DATES AND EVENTS
Please remember to check what's on and dates of events, etc. on our calendar.
The parish office is open from 10.30am to 12.30pm on Tuesdays to Fridays.
UPDATE ON ALL SERVICES IN THE CHURCH UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Out of necessity, the church will be closed to the public for now except on the days and times specified in the main section of this news page and the newsletter.
Please keep in touch with each other and come to this website for updates and reflections.
Mass times, which can 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 (Due to a Confirmation Service, there will be no Mass for parishioners on Friday 25th September)
Saturdays at 12.00pm
Sundays at 10.15am and 6.30pm (Mass in Polish at 2.00pm)
Attendance at Mass in person is only through our booking system - information below.
If you are genuinely unable to attend Mass and follow and take part in the Mass on our live streaming, you will be able to receive "spiritual Communion". The prayer for this is in the section below. You can access the live streaming on this website in the Mass section or through the Church Services TV link here.
CHURCH OPENINGS AND MASS ATTENDANCE
The church will be open for private prayer only, between 12.00pm and 1.00pm on Tuesdays and Fridays.
This church is once again open for Mass. However, we have safety measures to observe for everyone’s protection and ask for your understanding and help with the procedures which we have put in place.
Please carefully read the information below.
Please be aware that we will have to restrict numbers in the Church to about 30-35. An extensive risk assessment has been done from the guidelines received (copy in the Policies page of our website, under 'About Us'). For this reason, be reassured that if you are not able to attend Mass in person on a Sunday, your weekly observation of worship and participation in the Eucharist is perfectly acceptable for any day of the week on which you can attend Mass in person or online.
Bookings for the week beginning Sunday 4th October to Saturday 10th October should be made on Monday 28th September. Do please try and give us several options for days/times when you could come during the week, as the Sunday Masses are now usually full - and be clear about how many people you are booking for. We will do our best to accommodate your request. If you would like to attend more than one Mass in the week, please make this clear as well when you book - we will do our best to accommodate you.
To prevent the eventuality that we may have to turn you away from entering the Church, we have a 'booking' system in place, which operates weekly on the Monday for bookings for the following week. To make this manageable, please complete your booking each Monday as follows:
Those people without Internet access can phone 07395 946827 between 10am and 11am each Monday to give the day of the week when they are able to attend Mass. Please do not use the office phone number or phone outside of this time period.
Those with Internet access are asked not to use the phone booking system, but instead to email us at: giving us 2 to 3 possible days of the week when you can attend Mass. Please do this each Monday. You will then receive a reply with the day allocated to you.
In all cases, you are asked to state the number in your family who will be attending Mass. This is essential for our planning and to maintain safety distances.
If you are able to, we request that you wear a face mask/covering while in the Church for Mass. Young children are exempt.
We have trained ushers who will provide you with hand sanitising gel as you enter and guide you to your seating. We request that you respect their instructions, including when leaving the Church.
The ushers will also guide the ‘procession’ to receive Holy Communion. Again, please patiently follow their instructions.
Be aware that singing is not yet permitted under the guidelines. Also, there will be no collection basket passed around, but you may leave donations as you leave the Church.
Please note that until further notice, there will only be two Sunday Masses – one at 10.15am and the other at 6.30pm. This is to allow time for the benches to be cleaned between services.
Thank you all very much for your patience and help.
YOUR PARISH STILL NEEDS YOU!
The parish still needs your donations. You can make these on our website. This will enable those who normally use the weekly gift aid white envelope system or loose plate donations to continue to support the Parish. You can also place donations in the basket as you leave church. Your continued support for the Parish is greatly appreciated. You can access the donation button on the home page or by clicking here.
The next Second Collection is on the 3rd - 4th of October for Peter’s Pence. In the current situation, to enable everyone to contribute to second collections, there is an online giving page and the one for Peter's Pence can be accessed here.
Please note that, for now, we are unable to provide the newsletter in church. If you would like a copy for the readings and prayers, please print your own copy from the News page of our website (if you have the Internet) or for those without Internet access, bring the copy delivered to you on Saturdays. We are also unable to accept any books, pamphlets, etc. at this point in time, so please don’t bring any of these to church with you.
SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION (CONFESSIONS)
Fr Jamie is now able to hear confessions. However, this is by appointment only. Please contact the parish office to make a booking.
On the 5th anniversary of the publication of Laudato Si’ - in May this year - Pope Francis announced the beginning of a Laudato Si’ Year. He encouraged everyone to actively participate in the Season of Creation which runs from 1st September to 4th October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. Anne Dodd gives an introduction and signposts to the main websites in the document which you can access here. Clare Simpson offers the second instalment of a the series of articles to heighten our awareness of Laudato Si' Year, celebrating the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis' Encyclical on Care for the Common Home. You can access her article here and also access Pope Francis' Encyclical Letter here. Angela Waterhouse also reflects on what our parish did for the Season of Creation last year and you can read her account here.
Despite the restrictions of Covid19, we will, as a parish, do our best to participate in the Season of Creation through liturgy and action. The month-long calendar of suggested daily reflections, prayers and actions will be introduced at Mass on Sunday and you can download a copy for yourself here.
CREATION PRAYER WALK
A Creation Prayer Walk can now be downloaded here. This walk to places in the centre of Abingdon has a short relevant reflection from Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ Letter on the Care of Creation and a prayer related to each of the prayer stops. It includes two public green spaces that may not be familiar to all parishioners.
WATER IS PRECIOUS!
The focus on Sunday 13th will be the preciousness of water to all life in our God-given world. Pope Francis, in Laudato Si’, reminds us that ‘fresh drinking water is an issue of primary importance since it is indispensable to human life.’ One of the prayer stops on the Creation Walk round the centre of Abingdon focuses on water.
BIODIVERSITY IS IMPORTANT
The focus on Sunday 20th is on the importance of biodiversity, which Pope Francis explores in the first chapter of Laudato Si’ - the Care of our Common Home. Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another (42). The Creation Prayer Walk round the centre of Abingdon and the Season of Creation Calendar are both still available using the links above.
TACKLING GLOBAL INEQUALITY
On Sunday 27th, we focus on the importance of tackling global inequality, which Pope Francis again explores in Laudato Si’ - the Care of our Common Home. Human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships; with God, with our neighbour and with the earth itself (56). There are many areas in which global inequality exist, e.g. clean water supplies, quality education for all, distribution of wealth and resources - to name but a few.
LIGHT FOR THE BLIND
Fr Thomas, who sadly can't be with us in person this year, sends his blessings to all parishioners and would appreciate you viewing a short new video of his work, which is now available on the parish website. The Covid crisis has hit Tamil Nadu hard and has severely stretched his resources, and in his absence to make an appeal for funds, asks for our usual generosity in supporting his work in caring for the dying destitute. Donations can be made via the LftB web site - lightfortheblind.org.uk or by contacting our treasurer Mark Wilkins, 1 Highgate Croft, Keighley, BD20 8JQ. Tel: 0782 443 1217. Many thanks and God Bless.
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 today 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" - but it is not the same as receiving the Eucharist sacramentally by attending Mass in person if you can.
CAFOD FAMILY FAST DAY
The CAFOD Family Fast Day has been moved to Friday 9th October, with the weekend for the collection being the 10th and 11th October, when our parish is marking CAFOD’s Family Fast Day to help people facing the worst of the coronavirus crisis. We’ve all felt the impact of this terrible disease – let’s come together to help the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world survive, rebuild and heal. Please pray for all those affected and donate online (no envelope donations in church please) at cafod.org.uk/give. You can also give easily via text. Text: CAFOD to 70085 to donate £10. Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text CAFODNOINFO to 70085.
PRAYING THE ROSARY
We continue to pray the Rosary together online using Zoom. If you would like to join us on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm in October, please email us on:
so that we can send you the new link.
