St Patrick’s School Consultation to Federate

St Patrick’s School is currently circulating a consultation paper about the proposal for Saint Patrick’s School and Our lady of Lourdes School, Kingswood to officially federate. This is completely different to academy conversion – the schools keep their separate identities, budgets, OFTSED inspections, results etc. but it offers more security for the future. Please do take a look at the proposal and give your feedback if you wish (Link below). Thank you.

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Saint Patrick’s School – Do you have an unused laptop, tablet, PC?

Kitchens become classrooms, and lessons go online.

With the return of children to their classrooms delayed due to the coronavirus lockdown, schools are moving online for their teaching, though many children still lack the right devices to access their lessons. Many teachers are concerned some families could be left out from online learning due to this lack of tech at home. One poll of teachers revealed that 88% had students they believed were falling behind due to lack of access to online learning, as many are needing a functioning device.
As a result, we are calling on parishioners to donate any unwanted old laptops and tablets etc (with the power lead) to our school to help children learn during lockdown.
If you can help, please call St Patrick’s School asap on 01249 713125.

Cancellation of Mass

THE CELEBRATION OF MASS Father Michael has sadly been asked by the NHS to shield once again as someone clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid 19 and will be isolating. After consultation with Bishop Declan and the Dean, it has been decided that it would be putting at risk some of our elderly clergy if they were asked to come and supply. Bishop Declan also mentioned that it is probably not possible for parishioners in Corsham to go to other parishes who are having to limit their own numbers due to social distancing. It is still important that Sunday is observed as a Holy Day and the Bishop encourages parishioners to set aside time on the Sunday to reflect upon the Sunday readings and have a quiet time of personal prayer. The Sunday readings are made available each week in our online bulletin together with a prayer for spiritual communion. Please note that the obligation to attend Sunday and Holyday mass is still suspended during this present crisis. We are considering the possibility of a Sunday celebration of the Liturgy of the Word (the first part of the Eucharist with readings). As this will require scheduling leaders, stewards and cleaners, would you please let Fr Michael know if you would be interested in attending. We all need to be extra vigilant at this time as the virus is present in the town and pray that we are all able to receive our Covid vaccinations very soon.

The Epiphany of the Lord

THE SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
The Western Church began to celebrate the Epiphany in the 4th century where it was, and still is, associated with the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus when God revealed himself to the world through the wonder of the incarnation of Jesus. The Magi (traditionally named Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar) found Jesus by following a star across the desert to Bethlehem. In the gospel of Matthew, they offer gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These gifts were symbolic of the importance of Jesus’ birth, the gold representing his royal standing, frankincense his divinity and myrrh his human mortality. The word Epiphany means ‘to show’ or ‘to reveal’ and the feast is celebrated on 6th January. The Epiphany is seen as a continuation of the Christmas season, a season of manifesting/showing the Christ to the world. The three great manifestations of this part of Christmastide are the visit of the Magi, the Baptism of Jesus and Jesus’ first miracle at the marriage at Cana. Traditionally after the gospel of the day the deacon or cantor may sing the dates of the moveable feasts for the coming year (see the missal p.1505) We celebrate the beautiful Solemnity of the Epiphany on Wednesday 6th January at 12noon.

Booking to attend Mass

MASS BOOKINGS Please remember to continue to reserve a place at Mass during the pandemic. Book now at
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/st-patricks-catholic-church-corsham-30646123644

During this time seats are very limited due to the ongoing need for social distancing. Thank you for helping to keep our community safe.

A Christmas Message from Fr Michael

FROM FR MICHAEL This has been such a difficult time for all of us and especially as a community. It has been a time of anxiety and uncertainty for all. Although there is now hope on the horizon with the coming of a vaccine, we are about to celebrate a Christmas that will be totally different from any before. I ask you to put Jesus at the centre of your homes this Christmas. I asked our school children and encourage all our families to have a crib at the centre of your decorations at home. Many will celebrate Christmas in the home this year and this little reminder will put Christ at the centre of your domestic Church. I also ask you to try to attend and celebrate a Christmas Mass, but this will be difficult for some as numbers are limited this year. So, I encourage you to come to Mass within the Octave (8 days) of Christmas. It is necessary to book, as we have limited availability due to social distancing this year, but it will be wonderful to see you. www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/st-patricks-catholic-church-corsham-30646123644. If you cannot come, then you might watch the Midnight Mass (11.45pm) on TV from our Cathedral Church in Clifton this year celebrated by our Bishop Declan!
As the world faces up to the widespread disruption to life being caused by the pandemic, let us ask for God’s help in what lies ahead in the New Year. Let us pray for all those who are working to control the spread of the virus. Let us pray for all those in our NHS who are tasked with caring for those who have the virus. Let us pray for all the sick, all carers and the anxious and lonely. Every one of us wishes we could gather our families as we have for generations, hug our parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren and celebrate this holy time. We simply cannot wish away the reality that the virus is having a major effect on all our lives. We cannot ignore the growing number of family and friends who are afflicted. God calls every one of us to do our part and make sacrifices to protect the old, the sick and the vulnerable. I’m sure that as a community we will be able reach out and so just that. I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have diligently helped St Patrick’s Church to continue its mission since the first lockdown in March. Many of you have given of yourselves sacrificially in so many ways and that self-giving has truly been inspirational. May God bless you all, your homes and families this Christmas as we celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. Although it is one like no other, let us still make it a Christmas of love, joy and peace!

