News

Listen to Fr Jeremy's sermons online

We have been posting Fr Jeremy’s sermons on the website for some time. Now you can listen to him each Sunday from the comfort of your own home. If you go to https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/sermons and scroll to the end of the typed sermon, there is a arrow shaped play button. Click on it and listen to Fr Jeremy.

You can also listen to the sermons from the three previous Sundays.

The Compassionate Community Hub

The Compassionate Community Hub is now operational across the whole of B&NES, with large numbers of volunteers who are being asked to provide support to people in need in their local areas.

Here are some contact details…
If anyone needs support with buying food or medicines, and there is no local group that they can turn to,  then they should send an email with the subject “Support” to compassion@3sg.org.uk and the team will pick up your query within 24 hours.

Alternatively, telephone the Compassionate Community hotline  0300 247 0050.

People wanting to register as a volunteer with Compassionate Community should complete the form via this link

 http://bit.ly/communityvolunteersignup.

For people who are in need of food, and looking for an alternative to going into the shops during the pandemic, here is a list of local businesses offering food delivery:

https://www.3sg.org.uk/pages/sustainable-food-partnership

Pentecost resources and activities from our Children's Liturgy team

The Feast of Pentecost Sunday 31st May: Some ideas for how to understand and celebrate this feast at home

Thank you to our Children’s Liturgy of the Word team for their wonderful ideas.

 

On Fire for Jesus

Activity: Read the story of Pentecost from a children’s bible together.

Talk: When we see someone performing really well in sport, on a computer game, in a quiz, on a skateboard, or singing, we sometimes say that “they are on fire”. It doesn’t mean that there are flames coming out of them. It means that they are inspired, something is driving them on to perform almost beyond belief and making us take notice.

Activity: Organise a little performance of your talent whether it be sport or singing or dancing or reading. Offer something to those around you however small it may seem.

Explanation: So it was with the disciples. They were so inspired by Jesus, and so full of the Holy Spirit, they burned brightly as they spoke God’s message and people took notice of them. It was a scary time for the disciples, but did they hide – no they were brave and went out to tell the people the Good News. Sometimes we hide and say we are shy – but we need to show people what we are able to do.

 

The Holy Spirit

Make a sign of the cross. What is third part? The Holy Spirit. We are asking for the same Holy Spirit that inspired the disciples to be with us and inspire us.

Close your eyes and think of someone (mum, dad, sister, brother, aunty, uncle, friend, granny, grandad …). You can’t see them, but you know very well that they are there. So it is with the Holy Spirit.

 

From tiny kernels…

Activity: Ask a grown up if you can get some popcorn to cook.  Open the packet and look at the corn seeds – they are lifeless and dull – they certainly don’t look enjoyable. The grown up can put them in the microwave or on the cooker hob. As they get hot suddenly they explode and pop making the sounds that let you know you will enjoy them. When they have finished cooking offer them around and see the joy that they spread.

Action: You may think that you can’t say anything to tell God’s message. That’s ok. If you are kind to people, God’s message is delivered.

Resources: popping corn and saucepan/ microwave popcorn pack, microwave

 

Pentecost Party

Activity: Read the story of Pentecost together.

Explanation: Tell the children that Pentecost is the birthday of our church. Explain that we are going to have a birthday party and our themes are flames, doves and the colour red. Like our Easter celebrations, this is an opportunity to add some fun to our lockdown. If you have one child rather than many, what about using Zoom and invite your child’s friends/cousins/grandparents to join in at a set time on Sunday? This would be a good way to be like the disciples and go out into the world with God’s message of love.

 

Activities:

Find red clothes to wear for the party.

Prepare paper bands and flame templates for each person coming to the party. http://clipartmag.com/download-clipart-image#flame-patterns-stencils-clipart-11.png

Prepare red and yellow jelly.

Make cupcakes and ice them with red and yellow icing/buy bakewell tarts.

Make strawberry jam and lemon curd sandwiches, or cheese and tomato ketchup toasties.

Make dove or flame shaped biscuits, and ice them with red and yellow icing.

Buy lemon squash or add red colouring to water.

Make a red, yellow and orange fruit and veg platter.

Make flame and dove bunting using the templates, and spell out “Come, Holy Spirit”.

Party time!

Cut out, colour in and put together the flame party hats (paper band and a flame template).

Read the story of Pentecost and act it out as you go along, putting on the flame hats when the Holy Spirit comes down.

Play traditional party games with a Pentecost twist:

*a pass the parcel with red and yellow sweets inside and a “be kind” instruction (make your brother’s bed tomorrow, go to bed as soon as you are asked, send a postcard to Grandma tomorrow)

*Musical statues to “God’s Great Dancefloor” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-WOneEXr00 Hillsong’s Alive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEvEVALLjNQ&list=PLq8R3yHaEUxp1lomb6si1mKllUPhBqroh or try Integrity Music on Youtube.

Eat the special party food and help wash and tidy up afterwards.

Resources: Glue stick/stapler, thin card/A4 paper, crayons/paints/felt tips, fruit, veg, icing sugar, flour, sugar, dove template, access to Youtube, flame template, children’s bible, sliced bread, jam, lemon curd, coloured squash

https://craftingthewordofgod.com/2013/07/06/the-day-of-pentecost/

http://eastertemplate.com/pentecost-holy-spirit-flame-dove/

 

 

Ascension day resources and activities from our Children's Liturgy team

The Ascension of our Lord Jesus: Some ideas for how to understand and celebrate this feast at home

There are six different themes presented here. You may wish to do one, some or all of them with your children, depending on their age and understanding. Thank you to our Children’s Liturgy of the Word team for their wonderful ideas.

Balloon activity Be inside for this activity. Give each child a deflated, ordinary balloon. Draw a heart on one per child. Blow up the balloon (or get an adult to) but don’t tie it off. Instead let the balloon go and let it fly around the room until it is gone. Assuming you know where it has gone, blow it up again, but this time close your eyes before you let it go and keep them closed until the noise stops. Open your eyes. Do you know where it is? If you don’t know where it is – is it still there? Yes – you just have to look for it. Then you can do it again.
Resources: balloons

Bubbles activity Take a glass – preferably a tall glass with no pattern on. Fill it with water. Get a straw and put it towards the bottom of the glass. Blow as gently as you can and watch the bubble float to the surface. All watch others try to blow their bubble. See who can blow the smallest, single bubble. Watch as it rises to the surface. It may stay a moment at the surface but then it is gone. We could see the bubble easily – it was definitely there – but now we can’t. Has it disappeared/ vanished completely? No, the air that made the bubble has now joined with the rest of the air that surrounds us. We can’t see it, but it is very much there and with us.
Resources: tall, plain drinking glass; water, straw

“Fireworks”: An activity for in the garden or a room with space to move about

1.Talk about fireworks; in particular, rockets. Maybe try to find a video of a firework rocket to watch. Think about how it rises fast; high into the sky; and then explodes in shower of sparks, spreading light everywhere and then it is gone – just leaving the memory of the bright colourful spectacle that it created. It also makes a clear sound as it reaches the end of its journey and then it is gone and it is silent.

2.Talk a bit about the rocket itself. Where has it actually gone? Although we cannot see it anymore, have all the parts that made it up vanished and don’t exist? No. They are still with us. But at the time when the rocket exploded they changed from one form into another – we can’t see them but they are still here.

3. All pretend to be rockets (make sure there is enough personal space!). Starting off small (crouching down – holding knees in). Then jumping up! Then throwing up hands and stretching out fingers and shouting “bang”, or “whizz”, of “fizz” or “whoo”.

4.For many (but not everyone of course), we love to watch rockets. We love the brightness and the colours and even sometimes the noise. They make us look. They inspire us. We use them very often to celebrate.

5. For the world, Jesus was a bright light and at the end of his time on Earth, he did something amazing by dying for us. He showed light to the world around him. He showed everyone the way to live. And he made his message heard. And then all of a sudden he was gone. Ascending up high into the heavens leaving his friends behind him and telling them to wait to be filled with the Spirit. But was he gone just because they
could not see him, was he no longer with them? No he was with them and he is with us now. Just in a different way.

6. Before he left, Jesus told his friends he wanted them to go out and do as he had done. Today we have to try to do that. We need to go out and show people about God’s love by being kind, caring and loving. Think about how we can start off doing this in our homes. Sing “Go tell everyone” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BxfPuecYy4

Activity: Make a firework picture: a) Put lines of glue onto the paper and then pour different colour glitter onto the glue. Black paper may work best for this. b) use colourful wax crayons to fill a white piece of paper with stripes of colour. Then cover the crayon with black wax crayon. Then use the tip of a teaspoon, or something sharp that is not dangerous, to “draw” a rocket shape through the black crayon, revealing the bright colours beneath. c) Draw firework explosion shapes on a piece of white paper. Paint over with watered-down black paint. The wax will resist the paint. http://mykidcraft.com/crayon-resist-art/

Resources: video of firework rockets exploding https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YCiU_moxUM, space to move about, coloured paper/black, glitter, glue, apron, wax crayons, black paint

Go, tell everyone: Read the story of the Ascension with your children. What did Jesus tell the disciples to do? What did the angels say? Explain that in church, the light of the pascal candle, which has been lit during Mass since Easter Sunday as a sign that the risen Jesus is with us, is extinguished after the Gospel. By blowing out the candle, it is a sign that Jesus has returned to his Father in Heaven. During the Ascension Mass / watching online, parents could let children each light a candle to show that we now carry that light and the message of Jesus to the world. Jesus has asked us to tell everyone the things that He has taught us.
Activities: Talk about how we can be like Jesus this during lockdown: make a “Happy Ascension day” card for a neighbour or grandparent; draw a poster of Jesus ascending into heaven and put it next to your NHS rainbow; be like Jesus towards your family members.
Make a wax resist picture of Jesus ascending into heaven: draw the picture of Jesus in wax, then paint over in watered-down blue paint. Use white candles to draw angels, which are only revealed by the paint.
Resources: children’s bible, candle, matches, access to an online Mass, paper, crayons/felt tips, blue paint, water, crayons, white candles

