass.

Have your name and contact number ready

As you arrive, we will be asking for names and a contact number (please have this ready). This is to comply with regulations for “test, track and trace” – your information will not be shared other than in the event of someone testing positive for the virus. The information taken will be shredded after 28 days.

Sanitise your hands on entry

Hand sanitising is provided and is essential for entry to the Church even if you are using disposable gloves. Face masks are also available and are advisable. There will be no Offertory collection during Mass – a box will be on the hygiene station table as you leave for any donations.

Follow the one-way system, and keep 2 meters apart

Holy communion will be at the end of Mass, please wait in your seat until the Steward signals for you to come forward, follow the one-way system keeping 2 metre distance, receive Communion with arms stretched and in silence and then please leave Church without returning to your seat.

Protect others

Please do not come to Mass if you are unwell, have a temperature or have been exposed to Covid19

Public worship suspended during the coronavirus crisis

During this health emergency the celebration of Mass on Sundays, Holy Days and weekdays will continue to take place, but without a public congregation, and you are encouraged to unite yourself spiritually to the daily offering Mass. This might be helped by participating by the live streaming of the Holy Mass and following its prayers at home and making an act of spiritual communion. Saint Thomas Aquinas described this act of spiritual communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him.” 

You can access a livestream of the Mass via the Diocesan website, here: http://www.dioceseofshrewsbury.org/.

Asking the Lord’s blessing on the days ahead

Fr Emeka 

NEWSLETTER 15TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – 12/07/2020

MASS RESUMING IN ST CLARE’S

We announce that MASS will resume in St. Clare’s from Sunday 12th July at 9.30 am. All welcome. There will however be changes that you may not expect but are important to ensure that safety is paramount. With this in mind we have compiled the following list to give you an idea of the changes and for you to familiarise yourself with them. Above all we look forward to welcoming you to Mass on Sunday.

COVID PREVENTION INSTRUCTIONS FOR THOSE ATTENDING MASS

  • Church will be open this Sunday 12th July and Mass commence at 9.30am and there will also be livestreaming for those unable to attend.
  • Please do not come to Mass if you are unwell, have a temperature or have been exposed to Covid19
  • Please arrive early as the maximum capacity is 28 at 2 metre social distance
  • Seating will be allocated by the Stewards on a “first come” basis. Mass should start at 9.30am
  • As you arrive we will be asking for names and a contact number (please have this ready). This is to comply with regulations for “test, track and trace” – your information will not be shared other than in the event of someone testing positive for the virus. The information taken will be shredded after 28 days.
  • At all times observe 2 metre distancing and the “one way system”. Seating is maintained at 2 metres apart unless you are a family “bubble” of up to 4 people who may sit together.
  • As we have continued with the 2 metre distancing there is no requirement for face covering, but disposable masks are available if you would like one.
  • Hand sanitising is provided and is essential for entry to the Church even if you are using disposable gloves.
  • There will be no Offertory collection during Mass – a box will be on the hygiene station table as you leave for any donations.
  • Holy communion will be at the end of Mass, please wait in your seat until the Steward signals for you to come forward, keeping 2 metre distance, receive Communion with arms stretched and in silence and then leave without returning to your seat.

ROSARY CORNER

Our Lady has never refused me a grace through the recitation of the Rosary.

St Padre Pio

PRAY FOR THE SICK

Our sick, elderly, housebound and those in care homes are important members of our parish community. New names are in Bold Type. Please remember to pray for them each day as they carry their cross.
Dot Bell, Veronica Creaney, W. Downes, Mary Frain, Michelle Gentile, Katie Gray, Gwyn Harris, Lorna Jarvis, Judy Kearney, Ann Leach, Peter Lloyd, Rosemary McCabe, Kevin McCarthy, Gwen Spurr, Krysia Wesalak, Eileen Wyatt, Mark Wilson.

