Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year B)
World Communications Day
Sunday 9 May 2021
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Message from Canon Kristian
Dear brothers and sisters
This Thursday we will be celebrating the Solemnity of Our Lord’s Ascension and, as a Holy Day of Obligation, I look forward to seeing many of you at Mass on that day. It is a real witness to our family and friends that “religion” is not just a Sunday affair, but that the living out of our Christian faith is part and parcel of our everyday life. As we approach the Solemnity of Pentecost, with the commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit and the sending out of the disciples to take the Gospel message to all peoples, Bishop Mark takes the opportunity to remind us that evangelisation must always be THE priority for the Church – universally, at diocesan level, as parish communities and as individuals. Combining the worldwide ecumenical Thy Kingdom Come prayer initiative with our common mission to proclaim the Good News of Risen Christ present throughout our world and transforming it, Bishop Mark invites us to pray over the nine days between the Ascension and Pentecost for five specific people that we know and to pray that they may come to share our Christian faith. Then, when appropriate, we are asked to be courageous and to open up a gentle discussion with each of them about our faith in Jesus Christ and the common search for a deeper meaning to life and, over the Summer, to invite them to a gathering of the parish community as a way of introducing them to the parish. He suggests that an event such as a Parish BBQ or Afternoon Tea would be a good occasion to do this. As it happens, plans are already afoot to hold a Parish BBQ in the Summer, once restrictions have been eased enough to permit this, so we will have the perfect opportunity to put the Bishop’s invitation into effect! So, let’s all start thinking and praying about who those five people might be with whom God is asking us to begin a conversation about faith and may we use these upcoming nine days of prayer well. A link to the Pentecost Novena is included in to Newsletter, but more resources are available at Resources for the Catholic Church | Thy Kingdom Come and further information about the Thy Kingdom Come Initiative can be found at About Us | Thy Kingdom Come.
We can become rather overwhelmed by all the special “Days of Prayer” that take place throughout the Church’s Year and so their importance can sometimes be lost. This weekend and next weekend both have important Days of Prayer attached to them. This Sunday is the annual Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians, particularly those of the ancient Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the See of Peter and therefore our Catholic brothers and sisters. The apostolic roots of many of these Churches are now in countries where Christians are in the minority, such as Iran, Israel and India; some are in countries where Eastern Orthodox Christians are in the majority, such as Ukraine and Greece, and some are in war-torn countries, such as Iraq and Syria. Not only do these Eastern brothers and sisters of ours sorely need our prayer and material support, but these Churches embody rich spiritual traditions stretching back to the first centuries of the Early Church; because of this, Pope St John Paul II famously referred to the Churches of the West and of the East as the “two lungs” of the Church, both of which are needed if the Church is to live and breathe fully. This Sunday is a time for us to pray for these Eastern Catholic Churches in a special way, to help them financially if we can and to deepen our knowledge and understanding of these ancient Churches of the Catholic Communion (Can you name all 23 Eastern Catholic Churches? – Catholic Herald), especially those who are also present in the UK (Society of St John Chrysostom: UK Eastern Catholics (orientale-lumen.blogspot.com).
Remember also to join in the daily prayers throughout May at the Marian Shrines of the world for the ending of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and to thank God for those of our children who will be receiving Our Lord for the first time in Holy Communion this Sunday and next. Another sign that the sacramental life of the parish is beginning to flourish once again is the baptism of baby Gabriela next Saturday. Do keep her and her parents in your prayers.
I want to thank everyone for their patience with regards to asking for places at the weekend Masses. Rosie does her hardest to accommodate your requests and to fit as many as is lawfully possible into our two churches. However, inevitably, we are having to disappoint some people because the Masses quickly fill up, usually by the middle of the week, particularly the 10am Mass at St James and 11.30am Mass at St Boniface. Let’s hope that present restrictions will soon be eased some more, so that we will be able to alter the configuration of the seating in our churches to allow more of the parish community to gather for Mass each weekend. Thank you too to Monika Manser for her weekly guide to Imaginative Contemplative prayer on the Sunday Gospel.
Please note that, due to the celebration of the Ascension this Thursday, there will not be the usual Zoom Coffee Morning.
I pray that the last two weeks of Eastertide will be fruitful for you and your our parish community.
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.
Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians
This Sunday is the annual Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians, which enables Eastern and Western Christians to come together in communion through prayer. The event unites the Roman Catholic Church in Europe with dioceses of the Eastern Catholic Churches in union with the Bishop of Rome from all over Europe, the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and India.