Jesus is with us always: Read the story of the Ascension with your children. If your children have a Baptismal candle, these could be relit to remind children of the help and gifts and strength that they have been given in Baptism, and in other sacraments, to do what Jesus asked. Jesus was going back to his Father, but Jesus said he would be with us always even to the end of time. He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us and we hear about the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples at Pentecost next week. The disciples were still very afraid after Jesus left and they hid in a room away from everyone. Once the Holy Spirit came to help them, they were completely changed and travelled all over the world telling others about Jesus. The Holy Spirit is with us now too, in our hearts. We can ask him to help us be strong too. Look at photos of your child’s baptism together and talk about how much Jesus loves them.
Resources: Children’s bible, matches, baptismal candle

I am with you always, yes, even until the end of time: Read the story of the Ascension with your children. Explain that the Apostles were very sad when Jesus died and overjoyed when he rose from the dead as he had promised. They were sad when he left them again to go back to his Father. However, they had seen Jesus and believed him when Jesus said he would come back, and that they too would rise from the dead to a new life. This can be very hard for children to understand, and to understand death in general and why people do not come back. This is especially problematic at this time, when every day, children may see or may hear the news and frequent talk about people dying in England. They may also be aware of neighbours or family, or family of their friends who have died with the virus. Our Children’s Liturgy Group often use a story about Water Bugs and Dragonflies by Doris Strickney to help younger children understand about death and the promise of new life. Doris has posted her story online here. You can buy copies of her book at eden.co.uk or from Amazon and other booksellers.
Resources: Children’s bible, Water Bugs and Dragonflies by Doris Strickney

Charlotte Boyall,
Parish Administrator, St Mary’s Bath
Bath.stmary@cliftondiocese.com

Lockdown Resources

Wednesday 3rd June's updates and resources

Pentecost: You can read and listen to the message of His Holiness Pope Francis for “Thy Kingdom Come” 2020 here. A service was held with Pope Francis and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. To watch the whole (BSL signed) ecumenical service, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncN_RJM7pqA

Online daily retreats: Loyola Press 3-Minute Retreats invite you to take a short prayer break right at your computer. Spend some quiet time reflecting on a Scripture passage. https://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer/about-3minute-retreats/ This might be something to try now and keep using once life gets more hectic again.

Reflection: “In response to this difficult time of lockdown and isolation, Redemptorist Publications is delighted to offer another free spiritual resource. Here you can find a 46 minute presentation in which Fr Denis McBride C.Ss.R. reflects on the Passion of Christ, in front of a live audience. This lecture, number 12 out of 36 available, was inspired by Fr Denis’ own book, Jesus & the Gospels: a reflection on the key moments of the Jesus story as the four evangelists present them. It is an excellent workbook for anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of the person of Jesus and the writing of the Gospels. The audio resource was extracted from the CD collection Jesus & the Gospels 36 CDs and book. “

 

Church re-opening: We are thinking about all the ways the church can open to parishioners once we get permission to do so. If you are in the shielding group and unable to leave the house to come to church for the foreseeable future, please email the parish office. We would like to get an idea of who and how many people will be able/happy to come to church, and who will be unable to do so.

 

Music: In the mood for something uplifting? Try watching and listening to “The Lord Bless You and Keep You (John Rutter) – Virtual Choir by Batavia Madrigal Singers here.

Tuesday 2nd June's updates and resources

Reflection: This is a talk by David Wells, giving a Catholic perspective on enlightenment. Don’t be put off because it was set up for teachers he is talking to them as individuals. He discusses what people do and believe in a post-modern society, and how to live as a Catholic in such a society. David is humorous, prayerful, incisive, thought-provoking and marvellous.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXUQ5cELMw8

Pentecost: Bishop Declan has recorded a message for Pentecost, which you can read and listen to here https://cliftondiocese.com/

Pentecost for children: Here’s one for your children to learn, and will gladden the heart of any teacher when they return to school. Listen and watch the song “Joy of the Holy Spirit” by Mike Stanley, then watch Claire Wilson teach a British Sign Language version of it. A joyful celebration of the Fruit and Gifts of the Holy Spirit – perfect for Pentecost, Confirmation and Sacramental preparation.  From the album “Dewfall” available at: http://www.cjmmusic.com/dewfall

Our bishop: Bishop Declan Lang has called on the UK government to fulfil its responsibilities to the people of Hong Kong under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bishop-calls-government-to-stand-in-solidarity-with-people-of-hong-kong/

Archbishop of Southwark, John Wilson, wrote to the Prime Minister this week expressing his understanding of “a growing sense of dissatisfaction” particularly as our churches are not yet permitted to open where a growing number of retail outlet will soon open their doors.https://www.cbcew.org.uk/letter-to-prime-minister-from-archbishop-john-wilson-regarding-the-opening-of-churches/

Monday 1st June's updates and resources

Marjorie Lovett RIP: We are sorry to announce the death of parishioner Marjorie Lovett. Her burial will take place privately soon. Please pray for her family at this difficult time.

Mary’s Meals: “Join us at 7.00pm on Thursday, 4 June for the Mary’s Meals Family Hour! This virtual event is a first for Mary’s Meals and a new way for our family to stay in touch during this unprecedented time. We will share information on how we are reaching children through the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as an update direct from Kenya, inspirational stories from supporters here in the UK, and an exclusive preview of our new film featuring Hollywood star Gerard Butler! Our Executive Director Daniel Adams will host the event and also answer your questions about our mission – please submit them in advance here.
📅 Thursday 4th June 🕕 7:00pm – 8:00pm (UK time) 📍 Mary’s Meals UK YouTube channel

Meditation for children: This is a recommendation from a parishioner, to help children during the lockdown period and onwards. “Recently the World Community for Christian Meditation (UK) has funded a 3 year partnership with the Catholic Children’s Society to share Christian Meditation with children. To reduce stress and loneliness when Young People are isolated at home or in schools only open to the children of key workers, meditation offers an inclusive and immediate solace and inspiration. From our work worldwide we know for certain that children can meditate, that they love it and ask for it. In collaboration with The Catholic Children’s Society in the UK, the World Community of Christian Meditation is introducing meditation into primary and secondary schools – with very diverse student backgrounds.”

This link will take you to a set of guided meditations for both primary and secondary school age people. I think the secondary school videos would be suitable to adults new to meditation.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Cb5LrAlU7_MPTRDMUBcvQ

Cardinal Vincent: In his homily for Pentecost Sunday, Cardinal Vincent Nichols questions why churches have not been allowed to open for private prayer, especially when car showrooms and outdoor markets can open on Monday 1 June and non-essential shops from 15 June.  He specifically asks why churches have been “excluded from this decision?”https://www.cbcew.org.uk/cardinal-nichols-now-is-the-time-for-the-phased-reopening-of-churches/

Prayers for the Pandemic: For keyworkers
God of a day’s work,
who knew the early start,
the long shift, the thankless task,
help us to ‘see’ keyworkers in the pandemic
in a new and lasting way –
the ones who leave home to mingle
with the virus
to keep us fed,
keep us safe, keep us clean,
to care for us: in school, in care, in intensive care;
help us to help them by being careful ourselves
and remembering, on the other side of this,
who deserves our esteem, our national applause,
our lasting care. Amen

By Raymond Friel

Thursday 28th May's updates and resources

David Courtney RIP: Please pray for the family of Dave, who sadly died. His funeral took place this morning at Haycombe, privately.

Gerardina Flammia RIP: Please pray for the family of Gerardina, who died recently. Her funeral will take place privately on Thursday 4th June.

The God Who Speaks website: This website has a great page of short podcasts on a variety of themes. I found the section of short bible testimonies by parishioners in the Portsmouth Diocese both moving and thought provoking. https://www.godwhospeaks.org/media

Reflection: In response to this difficult time of lockdown and isolation, Redemptorist Publications is delighted to offer yet another free spiritual resource. Here you can find a 35 minute presentation in which Fr Denis McBride C.Ss.R. reflects on the Significance of Pentecost, in front of a live audience.  https://www.rpbooks.co.uk/pentecost-frdenis

Laudato Si: After praying the Regina Coeli on Sunday, Pope Francis recalled the fifth anniversary of his encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ On the Care for our Common Home.’ He said the document sought to “call attention to the cry of the Earth and of the poor.” The Pope then invited everyone to take part in the Laudato Si’ Year, which is promoted by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and runs from 24 May 2020 until 24 May 2021. “I invite all people of goodwill to take part, to care for our common home and our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.” Pope Francis also announced a special prayer dedicated to the Laudato Si’ Year, and encouraged everyone to pray it.

Loving God,
Creator of Heaven, Earth, and all therein contained.
Open our minds and touch our hearts,
so that we can be part of Creation, your gift.

Be present to those in need in these difficult times,
especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
Help us to show creative solidarity
as we confront the consequences of the global pandemic.
Make us courageous in embracing
the changes required to seek the common good.
Now more than ever, may we all feel interconnected and interdependent.

Enable us to succeed in listening and responding
to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.
May their current sufferings become the birth-pangs
of a more fraternal and sustainable world.

We pray through Christ our Lord,
under the loving gaze of Mary Help of Christians,

Amen.

Wednesday 27th May's updates and resources

Children of all ages: The feast of Pentecost approaches on Sunday 31st May. Here is a link to Pentecost-themed dove colouring sheet to put in your front window. Together with the CLOW team, I have created an additional resource and activities sheet for parents. This is to help children celebrate Pentecost at home. All the activities are tried and tested including the Pentecost party ideas. You can find the sheet on our website https://www.stmarysbath.org.uk/news-events

Lectio Divina: Join the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph online every day at 4.00pm (except on Sundays) for 45 minutes of prayerful reflection on the Gospel of the Day. Every day, one of the sisters will host the time of Lectio Divina, starting with prayer and the reading of the Gospel. Everyone will be invited to share their thoughts and inspirations during this time of teaching, fellowship and prayer. Come and join the sisters, each day during this period of confinement, so that together we may listen to God who speaks to us in the Scripture, and shares with us his truth, love and very life. Participants will be able to interact and share their own thoughts and prayers.

