5th July 2020 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary time

Again this past week there has been a steady flow of people coming into church for quiet prayer. It is good that we are able to open our doors and welcome people into church once again, even if it is at the moment only for one hour on weekdays, ant two hours on Saturdays. I know that those who have came along have been so grateful for this opportunity which is only possible because of the generosity of our voluntary stewards. Thank you to our stewards for all they are doing to help keep our church open and to keep all of us who come along, safe.

St. Michael and St. John’s is open for quiet prayer
Monday to Friday 11am till 12 noon.
Saturday 11am till 1pm.

We use the main doors for entering the church and the side door near the pulpit as an exit.
If you wish to light a candle then you must do this immediately before you leave church.
Once you have left church you must not come back in though the way out.
If you or any of your household present with any coronavirus symptoms then you must stay away.

A few people have been asking when we will be open for the celebration of Mass again. At this stage we are not ready, so please be patient. We will continue just to open for private prayer, before we eventually start to celebrate Mass during the week, then eventually at the weekend. But this will take time. When we do start having public Mass again, things will be different to what we have been used to. Stewards will be needed to show us to our places, then to clean the church after Mass. There will be no singing, no bidding prayers, no long sermons!!!, and Holy Communion will be distributed as you leave church at the end of Mass, with the stewards directing you out of your bench. We will remain seated all the way through Mass. Social distancing will have to be maintained at all times which means that the number of people in the church will be greatly reduced. The obligation to attend Sunday Mass does not apply in these times, so when we do start having Mass then we might all have to decide to come to Mass on just one of the days so as to give everyone the opportunity to come to Mass at some stage each week.
We will all have to rethink our familiar ways of doing things, and be generous in our response. A lot of thought and planning needs to go into all of this, but we will get there, and we have to be sure to get it right.
As Bishop John wrote to the clergy yesterday: The renewed lockdown in the City of Leicester gives us a clear reminder of the seriousness of the on-going pandemic and the lifting of just a few of the Government restrictions does not mean that we have left the dangers behind. While I sympathise with the impatience of many people to return to Mass, the crisis is not over and we need to continue to take every precaution, with the hope and expectation that we can return safely to our churches before too long.


There is much good news in today’s Gospel (Matthew 11: 25-30), which should help to sustain all of us who are anxious at this time, and perhaps particularly because of the pandemic. We’re told we can bring all our troubles to Jesus and find rest. So let us do just that, today and every day, because God will help us, he will always be there for us, he will make our burden light. We give thanks to God for his care and understanding, and patience.

As I celebrate Mass each morning in one of our three churches, I continue to remember all of you in my prayer and ask for God’s continued blessing on you and your families.
Take care and God Bless. Fr. Paul


Today’s Mass is from the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A.

Weekdays Cycle 2
Divine Office Psalter week 2.


THANK YOU.
Mrs Jean Bentley would like to express her thanks for all the messages of sympathy, cards, prayers and mass offerings she has received following the death of her husband Dave.


THE RIBBLE VALLEY FOODBANK would like to thank all those still managing to donate food at the moment – we are very busy and your generosity is much appreciated. We are currently short of the following items: washing up liquid, washing powder/liquid, deodorants (male and female), sponge puddings, chocolate and sweets, and crisps and snacks. Our warehouse is currently open to receive donations on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10am – 12noon and on Friday 9am – 11am – please call us for directions. Thank you!
info@ribblevalley.foodbank.org.uk 07849 534431


Hear the words of Jesus and open your eyes and ears to those who suffer

If you’ve never experienced personally, or via a loved one, domestic violence, loneliness, depression or any or all those things, it’s hard to fully understand or fully emphasise with those whose lives are blighted with that kind of misery. It’s a feature of the human condition that empathy rarely comes without personal experience. Even personal experience of one type of trauma usually fails to bring empathy for something different. I remember hearing a long time ago that a person with a phobia of dogs was unlikely to have any more understanding than anyone else for someone with a phobia of cats. Yet the entirety of the gospels is a proclamation of the command to empathise with everyone.

When the picture of Alan Kurdi appeared in the newspapers people were struck by a harsh reality that had so far eluded them. In our parish, first the Clays and then many of our parishioners and local community responded with our Refugee Days Out, Refugee Come Dine with me, and English lessons. Alan Kurdi’s death has mobilised action throughout the nation but many are still blind to tragedies like Alan’s and ask: who are these refugees, where do they come from, how are they being funded?

Yet in the UK, and despite the “hostile environment”, refugees are lucky compared with many others hidden from us. In the UK there are 127,000 refugees and 45,000 asylum seekers. The latest estimate for slaves is 136,000 which is more than the number of refugees and three times the number of asylum seekers. A refugee has access to what every UK citizen is entitled to and an asylum seeker has some support and some hope. A slave has neither.

There is no slave equivalent of Alan Kurdi – no picture of the girl rescued from a London brothel whose DNA was found in finger nails embedded in the door she had tried to scratch her way out of in Belfast; or the man rescued from a newsagent’s shop in Blackburn with one leg shorter than the other because the trafficker had broken his leg and failed to take him to hospital. Yet these people ARE seen by the public or by the punters who use prostitutes caring not about whether the girls are willing or not.

Justin Welby has asked us to take off our blindfolds, open our eyes and see the crime hidden in plain sight, but more than that he says: “those who forcibly constrain, confine, traffick and enslave people will face the judgement of God for their terrible sin, yet even more serious is when we choose not to see, when as it were, we put on our own blindfolds because then we don’t see those around us held in slavery oppressed, trafficked in other people’s bars”.

Fr Gerald Wilberforce, great great grandson of William and a priest in Plymouth diocese says: “The truth is that slavery still exists. And to a large extent we are all complicit in this. We are all part of the same society and we are all responsible.”
If we care not for those born into this world, we care even less for those not yet born. Today I read on the Right to Life website that: Abortions, contraceptive devices and surgical sterilisation measures are being forced upon women in Xinjiang in an apparent attempt to limit the population of Muslim Uighurs.

At the end of last year, abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland which means in theory that a woman can have an abortion up to birth on request. In practice that won’t happen of course but –
• In Southern Ireland abortion is available up to birth when a woman threatens suicide;
• in China, Vietnam, Canada and eight North American states abortion is entirely decriminalised and a child can be aborted for any reason throughout the whole 9 months of pregnancy;
• 21 other North American states allow abortion up to birth when there is a risk to the life/health of the mother, in the case of rape/incest or if they baby has a possible life-limiting condition;
• Ireland, Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina allow abortion up to birth in one or more of the circumstances mentioned above;
• in Denmark and Macedonia abortions are also allowed up to birth if having a child is going to be a social/economic burden to the woman or in the case of a child pregnancy;
• a “partial birth abortion” of a live baby, fingers clenching, legs kicking, is too gross to describe.
Fr. Gerald Wilberforce whom we have seen as a champion of anti-slavery is also a champion of the pro-life movement. In 2018 he noted that: “with the passage of time we look back in horror at how we devalued human life [through slavery]. I truly believe we will look back in years to come, repent and ask forgiveness for what we let happen to the unborn child.”
Let us join Justin Welby and Gerald Wilberforce in opening our eyes and ears not only to slaves and the unborn but to all who suffer in our community and in the world.

Anthony Brown


FROM THE ARCHIVES:

Record of two meetings of the Parochial Church Council from 1946 and 1947
Minutes of a meeting held December 1946:
Present: Rev Fr Kemball, Mr Bush (chairman), Messrs. R.Briggs, T.Haslam, G.Pollard, P.Fullalove, T.Dobson, Mrs Wrigley, Mrs Fehrenbach, Miss Crompton, Miss Carter
Apologies for absence from Mr Leeming and Mrs Bush.
I. The minutes of the last meeting were accepted as read. Prop: Mr Fullalove, 2nd Mr Briggs
II. A letter from the Canteen Committee electing Mr Briggs as representative on Parochial Committee was read. It was agreed that Canteen Committee b3 asked that a representative other than Mr Briggs be elected as he already was the representative for the teachers.
III. Mr Briggs then gave a report of the Canteen, which he said was more of a social centre although the Canteen part was clearing expenses. The Balance Sheet for 6 weeks to Nov 8th showed a balance of £20. 1s. 9d. Proposed Mr Pollard 2nd Miss Carter that the report be accepted. Carried unanimously.
IV. It was reported that at the Polish Concert there was a lack of music stands and lights and shades for the orchestra. Those formerly used belonged to Mr Shaw. Mr Briggs suggested Parish get some of their own. Mr Haslam reported that stage equipment is obsolete, and advised that the whole stage be rewired. Using material from the air-raid shelters would make it less costly. Mr Briggs proposed that discussion about the matter be left to Fr Kemball and Mr Haslam. 2nd Mr Pollard and carried.
V. Mrs Wrigley reported that the Women’s Sodality wished the matter of the shortage of plates in the pot and pan room be brought up. It was suggested that Mr Leeming be approached about the matter.
VI. Mr Haslam wished for clarification of the minute regarding the Pool Fund. Min 8 1.2.46. Considerable discussion took place.
VII. Mr Haslam asked about dressing room for Pantomime. Two old dressing rooms available as part of Canteen must remain open.
VIII. Mr Haslam asked about Insurance and Compensation re. use of hall etc. Mr Dobson advised that a policy to cover all – audience, staff etc, be best. It was agreed that Fr Kemball and Mr Haslam make enquiries of Mr Marsland for approx. cost.
IX. Mr Bush tendered his resignation but unfortunately, the Secretary had left the meeting.

