Canon Isaac celebrating Mass today 23rd March 2020

Watch the Video! Canon Isaac reminds us that although separated, he is including us within the celebration of the Mass daily. The Mass continues for the parish and for the wider Church.

 

SUSPENSION OF THE PUBLIC CELEBRATION OF MASS

PLEASE NOTE:
 
THE PUBLIC CELEBRATION OF MASS WILL BE SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
 
ST. TEILO’S CHURCH WILL REMAIN OPEN FOR PRIVATE PRAYER AND REFLECTION FROM 8:30am to 5:30pm EACH DAY.
 
FULL DETAILS OF ARRANGEMENTS WILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE ONLINE PARISH NEWSLETTER AT THE WEEKEND

CORONAVIRUS GUIDELINES – 13th March 2020

As of Tuesday 10th March, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has taken the decision to escalate Coronavirus safety measures. Extensive new measures have been put into immediate effect in parishes. Therefore, in addition to the current measures the following will take immediate effect in the parish of St. Teilo’s with Our Lady of Lourdes:

All

  1. Anyone who has cold or flu symptoms should refrain from attending Mass and the sacrament of reconciliation (Confession). Please do not take a risk with other people’s lives. The obligation to attend Mass applies to those who are well. If your need for Confession is urgent please contact Canon and agree specific arrangements.
  2. Wherever possible please spread out at Mass or Adoration, not to inadvertently infect others.
  3. Those most vulnerable, that is the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and those with long term conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, are encouraged to make an Act of Spiritual Communion instead of receiving Holy Communion. The obligation is to attend Mass, not receive Communion – an Act of Spiritual Communion will be sufficient.
  4. If you are unable to attend Mass due to self-isolation you are encouraged to pray the Rosary, the Chaplet of Mercy, or other devotions. You may also find that the use of online resources can support your faith. Daily Mass is broadcast in English on EWTN at 12Noon (https://www.ewtn.co.uk/live/tv) and Shalom World TV at 9am – repeated at 9pm (https://shalomworld.org/watchlive) which are available online. The daily Mass celebrated by Pope Francis is also available online (This Mass is celebrated in Italian): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7E-LYc1wivk33iyt5bR5zQ

Liturgy

  1. Please do not replace copies of the newsletter/antiphon sheets back in the containers in the Church. Please take them away with you. This will avoid cross-contamination when more than one person uses the same item.
  2. Hymn Books and Parish Mass Books have been removed from the Churches as they have also been identified as a source of cross-contamination. You may of course continue to use your personal Missals/Mass books.
  3. Collection – Baskets will be placed at the back of the Church for your donations. Do not pass the baskets between each other during Mass.
  4. Veneration of statues in the Church should be in the form of a bow of the head. Please do not touch or kiss the statues as this would be an easy way through which the virus could be passed on.
  5. At present all liturgies will continue as normal but this will be reviewed on a regular basis. If possible please check for notices on the Parish Website – or on Facebook – you do not need to join Facebook to see the page.

Non-liturgical gatherings

  1. Coffee Mornings and other social gatherings are to be cancelled until further notice.
  2. Parish groups (including prayer groups, SVP, ladies guild etc.) are to refrain from meeting and associated activities until further notice. Online meetings/chats may be arranged via What’s App or Messenger, but these arrangements are the responsibility of the individual groups.
  3. Parish Catechetical sessions will continue as normal to enable advancement to the Sacraments. Such sessions are to follow the guidelines issued to schools in Wales, at such time that schools are suspended, parish catechesis will also be suspended. NB – No refreshments are to be provided.

Holy Week

The Bishops’ Conference has confirmed that, if liturgies are still taking place in Holy Week:

  1. The Holy Thursday Mandatum (Washing of the Feet) is suspended.
  2. Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday will not be by kissing or touching a cross, but by silent prayer while the cross is held aloft by the priest or deacon.

Welcomers

Please do not undertake this role, given the recommendation that people do not hand things to other people for fear of contamination.

Collectors

It is good practice to ensure that the collection baskets are clearly visible at the back of the Church. Please do not handle the baskets or pass them around. People will be invited to make their donations in their own time. Please encourage people to move away once they have donated not to cause large gatherings/queues around the baskets

Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist

  1. Please ensure that you sanitise your hands before and after distributing Holy Communion. This can be done by washing hands with soap and hot water in the toilets before proceeding to the sanctuary or by using the hand gel on the credence table.
  2. At present, Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist who currently visit the sick and housebound may continue to do so but discretion is advised, taking into consideration the vulnerable state of the people who are visited. Anyone who wishes to suspend visiting activities is free to do so. Visiting must cease if you are feeling unwell or if the person visited is self-isolating. Please be sensitive to the needs of those you visit.
    Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and members of the SVP who visit parishioners at home should ensure that no physical contact takes place.
  3. Anyone carrying the Sacrament to the housebound must wash their hands for at least 30 seconds in hot water and soap. You must follow the same practice after administering the sacrament.
  4. There are to be NO pastoral visits to people who are self-isolating until isolation ends. Feel free to offer telephone support as necessary.
  5. Visits to people in care homes or hospitals should only be undertaken when necessary. Please follow the advice from the staff on appropriate infection control.

These are uncertain times, so let us all pray frequently for an end to this pandemic, that all parish functions may return to normal and that we may be preserved from the worst that the Coronavirus can bring.

Please always remember to practise good hand hygiene and to Catch it – Bin it – Kill it!  If you feel you have the virus, self-isolate and contact the NHS Coronavirus helpline by dialling 111.

 

Canon William Isaac

Parish Priest

 

If you have any queries please email: whitchurch@rcadc.org

 

A printable copy of this message can be downloaded here and is available at the back of both Churches.