​After the time of Lectio, join the sisters in prayer for the Rosary and Vespers, which you can follow live here

Reflection: A short piece on discerning what God is calling us to do during lockdown and beyond, using the example of St Ignatius. https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/taking-the-ignatius-challenge

Reflection: Bishop Tom Williams offers a thought-provoking Easter reflection looking at his own journey of faith, recovering from challenging times and looking to a positive future despite the devastation of COVID-19. The constant is the Lord and the Lord is good. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/bishop-trauma-can-knock-us-or-give-us-a-real-purpose-in-life/

A message from Life Matters: “The COVID-19 situation is serious for Life. Our key workers are out there providing support, and demand for our services providing positive alternatives to abortion has increased dramatically. Even during the hardships of the COVID crisis, we cannot restrict our service to abortion-minded women to when it is safe, convenient, or easy. We are committed to the Gospel of Life during these troubled times, which is why I am asking for your prayers for our staff, volunteers, and the people we help.” https://lifecharity.org.uk/

Tuesday 26th May's updates and resources

The God Who Speaks: Augustine of Hippo said, “If the psalm prays, you pray. If the psalm laments, you lament. If the psalm exalts, you rejoice. If it hopes, you hope. If it fears, you fear. Everything written here is a mirror for us.” We are grateful to Fr.Tristan of Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Parish in Eastbourne for his permission to share this with you. “I am a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. ‘With the Harp I Will Solve My Problem’ is a daily series that I am running during the coronavirus lockdown here in Eastbourne, England. While our churches are closed, I hope these reflections may help parishioners to pray at home with the psalms: the songbook of the Church – God’s own Word in which God praises Himself. Here, in the Word, each day, we will praise, lament, give thanks, and ask for mercy.” https://cliftondiocese.com/the-god-who-speaks/

Event: Wednesday 27 May 8-9pm “Hope beyond uncertainty”. Author Roger Carswell will interview Neil Todman (a pastor in Bristol whose wife died of cancer while their children were young and has had to rebuild their life as a family). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftp0zbteIsk It will be a live broadcast on the St Bart’s (Oldfield Park) YouTube channel with the opportunity to text questions. It will stay on the channel so can also be watched and shared later.

Virtual pilgrimage: The Archdiocese of Birmingham is having a virtual pilgrimage to Lourdes this week as they are unable to travel this year. You can take part in a daily programme of Masses, Liturgy and Prayer for the week that would have been spent in Lourdes so, like Bernadette, we will make a spiritual pilgrimage: “Every day I go in spirit to the Grotto. I make a pilgrimage there.” Each day there are live services at 9.30/10.00am, 5.00pm and 8.00pm, but you can watch them at any time via the Birmingham Diocese Facebook page or Youtube channel. We have been joining the virtual torchlight procession each night, saying the Rosary together.
Download liturgy booklet
Follow us on Facebook for special extra content #Lourdes2Brum

Prayer: Prayer for the Pandemic for a household in lockdown by Raymond Friel (former headteacher at St Gregory’s).
God of the indoors,
who knew the confines of domestic space
at a time of little comfort,
help us in this time of confinement,
help us to see it as an act of love, in solidarity
with those who care for us and put their own lives
on the line for the sake of others.
Help us to ‘make room’ for each other, even if room is scarce,
help us to find reserves of patience we never knew we had,
to take offence less easily, to find in our hearts
an easy apology when we’re petulant.
Help us to be attentive, careful, and thoughtful.
May we draw deeply from the well
of our most loving times. Amen

Thursday 21st May's updates and resources

Tradition dies hard https://www.facebook.com/TheIrishPost/videos/1668795983296352

Pentecost novena and retreat 22nd-30th May: I have attached a novena to the Holy Spirit recommended by Fr Jeremy.  An online pre-Pentecost retreat has been recommended by a parishioner https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/waiting-for-the-spirit-an-online-retreat

Charitable giving: The Christians in the Holy Land and particularly in Bethlehem are on the brink of starvation due to lockdown. There is no work for them as they work mainly in the hotels and tourism industries. The Friends of the Holy Land (FHL) are raising money with a target of £100,000 to be met at Pentecost, which will be match funded. See www.friendsoftheholyland.org for full information on the plight in Bethlehem, Gaza and Jordan, and how to donate.

Laudato Si Week The Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development that is promoting the week has also announced the celebration of a Special “Laudato Si” Anniversary Year, which runs from May 24, 2020 to May 24, 2021. Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam is the Coordinator of the Sector on Ecology and Creation, which functions under the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.  

Crises of “Our Common Home”. Presenting the Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year, the Salesian priest said that the context of this year is “the precarious state of ‘Our Common Home’”, which Pope Francis speaks about in ‘Laudato Si’.” The Holy Father asks, “What kind of world do we want to leave those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”  https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2020-05/laudato-si-5-years-week-year-celebration-interview-kureethadam.html

Music: More movement, education and prayer today with Mike Stanley’s “Hail Mary”, with signing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PglEF7mTf2E

Wednesday 20th May's updates and resources

Fanning the flame: Each week during Eastertide, seminarian Stephen Corrigan has been posting a weekly, three minute max audio reflection, based on some inspiration from the Sunday readings and pondering on daily life. He was due to start a placement at St Mary’s Church and the RUH this week, but is unable to do so due to the pandemic. You can find all the reflections here https://soundcloud.com/user-25434191 These reflections by Stephen and by Caroline Sadd (Parish Outreach Worker) are “an opportunity for us to be built up by Spirit-filled words of hope in these difficult times”.

Thursday 21 May 8-9pm: Hope beyond fear. Author Roger Carswell will interview Robbie Hall (ex army Colonel and bomb disposal expert who came to faith through one particular frightening experience). Please note that the actual interview with Robbie will begin after the Clap for Carers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKHhDEXzTXY It will be a live broadcast on the St Bart’s (Oldfield Park) YouTube channel with the opportunity to text questions. It will stay on the channel so can also be watched and shared later.

Lourdes: This short video (6mins 41secs) is a lovely mix of music (Immaculate Mary; Salve Regina) and film of pilgrims moving around Lourdes. It is not as good as being there, but gives a good sense of the space of the Domain and the daily services that usually take place. I always went to Lourdes during May half-term, so the lovely weather we are having now is called “Lourdes weather” in our house. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qsC8uEUUSM

Charitable giving and prayer: The Mary’s Meals Prayer “One way you can support our work is by saying the following Mary’s Meals prayer:

“Our Father, give us this day our daily bread and forgive us for the times when we take more than our share of the bread that belongs to all.

Let us help You fill the starving with good things, not with scraps from our table. Teach us how to share what is not ours to keep.

Clothe us with Your love that we may complete each good work You created us to do.

Place in our hearts Your compassion for each starving child and use our little acts of love so that they starve no more. Amen.”

Please feel free to download our prayer card.”

Reflection: Rabbi Brad Hirschfield talks about where we encounter God, and how caring for others takes away our fears. You will find the podcast at the bottom of the article. https://bustedhalo.com/podcasts/rabbi-brad-on-finding-god-in-the-midst-of-fear

Tuesday 19th May's updates and resources

Bible Study: LETTERS FROM LOCKDOWN Two short films on St Paul’s letter to the Phillipians by Seminarians Joseph Meigh and Stuart Ford. “Philippians is very short – only 4 pages long – but is known as one of St Paul’s most joy-filled letters. Perhaps especially it might help us find joy in our current situation of lockdown, because Paul was writing it from his prison cell – so it shows us how that deepest kind of joy wells up from our relationship with Christ which is within us, whatever our external circumstances. https://cliftondiocese.com/the-god-who-speaks/

The Art of Dying Well: Palliative care physician Dr Kathryn Mannix on caring for someone with COVID-19

https://www.artofdyingwell.org/caring-for-the-dying/caring-during-covid-19/caring-for-a-loved-one-at-home-during-covid-19/ 

Mass on Sky TV and radio Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is dedicated to the advancement of truth as defined by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. EWTN is available on both Sky (subscription) and Sky Freesat (no subscription) on channel 589 under the Religion category. EWTN Radio is available to all Sky viewers on EPG Channel 0147 under the “Radio” category.

BIG NATIONAL PRAYER EVENT Sunday 24 May 8.00 to 9.30pm Live broadcast: Many cities and towns in the UK have held united prayer events during this crisis.   Now is the time for all the cities and towns to join together for a huge prayer event covering the UK.   It is time for our cities to stand together, in unity, and ask God to move across our nation.   Many thousands of Christians from all traditions will be joining in from their homes across the UK to seek a move of God for the transformation of our towns and cities. We will also be joined by some special guests who will be leading us in prayer. Please share the invitation far and wide, across all your friends and networks so as many people as possible can join the event and be part of something truly special. 

Join us live on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/movementdayuk/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZy2R9x1R9E1HKrjpO93Ylg

World Communication Day 24th May:  The Pope’s World Communications Day message focuses on storytelling, truth and who we are in God’s eyes. He looks to the Bible as “the great love story between God and humanity” with Jesus at its centre.

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/wcd20/

Monday 18th May's updates and resources

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, Thurs 21st May: I asked the catechists for our Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLOW) group for some ideas of how children can understand and celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. They came up with a great variety of resources and activities, which I have attached to this email.