Minutes of meeting held January 17th 1947
Present: Reverend Fr Kemball, Mr Brown, Mr Briggs, Mrs Wrigley, Mr Fullalove, Mr Leeming, Mrs Bush, Mr Geldard and A.Crompton and Miss Brown.
1. In the absence of chairman (retired) and secretary, Mr Brown appointed temporary chairman and Miss Crompton temporary secretary for this meeting. Apologies for absence from Miss Carter and Mrs Fehrenbach (no longer representing Girls’ Club) Miss Brown welcomed to take her place.
2. Proposed Mr Briggs seconded Mr Geldard, that a letter of thanks be sent to Mr Bush for his services.
3. Mr Briggs proposed and Mr Geldard seconded, that minutes (after slight alteration and addition) were correct record.
4. Hall Secretary reported for November 5 Dances, 4 for school fund, one private. Caretakers Fees 5 @ 7/6d leaving a balance of £3. For December Balance Nil. January quiet but bookings for February.
5. Fr Kemball had been requested by Mr Luff (Bandmaster) to withhold booking a dance at the Hall on February 21st as the Borough Band, had a Benefit Dance in King Lane Hall that evening. Proposed Mr Briggs, seconded A.Crompton that the Panto Dance booked for that date be cancelled (carried unanimously).
6. Proposed Mr Briggs, seconded Mr Leeming that Annual General Meeting be held in the Hall Sunday February 2nd. Representative bodies be asked to send members to next ordinary meeting, date to be fixed at A.G.M.
7. Fr Kemball approached by U.N.A. Secretary Mr Hall to book the Hall for meeting on February 7th. Date already booked by Panto Society. Suggested that Fr Kemball contace Mr Hall to suggest alternative date, Sunday February 9th.
8. Mr Geldard re-suggested (matter brought before committee by Mr Haslam) that a central entertainments committee be formed. Mr Briggs proposed and Mr Geldard seconded that Wednesday 29th January be fixed for meeting in Library with two representatives from each body likely to use Hall for entertainment purposes. Members present guaranteed to notify those concerned.
9. Letter from Whitehall read recommended using alternative lighting facilities if cash electricity supply cut off. Candles to be placed in Hall permanently for the present or where needed.

ST HUBERT’S DUNSOP BRIDGE
August 1922 – The Rev Fr H Marshall of St Hubert’s Dunsop Bridge was a guest on the 12th August at the marriage of Prince Stephen Gustave de Croy, son of Prince and Princess de Croy and Soiree and Mlle Alyette de Pomeru daughter of the Marquis de Pomeru, Senator of the Seine Interieure and Marquese de Pomeru.

CORPUS CHRISTI JUNE 1941
There were a good number of visitors at Thorneyholme Dunsop Bridge last Sunday afternoon to take part in the annual procession in honour of the feast of Corpus Christi. A procession was formed of the cross bearer and acolytes, Knights of St Columba associated with St Michael & St John Clitheroe, children of St Hubert’s church, the girls strewing flower petals immediately before the Blessed Sacrament borne under a canopy. Other members of the congregation and visitors along with Sisters of Notre Dame (including some evacuated from Houses of the Order in distant parts of England) also took part. A route was taken across the lawns to an altar erected beneath the trees, prayers and hymns being said. The Rev Fr Ward preached a most striking sermon about the Feast and current times. Afterwards the service continued, the procession formed and wended the way back to the house chapel where another short service was held. The proceedings concluded with a hymn to Our Lady. Councillor J. Watson acted as leader, Fr Ward reciting the prayers and the Chaplain acting as celebrant.

28th June 2020 – Saints Peter and Paul

ON RE-OPENING CHURCHES:

The good news is that we can start to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel! The Prime Minister announced that places of worship would be able to open for services once more after 4th July. But this will not happen immediately for most churches as lots of things need to be in place, and all requirements be able to be adhered to.

It is crucial to ensure that we are fully compliant in terms of social/physical distancing and to satisfy those governmental requirements which are designed to make safety paramount in public gatherings.

Bishop John wrote to the priests saying: “As I write this, we have now received the statement of Cardinal Vincent that churches may re-open for the public celebration of Mass and for other sacraments and liturgies from 4th July but we still await the directives from the Archbishops as to the practical requirements in doing so. It is important to accept immediately that not all churches will be able to open for Mass on that first day. Those not yet authorised to open for private prayer must wait until checks have been carried out.
There is no obligation for people to attend Mass at this time and the first priority for people must be safety and the avoidance of placing others at risk of contagion. Indeed, no churches will have the permitted capacity for large congregations for the time being. It would be a tragedy if, in the desire to attend Mass, we put people at risk and cause them to fall ill. The lifting of restrictions on lockdown in some other countries has not been successful and we must be patient. In all this, be encouraged to continue with prayer at home, using virtual participation at Mass where possible and strengthening that sense of “being Church” even while we cannot freely gather together. I am very grateful for people’s sensible response in these recent weeks and the energy shown in building the strength of community, personal contact and care.”

Bishop John.


St. Michael and St. John’s church is now open for quiet and private prayer.

Since we opened our doors for an hour each day, we have seen a steady trickle of people who have called in to church, and been delighted to have been able to do so.

Our thanks to the stewards, because without their help we would not be able to open, and thanks to all who have called into church, for adhering to the new way of doing things.

Once we open for Mass we will need many more stewards!

St. Michael and St. John’s is open for quiet prayer

Monday to Friday 11am till 12 noon.

Saturday 11am till 1pm.

We use the main doors for entering the church and the side door near the pulpit as an exit.

If you or any of your household present with any coronvirus symptoms then you must stay away.

I know that all of this is so different to what we have ever been used to, but needs must, and we must get this right and at the same time get used to this new way of doing things.

Over the next few weeks we will look toward opening the church for Mass first of all on weekdays, and then on Sundays, observing all the guidelines we are given and adhering to them rigidly. It is so important that we do not act too quickly and end up putting people’s lives at risk.

Yes, we do want to get back to Mass, and will do, but we must get this absolutely right, so we need to remain patient, keep praying we do get this right, and stay safe.

Will all churches open? 

No, it may not be possible to open all our churches several named churches, spread around the Diocese will be open. Other churches will follow if they can fulfil the conditions for Full time security, cleanliness, social distancing and several other restrictions. For some churches it may not be possible for them to open at all, but we will ensure that churches that can open are available across the diocese.

But it is so good that we are able to come into our church again for prayer


This weekend we are celebrating the Solemnity of those two great saints, Peter our leader in faith, and Paul its fearless preacher.

Peter and Paul were both very different, and from very different backgrounds, but both called to do the Lord’s work. They kept the faith to the end.

We too are all so different, but it is the same Lord who empowers us to keep the faith; his faithfulness to us enables us to be faithful to him. The faithful witness of these two great saints speaks so clearly to us of the good Lord’s faithfulness to each one of us.

We give thanks for the gift of our faith and the witness of Peter and Paul, and as we thank God for his faithfulness to us, we pray for the grace to always remain faithful to him.

Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!


Have we become too pre-occupied with our concerns close to home to heed the needs of those far away?

This week I write about how one person can focus their compassion and make an enormous impact.  She is called Samara Levy and works with Syrian refugees.

Over several years we sent knitwear to Syrian refugees in Turkey.  The knitwear came from our parish knitters and a knitting group in Blackburn inspired by our action.  Sending knitwear in suitcases became too expensive when Monarch ceased to allow our suitcases free passage and in 2018 we drove overland with a car crammed full.

With bedroom still piled high with blankets and baby wear we had to find somewhere else and turned to Samara.

Around Christmas 2013, Samara saw reports of Syrian refugee children in snow covered camps, wearing flip flops and summer clothes – the same clothes they had been wearing when they fled their homes in summer.  Samara wanted to fill a lorry with clothes and shoes and the idea wouldn’t go away.  Frustrated that her dream seemed impossible she prayed asking God to show her what to do.   He replied: “Start collecting.”

But the difficulties of transportation remained and Samara kept praying with the question reframed in different ways.  Always came the same answer:  “Start collecting.”  So she did.

In the end she had more than enough for a lorry, raised more money than she needed, and sent the lorry off.  That one lorry turned into more than 100 lorries and containers in four years.

Hundreds of people from many different communities were involved and more than 350 churches across the UK organised collections. We took two car loads to Kendal.

