Newsletter- 6th Week of Eastertide

Dear Parishioners

On this Sunday 6th Sunday of Easter our Readings at Mass focus on understanding and practicing Jesus’ command to “love one another” as He loved us. We reflect on the ways we can show love in our everyday interactions with one another, and we are reminded that loving as Jesus did involves making sacrifices for others and keeping God’s commands, which will lead to true joy and friendship with Him and greater peace within our own lives too.

This Sunday is also designated within the Diocese of Nottingham as Safeguarding Sunday. This weekend is an opportunity for us all to reflect on the theology and spirituality of Safeguarding and to express our gratitude for the hard work of all our parish safeguarding representatives and for our Diocesan Safeguarding Commission. In our parish I would like to acknowledge the hard work and generous support which Eddie Woods offers to myself and to all of us here at St. Mary’s in ensuring that our parish community is a safe place for all children and vulnerable adults. This weekend you will find too a letter from Bishop Patrick for Safeguarding Sunday within this Bulletin, and I have placed a copy of the Bishop’s letter on the notice board as you come into church.

This week on Thursday 9th May we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. On Wednesday 8th May at 6pmthere will be a simple Vigil Mass for the Ascension and on Thursday 9th May at 10 am we welcome St Marys School to Mass in church. The school will be helping to animate the liturgy, and offering the music, serving, writing the Intercessions, and helping with the Readings. Parishioners are very welcome to join the school at Mass that morning here in church.

 Changes to the Mass schedule for this coming week:

Wednesday 8th May – Mass in the Parish at 6 pm (Vigil of the Ascension of the Lord)

Thursday 9th May – Mass in church with St Marys School at 10 am – Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord

Friday 10th May – Requiem Funeral Mass at 11 am – Patricia Stainsby RIP

May the Month of Mary: Last Wednesday May began and we have this coming Monday the first of the May Bank Holidays. But within the Church May has a special significance for us as Catholics it is the Month of Mary. For centuries, the Church has set aside the entire month of May to honour Mary, Mother of God. The ways Mary is honoured in May are as varied as the people who honour her.

It’s common for parishes to have a daily recitation of the Rosary during May. Here at St Mary’s during the weekdays in the mornings before Mass when there are no Funerals or other changes to the normal Mass schedule, half an hour before Mass (starting Wednesday 15th May) parishioners will lead the recitation of the Rosary in church. Do come a little earlier if you can before Mass and join us as we pray for our own intentions, the needs of the parish and the wider world.

Additionally, it’s a long-standing tradition to crown the statue of Mary during May – a custom known as May Crowning. Often, the crown is made of beautiful blossoms representing Mary’s beauty and virtue. It’s also a reminder to us all to strive to imitate our Blessed Mother’s virtue in our own lives. We have the May Crowning of Our Lady again this year at St Mary’s School on Friday 24th May at 2 pm. Parishioners are warmly welcomed to come and attend the procession and crowning at school that day.

Giving special honour to Our Lady during May does not just have to take place in church. We can and should be doing the same in our homes. When we echo the customs and traditions of the Church in our homes – our domestic churches – we participate more fully in the life of the Church. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to erect a prayer corner in your home. No matter how fancy or simple it is. The main point is that it’s a place designated for God, and more specifically, for spending time with him. Just as we all need a proper atmosphere to sleep, so we also need proper atmosphere to pray. For May, give Mary a special spot in your prayer corner. It can be a statue or picture, but place there some representation of our Blessed Mother. Make it appealing and a real tribute to her beauty and virtue.

Why? Not because it’s a long-standing tradition in the Church, although it is. Not because there are any special graces connected to it, although there are. No, do it because Mary is Mother – your mother, my mother, everyone’s mother – and because she cares for all of us day-in-and-day-out without fail, interceding for us in even the tiniest matters and at the darkest moments of our lives. For that, Our Lady the Mother of God and our spiritual mother too deserves an entire month in her honour!

With prayers and best wishes for you and for your families during the month of May,

Your parish priest and friend,

Fr Jonathan

2024 5th May – Newsletter – Download