Laudato Si week (16-24 May): Laudato si is Pope Francis’s Encyclical Letter on “The Care of Our Common Home”, released on Thurs 18th November 2015. To celebrate its’ 5th anniversary, Pope Francis is asking us to reflect on our relationship with our Creator and creation. Clifton Diocese has created a page with links to a wealth of information, activities, podcasts and prayers.  There is also a link to the encyclical itself. https://cliftondiocese.com/news/pope-francis-invites-you-to-celebrate-laudato-si-week/You can also find information and more links on the CBCEW website https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/laudato-si-week/

Clifton Diocese Liturgy Office: Another site which may be helpful during the month of May is “Novenas to Mary, Un-doer of knots” https://www.praymorenovenas.com/mary-undoer-knots-novena

Music: Today’s Marian hymn incorporates British sign language and movement, so that covers a) exercise b) prayer and c) learning a new skill all in the same video. It is Boyce and Stanley’s “Hail Mary” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZQjVI-P55w

The Joy of the Gospel: This video is of David Wells, renowned Catholic speaker, explaining the joy of the Gospel, and the love and joy to be found in the papal documents of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II. He gave the same talk at St Brendan’s College, Brislington, recently and it was AMAZING. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5-uoQmbyiQ

The Acts of the Apostles: Throughout the Easter season we read from the Acts of the Apostles, seeing how the Easter gospel is preached in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Fr Adrian Graffy, Scripture scholar and member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, has recorded a talk on the opening eight chapters of Acts.https://www.whatgoodnews.org/faith-talks-1/2020/4/27/acts-of-the-apostles

Thursday 14th May updates and resources

Music: Today’s Marian hymn is Boyce and Stanley’s “Magnificat” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs8QVxw9eBI If you have any guitar skills, you can learn how to play it using Jo Boyce’s guitar tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vFhF4MBRN8 An excellent way to use lockdown!

Congratulations to Gabriele Green, on her 100th birthday!

For the young person in your life: Listen to 0.40-2.01mins for “Four Things God Thinks About You” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U12thMZTLTc

Covid 19: Dying, Recovering and Caring during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A podcast exploring what it’s like for NHS staff, patients and loved ones at this unusual and difficult time. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/dying-recovering-and-caring-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Radio: Heaven’s Road Catholic Online Radio broadcasts 24/7 prayers, reflections, features and music, plus live Masses from more than 15 churches in England and Ireland. If you missed anything, you can listen again to more than 200 programmes.

Counselling: Marriage Care has moved all its face-to-face services to online alternatives using secure webcam and video conferencing technology – just like having face-to-face support, except you talk to a trained counsellor or marriage preparation facilitator online using a secure video link, similar to Skype or FaceTime.

Fr Matt Anscombe: Please pray for Fr Matt (priest at St Bernadette’s Whitchurch and St Dunstan’s Keynsham) as he is expecting an imminent operation after breaking his thumb badly in a cycle accident. St Bernadette’s parish website is chocabloc with podcasts so do visit https://stbernadettewhitchurch.org/ to listen to some of them. There is a series called Ten Minute Church by Fr Matt; a set of talks on the Holy Spirit by Fr Matt, and a series called “Fanning the Flame” with parish outreach worker Caroline Sadd and seminarian Stephen Corrigan.

 

Wednesday 13th May's updates and resources

Mass: Use the online directory of churches in England and Wales streaming Catholic Mass live online. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/online-mass-directory/

Bishops: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has responded to the government’s document released today, 11 May, titled ‘Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy’. Read their statement here https://www.cbcew.org.uk/catholic-bishops-respond-to-governments-lockdown-easing-plans/

Vocations: Two short stories on discernment to Religious Life https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/vocations-sunday-2020/vocation-stories-2020/

Charitable giving: This film is a short message of thanks from Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow, founder of Mary’s Meals. https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/message As you may know, St Mary’s Parish has been supporting the Mary’s Meals Backpack Project for at least three years. Whilst we cannot collect items for the backpacks at the moment, you may be able to donate £15.90 to feed one child for a whole year. Alternatively, you might want to put an empty jar aside for Mary’s Meals and put aside £15.90 more gradually. To donate, go to https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/?pl=GB If you want to know more, you can buy Magnus’ book “The Shed That Fed A Million Children” https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/get-involved/bookandfilms/the-shed-that-fed-a-million-children

Pope Francis: Pope Francis is inviting people of all faiths to join an initiative to pray, fast, and perform works of charity on Thursday 14th May, to implore God for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/day-of-prayer-fasting-and-works-of-charity/ and https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2020-05/covid-19-faithful-respond-to-popes-invitation-to-pray-may-14.html

Music: Today’s Marian hymn is Caccini’s Ave Maria, sung by Lesley Garrett https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-uy-mGRF40

Tues 12th May updates and resources

The God Who Speaks: Every Christian has a different story about how God has spoken to them through the words of the bible. Fr Stephen Wang tells us how the bible changed his life.  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/bible-basics/how-the-bible-changed-my-life/

Mass: A ‘dial-a-Mass’ service is now available from one diocese. The new service has been provided specifically by the Middlesbrough diocese for Catholics without internet access, following on from the success of online services, introduced after the suspension of public mass earlier this year.https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12885/catholic-diocese-launches-uk-s-first-dial-a-mass-

Prayer: Redemptorist Publications have created a website called Novena at Home.  www.novena-at-home.redemptorists.co.uk

Music: Our Marian hymn today is the “Salve Regina” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqL3GxSkuDg Very calming.

Prayer and reflection: A recommendation from Redemptorist Publications

We encourage you to sit in stillness for ten to fifteen minutes and open your heart to receive God’s gift of the Holy Spirit.
 This spiritual exercise will deepen your awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart and give you confidence that the Spirit will be with you in everything you do to make Christ known.

Centre yourself; sit upright, two feet firmly on the floor; breathe rhythmically with deep breaths, in and out, from the abdomen; clear your mind of all preoccupations.

Bring yourself to bodily stillness.

Now welcome in your heart this gift that Jesus has for you: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

Quietly repeat those words of Jesus and hand over to him all worries or trouble.

You may find it helpful if you name to God a specific area where you need healing or forgiveness.

Now be still for some time in the presence of God as you welcome the Holy Spirit into your heart.

As you are about to finish your time of prayer, focus again on your breathing while you relax in God’s presence.

Bring yourself gently back to your daily concerns.

May you receive that peace of Christ each day.
(Exercise excerpt taken from Talking about Jesus £4.95)

Prayers for new mothers and fathers: Please remember all those new families, whose joy at the birth of their child is tempered by fear and loneliness.

Mon 11th May Updates and resources

Faith: “Love chooses you” An uplifting, animated video written and narrated by David Wells, renowned Catholic speaker (7mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-sKNhQvWzE

Outside inspiration: If you have forgotten what Bath city centre looks and sounds like in more normal times, watch this walking tour around Bath. You could even walk on the spot or on a treadmill to get some exercise at the same time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZcpTjLo3Qc

Poetry and Art: This poem, “The Servant Girl at Emmaus”, is a recommendation from Fr Jeremy. https://www.journeywithjesus.net/poemsandprayers/631-denise-levertov-servant-girl   It is inspired by the painting “The Emmaus Supper” by Velaquez, which can be found in the National Gallery of Art in Dublin https://www.nationalgallery.ie/art-and-artists/highlights-collection/kitchen-maid-supper-emmaus-diego-velazquez-1599-1660 There is a lovely commentary on the painting here https://www.weaverland.org/breezes/the-emmaus-kitchen/  I also found a sermon on who sees Jesus today and where we find him, based upon the painting and the story of Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35  https://sermonsgslc.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/the-kitchen-maid/

Charitable giving: Today, we received an article about the works of SPICMA (Special Projects in Christian Missionary Areas) which I will forward to you. Please pray for their volunteers and the people whom they look after. If, after reading the article you wish to donate some money, here are the details: There are a number of ways in which you can make donations to SPICMA

  • by Debit or Credit Card through the safe & secure web site\\\.   SPICMA.org Click the “donate” button on the right hand side of the front page of the our website–through Your Employer by Give As You Earn. Please quote our Ref No GYE 413255.
  • by setting up a standing order direct to our account at CAF BANK LTD A/c. No 00095877   Sort Code: 40-52-40 You can set this up through your online banking facility or you can download a Standing Order Mandate form, complete it and post it to your bank.
  • by sending a cheque to the address below (please indicate if you wish to Gift Aid your donation) SPICMA ORG, P.O. Box 299, CIRENCESTER
    GL7 9FP
  • You can also donate to Spicma by leaving a Legacy. Go to our Legacy page to find out more.

Music: The Marian hymn today is “Holy Mary – Gentle Woman”. The accompanying video is a little odd  but don’t let that put you off https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4olGuMBiag&list=RDN3Br9-0iWgU&index=2

 

Thursday 7th May updates and resources

Film: If you are unfamiliar with the story of Sr Clare Crockett, and are in need of something uplifting, then take some time to watch “All or Nothing: Sr Clare Crockett”. I came across her story on Tuesday and have been inspired to pass on her example as a potential modern day saint. The film is available via https://www.sisterclare.com/en/

Blog: Parishioner Julian Hughes recently had a blog published by the ‘Journal of Medical Ethics’, on the importance of virtues during the pandemic. A consultant for over 20 years and professor in old age psychiatry, he remains an honorary professor at the University of Bristol and visiting professor at Newcastle University, UK.  https://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2020/04/19/what-the-virtues-have-to-offer-in-the-midst-of-covid-19/

Music: For all those who have sung this whilst walking in the torchlight procession around the Domain in Lourdes “Holy Virgin, by God’s decree” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuGABqp_pJE

Art: This link came via the Bishops Conference of Scotland. It is a video exploring Fra Angelico’s Noli Me Tangere, the latest in the short series examining Eastertide art. https://www.youtube.com/watchv=KVbtsuBbR8Q&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR32KyGEDmvQz3gkm9wIYnnGWwNWjFV0AeQscCl9An_raPQLH8GWtB-W1Pk

Vocations: This is an interesting video which raises questions about the meaning of vocation, how answering God’s call is not necessarily straight-forward https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-northern-ireland-52419863/coronavirus-putting-priesthood-on-hold-to-return-to-medicine

Prayer: There has never been a greater need to unite together in pray for our city, nation our world like now. Join with us to Cover BATH in prayer 24 hours a day FOR 50 DAYS FROM EASTER TO PENTECOST+ Sign up for a slot for virtual 24-7 prayer by clicking here bit.ly/50DOP BathCAN have managed to set up a page for specific things to pray for concerning Bath (Eg praying for Claverton ward at the Bath Clinic for staff as they are self-isolating due to being in contact with covid19 and for the reopening of the ward). So if you have any Bath intentions, please email to jawykes@yahoo.co.uk

