The Ascension of the Lord

THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD This Thursday 13th May, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. After Jesus’ resurrection, the time came for him to return to heaven to prepare a place for us, as his earthly ministry had been fulfilled. The Ascension serves as an ultimate demonstration of Jesus’ power over death, inaugurating his reign over heaven and earth as the Living King. But what is Significant about the Ascension? Acts 1:6-11 describes the Ascension and Jesus’ final words to his disciples before he returned to his Father: When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

But Jesus did not leave them alone in this Great Commission; not in the least. He promised to send a “helper” to strengthen and intercede for all his followers: the Holy Spirit. It was, and is, the Holy Spirit who guides the Church and fills Jesus’ followers with his power, enabling them to share the Gospel until the day Jesus returns. Pope St John Paul II wrote that when Jesus ascended into heaven, two significant events in particular happened: Jesus gave his followers instructions on how they were to live, and he left them with a promise. He directed the disciples to spread the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth, declaring the good news of salvation. Let us celebrate this wonderful part of the Easter Mystery at Mass of Thursday at 12noon. Booking via Eventbrite.

Pastoral Care Team

ST PATRICK’S PASTORAL CARE TEAM Jane Wragg and a small team of people support Fr Michael in the pastoral care of our parishioners. This is a ministry exercised within our Parish Pastoral Council.  We do of course need to be kept up to date with the needs of the frail/elderly/the sick etc. Please do let Fr Michael or Jane, as group coordinator, know of anyone needing help.  Once lockdown is ended, the monthly Mass for those with special needs will be restored followed by lunch time refreshments. Jane can be contacted on grannywragg@gmail.com

Mary’s Month of May and Pandemic Prayers

MAY PRAYERS FOR THE END OF THE PANDEMIC Pope Francis is inviting Catholics across the globe to dedicate the Marian month of May to praying for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative, behind which the Pope has thrown his support, involves 30 Marian Shrines from various parts of the world. It takes place under the theme “The whole Church was fervently praying to God,” which recalls a verse in the Acts of the Apostles. See www.vaticannews.va for more details. As part of this initiative will pray the rosary and other Marian devotions in St Patrick’s throughout the month of May before the Wednesday at 11.30am.

Place Sunday Mass at the Heart of the Pandemic

PLACE SUNDAY MASS AT THE HEART OF OUR PANDEMIC-LIVES The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have issued a reflection on post-pandemic recovery and the challenges faced by the Church in encouraging people back to the Church and her Sacraments. In a reflection titled The Day of the Lord, the Bishops also praise families, parish communities and those who have worked tirelessly in hospitals, care homes, schools and prisons during these challenging times of ill-health, grief and isolation. The Bishops salute the leadership of our priests and also express gratitude for the ‘immense efforts’ of those who have provided food for those most in need. The Bishops recognise that it is impossible to predict the pace at which we will emerge from the pandemic but state “what is clear is the challenge we face of bringing our communities and the practice of the faith to a still greater expression and strength.” They identify the groups of people they are seeking to reach:

  • Those who have lost the habit of coming to church and who may be anxious about doing so.
  • Those who may not want to re-establish a pattern of Catholic worship – who may have seen a gap widen between the spiritual dimension of their lives and any communal expression of that spiritual quest.
  • The ‘Covid-curious’ who have encountered the Catholic Church for the first time during the pandemic.

The Bishops highlight the strengths, the “veritable treasures” of the Catholic Church as being the tools at their disposal to rise to these challenges. The greatest treasure is, of course, the sacramental life of the Church and at its heart, the Eucharist. “It is the Eucharist, the celebration of the Mass, that makes the Church; and it is the Church, in the gift of the Holy Spirit, which makes the Eucharist. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the lifeblood of the Church. It requires our active participation and, to be fully celebrated, our physical presence. “We face the task of seeking to nurture the sense of Sunday as ‘a weekly gift from God to his people’, and something we cannot do without; to see Sunday as the soul of the week, as giving light and meaning to all the responsibilities we live out each day; to see the Sunday Eucharist as food for the unique mission with which we have been endowed.” The text is available at www.cbcew.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2021/04/Day-of-the-Lord-220421.pdf

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS This Fourth Sunday of Easter is known as Vocations Sunday or Good Shepherd Sunday and is marked as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The purpose of this day is to fulfil Jesus’ instruction to “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38). While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates her attention on raising up shepherds for God’s people – vocations to Holy Orders (the priesthood and diaconate) and to the religious life – while encouraging all who are discerning their vocation to pray more earnestly that they may hear and respond to God’s call. Today the Holy Father has asked all Catholic to intercede for vocations. Will you make a special effort to ask the Lord for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life?

  • Pray for the priests who have ministered to you throughout your life, both living and dead.
  • Keep our parish priests and deacons in prayer throughout the week.
  • Encourage your children or grandchildren to consider a vocation as a priest or religious brother or sister.
  • Pray a rosary for more young men and women in our diocese to respond to God’s call.
  • Keep our Seminarians and all who are discerning a vocation in your prayers.
  • Pray for Deacon Stephen Corrigan and Joseph Meigh who are in priestly formation for our diocese at St John’s Wonersh.

