Book a seat at Mass using the Eventbrite link up to 24th July
Mass at St Mary’s: Here are the links for the Masses up to Friday 24th July. Booking OPENS as soon as the link is available on the parish website and CLOSES
- For SUNDAY MORNING Masses at 9.00 pm the Saturday evening before
- For all other Masses; one hour before Mass (including 5.00pm Sunday)
WEEK BEGINNING 12th JULY 2020
WEEK BEGINNING 19TH JULY 2020
Masses at St Mary's starting on Sunday 5th July
Masses at St Mary’s starting on 5th July 2020
We are very excited that we are allowed to celebrate Mass with a congregation from 4th July. This is subject to strict guidelines that have been agreed between the Bishops of England & Wales & Government. To make coming for Mass as safe as can be during a pandemic, there will be some changes. These are outlined as simply as possible below. The obligation to go to Mass each Sunday is still suspended, so you are not obliged to go to Mass on any day of the week. However, we are pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity. The new rules are outlined below. Some of them seem counterintuitive to our belief that our church is open to everyone. It still is open to all, we just need to make some different preparations before we come to Mass to ensure the safety of all our parishioners.
“How do I know when I can go to Mass?”
- There will be five Masses per week: Sundays 9.00am, 10.30am, 5.00pm; Wed 10.00am; Friday 10.00am
- Each Mass is as important as any other, whether on Sunday or on a weekday.
- The number of seats in the church has been reduced (61 parishioners, 1 priest, 1 sacristan, 4 stewards). This is because we are using 1m+ social distancing measures.
- To avoid us all turning up to Mass at the same time, & people being turned away due to lack of seats, we will be using a booking system.
- Booking online: You will need to book seats online using Eventbrite. You will be able to get the Eventbrite link from the Parish website on Wednesdays from noon. Eventbrite Booking will CLOSE at 9.00pm Saturday evening for the SUNDAY MORNING Masses & one hour before Mass for all other Masses (Including Sunday 5.00 pm). You will be sent a ticket via email.
- Booking by phone: We have set up an answerphone (07415000566) for those who do not use the internet. You be able to book by phone 07415000566 from Wed 12pm – Sat 12pm. Leave your name, phone number, number of seats requested, and the time and day of the Mass you wish to book. You will receive verbal or text confirmation of your booking.
- You may book only one Mass per week, to allow as many people as possible to receive the Eucharist.
- If you come to Mass without booking a seat, we will ask you to go home, and book into another Mass. The only time we would be able to allow you entry without a prior booking is if we have seats that have not been booked. We will not know this until just before each Mass.
- Chairs are arranged in the church individually at 1m+ from each other. There are some directly next to each other for those in the same household. The three front rows are suitable for families with children under five years old.
- Facemasks/coverings will be compulsory for everyone, including children so please bring you own face mask or face covering. We will be unable to allow you entry to the church without a mask or face covering
“I have booked my seat. What do I need to do when I get the church?”
- Please do not park in front of the church. We will be using the emergency door as an exit.
- Doors will open 15mins before each Mass, & you may have to queue up outside 1m from the person in front & behind. Please bring an umbrella/coat/sunhat and your own missal
- If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please do not enter the church even if you have booked a seat. Go home immediately.
- Entry is through the front door, unless you are unable to manage stairs. If so, you may come in & out through the sacristy.
- In the porch, you will be greeted by a steward who will check that you have booked a seat. They will also ask you to put on your facemask.
- At the doors of the draught lobby, you will be greeted by a steward who will ask you to sanitise your hands & then read the safety signs on the blue boards. Please can coeliacs make themselves known to the steward.
- In the main body of the church, a steward will help you a seat.
- Sit down, pray & wait for Mass to begin. However tempting it is, please do not wander to talk to friends or go into the sacristy to book a Mass intention. Votive candles have been removed from the church.
“Will Mass be different?”
There are some changes to the pattern of the Mass to maintain our safety & 1m+ social distancing
- Mass will be a lot shorter than usual.
- What’s missing? We will not have any singing, musicians, altar servers, bidding prayers, offertory procession, kneelers nor holy water in the stoups. We will not share the sign of peace, nor receive the Blood of Christ from the chalice. There will be no Children’s Liturgy of the Word during 10.30am Mass nor Coffee after Mass. We are not permitted to use the Parish Centre yet. The toilets will continue to be out of bounds. Please make sure young children & vulnerable adults are aware of this.
