SAINT ROBERT OF NEWMINSTER PARISH
Parish Priest: Fr. Michael Dever – Tel. 0161 224 1498
St. Mary of the Angels & St. Clare Church, Elbow St, Levenshulme, M19 3PY
St. Richard Church, Sutcliffe Avenue, Longsight, M12 5TN
Resident at St. Mary’s Presbytery: Fr. Laurence Gambella, Assistant Priest & Hospital Chaplain and Fr. Martin Dowd, Chaplain to the Central M/c Hospitals.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE (Youth Day)
“Stay with us, Lord, on our Journey”
COVID-19: Church Guidance: The government has announced a four-week national lockdown for England from Thursday, 5th November. As it stands, Churches will only be permitted to allow people to enter for private individual prayer and funerals. This will last for a period of four weeks until Wednesday, 2nd December. Therefore, No Masses until further notice. The obligation to attend Sunday Mass is removed. Masses will be celebrated without congregation for you and your intentions.
Please sanitise hands on entering and follow safe distancing and instructions from the stewards. Sanitise hands again on exiting church by the side doors. Please note for safety reasons toilets are closed.
Church Opening Times for Private Prayers only, including Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
St. Mary’s: Sunday 10.30am to 11.30am
Saturday 10.30am to 11.30am
Tuesday & Thursday 9.30am – 10.30am
St. Richard’s: Sunday 9.00am to 10.00am
Monday, Wednesday & Friday 9.00am to 10.00am
The church will be open for private prayer at the times indicated above, during which the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed—so please do come along to spend some time with the Lord and light a candle. You will be asked to provide your details for ‘track and trace’ and to continue wearing a mask inside the church.
Baptisms and weddings are not permitted but funerals may be celebrated, with family and close friends only (up to a maximum of 30). Let us keep each other in our thoughts and prayers, and be ready to help those who are anxious, vulnerable and/or live alone.
Feasts of the Week
Monday 23rd Nov. Saint Clement the First, Pope and Martyr
Tues. 24th Nov. Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest & Companions
Wed. 25th Nov. St Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr
Pray for the Sick and Housebound and all those who are suffering from the coronavirus and others who are sick at this time, including Eamonn Walls, Mary McGlade, Maureen Woods, Benny Woods, Christine Jackson, Mark Graham, Mary Dunne, Jackie Clare. May the Good Lord strengthen and comfort them. Pray also for all who care for the sick.
Under the data protection law (GDPR) we need ‘explicit consent’ to print in the newsletter the names of those sick parishioners for whom we are praying. If you would like your name or that of a relative added to the Sick List please be aware that if it is for a relative he or she MUST give their consent for their name to be published in the weekly newsletter.
Lately Dead: William (Billy) Pereira, Mary Rowland, Patrick (Pat) Dinan.
Anniversary: Richard Condon, Mary Ellen Keane, Bridget Farren
Get Well: Caroline Howard, Gerald Baird
WHAT HAPPENS IF I GO INTO HOSPITAL?
If you are admitted as a patient, please ensure the Chaplains’ Office is informed that you would like to be visited by a Catholic Minister. This has to be done by you or a relative. Tel. 0161 276 4247 (Central Manchester Hospitals).
CHRIST THE KING: Today is the great Feast of Christ the King. We celebrate Christ as our Shepherd King, the one who lays down his life for his sheep. Today’s feast brings the present liturgical year to a close. Next Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent and the story of our salvation celebrated in Word and in Sacrament begins all over again.
PASTORAL LETTER: Bishop John Arnold has sent out a Pastoral letter to all Parishes. A copy of this letter can be found with this weekend’s newsletter and on our parish website www.stmaryslevenshulme.co.uk
CHRISTMAS RAFFLES: Do you fancy winning a Luxury Christmas hamper full of festive goodies, or one of our other raffle prizes? Raffle tickets are available to buy from the stewards at church opening times, and also available from St. Mary’s office from 8.30am – 1pm Monday to Friday (except Wednesday). All raffle tickets are £1 per strip. The draw will take place on Saturday 19th December at St. Mary’s. All winners will be notified by telephone.
PARISH FINANCE: I am most grateful to those parishioners who have been making their contributions regularly during this time. Since we are not allowed to pass the collection bags around in church you will see a basket at the exit doors for your offerings and gift aid envelopes for the church.
A simple way to make a regular offering to the parish is to make a Standing Order through your bank. Standing Order Forms are available from the office at St. Mary’s or from Fr. Dever. For those who pay Income Tax a Gift Aid Form is also available. This allows the tax you have already paid on your weekly offering to be repaid to our parish. So if you give a £1 the parish will receive £1.25p. I would encourage anyone who can to consider signing a standing order for the parish. With thanks for all your help and understanding in these very difficult times.
PLEASE WRAP UP WARM: Presently we must have the Church doors open to provide ventilation against COVID. As you will have noticed the temperature is beginning to fall and it is unlikely that we will put the heating on whilst having doors open. Please put on some layers and stay warm!!
NEWSLETTER: Please pass on a newsletter to a neighbour or anyone who you think might appreciate it.
ST. MARY’S APF/MILLHILL – RED BOX HOLDERS
Due to the Coronavirus collectors are unable to visit your homes, therefore, Red Box holders may drop off their red box at the parish office weekdays (except Wednesday) from 8.30am to 1pm or bring it along to the church at Mass time and hand it in at the Sacristy. If you are unable to come to church please telephone the office on 0161 248 8836.
