Supporting the Parish Financially

My dear parishioners, these times are hard for many reasons, not least the concerns that people have over their health and the health of their loved ones, and there are many added pressures on us all – for many the struggle of staying in employment and keeping a roof over their head when things are so unpredictable.

The parish, as you will appreciate, draws its income solely from parishioners and, indeed, contributes to the financial support of the diocese as a whole (15% of our collection income being levied to the diocese).

In these times when public Mass is prohibited it is inevitable that our income from the weekly collection plate dries up, since we have no opportunity to have a physical collection at Holy Mass on Sunday. Many of you have been kind enough to continue giving (according to your own personal circumstances) either by setting up a payment from your own bank account to the parish account or by simply popping an envelope through the door of the chapel house with your offering in it. I am very grateful for this generosity as we depend entirely on these contributions to keep the parish buoyant and to pay our bills just like any other household. So thank you for doing this – it means that we can keep going in these difficult times.

If, so far, you have been unable to make payments through the bank or by handing in an envelope I would encourage you to think about doing so as it is such a vital means of supporting your parish. Even though Masses are not celebrated publicly we are still heating both St. Matthew’s and St. James’ churches (especially in this very cold weather) and there are household expenses for utilities etc. to be met. Please contact me on Fr.MartinPletts@gmail.com if you would like the details of the parish bank account in order to set up a direct payment.

All this said, I return to an earlier point… I am aware that for many people this time is putting the same demands on their own income, and many people are struggling, should this be the case do not hesitate to contact me if you think the parish might be able to help. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has done sterling work even during these testing times and is here to offer material assistance to those who are finding times hard. Do not be hesitant to ask for help if you require it – I assure you that this can be offered in a confidential and discreet manner.

God bless you and reward you for your kindness and generosity and for your commitment to supporting your parish,

Fr. Martin Pletts

From the SSVP

Below find a message from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul following the recent Advent Appeal, etc.:

Dear Parishioners,

You have been amazing despite all that has happened this year. Thank You.

Yet again your generosity has been humbling. You have shown through this generosity how much you care, especial with your contributions to the Christmas and Advent Appeals. Through these you have shown that Christmas is about giving and not only about receiving.

A Special Thank You

We have to give a special thank you to Loch Leven’s Larder for their very generous donation of Christmas hampers for those in need. It has been a hard year for all businesses making this donation even more special as they have provided these hampers free of charge. I am writing to The Larder to thank them on behalf of the Society. This generosity was made even more special and unexpected as we had enquired about the purchase of food hampers for those in need. Following this enquiry Loch Leven’s Larder and Emma Niven very generously offered to supply a number of these free of charge and we cannot thank them enough for this act of kindness and outstanding generosity. I have to thank Emma and the staff of the Larder.

Advent Appeal Missionaries of Charity.

This year’s Church Advent Appeal for the Missionaries of Charity (St Mother Teresa Nuns) which we handled on behalf of the Church has to date raised £745.00. The money has been used to buy supermarket vouchers so that the Sisters can help individual families in need, to obtain food, clothing etc. Your support has been especially generous given all that we are going throughout and comes at a time when recent developments mean that there could be even more need.

Christmas Toy Appeal.

Your response to The Toys Appeal has again been tremendous with over 80 items being donated all of which have gone to either, local children and families or to the School in Perth for families in need this Christmas.

SSVP 2020

Because of Covid restrictions it has not been possible for us to do our normal visits but we have been, through your generosity, able to help in other ways through your generosity, especially with the food donations which, has enabled us to help Broke not Broken by filling in gaps or shortages in what they have needed to help families.

Normally we would be providing relief in the form of food directly to families. Given current restrictions this has been at times difficult but we have been able to do this by thinking outside the box. Hopefully, we will be able to get back to a situation within the next few months where we can again get back to helping more directly. However, until recently we have had fewer requests than we would have expected. One area where we have been able to help is to co-ordinate the donations that you have provided through the Church to Broke Mot Broken. At times BnB also ran up against shortages and we were in a position to help by supplying items to help fill in some of these when they were short of items. This, along with your own donation of food has helped many local families in these hard times.

In this it would also be remiss of me not to also thank the residents of Glen Lomond who have provided a tremendous amount of food donations throughout the year which went along with those items donated by parishioners to Broke not Broken.

SSVP Helps where-ever need arises.

Part of the ethos of The Society of St Vincent De Paul is that while we focus locally we do not forget need where ever it occurs. Part of this ethos is that the Society does not hoard money but uses it to help immediate need. While we need to keep a reserve to be used to help this immediate need, this ethos means that we do not leave money sitting in bank accounts but used it sensibly to help those in need. St Vincent De Paul said, “Charity is the cement which binds Communities to God and persons to one another…”  Fortunately, throughout this year we have not only be able to help locally but we have been in a position to help others within the Diocese.

Earlier this year we were able to donate vouchers to the Sisters in Dundee so they could help those in need whom they serve while at the same time helping local need. We have also worked with other Conferences in providing some of this relief to local families and to those further afield.

From speaking with individuals at a national level, I know that not all Conferences have been as fortunate as us with their financial funds during the pandemic. Without your generosity none of this would have been possible and on behalf of the Brothers and Sister of St James’ and St Matthew’s Society of Saint Vincent De Paul and those whom we serve I cannot thank you enough for your charity, generosity and support.

