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Welcome back to Mass!

We are delighted to welcome back our parishioners to public Mass from Monday, 10th May. Myself and Fr John have greatly missed your presence in church. As we return, we will continue to try and keep each other safe. Please remember to wear a mask at all times while in...

The numbers who can come to Sunday Mass

As happened in December, we are allowed to divide the church into three sections. Each section has to have its own entrance and exit and there can be no movement between sections. We are treating the block of seats at the top of the church nearest the altar as a...

Calling our Ministers of the Eucharist

Now that our churches will be open for public worship from this Monday, 10th May, we will need our Eucharistic Ministers. I hope some Eucharistic Ministers will be available to serve again at weekday and Sunday Masses. Please let Mary Costello know of your...

Calling our Stewards

Our first public Sunday Masses will be next weekend of May 15th/16th. We have been allowed to divide the church into sections, which means we can accommodate at least 80 to 90 people at Sunday Mass. If we are to do this safely, we will need a large team of stewards....

Celebrations of First Holy Communion and Confirmation

The government has advised against celebrations of First Holy Communion and Confirmation at this time. In response, the Archbishop has asked that First Confessions and First Holy Communions for this year be postponed until the Autumn. He hopes that ongoing engagement...

Reflection on Today’s

Gospel Reading

Saturday, Fifth Week of Easter

In today’s first reading, Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, gives us a strong sense of the early church being guided by the Holy Spirit. Paul and his companions travelled through the countryside of the Roman province of Galatia, having been told by the Holy Spirit not to preach the word in the Roman province of Asia, both provinces being in modern-day Turkey. The Spirit would not allow them to cross into the province of Bithynia either, so, instead, they came to the city of Troas, on the North West coast of modern-day Turkey. There Paul experienced the prompting of the Spirit once more in the form of a vision in which a person from Macedonia in Northern Greece called on Paul and his companions to come over and help them. Luke was showing that the Holy Spirit was guiding the early church, especially the missionary journeys of Paul. We can be confident that the Holy Spirit continues to guide the church today. The church is not just a human organization, a kind of religious multi-national corporation. Yes, it has elements that are typical of any world-wide organization. It is a human institution. More fundamentally, however, the church is a spiritual reality. The risen Lord, through the Spirit, is present in the church, shaping it and guiding it. The church cannot be shaped by opinion polls. It can only be shaped by the Lord and his Spirit. Sometimes, as Jesus says in the gospel reading today, this will put the church into conflict with the prevailing culture, ‘if they persecuted me, they will persecute you too’. The church is in the midst of the world, but it is not of the world. As Jesus declares in that gospel reading, ‘you do not belong to the world’. The really important question for the church is not, ‘what do people think of us?’ but ‘what is the Lord saying to us’ or ‘Where is the Spirit leading us?’ Answering those questions requires prayerful discernment from us all.

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