My dear parishioners, as we continue in these uncertain times be sure that Our Blessed Lord and His Church are here for you, that you are remembered in prayer and in Holy Mass.
I appreciate that some of you may have serious concerns about your health or the health of your loved ones and for those reasons have decided to continue to isolate. Many more of you, I imagine, are able to get on with life albeit in a rather restricted fashion.
Your faith in Jesus Christ is of great importance to you, I know, and your longing to be united with Him in the Sacraments. Whilst there may still be hesitation and caution, I encourage you with careful consideration and prudence to join us for Holy Mass, to come into the Eucharistic Presence of Our Saviour which is something we can only truly experience in person. Nothing is comparable to the real experience of the Real Presence, and whilst we should indeed be praying at home, keeping the Lord’s Day holy, and observing the precepts of our holy Faith, the celebration of Holy Mass remains the pinnacle of our worshipping life.
Some people, I understand, are concerned that they may be “taking others’ places” at Holy Mass, and remain hesitant about booking to come to Mass frequently – please don’t worry about this – as I’ve said to a number of people, I’d rather have the problem of asking people to perhaps let someone come who hasn’t been able than have a church that is half empty. Thanks be to God between 70-80% of our regular parishioners have been returning to Holy Mass, which I think is great given the circumstances.
If you haven’t been coming so far, and are well enough, please take that step to do so. Our team of cleaners and stewards are doing their very best to make sure that our churches are up to standard and that regulations for hygiene and social-distancing are scrupulously maintained. We believe that Church is a very safe place to be.
If you have been coming back, keep coming and encourage others to do so, sometimes after a while of not coming it can be difficult to return, perhaps you can reassure those who haven’t been coming that although things are slightly different it’s well worth being back, and that once you get over the few differences in our celebration of the Sacred Liturgy that it’s a joy to be able to come together again and worship the Lord as He asks us to.
I am extremely grateful to helpers and volunteers and to all who work so hard in the background to make sure that our Liturgy can be celebrated, and so that we can have dignified celebrations of marriage, funeral Masses, and so on – it couldn’t be done without your generous help… So, on behalf of all of the parishioners who benefit from your assistance, and from me, I thank you sincerely.
God bless you and your loved ones with peace, joy, and good health, and may He strengthen your faith and trust in Him.