To my dear parishioners…

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.

In Christ,

Fr. Martin

Bookings for Holy Mass – Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th October and Wednesday 21st to Sunday 25th October inclusive…

Mass times available:

Saturday 17th October at 4.00p.m. in St. Matthew’s, Auchtermuchty

Sunday 18th October at 9.00a.m. in St. Matthew’s, Auchtermuchty

Sunday 18th October at 11.00a.m. in St. James’, Kinross

Sunday 18th October at 3.00p.m. in St. James’, Kinross

Wednesday 21st October at 10.00a.m. in St. James’, Kinross

Thursday 22nd October at 7.00p.m. in St. James’, Kinross

Friday 23rd October at 3.00p.m. in St. James’, Kinross

Saturday 24th October at 4.00p.m. in St. Matthew’s, Auchtermuchty

Sunday 25th October at 9.00a.m. in St. Matthew’s, Auchtermuchty

Sunday 25th October at 11.00a.m. in St. James’, Kinross

Sunday 25th October at 3.00p.m. in St. James’, Kinross

Please reserve places only by landline (01577 863329) or by e-mail (Fr.MartinPletts@gmail.com) or by text or call on mobile (07540534480). Please wait for confirmation within 24 hours of your request, if you do not book you are not guaranteed a place, so please book well in advance to avoid disappointment. God bless you, Fr. Martin

November Lists – Holy Souls

A number of parishioners have asked me already about lists for the Holy Souls for the month of November when traditionally our Masses are offered for the faithful departed and especially for our own beloved family members. Whilst Holy Souls Lists will not be available to collect from the church because of the current restrictions you can either print off the attached sheet or simply create your own list on a piece of paper. Please place your list of beloved dead whom you wish to be remembered in the Masses during November, along with a stipend for the Masses, in an envelope (marked Holy Souls) and put it through the door of the house at St. James’ (5 High Street). If you wish to hand them in when you attend Holy Mass you may also do that, please remembering to mark any envelope with Holy Souls so that they can be distinguished from the ordinary weekly parish collection. God bless you, Fr. Martin

Safeguarding Statement

Diocese of Dunkeld 

Statement to the Diocese on Safeguarding 

October 2020

In May 2018, the Bishops of Scotland published the document ‘In God’s Image’ as an “Instruction on Safeguarding for implementation in all Catholic canonical jurisdictions in Scotland and by all other groups and organisations in Scotland subject to a legitimate canonical authority of the Catholic Church”.

For the public, and for Catholic faith communities in particular, it was written to explain how the Catholic Church in Scotland makes every effort to protect from all forms of harm and abuse those children and adults who are vulnerable or at risk.

For the past two years, the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group, have been responsible for the compliance and implementation of these new national Safeguarding standards in the Diocese and each parish. These standards, and the vigilance of those involved in the life of the parish, help us to ensure that everyone will be safe when they come to Mass and when they take part in any parish groups or activities.  

As a diocese, we seek to uphold the highest safeguarding standards in our relationships with people of all ages who are involved in whatever capacity within the Church and its organisations.

Normally, this annual statement would be delivered in parishes during the period of Lent. As we are all aware, our time at church over the past few months has been greatly affected by the Covid19 Pandemic. Despite this, many of our volunteers throughout the Diocese have continued to provide support where possible within our parish communities. 

At present, we have over 800 volunteers who are registered to perform roles working directly with children or adults who are vulnerable or at risk. The roles that they perform include Children’s Liturgy Leaders, Catechists, Eucharistic Ministers who administer Communion to housebound or sick, The Society of St Vincent de Paul, The Legion of Mary or those who volunteer at the annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. 

All volunteers within the Diocese must complete what is known as the ‘safe recruitment process’ which includes being accepted for membership of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (known as PVG) – a legal requirement for all those who work with young people and vulnerable adults – and attendance at mandatory Safeguarding Induction Training sessions.

Each parish also has a designated Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator, who along with the parish priest manages the safeguarding requirements of the parish. The role of the Parish Safeguarding Coordinator is seen as a vital role in ensuring that best practice in safeguarding is implemented and followed in our parish communities in line with those standards set out in ‘In God’s Image’.

Throughout our Parish Communities, we welcome and fully appreciate the contributions made by all those who volunteer and offer their time, expertise, and skills.  Within our Diocese, we must accept that it is the responsibility of all of us to work together to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse or harm.

In addition to the Safeguarding Advisory Group, the Safeguarding Advisor and Safeguarding Officer look to provide guidance on all areas of best practice in safeguarding as well as the co-ordination of resources and training available to parishes and volunteers. 