When the Syrian authorities stopped the lorries coming Samara raised money for other ways of helping Syrian refugees.  They provide medical and humanitarian aid via partners in Syria with a particular emphasis on orphans and widows.  They have also provided four small emergency field hospitals in different locations.   Samara’s aim is to demonstrate the unconditional love of God to people who are in desperate need.

I have spoken to Samara and she keeps me updated.   Below is an extract from a recent email which struck me because it makes the same point about compassion that I made last week.

“How can I love him? I don’t even know his name!”  This question, from an orphan at our singing group epitomises the reason we started our outreach centre. 

Some of these children have been left with relatives who don’t want them, some have been abused, and all have suffered deep personal loss of at least one parent. These massive life events are deeply traumatising.  The activities we run at the centre are wonderful, beautiful, challenging and fascinating, all at the same time. 

The widows we work with have skills and personalities we can employ.   With wages low and prices high many of the higher functioning mothers still rely on humanitarian aid to survive.  By employing them we can pay a better salary – £115 per month without specialist skills – and help them while they and their children use our facilities and services. Many widows are forced to leave their children home alone while they work. Some are too young to be left alone.

We run structured weekly sessions for children including singing, music, art and crafts. Every single one was keen to do music and singing!
Our team begins each group session with a short talk about an important issue, like loving each other in spite of our differences.
As well as feeding the children we also give food parcels to the widows and guardians who are most vulnerable.
Whether a child is rich or poor, singing lifts the spirit.   Music touches a part of our souls that few other things reach.

We live in a world where it is easy to hate someone you don’t know. But loving someone you don’t even know is a brand new, radical concept for many.  If more of us could learn to love those we don’t know, instead of hating and judging them, the world would be a better place. 

The Syrian war has been fuelled by the incitement of hatred, judgement and violence, especially towards other communities and faiths. If the cycle of violence and hate is to be broken, it needs to start in these children. They are the future of their nation, their community and the next generation.

Find out more about Samara at https://www.samarasaidappeal.org/

Anthony Brown


FROM THE ARCHIVES:

ENTERTAINMENT AT THE HALL 1911 – 1956

It is unclear as to when Shows/Pantomimes were first staged at the Hall, but what we can say for certain is that it was at least early in the 20th Century.  The first advertisement found in Clitheroe Local newspapers if for RED RIDING HOOD back in 1911, which was performed by the Catholic School Children.  In January 1921 the Opera IL TRAVATORE was performed and later in that year in December CINDERELLA AND THE PRINCE was staged.  THE CHATELAINE was performed in 1926.

Revues seem to have begun in 1927 with A CHRISTMAS HAMPER, followed by two more Revues in 1928 and 1929.

The more modern Pantomimes seem to have started in 1932 with a production of BABES IN THE WOOD, produced by Mrs Sherliker, followed by DICK WHITTINGTON in 1933, CINDERELLA in 1934, and ROBINSON CRUSOE in 1935.  In 1936 a Revue was staged, with MOTHER GOOSE in 1937 and ALADDIN IN 1938.  These carried on through the war years.  No programmes for any of these productions have been found.

In 1947 the production was HUMPTY DUMPTY, the first one to be produced by Edmund Cambien, who went on to be the producer whilst still remaining one of the cast, together with Mrs Sherliker until THE QUEEN OF HEARTS in 1956, which sadly was the last one staged.

The following is a poster and report from the local paper The Clitheroe Times from 1915 relating to the production of Cinderella (CLITHEROE NEWS written in great detail – sadly something that is lacking in 2020 (Things ain’t what they used to be !!!)

THE HALL LOWERGATE

A Grand Operetta

entitled

CINDERELLA

(Words by A.J.Foxwell.      Music by B.Mamsell Ramsey

Will be given by the Younger Members of SS Michael & John’s Congregation

TO=MORROW, Saturday 13th and

Monday, February 15th

Doors open each night at 7.15. to commence at 7.45

Admission: – Reserved Seats, 1/6d; Second Seats, 1/-; Third Seats, 6d

PLAN for Saturday Evening at the “TIMES’ Office

PLAN for Monday Evening at MISS EMBLEY’S, Catholic Repository, Lowergate

Tickets may be had from any Member of the Operetta or from the Secretaries,

MR J SHERLIKER, 61 Woone Lane and MR J.I.RUDD, Castle Street

 

SUPERB PRESENTATION AT THE HALL

The story of Cinderella is old, yet ever new.  Perhaps the best known of all fairy stories, it never fails to fascinate the younger generation, and many who can no longer be accounted young find in it much to charm and admire. Much of course, depends on the telling of the story and one of the most effective ways of unfolding it was adopted at the Hall.  Though necessarily elaborate it is well worth the trouble as the younger members of the SS Michael and John’s congregation convincingly proved last week-end.

These young players have a not insignificant reputation, and annually they make a venture which less ambitious people would hesitate to consider.  There is nothing lacking in these performances, and the great enthusiasm of all concerned has much to do with the degree of excellence achieved.  Also, the assured success has something to do with the enthusiasm. Scenery, dresses and players were alike—first rate in every detail.

In the first act, the scene is laid in the Market street.  First there comes the proclamation by the Herald (Miss C Hardman) of the festivities in aid of the Princes’s birthday.  The announcement is followed by the festivities and here are introduced four national dances.  Misses N.Blackburn, N.Chippendale, A.Ince and M.Bailey went through a complicated movement without faltering and Misses M Sherliker and L.Sutcliffe gave a capital Irish jig.  Misses E.Ward and C.Hardman were quite at ease in a Scotch reel and Misses A Turner and E.Dewhurst demurely went through a Welsh dance.  All four were loudly encored.  As a climax Britannia (Miss A.Latham) was effectively introduced, following which Misses Ward and C Hardman sang a pretty patriotic song

Act II, saw the story begin properly and it was carried through its well known states to its consummation with Cinderella as the bride of the Prince, to the great surprise and chagrin of her haughty step-mother and sisters.  One or two further items are deserving of the highest praise.  First, the beautiful floral dance by the fairies, who executed rhythmic movements with charm.  Mention should also be made of the extremely effective ballroom scene, which would have done credit to a much more pretentious show.  The dresses were beautiful and had obviously been selected with great card and judgment in order to make a brightly picturesque show.

Then it should be noted that the modern Cinderella concludes with ragtime.  The wedding vow was made to the music and priest and all were “swinging to and fro.”  The principals were all excellent Miss N Blackburn in the title role showed delightful versatility, and no fault could be found with Miss A Ince as stepmother, or with Misses L Sutcliffe and K.Dixon as daughters.  The trio assumed the correct haughtiness and peevishness to perfection.  To complete the family, Mr J.I Rudd as the poor baron, lived his part and his previous stage experience was valuable.  Miss N.Chippendale made a correct Prince.  The part became her.  Miss C Hardman was a favourite as the herald, and Miss A.Jackson as fairy queen did all that was required of her without faltering.  The operetta was replete with guards, pages, courtiers and citizens.  All who took even a minor part did it well.  All the singing was tuneful and bright.  It was obvious that Misses Bennett and Chippendale and Mr R Jackson had willing and adaptable pupils and it is as certain that the trio combined initive skill and understanding with ready sympathy.  The working of the scenery was judicious and effective that’s to Mr C Lockett.  The other arrangements which showed considerable foresight, were a credit to the energetic secretaries (Messrs J Sherliker and J.I.Rudd)  not to mention other excellent workers.

Announced for only two nights Saturday and Monday – when there were packed houses, a third performance on Tuesday was decided upon with quite satisfactory results.


A LETTER FROM THE TOWN CLERK G.HETHERINGTON, TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE, THE CASTLE, CLITHEROE, LANCASHIRE.  TEL No 330 CLITHEROE

8th October 1934

Mayoral attendance at S.S.Michael & John’s Church.

His Worship the Mayor (Mr Councillor R.Manley) has accepted the invitation of the Rector (the Rev.Fr.A.Kopp, S.J.) to attend divine service at S.S.Michael and John’s Church on Sunday evening next the 14th instant, and trust that members and officials of the Council and its Committee will accompany him on this occasion.

The service will commence at 6.30p.m. and you are desired to attend at the Hall, Lowergate, not later than 6.10p.m.for the purpose of joining His Worship in procession to the Church.

In order that seating accommodation may be allocated it is necessary that you should inform me as early as possible whether you will be able to attend.

Yours faithfully.

G.Hetherington

Town Clerk


PLEASE: If anyone out there has anything they think would be of interest for this archive column relating to St Mary’s Sabden or St Hubert’s Dunsop Bridge please email to Janet on janet.clegg@dioceseofsalford.org.uk OR   janegg@hotmail.co.uk

Thankyou

21st June 2020 – Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary time

Great News…

As from tomorrow, Monday 22nd June, St. Michael and St. John’s church will be able to open its doors and welcome people back, for quiet and private prayer.

