Sixth Sunday of Easter
Parish Priest – Father David B Barrett – email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Deacon – Rev Peter Griffin – Tel 07850499414 – email – email@example.com
Administrator – Denise Wallinger Tel 01234 711212
SVP Contact – Tel 07925 125206
Parish Website: www.ourladysolney.co.uk
SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
We will recite the Rosary every day after Mass during the month of May
Saturday 16th May
6.30pm Mass of the 6th Sunday of Easter For the people of the parish
Sunday 17th May
10.30am Mass of the 6th Sunday of Easter Michael Freeman RIP
5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Rosary & Benediction
Monday of the 6th Week of Easter 18th May
Tuesday of the 6th Week of Easter 19th May
10.00am Mass Bishop Leo McCartie RIP
Wednesday of the 6th Week of Easter 20th May
10.00am Mass John Ball RIP
Thursday – SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD Year A – 21st May
10.00am Mass Dr Marion Murphy RIP
7.00pm Mass For the people of the parish
Friday – St Rita of Cascia – 22nd May
10.00am Mass Fr Anthony Conlon RIP
5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Rosary & Benediction
Saturday of the 6th Week of Easter 23rd May
10.00am Mass Anne & Bernard White: 50th Wedding Ann.
Seventh Sunday of Easter 24th May
Sat 6.30pm Mass Malcolm Saw RIP
Sun 10.30am Mass For the people of the parish
Sun 5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Rosary and Benediction
To watch the parish Liturgy on the internet, either ask Denise to email you the daily link, or go to our parish website and press the link button that reads TAKE ME THERE. Live Masses have the word LIVE printed on the picture on the screen: you click on that and you should be there. Just make sure that it is the correct Mass.
ASCENSION DAY – will be celebrated this coming Thursday 21st May – 40 days after Easter Sunday. Although we are still in lockdown, I will still celebrate the two scheduled Masses at 10.00am and 7.00pm and these will be available on-line.
ST RITA OF CASCIA (1381-1457) – St Rita’s feast day is on Friday 22nd May. She was a remarkable saint who suffered an abusive marriage and after her family died entered religious life, only to experience the stigmata. She led a life of deep prayer and penance and was known for the efficacy of her prayers. She is known as the Saint of the Impossible. We now have a small statue of her in our church – the Friday before he died, my friend Alex went to Westminster Cathedral, although he was unwell, to buy it as a gift to our parish.
PARISH FEAST DAY OF OUR LADY HELP OF CHRISTIANS – Normally we would celebrate our Patronal Solemnity on 24th May. However, this year 24th May is the 7th Sunday of Easter and so our Feast Day is transferred to Thursday 28th May. In the future, when all is safe again, we can make sure we mark the day properly. Mass will be at the normal time that day. We will also pray a Novena to Our Lady Help of Christians from this Wednesday 20th May after every Mass. If you have any intentions you want to pray the Novena for, you can do so during it. You will find the text of the Novena under the Prayers and Reflections tab of the parish website.
From the earliest times, Christians prayed to Mary. She was called Mother of God (in Greek, Theotokos – which literally means the one who gives birth to God). We know this because there is a 3rd Century manuscript with the oldest know prayer to Mary (basically it was written down some time in the 200s AD – which indicates it was probably in use earlier on). This prayer was eventually translated into Latin and today is as follows: We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin. Amen.
Mary was also called Helper in this period and some think that this prayer was used in that connection. Certainly, she was invoked as Helper of Christians by Church Fathers such as St John Chrysostom (347-407), Proclus (412-485) and Sebas of Caesarea in 532. The title became part of the Litany of Loreto. In his visions of the future trials and tribulations of the Church, St John Bosco (Don Bosco) saw that what would be essential to helping the Church through these would be devotion to the Eucharist and devotion to Our Lady: he saw two columns, one with the Blessed Sacrament on top and the other with Our Lady Help of Christians.
So, we have a very special dedication for our church and parish. I hope in this time of lockdown we can entrust ourselves and the parish and everyone in the area to Our Lady’s special help.
RE-OPENING OUR CHURCH – We do not know yet when this will happen. But it may mean for a while Masses being celebrated with social distancing and a need to have a rota of people to assist with daily cleaning of the church after Mass. There are many considerations and we hope to hear soon from the Diocese what this will mean. Before then, it appears we will be able to re-open the church for private prayer in the not-too-distant future. Again, we will have to ensure that the church is compliant with all the Government regulations to minimise transmission of the Coronavirus.
In the meantime, please would you consider ensuring that we have your email on our database? We may have to work out some kind of system for our Masses – for example, we may need to add a Mass on Sundays to fit people in. None of this will be easy, but I am hoping we will be able to pull together to pull it off. However, we will need contact details for parishioners, possibly to begin working out a system of attendance at Masses.
