33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
Sunday 15 November 2020
World Day of the Poor
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Message from Canon Kristian
The first week of the national lockdown has passed and the possibility of a viable vaccine is now on the horizon. However, although there is now cause for hope that our days of having to keep distance from each other will come to an end in the not-too-distant future, we know that the virus is still very active in the wider community and remains a serious threat to life, especially for the most vulnerable amongst us. So, whilst continuing to pray for an end of the pandemic – uniting our prayers to those of people of all faiths at 6pm each day – and abiding as faithfully as we can to the present restrictions on movement and gathering, let us live these days with positivity and patience, drawing on that living water from the deep wells of our faith in the presence of the Risen Christ even in the darkness and most challenging times. Above all, out of love, let us maintain our vigilance on those of our neighbours and friends, and on those in our parish community, who are particularly physically or mentally vulnerable at this time due to isolation and loneliness. Our Church Year draws to a close in just a few weeks, heralding the promise of new beginnings and a refreshed focus on the coming of “God-with-us”, whose presence permeates every human life and the whole of creation. Although we will be unable to mark the start of this new Year of Faith together in church, we can still do so both as individuals and together as the Body of Christ in which we all remain spiritually united whatever our physical circumstances. We can – and indeed our Christian faith requires it – look to the future with confidence.
As usual, the Newsletter comes to you with a number of documents, provided in PDF formats where possible. I know that not all of these will be relevant or of interest to everyone, but it is one of the beauties of electronic communication that each of us is free to read and/or download only those things which are. So I try to include as much information as I can, so that everyone has the chance to be as informed and involved as they can be in the life of the parish and of the wider Church and community.
Amongst the items in the Newsletter and the accompanying items, I would like to highlight the following:
- Prayer: Along with the request to maintain the prayer of the Angelus at 6pm each day, our prayer for the Holy Souls and our reflection of the Sunday Gospel, we are being asked to join in a special moment of Eucharistic Adoration next Saturday, 21 November, to pray for each other and for the International Eucharistic Congress that is due to take place in Budapest next year. Although this request initially came from Cardinal Péter Erdö, the Archbishop of Budapest-Esztergom, it has received the backing of the Holy Father as a worldwide initiative and one which our own Bishops strongly support. To enable as many of you as possible to spend some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament that day, there will be two periods of exposition in the morning from 11am-12noon and in the evening from 6.00-7.00pm.
- Social Action: This Sunday is the World Day of the Poor. The Newsletter contains a number of items that can help focus our prayer and action on this intention. Caritas Plymouth provides some ways of engaging with the teaching of the Pope’s recent Encyclical on Global Fraternity and Social Friendship as well as some important signposting details with regards to those who are suffering financially as a result of the pandemic. On a local level there is a reminder of the Christmas Appeal of CHAT Foodbank and, on an international level, an update of the work of CAFOD.
- Safeguarding: The Report concluding the investigation of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) into the Catholic Church in this country was published this week. It makes for difficult and distressing reading. There can be no excuse for the abusive behaviour – sexual or in any form – of priests and others in positions of trust in the Church and for the failures in leadership, particularly the tendency to prioritise the Church’s reputation over the needs of victims, the unwillingness to listen to and believe them, and the attempts at cover-up. The fact that the great majority of sexual abuse uncovered by the investigation took place in the past should not lead us into a false sense of security either. Of its very nature, the sexual abuse of children often only comes to light many years after the event itself, the effects of child abuse are devastating and on-going for the person abused and many of the structures and attitudes that allowed the abuse to happen and to go unchecked are still present in the Church today. Both Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have called for the prior and essential need for a thorough-going conversion with hearts and minds in the Church with regards to the reality and impact of sexual abuse before the conversion of structures. The Report has underlined that this primary change of attitude within our Church still has a long way to go and that the rate of change over the last twenty year has been far too slow. So, before embarking on another round of structural change, we are all being invited to listen more attentively to those who have been abused and to find ways of giving their voice a central place in the process of change in the Church. A difficult, but necessary, journey lies ahead of us. The Statement on behalf of all the Bishops and England and Wales is available to read online here along with a video message from Cardinal Vincent Nichols. The statement can also be downloaded to read off line here, whilst a Pastoral Message from Bishop Mark is also available from our website. A list of important safeguarding contacts is also provided on our parish website which has also been updated to give greater prominence to the important place of safeguarding in our parish community. We are all responsible for making our parish community a safe place for children and vulnerable adults, but I want to express my gratitude to our three Parish Safeguarding Representatives for their work in ensuring that we continue to make this a priority.
- Finance and Fund-raising: I am really grateful for those who have already changed their parish giving from Gift Aid Envelopes to a Standing Order. This is vitally important so that we can continue to be a sustainable parish community on a financial level, as well as to reduce the risk of the spread of infection to those volunteers who have to count and bank money. If you haven’t already done so, I would urge of all you who can to make the change to a Standing Order and the guidance and documentation to help you to do this is available by contacting the parish office. In addition to using our contactless facility at church for those who cannot set up a Standing Order, our parish website has also been updated with ways in which you can also make a donation online (https://stjameschurchtiverton.org.uk/support-us/). As our thoughts begin to turn towards the Festive Season please see the poster of a number of Christmas Novelties which will be available for sale at church to help raise parish funds. Margaret Found has generously offered to take orders for these too by email and to bring them to church ready for collection for those who would like to do this. I am sure that, for those who might be unable to get to church due to the pandemic or for other reasons, we will be able to find ways to deliver them to your door as well.