As you are aware whenever the church is open there must always be two stewards in the church who are able to direct people and also make sure that all the necessary requirements are being adhered to. They will also have the necessary antibacterial materials to wipe down benches as required. We have just had enough volunteers to enable us to open the church for private prayer at the following times: –

Monday to Friday 11am till 12 noon.

Saturday 11am till 1pm.

  • We will use the main doors for entering the church and the side door near the pulpit as an exit, and on entering and leaving you will be asked to sanitize your hands.
  • The doors will be left wide open during time for prayer.
  • A one way system will be in place inside the church.
  • You must keep social distancing.
    Use only the benches that are not roped off.
  • We need to keep an atmosphere of complete silence at all times when in church.

If we are to continue to remain open, and hopefully at some future date increase the times of opening (with the help of more volunteers), it is important that we all follow the stewards directions and do what is being asked of us. By doing this we will not be putting ourselves or others at risk, and hopefully all stay safe.

If you or any of your household present with any coronavirus symptoms then you must stay away.

I know that all of this is so different to what we have ever been used to, but needs must, and we must get this right and at the same time get used to this new way of doing things.

But it is so good that we can come into our church again


Today is the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Sunday Mass readings are from Cycle B

Weekday readings are from Cycle 2. The Divine Office is from the Psalter week 4.

Feasts this week:

22nd June Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More: John was born at Beverley (Yorkshire) in 1469, and died at London on 22 June 1535. He was appointed bishop of Rochester and combined pastoral ministry with study and writing, especially in defence of Catholic doctrine. Thomas More was born in London in 1478, and died there on this day in 1535. An Oxford scholar and an incorruptible judge who served as Speaker and Lord Chancellor. Both were drawn into conflict with Henry VIII over his remarriage and papal supremacy. Both were imprisoned and beheaded for treason.

24th June The Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

27th June Saint John Southworth: Samlesbury was the seat of the Southworth family, and John was born there in 1582. He trained in Douai, and returned to England in 1619, carrying out his missionary work in Lancashire. He was arrested in 1627 and imprisoned in Lancaster Castle, before being moved to London in 1630; there he was released on condition he left the country, but was found ministering to plague victims in London in 1636. Arrested again in 1654, aged 72, he was executed at Tyburn. His body lies in Westminster Cathedral.

Take care and keep well, Fr. Paul.


Building Compassion

We hear a lot about “mercy” in the bible, and in the Church, but a word that better captures the spirit of the ancient Hebrew is “compassion”.  “Mercy” includes “compassion” but “compassion” is all-embracing and asks for us to understand and care for those we don’t like, those who haven’t wronged us and those we don’t even know.  It isn’t easy to care for people we don’t like and it isn’t easy to feel the pain of those we have never met.  Yet that is what Jesus commands us to do.

We learnt at school that God gave us free will and he commands us to use it to do what is right.  Yet free will can feel so limited that we seem unable to fight our natural inclinations. As we go through life we never seem to break the patterns of weakness and transgression.  It isn’t easy to feel compassion for those who have wronged us.

St Augustine taught that without God’s grace we could not prevail over the Devil.  For a time and with limited success we can fight against our inclinations but without God’s grace we can’t change from “wanting” something to “not wanting” it.  And even with God’s grace we have to work on it – to “flex the muscle and build up strength gradually” as a wise old priest once advised me in the confessional.

Leading a good life is all about compassion and being compassionate but first we have to understand compassion as the ancient Hebrews did; in a way that “mercy” and “love” never fully embrace.   Compassion is recognising the suffering of others and taking action to help.  “Action” takes compassion beyond empathy and Jesus teaches that we must have compassion for all.

During the Covid-19 lock down we have seen great acts of compassion.  Hardship brings people together and Bishop John has said many times that this coming together and caring for everyone must continue as a New Normal when the lockdown comes to an end.

It was a month in Nepal in 2010,  away from alcohol and living with some of the poorest people in the world, that changed me from “wanting” alcohol to “not wanting” it.  When I returned to England the desire was much diminished and easy to fight. Over a few more months the desire went completely as did a habit of over 40 years.   But the change in me was bigger than that.  Satisfying an urge makes one inward looking and freedom from alcohol was a release in a much wider sense.  I came to understand what St Augustine meant and I hope too that I became more compassionate.

A month in Nepal, trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas was a time for reflection and so too has this period of lockdown, away from the fetters and preoccupations of routines built up over years.  I think we have all become more outward looking, reflected in more rather than less communication.  Everyone seems to want to talk and to share more.  Let us not move back.

We cannot change without the grace of God but even with the Grace of God we have to “flex the muscle” and as well as theology a little psychology helps.  And when the lock-down is over we will have a head’s start.

I got the below from a recent article in The Psychologist and thought it worth sharing:

8 Practical Steps for building compassion

  1. Learn about what compassion is, what it isn’t, and its benefits to yourself and others
  2. Practice self-compassion. Recognise the inevitability of suffering, notice your own, and treat yourself with the same kindness, care and understanding you might treat another.
  3. Listen with more empathy. Imagine things from another’s perspective and communicate this attempt at understanding.
  4. Spend time during your day – perhaps during any mindfulness practice, or when travelling or working – silently wishing other people well, wishing them happiness and freedom from suffering.
  5. In seated practice, cultivate feelings of compassion for things which are easy, for example, people you love, close friends and relatives, loved pets etc. Then extend this ‘circle of compassion ‘towards mere acquaintances and strangers.  And then perhaps to people you actively dislike.
  6. Increase your acts of kindness to others. Help people to do things that they cannot or might struggle to do for themselves. Try to be helpful, rather than harmful.
  7. Try and shift from a self-focus to a systems-focus, recognising you as part of a much larger connected biological system in which cooperation commonly results in better outcomes.
  8. Continuously hone your skills and abilities around noticing, approaching, alleviating and preventing suffering in yourself and others- such as non-judgement, empathy, distress tolerance, courage and technical helping skills

Anthony Brown


FROM THE ARCHIVES:

A report in one of the National Newspapers sometime in 1934 about Stanley House (not sure whether Daily Mail, Daily Express or Daily Despatch)

The Headlines – House ‘Seized’ by Couple at Night

-oOo-

CLAIM TO OWN IT

-oOo-

FURNITURE IN STREET

From our own correspondent

Clitheroe, Friday

A CROWD of several hundred people saw an extraordinary occurrence in Lowergate, Clitheroe, today, when household goods were removed from Stanley House, the former residence of Mr C.J.B.Trappes, which had been unoccupied for a long time.

The furniture was deposited in the street, and it was noticed that a feeble elderly woman was sitting on a rocking chair.

It is stated that the man who gave the name of “John Lomax” and his wife arrived in Clitheroe last night with their goods and established themselves in the house.

MAN’S CLAIM

The solicitor for the property owners’ was notified and the police were summoned, but the man declined to leave, claiming a legal right to the property as a descendant of an old Lancashire family of Lomax.

He and his wife were permitted to stay the night, but this afternoon, in the temporary absence of “Mr Lomax” who had gone to a shop in the town, his wife was led from the house and all the belongings were removed.

On his return, the man, seeing what had happened, excitedly addressed the crowd on what he considered were his rights to the property.

DEPARTURE IN CAR

He sent for his solicitor, who interviewed the representative of the property owners.

While this discussion, which lasted some time, was taking place, the woman was laid upon a couch in the street.

After the conference the claimant and his wife were taken away by a friend in a car and a van removed their goods.

**************

The following is a report from Clitheroe Advertizer and Times on 13th  November 1953:


Catholic Church Repairs Will Cost ‘At Least £5.000’

It was disclosed this week that Clitheroe Roman Catholics are faced with the task of raising at least £5,000 to repair the ravages of dry rot in the church of St Michael & St John in Lowergate.

Total cost may be as much as £10,000, the Rector Fr Robert Walmsley S.J. told a meeting of the men of the congregation on Sunday.  He emphasised however that this was not a firm figure as the full extent of the damage could not yet be determined.

Evidence of damage was found some weeks ago, when it was thought the trouble was restricted to woodwork.  But more extensive damage has now been revealed as a result of the survey by a diocesan architect.  The rot has penetrated stonework on the north wall of the church.

Councillor C Chatburn has been appointed chairman of a committee appointed to deas with the financial problems of repairing the damage.

Said Councillor Chatburn: “At least £5,000 will be needed but an even biggar sum may be required.  The full extent of the necessary repairs can be determined only as the work proceeds.”

Councillor Chatburn said a gift of £100 has already been received and members of the congregation have undertaken to make weekly contributions.  Money raising contributions are being organised among them an autumn fayre on Saturday which yielded £303.

Every family in the parish is to be given envelopes to which all the wage-earning members are expected to contribute.  They will be collected weekly.  Secretary of the new committee is Mr P.Fullalove with Mr J Cowman treasurer.

Repair work is proceeding, but daily services are being held in the church.


Has anyone from either St Mary’s, Sabden or St Hubert’s, Dunsop Bridge anything they think may be of interest to publish under the Archives on our weekly newsletter?

Please email them to Janet on either

janet.clegg@dioceseofsalford.org.uk or janegg@hotmail.co.uk

Looking forward to hearing from you

14th June 2020 – Corpus Christi

I hope that you and your families are all keeping well at this time.

Last Wednesday, Mr. Ricky Davies (Diocese), Tony Hargan and myself, met together in St. Michael and St. John’s church (maintaining social distance) to do a Covid-19 Risk Assessment, and to see what measures need to be put in place so as to allow us to reopen our doors and enable people to come into church for silent and private prayer. As a parish we obviously have a duty of care to protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 to those who enter our church building.

As I said last week, the opening of churches throughout the diocese will be a gradual process. We are among the first group of churches to be asked to open, more will eventually follow,  until all churches that are considered safe to open, will do so, with the bishop’s consent.

Our meeting last Wednesday seemed to go well, and we have started the process, no church will be able to open its doors for private prayer unless it has enough ‘volunteer stewards’ with two being present whenever the church is open. I am so grateful to the 13 people who have offered their services in this essential role, more would of course be welcome.

The diocese will provide training and guidance for stewards, and we hope to be in touch with you very soon with all of this as well as all other information that will be needed.

We are moving forward as best we can, and in a way that will protect us all, including the stewards and the people who so much want to come into church to say a quiet prayer, but despite what you have read or heard on the news, we are not open yet!!

I will obviously keep you informed as and when we have any more information. For the time being we all need to be patient!


The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, or as so many of us know it, Corpus Christi, is the Solemnity that we are celebrating today. Today, for me and I’m sure many others, brings back many wonderful memories of the day we received our First Holy Communion, as for me it was on the feast of Corpus Christi.

For all of us this is a day for us to remember, to give thanks, and to look forward to the time we can again receive Our Lord in Holy Communion.

Grant, O Lord, we pray,

that we may delight for all eternity

in that share in your divine life, which is foreshadowed in the present age

by our reception of your precious Body and Blood.

Who live and reign for ever and ever.

(from today’s Mass)


The Sacred Heart of Jesus. June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart, and next Friday is the feast.

Let us continue to place our trust in the Sacred Heart, and I’m sure we won’t go far wrong if we do!

‘Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in thee’.

Grant, we pray, almighty God,

that we, who glory in the heart of your beloved Son

and recall the wonders of his love for us,

may be made worthy to receive

an overflowing measure of grace

from the fount of heavenly gifts.

Through Christ our Lord

(from the Mass)


Lately Dead: We keep in prayer all who have died recently especially:
David (Dave) Bentley, aged 84  years
John Lawton aged 70 years – son of Barbara and the late Bernard Lawton


Take care and keep well, Fr. Paul.


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.


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.


“When we emerge from this pandemic, we can’t just go back to what we have been doing before”

(Bishop John’s homily at the Mass for front line workers on June 5th).

It is absolutely right that we show gratitude in this time of pandemic to all those who are working so hard to alleviate the sufferings of those who are ill. Primarily we are thinking of course of our health workers, people who are showing great courage and put themselves in danger in order to care for the sick.  Because of their dedication many lives no doubt have been saved, because we celebrate and rejoice with one of the best systems in the world.  So, we are right to give thanks, and to all those others who in this difficult time of exceptional behaviour and needs, have been tending to our needs by keeping supply lines open, and providing emergency services. It is right that we thank them, but I do not think we can stop there, can we?

In that responsorial psalm, the response was very clear, ‘Here I am Lord, I have come to do your will’. Might we dare to imagine what God’s will is in this time. What might he be prompting us to do and say and think about? Because it’s clear isn’t it, that when we emerge from this pandemic, that we can’t just go back to what we have been doing before and we have to face the world as it will be, changed. I think we are being prompted to think globally about so many things.

Pope Francis is very clear about this and I think it is one of the central qualities of what he teaches is that everything is connected, and you cannot see anything in isolation and say there’s a problem we will solve it. No, it is connected to so many other things. He has done wonderful things in prompting us to think globally about the environment, which is the care for our brothers and sisters and our common home, and I believe in this pandemic we are being asked to think globally about health and wellbeing, and the care we have for one another, connected with our environment but connected also with so many other issues.

We have a global problem of human trafficking, we have a global problem of modern slavery, we have a global problem of migration and refugees, and in these recent days we see that we still have a global problem when it comes to racism, that we have still not been able to accord people dignity for being who they are, regardless of their creed, their ethnicity, or their colour.

All these are problems that we need to face, and we will do so much more effectively if we do that globally, if we emerge from this pandemic thinking about the world in which we live and what we can do to make it a better place for all of us to thrive and have wellbeing.

So, let us turn this pandemic around. Yes, it is causing us so much distress, and we remember particularly the family and friends of those who have died in this very difficult time for bereavement. But let us turn it around so that we emerge with that global vision of all that we can do, of the resources that we have, and we see so much good work being done in exceptional circumstances by the volunteering that we see around us, by that care and compassion that people are showing to one another. Yes, we can build on that.

The Catholic Church has made a very big impact on our world in terms of health and wellbeing. There are over 5,000 hospitals around the world founded by the Church, there are 16,000 clinics around the world founded and funded by the Church, there are 16,300 Care Homes where people are cared for that are chronically sick and elderly. So much good work but more to be done. Can we knit those things together, can we connect those problems and difficulties and face them with our own good will and initiative? I believe that we can emerge from this with new priorities and that strength of serving one another. That service that we celebrate today in the life, the ministry, the death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ the eternal High Priest, who continues to serve us so that we might serve one another.


FROM THE ARCHIVES – Clitheroe Advertiser and Times

Pakistan Post for Clitheroe Missionary – 6th November 1967

The Rev John Taylor youngest son of Mr & Mrs W Taylor, of 40 King Street, Clitheroe, who was ordained priest by His Eminence Cardinal Heenan in Westminster Cathedral in July, is shortly to take up an appointment as a Mill Hill missionary in the diocese of Rawalpindi, West Pakistan.

He will leave Clitheroe on January 17th to sail from Venice two days later, and next Sunday a short mission service will be held at SS Michael & John’s Church at 3.30pm as a formal farewell to the parish.

Fr Taylor recently completed a course in the Urdu language at the Berlitz Language School, London.

He will arrive in Karachi at the beginning of February.  Then will follow a 24 hour train journey inland to Rawalpindi city, where the Bishop, the Rt Rev N Hettinga, lives.  The Bishop will show Father Taylor around the diocese and then give him an appointment to one of the mission stations.

John was educated at SS Michael & John’s School, Clitheroe and St Peter’s College, Freshfield and St Joseph’s College, Burn Hall, Durham (both minor seminaries of the mill Hill Missionaries).  He then studied philosophy for four years at Mill Hill, London.

The diocese of Rawalpindi has a population of 13 million of whom about 50,000 are Christians.  The remainder belong to the Moslem faith.

Apart from the normal parochial work among the Christian communities the work in the diocese is mainly what is called “pre-evangelisation work” preparing the ground for sowing the seed of the Gospel Message.  The missionaries try to give a living witness to Christianity by preaching the Gospel by their actions rather than their words.  They establish hospitals and schools, small industrial centres in poor villages, try to improve social and economic conditions, and thus show the people in practice what Christianity means.

The social and economic conditions in certain parts of the diocese can be described as a vicious circle.  The people are illiterate and very poor and to better themselves they must be educated but they cannot afford to send their children to school.

The missionaries help them to build schools and provide them with teachers and, with financial assistance from Europe and America, are beginning to educate the younger generation and thus break the vicious circle.

Any missionary going to this diocese has, therefore to do educational, social and parochial work.

A number of languages are spoken in the diocese, especially in the rural areas, but Urdu and English are spoken by the literate people.

The climate is extremely hot in summer and quite cold in winder.  The rainfall is rather low.

Father Taylor will get a leave in Europe after five years.  He will then return for another spell of five years and so on.

7th June 2020 – Trinity Sunday

Parish Newsletter 7th June 2020 – Trinity Sunday

I hope that you and your families are all keeping well at this time.
Lent, Easter, Eastertide, Ascension, Pentecost, today Trinity, next Sunday Corpus Christi, so many wonderful feasts, all this year celebrated in such a different way to what we have been familiar with all our life, ways we would never in our wildest dreams have ever imagined. But needs must, and I’m sure we have all found our own way to celebrate them, and will continue to do so for as long as we have to. I of course continue to celebrate Mass in one of our three churches every day, and as I have said so many times, you are daily remembered at the altar.

Today is Trinity Sunday, a day we celebrate that great mystery of our faith, the mystery of the Trinity, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

As Christians our whole lives are immersed in the life of the Trinity, from the moment we were baptised in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, until we leave this earthly life when the prayer is often said ‘Go forth O Christian soul, in the name of the Father who created you, in the name of the Son who redeemed you, and in the name of the Holy Spirit who sanctified you’. So while we are perhaps not able to explain the great mystery of the Trinity, there is no getting away from the fact that our whole life is immersed in this great mystery from our birth to our death.

In our daily lives and in our prayer, let us continue to give glory to the Blessed Trinity from who everything comes and to whom everything goes, and let us continue to pray

Glory be to the Father,

and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the begining.

is now,

and ever shall be,

world without end.

Amen.


Lately Dead: We keep in prayer all who have died recently especially David (Dave) Bentley, aged 84 years

Take care and God bless, Fr. Paul.


Reopening Churches: The leaders of all faith communities are in dialogue with the government. Our bishops are trying to show that we have the means of coping with a safe reopening. Salford have proposed a phased reopening of a few churches spread throughout the diocese for private prayer to see how things might work. The diocese have suggested that St. Michael and St. John’s, Clitheroe, a town centre church, could be one of first group of churches to try out these measures but we are still not sure when this could happen. So we now need volunteers who are willing to carry out what will be neccesary.

Please send in your name and contact details if you are willing and able to volunteer. Four people have offered to help up to now. Perhaps you could have a word with parishioners who might not see this notice, who might be able to help out. (See below)

Without volunteers a church will not be able to reopen.


LOCKDOWN EASING:

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.

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 paul.brindle@dioceseofsalford.org.uk  or Janet at janet.clegg@dioceseofsalford.org.uk 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.


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.

This week’s feasts:

11 June: Saint Barnabas: born in Cyprus, he became a companion of Saint Paul in his journeys, before returning to Cyprus to preach the Gospel. His name means “Son of Encouragement”
13 June: Saint Anthony of Padua: born in Lisbon in 1195, he first joined the Canons regular of Saint Augustine, but after being inspired by the stories of Franciscan martyrdoms in Morocco he joined the Friars Minor; though he desired to preach in Africa, he ended up in Italy, where he established a reputation as a great preacher and theologian. He died in Padua in 1231, aged 36.


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.


Pope at Pentecost: Holy Spirit unites Christians as God’s children in self-giving

On the Solemnity of Pentecost, Pope Francis urges Christians to ask the Holy Spirit to free them from the paralysis of selfishness and make a gift of themselves by serving and doing good.  Let us reflect on as we try to understand what we mean by a New Normal.
Pope Francis celebrated the Solemnity of Pentecost with a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and urged the Holy Spirit to make Christians builders of unity. “Grant us the courage to go out of ourselves, to love and help each other, in order to become one family,” he prayed. Pentecost, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Virgin Mary and the Apostles in Jerusalem, as narrated in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1-22), is regarded as the birth of the Church.

Unity in diversity
Pope Francis delivered a homily pointing out that despite the diversity of backgrounds and ethnicities among Christ’s followers in the early Church, the Holy Spirit brings about unity by making them realize that they are primarily the children of God.  Saint Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians attests to this fact when he says, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit.”   Coming to our times, Pope Francis said that we too have our differences, such as opinions, choices, sensibilities. But the temptation to fiercely defend our ideas as good for everybody, the Pope warned, is “a faith created in our own image”, “not what the Spirit wants”.

Unity as God’s beloved children
Much more than our beliefs and our morality, the Pope said, the Spirit unites us as “God’s beloved children,” and “that we have one Lord – Jesus – and one Father, and that for this reason we are brothers and sisters!”  The Spirit loves us and knows everyone’s place in the grand scheme of things, the Pope said. “We are not bits of confetti blown about by the wind, rather we are irreplaceable fragments in His mosaic.”

Gift of self and proclamation
Taking a closer look at the day of Pentecost, Pope Francis said that the first task of the Church is proclamation. The Spirit does not want the Apostles to be locked in upper rooms where it is easy to “nest”. Rather, He “opens doors and pushes us to press beyond what has already been said and done, beyond the precincts of a timid and wary faith.”  After Pentecost, one thing that kept the Apostles going, the Pope said, was “the desire to give what they received”. In the Church, the Pope said, the Spirit guarantees unity to those who proclaim the message.  The “secret of unity” of the Holy Spirit, the Pope pointed out, is a gift, as He Himself is gift. Hence, it is important to believe that “God is gift”, that He acts not by taking away, but by giving.  If we realize that what we are is due to His free and unmerited gift, then “we too will want to make our lives a gift”. “By loving humbly, serving freely and joyfully, we will offer to the world the true image of God.”

Three enemies of self-giving
However, in this gift of self, the Pope noted there are three enemies: narcissism, victimhood and pessimism.

Narcissism…
the Pope said, makes us concerned only with how we can profit from it. In this time of the pandemic, the Pope lamented the tendency to think only of our own needs, to be indifferent to those of others.

Victimhood
he said, is equally dangerous. Victims complain every day about their neighbours – that no one understands them, no one experiences what they experience and everyone is against them. In the present crisis, he noted, we are experiencing how ugly victimhood is.

Pessimism…
is an unending complaint that “nothing is going well in society, politics, the Church…”.  A pessimist gets angry with the world, but sits back and does nothing. In the current crisis, the Pope said it is damaging to “see everything in the worst light and to keep saying that nothing will return as before”.

Famine of hope
“When someone thinks this way,” the Pope observed, “the one thing that certainly does not return is hope.” “We are experiencing a famine of hope,” he said, “and we need to appreciate the gift of life, the gift that each of us is.” “We need the Holy Spirit, the gift of God who heals us of narcissism, victimhood and pessimism.”

Anthony Brown, Parish CARITAS Rep.


FROM THE ARCHIVES

CHURCH NOTICES

May 29th 1932 Sunday after Corpus Christi

Next Sunday is the Communion Day for the Women’s & Boys Sodalities.

Today: No afternoon Service.  At 6.30: Rosary: Procession in honour of Our Lady in which the Sodalities take part: & Benediction.  Weather permitting, the Procession will be continued to the Infants’ Playground.  The Collection at the evening service will be taken at the door on entry.

Tuesday: The Women’s Sodality will meet at 7.30pm in the Church, and afterwards in the Hall.  The Boys Sodality will meet in the Club on Tuesday evening at 7.30.

Thursday: Holy Hour at 7.30: Confessions from 7.30 – 9

Friday: First Friday and Feast of the Sacred Heart.  Masses will be at 7, 8, & 8.30

Rosary & Benediction at 7.30

Saturday: Mass will be said in the Cemetery Chapel at 8.30 for the repose of the Souls of those buried in our Cemetery.  Communion will not be given during this Mass.  A collection will be taken after this mass.  As accommodation in the Chapel is limited, those attending Mass outside the Chapel are asked to stand during the ceremony.  There will be no 8.30 Mass in the Church that morning.

Will those who are interested in Clitheroe Catholic Ramblers Assoc kindly attend a meeting in the Hall after evening service.

The Catholic Men’s Club is not receiving adequate support from the Men of the Congregation.  The Committee are most anxious to increase its membership

31st May 2020 – Pentecost Sunday

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.

Prayer

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.
Amen.

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,

Lately Dead:
We keep in prayer all who have died recently especially Frank Worden, David Connear, Mark Poirier, Margaret Donnelly,  Mona Daly, Christine Cook


Foodbank:

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   info@ribblevalleyfoodbank.org.uk 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.


LOCKDOWN EASING:

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 paul.brindle@dioceseofsalford.org.uk  or Janet at janet.clegg@dioceseofsalford.org.uk 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

https://www.mcnmedia.tv/schedule or https://www.churchservices.tv


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.

24th May 2020 – 7th Sunday of Easter

LAUDATO SI’

To honour the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si, we are invited to pray and reflect on how we can create a more just and sustainable future. At 12 noon (local time), we are invited to pray in our homes to create a global wave of prayer around the world.

Loving God,
Creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them,
You created us in your image and made us stewards
of all your creation.
You blessed us with the sun, water and bountiful land
so that all might be nourished.
Open our minds and touch our hearts,
so that we may attend to your gift of creation.
Help us to be conscious that our common home
belongs not only to us, but to all of your creatures and
to all future generations,and that it is our responsibility
to preserve it.

May we help each person secure the food and resources that they need.
Be present to those in need in these trying times,
especially the poorest and those most at risk of being left behind.
Transform our fear, anxiety and feelings of isolation into hope
and fraternity so that we may experience a true conversion of the heart.

Help us to show creative solidarity in addressing the
consequences of this global pandemic;
Make us courageous to embrace the changes that are
needed in search of the common good,
Now more than ever may we feel that we are all
interconnected and interdependent.
Enable us to listen and respond to the cry of the earth
and the cry of the poor.
May the present sufferings be the birth pangs of a
more fraternal and sustainable world.

Under the loving gaze of Mary Help of Christians, we make this prayer
through Christ our Lord.

Amen


Lately Dead: We keep in prayer all who have died recently especially Liz Foley and Tony Lynch.


Today is the seventh Sunday of Easter, that time between the Lord’s Ascension into heaven, and next Sunday when we will celebrate the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit, Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the Church.

The Apostles, and Our Lady, were locked in the Upper Room, afraid, waiting for something to happen.

It is possible that we too are feeling a bit like them at this time! Afraid, wondering what will happen!

What the Lord’s followers did during those days between Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, is a challenge and an invitation to each one of us. Our reading from the Acts of the Apostles tells us today ‘All of these joined in continuous prayer’. (Acts 1: 12-14). During those days they didn’t preach, or work miracles, or make converts – but what they did do, was to pray.

So let us pray; let us pray for the outpouring of that same Spirit in our lives, on our families, on our world, on the Church. And when filled with that Spirit, anything can happen, and all things are possible in and through the Lord.

Prayer

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.

Amen.

I hope that you are all keeping well and safe, as thankfully I am too.
I continue to remember you all in Mass each day which I celebrate at 9am every moring, behind locked doors as required.
I was conscious that I have only been celebrating Mass here in St. Michael and St. John’s church, due to the restrictions on how far we could travel. Things having changed a little last week, I was able to celebrate Mass in our other two churches, in Sabden and in Dunsop Bridge, and hopefully will do the same again this week. As no one else is allowed to go into church for any reason at this time, which includes for public worship or for private prayer, It felt right and proper that I was able to celebrate Mass in all three of the churches in our parish of Our Lady of the Valley.

God bless you all. Fr. Paul.


LOCKDOWN EASING :
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 paul.brindle@dioceseofsalford.org.uk  or Janet at janet.clegg@dioceseofsalford.org.uk 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.


First Holy Communions  Some people have been asking ‘When will the year three children be receiving their First Holy Communion?’ The simple answer is, we do not know. We do not know yet the date on which public worship will be allowed to recommence nor the social distancing conditions that will be required. Until we do it is impossible to arrange dates or, indeed, make plans about the kinds of celebrations and the numbers involved.


Mass for health workers: The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show a spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in the ways described above, each Thursday, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate Mass in their Cathedral which will be livestreamed for people to join. This will take place every Thursday at 7pm. Links can be found at https:// tinyurl.com/yaf2rprj

Cardinal Nichols said, ‘Use that time before 8 o’clock on a Thursday to offer your prayers of thanksgiving for these generous, courageous people, for their support – their encouragement – that God will sustain them in this great work that they’re doing. We applaud, but we pray and we pray fervently for them. May God bless them all.’

Bishop Robert Byrne, Hexham & Newcastle 28th May.


Live streamed Masses: It is possible to see Mass live streamed from various places by going to

https://www.mcnmedia.tv/schedule or https://www.churchservices.tv


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:

Monday – Saint Bede the Venerable: Bede was born in 673, and was educated by the Benedictines; he eventually joined the monastery there, and began a life of great erudition, producing many writings: he particularly worked on the interpretation of the Scriptures and the History of the Church in Britain. He died in the year 735.

Tuesday – Saint Philip Neri: renowned for his prayerfulness and sense of fun and humour, Philip was born in Florence in 1515; he arrived in Rome, and after a mystical experience in the catacombs, gathered a community of friends to look after the sick, which eventually became the Oratory. He died in 1595.

Wednesday – Saint Augustine of Canterbury: in 597 Pope Gregory the Great sent Augustine, then a monk of the monastery of Saint Peter on the Celian hill in Rome, to evangelize the people of Britain. Despite turning back once, Augustine succeeded in converting King Ethelbert and founding the see of Canterbury. He died in 605.+


We need to find a New Normal…

On April 29th Caritas Salford hosted a webinar: “Reimagining CARITAS – Love in Action in a Post-Corona-virus Society“.  One of those speaking was our Bishop John Arnold.  Bishop John does not speak from notes and this is a rough transcript of what he said:

‘There are great opportunities.  There are great responses from people in our parishes who are networking their actions, but we have to address the wider issues beyond how we look after ourselves.  The tendency has been to look inwards.  A great call within our faith encouraged by Pope Francis has been to look outwards and tackle, for example, famine, modern slavery and the disintegration of aspects in our own society.  There is a built in tendency to wait for government to do something.  A recent report cites UK children being the unhappiest in Europe.  We must be more generous in what are we going to do about social problems.  If the pandemic allows us the time to think about the common objectives that we have in our common home, that people are our brothers and sisters, and that people have common dignity, then to go back to normal would be to neglect demands that we are beginning to see so much more clearly.  We need to find a new normal that includes more of a sense of common wellbeing that we owe to all our brothers and sisters.

‘We have been made aware by countless radio and media interviews of the immense suffering of people. There is a great spiritual angle – people have been critical about closing churches but there was good reason to protect people from contaminating others and protecting health and wellbeing. Wherever we are we are Church. How wonderful it is that we can meet in public buildings and share the sacraments and liturgy but the fact that we cannot do that at this moment puts us in solidarity with many people around the world who have no churches. We are denied that sense of gathering in public that puts us in solidarity with each other.   More importantly we should develop the idea that we are church wherever we are. St Paul calls us ambassadors for Christ.  Pope Francis calls us to be missionary disciples, to do things in a Christ-like manner.  Being Catholic is more than just being in buildings.’

Anthony Brown, Parish CARITAS Rep.

17th May 2020 – 6th Sunday of Easter

Parish of Our Lady of the Valley

 Newsletter for 17th May 2020 – 6th Sunday of Easter

NEXT THURSDAY we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord.

Lately Dead: We keep in prayer all who have died recently especially Liz Foley

——————————————————————————————————-

From the archives – How times have changed…

The following is taken from a school Log book for the BOYS School in April 1869:

Report of H.M. Inspector

“The failures are fewer this year and the general tone of the instruction of the school is much improved.  A newly certificated Master who has been here a few weeks, is doing his best to render it efficient.  I am glad that there is some prospect of an enlargement of the room in which the boys are taught. Vouchers should be produced with the account books of the School and should be kept, as far as possible separate from those of any other establishment that the Managers may happen to superintend.  The offices should be furnished with doors.” – Richard Cardwell.

The log then reads:

10th May 2020 – 5th Sunday of Easter

A People who Hope in Christ:

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England and Wales

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The radiance of the risen Lord shines upon us. At a time when so many shadows are cast into our lives, and upon our world, the light of the resurrection shines forever to renew and restore our hope.
In the words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis: “In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side.” (27 March 2020)

The impact of COVID-19, both nationally and internationally, has been immense. So much of what we take for granted has changed. Our health and physical interaction, our capacity to travel and gather, have all been affected. There is uncertainty in our future, especially with work and the country’s economy. As we know, very sadly, large numbers of people have died because of the coronavirus, and others have been or remain seriously ill. Keyworkers, not least in the National Health Service and care sectors, are serving selflessly to sustain the life of our nation. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone who is suffering because of COVID-19, and to all those battling to overcome its effects. May those who have died rest in peace and those who are bereaved find comfort.

When the Prime Minister announced the lockdown, this included places of worship and therefore Catholic churches. These measures were put in place to stem the general transmission of the virus. It is right that the Catholic community fulfils its role in contributing to the preservation of life and the common good of society. This must continue until the restrictions applied by the Government are lifted.

None of us would want to be in the situation in which we find ourselves. While the live-streaming of the Mass and other devotions is playing an important part in maintaining the life of faith, there is no substitute for Catholics being able to physically attend and participate in the celebration of the Mass and the other sacraments.
Our faith is expressed powerfully and beautifully through ‘seeing, touching, and tasting.’ We know that every bishop and every priest recognises the pain of Catholics who, at present, cannot pray in church or receive the sacraments. This weighs heavily on our hearts. We are deeply moved by the Eucharistic yearning expressed by so many members of the faithful. We thank you sincerely for your love for the Lord Jesus, present in the sacraments and supremely so in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The bishops and priests of every diocese are remembering you and your loved ones at Mass each day in our churches as we pray ‘in hope of health and well-being.’ We thank our priests for this faithfulness to their calling.
As the Government’s restrictions are relaxed step by step, we look forward to opening our churches and resuming our liturgical, spiritual, catechetical and pastoral life step by step. This will also be of service to those beyond the Catholic Church who depend on our charitable activity and outreach through which much goodness is shared by so many volunteers from our communities.
None of us knows, as yet, how or when the lockdown will end. There is likely to be a phased return to travelling and gathering. As a church, we are now planning for this time and our discussions with the statutory public health agencies and Government representatives are ongoing. Together with Catholics across England and Wales we desire the opening of our churches and access to the sacraments. Until then, we are continuing to pray and prepare.
We want to acknowledge with gratitude the service of our fellow bishops and priests, our deacons and religious, our families and lay faithful, together with all our parish and school communities, for the wonderful ways the life of the faith is being nourished at this time, especially in the home. We also pay tribute to the Catholic organisations and networks that are working to support the vulnerable and needy.

On that first Easter day, the disciples were in lockdown and the doors were closed. In their isolation the Lord Jesus came among them and said ‘Peace be with you.’ May the peace of the risen Lord reign in our hearts and homes as we look forward to the day we can enter church again and gather around the altar to offer together the Sacrifice of Praise.

