Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year B)
World Communications Day
Sunday 16 May 2021
Please contact the parish to receive the newsletter by email each week.
Message from Canon Kristian
Dear brothers and sisters
In this final week between the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord and Pentecost Sunday, we are being invited to engage in fervent prayer for the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to be active in the work of evangelisation, so that those we love, care about and know might come to a deeper faith in Jesus Christ , and so that concrete decisions and actions might be taken to care for God’s gift to us of creation to put a stop the growing dangers resulting from climate change. Both the offering to others of the opportunity to come to faith and the putting of our Christian faith into action are interconnected works of evangelisation – the spreading of the Gospel message. It is essential that we always keep these two aspects of our mission as disciples together. As St James reminds us in his Letter:
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:14-18)
Along with the Parish Newsletter this weekend, I attach two other Newsletters:
The first is the regular Newsletter that comes from our Parish School of St John’s. Although this Newsletter is primarily addressed to the parents and carers of the children at the school, it is also important that we, as a parish community, are aware of what great and important work is being done at St John’s. At St John’s, formation in the Catholic Christian Faith is an integral part of a holistic understanding of education, enabling each child to understand his or her dignity as a son or daughter of God and to reach their full potential as collaborators in God’s mission for each one of them, for the human community and for the whole of God’s creation. Our parish school is a vital part of our parish community – a gift that we should all cherish and promote to the best of our ability – not only by ensuring that our own children benefit from being part of the school, but also by encouraging other parents from the wider community of Tiverton to send their children there too. As a school founded on the values of the Gospel, it is welcoming of all children, whether they come from a faith background or not. We are privileged as a parish to have a Parish School – something that is enjoyed by few parishes in our diocese. So please take some time to read through the School Newsletter and to familiarise yourself with the latest news. You will see that two of our children who made their First Communion last weekend are featured on the first page! Please pray for them, for those making their First Communion this Sunday, for all the children and families of our parish and school, and for all our teachers, school staff and Governors.
The second is the May Newsletter from CHAT. Following on from what I wrote earlier about the important of “faith in action”, our support for, and participation in, the work of CHAT in giving dignity, hope and practical help to those who are homeless, in offering counselling to those living with debt and in providing food and other essentials to those most in need, is another central part of our parish outreach. Whether we are able to support this work spiritually, financially, materially or physically – each aspect of support is necessary and vital for its mission. The important thing is that we each support the work of CHAT in whatever way we can. As with St John’s, our parish is blessed to have CHAT, a charity which has Catholic roots and a clear Christian mission, with such a strong presence within Tiverton, Cullompton and beyond. It is a resource rarely found within a parish, so it is incumbent on us to value and sustain its work to the best of our ability as a parish community.
The weekly guide to reflective contemplative prayer on the Sunday Gospel using the imagination is offered by Monika Manser, to whom I am very grateful and, although the next stage of the easing of the lockdown is due to take effect on Monday, the weekly Coffee Morning on Zoom will continue for now, until it becomes clearer in June what the final stage planned for then will allow. The access details are available from the parish office as usual.
Parish life is starting to find a new balance and it is hoped to hold a meeting of the Pastoral Council in the near future to reflect on how the parish can begin to re-engage with the various different aspects of its life and mission, as well as a meeting of the Parish Fundraising Committee. Plans are also in motion for the resumption of our monthly carboot sales from July and for a Parish Afternoon Tea in the same month!
It is a great joy to see so many of you returning to Mass each week, even with the limitations we have with regards to available space for the moment!
Be assured of my prayers for you all.
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.
World Communications Day
The theme for the 2021 World Communications Day, “Come and See (Jn 1:14): Communicating by Encountering People as They Are”, chosen by Pope Francis, echoes the words of the Apostle Philip, recognising that authentic communication leads to “encountering people as and where they are”. The words “Come and see” are central to the Gospel. Before the Gospel is proclaimed, prior to words, there are “looks, testimonies, experiences, encounters and closeness. In a word – life.” The full text of the Pope’s Message for this Sunday can be found here.
The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales works hard to forge positive relationships and channels of good communication with media outlets to share news relating to every aspect of the life of the Catholic Church and her people, as well as through its websites, publications and social media channels. There is a second collection today to support this very important mission and outreach. You can also donate online .
The Whole Church Prayed Unceasingly to God” (Acts 12:5)
On each day throughout the month of May 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 attached are available here so that we can unite ourselves in prayer each day the Catholics worldwide for the ending of the Pandemic.
“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. We are invited to 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…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 second of the two Tiverton First Communion Masses will take place this Sunday at 4.00pm. Please remember these children and their families in your prayers in a special way at this spiritually significant moment in their lives.
Cancel the Debt: Fund Vaccines: Save Lives
This Thursday, 20 May, 5.30-6.30pm, CAFOD will be hosting an online webinar on the impact of Covid on debt repayment burden of poor countries. The coronavirus pandemic is the worst global health crisis in a century. Yet many countries are being forced to choose between spending money on healthcare or on continuing to pay their debts. Unless urgent action is taken, countries will be plunged into a new debt crisis as they respond to the threat of the virus, while trying to manage spiralling debt payments. Join Aisha Dodwell, Head of Campaigns, and Dario Kenner, Debt Policy Lead for an update on CAFOD’s work to secure debt relief for the world’s poorest nations. Register here.
Collection for Sick and Retired Priests
Next weekend, there will be the annual collection to support the sick and retired priests of our diocese. This collection is an expression of gratitude for the years of devoted service and commitment that these priests have given to the parish communities of our diocese.
Feast of St Rita of Cascia
The Feast of St Rita of Cascia will be celebrated at St Rita’s Centre, Honiton, Devon on this Saturday, 22 May, with Mass at 12 noon followed by the blessing and distribution of roses for the sick. This celebration will be carefully prepared and will follow all national guidelines and the sanitary protocols suggested by health institutions. Because of national restrictions, places for the Mass must be pre-booked. Please book online (www.stritascentre.org) or ring the office on 01404 42635.
For those who wish to buy them, two shops will be open for the sale of religious items. Orders can also be placed online for collection on the day.
Congratulations to Barbara Parr who won the £30 prize and to Kathy Holmes who won the £20 prize in the May draw. If you would like to join the 200 Club, please speak to Simon Coombs/Sheelagh Bourdon at St James or to Teresa Cummings at St Boniface.
Parish Services and Events This Week
Saturday 15 May – Easter Weekday after Ascension
- 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 Martin McKinney RIP (Anniversary)
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface) Pro Populo
- First Holy Communion Mass at 4.00pm
Tuesday 18 May – Easter Weekday after Ascension
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Lesław Rainczak Ints (80th birthday)
Wednesday 19 May – Easter Weekday after Ascension
- Holy Mass at 12noon (at St Boniface)
Thursday 20 May – Easter Weekday after Ascension
- Coffee Morning at 11.00am on Zoom
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm
Friday 21 May– Easter Weekday after Ascension
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 11.30am
- Holy Mass at 12noon
Saturday 22 May – St Rita of Cascia
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass of Pentecost)
Sunday 23 May – Pentecost Sunday
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)