First Sunday of Lent

In the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, after Jesus’ baptism by John, Jesus goes to the desert to fast and pray for 40 days. In each case, while in the desert, Jesus is tempted by the devil.

Matthew and Luke give more detail than Mark does, but each one tells how the devil tempts Jesus in the desert. In Matthew, as in Luke, the devil presents three temptations to Jesus. The devil tempts Jesus to use his power to appease his hunger; he tempts Jesus to put God’s promise of protection to the test; and he offers Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world if Jesus will worship the devil. In each case, Jesus resists the temptation, rebuking the devil with words from Scripture.

The account of Jesus’ temptation in the desert is filled with allusions and parallels to the Old Testament, including the story of the people of Israel. The Israelites spent 40 years wandering in the desert in Exodus, for example, and Jesus spends 40 days in the desert. As the Israelites were tempted during the Exodus, so too is Jesus tempted.

Each temptation offers insight into both God and the human condition. Jesus’ rejection of the temptations shows that he will not put God to the test. Grounding himself on the word and authority of Scripture, Jesus rebukes the devil, confident in God’s protection and faithfulness.

As we start our journey through Lent, our Sunday readings call us to adopt the same confidence that Jesus had in the face of temptation: God’s word alone will suffice; God’s promise of protection can be trusted; God alone is God.

 

https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/sunday-connection/first-sunday-of-lent-cycle-a-sunday-connection

The Presentation of the Lord

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord which occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemas day, since the blessing and procession of candles is included in today’s liturgy.

The Presentation of the Lord concludes the celebration of the Nativity and with the offerings of the Virgin Mother and the prophecy of Simeon, the events now point toward Easter.

In obedience to the Old Law, the Lord Jesus, the first-born, was presented in the Temple by his Blessed Mother and his foster father. This is another ‘epiphany’ celebration insofar as the Christ Child is revealed as the Messiah through the canticle and words of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess. Christ is the light of the nations, hence the blessing and procession of candles on this day. In the Middle Ages this feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or ‘Candlemas,’ was of great importance.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is a combined feastcommemorating the Jewish practice of the purification of the mother after childbirth and the presentation of the child to God in the Temple and his buying back (redemption) from God.

Sunday of the Word of God

On this Third Sunday of Ordinary Time the Church celebrates the first Sunday of the Word of God.

Pope Francis proposed the idea at the conclusion of the Year of Mercy when he wrote of a desire to institute a “Sunday given over entirely to the Word of God, so as to appreciate the inexhaustible riches contained in that constant dialogue between the Lord and his people.”

In his Apostolic Letter “Aperuit Illis”, the Holy Father writes:

A day devoted to the Bible should not be seen as a yearly event but rather a year-long event, for we urgently need to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scriptures and of the risen Lord, who continues to speak his word and to break bread in the community of believers.

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales outline the way we can celebrate the Sunday of the Word of God and invite us to read St. Matthew’s Gospel day by day during this Year of the Word. It involves exploring the words of St. Matthew over 44 days. If you would like to read the Gospel which is the centre of the Church’s Liturgy this year follow this link.

Baptism of the Lord

Today, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord’s second manifestation or epiphany, which occurred on the occasion of His Baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the river to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to beget sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes. In the Eastern Church, this feast is called Theophany because at the Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan, God appeared in three persons.

The Baptism of John was a sort of sacramental preparation for the Baptism of Christ. It moved men to sentiments of repentance and induced them to confess their sins. Christ did not need the baptism of John. Although He appeared in the “substance of our flesh” and was recognised “outwardly like unto ourselves”, He was absolutely sinless and impeccable. He conferred upon the water the power of the true Baptism, which would remove all the sins of the world: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world”.

Many of the incidents, which accompanied Christ’s Baptism, are symbolic of what happened at our Baptism. At Christ’s Baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him; at our Baptism, the Trinity took its abode in our soul. At His Baptism, Christ was proclaimed the “Beloved Son” of the Father; at our Baptism, we become the Sons and Daughters of God. At Christ’s Baptism, the heavens were opened; at our Baptism, heaven was opened to us.

The Epiphany

The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Saviour of the world.

The great feast of the Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men, the Magi, from the East, together with His baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the Magi, representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first fruits of the nations who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. The Magi’s coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the Messianic light of the Star of David, the One who will be king of the nations. Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship Him as Son of God and Saviour of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the Messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament.

The Epiphany shows that “the full number of the nations” now takes its “place in the family of the patriarchs”, and acquires Israelitica dignitas (is made “worthy of the heritage of Israel”).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 528

May the light of the star, the light of faith, lead you into a closer encounter with Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Holy Family Sunday

Today is the feast day of the Holy Family, and also every family’s feast day, since the Holy Family is the patron and model of all Christian families.

Today is to be a huge family feast, devoted to the Holy Family as a model for the Christian family life.

As Rev. Edward Sutfin states:

The children must learn to see in their father the foster-father St. Joseph, and the Blessed Mother as the perfect model for their own mother. The lesson to be learned is both practical and theoretical, in that the children must learn how to obey and to love their parents in thought, word and action, just as Christ was obedient to Mary and Joseph. Helping mother in the kitchen and in the house work, and helping father in his odd jobs about the home thus take on a new significance by being performed in a Christ-like spirit.

A happy Holy Family Day to all the families of our Parish and beyond.

On the Feast of Stephen

Today is the feast of St. Stephen

You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Matthew Chapter 10 verse 22.

St Catherine of Siena reflects

In the name of Jesus Christ crucified and of gentle Mary. I Caterina, slave of the servants of Jesus Christ, am writing to you in his precious blood. I long to see you bathed and drowned in that blood, which will make you strong enough to bear with true patience any trial or trouble, from whatever source it may come. It will give you perseverance to endure even to the point of death in true humility.”

St. Stephen pray for us