RCIA - WELCOMING ADULTS TO THE CHURCH
You might wish to find out more about Jesus. Or perhaps you want to receive Baptism, or become a Catholic. Or maybe you are a Catholic but not Confirmed? We can help you on this faith journey. RCIA sessions began on 15th September online using Zoom and you can view and download the programme here. For more details and joining information, contact Pauline: 07506 753085 or email:
JOURNEYING TOGETHER IN FAITH (JTiF)
This course, which was interrupted by lockdown, resumes again on Mondays from 6.30pm to 7.30pm online using Zoom and beginning on Monday 14th September. It is open to anybody interested in growing their faith and is suitable for those who have completed the RCIA course as well. You can view and download the programme here. If you would like to know more, or register your interest in joining in, please email:
DIOCESAN READERS' WORKSHOPS
Two sets of workshops are being offered on Zoom:
on Saturdays 17th October (workshop 1) and 24th October (workshop 2) at 10 am;
on Saturdays 14th November (workshop 1) and 21st November (workshop 2) at 10 am.
You can register for the workshops here.
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER & FASTING FOR LIFE
On Monday 28th September, please pray and fast for the end of abortion and euthanasia in this Country. Your prayer and fasting is urgently needed as last year this country saw the highest number of abortions ever. For details of our live saving work see www.GoodCounselNetwork.com. You can also read more about this using the link here.
BUSINESS AS USUAL?
Covid 19 has caused changes in the way that society operates. Almost nothing of the life we knew in 2018-19 has remained unaffected. In our life of faith, too, we are adapting to change – churches have been closed for three months and more. Spiritual needs are difficult to meet at a time of social distancing. The charitable work of society has had to meet new challenges and new demands.
What kind of Church are we becoming? What kind of Church will we be in the future? A series of sessions is being offered staring from 23rd September. To view the programme and how to register, please access the information here.
BACK TO BASICS!
A number of interesting online events are being organised by CELEBRATE, during the month of October and November. It's well worth exploring some of these and you can access the programme and details for registering here.
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 is a form to help you to do this, which can download here.
Please visit our Parish Blog on this section of our website for regular snippets of information and updates.
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 15 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.
Lockdown may have affected couples who are managing the stress of day to day living, whether that is because both are working from home and juggling the home schooling, or maybe both are furloughed worrying about potential redundancy. The impact of these difficulties and stresses can test the strongest of relationships. Marriage Care is there to help. Counselling and marriage preparation sessions can still be booked via our appointments phone line - 0800 389 3801 - or by emailing 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
PRAY FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY THE VIRUS
Whilst we continue to pray for all key workers, those who are sick, those who have died, and for the families who are bereaved, please also remember to pray for all the less visible 'victims' of the virus. Pray for:
those whose family relationships have been a struggle;
for those for whom job security has been a concern or who have lost their jobs;
for those who are still anxious about leaving their home or anxious in any way;
for those who face losing their homes;
for those who are struggling to pay their bills;
for those who have lost their sense of purpose and struggle with their faith;
for those in other countries who are facing the devastation of the virus amidst their own crises of poverty and conflict.
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.
You can either drop donations off at Northcourt Road.
ABINGDON COMMUNITY FRIDGE
The Health & Wellbeing Centre, Audlett Drive, is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10.30 - 11.30 am. It distributes surplus food from supermarkets.
MASS READINGS AND ANTIPHONS
If you would like to access the daily Mass readings electronically, Universalis is a good source. You can get this here. You can also opt to purchase the App. You will need to set the location under 'settings' to Oxfordshire, Portsmouth, Abingdon. A useful resource in hard copy form is Magnificat, which is published monthly. For enquiries on subscribing, visit www.magnificat.com
SCHOOL OPEN MORNINGS
OLA School will be holding a series of Open Mornings on the dates listed below. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of our Lower and Senior schools, chat with staff and pupils and discover what makes OLA so different. To ensure that we can keep numbers limited to a safe level it is necessary to pre-register at or click on the image above .
10.00am - 1.00pm | Saturday 26 September 2020 – this date is for Year 7 entry in Sept 2021 only
9.30am - 11.30am | Wednesday 30 September 2020
9.30am - 11.30am | Thursday 1 October 2020
9.30am - 11.30am | Monday 5 October 2020
“The staff are brilliant. They care so much for the pupils” Year 6 parent.
“OLA is a lively and innovative environment and the teachers are really engaging" 6th form student.