Newsletter- 13th Week of Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners

This weekend at all our Sunday Masses we keep the great Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul This great solemnity brings together two giants of the Apostolic mission at its very beginning. Two very different men, but two men who are also very similar in many ways. The joint celebration of their solemnity reminds us of their similarity of experience and endeavour, while their separate feasts, celebrated earlier in the liturgical year, point towards the variety of ways in which their mission took them on different paths and adventures towards the great city of Rome, where the mission to ‘all the nations’ would find its centre, where the Apostolic tradition would ultimately bear fruit, and where both Peter and Paul, in different ways, would be ‘united to Christ in a death like his’. As we keep their feast day this weekend let us ask God for the grace, as a Church, as a parish community and as individual men and women united in our Christian witness and discipleship, to continue to proclaim the Gospel message to all people and at all times, may we be inspired by the lives of St Peter and St Paul to help others to come to know Christ for themselves, and to find a home with us within the Church of Christ here on earth.

Second Collection ‘Peter’s Pence’ This weekend at all our Sunday Masses there will be a Second Collection for the works of the Holy Father (‘Peters Pence’). Your offering however small is of great symbolic value: as it expresses our sense of belonging to the Church and love and trust for the Holy Father. It is a tangible sign of communion with Him, as Peter’s Successor, and of attention to the needs of the most disadvantaged, for whom the Holy Father always cares.

Reverend Andrew Wakley – Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate: This weekend is also a joyful celebration for our parish community as we join with Andrew in his Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate. This Sunday at a special celebratory Mass at 11 am, Andrew will begin his new ministry amongst us and for the wider Church. Let us keep him in our prayers and pray that he may be given the grace and gifts by God which he will need for this new and important ministry for which he has just been ordained. It is my great pleasure to welcome all of Andrew’s guests to our parish this Sunday and most especially two of my brother priests:  Canon Christopher O’Connor and Canon Stephen Dye. I am delighted that they can join with us at this special Mass in our parish, both have been important guides and inspirations to Andrew in his vocation journey thus far and both priests, as you will know so well, have given generously of their time and pastoral ministry in the care of our parish community here at St Mary’s. Father Chris, as your former parish priest, and Father Stephen, as our former Area Dean, who had pastoral responsibility for St Mary’s during the time that there was no resident priest here after Fr Kevin Gradwell left and before I was appointed as your parish priest by Bishop Patrick.

After Mass this Sunday there will be a chance to enjoy a glass of fizz, some celebratory cake, tea, coffee or soft drinks in the lower parish hall. Please do stay for a while if you can, as it will be an opportunity to congratulate Andrew and to chat with other guests joining us at Mass this Sunday.

Thanksgiving Mass with the Papal Nuncio in the Cathedral – 12 noon – Monday 1st July: Please see further on in this Bulletin information about H.E. Archbishop Miguel Buendia’s visit to our diocese. A reminder though that all parishioners are warmly invited by Bishop Patrick to join with all the clergy of the diocese at this special Thanksgiving Mass; to mark the start of the Apostolic Nuncio’s visit to our diocese and as we celebrate with the Diocesan Clergy Jubilarians of 2024. There will be the opportunity to greet the Apostolic Nuncio after Mass in the Cathedral gardens, before he joins the Bishop and Clergy for lunch in Cathedral Hall.

General Election: As you will be aware this week on 4th July there will be a General Election. Many people are perhaps feeling dissatisfied at this present time or maybe too a little despondent about the future. But living in a democracy it is our duty to caste our vote. We cannot complain about the outcome of an election if we have failed to caste our vote for one party or another. Gospel values inform how we look at the world as Christians. These values can also offer a different way of looking at politics, a way that puts the common good before self-interest. As Christians too we should be seeking answers which will help the poor, the marginalised, and the vulnerable. We seek a society in which all families can flourish and where we care for our common home, where we offer a welcoming hand to strangers in need, where we look out for those struggling to get on.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols Message to Catholic Christians:

President of the Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, is asking Catholic voters to be active rather than passive, to engage with politicians on the key issues: “You want to know what your candidate will think and say on your behalf when that candidate gets into Parliament,” says the Cardinal. “I would like to put forward a theme for us all to think about. How do we seek to construct a society in which families can flourish? That’s the bedrock”.

Gift from the Wakley Family: In recognition of the kindness and support by the parish community of Andrew on his journey towards ordination to the diaconate, his family have very kindly given to St Mary’s a set of Benediction Candelabra and a new Chalice. The chalice is being used for the first time this Sunday at Mass. The Candelabra were blessed by me alongside Andrews new deacons’ vestments last Sunday at the end of Mass. Thank you to the Wakley family for your generosity.

New Processional Candle Lanterns and Hand-crafted Wooden Stands: I have recently purchased for the parish two beautiful reconditioned processional candle lanterns for use at the Sunday Masses and at Festivals celebrated in the parish. I am very grateful to Alan Rowell for making and giving to the parish two solid wooden stands, for the processional candle lanterns to sit in fittingly beside the Tabernacle during Mass when they are in use in our liturgies at St Mary’s. Thank you, Alan for your time, talents and generosity.

First Holy Communion – Congratulations: Last weekend we celebrated a very joyful Mass for our First Holy Communion candidates who joined by their families, friends and our parish catechists, received Holy Communion for the first time. Please continue to keep our young people in your prayers as they continue in their journey of faith and let us pray that they may always have a deep love of Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament and that they may know his love and support each day in their lives.

With my prayers and best wishes for you and for your families during the coming week ahead,

Your parish priest and friend,

Fr Jonathan

2024 30th June – Newsletter – Download