Newsletter- 7th Week of Eastertide

Dear Parishioners

On the 7th Sunday in Easter, we keep World Communication Day, the day on which we hold in pray the work of those engaged in communications, and in particular, the Communication Directorate of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales. This Sunday there will be a second collection at all our Masses for this crucial work. Please do if you have time visit the Bishops’ Conference website: Here you will find the latest news, features, events, podcasts and much more happening within the Church. You can also sign up to receive the communications team’s weekly newsletter.

Last week at Mass we considered the kind of love that Jesus exemplified and calls us to participate in. This week, our Gospel from John fleshes that theme out even more.
We are reminded that God is love. Everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God and God’s love is revealed in Jesus. With those truths fixed firmly in our minds, John reinforces the call for us to love one another, echoing Jesus’ words from last week’s gospel.
Last week our readings cast a glance in the direction of the Holy Spirit, who begins to move into view today and takes centre stage next week at Pentecost. There’s a conviction in John, which can be a little bit hard for us to swallow. How can I know I’m sharing in the Spirit? I can hope that I am! But can I know? For sure? We, though, have the saints. Look at the lives of people who testified to this reality: that the Father sent the Son to save the world and has given us a share in his Spirit. Look to Padre Pio: look at the stigmata on his hands, his way of speaking to people so directly in confession. Look to Saint Teresa of Calcutta: see how she poured herself out in compassionate service to the poorest people, even as she grappled with darkness herself. Look to Pope St. John Paul II, who took on the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe, survived an assassination attempt, and led the Church through his increasingly debilitating Parkinson’s. Each of these saints, and so many more, were motivated in their lives of heroism by the conviction and experience of the truth of God’s promises in Jesus Christ.

The Church is a living body stretching back thousands of years, and God has always raised up men and women as beacons to remind us that we can trust his promises. A St. John, a Padre Pio, a Mother Teresa, or a St. John Paul II are not given the title “Saint” to make themselves look good. They’re called “Saint” to encourage and motivate us who are called to follow in their footsteps. The lot has fallen to you and to me. With the Spirit living within us, let’s go out into the world to love extravagantly just as the Father has loved us!

Changes to the Mass Schedule for the coming week and times of the Rosary:

Wednesday 15th May – Rosary at 9 am led by parishioners before Mass at 9.30 am

Thursday 16th May – No Rosary – Mass in the parish at 9.30 am

Friday 17th May – Rosary at 9 am led by parishioners before Mass at 9.30 am

 Mrs Therese (Terri) Lynch RIP: It was with great sadness that I heard from Terri’s daughter Rowena that her mother had died peacefully in the early hours of Monday 6th May. After her husband, Captain Oliver Lynch’s death in November 2021, Terri moved from Grantham to take up residence in St Joseph’s Nursing Home, in Littlehampton, West Sussex. A chance for her to live close by to her family and with her increasing frailty to be lovingly cared for by the Sisters there. Terri remained weekly in touch on the telephone with her many old friends in our parish and would telephone to me regularly too. It was always a great joy to hear from her and to know that she continued each day to pray for us all at St. Mary’s.  We pray now that Terri may find rest in the Fathers love, in the knowledge that she is now reunited with her beloved Oliver in the Kingdom of everlasting peace. I shall offer Mass for Terri on Wednesday 29th May here in the parish.

Andrew Wakley Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate: Further on in this Bulletin you will find details of the plans to mark Andrew’s ordination next month to the diaconate. We wish him well as he prepares now for this important next step in his vocation journey and as he prepares for his ordination on Saturday 29th June and his future ministry.

 With prayers and best wishes for you and for your families during the week ahead,

Your parish priest and friend,

Fr Jonathan

2024 12th May – Newsletter – Download