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UNIVERSAL PRAYER – 22nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Let us turn to the Father, whose love is better than life and from whom all good things come.
Let us pray for the Church all over the world; under the wise leadership of Pope Francis, may she be a beacon of hope to all peoples, proclaiming the truth and showing the path of life to which God calls each one of us.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us pray for world governments; in all their deliberations and decision-making, may they give priority to the welfare of their people, ensuring a just distribution of resources and opportunities, no matter what their creed, their colour or their race.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us pray for teachers, parents and children as they prepare for the new school year; in this time of uncertainty and fear, may rules be clearly laid down and adhered to, so that the children may, once again, enjoy their life in school and grow in confidence and knowledge.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us pray for the victims of the recent natural disasters throughout the world – hurricanes, floods and fires; may help be given to restore their homes and livelihoods and to rebuild their communities and neighbourhoods.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us pray for our parish community, especially the sick and those still self-isolating; may we all accept the crosses we have to bear in this life with generous hearts and may the Lord lighten our load and bless us with patience and peace.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us ask the help of Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted, as we pray: Hail Mary . . .
In silence, let us make our own petitions to the Father of all mercies.
Father, listen to our prayers and grant us the wisdom to discover Your will for us and may we strive each day to carry it out. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

WEDNESDAY PRAYER -26th August, 2020

PSALM 148

Alleluia! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights. Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens and the waters above the heavens.
All earth’s kings and peoples, earth’s princes and rulers;
young men and maidens, old men together with children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord for he alone is exalted.
The splendour of his name reaches beyond heaven and earth.
He exults the strength of his people. He is the praise of all his saints,
of the sons of Israel, of the people to whom he comes close. Alleluia!

LITANY OF PRAISE:
The response to our prayers of praise and thanks is:

We praise the splendour of your name!

SCRIPTURE READING:  Luke 12:22-32
Jesus said to his disciples: I am telling you now not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Think of the ravens. They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouses and no barns; yet God feeds them. And how much more you are worth than the birds! Can any of you, however much you worry, add a single cubit to your span of life?  If a very small thing is beyond your powers, why worry about the rest? Think how the flowers grow; they never have to spin or weave; yet, I assure you, not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of them. Now if that is how God clothes a flower which is growing wild today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will he look after you, who have so little faith! But you must not set your hearts on things to eat and things to drink; nor must you worry. It is the gentiles of this world who set their hearts on all these things. Your Father well knows you need them. No, set your hearts on his kingdom, and these other things will be given you as well. There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom.  The Gospel of the Lord.

REFLECTION:  (Fr.John Dalrymple)

Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom, and all else will be given unto you.” He does not ask us to cultivate an impassive indifference in life. He knows we are human beings as he was, and therefore needing to be passionately concerned and anxious about things. To be concerned, anxious and passionate is to be human. It is not something to be ashamed of, but something to rejoice in. To be without desires, a passionless pudding, is inhuman. Jesus was human, so he does not ask his followers to deny their desires. What he does is to re-direct those desires. Jesus directs our anxieties towards the true object of human aspirations; the only one which will fulfil them. This he called the Father’s Will, or the Kingdom of God.
Jesus’ gospel says: Strive fully after that; be thoroughly anxious about that; exercise all your human endeavour towards that. When you do so, you will find that you have little anxiety left for the things most people are anxious about in our consumer-oriented world. You will become less bothered about material comfort, spiritual gifts, social acceptance. Your strivings in that direction will diminish and fade. You will discover a pure beauty in Christ’s Kingdom which at first was not visible to you. Then you will discover that same beauty in the world, a beauty which you can fully enjoy because you are not now striving anxiously to possess it. It is there simply to enjoy for its own sake, and to give glory to God.
No wonder Jesus called his message Good News. It is good news to be told how to live in this beautiful world and love it properly.

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

CLOSING PRAYER:
O Lord, we know that we very often worry
about the things that may never happen.
Help us to live one day at a time,
and to live it for YOU, for your name’s sake.
Amen.

UNIVERSAL PRAYER – 21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

With deep gratitude for His faithfulness and His love for all His children, let us ask the Father to increase his gifts of faith and hope, that we might all draw closer to Him.
For Pope Francis, successor of Peter, that God will continue to give him the strength and the wisdom to be our rock of faith in the Church: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

For world leaders, that they will act as peacemakers, not aggressors, and will strive to achieve harmony and trust within and between nations: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

For our young people facing an uncertain future because of the examination fiasco, that the injustices revealed will be rectified and schools and colleges be given the help they need to restore the confidence and the prospects of their students: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

For the migrants risking their lives in their efforts to find a safe haven, that they will be treated with respect and that governments will work together to promote peace and prosperity in their homelands, thus enabling them to return home with hope in their hearts: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

For those still self-isolating because of the coronavirus, that the Lord Himself will be their companion and their hope in times of loneliness and anxiety: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

For every member of our parish community, that, blessed by God with the gift of faith, we may do all we can to nurture it through prayer and practice and be moved to thank God for it with endless praise: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

Let us turn to Mary, our model of faith, and ask her to intercede for us with the Father:  Hail Mary . . .