- Readers: Our reader will sit on one of the chairs amongst the congregation. They will use a lectern on the steps on the altar, to avoid sharing the main lectern with Fr Jeremy. They will be supplied with single use gloves.
- Collections: There will be no collection baskets bar a donations box beside the exit. Parishioners are encouraged to make donations online via our website or by standing order.
- The Communion Rite: After the prayer & its response “Behold the Lamb of God…Lord I am not worthy”, Fr Jeremy will hold up the host & say loudly “The Body of Christ” to which we will all respond “Amen”. In the same way, Fr Jeremy will then elevate the chalice & say, loudly “The Blood of Christ” & we will again respond “Amen”. Therefore, when we go up to receive communion, we will do so in silence & there will be no dialogue between ourselves & Fr Jeremy.
- Eucharistic Ministers: We will need only one Eucharistic Minister to assist Fr Jeremy at each Mass, and only if our Sacristan Mark is not present.
- Receiving Communion: Communion will be given silently in the hand only, with the communicant standing & avoiding all physical contact. Please stand behind the marker. Put out your arms at full stretch with one hand on top of the other & as flat as possible, so that there is a good distance between yourself & Fr Jeremy/Mark/the Eucharistic Minister.
- Blessings for those unable to receive Communion: please remain seated. All are included in the blessing which ends the Mass.
- Movement during Communion: Our stewards will ask each row of people to go up and back again, before asking the next row of people to move. Fr Jeremy will distribute communion to all those on the chairs underneath the frescos first, whilst Mark/ the Eucharistic Minister gives communion to all those in the chairs next to the stained glass windows. Once this is finished, those in the middle area will be directed to come forward by the stewards.
- Leaving the Church: Once Mass has finished & Fr Jeremy has left the altar, the stewards will ask those in the chairs underneath the stained glass windows to leave the church first through the emergency exit in the Lady Chapel. Those in the middle area will go next, followed by those sitting underneath the frescos. You may not leave through the main entrance. Those who cannot manage stairs may leave through the sacristy accompanied by a steward. Hand sanitizer will be available at both exits.
“What else do I need to know?”
- Cleaning the church: Our cleaner will clean the church & all the chairs after 5.00pm Mass on Sundays & after the weekday Masses. This means we will be asking for parishioners to wipe down all the chairs & door handles after both the 9.00am & 10.30am Sunday Masses.
- Stewards: Without the fantastic work of our marvellous stewards, we could not have opened the church for individual prayer. We will now need four stewards at each of our Masses. Could you be a steward? If we are unable to maintain 20 stewards per week, we will not be able to have five Masses. We need people who are not in any of the vulnerable categories, are smiley & welcoming, & are happy to explain all the guidelines to parishioners. Please email the Parish Office email@example.com asap if you are able to help.
“When will Mass go back to normal?”
- Your guess is as good as ours. Please pray for an end to the pandemic, & for all those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19. Please thank God for all those who have worked tirelessly to care for the sick, clean our buildings, maintain our food supply chains, teach our children, collect our rubbish, complete risk assessments and create guidelines to allow us to move back into St Mary’s. Our Lady, Help of Christians: Pray for us.
Cardinal's statement on resumption of collective acts of worship
Cardinal’s statement on resumption of collective acts of worship
Press Release for immediate Release 23.6.20
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales said:
I welcome the statement by the Prime Minister earlier today, that places of worship are now able to resume collective acts of worship from 4 July. This is welcome news for members of all religions in England. I thank all who have worked hard to bring this about, not least my fellow religious leaders.
As Catholics we now look forward to being able to celebrate Mass together again from 4 July. We have waited with patience and longing for this moment, understanding the importance of protecting the health of people in our society. Now we are full of anticipation that we will be able again to take part together in the Eucharist, which lies at the centre of our faith.
It is important that we continue to abide by the guidance, given by the Government, on appropriate social distancing and the other measures to avoid all unnecessary risk. Our own detailed guidance will be distributed around dioceses and parishes so everyone can be confident that they may come to Mass securely and understand the part they are to play in protecting each other from any remaining risk of infection.
The past few months have been a time of fashioning new patterns of prayer, new ways of exploring and enriching our faith and vigorous ways of reaching out to those in need. We can build on these, forgetting nothing of the graces we have been given. Yet now, with the experience of opening our churches for individual prayer already gained, this return to the more normal patterns of worship will be of great importance to all Catholics.
This time of our ‘Eucharistic fast’ has made our hearts grow in longing for that moment when we can come together and receive again the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. That moment is now very near and for that we thank God.
