With Palm Sunday, we enter now the holiest of weeks, and it’s going to be very different this year from any other Holy Week in living memory, since the ceremonies will have to be celebrated behind closed doors and in your homes. I have written more about this in my letter of 1st April which you can read on the parish website. This is a cross we all have to bear, but we accept it as in the Providence of God. In true Catholic spirit, let us put it to good use by offering up our sufferings in union with Christ’s sufferings in reparation for our own sins, for the sins of others and for all the evil in the world. Let us beg God’s mercy and ask Him to end this pandemic quickly. And let us not forget the Holy Souls in Purgatory who always need our spiritual help.
What has been wonderful to see over the past couple of weeks since the lockdown is how people are showing so much Christian charity and concern for each other in the parish – not that this isn’t the case in more normal times – but it has been particularly highlighted in these days when so many are unable to go about their normal business. We priests have also been touched by the many offers of help and kindness and assurances of prayers we have received from parishioners. This is really wonderful and truly inspiring.
One of the things that has been troubling me most as your Priest and Spiritual Father is that you don’t have easy access to the Sacraments, particularly Confession. This is not how things should be. So included with the printed edition of this newsletter is how to make an ‘Act of Perfect Contrition’ which can forgive even mortal sins when it is not possible to make a sacramental Confession. But you should have the intention to make a sacramental Confession as soon as it becomes possible. I will also post this on the parish website.
However, on this Palm Sunday as Our Lord enters Jerusalem, He knew what lay ahead of Him. He knew the terrible sufferings He would undergo to redeem us. And He also knew that on the third day He would rise again. So may the crosses we now endure in union with Him be transformed into resurrections. This is the reason for our joy and our hope. It’s through the cross that we gain life.
Fr Paul Gillham, IC