Twelfth Sunday of Easter (Year B)
Day for Life
Sunday 12 June 2021
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Message from Canon Kristian
Dear brothers and sisters
This weekend we are observing the annual Day for Life, which is an important moment in our Church year when we celebrate and proclaim the inalienable dignity of every human person, from the moment of conception until the time of natural death. Each year a different aspect of this “culture of life” is highlighted by the chosen theme, often in contrast to the ever-present danger of the “culture of death” in our modern society. This year we are recalling the importance of caring for the sick and the dying and the respect owed to their life, in the face of growing concerns around persistent attempts to legalise “assisted suicide” in our country. We are asked to give our support to those people and organisations, both within and outside of the Church, that continue to fight for the upholding of the right to life with our prayers and, if possible, by donating to the annual Day for Life collection. You will find more resources on the Day for Life website, along with ways in which you can be involved in this important mission of the Church.
We also celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday. So let us remember and give thanks to God for all fathers who have loved, supported and sustained their families in the past, and those who continue to do so today, whether in our own families, in our parish families and in the wider community. We also pray for those fathers who, for whatever reason, are not able to be alongside their families, for example, because they are refugees or as a result of marital and family breakdown. In this Year of St Joseph, we entrust all fathers to his watchful care and intercession.
I attach to our Parish Newsletter the most recent Newsletter from our Parish School, St John’s. It is always important that we keep our school, its children and its staff, in our prayers. This year has been a particularly challenging one for them due to the impact of Covid restrictions, which will now continue until the end of the school year. However, they have all responded marvellously and are a credit to our parish. If you are parents, please remember that it is really important for your children to go to our parish school where they will receive a good, rounded education within a Catholic ethos. Few parishes within our Diocese have the gift of a Parish School, so we should all do what we can to ensure that it is at the heart of our parish and family life.
Our young people preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation are entering into their final weeks of preparation before the Confirmation Mass on Saturday 10 July at 6.00pm. They are a precious gift to our parish community. Please keep them in your prayers as they approach this important waypoint on their growth as disciples of Christ.
You will see that we have at least two parishioners – Monika Manser and Shelagh Eastwood – who will be “Homeless 4 a Night” this coming Friday in order to raise funds for CHAT. Our parish is a committed supporter of the work of CHAT in Tiverton and the surrounding towns and villages, so please show them some support if you can. If there are any other parishioners who are taking part in this initiative, please do let us know. Even our children are being encouraged to take part in this event in fun ways.
The weekly Imaginative Contemplation Leaflet on the Sunday Gospel is available on the parish website, courtesy of Monika Manser, and the access details for the weekly Parish Get Together on Zoom on Thursday at 11am are available from the parish office.
Remembering that we are still in the month of June and therefore renewing our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I entrust you all to that overflowing and all-encompassing love of God, which is poured out for all people and for the whole of the cosmos.
With every blessing
Covid Restrictions and Booking for Mass
As you will be aware, the Government has delayed any further easing of the lockdown restrictions until 19 July, due to the rise in infections of the Delta Variant of Covid-19. Therefore, no further changes will be introduced into the way we attend church or celebrate Mass until after that date.
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. Remember to follow “Hands/Face/Space” at all times.
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.
Day for Life
This Sunday is the annual Day for Life. The theme this year focuses on assisted suicide and the respect owed to life. The online resources are produced to inform Catholics about this threat to life and to share with people our response to such a threat: a true compassion as the just response to the immense value of the human person.
The fragility of life and the reality of death has been brought into sharp focus during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the UK alone, more than 126,000 people have died from the virus. Yet, in the face of such suffering and death, we have also witnessed the extraordinary dedication of healthcare professionals and their loving care for the sick and dying. We too have each made sacrifices for the greater good during this pandemic. These acts of heroic love are a powerful testimony to the fundamental dignity of the human person and to the respect owed to each life, particularly through proper care and love in the last moments of life.
Against this backdrop of loving care, we are now faced with the very real threat of the legalisation of ‘assisted suicide’ in our country. It is not a question of if this challenge will come, it is now a question of when. There is a Private Members Bill in the House of Lords on so-called ‘Assisted Dying’ and it is only a matter of time before the issue is back in the House of Commons.
