Newsletter 1st November 2020

Dear All,

Today and tomorrow we remember all the dead, those in heaven and those still be on the way there: God alone knows where each one is. Today’s feast celebrates the saints in heaven, 

holy men and women of every time and place: we hope some of our people are among them.

All Saints’ Day, the Feast of All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. Its intent is to celebrate all the saints, including those who do not, or no longer, are celebrated individually, either because the number of saints has gotten so great or because they were celebrated in groups, after suffering martyrdom collectively.

We all become saints at our baptisms when we join the Communion of Saints. If we truly live the life of Christ then, at death, we take our reward with him in heaven … but … for most of us … our lives are less than perfect and for a short time at least we join the other Holy Souls 

On Monday, (YES … there is an additional mass today, a place for which can be booked on-line) many of us will be praying for our deceased parents and grandparents. They did so much for us in their lifetimes and on this special feast we can do so much for them. One of the first things they did was to give us a name and so I have a special affiliation with St John the Evangelist and St Kevin. Which special saints do you ask to intercede on your behalf? On which saints do you modal your life?

Tuesday is the Feast of St Winifred and hers is a shrine in North Wales (possibly the oldest in the United Kingdom) which I have visited annually for as long as I can remember … except for this year.

Saturday is the Feast of St Willibrord, a real Northerner, who was based at Ripon Cathedral before going as a missionary to the Friesians, then bishop to the Low Countries. To him we should be grateful for the way we celebrate the Mass and give thanks to God for it was through his efforts that we have missals and lectionaries. At Echternach in Luxembourg, he started a school where hundreds of monks, over the centuries before the printing press, scripted our prayer books … and YES … he stimulated an interest in both calligraphy and prayer in me … and having attended St Willibrord’s Primary School, I have visited this Patron of Europe’s shrine on many occasions.

Who are your favourite saints? Perhaps, this weak, you could spend some time exploring their lives and learning from their holiness?

Your Prayers are asked for:

The repose of the souls of … for Tony Harley whose funeral took place on Thursday; for Manuel Miranda whose cremation service will take place on Wednesday; and for Patrick Gallagher who died on Wednesday evening        Requiescant in pace. We remember also all their families and friends and all the sick and housebound of the parish.

Father Kevin

2020 1st November – 31st Sunday of the Year – All saints (Solemnity) – Download