Newsletter- 4th Week of Eastertide
The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III: Following the recent meeting of the Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales Standing Committee it was decided that our Catholic communities should mark the Coronation of the King by praying for his intentions as he is crowned on Saturday 6th May.
In our parish we shall offer:
- A Triduum of Prayer at all our weekday Masses from Wednesday 3rd May to Friday 5th May using the following themes: Wednesday 3rdMay – called to Service; Thursday 4th May – called to Dedication; Friday 5th May – called to Constancy.
- A special Mass for His Majesty King Charles III on the eve of his Coronation, will be celebrated by me on Friday 5th May at 11 am, for the Kings special intentions, using the Liturgical Texts and Readings prescribed for this historical event. This Mass will replace the normal weekday Mass that day at 9.30 am.
- At the Sunday Vigil Mass on Saturday 6th May at 6 pm and on the Sunday Mass 7th May at 9.30 am we shall offer a special Prayer of Intercession for the King at all our Masses praying that he may be a symbol of the nation. On Sunday 7th May the National Anthem will be sung after the Post Communion Collect and before the Recessional Hymn at the 9.30 am Mass.
This Sunday is known as Good Shepherd Sunday because, in each year of the liturgical cycle, on the 4th Sunday of Easter, the Gospel is always taken from the tenth chapter of John where Jesus speaks of himself as the “Good Shepherd.” Today at Mass we contemplate Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Deep within each one of us is the great capacity to love and be loved, a well of real compassion. As human beings we are all made for love, for generosity, and for kindness. Jesus is the one who can teach us how to really love. When we are living closely to Christ, so we learn more fully how to receive love graciously, give generously, forgive compassionately and care especially for the lost and most vulnerable in our midst. Such radical kindness is of the Kingdom of God. It is the very heart of the sheepfold into which Jesus the Good Shepherd gathers each of us. Such love and compassion will bring us peace and animate our lives with a new found joy.
This theme is closely linked with the second theme for this Sunday: World Day of Prayer for Vocations (Vocations Sunday). We pray this weekend that the Church may be provided with good and compassionate leaders needed to do her work of spreading the Gospel. We know that at the present time there is a critical shortage of such leaders, at least in the traditional sense – ordained ministers (priests and deacons) and religious. The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publicly fulfil the Lord’s instruction to: “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life. While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention on this Sunday towards specifically praying for vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), consecrated life in all its forms (male and female religious life, societies of apostolic life, consecrated virginity), secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life.
Let us pray this Sunday that Christ the Good Shepherd will guide and strengthen each of us in our own vocation in life, and that he will raise up from amongst us more vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life. Let us pray too that Christ will continue to strengthen each of us in the pathway of constant kindness and that he will restore in us a deep sense of our vocation to be with him, to live in him and to work through him each and every day of our lives.
With prayer and best wishes,
Your parish priest and friend,
2023 30th April– Newsletter – Download