Every year, the Catholic Church in Scotland collects important information about Parishes, dioceses, religious congregations, and Catholic organisations through completion of a detailed audit. This audit is designed to measure compliance with the safeguarding standards set out in ‘In God’s Image’. 

The audit is intended to provide a transparent view of how effectively the Church is embracing a culture of safeguarding that respects, protects and nurtures the dignity of all people, keeps them safe and is compliant with legislation. Effective auditing and planning should be a continuous commitment which underpins the development of good safeguarding practice.

The Bishops Conference of Scotland established the Independent Review Group (IRG) in response to the McLellan Commission (2015). The IRG was given the remit to focus on the implementation of the recommendations of the McClellan Commission and review the safeguarding work of the 2 Archdiocese and 6 Diocese of Scotland. Each Diocese is now in the process of being randomly audited over a four-year period conducted by Social Care Institute for Excellence. The Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh and the Diocese of Galloway diocese were audited first in 2019 and will be followed by the Diocese’ of Aberdeen and Motherwell in 2020. The second annual report of the IRG was also published in June 2020 and can be accessed via the Diocese website. 

All these elements contribute greatly to promoting a safer culture and building good safeguarding practice in our parishes and community. We hope that anyone considering becoming a parish volunteer will be encouraged by this information.  

As part of our commitment to Safeguarding, it is vitally important that we remember those who have been harmed or abused either by a member of the Church, by members of their family or by any other person.  We ask that you keep in your prayers all survivors of abuse as we pray for their healing and comfort.

Safeguarding in our parishes, remains a very important part of our community’s commitment to caring for each other and for others.  I, along with each priest of the Diocese, as well as the Diocesan Safeguarding Team are grateful for all the hard work done by our Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinators and our parish volunteers.  The dedication and motivation of the people in our parishes, continues to raise awareness of Safeguarding and highlights our shared responsibility in delivering a duty of care to all who engage with our parish community.

+Stephen Robson

Bishop of Dunkeld On behalf of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group 

Future Mass Bookings…

Dear Parishioners I hope you are all keeping well, as I explained in my last posting I am currently on holiday and will be until Wednesday 7th October inclusive. Kindly Fr. Ian Evans will be supplying for the previously detailed and already booked Masses (3rd & 4th October). I will begin to take bookings for Masses from Tuesday 6th October. Please do not contact me for bookings before then as I will be unable to arrange them for you. I list the day and the times below only to facilitate your advanced planning. Please contact me from Tuesday 6th October onwards. Prompt booking is always advised in order to secure a place, and please remember that your booking is only assured once you have received confirmation from me. Thank you for your co-operation in these strange times. God bless you all!

Thursday 8th October, Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m.

Friday 9th October, Holy Mass in St. James’ at 3.00p.m.

Saturday 10th October, Holy Mass in St. Matthew’s at 4.00p.m.

Sunday 11th October, Holy Mass in St. Matthew’s at 9.00a.m.

Sunday 11th October, Holy Mass in St. James’ at 11.00a.m.

Sunday 11th October, Holy Mass in St. James’ at 3.00p.m.

Monday 12th October, Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m.

Tuesday 13th October, Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m.

Wednesday 14th October, Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m.

Thursday 15th October, Holy Mass in St. James’ at 7.00p.m.

Friday 16th October, Holy Mass in St. James’ at 10.00a.m.

Mass bookings for the weekend of 3rd/4th October

Dear parishioners, next week I was due to be going on holiday (planned for quite a while), this has now been cancelled. I shall, however, be taking the time off, there will, therefore, be no public Masses next week but only at the weekend and slightly reduced as I am depending upon supply. Fr. Ian Evans has kindly agreed to do this for me. If you wish to book for these Masses below you must book no later than midnight on Sunday 27th September, bookings will not be accepted after that. As I will be on holiday from that point there will be no one to take the bookings hence my request that they be made no later than that time.

Saturday 3rd October at 4.00p.m. in St. Matthew’s, Auchtermuchty

Sunday 4th October at 9.00a.m. in St. Matthew’s, Auchtermuchty

Sunday 4th October at 11.00a.m. in St. James’, Kinross

These are the only available times this week. I look forward to catching up with you again after my short holiday, booking times will be posted later next weekend for the week beginning 11th October.

God bless, Fr. Martin

Update from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul…

Thank you all yet again…

We have to thank the parishioners of St. James’ and St. Matthew’s, their neighbours and friends for their generosity. With your help of donations of food and funds etc. we have helped the needy in various ways. This last month we supplied around £400 worth of food and essentials to those in difficult circumstances. Your continued financial and material support has made this possible and we cannot thank you enough. Your assistance has been much appreciated, indeed we have received a thank you email from Broke not Broken expressing their gratitude. As I have mentioned before, during this crisis this has been one avenue where we have been able to help those in need while home-visiting has not been possible given the current guidelines and legislation.

