An appeal for assistance…

It’s been wonderful to have our churches open again and to be able to come together for Holy Mass, Confession, and devotions, and a delight to catch up again more regularly with parishioners. What has facilitated this is the core group of people who have volunteered to manage re-opening which entails arranging and participating in opening and closing the churches, stewarding people at Mass, and sanitising the churches as necessary. Unfortunately, because of either new commitments or ill-health our group of volunteer assistants has shrunk somewhat, and so I’m appealing to you, as a parishioner, to think about assisting your fellow parishioners and me in continuing to keep things going in our churches. If you would kindly consider assisting we would all be very grateful and it would help to ease the burden on those people who seem to be helping all the time. To become a steward/cleaner requires a simple induction because of the nature of current circumstances (nothing too demanding at all) and registration as a volunteer for these purposes with the parish – all very simple and straightforward and not at all intrusive. Please consider joining our small team to make it a little bigger, to lighten the load, and to help your fellow parishioners. If you think you can help please contact me (Fr. Martin) on the parish landline: 01577 863329, or speak to one of the stewards at Mass, or speak to Bob Corrieri or Tina Hill who are responsible in St. James’ and St. Matthew’s respectively. God bless you, and thank you in advance for your support.

Advance Bookings for Holy Mass for the week of Monday 19th April to Sunday 25th April inclusive…

Bookings for Holy Mass from Monday 19th April to Sunday 25th April inclusive:

These bookings can only be made by calling 01577 863329 at the following times – Thursday 15th April between 12 noon and 1.00p.m., Friday 16th April between 12 noon and 1.00p.m., Saturday 17th April between 7.45p.m. and 9.45p.m.

Booking opportunities for Mass for the week of 19th to 25th April will close after 9.45p.m. on Saturday 17th April, so please make sure you have booked your Masses by then.

Places that are then still free will be advertised (after official booking times have closed), and these places will then be available on a first come, first served basis by simply turning up at church and giving your contact details.

If you want to guarantee your place at Mass the very best thing to do is to book in advance at one of the times offered.

Monday 19th April – NO MASS

Tuesday 20th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 7.00p.m. (Confessions available from 6.30p.m.)

Wednesday 21st April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m. & brief novena prayer to St. Joseph at the end of Holy Mass (Confessions available after Mass)

Thursday 22nd April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m. (Confessions available after Mass)

Thursday 22nd April – Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in St. James’ at 3.00p.m.: Holy Hour and Rosary, with Holy Communion for those who have not been at Holy Mass (Confessions also available during this time upon request).

Friday 23rd April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m. (Confessions available after Mass)

Saturday 24th April – Holy Mass in St. Matthew’s at 3.00p.m. (Confessions available from 2.30p.m.)

Saturday 24th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 5.00p.m. (Confessions available after Mass)

Saturday 24th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 6.30p.m. (Confessions available after Mass)

Sunday 25th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 9.00a.m.

Sunday 25th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 11.00a.m.

Sunday 25th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 1.00p.m.

(Sunday 25th April – Holy Mass in Kilgraston School at 5.00p.m. – currently only for pupils & staff)

(Please note the addition of Holy Mass at 6.30p.m. on Saturday and also Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Thursday afternoon)

Spare places at Holy Mass this week…

Below is a list of places that are still available for Holy Mass this week (13/04/21 – 18/04/21 inclusive). If you wish to take one of these places please just turn up and provide your contact details at the church door – it will, however, be on a first come, first served basis, so please do not phone me now to book these places. (Each place can accommodate 1 individual, or a maximum of 3 from a household or bubble)

Tuesday 13th 7.00p.m. – St. James’ – 4 places free

Wednesday 14th 10.00a.m. – St. James’ – 5 places free

Thursday 15th 10.00a.m. – St. James’ – 5 places free

Thursday 15th 3.00p.m. (Holy Hour) – St. James’ – 2 places free

Friday 16th 10.00a.m. – St. James’ – 3 places free

Saturday 17th 3.00p.m. – St. Matthew’s – 11 places free

Saturday 17th 5.00p.m. – St. James’ – 3 places free

Saturday 17th 6.30p.m. – St. James’ – 6 places free

Sunday 18th 9.00a.m. – St. James’ – 6 places free

Sunday 18th 1.00p.m. – St. James’ – 2 places free

Bookings for Holy Mass, etc. – Monday 12th April to Sunday 18th April inclusive.

Bookings for Holy Mass from Monday 12th April to Sunday 18th April inclusive:

(these bookings can only be made by calling 01577 863329 at the following times – Thursday 8th April between 12 noon and 1.30p.m., Friday 9th April between 12 noon and 1.30p.m., Saturday 10th April between 7.00 and 9.00p.m.)

Monday 12th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 7.00p.m. (Confessions available from 6.30p.m.)

Tuesday 13th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 7.00p.m. (Confessions available from 6.30p.m.)

