First Sunday of Lent (B)
Sunday 21 February 2021
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Message from Canon Kristian
Dear brothers and sisters
I hope you have all made a fruitful start in the holy Season of Lent on the personal and communitarian journey of repentance and conversion, on our return to the Lord in all the many faceted ways that that needs to take place in our lives. In some ways, since we are still having to keep a distance from those who are not a part of our “bubble”, the call to personal conversion would seem to be something that we can more readily engage with – our own personal inward journey to meet God in the heart, in the centre of our being. It is perhaps harder to keep before our eyes the need for a community response to the call to conversion. It was heartening to see such a good cross-section of our parish community gather at the Masses for Ash Wednesday to hear the Prophet Joel summoning the whole community to repentance, to come back to the Lord with all our heart (cf Joel 2:12-18). For the second year in a row, we will not be able to have a Parish Service of Reconciliation this year, but it is important to remember that, alongside our own personal “return to the Lord”, there are always ways in which we as a parish community, together, are called to redirect and refocus our parish life and parish vision on Christ and on Christ’s mission, which is therefore our mission too. We need to take time to reflect on our own fidelity to that mission as a community of believers – not just seeing where we might be straying off the right path, but also discerning what direction we are being called to take, in what ways we are being invited to “put out into the deep” (Luke 5:4), to face new challenges where will be need to place our total trust in the Lord to guide us and uphold us. For Catholics, this discernment must go hand-in-hand with our own personal journey of discernment and conversion. From the time of the Exodus, God has continued to call a people out of slavery to freedom and, as we pray in Eucharistic Prayer III: “You (God) never cease to gather a people to yourself so that, from the rising of the sun to its setting, a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name”. Thus, we are saved together, as a gathered people, which is the root meaning of the Hebrew (qahal), Greek and Latin (ecclesia) words for “church”.
With our view expanded to embrace the world community, this coming Friday is the CAFOD Lent Fast Day. This year the focus is on responding to the injustice of the “water poverty” – the lack of access to clean water – experienced by a third of the world’s population, which brings with it indignity, thirst, disease and ultimately death. Apart from the Fast Day itself, the “Walk for Water” initiative is taking place throughout the forty days of Lent in the parish. A team of parishioners is ensuring that the daily total of 10,000 steps are being done. If you would like to be a part of the team and/or would like to donate and help us get to our present target to £600, please see the details in the Newslettter. Our parish Cafod Group will be offering a weekly news update during Lent which will be attached to the Newsletter.
Acknowledging that much of the usual parish activity for Lent has to be curtailed due to the pandemic, the Newsletter also contains signposts to an abundance of great Lent resources online. Some are local to our diocese, but others are national initiatives. It is not intended that you try to engage with all these different initiatives,not least because there are too many for an individual to live fruitfully, but I suggest that you might pick two initiatives – one that naturally appeals to you and one which will challenge you and take you out of your comfort zone – and be faithful to those throughout the whole Season of Lent. This applies to everyone, including our young people, and the Newsletter includes additional initiatives specifically focussed at them.
You will see that there have been a number of deaths amongst the diocesan clergy recently. Also, we were saddened to hear of the death of Eunice Wheatcroft this week. Those who had met Eunice know that she was a feisty character and enjoyed interacting with others whenever she could get to church or to a parish event. Sadly, despite her natural tenacity, she was unable to overcome the impact of Covid. Her Funeral Service will take place at Exeter Crematorium on Tuesday 9th March. If you would like to attend, please contact me or Rosie at the Parish Office, as there is a limit to the number of people who can attend funerals at the moment. However, Eunice’s small family was delighted to hear that some parishioners might take part in the Service. Please keep them, and all the departed, in your prayers.
On a connected note, please do remember to let me or Rosie at the Parish Office know if you are going into hospital. We can then arrange for a Chaplain to visit you, to bring you Holy Communion and to celebrate the other Sacraments if necessary. Also, if you are taken into hospital suddenly and without warning, it is important that you (or your relatives) let the hospital staff know as soon as possible that you are a Catholic and that you wish to be visited by the Chaplain. Unless you do this, it is very hard for a Chaplain to be allowed to visit you at the moment.
Throughout Lent, Monika Manser is offering a leaflet to help with lectio divina based on the Responsorial Psalm for each Sunday. Our thanks to her for this. Likewise, our thanks go to Barbara Strong for offering to guide a parish group through the online Lent Retreat being provided by the Jesuits in Britain (the details for this were given in an email sent to you earlier in the week).
The usual Thursday Coffee Morning on Zoom will take place. Remember that this is open to ALL parishioners to drop into and say hello if they would like to catch up with other members of the community. The access details are available from the parish office.
As ever, you all remain in my daily prayers and I pray that you will all remain virus-free and that Lent will be a time of real interior renewal for us all.
May God bless you
Coming to Church during the National Lockdown
At this critical time in this wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to halt the spread of the virus, the central message is STAY AT HOME and only go outside for essential journeys. This applies above all to those who are especially vulnerable to infection – the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. If you come within this group, please consider staying at home and taking part in Mass online or on the telephone, or simply join us in spirit in silent prayer or by reading the Mass texts.