Finally, in order to sustain our prayer and reflection during Advent, we have purchased the daily reflection books “Walk with me” and “Day by day”. Those who are able to get to church will be able to pick them up from there, but there will be many who will not be able to do that due to restrictions, so we are hoping to deliver them as well. Therefore, I am looking for volunteers who would be prepared to deliver booklets to houses of parishioners in their area, as well as volunteers who would be prepared to do this in other areas. If you can offer this service to the community, please email the Parish Office either indicating the area you would be prepared to cover or letting us know that you would be happy to cover any area that might be needed.
You all remain in my prayers
With every blessing
Our Churches are Open for Private Prayer
Because of the national lockdown to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Masses open to the public are not permitted by law until the situation is reviewed on December 2.
However, apart from the transfer back to St James of the time for Mass on Wednesdays, our churches will be open for private prayer at the times that were established for Mass in order to maintain a rhythm of prayer in our parish community. On weekdays the church will be open for half an hour at the established time and at the weekend times for one hour. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the altar as a focus for prayer. Making the effort to come to pray in church is also a concrete sign that we value the gift of having our churches there for us.
There is no need to pre-book to come along for private prayer and you can come and stay for whatever time you wish within the time that the church is open.
Both St James and St Boniface have their own QR code for use with the NHS App and these are posted at the entrance and exit of each church. We have been asked to continue to take people’s details manually as well.
Daily Joint Act of Prayer for an End to the Pandemic
We are invited, together with people of all faiths throughout the country, to participate in a joint act of prayer at 6pm each day, wherever we happen to be, for an end to the Covid pandemic. Bishop Mark recommends that at this time we should pray the Angelus. A guide to praying the Angelus can be downloaded here.
November – Month of Prayer for the Holy Souls
Due to the lockdown, it will not be possible for everyone to get to church during this month, so a dedicated Holy Souls page on the parish site has been set up where you can submit your Holy Souls list online or download a sheet for you to write down the names of those you would like to be remembered. The form will go directly to the parish office whilst the sheet version can be returned by email, posted through the presbytery door or left in the pots placed in front of the altars in both churches when they are open for private prayer. Canon Kristian will read through the sheets and pray especially for all those named at a Mass he will celebrate at the end of November.
Second Collection for the Day of Life
The annual second collection for the Day for Life, which goes to support the Church’s work to protect the dignity of every human life from the womb until natural death, takes place next weekend. Donations can be left in the baskets at the entrance to the church or given using our contactless facility.
Worldwide Hour of Eucharistic Adoration
Due to the pandemic, the International Eucharistic Congress, which this year was due to take place in Hungary, was cancelled. The Archbishop of Budapest-Esztergom has asked Catholics throughout the world to hold an hour of Eucharistic Adoration on Saturday 21 November, the Vigil of the Solemnity of Christ the King, to pray for each other and for the Congress which will now hopefully take place in September 2021. There will be two opportunities to do this: 11am-12noon and 6.00pm-7.00pm, both at St James.
News from Caritas Plymouth
On 24 October Caritas Plymouth held a Diocesan event to prepare for this weekend’s World day of the Poor. We heard about some of the wonderful work that is happening across the Diocese and also learned about areas of unmet need where we might do more to reach out to those who need support. We would invite those unable to attend to find out more about what was discussed and to get involved. Go to https://www.facebook.com/plymouthdiocese/ to view the videos. If anyone would like to get involved in our work they can email email@example.com.
Caritas Plymouth is preparing a short video each week for the next eight weeks to offer a reflection on each chapter of the Pope’s recent Encyclical Fratelli Tutti. The reflections are all on the Diocesan Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/plymouthdiocese/videos.
A short note about funds available for individuals struggling with the current Covid-19 situation has been posted on the diocesan website.
IICSA Report on Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church
You will certainly be aware that the Report from the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse regarding the Catholic Church in England and Wales was published on Tuesday. Whilst acknowledging the all- too-slow progress that has been made by the Church in recent years, the Report highlights grave shortcomings, and serious failures in leadership, which have led to the shameful abuse of children by priests and others in the Church community, causing life-changing and lifelong damage to the victims of this abuse.
Along with the Statement from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, a Pastoral Message from Bishop Mark are available to download, together with an important list of contacts for those who have either suffered sexual abuse themselves or wish to report sexual abuse is available on our Safeguarding page. The Statement made by Cardinal Vincent Nichols can be viewed at https://youtu.be/x3rgeY8ZWTc or below:
Sacramental Preparation 2021
Parents who would like their children (aged 7 and over) to make their First Holy Communion in 2021 are asked to fill out the Application Form and to return it to the Parish Office as soon as possible. If you are 12 or older – or have a young person of this age – and would like to be confirmed by the Bishop in July 2021, please complete the Application Form and return it to the Parish Office as soon as possible.
Raffle tickets for Canon Kristian’s Christmas cake are on sale, £1 each, by cash or contactless payment. Due to the current lockdown, there will not be a 200 Club draw this month, but two draws will take place in December. A poster of Christmas novelties available for purchase at the church is attached to the Newsletter. Orders can also be emailed to the Parish Office and Margaret Found will put them together for you ready to pick up at church. Payment can be made by cash, cheque or card via our contactless facility.
Times of Opening for Private Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament
Saturday 14 November – Weekday
Sunday 15 November – 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
- 11.30am-12.30pm (St Boniface)
Tuesday 17 November – St Hilda of Whitby and St High of Lincoln
Wednesday 18 November – Weekday
Thursday 19 November – Weekday
Friday 20 November – Weekday
Saturday 21 November – Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- 11.00am-12noon & 6.00pm-7.00pm