Today, Pentecost Sunday May 31st
National Rosary Rally 9am to 9pm England, Wales, Scotland
Pope Francis is encouraging Catholics to pray the Rosary in their family homes during the month of May, especially when the Pandemic is making us aware of the value of our families and making it possible for us to pray together in lockdown at home. He encourages simple Rosaries and joining online Rosary initiatives to pray to Our Lady for deliverance from Covid-19 and he has composed two prayers for this intention. Our Diocese has been asked to pray a Rosary Hour at 1.00 pm and we are all invited to take part.
Proposed timetable for across the Dioceses:
9.00am Arundel & Brighton, Northampton and HM Forces 10.00am Birmingham, Nottingham & Ukranian Eparchy
11.00am Brentwood & Plymouth 12 Noon Cardiff, Portsmouth & Dunkeld
1.00pm Clifton, Salford & St. Andrews & Edinburgh
2.00pm East Anglia, Shrewsbury, Aberdeen
3.00pm Hallam, Southwark, Glasgow
4.00pm Hexham & Newcastle, Wrexham, Ordinariate OLW
5.00pm Lancaster, Westminster, Argyll & the Isles
6.00pm Leeds, Polish Mission & Galloway
7.00pm Liverpool, Middlesbrough & Motherwell
8.00pm Menevia, Paisley & Syro Malabar Eparchy
9.00pm Bishop John Keenan, as the May 2020 Rosary Mission Episcopal lead, will lead a final Rosary at 9pm to which all are invited.
At 9pm the Rosary Rally will end with a Rosary being led by Bishop John Keenan from St. Mirin’s Cathedral in Paisley.
Come Holy Spirit & Renew the Face of the Earth. Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
I hope that you are still keeping safe and well, as I am too. What beautiful weather we have been having.
I continue to celebrate Mass at 9am each morning (behind locked doors), and last week celebrated Mass again not only here in St. Michael and St. John’s, but also in Sabden and in Dunsop Bridge.
Today, we are of course celebrating Pentecost Sunday.
Our Lord promised his disciples that although he was going away to return to the Father he would not leave them orphans. He promised to send the Holy Spirit. Once they received the gift of the Holy Spirit they were completely changed, and they left the Upper Room afraid of no-one, and set out on their mission to spread the Good News which would renew the face of the earth. In doing so they spoke a new language, a language all people of good will could understand, and we too are called through our Baptism and our receiving the Holy Spirit to reach out to others with that same love, so as to fulfil the mission the Lord has given each one of us to do, and so with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, to play our part in renewing the face of the earth.
Let us beg Our Lord to give us the Holy Spirit that we may bear witness to him and fulfil our mission. As St Paul told us, everyone has a particular job to do, there is a variety of work but the same Spirit works in all. And the one body has many parts (1 Corinthians 12: 4-30). Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may come down on the Church bringing peace and unity in order to fulfil its mission and the world will then know that Jesus is Lord.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful,
and enkindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O God, who has taught the hearts of the faithful by the
light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the
same Spirit we may be always truly wise and ever
Rejoice in his consolation.
Through Christ our Lord.
We are tomorrow in the month of June, a month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
‘Sweet Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in thee’
Take care and God bless, Fr. Paul.
Prayer Resource – Lord’s Day at Home
If you would like to say the prayers along with the livestream of Mass, the Lord’s Day at Home resource can help you. You can find the Lord’s Day at Home resource for Pentecost here.
Masses received since Lockdown:
Special intention, Albert Blockeel, Deceased Filbin & Atherton families, Maureen Mercer, Addy family, David Conncar x 6, Frank Worden, Marc Poirier, Margaret Donnelly x 9, Sick person, Holy Souls x 2, Birthday Blessings, Mona Daly x 5,
We keep in prayer all who have died recently especially Frank Worden, David Connear, Mark Poirier, Margaret Donnelly, Mona Daly, Christine Cook
The Ribble Valley Foodbank would like to thank all those still managing to donate food at the moment – you are making a big difference to local people at this difficult time. We are currently short of the following items: sugar, tinned potatoes, washing powder/liquid, deodorants, sponge puddings, custard, cleaning products. Our warehouse is currently open to receive donations on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 12noon, and on Friday from 9am – 11am – please call us for directions. Thankyou email@example.com 07849 534431
GIFT AID ENVELOPES 2020/21:
We have had some enquiries regarding the new Gift Aid envelopes for the coming twelve months which commenced in April. All the packs of envelopes are ready for distribution. Unfortunately we are unable to issue them until we have had instructions from the diocese to do so in a safe way. Could all of those parishioners who are in touch and are keeping those members of our community who do not have access to the internet with news, please convey this message to them. Also for those of you who are putting their weekly offering aside at home, we ask you to continue doing so until we receive further instructions from the Diocese.