As lockdown eased there was a reduction in the number of people requiring help but this is still higher that before, and, as yet, we are still to see what happens with furloughing at the end of the month when we may see yet another increase in those needing help. Therefore, we hope that you will continue with your generous support, dropping off any contributions to the church. Given that the weather is now starting to take a turn for the worst it would be helpful if you could do this at the end of Mass so that people are around to put it into the hall,  or you can call me if it is easier to arrange a suitable time. (079 079 13695)

Again, the brothers and sisters of the Society of St Vincent de Paul thank you for your generosity as this has made our work in helping those in need so much easier. Hopefully we will be able to get back to our other important works soon.

Thank you and God bless you all for you generosity.

Bob Corrieri

(on behalf of the members of St James’ and St Matthew’s Society of St Vincent de Paul)

Prayers & good wishes…

My dear parishioners, I hope and pray that you are all keeping well, and coping with the present circumstances and the added pressures. How important that in these times we hold firmly to our faith in Jesus Christ and that we pray for each other.

The instability of present times, the constant changes, the worries our situation raises for us, all point us towards the importance of building our lives on The Rock who is the Lord – our firm foundation, our strength, our anchor in times of tempest.

I pray that however we move forward in the next while – with the possibility of further restrictions looming, and greater concerns over the spread of the virus and all that this means for our health and that of our loved ones, and even our material circumstances, that we will turn to the Lord more and more – as we should – and make the most of the opportunities we have for Holy Mass, personal prayer, and moments to develop our intimacy with the Lord by reading Sacred Scripture.

I, personally, find great consolation in that Christ-centred prayer of the Holy Rosary, so recommended by the Church through the ages, a prayer in which we meditate upon the life of Our Saviour and the mysteries of our Redemption in union with Our Blessed Mother, Mary. It is a simple yet profound prayer, which can be said almost anywhere and in any circumstance: by indivuduals, families, and gatherings of the faithful. It is, I believe, very much the prayer for our times, as numerous approved apparitions of Our Blessed Lady would suggest. So, if you are unable to attend Holy Mass at the moment, if you are remaining at home, or even if you find yourself with more time on your hands than you might usually have had, I encourage you to pray this great prayer and to seek the companionship of Our Blessed Mother in these daunting and confusing times.

May God bless you and yours with every grace that you need in these days, may He strengthen your faith, encourage and sustain you in your trials, and make you powerfully aware of His loving and merciful presence. Please pray for me as I will pray for you, and remember that every Sunday, even if you are unable to attend Holy Mass, the Sacrifice of Christ is offered for your intentions and those of all our parishioners.

In Christ,

Fr. Martin

Mass Booking Times from Wednesday 23rd September to Sunday 27th September inclusive:

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING VERY CAREFULLY – DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE A BOOKING FOR MASS UNTIL YOU HAVE DONE SO:

Below you will find the Mass times available for booking from Wednesday 24th to Sunday 27th September inclusive. When making a booking please use only the following means, as other methods may not ensure that your request is seen (i.e. please do not use “Messenger”, “Whatsapp”, or the link on the parish website). You will be sent confirmation of your booking, if you do not receive this within 24 hours please be back in touch to check if the place has been booked.

Book on: Fr.MartinPletts@gmail.com or by calling (please do not text this number) 01577 863329, or by calling or texting 07540534480. You must provide your name, and your postal address each time you make a booking – this is for “track and trace” purposes should there be another outbreak.

You will be required to wear a face mask when in the church. Hand-sanitizer will be available at the church door and in the church hall (and on the sanctuary for the use of the priest). You will be directed by volunteer stewards as to where you must sit. Please co-operate with these volunteers who are there to help you and keep you safe. Please only sit in the place you have been allocated. Children under 5 years of age and those with medical exemptions are not required to wear a face mask/ covering. You will be asked by the steward if you will receive Holy Communion on the hand or on the tongue – those receiving Holy Communion on the tongue will come forward after those receiving on the hand, and seat allocation will reflect this. In case of uncertainty in this regard, this permission is specifically allowed by our bishop in conformity with universal ecclesiastical law, whilst, at the same time, he strongly encourages reception on the hand during this period of concern.

Please respect others who, for medical reasons, may not be able to wear a mask. If you have any symptoms of Covid-19, or suspect you may have, and if you have had direct contact with anyone who has, you must not come to church. We must do all we can to safeguard the health and well-being of those who attend. For present the bishop is still suspending our Sunday Obligation and that for holydays, which means there is no sin, in these circumstances, in not attending Holy Mass on days that would normally be of obligation to us.