Vacancy at St Mary's Catholic Primary School
Film: "A Prayer for Bath"
FILM: Fr Jeremy has been involved in a making a short film about prayer, with other churches in Bath.
28 churches in Bath have come together online and made a short film called “A Prayer for Bath”. The different members of the clergy pray the prayer of St Francis “Make me an instrument of your peace”.
You can find the film on YouTube, the parish Facebook page and the parish website. Mindful of the demonstrations happening across the world following the death of George Floyd, the call to prayer is very timely. PLEASE SHARE IT!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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:
Tuesday 7th July's updates and resources
Mass at St Mary’s: There are 35 seats available for Mass tomorrow at St Mary’s via Eventbrite (we reserve another 20 for those who book by phone). If you are at all anxious about not coming due to fighting off the hordes, rest assured.
CAFOD: CAFOD Clifton is inviting you to one of the zoom meetings (dates below) to hear about the CAFOD update for our poorest brothers and sisters around the world. If you can’t make one meeting, its easy to join another at a different time and day as the content is the same for each. If you have not used Zoom before, it is very easy as you just click where it tells you to click.
Stroud-Cheltenham-Gloucester: Today-Tuesday July 7th at 3.30pm
Meeting ID: 849 9378 5325
Swindon-Bath-Salisbury-Trowbridge: Wednesday July 8th at 6.30pm
Meeting ID: 896 8109 1506
Bristol North West-Bristol East-Bristol South: Monday July 13th at 6.30pm
Meeting ID: 867 8319 4742
Taunton-Weston-Glastonbury: Thursday July 16th at 2.30pm
Meeting ID: 843 4828 4762
Stewards: Did I mention that we need stewards for the Masses to take place? We are still in need! Don’t be shy, just email me to let me know: which Masses you can steward; when you are available in July.
Monday 6th July's updates and resources
Mass at St Mary’s: Fr Jeremy celebrated the first three Masses with a congregation yesterday. The copious, prayer-fuelled preparations combined with the goodwill of the parishioners meant that all three Masses went off smoothly. Our stewards were all excellent and extremely helpful. The church can accommodate 61 parishioners, plus 4 stewards, priest and a reader. Numbers for Sunday:
9.00am 22 parishioners plus 4 stewards, a reader and Fr Jeremy
10.30am 30 parishioners plus 4 stewards, a reader and Fr Jeremy
5.00pm 21 parishioners plus 4 stewards, a reader and Fr Jeremy
You can still book for Mass on Wed 8th and Fri 10th, both at 10.00am
Mass: 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 our spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in this way, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate a live-streamed Mass in his Cathedral every Thursday at 7.00pm.
Next Mass: 9th July Celebrant: Bishop Tom Williams Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool
YouTube Channel Facebook
FAMILY ACTION Volunteers wanted to support new FOOD CLUBS within Children’s Centres Family Food Clubs in Bath, Radstock and Keynsham areas are to open once Covid-19 restrictions are eased. The food clubs will provide local families with children under 11 years, a range of affordable food. The clubs are aimed at families on a low income, who live within 15 minutes of the club and may have a professional working with them. At the moment, volunteers (mainly for the Radstock and Keynsham areas) are needed who may be interested in helping the running of the clubs, so they can be launched during July and August 2020. This could involve sorting the weekly delivery of food from Fareshare (2-3 hours approximately) and/or supporting the running of the food club once a week (3 hours approximately. Please note, anyone interested in volunteering for the Food Clubs should contact Pete Godden at Family Action email@example.com
Wednesday 1st July's updates and resources
Mass at St Mary’s: Please click on the link to reserve a place at Mass on:
Bereavement: Redemptorist Publications have put together a page of resources on bereavement and death. Many of use will have been affected by death over the past months, and been unable to mourn our loved ones in the usual way. They also have some practical resources to help us plan for our own funerals. There is also a link to a requiem Mass Fr Denis https://www.rpbooks.co.uk/remembering-those-weve-lost
Talk: Today’s recommendation from a parishioner is “Ten thousand reasons to build a wall – 10,000 reasons to Hope.” This talk addresses young people on their difficulties with the concept of God and Church and the barriers they experience with organised religion, but I think it has general appeal. Written and spoken by Catholic speaker, teacher and catechist David Wells. He has written several books including “The Reluctant Disciple”, most of them obtainable from the repository in St Mary’s Church. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NwtHN-oA8A
Stewards: Did I mention that we need stewards for the Masses to take place? We are still in need! Don’t be shy, just email me to let me know: which Masses you can steward; when you are available in July.
