4th-5th April 2020

4th-5th April 2020

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Holy Week

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


Many thanks to everyone for all the support and messages for the daily celebration of Mass.

Holy Week begins and there will be the usual Services for this sacred time. Do see the list down below for times – from Thursday onwards there will be no Mass at 10.00am: we will resume the usual timetable during Easter Week. There is no Saturday evening Mass at 6.30pm on Holy Saturday. Instead, the Easter Vigil will begin at 8.00pm.

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.


Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Saturday 4th April                                                             6.30pm                 For the people of the parish

Sunday 5th April                                                                 10.30am               Sharonne van Reyk RIP

Monday 6th April                                                               10.00am               Sr Catherine Scanlon (75th Anniv of

Religious Profession)

Tuesday 7th April                                                               10.00am               Robert & Jonny Donnelly RIP

Wednesday 8th April                                                       10.00am               David Donnelly & Joan Wildman Int


Maundy Thursday 9th April           8.00pm                 Mass of the Lord’s Supper             Larry O’Connor Int

Good Friday 10th April                    3.00pm                 Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion

Holy Saturday 11th April                                 No Services this year apart from the Liturgy of the Hours


Holy Saturday 11th April                 8.00pm                 Easter Vigil                          For the people of the parish

Easter Sunday 12th April                 10.30am               Easter Day Mass               Carol Watt RIP

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

NOVENA OF DIVINE MERCY – You will notice on the parish website that there is a page showing how to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Did you know that from Good Friday there is a special Novena for the Divine Mercy? A Novena is a dedication of 9 days of special prayer. There are many particular Novena prayers in the Church. The Novena of Divine Mercy will begin on Good Friday and end on the 2nd Sunday of Easter, known as Divine Mercy Sunday. You will find the prayers of the Novena on our parish website. Please do join in as we pray for the world at this difficult time.

ABORTION – In the middle of this pandemic, the pro-abortion lobby have been at work. Our Government is allowing the morning-after pill to be taken at home. The United Nations is putting access to abortion as a key part of its aid package to assist with the fight against the coronavirus, seeing it as a human right. At a time when we are trying to save lives, the UN and various pro-abortion organisations, including the EU and our Government, are trying to maintain the right to end life in the womb. Do think about contacting your MP about this matter. Pope John Paul II warned us about the danger of a “culture of death” and how we need to oppose it with the Gospel of Life. For more information om the UN’s actions, do visit https://c-fam.org/friday_fax/abortion-essential-in-uns-2b-covid-19-funding-plan/

FOODBANK – Please continue to support the foodbank either by dropping off at church. Every day I will have a box outside my front door for donations. I check it frequently and am rarely out of the house for more than an hour (once a day, as the Government has ruled!).

As at March 2020, the following products are especially needed in the 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

15th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF POPE ST JOHN PAUL II – On 2nd April this past week, we recalled the death of Pope St John Paul II. The link below will take you to a short documentary recalling that blessed and special time. WE ask St John Paul II for his prayers for the Church and the world at this time – especially for the renewal of our parish, our Diocese and the whole Church in grace and holiness. We pray too for Pope Francis that the Lord will help him in his ministry and help him to be a true and loving Successor of St Peter and Vicar of Christ. The documentary can be found at https://www.romereports.com/en/2020/04/02/remembering-john-paul-iis-final-hours-15-years-later/

PARISH SUPPORT – Denise our Parish Administrator writes: “If you weren’t able to collect your new envelopes from the church but would still like to continue supporting the church could you please put your offering in a plain envelope and include a piece of paper with your old envelope number along with your initials. The information is needed for gift aid purposes.

“If you are making an Easter Offering for Father David please ensure you say it is your Easter Offering. Please either put through the presbytery door or post to the church address.
“Anyone wishing to set up a standing order for donations to your parish using either your on-line bank account or in your branch, please contact me for the relevant details.”

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.

The custom of the Church is that a priest can offer one Mass each day for a stipend. The stipend is your gift to the priest, a donation: the Mass itself has no price to it since it is the priceless Sacrifice of Christ. As the priest, I can have other intentions as well, but I can only have one stipend offered at a Mass. This is why sometimes I cannot always offer an intention on the requested day because it has been booked with a stipend already.

