Letter from Fr Paul – 24th March 2020

25 Mar

Tuesday 24th March 2020

Dear All,

I hope you are all surviving the lockdown. So far I have had plenty to do, but not having you with me in the church for Mass does seem very strange. I have been touched by all your emails and promises of continued prayers. Thank you all very much. We three priests really do appreciate it.

As I write, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, our Patronal Feast, has now begun with First Vespers which I have just said. At the Annunciation , Mary said ‘yes’ to God, and the Divine Word took on our humanity, took a body to Himself so as He could die on the Cross to save us. Were it not for Mary there would be no Incarnation and thus there would be no Holy Eucharist. Why? Because Our Lord took His human body from Mary and so she is the origin of the Holy Eucharist. And so the violet in the church has been replaced by gold, and flowers are again on the High Altar and on the Lady Altar, albeit for just over 24 hours. The UCM have provided a beautiful new cloth for the High Altar, painstakingly embroidered by Jean Lopez for use on feasts of Our Lady. I attach a couple of photos. It looks really splendid. I blessed it this afternoon as all things for sacred use should first be blessed. We priests will be celebrating the Mass of the Annunciation in the church tomorrow, but of course none of you will be present. The feast of our parish and school – and nobody will be there. Strange days! But we will certainly remember you and be praying for all your intentions. We are always united in the Sacrifice of the Mass. Today is also Blessed Antonio Rosmini’s birthday, and tomorrow (Wednesday) will be the anniversary of his Baptism in 1797, so it is kind of a double celebration for us.

Pope Francis has asked something special of us tomorrow. He wants all Christians throughout the world to pray the Our Father simultaneously at noon (Rome time) which is 11am here. “In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the threat of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards Heaven … On that day on which many Christians recall the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary of the Incarnation of the Word, may the Lord listen to the united prayer of all of His disciples who are preparing themselves to celebrate the victory of the Risen Christ.” Since most of us will be at home this should be quite easy to do. So let’s all unite with the Pope in doing that at 11am tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. Let us storm Heaven with our prayers and ask God to end this crisis situation we are in and pardon all the sins of the world. Let us pray for those who are infected with the virus and for those who are ill; for the healthcare workers and all the doctors; and let us pray for all those who have died today and who will die today, that they may depart this world in God’s friendship winning the crown of glory. And let us not forget to offer Our Lady at least one Rosary.

Happy Feast! May God bless you and let us continue to pray for each other.

Fr Paul