Parish Priest – Father David B Barrett – email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Deacon – Rev Peter Griffin – Tel 07850499414 – email – email@example.com
Parish Administrator – Denise Wallinger Tel 01234 711212
SVP Contact – Tel 07925 125206
Parish Website: www.ourladysolney.co.uk
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Saturday 4th July
6.30pm Vigil Mass Caroline Saw RIP
Sunday 5th July
Sun 10.30am Mass For the people of the parish
Monday 6th July: St Maria Goretti, Virgin & Martyr
10.00am Mass Michael Freeman RIP
Tuesday7th July: 14th Week of Ordinary Time
10.00am Mass Lena van Arkadie Int. (sick)
Wednesday 8th July: 14th Week of Ordinary Time
10.00am Mass Patrick Corcoran RIP
11.15am Internment of Ashes (W’boro) Jean Griffin
Thursday 9th July: St Augustine Zhao-Rong & Companions, Martyrs
10.00am Mass Olga Ayles RIP
2.00pm Funeral Service (Cemetery) Sheila Lack
Friday 10th July: 14th Week of Ordinary Time
10.00am Mass Murphy Family RIP
5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Rosary & Benediction
Saturday 11th July: ST BENEDICT, ABBOT, PATRON OF EUROPE
10.00am Mass Deacon Peter Griffin Int.
Sat 6.30pm Mass For the people of the parish
Sunday 12th July: 15th SUNDAY OF THE YEAR (A)
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.
EXPOSITION, ROSARY AND BENEDICTION – every Friday at 5.00pm. We will continue to pray the Rosary after Mass each weekday.
RE-OPENING OUR CHURCH – Our church is open for private prayer from 11.00am to 1.00pm on Thursdays and from 4.00pm to 6.00pm on Sundays. Everything continues to be going well. It is lovely to see parishioners coming into the church to pray.
The Re-opening Guidelines for our Parishioners are now available on the parish website: they are a guide to what each parishioner needs to do when they visit the church – and we ask that each visitor will comply with them. The stewards will be present to give any assistance or guidance necessary.
I am very grateful to Denise and Deacon Peter for their hard work in getting this together. A big thank you to all who have volunteered for the cleaning and stewarding. If you have any questions, please contact Denise on the parish office email or Deacon Peter on firstname.lastname@example.org
SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION – If anyone would like to go to Confession, please do contact me by email or call round to the presbytery. Confessions will not be held in the confessional but in a safe place and with appropriate distancing, in compliance with the guidelines.
PUBLIC MASSES AND LITURGIES – We are hoping to be able to celebrate public Masses in the near future. Before we do so, we need to make sure that we have everything properly organised. I am grateful to Denise and Deacon Peter for their generous work with this.
The obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended by our Bishop. When we begin to celebrate public Mass, you may wish to think of a day in the week when you might want to attend.
Deacon Peter has kindly been putting together Guidelines for when we come to Mass again: they are based on the Government’s regulations and the requirements of the Bishop. They will soon be available on the parish website.
We may need your address details and your email address. Please do contact Denise to ensure that we have them on the system. Your details will only be used in connection with parish matters and will never be passed to any third party. We may have to use these details for organising public Masses especially for weekends. Any sign-in sheets for a Mass would be kept for 3 weeks in order to comply with the Government’s Track and Trace programme.
If you know any 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
We may need some more volunteers to help with cleaning the church after public Masses. If you would like to be on a rota for cleaning, please contact Denise on: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am grateful for the suggestions and offers of a number of parishioners with planning for public Masses. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to be in touch.
ANGELUS –Traditionally this prayer is said first thing in the morning, and then at midday and finally at 6.00pm. You will find the text of the Angelus on the parish website.
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 supporting the Food Bank. They are very grateful for the support of people from Olney – Catholics, Anglicans and others. The donation box remains outside the presbytery door every day and is checked often. The Food Bank needs donations of goods such as
- Long Life Juice
- Long Life Milk
- Tinned Rice Pudding / Custard
- Tinned Meat
- Tinned Vegetables
- Tinned Tomatoes
- Pasta Sauce
YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE – Would you like to deepen your spiritual life? There are many resources available, especially on the internet. One of these is the Avila Foundation which has blogs, articles, videos, podcasts and radio programmes designed to help us to live our Faith, rooted in God’s grace and in a solid prayer life. Please do have a look at the website: https://spiritualdirection.com/
ISSUES AROUND LIFE – The lockdown has seen a growth in activism by those who are undermining the right to life of the unborn child. The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child has asked if we would consider lobbying our MPs concerning the use of human cell-lines taken from aborted children in developing COVIC-19 vaccines. The following is taken from a letter from Dr Anthony McCarthy, SPUC Director of Research:
“I am writing to you on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), the oldest and largest pro- life organisation in the UK. We represent the concerns of tens of thousands of members across the UK, which are shared by a significant sector of the population at large.
“As you will know, scientists across the globe are currently seeking to develop vaccines in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This laudable goal is being attempted by various means, some of which raise, however, ethical problems.
“Some, but by no means all, of the vaccines in development for Covid-19 (e.g. the vaccine currently being developed by a team at the University of Oxford) involve the use of foetal cell lines. In contrast, other vaccines being worked on either do not involve cell lines at all (a team at Imperial College London are working on one such ‘synthetic’ vaccine) or alternatively involve plant or animal cells.
“In contrast the contentious foetal cell lines originate in tissue sourced from abortions. One such cell-line used in Covid-19 vaccine research is the HEK 293 cell-line derived from foetal tissue from an abortion in the 1970s, while another is the PER C6 cell-line from an 18-week old unborn child aborted in 1985.
“While I appreciate that using such a cell-line is not the same as using foetal tissue itself, which involves close liaison with the abortion provider on the part of those collecting the tissue and making it available, use of foetal cell-lines created from such tissue can nonetheless pose problems of conscience for those who may eventually be offered the vaccine.
“For those of us who see the original abortion as the unjustified taking of the life of the unborn child, such use of the products of abortion, even a cell line derived from the original tissue, risks sending out a harmful social message concerning the value of early human life and of the mother-child bond. Even those not opposed to all abortion may well have serious and substantial moral concerns over practices which seem to treat opportunistically the remains of an aborted unborn child. Moreover, some women who have abortions and who regret their decision may be negatively impacted by such use of their unborn child’s tissue for cell-line creation, even if they consented at the time.
“It is clearly in the interests of all that a vaccine acceptable to all be supported and made available. We are writing to you today to ask that any non-foetally developed vaccines be made generously available to all who need them, and that work on such vaccines be given priority in research funding.
“Society needs to respect the consciences of its members who uphold the inviolability of human life from conception and who do not wish to be involved in anything they may see as complicit with the unjust taking of such life. It is disappointing that in the past ethically developed vaccines have not been available to those who have needed them, even when such alternative vaccines existed as in many cases they do for various conditions. Many people have serious objections to the use of vaccines developed from procedures which undermine the ethical practice of medicine.”
The letter concludes: “We look forward to hearing from you at this difficult time when we are all seeking life-saving options and would be happy to discuss these issues further should you wish.”
There is also going to be an attempt on Monday 6th July to extend abortion even further in this country using two amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill. It would basically bring in abortion on demand upto 28 weeks. Please think about taking 30 seconds to lobby your MP. It does not take long to do. You can send the letter through the following website: https://righttolife.org.uk/StopExtremeAbortion/
I do not think that it is any coincidence that in a culture such as ours, which has eroded more and more the right to life of the unborn child, we have seen decisions taken which left the elderly more at risk of catching COVID-19 in Care Homes. The right to life is the most fundamental right of all – it is from the gift of life that all other human rights flow. Please do be part of fighting for a Culture of Life and a Civilisation of Love, as the great Pope St John Paull II put it.