CHILDREN’S LITURGY – CAFOD are now offering a Children’s Liturgy at this time to be found at are doing an online children’s liturgy. The link is https://cafod.org.uk/News/UK-news/Online-liturgy

You can also find materials at this New Zealand website: https://www.aucklandcatholic.org.nz/liturgy/liturgy-of-the-word-with-children/preparation-material-and-liturgy-outlines/

Another useful website for Catholic news and reflections is www.aleteia.org


This Sunday we read the Passion of the Lord from Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew depicts the loneliness of Christ on the cross. A crowd gathered there – passers-by, the chief priests and scribes and elders, even the robbers crucified with Him – all jeer at Him, mock Him and taunt Him. For them, the fact He is on the cross is a sign of failure, a sign that they have won and He has lost. Perhaps, they feel that even Christ’s words on the cross confirm their view: “Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ That is, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’”

Yet Matthew indicates that something very different is going on. At the moment of Christ’s death, we are told, “But Jesus, again crying out in a loud voice, yielded up his spirit.” Jesus doesn’t just pass away on the cross; death doesn’t just happen to Him, His life isn’t taken away. There’s a sense that He gives Himself up completely, that He willingly breathes forth His spirit – and He has done this not to stop the suffering He is going through, but rather to bring it to completion. It puts us in mind of the words of the Letter to the Hebrews (12:2): “For the sake of the joy which was still in the future, He endured the cross, disregarding the shamefulness of it.” He actively engaged in the whole of His suffering and death on the cross for the sake of the joy which lay ahead.

What was that joy? Well, here it would be worth looking at those words that Jesus cries out on the cross: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”) Jesus was in fact quoting Psalm 21 (or 22 in some versions). Have a look at it in your bible. You will find that it is a complete prophecy of the death of Christ. The Psalmist writes:

All who see me deride me.

They curl their lips, they toss their heads.

‘He trusted in the Lord, let him save him;

let him release him if this is his friend. (v.8-9)

Like water I am poured out,

disjointed are all my bones.

My heart has become like wax,

It is melted within my breast.

Parched as burned clay is my throat,

my tongue cleaves to my jaws.

Many dogs have surrounded me,

a band of the wicked beset me.

They tear holes in my hands and my feet

and lay me in the dust of death.

I can count every one of my bones.

These people stare at me and gloat;

they divide my clothing among them.

They cast lots for my robe. (v.15-19)

When Jesus said those words on the cross He wasn’t crying out in some kind of despair: He was making the words of the Psalm His own. He was living out the words in the Psalm that prophesied this death. The Psalm passes from words of pain and desolation to words of triumph, of exaltation and resurrection:

                I will tell of your name to my brethren

and praise you where they are assembled. (v.23)

All the earth shall remember and return to the Lord. (v.28)

Here is the joy that lies in the future: Jesus will assemble all His brothers and sisters around Him and the whole world will return to the Lord. The word for “the assembly” of His brothers and sisters is the word we use for the Church. The Church – all of us – we are the joy which lay in the future; we are the joy for whose sake Christ yielded up His life on the cross. We are His brothers and sisters not because we belong to the same nation but because we are assembled by Christ and joined to Him through our faith and baptism. The Mass is the great moment when the Church, the being assembled by Christ, happens most of all.

At the moment we are unable to be physically at Mass. But each time it is celebrated, we are there spiritually and we are assembled together by Christ. Presently we are participating spiritually. Maybe we are learning a little more how to participate not just externally at Mass but internally as well – offering our lives and selves together with Christ, worshiping in spirit and in truth.

We all look forward to the joy of being assembled at Mass physically. Hopefully this lockdown is helping us to renew our appreciation of the importance of the Mass for our lives. The Mass is the joy which lay in the future for Jesus. Every time we are there, we take part in His offering of Himself that He made on Calvary – and we receive Him in Holy Communion: the whole Christ, the real Christ.

Maybe we do not find much joy in this lockdown. But we can look forward to the joy of being freed from it and of being able to come to the Mass again to participate fully. Like Jesus, we can endure this time of isolation and make it our offering in love to the Lord: our worship, our sacrifice. All for the joy that lies in the future. That joy will come. That joy is Jesus. Come, Lord Jesus.

God bless you all and your families this Holy Week. May Our Lady, Help of Christians, who stood at the foot of the Cross 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 mercy. Let’s keep praying for each other and supporting those in need.

With my love and prayers,

Fr David B Barrett

Parish Priest