Dear parishioners, I have been greatly encouraged over these past weeks, despite the ongoing issues regarding Covid-19, to see the positive response that people have made to return to Holy Mass. I know that many may still be hesitant to come to Mass, because they have been struggling even to leave their homes out of concern for their health. Your concerns are understandable given the immense impact that this situation has had upon us. In the midst of all of this I continue to encourage you to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and to ask Him to give you the grace and strength you need at this time. We rely upon Him for all things. Please pray for all who remain at home, who are shielding, or who are very wary because of age or infirmity – they remain very much united to us in the Body of Christ and as they support us with their prayers, we too should support them with ours.
Do not hesitate to be in touch with me if I can be of any help to you, or if you require prayer support from the Parish Prayer Group, or material support from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Our parish of St. Matthew’s and St. James’ is a family of faith, and as a family it is not only our duty but also our joy to be able to show love and sincere concern for each other.
Mass attendance is still limited at the moment, I would ask your prayer, then, that this situation will soon change, so that more people will be able to access the Sacraments with greater regularity. What I have sensed from those who have been able to attend so far is their great appreciation of being able to receive Our Lord again in Holy Communion, many literally moved to tears. I have taken great encouragement from this, seeing the desire that people have to be with Jesus, just as I have taken great encouragement from what I can only describe as a tangible intensification of personal prayer during the time of “lockdown” and the suspension of public Masses – you have continued, I know, to seek the face of the Lord by praying with ever greater devotion in your own homes, and by “virtually” coming together through modern technology to join with each other in prayer.
Now we are able to come to the altar of the Lord in reality, the Lord who fills us with joy, now we are able to be united with Him once more in the great Sacrament of His Love – what a privilege – one that we appreciate now perhaps more than ever!
Please look at the weekly timetable of Masses as they stand currently, and don’t be shy to ask about booking a time for Mass, I will try to give everyone an opportunity and would rather deal with the greater demand than having people be concerned that they might be preventing others from coming.
God bless you and keep you, and may Mary Immaculate, Our Mother, pray for you,