When in church, please observe the social distancing rules, wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) and sanitise your hands frequently. Refrain from engaging others in extended conversation and maintain an appropriate distance from others at all times, both inside the church and outside in the carpark.
If you would like to come to Mass at the weekends, please contact the Parish Office to book a place, either by telephone on weekdays between 10.00am-1.00pm, or by email. There is no need to book a place at a weekday Mass but, on arrival at church, please give your details to one of the stewards.
A Wealth of On-line Resources for Lent 2021
A helpful selection of national and diocesan resources for Lent put together by the Diocesan Vicariate for Evangelisation and Catechesis is available under the Lent 2021 section of the parish website. Caritas Plymouth has also developed some inspiring resources for individual, group and parish reflection during Lent 2021, including podcasts, links to websites and ideas for reflection, with a focus on Catholic Social Teaching.
CAFOD Lent Fast Day
1 in 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water. CAFOD is working to overcome this injustice and the provision of water to the poorest communities around the world remains a significant part of its work. The annual Lent Fast Day this Friday, 26 February, is focussed on helping vulnerable communities around the world to have access to clean water.
Envelopes are available at Mass this weekend. Please return them next weekend. You can also donate using our contactless facility or online at www.cafod.org.uk/give. Finally, there is also the option to text LENT 10 to 70460 to donate £10 or LENT 20 to donate £20 etc. This text automatically opts you in to hear more about CAFOD’s work and fundraising via telephone or SMS. Text LENTNOINFO to 70460 if you do not wish to receive this information.
The first of the Lenten series of CAFOD News Updates from our Parish CAFOD Group is attached to the Newsletter.
Online Masses and Stations of the Cross
Many of you have already found places online where you regularly share in the Mass and other devotions. However, for those who are still looking, the Bishops of England and Wales have now put together a list of Catholic churches that broadcast live Mass in this country.
The Stations of the Cross will be broadcast by CAFOD on the Fridays in Lent, starting from Friday 19 February, at 11.00am. You can register to take part here.
CAFOD Lent Challenge – Walk for Water – 400,000 Steps
We have formed a parish team to take on the CAFOD “Walk for Water” challenge – 10,000 steps a day, every day, for 40 days. If you would like to be part of the team, please contact Jane Trott on email@example.com with your details and give her an idea of how many steps you think you could offer.
A Just Giving Page for the Parish Team effort has been set up and is open for your donations to support their effort on behalf of the parish.
“Your Faith in Action” Talks for Young People
We are all called by God to play our part in making the world a better place! But how? Join a community of young people (aged 13+) from across our diocese for 5 weeks of fun, faith and finding out about how to put your faith into action for the good of others from Monday 22 February to 22 March, 7.30 – 8.30pm on Zoom. Over the first two weeks the group will get to know each other and then meet a group of asylum seekers/refugees and learn from their experience. The subsequent weeks will flow according to the group’s interest. For further information and to book a place please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Last Supper” – Online Drama Course for Young People
This four week virtual course, starting on Wednesday 24 February, 7.00pm – 8.15pm, is a chance to explore the Last Supper through script, movement, drama and games. What were the disciples thinking and talking about as they prepared to arrive at a stranger’s house for the annual Jewish feast? What did they talk about during the meal? How did they react when Jesus talked about one of the being a traitor? If you are in Year 6 or older and would like a place on the course, please email email@example.com
Congratulations to Marie McAdams who won the £30 prize and to Kay Morris who won the £20 prize in the February draw.
Right to Life UK Appeal to end Home Abortions
Since home abortions have been temporarily allowed during the pandemic, it has been extensively reported in the media that a number of significant problems have put the lives and health of many women in danger.
The UK Government has launched a consultation on whether to make the current temporary arrangement permanent. The consequences of this measure would be devastating to the care and protection of both unborn babies and their mothers. It is vital that as many people as possible take part to ensure the voices of the most vulnerable are heard.
Right to Life UK has set up an easy-to-use tool on their website that makes its simple to complete your submission. If you would like to take part and make a submission to this consultation before it closes at 11.59pm on 26 February, you can do so by visiting https://righttolife.org.uk/ukconsultation. It only takes two minutes!
Requiescant in Pace
Please pray for the repose of the souls of Canon Kevin Rea, Deacon Leo Pilley, Deacon Joe Owen and of our parishioner Eunice Wheatcroft, who have all died recently. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.
Holy Mass and Events this week
Saturday 20 February – Lent Weekday
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)
Sunday 21 February – First Sunday of Lent
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (St Boniface)
Tuesday 23 February – Lent Weekday
- Holy Mass at 10.00am
Wednesday 24 February – Lent Weekday
- Holy Mass at 12 Noon (St Boniface)
Thursday 25 February – Lent Weekday
- Coffee Morning at 11.00am on Zoom
- Holy Mass in Polish at 6.00pm
Friday 26 February – Lent Weekday (CAFOD Lent Fast Day)
- Holy Mass at 12noon
Saturday 27 February – Lent Weekday
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)
Tiverton: £2166.10 Cullompton: £527.00 Thank you for your generosity!