Cafod Climate change Petition

CAFOD CLIMATE CHANGE PETITION This year, the UK will host the largest gathering of world leaders ever to take place on British soil: the ‘COP26’ climate talks in Glasgow in November. As Prime Minister, Boris Johnson must push world leaders to show the ambition we need to keep temperature rises below the disastrous 1.5-degree threshold. This means that all countries must play their part. With the eyes of the world on the UK, we must urge the Prime Minister to make sure communities hardest hit by the climate emergency are listened to at COP26. Please sign our petition at www.cafod.org.uk/reclaim

Divine Mercy Sunday

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. Established by St Pope John Paul II in the Jubilee Year 2000, Divine Mercy Sunday grew from private revelations to Sr Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun and now a saint, received from Jesus in the 1930s, as World War II approached. In her diary, she records that Jesus told her that this Feast of Mercy would be a very special day, when “all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened”. (Diary 699) The diary records Jesus’ promise that “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.”(Diary 699) He went on to say, “I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy.” (Diary 1109) Sr Faustina also recounted in her diary the request that the image of the Divine Mercy be venerated. St John Paul II said that the image portrays the Risen Jesus Christ bringing Mercy to the whole world. The Scripture readings for the Second Sunday of Easter lend themselves to linking Easter and Divine Mercy since the texts highlight the forgiveness of sins. The Gospel is of Jesus appearing in the upper room and bestowing the authority to forgive sins, and the responsorial psalm for the day is the great Easter Psalm 117 which sings of the mercy of God enduring forever. The revelations of the Divine Mercy are nothing new. They are a reminder of what has always been taught through scripture and tradition: that God is merciful and forgiving and that we too, must show mercy and forgiveness. They point us to the ordinary channel of God’s forgiveness in the Church, the wonderful sacrament of individual penance and reconciliation (Confession). Let us rejoice on this Sunday in the love and mercy offered to the world through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord this Easter.

Easter is our joy and hope in time of pandemic

EASTER IS OUR HOPE AND OUR JOY Over the past year, the world has become a lonelier and more insecure place. The freedom and joy of gathering with our loved ones has been curtailed. Our screens are filled with disturbing news of so many throughout the world who have succumbed to the coronavirus. We have feared for the wellbeing the elderly. Parents are anxious for their children and children worry for the health of ageing parents. There is also the pain of those who have lost their jobs. Yet, at this time of isolation and fear, we must cling to the Easter message of hope. On the Easter Sunday morning, as the Gospel of John relates, the world seemed a dark place for Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter and the beloved disciple, but they gradually woke up to a new vision of life. They saw the tomb, empty. They observed the cloths that had wrapped the body of Jesus, and then they encountered the Risen Lord. From the darkness of unknowing and confusion, God brought light. Into the emptiness, God gave life. Instead of sorrow, God made their joy overflow. It was through the ordinariness of their own life experience, the Risen One was present to them. As Jesus is present in the Easter Sacraments, our hearts and in our lives, he is also present in our homes. In that place of refuge and security, where we live and rest, whether we are alone or with our families and friends, Christ is there. With trust in the Risen Jesus, we ask God to bless our homes:

Lord, we rejoice in the victory of your Son over death: by rising from the tomb to new life he gives us hope and the promise of everlasting life. Bless all the members of this household and surround them with your protection, that they may find comfort and peace in Jesus Christ, the Paschal Lamb, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Please remember to book for Mass

MASS BOOKINGS After Easter Sunday, we revert to the pre lockdown Mass schedule of Mass on Wednesday at 12noon and Sunday at 10.30am. As more people begin to return to Mass and restrictions are lifted, the schedule will be updated. Booking is still required to attend Mass. The booking link is: www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/st-patricks-catholic-church-corsham-30646123644. Covid regulations mean that sadly we are still not permitted to sing as a congregation. Masks are required (unless medially exempt) and social distancing is in Church. Communion is given in one kind on the hand only. Please observe the one-way system in Church: the car park door is for ENTRANCE only and the Bath Road door for EXIT only. If we all observe these regulations, we help to keep everyone safe. Thank you.

Chrism Mass 2021

THE DIOCESAN CHRISM MASS 2021 Wednesday 31st March at 11am. Anyone wishing to attend the Chrism Mass in person this year may book a place through Eventbrite.  There is a link on the Cathedral website which can be found at www.cliftoncathedral.org. Places will be limited to 250 people to ensure that social distancing can be maintained. As with all Masses from the Cathedral, this year’s Chrism Mass will be live streamed if you wish to participate remotely. If you are unable to attend the Triduum this year, you are asked to join Bishop Declan for the celebration on-line at Clifton Cathedral. Live stream from our Cathedral can be found on our website.