My Dear Friends,
My prayer for you and your loved ones, at this most difficult time, is that you are coping as best you can and taking good care of yourselves while we work our way through this Coronavirus.
The world has never seen anything like this before. And this is a time when our trust and faith in God will be tested, like never before. How are you going to react?
With an open heart to God’s holy will for each one of us.
All these powerful acts are crucial to us on our faith journey. It’s through actively living out the commands of Jesus that we can have a powerful impact on the support we give to our brothers and sisters.
I know many of you have already begun to take care of your families, parishioners, neighbours and friends and I want to thank you for this but I would also like to encourage you to take care of yourselves. By looking after ourselves first, we will be able to look after each other. Please, please remember that we need to keep our social distance in order to protect each other and ourselves.
The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, having consulted the Ordinaries of the Dioceses, has agreed that the cessation of public liturgies should begin from this Friday evening, 20th March 2020. Because of the situation the Church finds herself in, the obligation for the faithful to attend Holy Mass on a Sunday or Holy day of Obligation is removed, until further notice.
I will be offering Holy Mass privately every day and your pre-booked Mass intentions will be offered during this Mass. Please continue to drop your Mass intentions through the presbytery letterbox for any intentions you would like
Bishop Patrick has created a YouTube channel, so that during this time Mass and other devotions will be live-streamed from the chapel at Bishop’s House. This can be found by searching for ‘Bishop Patrick McKinney’ on YouTube and it will also be linked to his Facebook and Twitter accounts. He will also be streaming Sunday Mass at 10am this coming Sunday, 22nd March and each Sunday during this period. Other devotions will be advertised on his social media channels.
Bishop Patrick also invites us to join him this Friday evening, March 20th at 7pm for a half hour period of Adoration, praying for all who are suffering or affected by this virus. I encourage you to share this with other parishioners as a small way of remaining united in prayer as we begin this time in the diocese without public Masses. I know that the Cathedral is also planning to stream Masses and there may well be churches doing this in other parts of the diocese.
Celebration of Holy Mass
As I said earlier, I will continue to celebrate Mass within the parish without the faithful daily. The continuing celebration of Mass ensures that the faithful can join in Spiritual Communion with the priests of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states (1364): As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which ‘Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed’ is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out. This daily celebration of Mass, even if it is now on my own, is a powerful way of interceding on behalf of you my parishioners and on behalf of everyone in our diocese. Liturgical resources for those at home, including those for making a “Spiritual Communion” with the priest, will be available on the CBCEW website and will soon also be put on the Nottingham diocesan website.
Our Lady’s church will be open for private prayer, Stations of the Cross and Adoration on the following days and times:
- Monday to Friday 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm
- Saturday and Sunday 10.00 am – 12 Noon
I have added instructions that are now in place for the celebration of the Sacraments and sacramentals of the Church at this time to our website under the parish news section and you can view this by selecting your subject choice.
I need to take care of myself so that I can be of service to you, I will also rely on you to keep me safe by not putting me in unsafe situations. So if you need me for anything, I am available but please ask yourself the question “Do I really need Fr John or do I just want Fr John? And I too need to put the same questions to myself.
This suggestion came from a parishioner “that every evening at 8pm we all light a candle whether we’re on our own or with our families and pray together that this nightmare will soon be over – let’s hammer on heaven’s door!” I have added several prayers to the website that you can use.
You may have things you would like to suggest to keep us going during Lent to the joys of Easter.
Post them, send them, and share them!
In the meantime, if you need support please contact the office.
With my deepest love and prayers to you all at this most challenging time in our history!
Fr John Martin
Parish Priest of Holy Cross and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Churches.
Serving the Communities of Hucknall, Bestwood and Bulwell