Fourth Sunday of Easter
Good Shepherd Sunday: Day of Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood
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
EASTER SEASON LITURGIES VIA YOUTUBE.
FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
We will recite the Rosary every day after Mass during the month of May
Saturday 2nd May
6.30pm Mass of the 4th Sunday of Easter For the people of the parish
Sunday 3rd May
10.30am Mass of the 3rd Sunday of Easter Alexander Roberts RIP
5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Vespers & Benediction
Monday – Feast of the Martyrs of England & Wales – 4th May
Tuesday of the 4th Week of Easter 5th May
10.00am Mass Tony Roche RIP
Wednesday of the 4th Week of Easter 6th May
10.00am Mass Brian Tattershall & Sarah Coll RIP
Thursday of the 4th Week of April 7th May
10.00am Mass Anna Barlow RIP & her family’s intentions
Friday of the 4th Week of Easter 8th May
10.00am Mass Tony Roche RIP
5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Rosary & Benediction
Saturday of the 4th Week of Easter 9th May
10.00am Mass Eberheart Suninger Int
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Sat 6.30pm Mass For the people of the parish
Sun 10.30am Mass Margaret Donnelly RIP
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.
HOLY HOUR ON SUNDAY – At 5.00pm we will be holding Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Evening Prayer and Benediction. The prayers for Evening Prayer (also known as Vespers) and the for Benediction will be available on the Prayers and Reflections part of the parish website. It is a time for prayer and praise of the Lord Jesus, for quiet reflection and intercession for the Church, our country and our world, and for all who are dear to us.
HOLY HOUR ON FRIDAY 8th MAY – a time to continue our dedication of this month of May to Our Lady. This will be a time of quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament with Rosary and Benediction. It will begin at 5.00pm.
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 – Many thanks to all of you for your prayerful support over the past few weeks. Thanks too for all those who have been supporting the parish with financial contributions: it does help to keep the place going. I know that these are very uncertain times for all of us.
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.
CAFOD EMERGENCY APPEAL – CAFOD launched its coronavirus emergency appeal on 30 April. The effects of coronavirus on developing countries where CAFOD works are likely to be devastating. Families without enough to eat and without access to clean water and healthcare are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. The poorest and most marginalised communities will be pushed further into poverty. Your prayers and gifts are needed now more than ever to help protect the lives of those in poor communities. While we are not able to hold physical collections in our church, we can donate as individuals at cafod.org.uk/coronavirusappeal
Today we pray for more vocations to the priesthood. We do so because Jesus told us to – “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to His harvest” (Matthew 9:38). Why? Because “the harvest is great but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37).
Yes, the harvest is great. It is great because so many people do not know Jesus Christ. They haven’t had the opportunity of meeting the real Lord Jesus. Some are afraid that faith in Jesus will somehow diminish their lives. But the truth is exactly the opposite.
In the Gospel today Jesus tells us clearly His purpose in becoming man: “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.” There is nothing diminishing about a relationship with Jesus. He wishes to embrace and fulfil every aspect of our lives. Indeed, He wants to remove from our lives anything that really does diminish us.
Our society has so much good in it. However, it does suffer from a tendency to reduce human beings to being one thing. Some see us as just physical beings, with no spiritual aspect. Others see us as consumers or just as units which make up the economy. Others see society as fundamentally political, about a play for power, and see human relationships within that framework. Others believe that we are just individuals who owe nothing to the past and who can make up our own truth about who we are and who we want to be.
However, this lockdown poses important questions to everyone. It makes us face ourselves without any of the normal props or distractions which are part of daily life. It shows us that we are relational – we need others, we need each other. We are not just individuals – we are persons in relationships always. We are persons who have received existence from others and who help to form a whole network of society: we pass on to others what we have received. We cannot just make up our own truth. We are more than consumers – we are only allowed to shop once a week and we discover that there is more to life than buying and selling. We are more than just units of the economy since we are being asked to put care for others ahead of the immediate demands of the economy – and this means that we know that life is about more than politics and having power. We are more than just physical beings because we find that there is a yearning within us for relationship. We are discovering that material things are not the absolute necessity we thought they were – they are important but our lives are not fulfilled by just having things.
Any tendency to reduce us to any of these things ends up limiting us. The beautiful thing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that He does not scorn any of these things: rather, He embraces them and He puts them into their true perspective. He shows us how we can live a life which is free from being reduced to any of these views, of being limited by them. He reveals that the horizon of human life is the beautiful life of God Himself. God has called us into existence so that we could make our way to the rich pastures of eternity. Reducing life to any of these other perspectives ends up devaluing the grandeur of the human person. It sends us down a cul-de-sac instead of discovering the upland horizons of living by God’s grace.
Yes, Jesus has come to give us life to the full. In the Gospel today, He reveals Himself as the Gate and also the Shepherd who will lead us, the sheep, out of the limits of our enclosure to find good pasture. He promises us real freedom. He wants us to bring all the elements of our lives to Him – our social life, our family life, our relationships, our work, our leisure, our economy, our society – everything. Like a giant jigsaw, He will make sure that everything is in its right place: no piece will be lost; no piece will dominate the others. After all, as St Paul says, “all things were made through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17)
For this reason, today we pray for more vocations to the priesthood. The priest is called to bring Christ who is our Life to people, to make Him available through the Faith we proclaim, through the sacraments we offer, and through the life of faith, hope and love which characterises the Church. As in every life, being a priest has its challenges and its sacrifices. Yet it is also a deeply fulfilling life – a thrilling one where we are Christ’s living instruments in bringing people to the fullness of life. It involves a life of prayer and of action. It is a life of loving people with Christ’s own personal love. It is also a life where we are very aware of our limitations but where we know that Jesus always makes up our deficit with merciful generosity. It is about being an ikon of Jesus Christ in a world that needs the full colour of His grace. It is a life where we remember that we too are sheep called upon to lead other sheep to the richest pastures of all – and we do so by hearing the Shepherd call out to each of us, saying, “Follow me!”
Today we pray that many others will hear that call and so offer themselves in the great work of leading people to the Harvest of eternal joy.
May Our Lady, Help of Christians, who rejoiced at the Resurrection of her Son, St Joseph and St Lawrence pray for us all, for all in the Health Service, for our Governments, for our parish and Diocese and the whole Church – and for all of the world. Let’s continue to support and pray for each other and those in need.
With my love and prayers,
Fr David B Barrett