Newsletter- 9th Week of Ordinary Time
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity. On this Sunday the liturgy invites us to praise God not merely for the wonders that he has worked, but for who he is; for the beauty and goodness of his being from which his action stems. We are invited, so to speak, to contemplate the Heart of God, his deepest reality which is his being One in the Trinity, a supreme and profound communion of love and life. The mystery of the Trinity: one God in three persons. God is the Lover (Father, Creator), the Beloved (Son, Saviour), and the Love which flows between them (Holy Spirit, Counsellor). Our readings today at Mass help us see who God is, and what God does for us. Moses’s obedience and humility are revealed as he calls on God from the top of Mount Sinai (First Reading), pleading for the headstrong people of Israel. In responding, the Lord describes himself as ‘a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness’. In the Gospel, Jesus tells Nicodemus of the overwhelming love God has for the world in sending his Son to be its Saviour. Through Jesus’s death and resurrection, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. Paul’s wish for the discordant Corinthians (Second Reading) is peace, unity, fellowship, and love. Paul encourages them (and us) to reveal the qualities of God seen in Jesus, gifted to us through the Holy Spirit, and gifted to others through our behaviour. The Responsorial Psalm, taken from the book of Daniel, gives praise and glory to God, exalting him above all forever. You may wish to look online at Rublev’s famous Icon which suggests the love the Holy Trinity has for us in the humility, harmony, and mutual love of the three persons. If you look closely at the icon, you will see the space at the front of the table inviting you to share in this love and life.
Canon Michael Bell – Diamond Jubilee: This Thursday June 8th Canon Michael Bell will celebrate 60 years of ordination to the presbyterate. When I chatted informally last year with Fr Michael to ask how he might like to mark his 60 years of ordination he asked that his official celebration Mass should take place at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Sleaford, the last parish in which he served before his retirement, and a place where he still has many friends living. All parishioners from St Marys are warmly invited to attend the special Mass he will celebrate there and stay on to enjoy with others from around the diocese some refreshments in the hall after Mass. The following arrangements have been planned to mark this special occasion during the coming week:
St Mary’s Grantham: Parish Mass at 11 am on Thursday 8th June for members of our local parish community. Fr Michael will be the principal celebrant. Following the normal Parish Mass (weather permitting!) I invite all parishioners attending Mass this Thursday morning to join Fr Michael for some simple refreshments, tea and coffee, a glass of fizz and some special cake, in my garden/the parish link room. If the weather is inclement, we shall probably gather in the lower hall after Mass.
Our Lady of Good Counsel, Sleaford: Official Celebration Mass to mark Canon Michael Bell’s Diamond Jubilee of Ordination. Friday 9th June at 7 pm, followed by a Buffet Reception in the Parish Hall. Diocesan clergy, parishioners and friends of Fr Michael are warmly invited to join him that evening at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Sleaford. For more details, please contact Fr Peter Harvey (Parish Priest) – Telephone: 01529 302529
Corpus Christi: Next Sunday 11th June we keep the great Solemnity of Corpus Christi (the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ). Following the 9.30 am Mass and in place of the Final Blessing, we shall have a procession of The Blessed Sacrament around the church, after which the Blessed Sacrament will be enthroned in a monstrance upon the Altar and a short period of Adoration will take place followed by Benediction.
First Holy Communion Mass: On Saturday 17th June at 11 am, our First Holy Communion Candidates will receive Holy Communion for the first time, at a special Mass celebrated by me in the parish. Please continue to keep them and their families and our parish catechists in your prayers as this special day draws closer.
Fr Jonathan Annual Leave: I shall be away from the parish on annual leave from the afternoon of Sunday 18th June until Friday 7th July inclusive. During my absence from the parish Monsignor John Hadley has kindly agreed to offer Mass cover at the weekends, and there will be no changes to the normal weekend Mass schedule, Saturday Vigil Mass at 6 pm and Sunday morning Mass at 9.30 am. On weekdays whilst I am away Mgr. Hadley will be celebrating one Mass only each week. From Tuesday to Sunday during my absence the church will remain open during the day for private prayer.
Mass Times During Fr Jonathan’s Absence
Wednesday 21st June – St Aloysius Gonzaga – 9.30 am.
Saturday 24th June – 12th Sunday of the Year – Vigil Mass 6 pm
Sunday 25th June – 12th Sunday of the Year – 9.30 am Mass.
Thursday 29th June – Saints Peter and Paul – 11 am.
Saturday 1st July – 13th Sunday of the Year – Vigil Mass 6 pm
Sunday 2nd July – 13th Sunday of the Year – 9.30 am.
Wednesday 5th July – Feria – 9.30 a.m.
I shall be back to celebrate the Sunday Masses for the weekend of 10th/11th July –14th Sunday of the Year – after which the normal weekday Mass schedule will resume.
My former lay chaplain from the University of Nottingham will be house sitting in the Rectory whilst I am away on my holidays. I am very grateful to him and to both Fr John and Andrew Wakley for their generosity and kindness in offering their practical help and support during my time away. Please be aware though that they all work full time, Andrew within his own business and Fr John as chancellor of the diocese. In the case of an emergency during my absence please contact Andrew in the first instance who will put you in touch with a priest. For all other routine parish enquiries and non-emergencies, I ask please that you wait to make contact with me upon my return to the parish when I will endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible.
New Boilers for the church and parish halls: I mentioned some months ago that we have been given permission by the diocese to commission and fit new boilers this summer. This is greatly needed as our present heating system has been “limping along” for many years now and our boilers are past repair. The cost of replacing our boilers is a major expense for our parish, and I am very grateful for the generosity of those parishioners who have contributed to the Boiler Fund and for two very significant bequests received, your generosity means that these much-needed works can now go ahead this summer in readiness for next winter. To avoid as little disruption to parish life as possible I have arranged with the company who will be carrying out the commissioning and instillation works that this will be carried out and completed over five days during the week, from Monday 17th July – Friday 21st July inclusive. This means that during this period the church and parish halls will need to remain closed to the General Public, and there will be no Public Worship, nor access allowed to the church buildings during this period. It is anticipated that by allowing the contractors full access throughout the church plant in this way that they will be able to complete their works within five days. God willing, we shall resume Public Worship and you will be able to access the church and halls again from the morning of Saturday 22nd July.
With my prayers for you and for your families during the coming week ahead. Please also keep me in your own.
Your parish priest and friend,
2023 4th June 2023– Newsletter – Download