MASS INTENTIONS FOR THE WEEK

Thursday: Anonymous Donor
Sunday: Maureen Byrne
Friday: Jerry Toping
Monday: Pat Creighton
Saturday: Parishioners
Tuesday: Tessa Creighton
Wednesday: Volunteers

CHESTER CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL FOUNDATION GOVERNORS

In Catholic schools, foundation governors are practising Catholics appointed by the Diocese. They make up the majority of the board members. A foundation governor has a responsibility to preserve and develop the Catholic character of the school, but like all governors, also has to ensure high standards of educational achievement by the children. To be effective, any Governing body needs to have a range of skills and diversity from both inside and outside the education sector. We are currently requesting the diocese to appoint 2 new Foundation governors to be in place for September 2020. If you feel you have something to offer and are able to make a commitment, please do consider putting yourself forward to be a Foundation governor at Chester Catholic High school. Full details of the role and how to apply can be found on the Diocese website.

ST CLARE’S SVP CONFERENCE

Our Conference Spiritual reading this week concerned “Searching”. It advised against becoming fossilised and being sure we know everything. It advises that we need to find joy in discovering something new and always having an open mind which may challenge long held views. We need to be looking to expand our horizons and allow our minds to be supple and open to learning, listening and growing. Keep safe and well this week. God bless. Steve

ST CLARE’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL

Our Year Six pupils were thrilled with their new ‘Lockdown Leaver’ hoodies to evidence that they left primary school in this momentus year of 2020! They received this gift early so that they could enjoy wearing it with their school friends! Ethan, Milly, Harvey, Ryan, Gareth, Patricija, Michael, Nel, Lexi, Alexis, Casey, Taylor, Jeremy, Lewis, Levi, Shaun, Rebekah, Wiktor and Oliwia are leaving St Clare’s this year and we will miss each and everyone of them. They are a wonderful group of young people, full of great talents and skills which I am sure they will continue to develop in their high schools. Thank you for your generous donations towards our Chester Zoo sponsored walk- we are very grateful.

WEDNESDAY PRAYER: 17th June, 2020

Psalm 102

My soul, give thanks to the Lord, all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings.
It is he who forgives all your guilt, who heals every one of your ills, who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion, who fills your life with good things, renewing your youth like an eagle’s.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his hosts, his servants who do his will.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works, in every place where he rules.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord!

LITANY OF PRAISE:

Response after each of our prayers of praise and thanks:

My soul, give thanks to the Lord!

SCRIPTURE READING:  1 John 4:7-11

My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love. God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him; this is the love I mean: not our love for God but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away. My dear people, since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another.  The word of the Lord.

REFLECTION:  Dorothea Eastwood

Once as I lay thinking of God’s love and wishing that I might feel it more strongly and surely, it struck me very forcibly that I had never yet asked that I should . . . and even as I thought this I seemed to understand something of his love for all people, seeing it as warm beams of light that glowed alike for sinners and the pure in heart. And because to the pure in heart all things are pure, so to these the beams were not darkened nor deflected, for the saints burned with their own radiance and their light mingled with the light of God and the two united together, clear and brilliant.
Yet there are not many who received the light in its first purity, for most moved in a dark mist which they shed about them as the pure shed their glow. Upon this darkness the beams of God’s love beat ceaselessly; they fell with the same force, warmth and brilliance as upon the saint, but because of the sinner’s own darkness, they could not penetrate and illumine him. Instead they encircled him so that he sat within the little black or grey cocoon of his own spinning, unaware of the glory by which he was encompassed. And I saw, too, that by my own love for a fellow creature I could assist God’s love to penetrate this darkness. His love is infinitely, unmeasurably greater than mine, yet my narrow beam might act as a needle-point to prick the way for this vast radiance to enter. I saw that it was even more vital to love the sinner than the saint, for the saint was already himself the light of God’s love, but without human love, the sinner’s darkness grew denser and spread further.
And suddenly I saw that I, a sinner too, was surrounded by this power and this glory. I had to look and to know what I needed and the light came rushing in. If I would ask, I too would receive it in all its purity and if I received it, there was nothing I could not do.
But I had grown used to my dark mist; and I was afraid the light might blind me, afraid I might be lost in its vastness; I saw that, like all the other roads to truth and beauty, it required not only the sudden vision of arrival but much trudging on the long journey and much study of maps and help from fellow travellers – patience, too, and strength and an inextinguishable hope and faith. And yet this love of God’s was the source of all those things.

