The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sunday 16 August 2020
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Message from Canon Kristian
Happy Feast! As the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady falls on Saturday this year, it is transferred to Sunday and takes the place of the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us:
“The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son’s Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all the members of his Body” (CCC 974).
Thus, it is more than fitting that we should be celebrating this singular event in the life of Mary on the Lord’s Day, which is always a celebration of the death and resurrection of Our Lord. In celebrating the assumption of Our Lady, the first created human being to be given a unique and anticipated share in the power of her Son’s conquering of death through the resurrection, we are celebrating in hope, joy and certain faith the promise of our own resurrection from the dead. Moreover, through the profound effects of grace working within us through our immersion in the sacramental waters of baptism, we have already begun to experience this new life in Christ. As we read in the Letter of St Paul to the Romans:
“So by our baptism into his death with were buried with Him, so that as Christ as raised from the dead by the Father’s glorious power, so we too should be living a new life…we believe that, if we have died with Christ, then we shall live with him too” (Romans 6:4,8).
So our Catholic belief honouring the Assumption of Our Lady (shared by our Orthodox brothers and sisters who, in accordance with the tradition of Eastern Christianity refer to this event as the Dormition – the “falling asleep” – of the Mother of God) is also a joyful celebration of the dignity of every human being and the fulfilment of God’s promise of resurrection offered to all who live in Christ…something well worth celebrating!
As you read last week, we are delighted to welcome representatives of the Orthodox Sisterhood of St Elisabeth from Belarus this weekend. They will be with us an hour or so before the Saturday Evening Mass until after the 11.30am Mass on Sunday with a selection of religious and other artefacts made in their convent workshop. Please do come along and meet them even if you are not planning to take part in the Masses this weekend and, if you can, to buy something from them to support their challenging work in their orphanage and mental health facilities back in Minsk.
With regards to the future opening of St Boniface for Mass, the required risk assessment has been completed and the seating modified to ensure the required social distancing. However, during that process, a problem with ingress of water in the roof which has caused an area of rot in the wooden in a part of the ceiling was noticed. Steps are now being taken to investigate this and, once the remedial work has been completed, it should be possible to schedule a Mass at St Boniface. Hopefully this should be possible by September.
The technology to enable us to start using “contactless” giving arrived on Friday. It will take a week or so to set the system up, after which those who would prefer to give their donations in that way will have the ability to do so.
The Newsletter (below) and the usual helpful Handout by Monika Manser to aid a prayerful reflection on the Sunday Gospel are available to download from the Resources section of the website.
With the assurance of my prayers as ever
Parish Office Hours
The Parish Office is open on:
- Monday to Thursday from 10.00am-1.00pm
- Friday from 10.00am-2.00pm
for all routine parish administrative matters, as well as to help with any other pastoral enquiries. During these hours it is possible to visit the Office, next door to the Presbytery, or by telephone or email. Emails will normally only be answered during office hours. Contact details on the Contact Us page of the parish website.
The Sisterhood of St Elisabeth, Minsk, Belarus
Representatives of the young and vibrant Orthodox Sisterhood of St Elisabeth’s Convent in Minsk, Belarus, who dedicate themselves to a special ministry in an orphanage and with mentally challenged adults and children in a number of hospitals and rehabilitation centres, are visiting the parish this weekend, 15/16 August, in order to sell icons, ceramics, decorations and other artefacts produced in the workshop of the convent. All the money which they raise goes to support their ministry.
The Sisters will be present in the entrance hall of the church before and after the Saturday Evening Mass and until after 11.30am Mass on Sunday. Please come and meet them and buy something from them, even if you will not attending Mass over this weekend.
Masses at St James
Mass is celebrated at St James on:
- Tuesday at 10.00am,
- Wednesday at 12noon,
- Thursday at 6.30pm,
- Friday at 12noon,
- Saturday at 6.00pm,
- Sunday at 10.00am and 11.30am.
It is important that you let the Parish Office know that you would like to come to a particular Mass. At the moment there are sometimes spare seats at some of the Masses so you can chance turning up without booking, but there is no guarantee that there will be a seat available
The wearing of face coverings is now obligatory in places of worship. Therefore, anyone coming to church is required to wear a face covering when inside the building.
Because of the introduction of face coverings, the distancing arrangement of the seating in the church has been changed in line with the “1 metre plus” rule. This change allows for up to 53 people to be accommodated at Mass at any one time, depending on the numbers in household “bubbles”.
Parish Tea Party
A Parish Tea Party will be held on Sunday 23 August, 3.00-5.00pm, in the Presbytery garden – an opportunity to meet and enjoy each other’s company again in a safe environment after the months of separation due to the lockdown. A cream tea will be provided, but do feel free to bring your own cakes and scones with you if you would feel safer doing that.
If you can, please bring your own chairs, plates and cups, although some chairs will be available for those who cannot bring their own. We are hoping for sunny weather but there will be gazebos for shelter if it rains! It will be great to see the parish family together once again!
CAFOD Emergency Appeal for the People of Beirut
On the evening of Tuesday 4 August, two explosions at the port of Lebanon’s capital city of Beirut sent an enormous shockwave across the city killing over 100 people and leaving more than 4,000 injured.
Christine Allen, CAFOD’s Director, said:
“CAFOD expresses its deepest sympathies and prayers to the families of the victims, as well as to the people Lebanon, following the horrific explosions in Beirut. Local Lebanese organisations, that CAFOD works alongside, have told us of the widespread destruction that has swept the city, and how their volunteers are already on the frontlines, assisting in hospitals and helping the injured. This disaster has happened at a challenging time for Lebanon, as they deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s economic turmoil. This explosion threatens to push many who were already suffering further into poverty and hunger. CAFOD remains committed to supporting Lebanon at this difficult time.”
Online Individually Guided Retreats
In these uncertain and challenging times many have rediscovered the delights of the created world and are turning to meditative practices, finding solace in prayer. Others are feeling the need to explore, make sense and reflect on the presence of God in their everyday lives, especially during difficult or painful moments experienced recently.
Therefore, the Plymouth Diocesan Ignatian Spirituality Group is offering online individually guided retreats for three, five or six days, led by guides who are trained and experienced in Ignatian spirituality and who include priests, deacons and lay people. Dates can be arranged to suit individuals.
For further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01752 769164 or 07823 447637.
Imaginative Contemplation of the Gospel
A handout to help us to pray with this Sunday’s Gospel using our imagination is available to download from the Resources section of the parish website, here. There is an opportunity to pray this Gospel together in our weekly on-line prayer group. Contact email@example.com for the Zoom access details. All welcome.
The draw for August will be made by Canon Kristian after the evening Mass this Saturday. Thank you to those members who have sent in or left their dues at church. Any queries, please contact Simon Coombs (01884) 258331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are truly grateful for those who have continued to give their parish offerings over these last difficult months. Your offerings are important to sustain the life of the parish. For those who do not give by Standing Order, there are baskets at the entry and exit to the church.
Over the coming weeks, we will also be introducing a “Tap and Donate” system using the sort of “contactless” technology we are now very familiar with.
Masses and Events this week
Saturday 15 August – Vigil of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm (Pro Populo)
Sunday 16 August – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Holy Mass at 10.00am and at 11.30am
20th WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Tuesday 18 August – Weekday
- Holy Mass at 10.00am
Wednesday 19 August – Weekday
- Holy Mass at 12noon
Thursday 20 August – St Bernard, Abbot, Doctor of the Church,
- Holy Mass at 6.30pm
Friday 21 August – St Pius X, Pope
- Holy Mass at 12noon Pauline Alderman (birthday ints)
Saturday 22 August – Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm