With the Government having decided to have another national lockdown until at least 2nd December, our churches, once again, have had to close for public worship in spite of many appeals made by the Bishops and others. I know many of you also wrote to our local MP, Jane Hunt. But as things stand right now, there will be no public Masses at St Mary’s for at least the next month and First Holy Communions and RCIA have had to be put on hold again. This is a great pity and seems unnecessary, as our churches, with all the rigorous measures we have put in place, must be among the safest places for people to be, and neither is there any evidence that our churches have contributed to the rise in Covid-19 infections. The public worship of God is vital for the well-being of our country and can never be regarded as “non-essential” because we are all bound to worship Him. I would like to thank again on behalf of the whole parish our wonderful team of stewards and cleaners who have worked so hard to enable St Mary’s to open for public worship several times a week.
The good news is we are still able to open for private prayer. Therefore, the church will be open at the following times:
Sundays 3-5pm, Mondays 9.30-10.30am, Wednesdays 5.30-6.30pm with Confessions
Fridays 5.30-6.30pm, Saturdays 10.30am-12.30pm
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Confessions 10:30-11.30am.
Holy Mass will continue to be offered daily by us priests for the intentions advertised. We keep in our prayers all the sick of the parish, all those suffering from Covid and all those who will suffer further hardship as a result of restrictions. As we pray especially hard for the Holy Souls in Purgatory this month, we keep in mind those who have died from Covid-19, particularly doctors and nurses, priests and nuns throughout the world who gave their lives in service of others.
Today is also Remembrance Sunday. I will offer Mass today for all who died for their countries in battle. Many of them suffered severe injuries with little or no preparation to meet their Maker. They need our prayers. When we help release souls from Purgatory, they are so grateful and we gain friends and intercessors for ourselves in Heaven. St Ambrose (ca. 340-397) said, “Whatever we do for the departed souls redounds to our own benefit; after death it will be restored to us with interest.”
Fr Paul Gillham, IC