Third Sunday of Easter (Year B)
Sunday 18 April 2021
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Message from Canon Kristian
Dear brothers and sisters
Peace be with you!
These words are frequently the first ones on the lips of the Risen Lord when he encounters his disciples, and it is a greeting that remains common in many of the cultures of the Middle East and Asia to this day. When two people meet, they greet each other saying: ” Peace be with you” – “And peace be also with you”. Although this greeting is not the norm amongst the cultures of the West, the Church has acknowledged the central importance of the peace of the Risen Christ in the lives of his disciples, for their mission of proclaiming the Gospel and for the well-being of the whole of God’s creation by conserving this greeting as an integral part of every celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Shortly before receiving the Body and Blood of Christ and after recalling in prayer the desire of Christ to give us His peace, the priest offers the peace of Christ to all present and they in turn offer it to the priest and to each other. Due to Covid restrictions, we have not been able to offer the sign of peace in the usual way by the shaking of the hands of those around us. Whilst we do feel the absence of human touch in the Liturgy – something which was so important to much of the healing and welcoming ministry of Jesus, the fact of temporarily not being able to shake hands at the sign of peace is not in itself a bad thing. It provides an opportunity to remind us that, firstly, the peace that we are offering to those around us at this point of the Liturgy is not one of simple human friendship and friendly greeting, but the peace of Christ himself – a peace that the world cannot give. This is something which goes way, way deeper than what often can be reduced to a quick smile and sometimes superficial shaking of hands. Secondly, our present inability to express the sign of peace by an overt physical action reminds us that this offering of the gift of peace to another is not limited to a physical action but can be offered even more effectively by an act of the will or an intention of the heart and by unspoken prayer. So, during this Easter Season, let us once again open ourselves to experience the peace of the Risen Christ in our own hearts and lives and to appreciate the amazing ministry we have been given as disciples to offer that same gift of peace to others, whether in a physical way or in our hearts in prayer.
The greeting of peace is the usual way in which people greet each other in countries where Arabic or related languages are spoken, often due to Islamic influence. The Muslim world has recently entered into their holy season of Ramadan and, as is customary, this has been marked by the Holy See by a Message to our Muslim brothers and sisters. The full text of this Message, reminding us of the importance of fostering solidarity and mutual understanding with those of other Faiths, both globally and within our own local communities.
The Bishop is strongly urging the clergy and laity of our diocese to take part in the online formation sessions on Saturday 1 May, which are part of our reflection on the document, “A Precious Place of God’s Grace”, issued by the Bishop and the Bishop’s Council. The document addresses the necessity of change in the parishes and pastoral structures of our diocese over the next five years and, importantly, of the need for our parish communities to become communities of evangelizers or of “disciple-making disciples”. This call to missionary action is even more important as we will also have to deal with the as-yet unknown impact of the pandemic on the health and vitality of our parish communities. So, I encourage you to take part in this online formation, if at all possible.
As part of the gradual re-establishment of parish activity, the period of silent Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament before Mass on a Friday will be re-instated from this week. This Friday just so happens to be the Solemnity of St George, the Patron of England, and so it is an appropriate time to come and spend some time before the Lord in prayer for this country as it continues to traverse a very difficult period in its history.
A leaflet, produced by Monika Manser, to help reflect prayerfully and with the imagination on the Gospel for this Sunday is available on the parish website (Resources>Reflections), and the access details for the weekly Parish Coffee Morning on Zoom on Thursday at 11.00am are available from the parish office as usual.
It is great to see more people returning to Mass as the “lockdown” continues to be eased. We will, of course, continue to ensure that the appropriate safeguards are taken at church so that everybody is kept as safe as possible.
United in prayer and with every blessing
Coming to Church – “Hands/Face/Space”
When coming to church for services, please observe the social distancing rules, wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) and sanitise your hands frequently. Please also 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.
Christians Against Poverty Job Club
Henry Weaver and his team at the Christians Against Poverty Job Club in Tiverton will begin a free weekly online course hosted by Tiverton Vineyard Church, starting at 1pm on Thursday 6 May. Since opening in 2017, 71% of those who attended a Steps to Employment course with the Tiverton CAP Job Club have found work. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07954 538245.
“A Precious Place of God’s Grace” – The Next Step
In January Bishop Mark and the Bishop’s Council issued A Precious Place of God’s Grace to help us reflect on the changes that will need to happen in the pastoral structures of our diocese over the next five years and on our vocation to be communities of disciple-making disciples.
