DATES AND EVENTS
Please remember to check what's on and dates of events, etc. on our calendar.
LIVE STREAM VIEWERS
You may be interested to know that, on average, over 2000 people follow the Sunday Mass on our live stream. Last Sunday, 957 of these were from the UK, 128 from Ireland - and the rest are from numerous countries all over the world. Welcome all!
LIVE STREAMING OF MASS ON SUNDAYS
There is extraordinary demand on live streaming of Masses throughout the world, especially on Sundays. If viewers experience buffering and all of them refresh their screen at the same time, this increases the surge and aggravates the situation. Small things we can do which might help include:
Staggering our 'entry' into the live stream on Sundays - so, for example, not all joining in exactly at the time Mass starts.
If you experience buffering, try to wait for several seconds before refreshing your screen if it doesn't resolve itself in that short time.
Thank you all very much for your patience and understanding, and for joining together in Mass in our parish.
UPDATE ON ALL SERVICES IN THE CHURCH UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Out of necessity, and following instructions from our Prime Minister, the church will be closed to the public for now.
Please keep in touch with each other and come to this website for updates and reflections.
Mass times, which can only be viewed on our live streaming, will be as follows:
Mondays at 9.00am
Wednesdays at 7.00pm
Thursdays at 9.30am
Fridays at 7.00pm
Saturdays at 9.00am
Sundays at 10.15am (Mass in Polish at 3.00pm)
If you follow and take part in the Mass on our live streaming, you will be able to receive "spiritual Communion". The meaning of this is explained below. You can access the live streaming on this website in the Mass section or through the Church Services TV link here.
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL COMMUNION?
In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI said that "Even in cases where it is not possible to receive sacramental Communion, participation at Mass remains necessary, important, meaningful and fruitful. In such circumstances it is beneficial to cultivate a desire for full union with Christ through the practice of spiritual Communion."
Spiritual communion was defined by St Thomas Aquinas as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him”. In the present context it means not receiving the Blessed Sacrament physically.
The following prayer might be useful in preparing for a spiritual communion when following the Mass on live stream:
“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.” You can download a copy by clicking here.
By following the Mass online, we are, in effect, taking part in the worship and we can receive "spiritual communion".
KNOW SOMEONE WITHOUT INTERNET ACCESS?
St Mary’s Cathedral in Middlesbrough have a ‘Dial-a-Mass’ system. When someone phones the number, they hear a brief message welcoming them, and then a recording of the Sunday Mass said by the Bishop of Middlesbrough in his cathedral begins. The Knights of St Columba Council 29 is funding the service, which the diocese believes is the first in England that doesn’t require special access codes.
If you know of anyone who could benefit from this service, please pass on the number to them, because they will not be able to read this news online. The number they can ring is: 01642 130120. Please let them know that call charges are at local rates – or ‘free’ if included in the person’s allocated minutes. Also, the Mass can be listened to at any time and on any day after midday on Sundays, but it is always the same Sunday Mass for that week. We are not sure of the quality of the sound, but they can give it a go....
Please let us know if you are aware of any parishioners who do not have Internet access, so that we can get the newsletter and other information to them. You can leave a message on the parish phone or email.
The response to the live stream camera appeal has been absolutely amazing! We are deeply grateful to all those who were able to make a contribution and so help our parish to reach out near and far with the blessings of the Mass.
If you are willing and able to set up a Standing Order to continue your support for our church during this pandemic period, we encourage you to do so. You can find the necessary form(s) on our website in the ‘About Us’ section and then ‘Giving’ - or you can click here. Many thanks for all your contributions.
COME HOLY SPIRIT!
The feast of Pentecost approaches and we remember the gift of the Holy Spirit to Jesus' disciples. This gift is always available to us if we ask for it. We are in need of the Holy Spirit to help us in our journey of faith and to help us to discern what God's will is for us. The gift is in fulfillment of Jesus' promise that He will be with us always. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will fill the hearts and minds of all peoples and enkindle in them the fire and power of God's love for us all.
FRIENDS OF THE HOLY LAND
The local chairman of The Friends of the Holy Land (FHL) organisation sends the following message:
Due to Covid-19, we cannot hold the fund raising events that many of you have supported. Meanwhile, the impact of the virus on Christians in the Holy Land is devastating as so many rely on the income from pilgrimages and tourists. The Charity has launched the FHL Pentecost Challenge to raise funds before Pentecost on 31 May. Three long standing supporters have pledged to match fund the first £100,000, so every £1 you donate will have the impact of £2. If you would like to donate, please do so using the link here. Please be generous, recognising what you might have donated in better times from attending our events.
