21st-22nd March 2020

Our Lady Help of Christians & St Lawrence, 39-41 West Street, Olney, Bucks, MK46 5HH

21st-22nd March 2020

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Laetare Sunday

Parish Priest – Father David B Barrett – email – olneyparishpriest@icloud.com

Parish Deacon – Rev Peter Griffin – Tel 07850499414 – email – pfgriffin@hotmail.co.uk

Parish Administrator – Denise Wallinger  Tel 01234 711212
email:  ourladysolney@btconnect.com

SVP Contact – Tel 07925 125206

Parish Website: www.ourladysolney.co.uk

NO PUBLIC MASSES are permitted during this time, in order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. This is sad and painful to us all. However, it gives us an opportunity to realise how important the Mass is to us: it is the Christ’s own Sacrifice made present on our altar, the greatest prayer of all.

Mass continues to be offered every day in our church. We can unite ourselves to the offering of the Mass every day and every Sunday. Monday to Saturday it will be celebrated at 10.00am. The two Sunday Masses (Saturday evening at 6.30pm and Sunday morning at 10.30am) will still be celebrated. No-one will be allowed to be in the church during the Mass. The church will be open for private prayer for the rest of the day, beginning from 8.30am until 8.00pm.

If you have any Mass intentions to be offered, please contact Fr David, Deacon Peter or Denise.

This weeks Masses are as follows:

Fourth Sunday of Lent – Laetare Sunday

Saturday 21st March                                                                    6.30pm                For the people of the parish

Sunday 22nd March                                                                      10.30am              John Bugg RIP

Monday 23rd March                                                                     10.00am             

Tuesday 24th March                                                                     10.00am              Curtin family intention

Wednesday 25th March  The Annunciation of the Lord     10.00am              Eileen Hollis RIP

Thursday 26th March                                                                   10.00am              Mary Senior RIP

Friday 27th March                                                                        10.00am              Kathleen & Tony Wilson RIP

Saturday 28th March                                                                    10.00am              Jack Watt RIP

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Saturday 28th March                                                                    6.30pm                For the people of the parish

Sunday 29th March                                                                      10.30am              Ann O’Connor RIP

WE HAVE A PARISH WEBISTE! It is new and it will continue to develop. I am grateful to Enis, a parishioner from High Wycombe, for setting it up. I will continue to publish updates, reflections and prayers on it as time goes on. I hope also to have our Mass here livestreamed. More news on that later. Its address is www.ourladysolney.co.uk

SUPPORTING EACH OTHER – Please continue to keep an eye out for any of our more vulnerable or isolated parishioners – and neighbours too. Please do contact Denise, Deacon Peter, Fr David or a member of the SVP if you feel they could do with some practical support.

PHONE SUPPORT VOLUNTEERS – Would you like to volunteer to telephone those who might just want a chat? If so, please contact Denise on the parish number or her email.

FOODBANK – Please continue to support the foodbank either by dropping off at church – boxes will remain in the porch or use the donation points at supermarkets.

As at March 2020, we are anticipating the following products to be in short supply in our warehouse over the next few months:

  • Long Life Juice
  • Long Life Milk
  • Tinned Rice Pudding / Custard
  • Tinned Meat
  • Tinned Vegetables
  • Tinned Tomatoes
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Spreads

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all mothers of the parish whom we all value and appreciate. We pray also for our mothers who have died. This is not an easy time to celebrate Mothers Day but Motherhood is worth celebrating and a time to be grateful for our mums. I will be praying for you all this Sunday.

PARISH SUPPORT – If you are able to continue to support the church financially during the period of closure please drop your collection through the presbytery door or could you consider setting up a standing order. Please contact Denise via ourladysolney@btconnect.com for bank details.

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

OUR NEW BISHOP Our new Bishop, the Right Reverend David Oakley was ordained last Thursday as the 13th Bishop of Northampton. Let us keep him in our prayers and the whole of our Diocese.

PRAY – Let us pray for each other and look after each other as much as is possible. Pray the Rosary especially, the Divine Mercy at 3.00pm every day and the Prayer to St Michael. Make frequent Spiritual Communions. These prayers are available in church and on the parish website.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or the Parish Administrator if you need further help. Public Liturgy may have been halted but our parish remains open and connected. I remain here and if you need me please do be in touch.


Today is the 4th Sunday of Lent – Laetare Sunday. Laetare is Latin for Rejoice! It is meant to be a day to relax a little from the rigours of Lent. However, here we are together in a situation where it may feel hard to relax or even rejoice. We are suddenly faced with something that appears beyond our control – and that can be scary. Of course, our reaction might be to panic. Panic buying is a way of taking back control – but it is an illusion: all panic buying does to is to spread the panic and to make things more difficult for others. Rather than taking back control, it makes society spin out of further control. Fear and panic make us act irrationally – and this can be dangerous for us and for others.

An antidote to fear and the panic that fear provokes is gratitude. Stop and think of the blessings you have in your life right now – it could be family, a home, a bed, some food, neighbours, sunny weather, the daffodils, the signs of spring, your faith – name them and thank God for each of them. This will anchor you in the present moment, instead of letting your head be filled with thinking about the future, a future which is unknown. The present moment is where we meet God – He wants to meet each one of us, here, now. Gratitude puts us in the presence of God. The past, the present and the future are really in His hands. And Jesus has emphatically assured us, “I am with you always. Yes, until the end of time.” That’s why in the middle of the storms He calls out to His disciples, “It is I! Do not be afraid!”

In the Gospel today, Jesus tells us, “I am the light of the world.” But if we are peering into the darkness of the future, we will not be able to see Jesus our Light shining upon us here and now. If we stay close to Him, walking in His light, He will guide us on our steps forward. That requires faith – and faith isn’t always easy. But it is better than grasping at the straws of trying to control the future. And by walking soberly and calmly with Him in the present moment, maybe the calmer and more sober decisions we make will help to carve out a more serene and healthy future as well.


God bless you all and your families. May Our Lady, Help of Christians, St Joseph and St Lawrence pray for us all, for our health workers, nurses and doctors, for our Governments, for our parish and Diocese and the whole Church – and for all of the world, so in need of God’s grace.

With my love and prayers,

Fr David B Barrett

Parish Priest