27th Week of Ordinary Time – Year A

Hello again,

With news of ever-increasing numbers of people being tested positive for Covid 19 throughout the UK – BUT, not in our part of the world, which all the more reason why we should continue to act sensibly and follow the guidelines and legislation, even though at times it appears wasteful to clean the churches after every Mass, using lots of materials that have to disposed of immediately – and most certainly not re-used. In the long run, surely it’s a minimal price to pay to keep us all safe?

LIVE STREAMING OF MASS:

We have begun at last! The Vigil Mass was ‘streamed’ last Saturday evening at the usual time of 6.00 pm., though without a Congregation, in accordance with the regulations. If people had been invited to participate, somebody would have had to remain after Mass and ‘deep clean’ the building in order for the Sunday morning Mass to be celebrated. Should we be fortunate to have enough Stewards to undertake this measure, we could certainly invite People to use our telephone system to request places at this Mass. Until such happy time arises – we shall continue to ‘stream’ the Vigil Mass minus a Congregation.

With this new technology in place, we were able to ‘stream’ the Sunday morning 11.00 Mass and this time with our ‘distanced’ Congregation. It is so much more natural to celebrate Mass with People able to respond at the requisite times.

We have opted for the system that allows 24-hour access to view the sanctuary area of St. Mary’s. It is also possible to relay ‘sound’ at all times. After Mass yesterday I left music playing and candles lit on the altar, in case anyone would wish to spend time in quiet prayer and reflection. I turned the music off at 9.00 pm. – and extinguished the candles for reasons that will be obvious.

We can adopt the same procedure next week, with the possibility of a period of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and later, what do you think of a ‘Benediction Service’ on a regular basis? Any other suggestions from you will be gladly entertained.

ALLOCATION OF PLACES AT MASS:

Several people had to be refused entrance to both churches yesterday because they simply turned up and expected to attend Mass, as in the ‘old days’ – which, for reasons we all accept, is no longer possible for us. Furthermore, it is likely that these restrictions are going to be with us for quite some time in the interests of the safety of all Parishioners. I also received a phone call yesterday asking if Mass was being celebrated at the usual time. The person had not heard that we have been forced to adhere to a ‘booking’ policy, using the two dedicated phone numbers, in order to request a place at Mass. There was no problem or protest, and I passed on the relevant contact number. As the Person pointed out, the information had not previously been available, due to lack of internet connection. There must be more People in the same boat, and despite all our efforts to keep people informed through various social media platforms, there is still a place for ‘word of mouth’. So, if we could, ‘all of us’, relay useful bits of information in our conversations and numerous telephone calls, then the news will spread that bit further?

BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS:

I’m sure everyone will want to join in wishing MARY WARD a very happy 90 th Birthday this week. Over the years, Mary and her Family have contributed enormously to the well-being of Parishioners and to the upkeep of the fabric of the church. ‘Ad multos annos’ is the traditional response – (‘Many more years…………………………)

In a similar vein we wish Jean O’Brien a belated 90 th birthday (her birthday was at the start of Lock down) and are glad to hear she is recovering well from a recent eye operation. Jean is another stalwart of the parish who has contributed so generously over the years to parish life in so many, many ways.

REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS

Prayers please for Mrs Tina Stait, of Sedbury (but with strong family connections with our parish), who was anointed last week at this stage of her journey of faith.

Keep well, keep safe and let’s keep each other in our prayers

Fr. Michael