Due to the Coronavirus, many of the UK Catholic Diocesan newspapers are now on one website (www.ChurchPaper.co.uk) so parishioners can stay in contact with their Church and their community. The website, www.ChurchPaper.co.uk, contains over 600 editions of newspapers.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE FOR PENTECOST
The Celebrate Conference offer some interesting ideas for this Novena time leading to Pentecost and for celebrating the great feast using all sorts of mediums and worship resources. Their resources, available by clicking here, are geared to a wide range of age groups or things you can do as individuals, or with your whole family. You could also connect with other Celebrators and families online, using zoom. To access their website, just click here.
CARING FOR OUR NEIGHBOURS
Do you live in the parish area? Are you living alone? Are you struggling at this difficult time? There are a number of people in the parish who are able to, and already do, offer some support and help to those who need it. This includes telephone conversations, shopping, collection of prescriptions. If you are in need of help or you know somebody who needs help, you can give us the details using the form below or emailing: email@example.com You can also let us know if you are willing and able to offer any help using these same communication methods.
INITIATIVES AT THIS TIME
Sometimes it may not seem like it if we are isolated in our homes, but actually there are many things still happening in our parish to keep the community in touch. This is the time when technology (if it works!) is a blessing. Prayer groups meet up using social networking, courses like the RCIA continue using video conferencing, people share prayers, video clips and links to many useful resources.
Praying the Rosary together will continue throughout the month of June at 8pm. For information on how you can join in, whenever you can, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hard copies of the weekly newsletter, accompanied by a letter from Fr Jamie and other relevant information, are now being delivered to those parishioners (who we are aware of) who cannot access the Internet. Thanks to the Catenians for helping with the deliveries.
Mothers' Prayers continues through video conferencing or social networking. Email email@example.com if you would like to join in. For Mothers’ Prayers in Spanish on Mondays at 11.30am, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a page on our website for this year of "The God Who Speaks". From there you are able to access ten Sycamore videos made by Fr Stephen Wang. Sycamore is an informal course about the Christian faith and its relevance for life today. It gives you space to explore your beliefs, and think about questions that really matter. You can access the page by clicking here.
The friendly Cake and Conversation group - for those whose first language is not English - has been continuing to meet via Zoom each Wednesday while the Parish Centre is closed. If you would like further information about the group please phone Anne on 525997, Angela on 532296 or email email@example.com
If you have a query about taking part in anything, you can let us know by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
The June edition of this useful booklet that can help you to focus on the daily Mass readings, is now available. Obviously, you are unable to collect a copy from the church for now, but if you would like a copy put through your letterbox - or know somebody who would - please email your name and address to: email@example.com
PRAY AS YOU GO
Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time. The style of prayer is based on Ignatian Spirituality. It is produced by Jesuit Media Initiatives, with material written by a number of Jesuits, both in Britain and further afield, and other experts in the spirituality of St Ignatius of Loyola. You can find out more here.
18-24 May 2020 is Mental Health Awareness Week. In this time of pandemic, in which so many people are in enforced isolation, you may be struggling to find peace of mind and heart. In 2018 the Jesuits in Britain developed a number of different resources which might be particularly helpful to you now.
THY KINGDOM COME
'Thy Kingdom Come Abingdon', through the Church in Abingdon (CiA) provides further opportunities for us to pray from 12 noon on Thursday 21st May until 12 noon on Sunday 24th May 2020. Basically, you can sign-up to pray for an hour individually, as a small group or a whole congregation. There isn't a 'virtual prayer room' to join.There are lots of great resources on the website, which you can access here. The link to sign up for the prayers can be accessed here.
Spend a few minutes watching the video below and lifting up your voice in a song of praise. If watching on YouTube, ignore the enforced adverts at the end.
PARISH OFFICE CLOSURE DATES
Please note that the Parish Office will be closed until further notice. We will update you as soon as this changes.
PENTECOST SUNDAY NATIONAL ROSARY RALLY
Pope Francis is encouraging Catholics to pray the Rosary in their family homes during the month of May, especially when the Pandemic is making us aware of the value of our families and making it possible for us to pray together in lockdown at home. He encourages simple Rosaries and joining online Rosary initiatives to pray to Our Lady for deliverance from Covid-19 and he has composed two prayers for this intention. These can be accessed here. The Pentecost Sunday National Rosary Rally, will run from 9.00am to 9.00pm across Scotland, England and Wales. Our Diocese has been asked to pray a Rosary Hour at 12 noon this Sunday, and you are invited to do this with others in our parish. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the joining in link.
OUR LADY OF ABINGDON, QUEEN OF PEACE, PRAY FOR US
This nine-day online retreat, offered by the Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, will prepare you for Pentecost and help you understand how to cultivate the gifts of the spirit in you so that your life will be a living expression of the fruitfulness of the Spirit and in turn the Father’s gift to the world. For further information, please click here. To register, you can click here.