We unite in asking the intercession of Our Blessed Lady and assure you of our prayers and blessing
Yours devotedly in Christ,
✠ Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster
✠ Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool
✠ Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham
✠ George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff
✠ John Wilson, Archbishop of Southwark


Lately dead:

We keep in prayer all who have died recently especially Ellen Walters and Mary Monica McGrail whose funerals are later this week. We also pray for Fr. Paul Dillon who used to be parish priest in Whalley, who was buried in Ireland last week.


Mass for health workers:

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show a spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in the ways described above, each Thursday, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate Mass in their Cathedral which will be livestreamed for people to join. This will take place every Thursday at 7pm. Links can be found at https://tinyurl.com/yaf2rprj
Cardinal Nichols said, ‘Use that time before 8 o’clock on a Thursday to offer your prayers of thanksgiving for these generous, courageous people, for their support – their encouragement – that God will sustain them in this great work that they’re doing. We applaud, but we pray and we pray fervently for them. May God bless them all.’
14th May, Bishop Robert Byrne, Hexham & Newcastle
21st May, Bishop Mark Davies, Shrewsbury
28th May, Bishop Terence Drainey, Middlesbrough


Live streamed Masses:

It is possible to see Mass live streamed from various places by going to
https://www.mcnmedia.tv/schedule or https://www.churchservices.tv


SPIRITUAL COMMUNION:

St. Thomas Aquinas – Spiritual Communion is “a desire to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament”.
This practice was explained by Pope Paul in his encyclical, The Church and the Eucharist.
It is good to cultivate in our hearts a constant desire for the sacrament of the Eucharist. This was the origin of the practice of “spiritual communion,” which has been established in the Church for centuries and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life. St Teresa wrote: “When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice.”
The Eucharist which is the “summit and source of the Christian life”, is at the root of this practice.
St. John Vianney: If we are deprived of Sacramental Communion, let us replace it, as far as we can, by spiritual communion, which we can make every moment; for we ought to have always a burning desire to receive the good God.

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.


In the first words of Jesus in today’s gospel (John 14:1-6) , Our Lord says to us very calmly, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me”.
What powerful words, and much needed for all of us to hear again during these days.
So let us try and maintain a calm and trusting peace. God is with us, he does understand and care for us. Jesus is the Way that leads us to the Father, the Truth that will set us free, the Life that endures for ever.
When life is tough and things seem bad, may we all hear those powerful but gentle words of Jesus saying to us again, “Trust in God still, and trust in me”.


Keep safe and well, and let us continue to pray for each other.

During the coming week I will celebrate Mass each day at 9am (in a locked church), when you will be daily remembered in a special way.
God bless you all. Fr. Paul.


From the archives:

St Michael & St John’s
The entry in the diary for 1873 written by the Parish Priest Rev W Lea:

The number of children instructed for the Sacraments is small, but it is only fair to add that there is a large class both of Boys and Girls who are nearly ready for their First Communion. Fr Wm Lea came to take charge of the Clitheroe Mission in place of Fr Thomas Cooper on January 2nd 1873. A few days after his arrival Fr Legnani left Clitheroe for the Seminary. whither he went as Professor – his place was filled up by Fr Pittar, who remained here till the latter part of September, when he left for his tertianship. and was succeeded by Fr Walter Lomax.

During the year 6 beautiful new Candlesticks were bought for the High Altar, at a cost of £30; and the Tabemacle together with all the centre part of the Altar were taken down and brought forward at a cost of a little more than E20.

The infants School was made a distinct Compartment – a wooden partition separating it from the Girls School – Also a new and more convenient entrance was made into the infants School. The Cemetery was drained at a cost of a little more than £71. A good wall was built in place of the old one that was low and in danger of falling.

Behind our cottages in Lowergate Thos Bemard Trappes re-built part of the wall separating our garden from his own.

At the beginning of this year we commenced haying Rosary & Benediction on Saturday evenings at 6 o’clock. On Trinity Sunday Dr Vaughn came to preach for his Seminary – the Offertory was £29. Fr Lea made a very vigorous effort to prevail on Mr Garnett to allow our Catholic half timers at Low Moor to come to their own School.

The Children of Mary had their usual retreat before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

May 23rd 1873

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For Sabden 1876:

On Whit Monday there was a grand Procession of the Congregation & School children to Sabden, for the purpose of laying the Foundation Stone of a new School Chapel. The stone was blessed by Fr Anderson & laid by Captain Trappes


Has anyone out there any memories of days gone by that may make an interesting entry on our shortened newsletter since we have had lockdown? Please ring Janet 01200 424657 or 07866 898109 or email janegg@hotmail.co.uk or janet.clegg@dioceseofsalford.org

And finally…
Please do not use the smsj@btinternet.com email address from now on as we cannot access it.  If you have sent any messages you will of course not have received a reply so use janet.clegg@dioceseofsalford.org

 

3rd May 2020 – 4th Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)

Congratulations…
to Barrie and  Margaret Swales who were married at St. Michael and St. John’s on 30th April 1960 and are celebrating their Diamond wedding anniversary.

Prayers:
We keep in our prayers all who are sick and those who care for them, and all who keep our wonderful NHS going in these difficult times. We commend to the Lord all who have died recently, especially Ellen Walters and Margaret Donnelly who died suddenly this week.

Offertory Collection:
Parishioners are asking what they should do at this time. Our main concern is for your well being and everything else is secondary. Thank you for your continued financial support of the parish at this time. Several people have dropped their envelopes through the letterbox at the presbytery. If, as some people have asked, you would like to set up a direct debit for your offertory collection, please get in touch with Janet at janet.clegg@dioceseofsalford.org.uk or paul.brindle@dioceseofsalford.org.uk or ring the presbytery.


 “STRONG IN THE FACE OF TRIBULATION”

The Vatican has this week published a new book, called “Strong in the Face of Tribulation”, containing prayers used by Pope Francis during the current crisis, as well as all his daily Mass homilies from March 9th. The book is available to download as a PDF in English from  https://tinyurl.com/ycv227fo
Also highly recommended for Church and world news at this time is  the Vatican News Service, available at www.vaticannews.va/en


MASS FOR HEALTH WORKERS

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales recognise that this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every person in our countries. Those who are sick, and their families, are suffering many hardships of isolation from contact with those they love. Our front-line workers in hospitals and in care homes all over our lands are giving exceptional service to those who are vulnerable at this time. In order to show a spiritual solidarity with all those who are involved in the ways described above, each Thursday, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate Mass in their Cathedral which will be live streamed for people to join. This will take place every Thursday at 7pm. Links can be found at  https://tinyurl.com/yaf2rprj


The Word This Week:

This Sunday is traditionally called Good Shepherd Sunday, because of the Gospel references to Jesus as the Good Shepherd. It is also the day of prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood. On this Sunday we hear one of the great ‘I am’ statements of Jesus from Saint John’s Gospel today ‘I am the gate of the sheepfold’.

Through Jesus we enter into life and safety, and we go through Jesus, the gate by baptism. This image is implied in all today’s readings: the people listening to Peter find this gateway and enter through it: Peter writes to remind us that we have come back to the Good Shepherd, who heals us by his wounds.

Let us pray for all our clergy and pray also that those who God is calling to the Priesthood or the Religious Life, that they will hear his call and generously respond.


May Sunday

Today is of course the first Sunday in May, as we used to call it ‘May Sunday’, and May is the month of Mary.

“And you so loved the world, Father most holy, that in the fullness of time you sent your only Begotten Son to be our Saviour. Made incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, he shared our human nature in all things but sin” (Eucharistic Prayer 1V)

Mary listened to God’s Word, she acted on God’s Word, and so through her the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Let us continue to listen to God’s Word, let us act on it, so that through us Jesus may continue to be known and loved.

Mary is the faithful one – the one who is full of faith. She is our model. She is the true believer, the one whose faith we must do our best to imitate. We must receive the Word of God in faith and ponder over it, as she did. By doing this the Son of God becomes incarnate among us.

Perhaps we could try and say at least one decade of the Rosary each day. Let us never be afraid to turn to Our Lady in faith and ask her help. When the Angel appeared to Mary at Nazareth, she must have been confused, afraid, frightened, but she still said ‘Yes’. During these times we perhaps feel confused, afraid, frightened, so let us turn to Our Lady in this time of great need, and ask her intercession. Let us try during these days to deepen our love and admiration for Our Lady. Our Lady, Queen of the Rosary, pray for us.


Thank you…

for your notes and emails and phone calls, they are much appreciated. Thankfully I am keeping well.

Keep safe and well, and let us pray for each other.

I continue to celebrate Mass at 9am each morning, and although no one else can be present, you are always in my prayer.
God bless. Fr. Paul.

Memorare

Remember,
O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known, that anyone
who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thy intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To thee I come, before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word incarnate,
despise not my petition,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Amen.