A message from Genesis Trust: As Spring blossoms outside, we continue to serve our client community whilst keeping them, our staff and our volunteers safe at this difficult time. Staff at Bath Foodbank have worked at breakneck speed to take our referral system online, centralise our storage and distribution processes, and to deliver much-needed food parcels direct to people’s homes, with the help of British Gas. Our Life Skills groups have gone online and it is a fantastic combination of technology and adaptability which has enabled many clients to stay connected, alleviating the struggles of social isolation, bringing joy and a sense of community. Whilst the vast majority of people sleeping rough in our city have been temporarily housed, we are providing individual support to some who remain outside. Administrative support and help with benefits is being given to clients who are struggling or need access to a computer.
We are constantly assessing how we’ll meet the needs of our clients going forward in the medium and long term. It may be that we will need to initiate further new ways of working, to enable the Furniture Project and our other services to resume safely, and within guidelines. We anticipate that more people will be vulnerably housed and dealing with complex mental health or addiction issues as a result of COVID-19, and that our work will be more in demand than ever. This article from the BBC give some food for thought as to the challenges ahead: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52295894

Wed 6th May updates and resources

Reflection: Shemaiah Gonzalez reflects on the highs and low of lockdown, and where she finds God https://bustedhalo.com/life-culture/god-shows-up-in-the-sunrise

Clifton Diocese Liturgy Office: You may have already seen that Pope Francis has sent out an official letter encouraging all Catholics to come together and pray the rosary throughout May and ‘to rediscover the beauty of praying the rosary at home.’ He has also given us two new prayers that implore the help of the Virgin Mary during the coronavirus pandemic. The full details are here: http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2020/documents/papa-francesco_20200425_lettera-mesedimaggio.html There is guidance, too, for those who may be new, or have forgotten how, to pray the rosary. It explains the mysteries of the Rosary, and how to pray them. http://www.vatican.va/special/rosary/documents/misteri_en.html#How_to_pray_the_Rosary

Prayer: A story of how that IT can sometimes be helpful in our spiritual lives, when transport lets us down https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12858/the-priest-his-podcast-and-the-exploding-bike-tyre You can tune into Fr Sean Connelly’s podcasts at 6.00pm every day on the St George’s parish website, or listen to them later here. 

Reflections: Today’s recommendation from a parishioner is for the daily Gospel reflections on the Facebook page for Pauline Books and Media Glasgow https://www.facebook.com/pbmglasgow. Pauline Books is run by the Daughters of St Paul.

Pauline Books/ Daughters of St Paul: If you are not on Facebook, try their main website www.paulineuk.org It is full of information about the order of nuns and their work, and has links to blogs on St Paul https://www.paulineuk.org/blog/st-paul-the-apostle, Discernment https://www.paulineuk.org/blog/discernment plus a link to Fr Sean Hall’s Gospel reflections https://www.paulineuk.org/blog/liturgical-reflections

Outside inspiration: Have a look at the Visit Bristol page on YouTube for their Great Views of Bristol 360 degrees video. You can use you mouse or your mobile to adjust the view to your taste. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQDbgwMULtk&feature=youtu.be

Music: Our Marian hymn for today is “As I kneel before you” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaDeqSotwoc

Tues 5th May updates and resources

Refugees: Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for migration and asylum, has joined over 20 front-line facing organisations working with asylum seekers, refugees, and those with irregular immigration status in calling for a grant of a period of ‘leave to remain’ to those with insecure immigration status.  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/human-dignity-of-refugees-must-be-respected-during-the-pandemic/

Today’s charities: If you want to help those who are helping asylum seekers or refugees in Britain, you can donate to Borderlands Refugee Centre, Bristol via https://localgiving.org/charity/borderlands/ or to St Chad’s Sanctuary, Birmingham via http://www.stchadssanctuary.com/index.php/donations Prayers for the morale of staff and the refugees are equally welcome, particularly at a time when many usual sources of aid have dried up and volunteer numbers are low due to lockdown and illness.

Prayer through music: Go to YouTube and listen and watch The UK Blessing. “At this unique and challenging time in the United Kingdom over 65 churches and movements, representing hundreds of others, have come together online to sing a blessing over our land. Standing together as one, our desire is that this song will fill you with hope and encourage you.” IMHO, it is quite wonderful.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U&fbclid=IwAR3SQBmo5ui2wXLByPrmdsyOgU_YD9RoKt8pJI2BhtgEPG_QPS-4B_gB9RQ

Home retreat for the seriously ill: When you become ill, seriously ill, you might feel hopeless or angry or full of despair. One of life’s most terrifying realizations is that we are not in control — God is. This virtual retreat provides guidance for prayer and reflection during the times when we need to trust God and to feel God’s presence, even when the future seems unclear. (Click here for a printable pdf of this retreat.https://bustedhalo.com/ministry-resources/a-retreat-for-those-facing-serious-illness

Mary, Mother of God: It is May, one of the months where we dedicate prayers to Mary. Busted Halo have a film about the Church teaching of Mary https://bustedhalo.com/video/mary-in-two-minutes Have a look at the new photo on the front page of the parish website: our statue of Our Lady, Help of Christians.

Music: For everyone who ever took part in a May Procession “Bring flowers of the rarest” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFCg2zEToVU

Mon 4th May updates and resources

Sheila Parkinson RIP: We are sorry to announce the death of Sheila, who died on 28th April. Her funeral will take place, privately, on Wednesday 13th May. Please pray for her family and friends, especially as funeral arrangements are more difficult as the moment.

Bishops: Writing on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, the five Metropolitan Archbishops have addressed the COVID-19 pandemic and, specifically, the measures taken and restrictions imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bishops-recognise-pain-of-catholics-who-cannot-pray-in-church-or-receive-the-sacraments/

Accessible Communication: We know that going to church is both a spiritual and social space for people with intellectual disabilities to share their lives and faith. In this time of uncertainty, with our churches closed to the public, things are particularly difficult. The Kairos Forum is providing valuable resources. Visit the Kairos site or CBCEW page highlighting its Sacred Place for Accessible Communication and Empathy (SPACE).

Charitable giving: Each day, I am going to give the details of a different charity which is in need of help. This does not mean you have to give any money, but you may wish to pass on the details to someone who is able to do so. Prayers are equally important, both for those in need and for the morale of those working with them in challenging circumstances.

Today’s charity is CCS Adoption If you are currently working from home why not donate the money you would have spent on travel (fuel, parking, or even your morning coffee) to CCS?  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayCharityCampaignPage.action?campaignId=12656&charityId=1002409

Prayer for Vocations Sunday:

Loving Father, you call us by name.
As we journey through life
help us to be confident in our own unique identity
and to find opportunities to develop our own gifts and passions.

We pray that the Holy Spirit
will pour on us wisdom and guidance
to help us realise and follow our dreams,
discerning your plan for our lives.

Bless your Church by raising up dedicated and generous people
from our families and friends
who will serve as Priests, Deacons, Sisters and Brothers.

May we support one another in response to God’s call.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

Thurs 30th April Updates and resources

Spiritual communion:  “Sisters launch Spiritual Adoption program in response to Covid-19”. The Daughters of St. Paul in the United States begin a Spiritual Adoption program, matching Covid-19 patients and frontliners with people who pray for them. Just like many others in the U.S., the Daughters of St Paul are on lock down. That has not stopped the sisters from performing their communications ministry. They have launched a digital Spiritual Adoption program for Covid-19 patients and frontliners. Read more at https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2020-04/daughters-paul-spiritual-communion-adoption-program.html  

Find out more about the nuns at http://pauline.org/Portals/0/spiritual-communion.html

Vocations: More proof that nuns have the most fun https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/sunderland-nuns-sing-dance-outside-18150148

Music: The Prayer | Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir (A song of hope from self-isolation) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-vDUpp3XSQ&feature=youtu.be

Meditation: The World Community for Christian Meditation is a global and inclusive contemplative family. The roots of the World Community lie in the desert tradition of early Christianity dating back to the 4th century. In 1975 John Main, an Irish Benedictine monk (1926-1982), started the first Christian Meditation Centre in London. Find out more www.wccm.org

Charitable giving: Update on Vicky, the young Ugandan woman we raised funds for with the Raffle. The project to re-house Vicky has ground to a halt during the pandemic. The Doctor who is looking after her, Dr Anne Merriman, who runs Hospice Africa, has had nearly all her funding cut. To try to reverse this, Dr Anne is fund-raising herself. If you could contribute to this appeal it would make a huge difference. Please see https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/walkingwithawalker or www.annemerrimanfoundation.org  

Prayer and the Mass:  The Veil Removed is a short film that reveals the coming together of heaven and earth at Mass, as seen by saints and mystics revealed by scripture and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Very moving! https://theveilremoved.com/our-inspiration/ Here is a link to an endorsement of the video https://archedinburgh.org/video-archbishop-encourages-catholics-to-watch-the-veil-removed/

Migrants’ Mass 2020 Each year, near to the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the migrant communities of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster gathers for a Mass that is full of song, vibrant energy and great joy. This year, as we can’t gather in church, we will be celebrating the Migrants’ Mass using Instagram Live and YouTube on Saturday 2 May, at 10.30am. The theme for 2020 is: ‘You are clapping for us, now pray with us’. We value the incredible contribution of migrants to so many services that are now being recognised and honoured as essential. Many Migrant workers are amongst those on the ‘frontline’ – in the NHS and care homes; working as delivery drivers, cleaners and caterers. This is a moment to honour them in prayer – especially considering so many are financially vulnerable, working on zero-hours contracts or pay that is below the Real Living Wage. We also remember of the wonderful Catholic Social Teaching that recognises everyone as “our brothers and sisters”, calls us to tear down borders that divide and exclude any group of people, and has mandated us to pay a Real Living Wage ever since Pope Leo XIII wrote about it in 1891. 

 

Wed 29th April updates and resources

Marian Diplock RIP: WE have received the sad news that Marian has died. Her funeral will take place, privately, on Tuesday 12th May. Please pray for her family; funerals are so much harder due to social distancing rules.

