Newsletter- 2nd Week of Eastertide

Dear Parishioners

Fr Jonathan Easter Break: Due to the recent death of Canon Anthony Dolan I have had for practical reasons to delay my Easter break. I shall be away this coming week 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 11th April: Service of Word and Holy Communion – church open

Friday 12th April: No Public Worship – church closed

Saturday 13th April: Vigil Mass at 6 pm – church open

Sunday 14th April: Mass at 9.30 am – church open until after Mass

Monday 15th April: – Wednesday 17th April: No Public Worship – church closed

Thursday 18th April: Funeral Requiem Mass at 11 am – church open

Today the Church keeps the 2nd Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday). In the Jubilee Year 2000, Pope St John Paul II proclaimedthat from that year forward the Second Sunday of Easter would be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. Divine Mercy Sunday is areminder to us of the wonderful Mercy that is offered by God to the world. We see in the Gospel today how Thomas upon seeing thewounds of Jesus is moved to declare ‘My Lord and my God’. A statement of faith, and a statement of love that each one of us can make.Thomas sees the wound in the side of Christ, and it is from this wound that flowed water and blood, the signs of Baptism and theEucharist. The two gifts from God which are the foundation of the life of the Church.

In the period between Easter and Pentecost the readings at Mass turn our attention to the presence of Jesus in the Christian communityafter he had left the disciples and returned to the Father. They serve to remind us that Jesus is with the church in our own time just as hewas in the earliest days of the church. Despite Thomas doubting and not believing his fellow disciples, the Lord appears to him and gives him the opportunity to declare his faith. Jesus then gives a blessing to us here and now by saying that we too are blessed who have notseen and yet believe. In this passage Jesus also shows what the forgiving Mercy of God is like. Jesus confers upon the church the divinepower to forgive.

Real forgiveness is indeed Godlike. It is not a matter of ‘forgive-and-forget’ but rather a forgiveness acknowledging that hurt has occurredand seeks to change and to move forward. Just as a when a bone is broken, and it merges back together it can be stronger than before itwas broken so real understanding and forgiveness can create a real link of love on both side between forgiver and forgiven. This is a realsign of the mercy and love of God in the world and is something in which we can all share. The mercy of God flows out into the world fromthe side of Christ. As part of the church, his body, we too have a part to play in showing God’s mercy to the world. We can only do thiswhen we are willing to accept his mercy for ourselves, when we admit that we too need forgiveness, and are able to grow and develop asChristian men and women and as the people that God created us to be.  Divine Mercy is about drawing close to God, admitting our ownsinfulness, and thus being able to accept God’s love and forgiveness for ourselves. Once we have done this the task of forgiving othersand of loving them can be something we can all undertake. We must simply pray: Jesus I trust in you!

A note of thanks to our volunteers: Last week I was able to thank each of you for your generosity to me in the Easter Offering and this week I would like to acknowledge my sincere thanks to all who worked so hard to prepare the liturgies and the church for our Easter celebrations. I would like to thank on your behalf our dedicated group of musicians and singers, our flower arrangers and our young and committed band of servers. Our Readers and all our volunteers who helped to welcome people at the door. Those too who helped to clean the church and polish all the silver and brass, tidy the church gardens and all who helped in so many different and varied ways to animate the liturgies and to ensure that our church was ready for Holy Week and Easter, the list could go on and on! Again, this year we saw a huge increase in the number of people attending the Holy Week/Easter Liturgies from last year and without the support of our many dedicated volunteers from the parish community our celebrations this year would have been the poorer. Thank you, for all you have done to support our parish community during Holy Week and Easter.

Canon Anthony Dolan RIP Funeral Details:

 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 today. I shall be leaving for my Easter break directly after the burial. Parishioners are warmly invited to attend the burial in the Catholic part of Grantham Cemetery. Please meet by the graveside promptly at 12.30 p.m.

With my prayers for each of you and for your families during this coming week,

Your parish priest and friend,

Father Jonathan ———————————————————————————————-

2024 7th April – Newsletter – Download