Christmas Masses 2020

CHRISTMAS MASSES This Christmas we are limited in the number of people we can accommodate at Masses this year due to government regulations. It is sadly not possible simply to turn up to a Christmas Mass if you have not booked. The Bishops of England and Wales have suggested that the Masses during the Christmas Octave (i.e. Dec 26th until Jan 1st) be considered additional Masses to celebrate Christmas liturgically as churches will not be able to cater for everyone on Christmas Eve/Day. Our Masses therefore on 27th Dec for The Holy Family/ Wed 30th Dec for the 6th day of the Octave / Fri 1st Jan Solemnity of Mary Mother of God are likely to be popular. Book now at www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/st-patricks-catholic-church-corsham-30646123644. We have extended ticket numbers to 50 for these masses. Sadly, the 9pm Mass we floated for Christmas eve has not attracted sufficient interest. We will contact those who have expressed an interest if there are cancellations at the scheduled Christmas masses. This makes it even more important that if you have booked and find you cannot come you please cancel to enable others to take your tickets. We remind you that the current suspension of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass also applies to Christmas.

Gaudete – Rejoice! Sunday

GAUDATE SUNDAY The 3rd Sunday of Advent is known as “Gaudete Sunday.” On this, Gaudete Sunday, we sense a definite mood change. The austerity of what can be a sombre though hope-filled season is replaced by a shift of emphasis. We see a burst of colour appearing at the Mass today as rose-coloured vestments replace the violet, the third ‘rose’ candle of the Advent wreath is lit and we are enjoined in the Entrance Antiphon to: Rejoice in the Lord and again I say rejoice or Gaudete in Domino semper, hence Gaudete Sunday. But why this shift in emphasis? We are edging nearer to celebrating the coming of Our Lord at Christmas, that is undeniably true, but looking at today’s Gospel we also see that we have built upon last week’s message of preparation and now we see John the Baptist actively proclaiming the Coming. ‘I baptise with water, but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me, and I am not fit to undo his sandal strap.’ John the Baptist’s proclamation is sure and certain, filled with hope and, one must assume, wholly joyful. Can we also feel in the depths of our hearts such joy as we hear this news in these troubled times? Pray God we can!

Year of Saint Joseph

POPE FRANCIS DECLARES ‘YEAR OF ST JOSEPH’ In a new Apostolic Letter entitled ‘Patris corde’ (‘With a Father’s Heart’), Pope Francis has proclaimed a special ‘Year of St Joseph’ beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020 and extending to the feast in 2021. The Letter marks the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. The Holy Father wrote Patris corde against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, he says, has helped us see more clearly the importance of “ordinary” people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day.
In this, they resemble Saint Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,” who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.” Saint Joseph, in fact, “concretely expressed his fatherhood” by making an offering of himself in love “a love placed at the service of the Messiah who was growing to maturity in his home,” writes Pope Francis, quoting his predecessor St Paul VI. Because of his role at “the crossroads between the Old and New Testament,” St Joseph “has always been venerated as a father by the Christian people”. In him, “Jesus saw the tender love of God,” the one that helps us accept our weakness, because “it is through” and despite “our fears, our frailties, and our weakness” that most divine designs are realized. “Only tender love will save us from the snares of the accuser,” emphasizes the Pontiff, and it is by encountering God’s mercy especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation that we “experience His truth and tenderness,” – because “we know that God’s truth does not condemn us, but instead welcomes, embraces, sustains and forgives us”. Read People Francis’ letter at http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_letters/documents/papa-francesco-lettera-ap_20201208_patris-corde.html
The Apostolic Penitentiary has also issued a Decree granting plenary indulgences for the year of St Joseph. During this time, the faithful will have the opportunity to commit themselves “with prayer and good works, to obtain, with the help of St Joseph, head of the heavenly Family of Nazareth, comfort and relief from the serious human and social tribulations that besiege the contemporary world today.” The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions) to Christians who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in the Year of St Joseph on these occasions and manners indicated by the Apostolic Penitentiary: The plenary indulgence is granted to those who will meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer or take part in a Spiritual Retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on St Joseph. St Joseph, pray for us.

Masses for the Christmas Octave

MASSES FOR THE CHRISTMAS OCTAVE. The Bishops of England and Wales have suggested that the Masses during the Christmas Octave (i.e. Dec 26th until Jan 1st) be considered additional Masses to celebrate Christmas liturgically as churches will not be able to cater for everyone on Christmas Eve/Day. Our Masses therefore on 27th Dec for The Holy Family/ Wed 30th Dec for the 6th day of the Octave / Fri 1st Jan Solemnity of Mary Mother of God are likely to be popular, so please book now at www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/st-patricks-catholic-church-corsham-30646123644 We remind you that the current suspension of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass also applies to Christmas. Midnight Mass on BBC1 on Christmas Eve will be broadcast from Clifton Cathedral with Bishop Declan as principal celebrant.