We will hopefully be able to do this together as a parish when we are able to meet up again but, in preparation for this, to help us reflect on the missionary themes in the document and on how we might give concrete expression to these, the Bishop has invited the renowned international speaker, Michael Dopp, to present two online formation sessions on Saturday 1 May, 11.00am – 12noon and 1.00pm – 2.00pm, for our clergy and laypeople together. You are strongly urged to register to take part via the following link.
Christians and Muslims: Witnesses of Hope
Last Monday, 12 April, our Muslim brothers and sisters began the observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. On behalf of Catholics across the world, the President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot MMCJ, sent a Message with assurances of prayer and best wishes for a peaceful and fruitful Ramadan, which emphasised our common calling to be witnesses of hope, particularly during this time of pandemic. The full text of the Message is available to download and read here.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter
Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) has been supporting marriage and family life within the Catholic community for many years and there are families within our diocese who can vouch for the benefit they have received from that support. Married couples are invited to take part in an online video conference experience on 15 and 16 May 2021. WWME believes their events offer couples the opportunity to discover God’s desire for their marriage. For further information or to book a place, please go to www.wwme.org.uk.
Safeguarding Review Implementation
Following the review of English and Welsh Catholic safeguarding structures by Mr Ian Elliot last year, the national Implementation Group for Safeguarding has been producing a regular newsletter, available every two weeks. These newsletters can be found at www.catholicsafeguardingproject.org, along with further information about the review.
We have a strong team of Parish Safeguarding Representatives in our parish, to which Shelagh Eastwood has recently been reappointed. They do excellent work to ensure that we remain aware of the importance of being a safe place for all, especially our children and adults at risk. If you have a concern, our PSRs can be contacted via the dedicated email address and mobile number on the front of the Newsletter and on the dedicated Safeguarding section of the parish website.
Upcoming Events for Young People
A “Faith in Action” presentation will take place on Monday 26 April, 7.30 -9.00 pm on Zoom. Representatives from CAFOD will talk about the Reclaim our Common Home campaign. There will also be a chance to explore what the G7 Summit (which will take place in Cornwall this year) is, how it impacts on our lives and why it matters to the everyday person? This evening is aimed at young people aged 12 -25.
In preparation for Pentecost, the popular drama, dance and singing workshops will take place on Zoom on 21 and 28 April and on 5 and 12 May, 7.00 – 8.15pm in partnership with By Design Theatre. These are aimed at young people in Year 6 and upwards, who will have the opportunity to explore the Pentecost story in the Acts of the Apostles and be guided to produce short sequences of dance and drama which will be recorded through Zoom.
Young people from across our diocese who speak an additional language to English and who would be happy to record themselves saying the Lord’s Prayer are also being sought. Please get in contact with Saskia if you would like to help. Please email email@example.com for all Zoom login details and to contact Saskia.
Collection for our Seminarians
Next Sunday is Vocations Sunday and so there will be a second collection to support the training of those studying to be future priests for the parishes of our diocese. Please be as generous as you can.
Congratulations to Beryl Webb who won the £30 prize and to Teresa Sturtivant who won the £20 prize in the April draw. Anyone who would like to join the 200 Club is invited to contact Simon Coombs on 01884 258331.
Blessings for Birthdays and other Anniversaries
Canon Kristian is always pleased to bless those celebrating birthdays and other Anniversaries at the weekend Mass closest to these occasions. Just let him or Rosie know at the Parish Office.
This weekend our prayers and best wishes go to Deacon Peter, who celebrates his birthday this Saturday, and to Elizabeth Smith, who celebrates her 94th birthday on Monday!
Parish Services and Events This Week
Saturday 17 April – Easter Weekday
- Vigil Mass at 6.00pm Pro Populo
Sunday 18 April – Third Sunday of Easter
- Holy Mass at 10.00am George Carter RIP (anniv)
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface, Cullompton)
Tuesday 20 April – Easter Weekday
- Holy Mass at 10.00am
Wednesday 21 April – St Anselm, Bishop and Church Doctor
- Holy Mass at 12noon (at St Boniface, Cullompton)
Thursday 22 April – Easter Weekday
- Coffee Morning on Zoom at 11.00am
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm
Friday 23 April – Solemnity of St George, Martyr, Patron of England and Protector of the Realm
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 11.30am
- Holy Mass at 12noon
Saturday 24 April – St Adalbert, Bishop and Martyr
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)
Sunday 25 April – Fourth Sunday of Easter
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface, Cullompton)