INTERCESSIONS:  Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

CLOSING PRAYER:
Lord, make me a means of your peace.
Where there’s sadness here, let me sow your joy.
When the darkness nears, may your light dispel our fears.
Lord, make me a means of your peace.

PREPARING FOR THE RE-OPENING OF THE CHURCHES

I am grateful to all the parish priests who have indicated that their parishes wish to be part of the
first phase of the re-opening of our churches. It is good to see the readiness and generosity of
volunteers and some 47 churches expressing interest in being part of this initial phase. I appreciate that local conditions – including the situation of clergy – won’t allow the re-opening of all of the churches. However, I hope the
experience of the first parishes will be a source of encouragement for everyone.
I note that parish priests are most often seeking to begin this phase by opening churches for a specific number of hours on weekdays and especially on Sundays. In conversation with the Vicars General, everyone seems to appreciate this is very much a pioneering stage as we emerge into changed circumstances and in some ways a changed world. The recent re-opening of schools, businesses and other facilities indicate elements of ‘covid security’ that will be expected of the churches in the months ahead. I am grateful to Julie Tinsley, our Health and Safety Officer, for
her availability to assist parish priests and parishioners during this first phase and beyond.
OFFICIAL GUIDANCE FOR THE REOPENING OF THE CHURCHES
As we await the final word from the Government on the timescale for the re-opening of churches, I
am pleased to be able to send you the official guidance from the Bishops of England and Wales
which has been agreed by the Government Task Force and peer reviewed by Public Health England. As I warned in my last letter, the requirements for public safety are certainly demanding. However, once we have these
provisions in place and demonstrate that we can act safely and responsibly we will have the basis to move towards the public celebration of Mass and the sacraments. It is important to note that we are awaiting from the Government the Risk Assessment Template which will be required to be completed before any church can be opened.
However, I have been assured that the guidance document attached contains all of the points to
complete this risk assessment correctly.

From Bishop Mark.

WEDNESDAY PRAYER 3RD JUNE, 2020

Psalm 136  (From ‘Psalms Now’)
Thank you, God, for all these things that reveal your love.
Thank you for the heavens that cover us, for the earth beneath our feet, for the sun in the day and the stars of the night, for the snow and the rains and the rivers and the lakes, for mountains and valleys and trees and flowers.
Thank you, God, for those people who demonstrate your love.
Thank you for those great people who followed you throughout history, for the priests and prophets and apostles and ministers, for doctors and teachers and mothers and fathers,
and painters and musicians and writers and farmers and labourers and clerks,
for those men and women who accepted your love and dedicated their lives to loving their neighbours.
Thank you, God, for choosing me to be one of Your people,
for calling me and equipping me to communicate Your love to the world about me.
Thank you, God.

LITANY OF PRAISE: Response to each of your prayers of praise:

Thank you, God!

SCRIPTURE READING:  Ephesians 3:14-21

This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, in heaven or on earth, takes its name. In the abundance of his glory, may he, through His Spirit, enable you to grow firm in power with regard to your inner self, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith and then, planted in love and built on love, with all God’s holy people, you will have the strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; so that, knowing the love of Christ which is beyond knowledge, you may be filled with the utter fullness of God. Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever.  Amen.

