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The Most Holy Trinity – Solemnity 7th June 2020
Orange Book Page 81
Dear Friends, 7.00pm Friday 5th June
I have just received the weekly update from Archbishop John. I have removed some of the incidental material but otherwise I reproduce here what he has written concerning the re-opening of churches. He prefaces all with this lovely reflection for Trinity Sunday.
It is accompanied by a very detailed document which I will forward separately. At the present time there is still no sign of re-opening the churches for the celebration of Mass and other public ceremonies. I continue to hope that we may be able to conduct open air masses in the school grounds at OLSS perhaps from July but at the present time this is not encouraged. The complexity of what is necessary, just for the opening of churches for individual prayer is extremely daunting. I would like to invite a group of volunteers to participate in a “Zoom” meeting in the hope that we may be able to pull something appropriate together in Greenwich but you will need to digest the full content of what is written and attached here beforehand.
I fear there is “Naught for your comfort”
Dear brothers in Christ
As we approach the great celebration of the Most Holy Trinity, what an incredible, mind blowing truth it is that we, poor as we are, share in the very life of God. With all our challenges, both personal and in our ministry, we are granted access to the relationship of love between the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts this beautifully when it says: ‘…even now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity: ‘If a man loves me’, says the Lord, ‘he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.’ (CCC 260) What we know to be true about God is revealed by God sending His Son, by the Son revealing the Father, and the Father and the Son sending the Holy Spirit. We are the dwelling place of the Most High God. God’s life is within us. We are caught up into the circle of love between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
That God’s life might grow within us, is captured in the ancient Christian greeting:
‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God, and the fellowship
of the Holy Spirit be with you all.’
I pray that this Trinity Sunday your sense of God’s indwelling in your heart, your experience of God’s loving relationship, might strengthen and encourage you in your ministry of service. St Elizabeth of the Trinity wrote a prayer expressing something of what this means:
O my God, Trinity whom I adore,
help me forget myself entirely
so to establish myself in you,
unmovable and peaceful
as if my soul were already in eternity.
May nothing be able to trouble my peace or
make me leave you, O my unchanging God,
but may each minute bring me more deeply
into your mystery! Grant my soul peace.
Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling
and the place of your rest.
May I never abandon you there,
but may I be there, whole and entire,
completely vigilant in my faith,
entirely adoring, and wholly given over
to your creative action.
I remain grateful for the ministry of each one of you as we continue to move forward in faith, hope, and love. Thank you and may the Lord bless and be with you.
Preparing to Open Churches for Individual/Private Prayer
ArchBishop John writes: As I have said in a previous email, the Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales is continuing to work with our Government to enable our churches to be opened as soon as possible for private, individual prayer. We have no firm date for when this might begin, but we can start getting ready. In order to prepare for this, please find (separately attached) the important document – “Guidance on Re-opening of Catholic Churches for Individual Prayer” – and read this carefully. It outlines what will need to be put in place for any parish which intended to open its church, at the first opportunity, for individuals to enter for private prayer.
In this first phase of churches being allowed to open for private prayer:
1. A church will only be able to open if the parish can successfully manage all the necessary measures which need to be put in place as outlined in the Guidance on Re-opening of Catholic Churches for Individual Prayer document.
2. Every parish will be asked to complete
a Risk Assessment to indicate:
i. Whether the parish can open its church or not in the first phase;
ii. That, if they are able to open, all the necessary requirements are fulfilled.
The Risk Assessment will need to be completed and copied to the relevant area bishop/episcopal vicar and the Property Department before a church can be opened.
3. Any parish which cannot put in place the necessary requirements, for whatever reasons, is not obliged to open. Opening the church will be a matter for local determination on the basis of capacity to fulfil the requirements. This decision will be communicated to the Archdiocese via the Risk Assessment. There will be full support from the Archdiocese for any parish that does not feel able to open its church in the first phase
4. The requirements state that parishes will need to provide volunteers who oversee the opening of churches with suitable protective equipment. Please read the document (separately attached) entitled Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which gives details of the hand sanitiser, masks, and gloves, which are being bulk purchased by the Archdiocese and made available for parishes that need them. With respect to cleaning church buildings, normal household cleaning materials, available from supermarkets, are sufficient. Please note that:
• If a parish can open in the first phase, it will also need to determine how many days each week and how many hours each day.
• In this first phase, churches will not be open for the celebration of Mass or any of the Sacraments, but purely for individual prayer.