 

Food: Compassionate Community partners 3SG & the Sustainable Food Partnership have produced a list of local providers offering food to people across Bath and north east Somerset https://www.3sg.org.uk/pages/sustainable-food-partnership?fbclid=IwAR06w4hq5EnfoRgcDDcdvTfWCnpHrO2oguRwUr3hPQfztEWFWhEc4bYa8Gg

 

After lockdown: The Ammerdown Centre is a well-established Retreat and Conference Centre open to people of all faiths and none, with a special emphasis on hospitality, peace and reconciliation. It offers a beautiful and peaceful meeting place conducive to refreshment of mind, body and spirit as well as mutual learning and shared encounters. It provides this facility within a welcoming, accepting and prayerful atmosphere which promotes mutual respect regardless of backgrounds and beliefs. Find out more here http://www.ammerdown.org/about-ammerdown

Charitable giving: Julian House –  Coronavirus Support Fund. “The Coronavirus outbreak is having a real impact on the life saving services we provide. We urgently need your help to continue to support vulnerable people on the streets. Make your donation even more valuable by clicking the Gift Aid box Charity Registration No: 1183751 Donate here

TV – Priest School: Today’s recommendation from a parishioner is” Priest School”. It is a documentary featuring rare, unique and exceptional access to the inner workings, personnel, seminarians and history of the oldest Scottish institution abroad – Il Pontificio College Scozzese (the Scots College in Rome.)  Over the course of a year, this programme documents inspiration, celebration and ordination. Narrated by Scottish-Italian actress Daniela Nardini. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000hmvf/priest-school

Prayer: Mothers Prayers was formed to help those mothers who wished to pray together for their children and grandchildren and to find the support they needed. http://www.mothersprayers.org/index.php/en/

Lord Jesus, we come before you as mothers, wanting you to bless our children, and all children throughout the world. We thank you for our children – they are a precious gift to us. Help us, always to remember this, especially when they are in difficulties. Lord, they live in a troubled world – a world that does not always acknowledge you, – a world that may sometimes cause them to be laughed at if they admit to belief in you. Help them to be strong, Lord. Helps us to know that you are always with us – sharing in the joys and in the sorrows, joining us in the laughter and weeping with us in the pain. Please give us all the graces we need, to fulfil your plans for our lives and for our duties in our families. You are Almighty God. You can change things. So we turn to you in faith and love knowing that you will answer our prayers. Lord let us always remember how much you love us and our children and how you urge us to come to you with our problems. Amen” 

Updates and resources Tues 28th April

Message from BathCAN (Christian Action Network): From an RUH Doctor who worships at All Saints – share widely. A.M. Friday 24 April “Morning all! Just wanted to share some encouraging news from the RUH. The local modelling they have done suggests that we may have already passed our Covid-19 peak, due to people practicing good social distancing and complying with lockdown. BUT…it is vital that we continue to adhere to it, otherwise we could still have a bigger peak in the next few weeks. Lockdown is hard, especially with kids, but it IS working, so be encouraged and spread the word to the community. All the RUH staff really appreciate the applause every Thurs, but also want to send it back to you! Thank you for sticking with lockdown, YOU are saving lives in the process and making our job more manageable.”

 

Homily: If you would like to read Cardinal Vincent’s homily from last week’s Mass for the sick, go to https://www.cbcew.org.uk/pray-for-health-care-workers/

 

Prayer: This May, during the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis has invited the faithful to renew their love for the Most Holy Rosary, a prayer fully immersed in the Gospel. In this article, Vatican News looks at the dedication of various Popes throughout the centuries to this ancient devotion.https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-04/the-popes-and-the-rosary.html

 

News from CAFOD (Catholic Agency For Overseas Development): Coronavirus (Covid-19) has now spread worldwide, with confirmed cases in many countries where CAFOD works. The spread of this virus to countries with poor health systems will be devastating. Families without enough to eat and without access to clean water, possibly living with HIV or other underlying health conditions will be particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.  Our programmes around the world are run by local experts and we are in constant touch with them as they plan for how to deal with this crisis. In order to continue protecting and improving the lives of those in poor communities, your prayers and gifts are needed now more than ever…read more https://cafod.org.uk/News/International-news/Coronavirus-response

 

Catechesis: Fr Chris has made a short video about last Sunday’s Gospel on the road to Emmaus, which you might enjoy https://stjohnsrcbath.org.uk/index.php/mass-online

 

After lockdown: There are retreat centres around the country. There are monasteries when we can partake in the prayer life and the liturgy of the community. In our own diocese these vary from monasteries to small houses, and retreat and days of reflection are available with or without spiritual accompaniment. Some are organised (or can be by these centres), others are for individuals to take time and space as is needed. Today’s link is to the Alabare House of Prayer in Salisbury http://www.alabare.org/retreats/

 

Vocations: Proof that nuns have the most fun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mw9AXeNMjc

 

Mon 27th April updates and resources

Pope Francis reflects on yesterday’s gospel: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-04/regina-coeli-there-is-no-night-that-cannot-be-faced-with-jesus.html

Masses for the Sick and their Families, NHS Front-Line workers and those working in Social Care: The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show a spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in the ways described above, each week from next Thursday, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate Mass in their Cathedral which will be live-streamed for people to join. This week’s Mass: 30th April Celebrant: Bishop Richard Moth Our Lady and St Philip Howard, Arundel YouTube Channel You can also visit our page for further links.

BATH CHRISTIAN ACTION NETWORK: B&NES Council urgently needs to borrow chest freezers to store freshly prepared meals for distribution to vulnerable families and older people across B&NES. If you can help, please contact Peter Heywood via peter@heywood.co.uk or 07976 241 545.

Prayer:  There has never been a need to unite together in pray for our city, nation our world like now. Cover BATH in prayer 24 hours a day FOR 50 DAYS FROM EASTER TO PENTECOST+ Sign up for a slot for virtual 24-7 prayer by clicking on bit.ly/50DOP I know I have put this in before, but here it is again, in case you have not had a chance to sign up or forgot.

Vocations: St John’s Seminary, Wonersh is where the majority of our seminarians for the Diocese of Clifton go for formation to the priesthood. They produced a video on a day in the seminary.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHHgn0bp0D0&fbclid=IwAR2sMwEuvCkY-3JDIwws6w0MDMcBcyd2ypYinJu63iBWqtitaRcmCI53Y70

Updates and resources Thurs 23rd April

Alone (Together):  It is a resource created by those who live in isolation through choice (nuns, Monks) and those who were forced to do so (hostages). It is supported by Abbott Chris Jamison and has some really interesting ideas and videos. https://www.alonetogether.org.uk/

Young people: Ten resources for surviving isolation at home from the Kenelm Youth Trust http://www.kenelmyouthtrust.org.uk/news/surviving-self-isolation

DAILY READINGS AT MASS: You can make use of the daily Mass readings from universalis.com to feed and nourish your prayer life during this strange and isolating time. Don’t forget that Fr Chris says Mass each day at 10.00am at St John’s https://stjohnsrcbath.org.uk/

Film: If you did not get your fill over Easter, then have a look at these. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-biblical-blockbusters/

Music: Andrea Bocelli: Amazing Grace – Music For Hope (Live From Duomo di Milano)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpXwOSHTwsY

Art: “What is Christian Art? Our mission is simple: Art and Christianity no longer resonate as an inherent, magnificent pairing. Actually it is a feeling that goes both ways: most Christians no longer see Art as being important or even as a relevant way of promoting the faith; and non believers don’t value Christianity as having been at the forefront of the arts throughout the centuries, responsible for creating some of the most magnificent artworks out there. Our offering is simple: one newsletter a day where we simply send you the Gospel reading of the day, alongside a work of art that we believe is poignant, reflective and appropriate to that reading. We offer a short reflection on the artwork and the reading. We simply give you the tools for you to meditate on the daily Gospel alongside a work of art. We are an apostolate within the Roman Catholic Church, based in London.” https://www.christianart.today/index.php

Families: Praying together as a family is not always easy. Here are some tips.  https://www.thykingdomcome.global/stories/growing-faith-together-family

Pope Francis: Downloadable publication of Pope’s prayers and homilies now available. The Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See is making available a downloadable book entitled “Strong in the Face of Tribulation”, containing prayers, supplications and the Pope’s homilies as “a sure support in time of trial”. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2020-04/downloadable-publication-popes-prayers-homilies-now-available.html?fbclid=IwAR3tYgiUxR4r3b4n2LbfxAC-75oyfmsaSzPNIt8ShtewBIJ7ZLXnkGInQ0Y

Updates, ideas and resources Wed 22nd April

Masses for the Sick and their Families, NHS Front-Line workers and those working in Social Care: The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show a spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in the ways described above, each week from next Thursday, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate Mass in their Cathedral which will be live-streamed for people to join. For a list of Masses: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/masses-for-sick-and-nhs-covid19/

Art and The God Who Speaks: This film was put together for the start of Lent, but you may enjoy it in light of last Sunday’s Gospel (John 20:19-31). Cardinal Vincent Nichols offers his reflections on this very theme in front of a huge painting by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano called ‘The Incredulity of Saint Thomas’. It was commissioned in 1497 for the altar in the Church of San Francesco in northern Venice. It is installed in the National Gallery in London – a place where the Cardinal filmed three reflections for our scripture initiative ‘The God Who Speaks’ – a year-long celebration of the Bible to deepen our understanding of God’s Word.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=wAvwDITOsA8&feature=emb_title

Music:  https://cliftondiocese.com/news/free-music-at-home-from-the-clifton-diocese/ With the closure of the Cathedral for the moment, our music ministers are unable to provide their services. To soften this blow Hoxa has produced music, at no cost to you, from vintage and unheard Clifton recordings. This, along with some new material, is for Holy Week and the Easter Vigil and has been very well received. Organ recitals by decade from Clifton are soon to be featured, along with other Cliftonabilia. The Hoxa channels are here: https://www.youtube.com/user/HoxaSound 

Exercise for those indoors: If you are not allowed out, but want to see something new, why not try this virtual walk around St Peter’s Basilica? St. Peter’s Basilica Walking Tour in 4K https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B54PR2kvWE If you are lucky enough to have an exercise bike or treadmill at home, then download this onto the TV or laptop and start exercising “in Rome”. Alternatively, you can walk on the spot as you watch it. 