Day 1: May 23 – Saturday
The Holy Spirit: The Father’s Gift to You
Day 2: May 24 – Sunday
The Gift of Knowledge: Living in the Truth of God
Day 3: May 25 – Monday
The Gift of Understanding and Our Growth in Holiness
Day 4: May 26 – Tuesday
The Gift of Counsel and the Illuminating Work of the Holy Spirit
Day 5: May 27 – Wednesday
The Gift of Courage: Infusion of the Holy Spirit’s Reinforcement
Day 6: May 28 – Thursday
The Gift of Wisdom: Insights from the Carmelite Tradition
Day 7: May 29 – Friday
The Gift of Piety: God’s invitation to friendship
Day 8: May 30 – Saturday
Fear of the Lord: Growing in intimacy with the Lord
Day 9: May 31 – Sunday
With God and for God: St Teresa’s on Personal Transformation
HOW TO MAKE A GOOD SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
What on earth is a "spiritual communion"? How can I receive the graces of Holy Communion if I haven't been to Mass? How do I actually do this? Fr Stephen gives some background theology to help you make sense of this beautiful tradition, and some practical advice about how to do it.
THE PRAYER AND LISTENING SERVICE
Prayer and listening to God is a vital part of our everyday life, but sometimes it is difficult to pray when we are exhausted or in stressful situations or by ourselves. The diocese has created a team with experience in both praying with others and in spiritual listening. All of the volunteers are trained in this service and have been through the essential safeguarding training and other requirements. We are offering a service where people fill in a short form on the diocese website requesting a phone call, of 10 to 5 minutes usually. Additionally, we are asking key workers if they would like to give us their name and work place and we will pray for them by name each day. Please go to the home page of the diocese website and under “Coronavirus” you can click on a box called “Prayer Support”. You can also access that page by clicking here.
PRAYER FOR PANDEMIC PROTECTION
Lord Jesus, we humbly pray that You help us in these times of pandemic illness and uncertainty. We need Your love and mercy while we do our best to remain faithful to Your Word. Please shield us from sickness and suffering and save our world. We kindly ask that You grant our families, friends and neighbours the strength and courage to fight the good fight with prayer to win this battle. We pray for all who are sick and for all the key workers through whom You work and we thank you for Your never ending love and mercy. Amen.
In line with current Government and Public Health guidance regarding the Coronavirus, Marriage Care is now providing all Marriage Preparation and Relationship Counselling services online, via secure webcam, and ceasing all face to face service provision for the time being. Counselling and marriage preparation sessions can still be booked via our appointments phone line - 0800 389 3801 - or by emailing email@example.com We know that support for marriages and relationships at this time will be more vital than ever so we would like to assure you that our services are still available and online access is simple and easy to use. More information about Marriage Care and our services can be found at our website - www.marriagecare.org.uk
CAFOD SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS
Could you inspire young people to make a difference? Could YOU be a CAFOD school volunteer?
Schools Volunteers are a vital part of our work bringing Catholic social teaching to the next generation – but there is a shortage in Portsmouth Diocese and we need your help. By becoming a CAFOD School Volunteer (information available here) you will have the opportunity to be part of a global movement building a fairer world, inspiring young people to get involved. It only takes a few hours a week to visit schools, and with that time, you can help make an impact on future generations. Training and support is provided. For more information please contact Jo Lewry at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07710 094447
The Foodbank at Northcourt Road is open on Tuesday and Friday Mornings. Donations can be brought there between 9.30am and 1.00pm, and parcels can be collected between 11.00am and 1.00pm. On Wednesday the South Abingdon Foodbank is open between 1.00 and 2.30 at Preston Road Community Centre.
The Foodbank is particularly short of long life milk, tinned meat and tinned vegetables including potatoes, tinned spaghetti hoops, small bags of sugar and bottles of fruit squash but any of the items shown below are also welcome. You can either drop donations off at Northcourt Road or contact us to pick them up from you by emailing: email@example.com
ABINGDON COMMUNITY FRIDGE
The Health & Wellbeing Centre, Audlett Drive, is open each weekday 10.30 - 11.30 am. It distributes surplus food from supermarkets.
ALTON DAY OF RENEWAL (ADoRE)
Although the usual meetings are suspended till further notice, there will be a monthly ADoRE Online starting 23rd May, including live stream Mass, praise and worship and an inspiring talk on Pentecost. For full details and how to participate go to www.altonrenewal.com/online.html
Please visit our Parish Blog on this section of our website for regular snippets of information and updates.
We spend much of our lives living our faith and so preparing for God’s Kingdom when we die. Why not also make sure that our loved ones know our wishes for our funeral when we die? There are forms at the back of the church to help you to do this, or you can download one here. Please do take one and follow the instructions on it.
LENTEN PROJECTS UPDATE
The Parish Pastoral Committee (PPC) has made the decision to postpone all Lenten projects fundraising until next year, when we will support the same projects that were named for this year - namely, 5th Gospel Christians and BeSpace.