Friday, 3 July 2020

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Come to me all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest.

Dear Friends,

I had hoped that we might resume public Masses again at St Catherine's as soon as possible, now that the government has relaxed the rules on such gatherings.

However, we have to await cleansing equipment (gel, aprons, signage etc) from the Archdiocese. The church needs to be set up for following the rules the Archdiocese has laid down, and we then need to receive permission to open, having filled in the form governing the health and safety of the premises and had that accepted by the Archdiocese.

We also need at least two volunteers for each Mass: to assist with guiding people into church as they arrive at Mass and to cleanse the benches etc after Mass. I did ask for volunteers last week but have received co replies as yet. If you feel you can do this, then please contact me, by email if possible, so we can put a team together for after each Mass. People from vulnerable groups are obviously not able to be among these volunteers.

All this being so, it will be at least another two, if not three weeks or more before we might be able to open. Quite a number of churches are in the same position and will not be opening any time soon. Some are looking to later in July, some to August. For those few that are able, PLEASE NOTE that you should not try to attend Mass there; you must wait to go to Mass in your own parish. The logic of this is obvious, in that capacity is very limited and those few churches opening soon would be easily overwhelmed and have to refuse entrance.

I had dearly hoped to be able to move sooner, but the detailed prescriptions for opening will not allow for us to do so just yet. In the meantime, with our labours and burdens, we must come to Jesus in prayer in our homes and in our hearts. There with Him we will surely find rest for our souls.


Other distancing measures will be in place and circulating in the church as well as entering and exiting will be under special directions. Here are some of the rules:


• The vulnerable should carefully consider the wisdom of returning to Mass too soon. They are not
obliged to do so. The Sunday obligation has not been re-instated.

• Those who are able might be encouraged to gather on a weekday rather than a Saturday evening or
Sunday, to release the pressure on weekend Masses.

• Social distancing guidelines are still in force.

• Every 2nd row must be closed off.

• Church doors and windows should be left open.

• Volunteer stewards are required to be on hand to direct hand sanitising on arriving and leaving, to
direct people to benches and to encourage worshippers to maintain reasonable social distancing.

• Votive candles may be lit (but only from a lit candle.)

• Single use newsletters, Mass sheets, or other papers may be used but must be taken home.

• Only the priest should be on the sanctuary – without deacons, servers, readers etc. 

• There will be no Sign of Peace.

• There will be no singing.

• There should be no handshakes or hugs etc. after services.

• Collections should be in a basket on the way in and the way out.

• Lingering clusters of conversation in the porch or outside the church are to be avoided.

• Volunteers are required to sanitise bench surfaces and doors etc. after each Mass. That may mean
the number of Masses needs to reduced.

• To avoid volunteers having to sanitise toilets after each individual use, they must remain closed and
only be used in a genuine emergency.

• People coming to Church will have to wear a facemask.

HOLY COMMUNION is not allowed to be distributed during Mass.


Until then, a reminder that although our own church cannot yet open, there are churches nearby you can  visit for private prayer.

St Mary's, Leyland and St Teresa's, Penwortham are open for private prayer at set times.

St Mary's: The Church will be open from 11.30–12.30 on two days a week: Sundays and Wednesdays. 
Please note that if you wish you can wear a mask and gloves provided by the Church. Everyone will have their temperature checked, if it is high, they will be turned away. Those who are at ‘clinical risk’ of Covid-19 or have been advised to shield should not visit Church. Please do not visit the Church if you or someone in your house has a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell. People in that situation must stay at home and contact your GP or NHS 111 for further advice. There will be no toilets available, no candles, no literature.

St Teresa's Church, Penwortham: 
Tuesdays from 11.00am till 1.00pm 
Thursdays from 11.00am till 1.00pm 
Sundays from 11.00am till 1.00pm  
also in line with the diocesan guidelines, as above.

And nearby, St Mary's in Chorley will be open Monday to Saturday for private prayer between 11am and 1pm.


Your Mass intentions will still be offered as requested and you may continue to send them in.  Mass is offered for all who live in the parish and for all our intentions each day.

Your Prayers are asked for all the sick, including: Rita Sarbrick, Rosena Stacey, Vivienne Lee, Tom Miller, Paul Casey, Linda Melling, Tilly Gee, Kathleen Ward, Clare Butler, Maureen MacDonald, Louie Baines, Maureen O'Brien, Margaret McNiff, Elle Miller, Mark Duncan, Hild Gibbons, Bill Sutton, Barbara Fow, Mary Ann Monaghan, Bernard Lawson, Mick Marshall, Carol Parkinson, Margaret Cheston, Eric Neilson, Alan Cottam, Seámus McLoughlin.

We pray for those who are housebound and for those who love  and care for them. 
O Mary conceived without sin - Pray for us who have recourse to thee.


If you would like to pray through the Mass online or via TV here are some links below. Some people find it a way of preparing in some fitting way to make a Spiritual Communion in these times when the actual Mass is not available:

If you have access to Facebook, the beautiful little church of Corpus Christi on Maiden Lane in London has Mass each day. 

Also on Facebook, the Canons at St Walburge's in Preston stream many Masses and Devotions:

If you have Sky TV or you can also access EWTN at:
With many other programmes that you might find useful.

The Oratorians at Cardiff:
The Fathers of the Fraternity of St Peter also stream their Masses and devotions from Warrington St Mary's at: 

You can even join in Mass live from Westminster Cathedral:


Please do continue to keep in touch via our Parish Facebook page and my blog. I continue to be in touch with parishioners via phone calls and emails.

May I ask that, if you are able, please continue to put aside your weekly offering each Sunday and bring it with you when things return to some normality. If you would like a Standing Order form, please contact me. 

You may also use the Archdiocesan website to contribute to the parish online by going to:
God keep you,

Fr Simon.

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