Bob Corrieri,

President, on behalf of St James’ and St Matthew’s Society of Saint Vincent de Paul

Requiescant In Pace

I am sure that you will know already that in the last two days two of our bishops have sadly passed away. Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow died yesterday, and, this morning Bishop Vincent Logan (Emeritus Bishop of Dunkeld) died.

Please pray for the repose of their souls, entrusting them to the merciful goodness of the Lord. St. Joseph, pray for them!

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace.

Holy Mass – The Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord (live-streamed)

Holy Mass will be broadcast this morning from St. James’, Kinross, at 9.00a.m. if you wish to join us “virtually” please do so by clicking the link below which will take you to the parish YouTube Channel. By subscribing there you will keep up-to-date:

https://youtube.com/user/CatholicApostolic

Important Notice – Update on church closures…

I have just received communication from the Bishop to say that the Scottish Government has corrected what seems to have been a mistake/anomaly/misunderstanding.

So to clarify: our churches are closed with immediate effect, and are not to open again for public worship until further notice, therefore there will now be no Masses or devotions on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, nor for the foreseeable future.

Please pass on this information to your fellow parishioners as a matter of urgency.

My apologies to parishioners who were hoping to attend Holy Mass or devotions before the closure of the churches – this will now no longer be possible.

God bless you and keep you, and Our Lady and St. Joseph protect you,

Fr. Martin Pletts

Statement by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland

Following the First Minister’s statement that all places of worship will close from Friday 8 January until Monday 1 February 2021, Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have issued the following statement: “Recognising the dangers posed by the new faster-spreading variant of COVID-19, we note the Scottish Government’s decision to close all places of worship from Friday 8 January 2021.  The Scottish Government believes that such measures are necessary to curtail the spread of this new strain during the roll-out of the vaccine. We appreciate the difficult choices facing the Scottish Government at this time and we have shown ourselves ready both to cooperate with and to support its efforts in protecting the common good.  This has included curtailing public worship in extreme circumstances and for a limited period.   However, we are also perplexed by the decision, given that the stringent measures taken since last March to ensure public safety in our churches have been effective. No evidence has been forthcoming to justify the inclusion of places of worship as sources of infection. Without such scientific evidence these restrictions will appear to Catholics to be arbitrary and unfair.  Moreover, a significant number of other sectors similarly restricted last March alongside public worship – such as construction, manufacturing and elite sports – have now been left free to continue in operation.   We also note that, in England, the essential contribution of public worship to the spiritual welfare of all citizens during this crisis has now been endorsed by the decision not to close places of worship while the Scottish Government has apparently retreated from this view, causing dismay and confusion. We are very aware of the disappointment these closures will cause not only to our own Catholic community, but to many of our fellow-Christians and those of other faiths in Scotland. We wish to emphasise again the spiritual, social and psychological benefits provided by continuing public worship, and we ask for these to be taken into full account in future decisions. Public worship is a human right and is a duty humanity owes to God.  More concretely, Catholics need the Eucharist and the Sacramental encounter with the LORD as necessary to their spiritual wellbeing and their ultimate salvation. While we unequivocally share the common goal of protecting public health, we urge the Scottish Government, when the present measures are reviewed later in January, to reconsider these restrictions in the light of the above concerns.” 

New Government Restrictions

Having now consulted the Diocesan website it seems that all public Masses will be suspended from midnight on Thursday 7th January and for the foreseeable future.

If you have booked for this week (Tuesday to Thursday) then your booking will be honoured. There are still some places left on these weekdays at the moment.

I will try to organise the livestreaming but at the moment there are technical problems with the sound – please pray that these are resolved.

Please keep up-to-date with what is going on in the parish by consulting this website and the parish Facebook page.

My prayers are with you all, God bless,

Fr. Martin

Bookings for Holy Mass, etc.: Monday 4th January to Sunday 10th January

Please now only book via e-mail (Fr.MartinPletts@gmail.com) or by contacting me on the landline (01577 863329), please do not use any other means, as this will help to avoid confusion. Please take a note of your booking once it has been confirmed. Remember that the total capacity at any given Mass is 20 persons maximum under current government regulations.

Monday 4th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m., *Confession available before or after Holy Mass.

Tuesday 5th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m., *Confession available before or after Holy Mass.

Wednesday 6th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m., *Confession available before or after Holy Mass.

Thursday 7th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m., *Confession available before or after Holy Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Rosary from 7.00-8.00p.m. *(Confession available from 6.30p.m. to 6.50p.m.)

Friday 8th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m., *Confession available before or after Holy Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Divine Mercy Devotions from 3.00-3.30p.m., *Confession available after Divine Mercy Devotions.

Saturday 9th January – *Confessions in St. Matthew’s from 2.30-2.50p.m., Holy Mass in St. Matthew’s at 3.00p.m.

Sunday 10th January – Holy Mass in St. James’ at 9.00a.m., 11.00a.m., and 3.00p.m., *Confession available before or after all Masses.

*(Confessions take place in the church hall in St. James’ and in the sacristy in St. Matthew’s – where adequate social-distancing can be observed)

Please make your bookings in good time and please inform me if you will not be able to attend as this may allow someone else to take your place. Remember that bookings can only be made for one’s own church and that there should not be any crossing of local authority boundaries under current regulations.