In 2020, it was not possible to hold the annual Day for Life collection due to the pandemic, and so funds are very much depleted and the threats to life have never been greater. Day for Life is a simple, practical response which pushes back against ‘the use and throwaway logic’ often at the heart of a culture which seeks to abandon its elderly, sick and dying when ‘they no longer serve our interests.’ There will be a basket in church for a second collection to support the work of the Church nationally in upholding our teaching on the right to life. You can also make your donation using our contactless facility or you can give directly online.
Settlement Scheme for European Citizens
All EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK are required by the government to apply through its Settlement Scheme to continue living, working and accessing services here. The deadline is 30 June 2021. Details and links to the application process can be found at www.gov.uk/eusettledstatus. Information on assistance for those who may have difficulty application is available at www.gov.uk/help-eu-settlement-scheme. The Catholic Church in England and Wales, our diocese and our parish stand in solidarity with all European citizens who have made their homes here. You are much valued members of our parishes, schools and communities.
Jesus Walks with Us Youth Event
On 10 July at St Rita’s Centre, Honiton, 10am-4pm, By Design Theatre, Rise Theatre and the Stay Awake team are coming together to run a conference for young people aged 10-16. The young people will have the chance to explore the “Emmaus Walk” through the arts, and to participate in workshops on art, craft, drama and dance. A £10 contribution is requested to cover the cost of the speakers and the lunch provided. If you would like a place, please complete the following form: https://forms.office.com/r/spcJ3YGuKj.
Catholic Children’s Society Parish Volunteer Wanted
The Catholic Children’s Society (Plymouth) is a voluntary organisation providing support to families of all faiths and none within the Diocese, which covers Cornwall, Devon and most parts of Dorset. It gives grants and bursaries to families and children in need, provides parenting courses in schools and other community settings and, through its Good Shepherd Programme, encourages children to think of others who may be in need.
In order to provide these important services, the Society is very dependent on the generosity of our parishes through the annual collection, the offerings given at the Christmas Crib and other fundraising initiatives. The Society would like to have a Volunteer in every parish to act as a point of reference for the Society and to promote the work of the Society and its fundraising initiatives. If this is a service you could offer, please contact the Parish Office or speak to Canon Kristian directly.
Priestly Ordination of Deacon Albert Lawes
Deacon Albert Lawes will be ordained as a priest for our Diocese in the Cathedral in Plymouth this coming Friday, 25 June, at 12noon. Please keep him in your prayers as he commits his life to priestly service.
Homeless 4 a Night – Sponsor Parishioners
The main event for this year’s sleep-out to raise funds for CHAT will be from Friday 25 – Sunday 27 June. The challenge is to sleep under the stars, if possible, for a minimum of one night to raise some vital money for those who may not have a roof over their heads. You can do this wherever you wish, with whoever you wish and for as many nights as you wish! Once you have registered and are committed to raising a target of £25 sponsorship, CHAT will send you a fundraising welcome pack, which includes a beanie for each person sleeping.
Our parishioners, Monika Manser and Shelagh Eastwood, will be sleeping out in their gardens this Friday 25 June to fundraise and support CHAT. CHAT works across Mid Devon offering free, impartial and confidential advice and essential life changing support to vulnerable individuals with often complex housing issues. This involves a mixture of housing advice, longer term tenancy support, Debt and Money Advice and access to the Foodbank. Monika and Shelagh would be really grateful for your support and you can sponsor both of them by going to their JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shelagh-eastwood.
Parish Services and Events this week
Saturday 19 June – Weekday
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)
Sunday 20 June – Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
Tuesday 22 June – St John Fisher and St Thomas More, Martyrs
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Holy Souls in Purgatory (Gorlo)
Wednesday 23 June – St Edward, King and Martyr
- Holy Mass at 12noon (at St Boniface)
Thursday 24 June – The Nativity of St John the Baptist
- Coffee Morning on Zoom at 11.00am
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm
Friday 25 June– Weekday
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 11.30am
- Service of the Word at 12noon
Saturday 26 June – Weekday
- Confirmation Candidates at 9.30am in the Parish Hall
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)
Sunday 27 June – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Karol and Dorota Gorlo (Ints)
- Holy Mass at 11.30am Pro Populo (at St Boniface)