Newsletter- 1st Week of Eastertide- Easter Week

Dear Parishioners

Our Lenten journey and pilgrimage are over. Our fasting is complete; now we can feast and celebrate!  We have travelled with Jesus from the harshness of the desert to the new life coming from the empty tomb. Having walked with Jesus on the way of the cross, we now share in and experience the joy and power of his resurrection.

Belief in the Resurrection is the bedrock of Christianity. It is the heart of the Easter message. In the risen Christ death has lost its hold on humanity. Death is not for us as Christians the end of the story. It is the beginning of a new chapter. At Easter we are reminded that there is life after death. A life of immortality lived in the loving presence of God. The whole purpose of our present life is to prepare us for that. But Easter is not only concerned with life after death. It has much to say about the life each of us lives out in the here and now, our life on earth. At Easter we are reminded that all life matters. Human life is both of the body and of the spirit; in our present state each depends upon the other. At the heart of all Life is the precious gift of love. Life gives love its real meaning, and its whole purpose and love lies at the heart of the Easter message.

Through the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead we know now that where there was despair, God brings us hope. Where there was darkness, God has brought light. Where there was death, God brings us not just life, but new and everlasting life. These are the gifts that God offers each of through the resurrection of Jesus.

In world where there is often the reality of suffering, violence, and injustice, we are called to be people of hope. This is not ordinary human hope. This is the hope that comes to us through the resurrection of Jesus. In the face of sadness, difficulty, and pain, we are called to look to and rely on the resurrected Jesus and not just on our own strength and resources. The call, invitation and even challenge of Easter is that we all experience it personally deep within ourselves. We are called to be an Easter people, people of the resurrection. We are called and asked to be people who are filled with the new life and hope of the resurrected Jesus. Because we now share in the powerful resurrection of Jesus, we are to live out our daily lives full of Easter hope and joy. May we be people who are filled with the Light Joy, Life, and Hope of the Resurrection of Jesus. The Lord is risen, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Fr Jonathan Easter Break: Due to the recent death of Fr Anthony Dolan I have had to for practical reasons to delay my own Easter break. I shall be away from the parish from the afternoon of Wednesday 10th April until Wednesday 17th April. I am very grateful to Mgr. Hadley, Canon Michael Bell, and Andrew Wakley for offering Mass cover and assistance during my absence. Please note the following changes during my time away:

Thursday 10th April: Service of Word and Holy Communion – church open

Friday 18th April: No Public Worship – church closed

Saturday 19th April: Vigil Mass at 6 pm – church open

Sunday 20th April: Mass at 9.30 am – church open until after Mass

Monday 21st April: – Wednesday 24th April: No Public Worship – church closed

Thursday 25th April: Funeral Requiem Mass at 11 am – church open

Canon Anthony Dolan RIP Funeral Details:

 Parishioners are Warmly Invited to attend all Liturgies:

Monday 8th April – Reception of Canon Anthony into the Cathedral of St Barnabas at 6 pm and Vigil Mass of the Annunciation.

 *In St. Mary’s Grantham I shall offer at 11 am on Monday 8th April a Mass for the Solemnity of the Annunciation – Mass Intention Canon Anthony Dolan RIP.

 Tuesday 9th April – Requiem Funeral Mass at 11am in the Cathedral of St Barnabas (Principal Celebrant the Bishop and Homilist: Monsignor Tom McGovern).

 *A coach has been booked to take parishioners from St Marys Grantham to the Cathedral and to enjoy refreshments in Cathedral Hall after Mass (see list for signing up, itinerary of timings and payment required, in the entrance to church) I will accompany the parish on the coach and concelebrate Mass in the Cathedral with the Bishop and other Clergy today. The church will remain open during the day but there will be No Public Worship in St Mary’s.

 Wednesday 10th April – 12.30pm – Grantham Cemetery – Burial – There will be No Public Worship in St Mary’s and the church will remain closed today. I shall be leaving for my Easter break directly after the Burial.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Happy Easter. My sincere thanks for your generosity to me in the Easter Offering and for the lovely cards and messages which I have received. I pray this Easter that we may continue to make our parish community a place where all people feel welcome and supported and where non may ever feel rejected nor excluded. May the light and love of Christ continue to be alive and active in our hearts and in our lives both during this Easter season and in the months and years ahead.

With my prayers for you and your families this Easter and my sincere thanks for your generosity to me as your parish priest,

Father Jonathan


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