• There can be no timetabled or group events in churches. This means there cannot be meetings of prayer groups, communal rosary, or Benediction. Nothing which encourages a crowd to gather at a specific time is allowed.
• The Blessed Sacrament may be exposed, but this will need to take place from when the church opens until when the church closes, simply for silent, personal prayer, as if one were paying a visit to pray before the Tabernacle.
• In this first phase it is not permissible to hear confessions in church, although provision for confession on request may take place outdoors, providing the confidentiality of the sacramental encounter is preserved. There can be no times for confession published, or for any other events which will lead people to gather or queue indoors.
The Risk Assessment, based on the document; “Guidance on Re-opening of Catholic Churches for Individual Prayer”, will enable parishes that are ready to open their church to demonstrate they have fulfilled the necessary requirements. Every parish will be asked to return a Risk Assessment whether they are opening or not, with those not able to open in the first phase indicating this.
We do not have a date for when churches will be allowed to open by the Government. The documentation attached will help the concrete preparation for this. The Risk Assessment will be sent to parishes next week so that we can begin to get a picture of how many churches will open in the Archdiocese in the first phase.
While the Church remains closed Saturday & Sunday Masses
are livestreamed to Facebook search “ Our Ladye Star of the Sea ” also visible on YouTube later in the week.
Mass will be offered Privately Each Day for the following intentions
Saturday 6th OLSS 6.00pm Int: Stephanie K (RiP)
THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
Sunday 7th St J’s 10.00am Int: Well Being of the People
Monday 8th OLSS Int: Bill H (RiP)
Tuesday 9th St Js’ Int: Imogen B & Fm (WB)
St Ephrem Doctor
Wed 10th OLSS Int: Paul & Margaret T
Thurs 11th St J’s Int: William M (RiP)
St Barnabas Ap
Friday 12th OLSS Int: Holy Souls (Anon)
Saturday 13th OLSS 6.00pm Int: Bridie & Martin (WB)
Anthony of Padua
Sunday 14th St J’s 10.00am Int: Well Being of the People
FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI
An online group for Women: “Rooted”, published by “Blessed is She” is a multi-topic study of the Catechism for women of all ages. If anyone would like to participate in the study, beginning with a focus on the Trinity (chapters available for free at https://blessedisshe.net/product/rooted-individual-studies/), please get in touch with Val. We hope to meet online Thursday evenings from 9-10pm.
Thankyou for your Ongoing generosity and support.
Numerous people have now switched to Direct Debit giving which is an enormous help especially at the present time. Although our income is inevitably reduced, £2731 was received by DD at OLSS in the month of May together with an additional £1000 special donation and further Easter contributions. Please request a Gift Aid Form either for OLSS or St Joseph’s and we will send these again.
Toilet Plan St Joseph’s. God willing the plan to construct a new toilet suite is still going ahead this year at St Joseph’s. We are dependent on receiving permission from the Archdiocese following a forthcoming meeting on Monday 15th June to which we have submitted the relevant papers.
Among the Sick Bridie has unexpectedly been in hospital at Lewisham. She has had quite a hard time and equally so for Martin while the severe visiting restrictions remain in force. She has needed two separate surgical procedures. The good news today is that she has turned a corner and is beginning to improve. We send her and Martin all our love and affection. Meanwhile Sr De Angelis OP. has been very poorly in Guys Hospital for the last two weeks and more. Happily, since last night she is now home at the Dominican Convent and very much better. She says that she has had time to make prayers for everybody in Greenwich… so you all owe her one!
Greenwich Foodbank A number of people have been asking about the Foodbank system, not so much being in need for themselves but desiring to contribute and help. At the present time the foodbank system is working well. It now runs from a warehouse in Eltham with plenty of volunteers. Since the moment of the lockdown they received a plentiful supply of various preserved foods. This is distributed directly to people in their homes who may be in difficulty. The Manager is Mr Alan Robinson and we are in contact. If anybody is in need, I am able to make a direct referral online. Alan says that a greater crisis may lay in wait towards the end of summer when “Job Retention Payments” (the “Furlough Scheme”) will come to an end. It will be at that time when matters may become desperate for some people that a new appeal for food and financial support is likely to be necessary. If you are aware of any family who may be in difficulty or if you would value this help yourself individually do not be embarrassed to get in touch.
Post expires at 7:55pm on Saturday July 11th, 2020