The government has advised that we may be in a position to re-open our Churches by early July, or possibly sooner for private prayer. WE ARE GREATLY CHALLENGED WHEN WE RE-OPEN OUR DOORS! The average age of our congregation, and the numbers involved, requires extra sensitivity. There will be a need for volunteers when we open, to limit the numbers in Church and to wipe down surfaces e.g. benches and handles. More information will be given once we receive it.
COVID-19 SECURE TEAM
Bishop John has written to say: “There is, as yet, no indication as to when churches may be able to re-open, even for private prayer. It is important that we act together with all other dioceses under the guidance of the Archbishops, who are in discussions with government officials and Public Health England. What is already clear is that volunteers will be required to be present in the churches when they reopen to ensure that the conditions concerning social distancing are observed by people coming to the church.” We will, therefore, need a team of volunteers who will be ready to ensure that our Church is COVID-19 Secure when we are eventually open (almost certainly first for private prayer.)
Volunteers Needed When the time comes, we will of course only be able to open our doors for private prayer if we have at least two people in there at all times that we are open so as to direct people in what is permissible and to make sure all guidance which we will be given is followed. Perhaps this might mean the church would be opened for just a limited time each day.
We obviously need to wait and see what the Bishops and the Government instruct us to do. But we certainly need to be looking ahead to the time when we can open our Churches again. So if you are under 70, and free of any underlying conditions, and would like to volunteer for this role, which would eventually allow our churches to be open, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Janet at email@example.com with your name and contact details, or ring me on 01200 423307. As we receive more guidance from the Diocese I will then be in touch. Thank you.
Live streamed Masses: It is possible to see Mass live streamed from various places by going to
The Act of Spiritual Communion, St Alphonsus
My Jesus, I believe that Thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things and I desire Thee in my soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you were already there, I embrace Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee; permit that I should never be separated from Thee. Amen.
Feasts this coming week:
1 June, Saint Justin: in an age when Christianity sought to keep itself to itself, Justin stands out as one brave enough to speak the truth to pagans, boldly and uncompromisingly. Justin was born in Samaria in about 110, and on becoming a Christian wrote two great works in defence of Christianity – the Apology and the Dialogue with Trypho. These precious works give us much information on the practices of the earliest Christian communities. Around the year 165, Justin was arrested and condemned to death.
2 June, Saints Marcellinus and Peter: in the persecution of Diocletian (around the year 300) these two men were martyred: the story is that Peter, in prison, invited the priest Marcellinus to baptise his gaoler, whom he had converted; the authorities heard of this, and had the two men executed. A basilica was erected over their burial place under Constantine.
3 June, Saint Charles Lwanga: Mwanga, ruler of Uganda in 1885-1887, began a persecution of Christians of all denominations; among those who were executed were Charles and twenty-one companions, pages at the court, for being Christians and for refusing to acquiesce in the impure desires of Mwanga. All aged under twenty-five, the twenty-two Catholic martyrs were burned or beheaded.
5 June, Saint Boniface: born in Devon about 675, Boniface was killed in the Netherlands in 754. After years as monk and teacher, he went to evangelise the Germanic peoples. Ordained bishop, he was given wide-ranging papal commissions throughout Germany and Gaul. He founded monasteries and established dioceses, presided at Synods, and liased with kings, He is remembered as a determined missionary, and as a church organiser and reformer, whose work shaped the future of Europe.
6 June, Saint Norbert: Born in Germany in 1080, Norbert assiduously pursued a life of empty pleasures. Around 1115 he had a conversion experience, which changed his life: he became a priest and began preaching. The manner of his life attracted others to accompany him, and the Premonstratensian (or Norbertine) Order was begun. He later became Archbishop of Magdeburg and died in 1134.
The New Normal and Caritas Diocese of Salford
In the context of the New Normal I’m concentrating this week on Caritas Diocese of Salford. Apart from an annual mandatory collection, Caritas features little in parishioner awareness. Yet Caritas is our diocesan charity supporting those in need generally.
During this period of lockdown, for those of us experiencing a greater downturn in expenditure than income, there is the opportunity to offer money saved to charities supporting those most affected at home or abroad by Covid-19. There are many charities other than Caritas that one might feel inclined to support during these difficult times – CAFOD. The Jesuit Refugee Service, the Pope’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund, or locally, SVP or the Food Bank. I will cover some of these in the coming weeks.