If you would like to support them through the projects of the Eastern Catholic Churches, donate by: (1) giving online at www.facecharity.org/give; (b) texting DAYOFPRAYER to 70450 to donate £10 (*Texts cost £10 donation plus 1 standard rate message); or (3) writing a cheque made out to Fellowship and Aid to the Christians of the East, and sending to: Judge Sykes Frixou (O’Callaghan – FACE Charity), York House, 23 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6YF.
Fellowship and Aid to the Christians of the East is launching a prayer group to receive a monthly prayer intention for Eastern Christians. To join visit: www.facecharity.org/prayergroup. The Message for this Day of Prayer from Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald MAfr is available to read here.
The Whole Church Prayed Unceasingly to God” (Acts 12:5)
On each day throughout the month a different Marian Shrine around the world will lead prayers for an end of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Prayer will begin each morning with the symbolic gesture of the lighting of a lamp in front of a statue of Our Lady, followed by a reading from Acts 12, from which this initiative takes its name. The time of prayer will finish with probably the oldest extant Marian prayer Sub tuum praesidium. At Midday, the Holy Rosary will be recited for the particular intention that Pope Francis has assigned for that day. Evening prayer consists of the Memorare prayer and the handing on the witness of prayer to the next Marian Shrine.
The schedule of Shrines and Prayer Intentions and the two prayers are available here so that we can unite ourselves in prayer each day the Catholics worldwide for the ending of the Pandemic.
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
This Thursday, 13 May, is the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. This is a Holy Day of Obligation, so there will be Mass at 10.00am (St James), at 11.30am (St Boniface) and at 6pm (St James) in order to enable as many people as possible to take part in Mass.
“Thy Kingdom Come”
The days between the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord until Pentecost have in recent years become a worldwide ecumenical initiative of nine days of prayer. In non-Covid times, this usually includes a number of events shared between local churches, but this is problematic under present circumstances. However, we can all participate in the Novena of Prayer , with specific daily intentions.
Bishop Mark has also highlighted the importance of this time for local evangelisation. In his Message to the Catholics of England and Wales, in the days leading up to the Novena, he invites us to:
“…have a think about your family, your work colleagues, your friendship circle. Think about five people whom you might begin to have a conversation with about your faith in Jesus Christ. It might be somebody who, during this time of the pandemic, has given up the practise of their faith or somebody who’s searching for deeper meaning because of the experience of disease and death in this past year…I think, especially, we want to pray for those five people during the nine days of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost and then in the period afterwards, maybe in July, when things have opened up a little more, look for an opportunity in the parish calendar, maybe a summer barbecue or a tea outside in the parish grounds that you could invite those five individuals to, so that they might begin to make a journey to encounter the Lord Jesus more deeply.”
First Holy Communion
The first of the two Tiverton First Communion Masses will take place this Sunday at 4.00pm. It would, of course, be far more appropriate for our children to receive the Holy Eucharist within a celebration of the wider parish family, but present restrictions do not permit this. However, it is important that we all remember these children and their families in our prayers in a special way at this spiritually significant moment in their lives.
World Communications Day
Next Sunday is World Communications Day and there is a second collection to support the Catholic Communications Network of the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales.
Gift Aid Announcement
If you gift aid your parish contributions, we will soon be preparing the End-of -Year Letters to let you know how much you have given and how much tax will be claimed back. If you have moved since last year or your tax situation has changed (and so we cannot claim this year), please let the parish office know as soon as possible. Thank you.
Canon Kristian will make the May Draw after Mass this Saturday evening. Thanks to those parishioners who have recently renewed their subscriptions to the Club. If you would like to join the 200 Club, please have a word with Simon Coombs at St James or Teresa Cummings at St Boniface.
Parish Services and Events This Week
Saturday 8 May – Easter Weekday
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass) Pro Populo
Sunday 9 May – Sixth Sunday of Easter
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Cecilia Krudyova (birthday ints)
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface) Saulius Seuklinskas RIP
- First Holy Communion Mass at 4.00pm
Tuesday 11 May – Easter Weekday
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Souls in Purgatory (Gorlo)
Wednesday 12 May – Easter Weekday
- Holy Mass at 12noon (at St Boniface)
Thursday 13 May – Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
- Holy Mass at 10.00am
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm
Friday 14 May– Feast of St Matthias, Apostle
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 11.30am
- Holy Mass at 12noon
Saturday 15 May – Easter Weekday
- Baptism of Gabriela Suhanea at 1.00pm
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)
Sunday 16 May – Seventh Sunday of Easter
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
- First Holy Communion Mass at 4.00pm