Catholic Social Teaching is often described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ for Catholics. At this time when communities are coming together to act in solidarity to battle the spread of COVID-19, Catholic Social Teaching would seem more relevant than ever.
Churches are closed, friends are separated, the elderly and vulnerable are self-isolating - some away from their families - and the rest of us are on lockdown to protect the herculean efforts of the NHS as the virus reaches its peak in the UK.
Professor Jim McManus is Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire and has been helping guide the Catholic Church's response to COVID-19. He talks to us about the vital guiding principles of solidarity, subsidiarity and upholding the common good to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
"We often neglect what's called 'horizontal subsidiarity' - the skills of good citizenship. The skills we learn of participating, of helping one another out, of good behaviour, of pro-social behaviour. This is the time when these networks of skills and goodwill are most needed.
"The 'soft skills' we need as a society are the things we need to practice. So 'horizontal subsidiarity' absolutely comes in. It is derived, theologically, from a duty we owe one another in justice - as fellow creatures - and we should follow that."
You can listen to the podcast by using the 'soundcloud' player above.
The UK Government has released a series of videos giving general advice to the public. You can watch these by clicking on each one below. To see these videos in other languages, click the button at the bottom of this post.
Spot the Signs
The Holy Father is encouraging us to pray the Rosary during the month of May, “when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary”.
In his letter for the month of May, the Pope notes that it is a tradition to pray the Rosary at home with the family during this month. This year, he continues, “the restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this 'family' aspect, also from a spiritual point of view”.
Pope Francis also proposes two new prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which can be recited at the end of the Rosary. In his letter, he assures the faithful that he too will be reciting those prayers throughout the month of May, “in spiritual union with all of you”.
You can read the letter by clicking the button below. We will be crowning the statue of Our Lady at the end of Mass on Friday 1st May 2020 which will remain on the sanctuary throughout the month.
The bulletin is now ready if you need to print a copy for friends who do not have the Internet.
At the end of Mass this Sunday I will be giving a special blessing to Betty and George Brown who are celebrating their 45th Wedding Anniversary.
You will also see on Sunday that there is an opportunity for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday Evening at 7.00 pm. This consists of 20 minutes silence and then we sing Evening Prayer together. The Text for Evening Prayer can be found by using the link below.
CaFE@HOME have put their course on the lives of the saints online. It is one of their older courses so the download definition is not to current TV-quality standard, but the wisdom and teaching of the Saints is as strong as ever and the location filming is very enjoyable. Follow the link here to find out more.
We will be live streaming Adoration and the Divine Mercy Devotions tomorrow at 3pm. Click the button below to download the order of service so that you can pray with us from home.
Please find below the latest edition of the bulletin. If you are printing off a copy for any neighbours, it's best to use the printable version on the Mass Times and Bulletin page.
19th April 2020 DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY Year A
11.00am Mass online pro populo
3.00pm Divine Mercy Devotions
20th April Monday
11.00am Sytch Lane Cemetery Funeral Service Ignatius Kelly RIP
7.00pm Mass online Jim Hearne RIP
21st April Tuesday
9.30am Mass online Tony Burdon RIP
22nd April Wednesday
9.30am Mass online Mary Rowley RIP
23rd April Thursday
7.00pm Mass online Colette Jones RIP
24th April Friday
9.30am Mass online Harry Hedgecox RIP
12.20pm Lower Gornal Crematorium Service Ceclia Sadler RIP
25th April Saturday
No Mass online
26th April Third Sunday of Easter
11.00am Mass online pro populo
Mass at the Carmelite Convent will be celebrated in private until further notice.
The sisters continue to pray for us day and night.
Have a look at the pictures below to see all the great work that was done to improve the hall at St Bernadette's last year. We still haven't had the festive opening celebration. This is something we must do when things return to normal!
People have been asking for a copy of the homily from the Easter Vigil. It can be downloaded here.
The Birmingham Diocesan Youth Service asked me to record a 100 second message for Easter, so here it is.
Happy Easter Everyone!
In addition to the previously mentioned main programme on all BBC local stations at 8 am on Easter Sunday, when the Cardinal will be leading an Easter Service, he will also be giving the following media interviews:
0745 BBC Radio Berkshire
0830 BBC Radio 4 Today Programme
1030 Sky News (TV) – Adam Boulton
0710 BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme
0730 BBC Radio 2
0800 All 39 BBC Local Radio Stations (as mentioned above) including BBC WM - Main Programme!
0930 BBC Radio London
1300 BBC Radio 4 The World This Weekend
Additionally, the Daily Telegraph is publishing a reflection by the Cardinal on Good Friday. And the BBC will be covering Pope Francis’ usual Urbi et Orbi on Easter Sunday on its news bulletins.
Follow the link here to access the latest Diocesan newsletter. There are some great resources available, including a leaflet for a Holy Week retreat that can be printed off and given to parishioners who do not have the internet.
Pope Francis sends this video message to Christians around the world as we prepare to celebrate Holy Week in an unusual manner due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. He prays especially for those suffering and for all the families whose lives have been upset in this difficult time.
We will be praying the Stations of the Cross this evening at 7.00pm. Once it has been streamed, you can access it to pray the Stations at any time again during Holy Week. It will be available on our youtube channel which you can access using the button below.
The information I was given yesterday about the Cardinal's broadcast wasn't quite correct. On Easter Sunday Morning, the Cardinal will not be broadcasting on Radio 4 but on all the BBC local Radio Stations at 8.00am.
BBC WM is on 95.6 FM for all our parishioners who do not have the internet.
Here is a poster that you can display in your windows during Holy Week. To print the poster, use the "Download File" button below.
BBC local radio stations will be broadcasting a short Easter Sunday service celebrated by the Cardinal at 08.00 am on Easter Sunday morning. It is not available on Radio 4. The broadcast on local radio will be invaluable for our parishioners who do not have access to the internet. Please could you contact anyone you know, that does not have the internet, to let them know that this will be happening.
We will be doing Stations of the Cross tomorrow Evening (Friday 3rd April) at 7.00pm.
A parishioner has found this article, produced by America Magazine, very useful for participation at Mass online. Click here to read it.
Divine Renovation have produced a Parish Response Kit to the current situation that we are all in. It can be downloaded for free at: https://divinerenovation.org
This page page displays the latest announcements. For regular weekly news, please ensure you also read the Parish Bulletin, which is available on the Home page. For previous versions of the Bulletin, click here.