Caritas means love. Caritas is about the basic edict of Catholic Social Teaching that our Faith hangs on the principle of compassion for the whole of mankind.
Caritas was founded in 2010, by Bishop Brain from a number of Diocesan charities, of which the best known and loved was the Catholic Children’s Rescue Society, which dates back to 1886. There are ‘Caritases’ in other dioceses, and even internationally, but Caritas Diocese of Salford is the home charity of our Diocese, for those in need here in our local area. The most local Caritas service to us is Maryvale Young Parents’ Home which our Parish supports with many generous donations of money and knitwear. We link with other diocesan Caritases via our anti-trafficking work and particularly with Caritas Westminster where Meriel Woodward now works as Assistant Director having moved to London last year. You will remember Meriel from her Caritas appeals in past years and also from her KISES charity which aids the people on the dump in a small village in India. Those people are Dalits, the untouchables, the ones outside the Indian caste system and particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. Many Dalits are Christians.
We link with Caritases around the world and to give you an example we helped an Iraqi asylum seeker referred to us by New Neighbours in Burnley. Refugees and asylum seekers from New Neighbours come to our Refugee Days Out. This particular man needed paper documentation from Iraq to prove that his life was in danger if he returned home and that his father had been killed. Our link with Caritas Iraq was the only way his solicitor could work with the Iraqi authorities.
Caritas has 24 different services under the main headings of fostering, schools, children and families, homelessness, refugees, older people, the deaf, human trafficking. Work with Children and Families has been going on for 130 years and the St Joseph Welfare Service for older people is 40 years old. The scale of the problem and the need to support the lonely, the marginalised, the destitute, the vulnerable, is huge.
Through the Hope in the Future programme, and now through his messages about a New Normal, Bishop John is encouraging the development of missionary parishes. He asks that we should be open to the Holy Spirit, so that the good news of Jesus Christ can be known to all through welcome, engagement and outreach. This parish, and many others already undertake many activities in support of this, but we are being asked to explore ourselves, our parishes and our diocese that little bit more, to see where we can contribute.
Anthony Brown, Parish CARITAS Rep.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
INFANT SCHOOL GENERAL INSPECTION OF SEPTEMBER 6th 1954
H.M.Inspectors Mr Halifax, Miss Mitchell and Miss Ayre.
“This department, staffed by a Head Mistress and two assistants, has 90 pupils in three classes. Children are admitted at the beginning of the term in which they become five years old, and at the age of seven they transfer to the separate Mixed department. Previous to April, 1952, when some reorganisation of the two departments took place, the Infant’s department retained its pupils until they were eight years old.
Improvements to the accommodation, since the last report was written, include the adaptation, in 1950, of a former Church clubroom attached to the premises, to make a classroom for the youngest children who were previously accommodated in the hall. There are now three classrooms, and the hall is available as a free space for each class to use in turn. Freshly painted walls, modern furniture, and a door giving independent access to the meals scullery have improved the teaching conditions and, except that one of the two pianos is a very poor one, equipment is generally satisfactory. Some more portable hand bowls would assist the improvised arrangements which enable the children to wash in warm water at midday. The playground surface needs repair. Part of it is occupied by A.R.P. shelters which, until they can be removed, should be closed to prevent the children from entering them. The children’s sanitary offices are antiquated and poor; some of the brickworks is loose and may be dangerous.
The department is efficiently conducted, and its general condition is sound. The classrooms are made bright with flowers and colourful illustrations; the children are friendly and responsive, they appear to enjoy school and they make steady progress as a result of the careful teaching they receive in each class. The youngest children are introduced happily to reading and numbers. Much of the simple apparatus which helps them has been made by their teacher. In the two older classes, the children are alert and interested, and their written work is commendably neat and orderly. The brightest pupils read well, and can express themselves in writing, but the general level of achievement in reading and in written expression is not high. In the early stages of reading, a more consistent and progressively planned scheme might assist progress, and in writing the children might with advantage be given more frequent opportunities to express themselves simply in their own words. A good variety of materials is used in handwork lessons, and some interesting work results from the children’s use of paint. Physical education and music receive regular attention, and these lessons are enjoyed.
The school day begins with an appropriate act of corporate worship. About half the children stay at school for the midday meal, which is eaten in two of the classrooms. Very careful arrangements are made and the opportunity which the occasion provides for social training is well used. The standards achieved are a credit to all concerned”.
Staff: E.Coneron Q.F.H., A.Crompton Q.F., M.Hackwood Q.F.