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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 

WEDNESDAY PRAYER

Feast of St.Anthony – 13th June 9th June, 2021 

Psalm 88
I will sing forever of your love, O Lord; through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth.
Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever,

that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.

The Heavens proclaim your wonders, O Lord;

the assembly of your holy ones proclaims your truth.

For who in the skies can compare with the Lord

or who is like the Lord among the sons of God?

Justice and right are the pillars of your throne,

love and truth walk in your presence.

Happy the people who acclaim such a king,

who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,

who find their joy every day in your name,

who make your justice the source of their bliss.

LITANY OF PRAISE:

Blessed be the Lord for ever.

SCRIPTURE READINGIsaiah 61:1-3

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up hearts that are broken; to proclaim liberty to captives, freedom to those in prison; to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord, a day of vengeance for our God, to comfort all those who mourn and to give them for ashes, a garland; for mourning robe, the oil of gladness, for despondency, praise.

The word of the Lord.

REFLECTION:   a) (St.Anthony of Padua)

A person who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks several languages. These several languages are the various ways of witnessing to Christ, such as humility, poverty, obedience and patience, with which we speak when we practise them towards our neighbour. Language comes alive when it speaks by deeds. Enough of talking; let actions speak.

b) (Leonard Foley OFM)

The Gospel call to leave everything and follow Christ was the rule of Anthony’s life. Over and over again, God called him to something new in his plan. Every time Anthony responded with renewed zeal and self-sacrificing to serve his Lord Jesus more completely.

                His journey as the servant of God began as a very young man when he decided to join the Augustinians, giving up a future of wealth and power to be a servant of God. Later, when the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs went through the town, he was again filled with an intense longing to be one of those closest  to Jesus himself: those who die for the Good News.

                So Anthony entered the Franciscan Order and set out to preach to the Moors, but an illness prevented him from achieving his goal and he returned to Italy. The call of God came again at an ordination where no one was prepared to speak. The humble and obedient Anthony hesitatingly accepted the task. Anthony’s sermon was astounding to those who expected an unprepared speech and knew not the Spirit’s power to give people words.

                Anthony should be the patron of those who find their lives completely uprooted and set in a new and unexpected direction. Like all saints, he is a perfect example of turning one’s life completely over to Christ. God did with Anthony as God pleased – and what God pleased was a life of spiritual power and brilliance that still attracts admiration today.

He who popular devotion has nominated as finder of lost objects, found himself by losing himself totally to the providence of God.

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

CLOSING PRAYER:  (St.Anthony of Padua)

A fish is not hurt by the constant pounding of the sea,

nor is faith destroyed by life’s adversities.

Lord Jesus Christ, may we sing the song of your praise, rejoice only in you, live modestly, abandon our worries, and tell you all our needs,

so that in the refuge of your peace,

we can live in the heavenly Jerusalem, with your help,

who are blessed and glorious for eternal ages. Amen.

WEDNESDAY PRAYER- 2nd June, 2021

PSALM OF PRAISE:  Psalm 116
Alleluia! O praise the Lord, all you nations,
Acclaim him all you peoples!

Strong is his love for us;

He is faithful for ever.

LITANY OF PRAISE:
Our response to our prayers of praise and thanks is:
We praise you, we bless you, we thank you!
SCRIPTURE READING: John 13:1-5
Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, having loved those who were his in the world, loved them to the end.
They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, and he got up from the table, removed his outer garments and, taking a towel, wrapped it around his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. . . .

The Gospel of the Lord

REFLECTION:  (Richard Leonard S.J.)

John, in his Gospel, writes that Jesus gathers his disciples at the Passover, but records nothing of the action of Jesus at the meal but focuses on what happened after it was over. John is the only Gospel to tell us how Jesus got up from the table and washed the feet of his disciples.

                While that washing of a guest’s feet was a custom in Jesus’s day, a Jewish host certainly never did it. Indeed, not even Jewish servants usually performed this act. If possible, it was the task of the least in the house, one for the Gentile, or non-Jewish servant. The household code tells us that it was not done regularly, but only on those occasions where guests who had completed a long trip were received into the home at journey’s end.

                By doing this act, Jesus announces the end of the road for weary travellers. For him and his disciples, the journey they had embarked upon years before was about to take a final turn. Indeed, it was to be a definitive rite of passage. And in doing so, Jesus also demonstrated what he had preached – that anyone who wants to be first must be the last of all and servant of all. In this ritual action, he walks the talk and does the job of the most-lowly slave in the house.

                Because dusty, weatherworn feet were objectionable in Jesus’s day, I like to think his action at the Last Supper also reveals that, as Christ welcomes us to his table, he also says there is not a part of any of us that is untouchable or shameful, that nothing is beyond God’s loving touch – not one part – and that our God, revealed in Jesus, “gets down and dirty” so that, following his lead, we can rise up to claim our dignity as his disciples and commit ourselves again to acts of loving service that sets other people free. “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet”.

                By celebrating the Eucharist, we pray that Christ will continue to “Easter in us” and that there is no service too small, no act of kindness too insignificant, and no moment of love inconsequential in our service of all God’s people. We look for opportunities to take up the commission to serve all those who feel spent with the brokenness of their lives. And when we do this, we discover it has an extraordinary effect on us. With our brothers and sisters whom we serve, we can recognise the face of the rising Son and praise God together on our knees.

INTERCESSIONS:

Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

CLOSING PRAYER:

Let us break bread together on our knees.

Let us break bread together on our knees.

When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising Son,

O Lord, have mercy on me.