Items for the newsletter including Mass Intentions can be left at the Parish Office Tel. 0161 248 8836 or emailed to email@example.com by Thursday midday. The weekend newsletter is published on Friday mornings!
DIOCESE OF SALFORD
Pastoral Letter of the
Right Reverend John Arnold
Bishop of Salford
FOR THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING 202
Jesus has been born into the brokenness of our world.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Because there have been such impressive initiatives in the parishes to build up communication during this time of pandemic and lockdown, I am confident that this letter will reach recipients throughout the Diocese. I have been aware of regular, even daily, messages from priests to their parish communities, weekly newsletters and live streaming of Masses and services and of personal connection with isolated and housebound members of our parishes. Sincere thanks to all those who have done so much to ensure that there have been such good levels of communication. I am writing now as we approach the close of the Church’s year and as we look forward to the beginning of the Season of Advent and our preparations for Christmas.
I certainly do not want to dismiss the difficulties that so many people have had to face in these recent months, and the continuing challenges as this pandemic rolls on. And people have been so generous, in many and diverse ways, in caring for their neighbours. My thanks, also, for the great generosity and thoughtfulness shown to our priests during this time of two lockdowns, understanding the difficulties they have faced in adapting their ministry. Those thanks extend to the many volunteers who have ensured that our churches have been the safest places for indoor gatherings and allowed them to open once that initial lockdown was over. After this second lockdown, I am sure we will open our churches safely again, when allowed to do so. While recognising all the difficulties, we have to ask what possibilities and opportunities are uniquely presented to us in our current situation? We must emerge from this pandemic with a sense of vision and with renewed priorities. Our Christmas celebrations will have to be different, but they can, and must, be important to us.
I think it is true to say that Christmas has become increasingly secularised in recent years. The accent has been on presents, decorations, parties and family gatherings – all perfectly reasonable and good in themselves, but there has been almost no public and media mention of the Christmas Story which is the foundational reason for all this celebration. The crib is rarely seen in public places and we are not reminded of the gift of Christ’s birth and presence among us.
This year we must celebrate Christmas in a different way. Assuming that our churches will be open but still having a limited capacity, we will return to the ancient tradition of observing the Christmas Octave and I invite everyone, able to do so, to attend a Christmas Mass on at least one of the days during the Octave, from Christmas Eve through to New Year’s Day. Each parish will have its own arrangements for managing its capacity. During those days there are important Feasts which can be celebrated specifically in the light of Christmas. We will also provide some resources for the family at home, and resources for children. Can we connect more closely with the simplicity of Christmas and the importance of what God is saying to us in the birth of His Son?
That First Christmas was the story of a family without home or security. God’s Son is born in a stable. A few shepherds, among the humblest of people of the day, are given the great privilege of being called to witness what is happening. I enjoy contemplating the simple crib setting with Mary and Joseph, shepherds and the ox and ass. There is a silent adoration of the new-born baby. There is no need for words. We have the wonder of silently gazing on the presence of God among us. There is surely a wonderful sense of hope and reassurance in that scene.
This family then must become refugees and flee from the wrath of King Herod, into Egypt. God is uniting His new-born Son with the homeless, the rejected, the poor and the insecurity that surrounds so many people in our own generation. We need to remember the real Christmas Story if we are to truly celebrate its importance. And this year, when families cannot meet in large numbers, and Christmas must be very different – the invitation is there to remind ourselves of what this feast is really all about. Jesus has been born into the brokenness of our world. He comes to share our reality and to lead us in truth. As we celebrate Christmas this year, we have every reason to be confident that, out of the many difficulties and problems that face our world today, progress can be made in seeking justice and peace and care for our brothers and sisters and our common home.
It is also a time to recognise, with thanks, all that we have and the good things that surround us; those qualities of life which everyone should enjoy.
Looking beyond Christmas, into 2021, there will need to be a lot of careful consideration given to our ministry and programmes in the Diocese. We need to consider how best to provide the sacramental preparation for our young people, the ways of preparing people for reception into the Church, for those preparing for marriage. There is a need for more resources to help us in strengthening a spirituality of “Church at home”. It can be a time for all of us to reinforce and develop our personal faith. I have begun discussions about how we might most effectively provide for our present circumstances and I will hope to explain the arrangements early in the New Year. And our planning cannot just be about a catching up on things delayed and postponed in 2020. We must also be thinking and planning for our continuing journey as a Diocese – a “Journey to 2030” and beyond.
Pope Francis is leading the Church – and speaking to the whole world – through these most difficult and challenging times. He is not afraid to warn us of the reality of Climate Change, to speak of our care for our brothers and sisters and our common home. He identifies the need for change from our localised thinking, to a sense of global encounter and dialogue. We face serious challenges, but Pope Francis always speaks with Hope. There is still time for us
to change, to repair and to renew – and our prayer must be the foundation of all our actions, decisions and choices.
In the sadness of these days, we remember especially those suffering from the virus, those who have died and those who have lost family members and friends in the pandemic. We also remember those whose own suffering or loss has been overshadowed by a focus on the pandemic. We give thanks for the commitment of so many in the Health Service and those who provide other essential services at this time. We pray for that resilience by which we will build a better world for all our brothers and sisters. We pray for one another and our journey together.
May God bless you and keep you safe and well – assured always of His love
“Stay with us, Lord, on our Journey”
Bishop of Salford