So: if you are not currently receiving a daily email directly from Denise, then it seems that we do not have your email address. If you are currently passing on the email you receive to other parishioners, please would those parishioners also let us have their email address? Finally, if you are aware of parishioners who do not have internet access or have no email address, please could you let us know so that we can contact them by post. The email to contact us on is: firstname.lastname@example.org
REGINA CAELI – this is the Eastertide hymn and prayer to Our Lady which replaces the Angelus. You will have noticed that I have been singing it after Mass. You will find the full text in Latin and English on the parish website under the Prayers and Reflections section.
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION – Even if you are not attending Mass, you can make a Spiritual Communion every day. It is an expressed heartfelt desire to receive Our Lord even when we are unable. In making the prayer, we receive the Lord spiritually. Here is one prayer to make a Spiritual Communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
St Alphonsus Liguori
FOODBANK – Many thanks to all of you who have been so generous in supporting the Food Bank. I have been able to take over to Milton Keynes a good supply to help those in need. A box is left outside the Presbytery door every day for donations of goods such as
- Long Life Juice
- Long Life Milk
- Tinned Rice Pudding / Custard
- Tinned Meat
- Tinned Vegetables
- Tinned Tomatoes
- Pasta Sauce
PARISH SUPPORT – If
you would like to contribute, you can either put the offering through the door
of the Presbytery when you are out for a legitimate trip – if you didn’t collect
your new envelopes, just put down your old envelope number on an envelope with
your initials. If
you would prefer to set up a standing order for donations to your parish using
either your on-line bank account or in your branch, please contact Denise for
the relevant details. Any cheques should be made payable to Our
Lady Help of Christians.
MASS OFFERINGS (STIPENDS) – If you have any Mass intentions to be offered, please contact Fr David, Deacon Peter or Denise. Please do include the full name of the person for whom you want the Mass to be offered, whether they are alive or deceased.
USEFUL WEBSITES: The following could also be helpful during this time of restricted movement. I hope that they help:
http://www.alonetogether.org.uk – a really helpful website to help us through the isolation of the lockdown and to guide us to shape our day spiritually.
http://www.catholic.com – You can lookup Catholic Answers here – find answers to the questions you might have or that others pose to you
http://www.franciscanmedia.com – run by the Franciscans, full of useful videos, blogs and prayers
http://www.sycamore.fm/videos/ – Sycamore is a Catholic course which usually involves groups learning more about their Faith – and it’s British. At the moment the videos for the course are FREE. So do have a look. We might do this course for the parish in the future, if enough people are interested…
PETITION TO RE-OPEN THE CHURCHES – There is a petition to the Government to re-open our churches. If you would like to sign up for it, then do visit the following link where you will find the reasons for the petitions and can choose to sign up if you wish: https://www.citizengo.org/en-gb/rf/179408-open-our-churches-and-restore-worship?tcid=70824988
Instead of my thoughts, I thought we could listen to St Augustine of Hippo (354-430), the greatest official theologian of the Church. This is from one of his sermons:
Today our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; let our hearts ascend with him. Listen to the words of the Apostle: If you have risen with Christ, set your hearts on the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God; seek the things that are above, not the things that are on earth. For just as he remained with us even after his ascension, so we too are already in heaven with him, even though what is promised us has not yet been fulfilled in our bodies.
Christ is now exalted above the heavens, but he still suffers on earth all the pain that we, the members of his body, have to bear. He showed this when he cried out from above: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? and when he said: I was hungry and you gave me food.
Why do we on earth not strive to find rest with him in heaven even now, through the faith, hope and love that unites us to him? While in heaven he is also with us; and we while on earth are with him. He is here with us by his divinity, his power and his love. We cannot be in heaven, as he is on earth, by divinity, but in him, we can be there by love.
He did not leave heaven when he came down to us; nor did he withdraw from us when he went up again into heaven. The fact that he was in heaven even while he was on earth is borne out by his own statement: No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.
These words are explained by our oneness with Christ, for he is our head and we are his body. No one ascended into heaven except Christ because we also are Christ: he is the Son of Man by his union with us, and we by our union with him are the sons of God. So the Apostle says: Just as the human body, which has many members, is a unity, because all the different members make one body, so is it also with Christ. He too has many members, but one body.
Out of compassion for us he descended from heaven, and although he ascended alone, we also ascend, because we are in him by grace. Thus, no one but Christ descended and no one but Christ ascended; not because there is no distinction between the head and the body, but because the body as a unity cannot be separated from the head.
May Our Lady, Help of Christians, who rejoiced at the Resurrection of her Son, St Joseph, St Lawrence and St Rita pray for us all.
With my love and prayers,
Fr David B Barrett