WEDNESDAY PRAYER-26th May, 2021

Psalm 145/146
Alleluia!  My soul give praise to the Lord;
I will praise the Lord all my days, make music to my God while I live.
Put no trust in the powerful, mere mortals in whom there is no help.
Take their breath, they return to clay
and their plans for that day come to nothing.
They are happy who are helped by Jacob’s God,
Whose hope is in the Lord their God,
Who alone made heaven and earth, the seas and all they contain.
It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,
who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is God who gives bread to the hungry, the Lord, who sets prisoners free,
the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord who protects the stranger and upholds the widow and orphan.
It is the Lord who loves the just but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever, Zion’s God, from age to age.  Alleluia !

LITANY OF PRAISE:
Lord, our hope lies all in you!
READING: Vatican II – Constitution on the Church (para 4)

                When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was completed, the holy Spirit was sent on the Day of Pentecost to sanctify the church continually and so that believers might have access to the Father through Christ in the one Spirit.  This is the Spirit of life, the fountain of water springing up to eternal life, through whom the Father gives life to human beings dead in sin, until the day when, in Christ, he raises to life their mortal bodies.  The Spirit dwells in the church and in the hearts of the faithful, as in a temple, prays, and bears witness in them that they are his adopted children.  He guides the church in the way of all truth and, uniting it in fellowship and ministry, bestows upon it different hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs it and adorns it with his fruits.  By the power of the Gospel, he rejuvenates the church, constantly renewing it and leading it to perfect union with its spouse.  For the Spirit and the Bride both say to Jesus, the Lord, Come !  Hence the universal church is seen to be “a people made one by the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

REFLECTION:  (James O’Halloran SDB)

                We are asked in the church to be a community as the Trinity is a community.  This raises intriguing questions as to what kind of community the Trinity is and how we make it present in the church.  Just to choose a few challenging facts:  the Trinity is a community where there is:  a) intimate loving and sharing   b) full participation of the three members  c) absolute equality of persons  d) outreach to the other.
How do we replicate this in the Church?
Now we are created in God’s image.  In Genesis 1;26-27 we read how God created human beings ‘in our own image, after our own likeness . . . male and female . . . ‘ The statement that we were created male and female is significant. We are not meant to live in isolation.  From the beginning God’s will was that we be a community of brothers and sisters without divisions:  there can be differences that enrich, yes, divisions, no.  The message of scripture is clear: no barriers. This theme is taken up by St.Paul who declares: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus.
So why must we be community?  Quite simply because God is community, and we are created in God’s image.  It is true that God is within me and I reflect an aspect of God to the world that no one else can, and it is also true that I am uniquely a cell of the body of Christ.  Nevertheless would it not be accurate to say that we are more fully like God and Jesus when we live in harmony?

INTERCESSIONSLord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

CLOSING PRAYER:
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mould me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

WEDNESDAY PRAYER

WEDNESDAY PRAYER 5th May, 2021

The Magnificat

My soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.

He looks on his servant in her lowliness;

henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

The Almighty works marvels for me. Holy his name !

His mercy is from age to age, on those who fear him.

He puts forth his arm in strength and scatters the proud-hearted.

He casts the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly.

He fills the starving with good things, sends the rich away empty.

He protects Israel, his servant, remembering his mercy,

the mercy promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his sons for ever.

LITANY OF PRAISE:

Holy is your name, O Lord!

SCRIPTURE READING:  Matthew 12:46-50

Jesus was speaking to the crowds when suddenly his mother and his brothers were standing outside and were anxious to have a word with him. But to the man who told him this, Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said: ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’  The Gospel of the Lord.

REFLECTION:  (Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa OFM.Cap.)

                The title, “Mother of God” tells us about Mary. She is the only one in the world who could say to Jesus what his heavenly Father said to him: “You are my son; I have begotten you!” St.Ignatius of Antioch, in all simplicity and almost unaware of the tremendous dignity he was giving a human creature, said that Jesus is “of God and of Mary.” The title, “Mother of God” is sufficient in itself to establish the greatness of Mary and to justify the honour attributed to her. Catholics are sometimes reproached for exaggerating the honour and importance they attach to Mary, and, we must admit, the reproach has often been justified, at least for the way she has been honoured. But we never think of what God did. By making her the Mother of God, he so honoured her that no one could possibly honour her more even if he possessed, as Luther said, as many tongues as there are blades of grass: “In the title Mother of God, all honour is included; no one could say anything greater of her, or to her, even if he had as many tongues as there are blades of grass or stars in the sky or grains of sand in the sea. We must let our hearts reflect on what it means to be the Mother of God.”

                The title “Mother of God” places Mary in a unique relationship with each person of the Trinity. St.Francis of Assisi expressed this in a prayer: Holy Virgin Mary, among all the women of the world there is none like you. You are the daughter and handmaid of the most high King and Father of heaven; you are the mother of our most holy Lord, Jesus Christ; you are the spouse of the Holy Spirit. Pray for us to your most holy and beloved Son, our Lord and Master.

                Let us now see how to apply the title “Mother of God” to each one of us. Let us see how we can really become mothers of Christ. Jesus himself told us how to become his mother. It happens in two ways: by hearing the Word and by practicing it. We conceive Christ when we love him in all sincerity of heart and uprightness of conscience and we give him birth when we do works that show him to the world. This echoes the words of Jesus: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father, who is in heaven.”

                Let these words of St.Augustine spur us on to imitate the Mother of God: “His Mother carried him in her womb; may we carry him in our hearts; the Virgin became pregnant with the Incarnation of Christ, may our hearts become pregnant with faith in Christ; she brought forth the Saviour, may our souls being forth salvation and praise. May our souls be not sterile, but fertile for God.”

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

CLOSING PRAYER:

The first decade of the Joyful Mysteries – the Annunciation.