PARISH SUPPORT – If you would like to contribute, you can either put the offering through the door of the Presbytery – 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.
In today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel Jesus lets us into His prayer to His Father. It is a prayer of praise of God the Father: “I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children.” Yes, Jesus praises and blesses His Father. But there is also a note of delight in what He says: Jesus appears to rejoice that God’s ways are so different from normal human expectations. It is a deep delight, a profound and yet exuberant joy in beholding how different God’s ways are to human ways. Of course, this deep joy within Jesus is none other than the Holy Spirit who is the delight and joy that the Father and Son have in each other: no wonder that in Luke’s Gospel this passage begins with the words, “In that same hour He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit” (Lk 10:21).
To praise God and to delight in what He has done – this is a fundamental part of prayer. During Mass, many of our prayers recount what God has done for the world, for the Church and for us and they do so praising Him for this. When we love someone, we will often praise them and just delight in them. This is true with God as well. Our prayer is good when we ask God for things because it shows our trust in Him. But it becomes even better when we thank and praise Him, when we delight in what He has done for us. Learning to look at our lives and our day with a praising and thanking mind and spirit is a key way not only to express our love for God – it also helps to feed that love and expand it.
Praising and thanking people around us can also feed our relationships. It builds others up and encourages them. It also helps us to appreciate how everything in our lives is a grace, a sheer gift. At the moment, in social media and in general, our culture is largely a culture of demands, of self-centred entitlement, of anger and rage, of fear, of criticism and attack, attempts to destroy the characters of others and a barrage of hatred of those who differ in opinion. This should not surprise us – when a society forgets God, it forgets the joy of life as a beautiful gift from God. It becomes prey to all sorts of fears and a place where all that matters is what individuals can get for themselves. This is not to say that everything is bad and dreadful. These is a lot of generosity and goodness and service that goes on. However, sadly, these are often drowned out by the clamour of anger and fear and demands for a perfection which is impossible to attain. It is no surprise to see so many people suffering from low self-esteem.
Jesus invites us to the path of love. It is a demanding path but also a fulfilling one. If we praise and thank God for His gifts to us every day, we will realise that we are loved by Him more and more. The more we are generous in our love of God and of others, the more fulfilled and complete we will become, our rougher edges will be smoothed out, and we will flourish into the kind of persons we would really like to be. The path begins with prayer – with acknowledging and becoming aware of God’s love for us, how much He has done for us and continues to do. Spending part of our prayer time praising and thanking God is crucial to our spiritual life – and a support for our sanity in difficult times and throughout our lives.
When things do get tough for us, when we “labour and are over-burdened”, there is a safe harbour for us in Jesus. “Come to me!” says Jesus to each one of us. In difficult times such as ours, it is easy to be swept up by the turmoil around us and to drink too deeply of the fear and anger. It’s essential to go to Him who is “gentle and humble in hearts” so that we can find rest for our souls. We need that rest. Anything that is stirring us up to anger and fear is not good. We need to go to the place of peace which is actually a Person – the Prince of Peace. It is not difficult to go to Him because He is always with us. He says, “Come to me!” and all we need to do is to say His name: “Jesus.”
And we will shoulder His yoke with Him. What is that yoke? It is the yoke of love, the cross He carried in love for us, the freedom to love and not just be controlled by selfish passions. We all have crosses. But if we carry ours in union with Jesus carrying His, He will support us, encourage us, give peace to our soul and, through all this, He will transform our cross into a tree of life whose fruit will never fade. We don’t need to carry the burden of life alone. Jesus says, “Come to me! Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.” It is from Jesus we learn to carry our crosses. It is from Him we are given the grace to be raised up as He was on Easter Day. He shows us the best way to live life. Staying close to Jesus is the key to finding rest for our souls.
May Our Lady, Help of Christians, St Joseph, Ss Peter and Paul, St Lawrence, and St Rita pray for us all.
With my love and prayers,
Fr David B Barrett