Tuesday 30th June's updates and resources
Celebration of Mass with a congregation: Yesterday I sent out the good news at that we are permitted to celebrate Masses with a congregation from next Sunday. This news went to all on the parish census who gave an email address. It has been no mean feat to get this far. Now, we need parishioners to volunteer as stewards in order for the Masses to go ahead in their new form. We need four at each of the five weekly Masses. We have lots of spaces at 9.00am and 10.30am Sunday Masses, and some on Fridays. Please email me asap if you are able to help and I can send you the “how to be a steward” guidelines.
Facemasks: They will be mandatory at all Masses, for all age groups. Penny Restorick at St Joseph’s Church, Peasedown St John is making washable facemasks to order for £5. You can contact her via Face Book (just type her name into the search box). If you are able to make washable facemasks that can be used multiple times, please let me know.
Mass: 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 our spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in this way, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate a live-streamed Mass in his Cathedral every Thursday at 7pm. Next Mass: 2nd July Celebrant: Archbishop John Wilson St George’s Cathedral, Southwark YouTube Channel
St Beuno’s Mens’ retreat: “Given that men are less likely to sign up for a retreat than women we think it’s worth having a ‘men only’ gathering, this year online, to explore together how Jesus is wanting to relate to us as men in our times. The commitment for the weekend is as follows: Friday 3rd July 8pm – 9pm; Saturday 10am – 12noon; and 8pm – 9pm; Sunday 3pm. We’ll also give you something to do on your own on the Saturday so you would need some space that day too. It is most helpful to the coherence of the group that everyone attends every session. To register interest and receive the zoom link for the weekend, email St Beuno’s at firstname.lastname@example.org explaining that you wish to join the men’s online retreat. We hope to see you on the 3rd.”
Thursday 25th June's updates and resources
Church opening times: Good news! Thanks to our lovely volunteer stewards, St Mary’s Church will be open for individual prayer 10.00-11.00am on Friday 26th June and Friday 3rd July. This is in addition to our current opening times of Wednesdays 10-11am and Sundays 10am-12pm.
Reflection: An interesting reflection on how our lives can change when we trust more deeply. How Saint Anthony Helped Me Find My Way to the Saints by Christina Antus https://bustedhalo.com/life-culture/how-saint-anthony-helped-me-find-my-way-to-the-saints
Radio: The Music for Dementia campaign, with the help of BBC radio DJ Lauren Laverne, has launched M4D Radio, a dedicated station for people with dementia to keep you company 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if you wish. Music can bring huge benefits to people with dementia, helping them to reconnect with forgotten memories. M4D Radio plays music from 1930s-1970s, including shows on music to move to, numbers from the musicals, soothing tracks for evening and night-time, and featured artist specials.
The Rosary: Today’s recommendation comes from Fr Jeremy. Some people find it hard to focus on the particular Mystery of the Rosary they are trying to pray. It may help them to have, as a visual aid, a representation of the Mystery by one of the great painters of the past. Try doing a Google search such as “the Annunciation in art”; “the Agony in the Garden in art”; “the Ascension in art” etc., and choose one which appeals to you.
Online retreats for individuals: Come closer to God and sort out life’s priorities. The Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow, invite you to enjoy a time of prayer, reflection and sharing with a trained spiritual director. This retreat is offered anytime during July and August 2020. Open to all: This retreat is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 100, men or women, Christian, other religion or of no particular faith. Time Commitment: We suggest retreats of 4 to 6 days duration. Each day we suggest that you find the time to spend a number of periods, maybe four or five, each of between 20 minutes to an hour, to settle down to quiet meditation, prayer and reflection. The guide will give you suggestions as to ways to meditate and ideas of things to pray about.
Job vacancy: St Gregory’s Catholic College are recruiting for Learning Support Assistants to join our supportive and friendly team. This is a highly rewarding and valued role that sits at the heart of our provision for pastoral and academic care. https://www.st-gregorys.org.uk/2020/06/learning-support-assistants-3/
Tuesday 23rd June's updates and resources
Dementia help: One of the biggest effects of lockdown and social distancing has been the extreme isolation and loneliness we can feel from being cut off from family and loved ones. However dementia affects you, Alzheimer’s Society is there for you – and they can help you seven days a week through their support line (0333 150 3456), online community Talking Point and their website.
