Archbishop John recorded a special message to all the Catechumens and Candidates, people who had been preparing for the Sacraments of Initialion or to be received in to the Church during the Easter season. During the Pentecost Sunday Mass Homily he spoke particularly to them, but also made this video:
Archbishop John wrote to the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, this week expressing his understanding of “a growing sense of dissatisfaction” particularly as our churches are not yet permitted to open where a growing number of retail outlet will soon open their doors.
“Religious faith can help support people, both directly and indirectly, with respect to their wellbeing. Access to places of worship is integral to this.”
Archbishop John also wrote to all MP’s with constituencies in the Archdiocese. The full text of his letter may be read here.
In his homily for Pentecost Sunday, Cardinal Vincent Nichols questions why churches have not been allowed to open for private prayer, especially when car showrooms and outdoor markets can open on Monday 1 June and non-essential shops from 15 June. He specifically asks why churches have been “excluded from this decision?”
The opening of churches, even if only for private prayer, helps nurture faith which is a “vital contribution to our common good” the Cardinal says. He goes onto add Read more>>>
A reminder of our news item of 17 May.
The Marriage and Family Life team in the Archdiocese have been in touch with us to say that they remain in post during the lock-down and are providing many of their courses online; they are keen that clergy and parishioners are aware of the following:
Marriage Preparation - the team continues to provide marriage preparation on all the scheduled dates using the same online format which worked well and was well received by the couples participating.
Forthcoming dates for official online Marriage Preparation courses in our pastoral area are available on request For more details email Lisette Blanchett-Ball.
Building A Better Marriage - in order to help married couples enrich their marriages they are holding more online courses. During the lock-down period an online Building a Better Marriage opportunity is being held on 6 June and 4 July, running from 10:00-13:00. You are able to attend from your own living room so there is no group sharing! For more details contact Carole Batty by ‘phone 07983 524727 or by email.
Passing on The Faith - parents have a lot more time with their children at the moment. They feel it is timely to offer a programme that they have run in the past in several parishes and have made it available as an online service for families. For more details email Lisette Blanchett-Ball.
For additional times elsewhere in the Archdiocese, search the list to be found here.
Archbishop John invites everyone in the Diocese to join him for a special online gathering on Wednesday 27 May. He will be leading a live streamed May Devotions, including a Scriptural Rosary at 19:00 from the Cathedral. At this time when we are asked to be more isolated than usual it is an opportunity to 'spiritually gather' together.
The live stream will be found here.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols spoke to presenter Justin Webb on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on 14 May about how Catholic Churches can be safely re-opened for private prayer as the UK government eases its lockdown restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19. Read more, and listen.
Southwark Catholic Youth Service has launched a YouTube channel and produced a short mini-series ‘Christ is Alive’. The bite-size videos follow the reflections of Matthew, Fletcher, Martha and Niamh on Pope Francis' document Christus Vivit.
The series consists of 6 x 2min videos, each with questions for reflection and supporting resources.
It is an invitation for young people to focus on staying spiritually healthy and to ponder some of the big questions about life, through journaling, Lectio Divina and prayer.
Archbishop John introduces it below, and the videos he introduces are being added here. The resources mentioned above may be found beneath each individual video in the series.
The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity is calling for women and men to pray to God for an end to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
While recognising the role of science in fighting the disease, the Committee says, “we should not forget to seek refuge in God, the All-Creator, as we face such a severe crisis”.
In calling for worldwide prayer, the Committee says, “Each one, from wherever they are and according to the teachings of their religion, faith, or sect, should implore God to lift this pandemic off us and the entire world, to rescue us all from this adversity”.
Their call also emphasises the importance of asking God “to inspire scientists to find a cure that can turn back this disease, and to save the whole world from the health, economic, and human repercussions of this serious pandemic”.
A day for prayers and supplications
The Committee suggests Thursday 14 May, as a day “for fasting, works of mercy, prayers, and supplications for the good of all humanity”.
The full text of this notification may be read on the Website of the Bishops's Conference of England & Wales HERE.
With our weekly Sunday Offering reduced from around £1,800 to about £750 (the amount provided by those who give by standing orders), plus a yet unknown additional income from those who have responded to our appeals for donations, you will understand the growing concerns that exist for our parish finances as time passes without our regular Sunday Masses.
The anticipated income from the Parish Hall is not providing as expected, and a number of other income steams have, understandably, dried up. These concerns will most certainly deepen the longer the current situation exists. The buildings still have to be maintained, the bills still have to be paid, and our priests need to eat! It is so important that our parish remains financially solvent.
We have now joined Southwark’s JustGiving scheme. It offers those without on-line banking, but still with internet access, the opportunity to contribute to the longer-term welfare of the parish at no cost to themselves. Donations may be Gift Aided, and may be made on a one-off or a more regular basis.
Please do look at our Parish Finances page and see if you are able to assist in any small way. If you can assist, then please follow the guidance given carefully so that the parish benefits fully from your generosity.
Today, Sunday 10 May, we would in normal circumstances have been celebrating our third, and final, First Holy Communion Mass. Sadly this was not to be the case. Father Deo has written some lovely words to our First Holy Communion children and they may be read HERE. Please remember them all in your prayers.
The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales now has a Live Catholic Mass Directory available. The resource is searchable by different criteria, which makes if helpful if you are trying to assist someone in finding an on-line Mass if they are not local to you.
Our own Archdiocese of Southwark maintains a list HERE.
NHS Prayer Buddies: Rebekah O'Keeffe, a catechist who works within the Diocese, will pair people up as prayer buddies placing each one by name into God's care. If you would like to accompany an NHS worker in prayer at this time, please email Rebekah O’Keeffe with your name and parish details (name and area only). No email addresses will be passed on at any point.
An interesting short video, relevant to last Sunday’s World day of Prayer for Vocations, regarding life at Wonersh, our Diocesan Seminary
The God Who Speaks: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have dedicated 2020 as a year of focus on the Bible and ‘The God Who Speaks’. Here you will find ideas to help you create a prayerful, scriptural and reflective time at home during this difficult period.
Each year, near to the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the migrant communities of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster gathers for a Mass that is full of song, vibrant energy and great joy. Read more>>>
Father Tomasz will be streaming Mass live on Facebook at 09.30 on Sunday 26 April, the third Sunday of Easter.