Seventh Sunday of Easter
Parish Priest – Father David B Barrett – email – email@example.com
Parish Deacon – Rev Peter Griffin – Tel 07850499414 – email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrator – Denise Wallinger Tel 01234 711212
SVP Contact – Tel 07925 125206
Parish Website: www.ourladysolney.co.uk
SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
We will recite the Rosary every day after Mass during the month of May
Saturday 23rd May
6.30pm Mass of the 7th Sunday of Easter Malcolm Saw RIP
Sunday 24th May
10.30am Mass of the 7th Sunday of Easter For the people of the parish
5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Rosary & Benediction
Monday 25th May: St Bede the Venerable
Tuesday26th May: St Philip Neri
10.00am Mass Watson & Rix families RIP
Wednesday 27th May: Feast of St Augustine, Apostle of England
10.00am Mass Patrick & Bridget Butler RIP
Thursday 28th May – PARISH PATRONAL SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
10.00am Mass Canon Denis McSweeney RIP
Friday of the 7th Week of Easter 29th May: Pope St Paul VI
10.00am Mass Archie Lyte RIP
5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Rosary & Benediction
Saturday of the 7th Week of Easter 30th May
10.00am Mass Fr John Glen RIP
Sat 6.30pm Mass For the people of the parish
PENTECOST 31st May
Sun 9.45am Rosary (Pentecost Sunday National Rosary Rally)
Sun 10.30am Mass Mary Hurley Int.
Sun 5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Evening Prayer 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.
PARISH FEAST DAY OF OUR LADY HELP OF CHRISTIANS – Normally our Patronal Solemnity would be celebrated on 24th May. However, our Feast Day has been transferred to Thursday 28th May as 24th May coincides with the 7th Sunday of Eastertide. Mass will be celebrated at 10.00am when we shall also end our Novena to Our Lady Help of Christians which began last Wednesday 20th May. You will find the text of the Novena under the Prayers and Reflections tab of the parish website.
Last week I described the early origins of this title for Our Lady. Devotion to Mary was a hallmark of the life of the early Christians. After all, when Mary visited Elizabeth (as told in Luke’s Gospel 1:39-56), Elizabeth – inspired by the Holy Spirit and a leap in the womb by John the Baptist – cried out to Mary, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” These words from Scripture form part of the Hail, Mary. Mary the replied with a hymn of praise of God – known as the Magnificat. In it, she says, “Henceforth, all generations will call me blessed!” Calling Mary “Blessed” then finds its confirmation in the Bible – but the early Christians already reverenced her before the New Testament of the Bible was finally assembled by the Church.
Our parish Feast Day is celebrated usually on 24th May. It was given this day because this was the date in 1814 when Pope Pius VII re-entered Rome after having being held as prisoner by Napoleon from 1808. His predecessor Pope Pius VI had died a prisoner of Napoleon in France in 1799. Napoleon doesn’t seem to have been a great or pleasant host! Pope Pius VII instituted the Feast on 24th May because it marked the beginning of the end of so much distress for the Church across Europe since the French Revolution – and he knew that Our Lady’s help was essential to Christians in any kind of distress, difficulty and temptation. Pius VII was considered a hero, almost a living martyr, for the way he suffered at the hands of Napoleon while withstanding Bonaparte’s threats. He died in 1823. Currently a Cause to canonise him is underway.
The Second Vatican Council in the 1960s taught the following about Our Lady, and it seems appropriate for this title of hers which is given to our parish: “By her maternal charity, Mary cares for the brothers and sisters of he Son who still wander through this world in the midst of dangers and difficulties until they are led to the happiness of their heavenly home.”
Happy Feast Day to you all! I hope you can celebrate it in some special way.
ROSARY ON PENTECOST SUNDAY TO TAKE PLACE AT 9.45am – Our Diocese has been given the time slot of 9.00-10.00am on Pentecost Sunday to pray the Rosary as part of a National Rosary Rally. The intentions of this day are: for faith, sanctity of life, and peace to prevail in our nations; for an end to the COVID-19 virus, the sickness it causes, and its effects that prevent us living life in abundance (cf. John 10:10); for the protection of the common good, and people’s economic livelihoods; that the Holy Spirit will preserve us from disaster and war.
RE-OPENING OUR CHURCH – We do not know yet when this will happen. But it appears the first phase will involve opening the church for people to pop in for private prayer. We will need to ensure the church is compliant with Government regulations to minimise any transmission of the virus. This will probably involve having some volunteers who would agree to be in the church during the times it is opened – to ensure it is clean and that visitors maintain safety protocols.
We have no timeline for this. Through Denise’s good work, we have nearly all the items needed to maintain compliant hygiene practice. However, we will only open the church when we are sure we have got it right and are following the regulations. Initially, we will probably open on Thursdays and Sundays for a couple of hours each time, just to see how things go.
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: email@example.com
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.
Instead of my thoughts, we turn again to St Augustine of Hippo (354-430), preaching about the great Easter word, Alleuia:
Let us sing alleluia here on earth, while we are still anxious and worrying, so that we may one day be able to sing it there in heaven, without any worry or care. Why anxious and worrying here? You must want me to be anxious, Lord, when I read, Is not man’s life on earth a trial and a temptation? You must want me to worry when temptation is so plentiful that the Prayer itself tells us to worry, when we say, Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us. Every day we are petitioners, every day we are trespassers. Do you want me to throw care to the winds, Lord, when every day I am requesting pardon for sins and assistance against dangers? After all, when I have said, because of past sins, Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us, I must immediately go on to add, because of future dangers, Lead us not into temptation. And how can a people be in a good way, when they cry out with me, Deliver us from evil? And yet, my brethren, in this time that is still evil, let us sing alleluia to the good God, who does deliver us from evil.
Even here, among the dangers, among the trials and temptations of this life, both by others and by ourselves let alleluia be sung. God is faithful, he says, and he will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able to endure. So even here let us sing alleluia. Man is still a defendant on trial, but God is faithful. He did not say “he will not permit you to be tempted” but he will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able to endure; and with the temptation he will also make a way out, so that you may be able to endure it. You have entered into temptation; but God will also make a way out so that you do not perish in the temptation; so that like a potter’s jar you may be shaped by the preaching and fired into strength by the tribulation. But when you enter the temptation, bear in mind the way out: because God is faithful, God will watch over you and guard your going in and your coming out.
Furthermore, when this body has become immortal and imperishable, when all temptation has been done away with; because the body is dead – why is it dead? – Because of sin. But the spirit is life, because of justice. So do we leave the body dead, then? No, but listen: But if the Spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead dwells within you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies. So you see: now the body receives its life from the soul, but then it will receive it from the Spirit.
Oh! what a happy alleluia there, how carefree, how safe from all opposition, where nobody will be an enemy, where no-one will ever cease to be a friend! God’s praises sung there, sung here – here, by the anxious; there, by the carefree – here, by those who will die; there, by those who will live for ever – here, in hope; there, in reality – here, on our journey; there, in our homeland.
So now, my brethren, let us sing, not to delight our leisure, but to ease our toil. In the way that travellers are in the habit of singing, sing, but keep on walking. What does it mean, “keep on walking”? Go onward always – but go onward in goodness, for there are, according to the Apostle, some people who go ever onward from bad to worse. If you are going onward, you are walking; but always go onward in goodness, onward in the right faith, onward in good habits and behaviour. Sing, and walk onwards.
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