Online conference: CELEBRATE Online Conference – 27th + 28th June 2020 “We feel, in the midst of uncertain circumstances, God is giving us an opportunity to connect in different ways. This is why we are delighted to announce our first ever, free, ONLINE CONFERENCE! Hear from inspiring speakers, take time to prayerfully retreat, get creative, join with live worship and celebrate Mass together. All the content over the weekend will be hosted on our CELEBRATE Facebook page so make sure you ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ us to not miss anything. CELEBRATE ON FACEBOOK
Not a Facebook user? Not a problem! You don’t need to have an account to access our page. You can join the conference by simply copying + pasting this URL into your search bar: https://www.facebook.com/Celebratecommunity/ If you have friends, family or members of your parish who might like to take part then why not invite them along and send them the details – all are welcome! Over the weekend we’ll be releasing everything at specific times but you can replay all our content at any point if you missed it or want to watch again. Full schedule:
10AM Listen: A talk from our first keynote speaker – Deacon Liam Lynch
12PM Pray: A Guided Prayer session
3PM Do: Children’s ‘Messy Church’ + various workshops
5PM Live Worship
6PM An Evening In with David Wells followed by CELEBRATE 9PM Night Prayer
10AM Listen: Our second keynote speaker – Christy Wimber
12PM Pray: Mass with Bishop David Oakley
3PM Do: Interactive Family Prayer
4PM Final session: Speaker – Pippa Baker
Monday 22nd June's updates and resources
Church opening times: The church will be open for individual prayer on Wednesday 10-11am. Thank you to Mary, Martin and Kevina who will be our stewards. At the moment, we have 14 chairs for people to sit upon plus a row of six chairs together for a individual household. There are also photos on the parish Facebook page which show the changes in the layout of the church. If you are able to join our group of volunteers, please let me know by email.
Reflection: Jonathan Bryan is an unusual boy in that he uses his eyes to talk and write. You can read more about him here. https://eyecantalk.net/about/ This is a piece called “The Daily Walk” by Jonathan, where he considers his need for silence in order to be with Jesus. He has incorporated this desire into his daily walk and offers these ideas to the rest of us, along with a video of woodland for those who may not or are not able to leave the house. https://eyecantalk.net/2020/06/18/the-daily-walk/
Radio: For your friends who are not on the internet or for times when the radio is your medium of choice, try Premier Praise, Premier Christian radio or Premier Gospel. They are Christian radio stations with a mix of music, prayer, news and reflection. They are all available on DAB radio.
Refugee Week: Bishop Paul McAleenan write about the plight of refugees today, with a focus on Refugee Week. There are links in the article to other information and ways you can help. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/refugee-week-2020/
Mass: 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 our spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in this way, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate a live-streamed Mass in his Cathedral every Thursday at 7pm. Next Mass: 25th June Celebrant: Bishop Alan Hopes Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich YouTube Channel
Thursday 18th June's updates and resources
Reflection: One for everyone with a glass half empty feeling – A Resurrection From Cynicism: Learning to See Myself With God’s Eyes by Elena Verigo https://bustedhalo.com/life-culture/a-resurrection-from-cynicism-learning-to-see-myself-with-gods-eyes
Activities for the over 55’s: St John’s Foundation Activities go digital! A new and varied weekly timetable of live video classes that can be enjoyed from home. To give you a flavour of what is in store, they are offering the first week absolutely free of charge. To find out more about the classes, the benefits and the tutors, visit the website below.
https://stjohnsbath.org.uk/what-we-do/activities/ Don’t delay as I hear that they are booking up fast!
Individual prayer: Some thoughts on reopening churches and the nature of private prayer https://www.cbcew.org.uk/how-to-pray-and-re-connect-with-the-church-as-places-of-worship-re-open-for-private-prayer/
Diocesan Liturgy Office: “While many of our churches are now open for times of private prayer, some people may be grateful to have resources available to aid that prayer using their smartphones or tablets (we cannot make books, reflection sheets etc available). There are a number of useful sites online, such as Universalis and pray-as-you-go, but some people might like to access the resources that were made available for the National Eucharistic Congress Adoremus. Some of these, for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, are now collated under the ‘Further Resources’ tab on our Liturgy Office section of the website and may be accessed here: https://cliftondiocese.com/departments/adult-education/liturgy-office/
Music: For all those who ever wondered, Catholic musician Dan Schutte pronounces his name “Shoo-tee”. I heard him do it on a YouTube video yesterday.