Bishop Declan: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bishop-welcomes-figures-showing-a-continued-decrease-in-executions-around-the-world/

Meditation: This is a slow-TV recommendation from Fr Jeremy – The Great Mountain Sheep Gather, filmed in Eskdale in the Lake District https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVGdfn_-gI He suggests that it would be a wonderful, uplifting film to watch as part of a mediation on the role of Jesus as the good shepherd. It is also available on BBC i Player.

Updates and resources Tues 21st April

BATHCAN – CHURCHES TOGETHER IN BATH: There has never been a need to unite together in pray for our city, nation our world like now. Cover BATH in prayer 24 hours a day FOR 50 DAYS FROM EASTER TO PENTECOST. Sign up for a slot for virtual 24-7 prayer by signing up through this link: bit.ly/50DOP

 

Animal lovers: What are your favourite animals? Top ten animals in the Bible https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-animals-in-the-bible/

 

Music: Today’s parishioner recommendation is Matthew Butler in the Belfry of Bath Abbey on Easter Sunday playing Jesus Christ is risen today. https://www.facebook.com/matthew.butler.35/videos/10101058723797866/

NEED SOME HELP IN TIME OF ISOLATION?

www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safetyadvice-for-survivors/

For sexual violence rapecrisis.org.uk/get-help/coronavirus/  

For free legal advice through specialist service, ‘FLOWS’ www.rcjadvice.org.uk/family/flows-finding-legal-optionsfor-women-survivors/  www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/Event/coronavirus-crisiswhy-we-need-to-make-women-visible

 

Radio: If you missed the repeat of The Reunion last Friday, here is the link to the very moving “Beirut Hostages” with Terry Waite, John McCarthy, Jill Morrow and Brian Keenan https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00k2q8s

 

Message from the Genesis Charity: With our usual programme of fundraising events cancelled and every indication that the needs of our homeless and vulnerable clients will increase as a result of COVID-19, we are facing huge challenges, just like many charities. In the light of this, we are delighted to be able to join in a national fundraising event called the 2.6 Challenge. The event is based on the fact that this Sunday, 26 April, would have been the 40th London Marathon. Instead, we are able to join the 2.6 Challenge, which is a really inclusive chance for anyone to take part and raise much-needed funds for Genesis Trust.

Any kind of physical challenge is acceptable, to suit any level of fitness or ability. It can be done indoors by anyone shielding, or as part of the allowed exercise outside the home. This could be 2.6 miles around your garden, or 260 times up your stairs – it could be 26 burpees, 260 times. Anything goes! We already have a 5-year old called Henry signed up to do a 26-stage obstacle course around his house and garden, and our own Community and Events Manager Hilary Long, who has happily discovered that she has 26 stairs in her house, is going to climb them 100 times!

Here is the link enabling people to sign up to the challenge on behalf of Genesis:

https://twopointsixchallenge.justgiving.com/get-involved?charityId=100732&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTkdZMU9ETm1PRFF5WXpKaiIsInQiOiJKTHFaR3Fnc1pHWUlPNXhUOW5HSlliMU5qTXlRbjJBN1BhNHR0elQzelU5K25IQm1YOWxDbkN5R2MxZTNaa3ZValZoSm1RMXBGUmxTUDlPbkZQZTJIZzBzMEpUV3E3RHRmdDFhNGw4dmtIXC8zOVFaUWFnTENOc2sxWjV5dGszQmUifQ%3D%3D

Updates, ideas and resources Mon 20th April

Film: Run out of ideas of what film to watch? Try this list of ten uplifting spiritually films https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-spiritually-uplifting-films/ Fr Jeremy is a fan of “The Way” with Martin Sheen (as am I), so you might like to try that.

The God Who Speaks: The God Who Speaks National Planning Team welcomes your feedback on how God is speaking to us through this global pandemic. Coronavirus has become the most significant challenge our world is facing right now. So we want to reflect on how God is speaking to us through this crisis. To help shape our God Who Speaks Campaign, in the light of this crisis, we invite you to respond to any of these questions: How is God speaking to us at this time? How does Scriptural reflection help us discern God’s will? How can we build stronger relationships across all dioceses? How can we renew our Church communities through Scripture engagement? More info on how to respond: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/receiving-from-the-god-who-speaks/

Flour: If, like me, you have a family that like to bake then you might be interested to know that you can order flour from Twerton’s Bakers of Bath. You can order by text (07940352714), phone or using their Facebook site. They are open Monday and Thursday mornings, and you need to pick the order up from the bakery. You can order other things as well (milk, bread, cakes).

YESTERDAY’S GOSPEL WITH POPE FRANCIS – His sermon from Divine Mercy Sunday 2019:

Today’s Gospel passage (cf. Jn 20:19-31) recounts that on the day of Easter, Jesus appears to his disciples in the Upper Room, in the evening, bearing three gifts: peace, joy, the apostolic mission. The first words he says are: “Peace be with you” (v. 21). The Risen One brings authentic peace, because through his sacrifice on the Cross he achieved reconciliation between God and humanity, and he conquered sin and death. This is peace. His disciples needed this peace first and foremost, because, after the Master was arrested and condemned to death, they fell into dismay and fear. Jesus appears among them alive and, in showing the wounds — Jesus wanted to preserve his wounds — in his glorious body, gives peace as the fruit of his victory. But that evening the Apostle Thomas was not present. Apprised of this extraordinary event, incredulous at the testimony of the other Apostles, he demands to personally verify the truth of what they assert. Eight days later, just as today, the apparition is repeated: Jesus confronts Thomas’ incredulity, inviting him to touch His wounds. They are the sources of peace, because they are the sign of the immense love of Jesus who defeated the forces hostile to man: sin, death. He invites him to touch the wounds. It is a lesson for us, as if Jesus were to tell all of us: “If you are not at peace, touch my wounds”.

Touch Jesus’ wounds, which are the many problems, difficulties, persecutions, illnesses of so many suffering people. Are you not at peace? Go. Go to visit someone who is the symbol of Jesus’ wounds. Touch Jesus’ wounds. Mercy flows from those wounds. That is why today is the Sunday of Mercy. A saint used to say that Jesus’ crucified body is like a bundle of mercy, which reaches each of us through his wounds. All of us need mercy, as we know. Let us draw near to Jesus and touch his wounds in our suffering brothers and sisters. Jesus’ wounds are a treasure: mercy issues from them. Let us be courageous and touch Jesus’ wounds. With these wounds he stands before the Father; he reveals them to the Father, as if to say: “Father, this is the price; these wounds are what I paid for my brothers and sisters”. With his wounds Jesus intercedes before the Father. He gives us mercy if we draw near, and he intercedes for us. Do not forget Jesus’ wounds.

The second gift that the Risen Jesus brings to his disciples is joy. The evangelist recounts that “the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord” (v. 20). And there is also a verse, in Luke’s version, that says that they disbelieved for joy. We too, perhaps when something incredible, beautiful has happened, might say: “I cannot believe it; this is not true!”. This is how the disciples were. They disbelieved for joy. This is the joy that Jesus brings us. If you are sad, if you are not at peace, look to Jesus Crucified; look to the Risen Jesus; look at his wounds and receive that joy.

And then, in addition to peace and joy, Jesus also brings the gift of mission to the disciples. He says to them: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (v. 21). Jesus’ Resurrection is the beginning of a new dynamism of love, capable of transforming the world with the presence of the Holy Spirit. This second Sunday of Easter, we are invited to approach Christ with faith, opening our heart to peace, joy and the mission. But let us not forget Jesus’ wounds because from them come peace, joy and the strength for the mission. Let us entrust this prayer to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth.” Pope Francis – Angelus, Divine Mercy Sunday – 28 April 2019

Updates, resources and ideas Thurs 16th April

Music: A recommendation from Fr Jeremy this morning. On Easter Sunday, Andrea Bocelli sang “Music for Hope” in the empty cathedral of Milan. The pieces include Panis Angelicus and Bach’s Ave Maria.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huTUOek4LgU&feature=youtu.be It is the biggest ever classical live stream, with more than 28 million views from across the globe in its first 24 hours. 

Children: Our new Easter story resource is designed for children who prefer the Bible in plain English words and pictures; with a character code to help bring the stories to life.https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/easter-focus/the-easter-story-in-plain-english/

Art: In case you missed it, more discussion and reflection with Lynne Handley and Fr Chris Whitehead on the cbcew website. The selection for Easter Sunday was a painting by the famous Venetian artist Titian from around 1514. It’s called “Noli me tangere” – a translation that literally means “touch me not”. It’s the Latin translation of the words spoken, according to St John’s Gospel, by Jesus to Mary Magdalene when she recognised him after his resurrection despite first mistaking him for a gardener.  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/holy-week-at-home/easter-sunday/noli-me-tangere/

Art: You can catch Lynne Handley’s “Elevenses” at 11.00am, live on Instagram. Find her via https://arttoursbeyondthepalette.co.uk/

Schools: https://cliftondiocese.com/news/prior-park-college-have-made-500-single-use-face-visors-with-cardboard-head-bands-for-the-ruh/

Updates, idea and resources Wed 15th April

Fr Richard Rohr on YouTube: What is Contemplative Prayer and Why is it so Needed? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0o5J0-8OA0: Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and self-emptying, expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized.If you have not come across Fr Richard before, then you are in for a treat. The link takes you to yesterday’s sermon “Why suffering?” https://cac.org/why-suffering-2020-04-14/

Pope Francis: As he began Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on Easter Tuesday, Pope Francis prayed that God might give us the grace of unity. “In these difficult times, may He allow us to discover the communion that binds us and the unity which is always greater than any division.” https://www.cbcew.org.uk/pope-may-difficulties-lead-to-unity/

Message from SPUC: Please pray for an end to abortion on the anniversary of the implementation of the Abortion Act, which took place on 27 April 1968. This has resulted in the deaths of 9 million unborn babies in the UK.  SPUC usually marks this tragic date with a roadside witness; our Pro-Life Chains. This year we cannot go outside, so instead of a Pro-Life Chain outdoors at the roadside, please join in SPUC’s indoor Pro-Life Prayer Chain. Stay indoors to pray for an end to abortion. Please commit to praying for an end to abortion on Monday 27 April 2020. We want to cover the country in prayer for unborn babies and their mothers. To achieve this, we are asking people to make a commitment to pray by going to our website here: https://www.spuc.org.uk/Get-Involved/Campaigns/Pro-Life-Prayer-Chain-2020 and filling out the form to let us know that they will take part in the Pro-Life Prayer Chain.