Wednesday 14th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m. & brief novena prayer to St. Joseph at the end of Holy Mass (Confessions available after Mass)

Thursday 15th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m. (Confessions available after Mass)

Thursday 15th April – Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in St. James’ at 3.00p.m.: Holy Hour and Rosary, with Holy Communion for those who have not been at Holy Mass (Confessions also available during this time upon request).

Friday 16th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m. (Confessions available after Mass)

Saturday 17th April – Holy Mass in St. Matthew’s at 3.00p.m. (Confessions available from 2.30p.m.)

Saturday 17th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 5.00p.m. (Confessions available after Mass)

Saturday 17th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 6.30p.m. (Confessions available after Mass)

Sunday 18th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 9.00a.m.

Sunday 18th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 11.00a.m.

Sunday 18th April – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 1.00p.m.

(Sunday 18th April – Holy Mass in Kilgraston School at 5.00p.m. – currently only for pupils & staff)

(Please note the addition of Holy Mass at 6.30p.m. on Saturday and also Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Thursday afternoon)

Places still available for Holy Mass, etc. from Sunday 4th April to Sunday 11th April inclusive…

For those who haven’t managed to book Masses yet for the week of 5th to 11th April the following spaces are still available. Please do make sure to check the parish website each week and look at how to book Masses, it is quite straightforward and accessible. God bless you, Fr. Martin

Places still available for the week of 5th-11th April 2021 (as of 03/0421)

(each place can accommodate up to 3 people from the same household or bubble)

Monday 5th April, 7.00p.m. – 2 places in St. James’

Tuesday 6th April, 7.00p.m. – 3 places in St. James’

Wednesday 7th April, 10.00a.m. – 4 places in St. James’

Thursday 8th April, 10.00a.m. – 4 places in St. James’

Friday 9th April, 10.00a.m. – 5 places in St. James’

Sunday 11th April, 9.00a.m. – 1 place in St. James’

Sunday 11th April, 1.00p.m. – 5 places in St. James’

Sunday 11th April, 3.00p.m. (Divine Mercy & Adoration & Holy Communion) – 5 places in St. James’

FOR ST. MATTHEW’S, AUCHTERMUCHTY…

Sunday 4th April, 9.00a.m. – 1 place in St. Matthew’s

Saturday 10th April, 3.00p.m. – 10 places in St. Matthew’s

All these bookings will only be taken on the parish landline: 01577 863329 (call as soon as possible to take a place, bookings will be taken in person only in order to be able to confirm, or otherwise, immediately).

Good Friday – A day of fasting and abstinence…

What is required from us on days like today (Good Friday) in terms of fasting and abstinence?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: (“You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.”) ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts; they help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.

Church Law on Fasting and Abstinence

Fasting is listed as a precept of the Church: “You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church” (CCC 2043). This means that Catholics are under grave obligation to substantially observe these laws. Christians are required by divine law to do penance for their sins, penance is not optional.

The Church, as a caring mother, is providing us a specific means and season for completing acts of penance. Her goal is to see to it that her children attain eternal life. Her precept on fasting, then, is for our spiritual benefit. Catholics who intentionally neglect and/or reject all forms of penance violate divine law and thus would be guilty of grave sin. Grave sin committed with full knowledge and full consent is by definition mortal sin and thus places a soul in peril (CCC 1857).

Because the season of Lent is of penitential character, the Church sets forth the days of penance as Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during Lent. Catholics are obliged to both fast and abstain from flesh meat on Ash Wednesday and Friday of the Lord’s Passion and abstain from flesh meat on all other Fridays during Lent. These requirements are binding on Catholics of the following age ranges:

Latin Rite Catholics from age 18 up through to the beginning of their 60th year (their 59th birthday) are required to fast, unless they have a serious reason for not doing so. According to Pope Paul VI’s apostolic constitution Paenitemini, “The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day, but does not prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening, observing, as far as quantity and quality are concerned approved local custom.” (Paenitemini, ch. III., III., 2).

It’s often thought that a person can have one full meal and two “lesser meals” that cannot add up to a full meal. But Paenitemini doesn’t require us to weigh up food to make sure it doesn’t equate to a full meal. The point is, only one full meal is allowed, and one can take some food two other times on that day. Liquids such as juice, coffee, tea, or milk do not technically violate the fast, although refraining from ingesting any animal products such as milk is virtuous.

A reminder about booking Masses…

Please remember that the last day for booking Masses for the week of Monday 5th April to Sunday 11th April will be this Friday. No Mass bookings are being taken this evening (Thursday April 1st) since the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated this evening.

If you wish to book any of the remaining places for Mass for the week of Monday 5th April to Sunday 11th April for either St. Matthew’s or St. James’ you must call the parish landline: 01577 863329 tomorrow (Friday 2nd) between 7.00 – 8.30p.m. Booking every week for your places is unfortunately necessary. After this the booking opportunity for Masses from 5th to 11th April will close. I appreciate your co-operation with this.

So far there are still a good number of places available as bookings have been very slow this week.

God bless you, Fr. Martin