Stewarding: If you are willing and eligible to volunteer as a steward in the church, please email me and I can send you the “How to…” sheet. If we have more stewards, we could open the church more often.
Wednesday 17th June's updates and resources
Prayers: Please pray today, both for the successful reopening of our church, and for all the parishioners who are unable to come into the church at this time. Thank you to John, Kevina and Martin who were our stewards today.
Bishops: Leaders of the Catholic and Anglican Churches in Britain write to the Israeli Ambassador and to the British Prime Minister expressing their opposition to Israel’s Unilateral Annexations Plans for the West Bank. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2020-06/cardinal-nichols-justin-welby-israel-west-bank-annexation-plans.html
Talk: Today’s recommendation from a parishioner is a talk by Fr Richard Rohr on “the Universal Christ” which is a radical re-interpretation of Christianity. It focuses on the difference between Jesus and the Christ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD7B3wr3xeY “It took me longer to write this than any book before. I want people to recognize something that is thoroughly biblical, but never the mainline tradition. What I’m trying to say for most of you will sound very new and very different.” —Richard Rohr. This hour-long video provides a deeper exploration into the Universal Christ. Fr Richard delivers a framework for reading Scripture and understanding church history that demonstrates how these ideas have been a part of the Christian tradition since the beginning.
Talk: If an hour-long talk is too much to commit to, then try another recommendation by the same parishioner. Before looking at “The Universal Christ” above; start with a short piece here to start with (3mins 39 secs). This short talk is about one of his books The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your Transformation. It explores the mystery of the Trinity, demonstrating how a deeper conception of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will transform our relationship with God and renew our lives.
There is a longer presentation here, which is one of the “Talks at Google” series, given when he was invited to Google to speak about The Divine Dance”.
Refugee Week: Borderlands is a Christian charity based in Bristol that exists to work with refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants to help them from exclusion to belonging. To find out more about Borderlands, go to https://www.borderlands.uk.com/
Music: In Christ Alone, performed by Celtic Worship (Written by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kvFtXphmMU
Tuesday 16th June's updates and resources
Reopening of the church: Many thanks to Pat and Joy who cleaned the church yesterday, ahead of reopening tomorrow. Many thanks to Mark, our sacristan, who rearranged all the chairs in the church last Saturday to ensure they comply with the 2m rule, all face the tabernacle and we retain a sense of community in the church (no mean feat).
Liturgy during Lockdown: This is podcast of a conversation between musician Jo Boyce and Catholic speaker, author and catechist David Wells, about the nature of prayer and liturgy during lockdown.
- Pros and cons of 24-7 access to faith resources online
- Challenges of engaging people in virtual liturgies and maintaining reverence when wearing pyjamas.
- What social distancing will mean for our personal interaction with one another.
- Rediscovering gratefulness and what we are learning in isolation
- Things that we’ve learned about our communities and the people in them during this time of online interaction.
- Potential for innovation and a more profound faith experience in the future.
It is interspersed with liturgical music performed by CJM music. https://www.cjmmusic.com/podcast/008-life-as-a-socially-distanced-disciple-in-conversation-with-david-wells-podcast/
Refugee Week: Talk – The Pope, the pandemic & the people we leave behind. Thu, 18 Jun 2020, 18:30 BST Join Sarah Teather, Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service UK and Pope Francis biographer and journalist, Austen Ivereigh, for a special refugee week conversation, reflecting on the issues COVID has thrown up for the Church and its care for the most marginalised. What can we learn from Francis’ leadership about how the Church should respond? How is the Church responding on the ground to the issues facing refugees and migrants during the pandemic? What lessons can we learn from both as we re-imagine the future? https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sarah-teather-and-austen-ivereigh-in-conversation-for-refugee-week-registration-108725749644
Refugee Week (15- 21 June) is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees. Through a programme of arts, cultural and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week brings about positive encounters between communities, helping them to connect and learn from each other, and promoting a culture of welcome. This year’s Refugee Week is the first to be held virtually, and we are invited to explore the theme of ‘Imagine’.
Monday 15th June's updates and resources
Re-opening the church: We will be open for private prayer on Wednesday morning, 10-11am. Our volunteer stewards were trained by myself, Fr Jeremy and sacristan Mark Cowan on Saturday. The chairs in the church have been rearranged to you can sit safely, and I think it looks surprisingly cosy. All the details are on the parish website in the news section. If you would like to know more about becoming a steward at St Mary’s and helping us open more often, let me know and I will email you our helpsheet. Shifts are for one hour only.
