My dear parishioners
I am writing to you at an unprecedented and worrying time. I want you all to be assured my heartfelt and continual prayers for all of you. Please also pray for me and my family.
Archbishop John Wilson has suspended the public celebration of Mass, and all other public acts of worship, until further notice. I therefore wish to inform you about the arrangements for liturgy and prayer that I have put in place for our parish:
i) There will be a private celebration of Mass at 10.00am every day(except Monday)in the church. This will, of necessity, be without a congregation. However, every Mass will be offered for the needs and wellbeing of all of the People of the Parish. I hope that you will be able to join with me in Spirit, whenever possible, at 10.00am each day.
ii) I am intending that the church will be open for quiet, personal prayer at the following times:
- Tuesday to Saturday – 2.00pm to 6.00pm
- Sunday – 11.00am to 5.00pm
Where possible, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for Adoration.
It is imperative that, at all times, social distancing is observed while in the church, and on entering and leaving it.
These arrangements apply from Saturday 21st March 2020.
I also want to emphasise the importance and power of prayer. There have been many very good suggestions and initiatives in the media recently aimed at helping to sustain us during this difficult time. They are very commendable and of great help-but prayer never seems to be mentioned. It is the most powerful and effective resource of all.
We must, as a Catholic parish, members of the Body of Christ, do our very best, insofar as we are able, to pray every day. This is a very good time to commit to praying the Rosary regularly. Generations of Catholics can attest to the intercessory power of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
You may well have increased opportunities to pray together as a family. I urge you to do so.
I want to finish by reminding you that I am still here for you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help you in any way.
We are a people of faith, and so we are a community of inexhaustible hope. We should at this time remember and reflect upon these words of St Paul:
“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow, not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
God bless you all.
Father Michael Ryan