Instructions will be given at the church door by the steward volunteer and short instruction will be given again by the priest immediately before Mass begins. You should be reassured that the churches are being cleaned and disinfected scrupulously and every measure is being taken for your well-being, at the same time as recognizing that no matter where we are it is impossible to eliminate risk totally.

We look forward to you joining us again for Holy Mass and our community celebration of the Sacred Liturgy.

Mass times this coming week are as follows:

Wednesday 23rd September in St. James’, Kinross, at 10.00a.m.

Thursday 24th September in St. James’, Kinross, at 7.00p.m.

Friday 25th September in St. James’, Kinross, at 12 noon (I have Mass in Dundee for the Missionaries of Charity at 9.00a.m.)

Saturday 26th September in St. Matthew’s, Auchtermuchty, at 4.00p.m.

Sunday 27th September in St. Matthew’s, Auchtermuchty, at 9.00a.m.

Sunday 27th September in St. James’, Kinross, at 11.00a.m.

Sunday 27th September in St. James’, Kinross, at 3.00p.m.

(Sunday Mass at Kilgraston is not open to the general public at the moment)

Confessions are available half an hour before Mass in St. James’ (with the exception of the 11.00a.m. Mass on Sunday), also after any Mass, and in St. Matthew’s the Sacrament will be available before the 4.00p.m. Mass on Saturday.

Bookings for Holy Mass from Wednesday 16th September to Sunday 20th September inclusive…

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING VERY CAREFULLY – DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE A BOOKING FOR MASS UNTIL YOU HAVE DONE SO:

Below you will find the Mass times available for booking from Wednesday 16th to Sunday 20th September inclusive. When making a booking please use only the following means, as other methods may not ensure that your request is seen (i.e. please do not use “Messenger”, “Whatsapp”, or the link on the parish website). You will be sent confirmation of your booking, if you do not receive this within 24 hours please be back in touch to check if the place has been booked.

Book on: Fr.MartinPletts@gmail.com or by calling (please do not text this number) 01577 863329, or by calling or texting 07540534480. You must provide your name, and your postal address each time you make a booking – this is for “track and trace” purposes should there be another outbreak.

You will be required to wear a face mask when in the church. Hand-sanitizer will be available at the church door and in the church hall (and on the sanctuary for the use of the priest). You will be directed by volunteer stewards as to where you must sit. Please co-operate with these volunteers who are there to help you and keep you safe. Please only sit in the place you have been allocated. Children under 5 years of age and those with medical exemptions are not required to wear a face mask/ covering. You will be asked by the steward if you will receive Holy Communion on the hand or on the tongue – those receiving Holy Communion on the tongue will come forward after those receiving on the hand, and seat allocation will reflect this. In case of uncertainty in this regard, this permission is specifically allowed by our bishop in conformity with universal ecclesiastical law, whilst, at the same time, he strongly encourages reception on the hand during this period of concern.

Please respect others who, for medical reasons, may not be able to wear a mask. If you have any symptoms of Covid-19, or suspect you may have, and if you have had direct contact with anyone who has, you must not come to church. We must do all we can to safeguard the health and well-being of those who attend. For present the bishop is still suspending our Sunday Obligation and that for holydays, which means there is no sin, in these circumstances, in not attending Holy Mass on days that would normally be of obligation to us.

Instructions will be given at the church door by the steward volunteer and short instruction will be given again by the priest immediately before Mass begins. You should be reassured that the churches are being cleaned and disinfected scrupulously and every measure is being taken for your well-being, at the same time as recognizing that no matter where we are it is impossible to eliminate risk totally.

We look forward to you joining us again for Holy Mass and our community celebration of the Sacred Liturgy.

Mass times this coming week are as follows:

Wednesday 16th September in St. James’, Kinross, at 10.00a.m.

Thursday 17th September in St. James’, Kinross, at 7.00p.m.

Friday 18th September in St. James’, Kinross, at 10.00a.m.

Saturday 19th September in St. Matthew’s, Auchtermuchty, at 4.00p.m.

Sunday 20th September in St. Matthew’s, Auchtermuchty, at 11.00a.m. (this is the Confirmation Mass and is only for the Confirmation children and their families)

Sunday 20th September in St. James’, Kinross, at 3.00p.m.

Please note: there are changes the weekend of the 19th and the 20th because the bishop is coming for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Confessions are available half an hour before Mass in St. James’, also after any Mass, and in St. Matthew’s the Sacrament will be available before the 4.00p.m. Mass on Saturday.