Mass: 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 our spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in this way, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate a live-streamed Mass in his Cathedral every Thursday at 7pm. Next Mass: 18th June Celebrant: Archbishop Bernard Longley St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham St Chad’s on MCN Media
Youth: The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation invites you to our Youth Day Webinar, June 16th, 12pm-1:30pm GMT+2 Webinar Registration: https://bit.ly/30qm4uI COVID-19, Collins Khosa, Black Lives Matter. What has changed since 1976. Join us for an inter-generational discussion about the agency of youth today, Panelists: Frank Chikane. Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Pieter Bezuidenhout, Inga Mfundisi. Facilitators: Katleho Mohono & Thobeka Dodo
Vocations: The Jesuit website has a large section on vocations, with many and varied links and reflections. https://www.jesuit.org.uk/vocations
Reflection: The Dalai Lama, leader of Tibetan Buddhism, sees reasons for optimism even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. People are helping one another, he tells the BBC’s Justin Rowlatt, and if seven billion people on Earth develop “a sense of oneness” they may yet unite to solve the problem of climate change. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-53028343
Thursday 11th June's updates and resources
Mary’s Meals: The charity has created a new video message about the work of Mary’s Meals for parish congregations. The video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek0x5FbAypk
Mass: RADIO BROADCAST OF MASS – BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship will broadcast Mass celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols from Westminster Cathedral on Sunday 14 June at 8.10 am. This will be especially good news for Catholics who do not have access to the internet but do have a radio. It would be great if you could get this message out to anyone who would welcome this news, perhaps a parishioner, a member of your family or among your friends. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000k1bj
Black Lives Matter: Edinburgh Jesuit community add their prayers and a public gesture of solidarity to the “Black Lives Matter” movement taking place around the world. https://www.jesuit.org.uk/jesuits-edinburgh-take-knee-solidarity-black-lives-matter
Counselling: Helping people cope with bereavement and grief in the wake of the pandemic – Dr Lynn Bassett, a retired healthcare chaplain, looks at some of the challenges to be faced in dealing with grief and bereavement as we slowly begin to emerge from lockdown following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. https://www.artofdyingwell.org/how-to-be-with-grieving-friends-as-we-come-out-of-lockdown/
Education: Feminism and Catholic identity – an online diploma in Social Doctrine of the Church. An online Diploma will see 25 Catholic leaders gathering to discuss women in the Church and establish a “new feminism” for this era between 11-25 June. For more info click here If you want to apply for the course, be aware that it is conducted in Spanish. To apply go to: http://www.liderescatolicos.net/diplomado2020/. Deadline for applications: Monday 29th June.
Wednesday 10th June's updates and resources
The Sign of the Cross: This comes as a recommendation from Fr Jeremy. On the short video, Fr Richard Rohr talks to Mike Morrell about the meaning of the Sign of the Cross, and an explanation of it in terms of the Trinity and our relationship with God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWWaiVZA8EI
Mary: We will celebrate the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday 20th June. There is an interesting article here which explains more about the feast day, and why it occurs on this date. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/mary/popular-marian-devotions/the-immaculate-heart-of-mary
Divine Renovation: “Divine Renovation is the answer to a question that parishes across the world have grappled with for decades. How do we continue to bring people to Jesus Christ in a society and culture are constantly moving away from that relationship. From declining numbers to passive experiences of church, the obstacles for parishes are real. What would it look like if a parish was full of missionary disciples on fire for mission? What could a pastor accomplish if they had the energy and capacity to lead? These are the questions that our books, podcasts, resources, and coaching help parishes wrestle with.” https://divinerenovation.org/
Top Ten Novels: Fleur Dorrell reviews her favourite novels with sacred themes. https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/word-at-home/our-top-tens/our-top-ten-sacred-novels/
Mass: 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 our spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in this way, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate a live-streamed Mass in his Cathedral every Thursday at 7pm. Next Mass: 11th June Celebrant: Bishop Patrick McKinney St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham
Bishop Patrick McKinney’s YouTube channel
***Remember to let us know if you are either shielding/vulnerable, willing to volunteer as a steward or unable to help due to other commitments. This will help us create the risk assessments and allow us to get permission from the Diocese to open the church.
