Newsletter- Pentecost

Dear Parishioners

Changes to the Mass Schedule and days that the church will be closed this coming Week:

This week I shall be away at the Diocesan Clergy Conference from Monday 20th May until Wednesday 22nd May. There will be no Public Worship on Tuesday 21st May and Wednesday 22nd May and the church will be closed. Mass will be celebrated as normal at 11 am on Thursday 23rd May with Rosary before Mass at 9 am. On Friday 24th May we have the Crowning of Our Lady and her May Procession at St Mary’s school at 2 pm (all parishioners are warmly welcomed to attend).

This Sunday is a time of joyful celebration in the life of the Church, as we mark the Birthday of the Church, with the celebration of the great Solemnity of Pentecost, and the coming of the Holy Spirt upon the early Apostles and the Church. It is I believe a truly splendid feast. One of its greatest attractions for me is that nobody seems to have yet figured out how to commercialise it! As such we can in a very real way reflect upon the inner meaning of Pentecost.

The Holy Spirit has often been called the “soul of the Church.” We all I suspect have pictures of our younger selves. As we age and grow older our bodies change in all kinds of ways and we may not look quite as ‘fresh faced’ and nubile as we once did in our youth. I know I most certainly do not! Yet the essence of who we are, our inner being remains the same because our souls provide the continuity between what we may look like now and what we once looked like in our youth. We are still the same person within, however much our outward bodies may have changed over the years. The same is true of the Church as well. Many externals of the Church have changed down the years and will continue to do so in the years to come. But the continuity in the Church that makes her the identical community of Jesus and those early Apostles are preserved by the power of the Holy Spirit. At work in her and within each one of us too.

The Holy Spirit will always continue to guide us and the Church to what is in accord with Christ’s will. Friends will leave us. Allies may abandon us. Scandals may try us. But the Holy Spirit remains with us as our link to Christ and to His Church. Today on Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the fact that Christ is as close to us now as He was to those early Apostles. He is as close to us as the very beating of our own heart. A wonderful comforting thought I think to remember as we journey forward in life and face all the many challenges and difficulties of our daily lives.

This Sunday we welcome our First Holy Communion candidates who will be joining us for the whole of Mass at 9.30 am. Please do pray for them and for their families and our parish catechists, as our young people continue their preparation to receive Holy Communion for the first time, at a special Mass celebrated in the parish, on Saturday 22nd June at 11 am.

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 amongst us.

With prayers and best wishes for you and for your families during my time away,

Your parish priest and friend,

Fr Jonathan

2024 19th May – Newsletter – Download