REFLECTION:  (Louis Evely)

                Lay persons, by and large, underestimate their vocation. They don’t understand that God needs them right where they are to carry on His work among men, that He’s counting on them to perfect and sanctify the world; they don’t realise that He’s committed this task, this business, these children, this man and this woman to them, and that we’re all like the wise and prudent manager who’s been put in charge of some of his Master’s goods and servants in order to give each one what he needs, when he needs it.

                Let’s look at it this way: God needed someone where we are now, to guide this child, to comfort this man or woman, to perform this job, to prove His love. Couldn’t He have done that Himself, without relying on us? Yes, God could’ve done everything all by Himself but He so made the world that things wouldn’t be as good that way. He’s chosen to need men and women; He’s willed that we be necessary to Him for the fulfilment of His designs. “You’ll do greater deeds than I”. He’s permanently set up the universe in such a way that God with man can accomplish more than God alone. He became flesh and forever bound Himself to being incarnate. “As the Father has sent me, so now I send you.”

                He’s relying on us: He’s entrusted His work to us and He’s waiting for us to do it. He needs us to make this man or woman happy, to do this particular task, to manifest His tenderness and His fidelity, His joy and goodness, His patience and trust and courage. If only we realised that!

If only we took a little more pride in it and felt that, wherever we are, we’re God’s lieutenants. The word lieutenant means “one who takes another’s place,” and it suggests that we have to take God’s place with regard to those He’s confided to us, that we have to substitute for Him and, in His stead, do the job He’s left in our hands.

INTERCESSIONSLord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

CLOSING PRAYER: (Huub Oosterhuis)

Lord God, your kingdom is here, hidden and close to us – someone to care for and people to live for. Your will is done on earth everywhere where people live and die for each other. We pray, therefore, that we may gradually accomplish this from day to day, and thus come to know your name and find you, our Father, for ever.  Amen.

NOVENA IN PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST -2020- DAY 9

Saturday, May 30th

OPENING  PRAYER: Father, pour out your Spirit upon all your children,
especially on all the members of our parish family.
Grant us all a new vision of Your glory, a new experience of Your power,
a new faithfulness to Your word, and a new consecration to Your service,
that Your love may grow among us and your Kingdom come.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

REFLECTION: My Church
My Church is composed of people like me. I help make it what it is.
It will be friendly, if I am. Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them.
It will do great work, if I work.
It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver.
It will bring other people into its worship and fellowship, if I invite and bring them.
It will be a Church of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith, and a Church with a noble spirit, if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these same things.
Therefore, with the help of God, and through the power of His Spirit,
I shall dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want my Church to be.
Amen.

CLOSING LITANY: Response: Spirit of God, come into our hearts: make us your new creation.
Spirit of light, let the fire of your wisdom burn brightly within us. R.
Spirit of silence, in the still moment may we be open to God’s presence. R.
Spirit of courage, dispel the fear that lingers in our hearts. R.
Spirit of fire, engulf us with the passion of Christ’s love.  R.
Spirit of peace, help us to be attentive to God’s word in the world.  R.
Spirit of joy, enthuse us to proclaim aloud the Good News. R.
Spirit of love, compel us to open ourselves to the needs of others.  R.
Spirit of power, bestow the gift of your strength upon us.  R
Spirit of truth, guide us to walk in the way of Christ.  R.

NOVENA I PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST -2020- DAY 8

Friday, May 29th

OPENING  PRAYER: Father, pour out your Spirit upon all your children,
especially on all the members of our parish family.
Grant us all a new vision of Your glory, a new experience of Your power,
a new faithfulness to Your word, and a new consecration to Your service,
that Your love may grow among us and your Kingdom come.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