Let us make our own petitions for those who have asked for our prayers and for those who have no-one to pray for them.

Father of all, listen to our prayers for all your children and help us to be true servants of You by the service we give to our brothers and sisters. We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

NEWSLETTER 21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME-23/08/2020

It’s wonderful to see so many parishioners coming back to Mass in our safe and beautiful Church! (if you haven’t already done so why not give it a try)    The Saturday evening Mass is a typical drive in Mass and does not required much work stewarding but, the Sunday and Wednesday Masses at 9.30 am require stewarding. The stewards are always on hand to guide us in Church to ensure the best of hygiene practice and safety of everyone. They also clean the church after every Mass and the cleaners do an excellent job fortnightly.
We are appealing to anyone who can assist and become one of our excellent team of volunteer Stewards to come forward. As you can imagine, those that are currently helping need to have a break sometime, so a few more willing hands would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know if you can help. Contact:  patriddell31@aol.com  or phone 01244 675688

FACE COVERING /MASKS                                                                                                                                                                            The wearing of face masks is now obligatory and we will be asking for everyone to wear a face covering/mask in Church to comply with the Government guidelines. Please bring your own with you – we do have a small supply of single use masks but, as you can appreciate, they are very expensive, so we would prefer everyone to come prepared. 

WEEKLY  MASS
Saturday 22nd Aug       6.00 pm
Sunday   23rd Aug        9.30 am
Wednesday 26th Aug   9.30 am

MASS INTENTIONS FOR THE WEEK
Sunday: Private Intention
Monday: Sue Casey
Tuesday: Paul and Joanne Pelington
Wednesday: Michael O’Donnel
Thursday: Arnold Timmins
Friday: Stephen Chukwudi
Saturday: Peter Charles Byrne
If you wish for a Mass to be offered contact Fr. Emeka or the parish office

SUNDAY GOSPEL REFLECTION

THE CHURCH’S KEYS ARE IN PETER’S HANDS ( Matt 16:13-20)                                                                                                
I get so used to your Church. I take so many of your gifts for granted. Help me to live less superficially. Enlighten my mind. I want to appreciate the teaching and guidance you offer me through the pope and the bishops, through your saints, and through the rich doctrine of the Church. Lord,  I want to be able to defend the truths of your doctrine, to be able to explain them.
You are the one Lord, the one Saviour. And so many people just don’t know you! So many lies, so much misinformation and misunderstanding deceive them. Instruct me, teach me –  help me do my homework, so that I can bear the torch of your transforming truth with elegance, respect, and gusto…Fr. John Bartunek, LC

CONFESSION
Saturdays 11.00 am – 11.40 am, or call the parish to book at any time.

BAPTISM
If you want to have your child baptised please contact Fr. Emeka or call the parish office to book. Those booked before the lockdown  kindly get in touch with the parish office. Note that there will not be more than 30 in attendance.

ST CLARE’S SVP CONFERENCE  
The Union of opposites was the spiritual reading at this week’s conference “Zoom” meeting. Our present life is one of lots of opposites. We have the need to be close to those we love and those we wish to help but need to keep our distance (Social Distance indeed!) and so we may seem reserved and stand offish. If we do get close then we risk breaching the guidelines placed for our and others safety. 
I have visited a couple of beneficiaries because it would have been distressing to stay distant but probably crossed the line (that advised by SVP NO). The final prayer was “Lord may I understand how to bring all the opposites of my life into harmony”. Keep safe and well this week. God bless. Steve

ROSARY CORNER
 “In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal.”        ~Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Father and Doctor of the

EUTHANASIA  AGAINST PATIENTS EXPLICIT 
Doctors in the Netherlands will now be permitted to euthanise vulnerable dementia patients, even if the patient explicitly expresses a wish not to die, a Dutch Supreme Court has ruled. Michael Robinson, SPUC Director of Communications said: “Vulnerable patients who deserve care and compassion are now to be put down like animals. This is a system open to abuse and exploitation.”

The parish of St. Clare’s sometimes collects personal information about parishioners. All personal information is collected, processed and stored in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations. This is retained only as necessary and used by the parish/Diocese for the benefit of the parish and for legitimate reasons such as administrative and religious purposes. You can read our full privacy notice at www.dioceseofshrewsbury.org/about-us/privacy-notice.

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

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.