Newsletter 28th Week of Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners

Vocations: when I was in Nottingham for meetings during the past week, I was given some packs of the new Diocese of Nottingham Prayer Cards for Vocations. These are now available at the entrance into church. I encourage you to take them home and to use them regularly. You will see on the reverse of the prayer card that each day of the month has a different prayer intention, helping us all to focus our thoughts in prayer on specific vocations and intentions each day of the week. On a Tuesday evening during our Holy Hour before Mass we will pray the diocesan vocations prayer together. With the falling numbers of vocations to the diocesan priesthood and to the religious life it becomes increasingly more important that we concentrate our focus upon praying collectively as a community and individually at home, that more men and women will offer themselves in the service of God and the Church in the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life. I know from my time as a university chaplain, where I had several men and women in our university congregation who felt a call to become ordained or to join a religious order, that whilst their own specific call came from God, this came about largely because as a community we had fostered a ‘Vocation Culture’ which was firmly rooted in regular prayer for Vocations. This helped those young men and women to respond to that call from God, feel comfortable to come forward and to approach me and to begin to take the first important steps in discerning a possible vocation from God. Two have continued to explore that call more fully and it is hoped will go forward to their selection panel next summer, hopefully to begin training for the diocesan priesthood. Three other men and women went on to discern their call to serve God within the religious life.  We are very privileged at St. Mary’s in that we already have one man, Andrew Wakley, currently training for the permanent diaconate. It’s very important that we help him to continue to discern his vocation by regularly praying for him and for his family. There may be others though from within our congregation whom God may be calling, and who have yet to respond to that call from God. Only time will reveal this, and only God knows if this is the case or not! But what I am very certain of is that yours and my own prayers for Vocations can really help!

This weekend is Prisoners’ Sunday we pray at all our Sunday Masses this weekend for the important work of PACT which is the national Catholic charity supporting prisoners, people with convictions and their children and families. They provide caring and life changing services at every stage of the criminal justice process: in court, in prison, on release and in the community. The gospel message this weekend tells us that a person who has been an outcaste can be restored to the community by the Lord’s healing touch. I have witnessed in my short time here in Grantham as your parish priest,  and in my additional ministry as ordained chaplain to our local prison, some amazing examples of how the Lord is working in and through those who for a variety of reasons have gone astray but through a connection with the Church during their time in prison have found healing and restoration to the fullness of life for which we all long, and who have discovered for themselves a new and deep relationship with Christ and with His Church. Please continue this coming week to pray for all prisoners, their families, and all of us who minister and work within the prison chaplaincies and in HM Prison Service.

Looking ahead to November: ‘Month of the Holy Souls’ – November Dead List Envelopes and Sheets – these have been put out now in the entrance to churchI would ask please that you fill out a form with the names of your deceased family members and loved ones whom you would like me to pray for at Mass and put this along with your offering in one of November Dead List (Holy Souls) envelopes. Please return the envelopes to me or drop them through the letter box of the Rectory. The names of your deceased relatives and friends and all for whom you wish me to pray for at Mass will then be placed in a basket close to the Altar throughout the month of November and at the end of November I will divide these names up into special Masses for the intentions of ‘The Holy Souls – November Dead List.’ These Masses will be offered throughout the year. In addition, on Sunday 6th November, at 2 pm we shall have the yearly Blessing of Graves. I invite you to come to Grantham cemetery as we bless the Catholic graves that afternoon. We will offer a simple liturgy of prayer and blessing with holy water of all our Catholic graves in our local cometary. Please meet at the stone archway as you enter the main cemetery gates.

October is designated by the Church as the “Month of the Holy Rosary” During the week and before the morning Masses, other than when a Funeral takes place, parishioners will be leading the Rosary in church. This normally begins about twenty minutes before the start of Mass. I invite you to join us, as together, we seek Our Lady’s gracious intercession for our parish and for other special intentions during the coming month ahead.

New Parish Hymn Books: Our new hymn books have arrived! “Catholic Hymns Old and New” I hope you will find that this is an excellent choice for a parish like our own as the hymn books contain a wide selection of over 936 hymns, both old and contemporary, chants, and a good selection of Mass Settings and Responsorial Psalms and Gospel Acclamations for use on all Sundays throughout the Year and all Major Feasts. We shall start to use them at all Sunday Masses celebrated in the parish over the weekend of the 16th/17th October. This will allow our musicians to get accustomed to the new hymn books before they are used for the first time for our Public Worship. I feel sure you will be as grateful as I am to our two anonymous benefacts who have so kindly supplied copies for use at St. Mary’s. 

With prayer for you and for your families during the coming week ahead,

Your parish priest and friend,

Father Jonathan Rose


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