Tuesday 9th June's updates and resources
Re-opening of churches: Thank you so much to everyone who has responded already to the request to say if you are able to volunteer as a steward in the church or if you are someone who is vulnerable. If you are a parishioner and have not yet replied with “yes I can help” or “no I cannot”, please do so. We are going to try to work with other churches in Bath with our opening times.
Day for Life: Ahead of the “Day for Life” on Sunday, please ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 521. It supports a law change to clarify that cleft palate, cleft lip, and club foot are not grounds for abortion in the UK. You can do it in 30 seconds here: https://righttolife.org.uk/standupandsmile/
Mass: If you are in need of a familiar face and voice, Fr Nicholas King is one of the celebrants at the online Masses for Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy. Masses – Mon-Sat: 6pm, Sun: 11am. Adoration – Tue and Thur: 9pm
Retreat: A Retreat for You at Home – an individually guided retreat of 4-7 days at home. www.iscglasgow.co.uk/homeretreat.html
Novena: On Friday 19th June we will celebrate the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Maryvale Institute is providing several ways to prepare – Join Us Online for Our Annual Novena to the Sacred Heart at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Live stream Mass, Sermon & Novena each evening at 8.00 pm, Thursday 11 June – Friday 19 June and for Mass at 11.00 am on Sunday 21 June. For updates visit https://bit.ly/2ACX8Fu https://www.maryvale.ac.uk/novena-2020.html
Monday 8th June's updates and resources
Re-opening of churches: We are allowed to open the church for individual prayer from Monday 15th June. This is wholly dependent on having enough volunteers to do so safely. We have to work within the guidelines agreed by the Bishops’ Conference and the Government. This includes:
- Private prayer = not for organised prayer or prayer that is led in anyway either by priest or layperson; no matter how far apart people are from one another eg we will not be saying the Rosary together
- We will need a team of volunteers to ensure hands are sanitised on entry and exit, that people observe social distancing inside the church, and to clean the church after every opening.
- It is important that volunteers should not be drawn from those instructed to shield themselves, nor, as a general rule, from groups considered more vulnerable to coronavirus.
- Toilet facilities have to remain closed, so there will be no access to the parish centre
- It is so important that we think not just about ourselves and the fact that we might want to come to church but to also consider the wellbeing and health of others.
If you are willing to be a volunteer for up to an hour at a time, please call Fr Jeremy 311725 or email the parish office via this email address. Equally, if you have been instructed to shield yourself or are in a group considered more vulnerable to coronavirus, also let us know.
Jesuits: The Jesuits have created a one-stop shop of resources to use during the pandemic. There are oodles of ideas and links from which to choose. https://www.jesuit.org.uk/corona-one-stop-shop
Music The Bath Bach Choir has been determined to meet and stay together during the lockdown, but rehearsal of 50/60 people on ZOOM can be difficult! However, here is a recent recording of the Choir, in lockdown, performing Gabriel Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp_kGPhk7Ms
Children: Mary’s Meals have created an activity pack for children based on excerpts from the bestselling book ‘The Shed That Fed A Million Children’, written by founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow. Through these stories, children can travel with Magnus from the Highlands of Scotland to the heart of Africa, where they will meet some of the people who inspired the work of Mary’s Meals to feed hungry children in schools. There are questions alongside each passage, encouraging children to think about the lives of others their age around the world.
Why not tag Mary’s Meals on social media, using @marysmeals, to let them know how they get on? Thy can also send you films of Magnus reading these excerpts to share — please get in touch to request these.
Thursday 4th June's updates and resources
Reflection: This prayerful, meditative reflection comes from Fr James Hanvey SJ, former Master of Campion Hall, Oxford and currently serving in Rome at the Jesuit Curia. It’s a thought-provoking piece for these times of uncertainty and anxiety as we look to arrest the global spread of COVID-19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=9CMOKXvk5CU&feature=emb_logo
Music: James Gilchrist presents a half-hour musical tour of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, recorded in April 2020 while social distancing measures were in place. Musical examples are taken from performances at King’s College, Cambridge, April 2019, recorded live for King’s College Recordings. For the eagle eyed, ex-parishioner Leo McNiff is in the boys’ choir. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=591fCQvRjmo
Shopping: Need to buy an online birthday present for someone that you care about? Thinking of stocking up on bargain Christmas presents? How about an Oscar Romero “More Justice, More Love” t-shirt or mug from St Nicholas of Tolentino Church? https://tolentino.org.uk/shop/
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.
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.
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,
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
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.
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
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
- 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 email@example.com
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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?
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:
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/
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
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.
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
**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