REFLECTION:  Silvester O’Flynn – Born of the Spirit
The ending of one period is always the beginning of another. When the grain is harvested, the work of the reaper is completed but the task of the miller has just begun. As Jesus completed his mission, the task of the church was just beginning. He set the wheels in motion. He breathed on the disciples and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’     On that day, the words of the psalmist attained a new meaning: ‘You send forth your spirit; they are created; and you renew the face of the earth.’ (Psalm 103)
How does this new breathing of the Spirit change and renew? What are the fruits of the new life? Paul tells us that it is not the spirit of slavery and fear. ‘The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again’; it is the spirit of children who recognise God as the loving Father. Nor is it the spirit of timidity and weakness, but ‘the spirit of power, and love, and self-control.’(2 Timothy 1:7)
When the fiery tongue of the Spirit ignites a soul, the interior fire will be manifested in many ways. Religion will be no half-hearted affair dominated by servile fear but a full, joyful celebration of God who is good and loving. The Spirit of power and divine energy moves even gentle, little people to astonishing initiatives and even more astonishing courage in perseverance. The presence of the Spirit is always marked with joy, even in the midst of suffering. There is none of the sadness of sin nor lives of ‘quiet desperation’. God is praised, goodness is observed and life is celebrated. The coming of the Spirit cannot be tied down: for the work of the Spirit is as free as the wind. ‘The wind blows wherever it pleases; you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.’ (John 3:8)

CLOSING LITANY:
Response: Spirit of God, come into our hearts: make us your new creation.
Spirit of light, let the fire of your wisdom burn brightly within us. R.
Spirit of silence, in the still moment may we be open to God’s presence. R.
Spirit of courage, dispel the fear that lingers in our hearts. R.
Spirit of fire, engulf us with the passion of Christ’s love.  R.
Spirit of peace, help us to be attentive to God’s word in the world.  R.
Spirit of joy, enthuse us to proclaim aloud the Good News. R.
Spirit of love, compel us to open ourselves to the needs of others.  R.
Spirit of power, bestow the gift of your strength upon us.  R
Spirit of truth, guide us to walk in the way of Christ.  R.

NOVENA IN PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST -2020- DAY 7

Thursday, May 28th

OPENING  PRAYER: Father, pour out your Spirit upon all your children,
especially on all the members of our parish family.
Grant us all a new vision of Your glory, a new experience of Your power,
a new faithfulness to Your word, and a new consecration to Your service,
that Your love may grow among us and your Kingdom come.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

REFLECTION: Pope Francis – The Joy of Discipleship – Newness
The Church shows her fidelity to the Holy Spirit in as much as she does not try to control or tame him. And the Church shows herself also when she rejects the temptation to look only inward. We Christians become true missionary disciples, able to challenge consciences, when we throw off our defensiveness and allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit. He is freshness, imagination, and newness.
Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the ones who build, program, and plan our lives in accordance with our own ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences. This is also the case when it comes to God. Often we follow him, we accept him, but only up to a certain point. It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives in our every decision. We fear that God may force us to strike out on new paths and leave behind our all too narrow, closed and selfish horizons in order to become open to his own. Yet throughout the history of salvation, whenever God reveals himself, he brings newness – God always brings newness – and demands our complete trust: Noah, mocked by all, builds an ark and is saved; Abram leaves his land with only a promise in hand; Moses stands up to the might of Pharaoh and leads his people to freedom; the apostles, huddled fearfully in the Upper Room, go forth with courage to proclaim the Gospel.

CLOSING LITANY:
Response: Spirit of God, come into our hearts: make us your new creation.
Spirit of light, let the fire of your wisdom burn brightly within us. R.
Spirit of silence, in the still moment may we be open to God’s presence. R.
Spirit of courage, dispel the fear that lingers in our hearts. R.
Spirit of fire, engulf us with the passion of Christ’s love.  R.
Spirit of peace, help us to be attentive to God’s word in the world.  R.
Spirit of joy, enthuse us to proclaim aloud the Good News. R.
Spirit of love, compel us to open ourselves to the needs of others.  R.
Spirit of power, bestow the gift of your strength upon us.  R
Spirit of truth, guide us to walk in the way of Christ.  R.