Updates, idea and resources Tues 14th April

Photos: I uploaded some photos of the church and the parish onto the parish website at the weekend, with varying degrees of success. Have a look on the news and events page for the new gallery, to which more will be added.

Stations of the Cross: Lent and Holy Week may be over but we are still in a state of lockdown. Praying the Stations of the Cross with Cardinal Vincent may be of some comfort, knowing that resurrection comes at the end. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/holy-week-at-home/good-friday/stations-of-cross/

Bath Foodbank: The Foodbank centres have closed as the volunteers have moved to a delivery service instead. They need: Cereal, Baked Beans, Tomatoes, Tinned Vegetables, Tinned Meat, Tinned Fish, Tinned/Packet Soup, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, UHT Milk, Long life Juice, Chocolate, Biscuits, Tinned Fruit, Rice pudding, Instant mash, Coffee, handwash/soap, Shower gel. Supermarkets are the only place where food donations can be made, and they continue to collect and distribute food kindly given in this way. They are not able to accept donations at any of our sites at this time.  If you have a large donation of physical items they may be able to arrange collection so please get in touch to discuss. Financial donations are welcomed and may be an easier way for you to support them at this time.  You can make a financial donation by clicking here. https://bath.foodbank.org.uk/coronavirus/

Animal fun: If you, or someone small, need something to make you smile this morning, check out the Wintershall donkeys. They are used in all their plays, from the Passion of Jesus to the Nativity at Christmas time. https://youtu.be/GmBvxo7O8dk

Music: I know Palm Sunday was last week but if you still need something to make you smile then look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_qifyAll7U

Art: Have a look at the wonderful “Supper at Emmaus” courtesy of the National Gallery. There is also a videoed talk about Caravaggio in relation to the art work https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/michelangelo-merisi-da-caravaggio-the-supper-at-emmaus

Updates, resources and ideas Thurs 9th April

Maundy Thursday: You can pray along with the Mass of the Last Supper. Archbishop Bernard Longley celebrates the Mass of the Last Supper – live stream from St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham at 7.30pm. After the Mass of the Lord’s Supper this evening the Blessed Sacrament will be reserved in the Tabernacle at St Chad’s Cathedral for Watching and this will be the live stream focus for Catholics throughout England and Wales.   https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/Event/mass-of-the-last-supper?fbclid=IwAR1hK2ys5YEh1OaDDoXJt1MH0wdcQlaD5fhmgau2HzZwiJk-cihzdjmhUp4

Bishop Declan’s Easter Message: Bishop Declan has recorded his Easter message in which he reminds us that although not able to go to church, we need to remind ourselves that we are Church.  In our homes Christ is always present even if we are not always present to him.  Jesus promised never to leave us.  We may not be able to gather as a parish family or the diocesan one, but we can gather in our homes as the domestic Church.  Our homes are varied and so is the Church because in the Church all people should find a home.  No one should feel excluded because Christ came to reconcile us to the Father and to one another.  At the beginning of Lent we were reminded that we are ambassadors for Christ and our message is:  be reconciled to God. https://vimeo.com/405153806

Message from Alessia Dini: I am writing with the sad news that Father John Murphy OMI, former Parish Priest of Kingswood, died yesterday morning in Dublin aged 94. Please remember Father Murphy in your prayers.

Message from Bishop Declan: I have been asked by Bishop Richard Moth and Bishop Paul Mason to circulate the link below which is a letter from Ruth May (Chief Nursing Officer) and Professor Stephen Powis (National Medical Director) regarding the equality of the basis of treatment for people approaching the NHS at this time. https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/maintaining-standards-pressurised-circumstances/

Fr Jeremy:  Fr Jeremy has kindly prepared a short reflection on Holy Thursday for children. Please do share this with the children and take time to discuss some of the key points, especially if your child has started the Holy Communion preparation programme. https://www.facebook.com/stmarysbath/videos/2497595343811909

BathCAN: There has never been a need to unite together in pray for our city, nation our world like now. Cover BATH in prayer 24 hours a day FOR 50 DAYS FROM EASTER TO PENTECOST+ Sign up for a slot for virtual 24-7 prayer by clicking below there will be bit.ly/50DOP

Updates, resources and ideas Wed 8th April

One Good Friday/ Wintershall Livestream 10 April 2020 The Passion of Jesus and One Good Friday story will be available online on Good Friday 10th April 2020 at 12pm and 3pm. Due to being unable to perform live in Trafalgar Square (or in Bath) Wintershall will livestream, through their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Wintershallplay  Filmed without an audience, the recording will also include interviews with cast members and testimonies from One Good Friday organisers about their Passion 2020 journey. Once the livestreams are completed the footage will then be loaded onto YouTube and will be available on the Passion London page: https://www.wintershall.org.uk/passion-jesus-london  under ‘Media Gallery’.

A message from the Safeguarding office: You will, no doubt, have heard on the news concerns about an increase in Domestic Violence due to the current situation. This is due to people being  indoors with each other far longer than normal. People living in enforced close proximity can lead to increased tension. Please share these numbers so someone in need can find them.

WomansAid National  Domestic Violence Helpline  0808 2000 247

The mix Advice  for the under 25yrs. 0808 808 4994

Advice for Male Victims of  Domestic   Violence  0808 8801 0327

Childline Deals with a vast variety of children concerns including Domestic Violence. 0800 1111

https://www.csas.uk.net/wpcontent/uploads/2018/05/Guidance-Supporting-people-who-may-be-experiencing-domestic-violence.pdf

CHRISTIANS UNITE AGAINST COVID-19 Let’s cover our city and nation and world in prayer with Virtual 24-7 Prayer. Do it from your home and cover Bath in prayer constantly http://bit.ly/BathprayCovid19 Go to the website and sign in for a slot.

Liturgy: The Clifton Diocese website has put all their Holy Week information onto one page https://cliftondiocese.com/holy-week/ as has the website of the Bishops of England and Wales https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/holy-week-at-home/

Margaret “Gig” Barker Benson RIP Her committal takes place at Haycombe today. Please pray for her nieces at this difficult time.

Chrism Mass Thinking ahead to next Easter, consider going to Clifton Cathedral for the Chrism Mass on the Wednesday of Holy Week. The deanery puts on a coach for parishioners to travel together from St John’s Church. It is one of the few opportunities to see the majority of the priests of our diocese all together for Mass, and many of the parishioners from around the diocese. My children love it, and are finding it odd that we are not going this year.

Report: Dementia Friend Information afternoon and Audit

Report: Dementia Friend Information afternoon and Audit
We had a very informative session with Dementia Friends Champion Fiona Bell. We intend to run these sessions every 6 months to help parishioners understand life with dementia, and to support carers. Thank you to Roberta for providing the great cake.

Two groups took on the audit of our buildings and of our church services. This was to assess what we are doing and what we could do to make the buildings and services more welcoming to parishioners with dementia and their carers. Look out for suggestions in the bulletin of how we can help, and for facts about what dementia is and is not.
*Look out for parishioners wearing Dementia Friend forget-me-not badges at Mass.

Events

PARISH VISITATION by Bishop Declan Sun 21st June

PARISH VISITATION by Bishop Declan  SUNDAY 21ST JUNE
Bishop Declan has begun a cycle of formal visits to the Bath deanery parishes. He will be here for both morning Masses. There will be a gathering with the Bishop after each Mass, giving him chance to listen to us as well as chance for us to listen to him.

Deanery Confirmation classes begin Sept 15th

Save the date! Bishop Declan will celebrate the Deanery Confirmation Mass at St Mary’s Church, Julian Road, Bath on Thurs 12th Nov at 7.00pm. The Confirmation programme for young people in Years 9-13 will start on Sept 15th at St Mary’s. Application forms will be available from our website, St Gregory’s School and all the parishes in the Deanery after Easter.
Info: Charlotte Boyall in the Parish Office or Matt Robinson, Chaplain at St Gregory’s.

Pondering the Gospel **SUSPENDED**

Mon 16th March Pondering the Gospel 3-4pm with coffee/tea at 2.45pm, St. John’s lower ground-floor rooms (bottom of the stairs to the lower car park). We are a small, friendly & gentle group who use a “Lectio Divina” method to ponder the Gospel for the following Sunday, just as the Bishop encouraged us to do in his recent Pastoral Letter. During Lent, we will meet on every Monday not just fortnightly. We are delighted to welcome anyone especially those who have not tried this method previously. Info. Patrick 07966 366731 or Graham 07889 495419.

**SUSPENDED** Signed Mass with the Catholic Deaf Association 2nd Sunday of the month
SIGNED MASS WITH THE CATHOLIC DEAF ASSOCIATION

Every Second Sunday of the Month at 3pm followed by refreshments
At St. Nicholas of Tolentino RC Church, Lawford’s Gate, Bristol, BS5 0RE

https://tolentino.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Signed-mass.pdf

**SUSPENDED** Monthly Mass for LGBT+ Catholics 3rd Sunday of the month

A monthly Mass for LGBT+ Catholics, families & friends.

All welcome. A Clifton Diocese Initiative 3.00pm followed by refreshments & social.

St Nicholas of Tolentino Church, Lawford’s Gate, Easton, Bristol, BS5 ORE http://www.tolentino.org.uk