THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTERTIDE
THE MONTH OF MARY
Pope Paul VI wrote an encyclical called ‘The Month of May’ in which he wrote of this month that ‘the piety of the faithful has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady," and it is the occasion for a "moving tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world pay to the Queen of Heaven. During this month Christians, both in church and in the privacy of the home, offer up to Mary from their hearts an especially fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration. In this month, too, the benefits of God's mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance"
Pius XII made frequent reference to May devotions to Our Lady and in his Encyclical on the Sacred Liturgy (Mediator Dei) saying they are " exercises of piety which although not strictly belonging to the Sacred Liturgy, are nevertheless of special import and dignity, and may be considered in a certain way to be an addition to the liturgical cult: they have been approved and praised over and over again by the Apostolic See and by the Bishops"
And in May of 2002 Pope John Paul II said, "Today we begin the month dedicated to Our Lady a favourite of popular devotion. In accord with a long-standing tradition of devotion, parishes and families continue to make the month of May a 'Marian' month, celebrating it with many devout liturgical, catechetical and pastoral initiatives’
Normally, in the parish, we would have the crowning of Mary and a procession outside, but we still have a number of restrictions in place which make this unfeasible. However, at this Sunday’s masses Our Lady will be honoured at the foot of the altar steps with prayers, Marian hymns and her altar decorated with flowers.
SAYING THE ROSARY AT CHURCH AND AT HOME
The daily communal rosary has not yet resumed after weekday masses, but if any parishioner would like to arrive at church at 9.30 and lead the rosary before 10.00 mass, please let me know and we can do this during May. Please remember that the rosary said in public is an ecclesial act and if it is to be said well to honour Our Lady, we need to listen to each other and pray together as one voice so that it is not ‘me saying my rosary’ but all of us together, each dying a little to his or her own ego, that we might be one as Christ prayed to his Father that we be. Just a simple thing like saying the rosary together can be the starting point of humility before God if we do this in imitation of Mary, the model of humility. People have told me over the years that they do not join in public rosary because it sounds so awful with every participant projecting himself or herself at their own speed resulting in a quite horrid cacophonous drone of incomprehensible words from competing egos. The rosary is more about listening than what each of us say: listening to the sacred words, listening to each other, listening to the spirit within us. When we say it together it is truly a spiritual practice and will encourage others to join in, for in the unison of our voices in prayer, God’s invitation to Mary in the angelic salutation can be heard as an invitation to all.
We can also say the rosary at home in silence, and this is a great way to calm the mind and know the peace of God in our hearts. During this month, which is in Eastertide, we can also say daily the Regina Coeli, the great Eastertide antiphon to Mary of joy shared with her in the Resurrection of Jesus. The Regina Coeli is at the end of the newsletter.
PARISH ROSARY FOR INDIA
Next Sunday, 9th May, we will have a Parish Rosary at 4.00 p.m. with Benediction and pray for all our brothers and sisters in India suffering terribly from the pandemic. The situation looks terrible there, and to all our Indian parishioners, be assured of the prayers of this parish for your friends and families in India and let me know if there’s anything your parish can do.
Dr Rajiv Ranjan, Chief Advisor for ‘The All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ said on Channel 4 News ‘Across India the situation is grim. We are getting offers of help from around the world but how can we help them? the infrastructure is not there. It happened in such a massive way, so things are really bad for the Indians: WE NEED PRAYERS FROM EVERYONE ACROSS THE WORLD’
Dr Rajiv went on to say that his own wife is infected as are many medics and their families. So that’s the very least we can do in response to Dr Rajiv’s appeal: come with your family to church and ask Our Lady that the benefits of God’s mercy come down to the people of India from her throne in greater abundance as we pray together The Most Holy Rosary on Sunday 9th May at 4.00 p.m.
HALL APPEAL: £3,000 still needed.
Thanks for your contributions so far and for all your support. The work on the hall is nearly completed and I think it will look superb, but you probably will not be surprised to hear that as the work has proceeded, more problems have been found which need rectifying in order to reopen. This particularly concerns the electrics. In order to reopen in June, the parish needs an additional £3,000 which will cover the repairs to the electrics, some additional flooring replacement and a professional floor to ceiling clean on completion.
Please support us in one last push so that we can reopen the hall safely in June and make your donation with cheque payable to St Thomas More Church, Bostall Park and place in an envelope marked ‘Hall Repairs’.
Alternatively, and better, pay into the parish account directly:
NATWEST ACC NO. 21361606 SORT CODE 517014 for the credit of: RCAS ST THOMAS MORE - BOSTALL PARK Ref: HALL REPAIRS
Or you can make your donation through ‘justgiving’ on line at:
Prayer of St Joseph the Worker’s Day for our Hall: O God, Creator of all things, who laid down for the human race the law of work, graciously grant that by the example of Saint Joseph and under his patronage we may complete the works you set us to do and attain the rewards you promise. Amen.