Synod:
Just a little update on our Synod journey. 
A couple of weeks ago the Synod Team met with Synod
members  (via Zoom), where we explored the 19
recommendations (please see attached),  which will go forward to be voted on, on 19th June.  These 19
recommendations have been developed from the 3,500 proposals put forward. 

Please see the link below, iif you would like to read a little more about this;
https://synod2020.co.uk/

Once again many thanks to all the parishioners of
St Matthews and  St Cecilia’s  for your continued
prayers and support

God bless
Anne and Emer  

Welcome Back:
It’s nice to be back celebrating Mass with you all this
weekend.
Just a reminder:
  • We are still limited with numbers in church.
  • Masks must be worn at all times.
  • Hand sanitiser must be used on entering.
  • Practise social distancing at all times
First Holy Communion:
It is not possible to make a definitive decision on dates at the moment. At the end of Stage 1 of rolling back the lockdown we will hopefully be in a better position – to use a now familiar phrase we’ll be guided by “data not dates”.
There will, therefore, be no decisions or announcements before the end of April.













 

Synod:
We would like to thank the parishioners of St Matthews and St Cecilia’s for submitting their affirmations and proposals. Following a time of discernment and prayer we have now submitted 2 affirmations and 5 proposals from each of the four themes to the Synod Team. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. God bless,

Anne and Emer.

Thank you:
A big thank you to all the stewards in both parishes for keeping our churches clean and safe, they have enabled us to continue celebrating Mass this year.

Expectant Mothers:
The Gospel on the 4th Sunday of Advent focuses on the role of Mary in our salvation. Over the three year cycle the gospel tells of the betrothal of Mary to Joseph, the Annunciation and the Visitation. The stories prepare us for the Birth of our Lord at Christmas.
Traditionally in this week we are asked to pray for all who are waiting for a birth, that they may be given patience and strength. We also pray for all who work in maternity units and with mothers, that they may always recognise and cherish the gift of life. We also pray for those who are trying for a baby that they may not give up hope.

Holy Innocents Day (Childermas) – 28th December:
Holy Innocents Day, once also known as ‘Childermas’ falls on 28th December. It commemorates King Herod’s massacre of all male infants in and around Bethlehem under the age of two in an attempt to kill the young Christ. In the days when Christmas was less child centred, Childermas was a time for indulging children with treats and parties. Today is a day we might consider supporting a children’s charity such as Barnardos, NSPCC, UNICEF, and Save the Children. Alternatively you might consider supporting child refugees through our Catholic aid agencies and the Barnabas Fund.

Feast of the Holy Family – 31st December:
The birth of Christ took place in circumstances of poverty, without many of the comforts we would consider basic, and yet we know that this was a family that shared every value that counts for anything. It doesn't matter whether we are single parents, aunts, uncles, foster parents or grandparents ….. we look to the Holy Family and follow their example in making our own homes places of peace and happiness ….. places where true values flourish.



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United in Prayer

Although public Masses have been stopped for the time being, we can still keep our parish community together and be united in prayer. This coming Wednesday (25th) is the Solemnity of the Annunciation when we celebrate the announcement of the Angel Gabriel to Mary that she will be the mother of the Son of God. The Angelus prayer is said to mark this occasion, and it can also be prayed daily. Everyday at 12 noon you are invited to pray the Angelus, you can offer this prayer for your own intentions and know that you are not alone, our parish community is praying with you. The bell at St Matthew’s will toll each day to mark the beginning of the Angelus.

The Angelus
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, etc...

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to Your Word.

Hail Mary, etc...

V. And the Word was made flesh,
R. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, etc...

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Pour forth, we beseech You, O Lord,
Your Grace into our hearts;
that as we have known the incarnation of Christ,
your Son by the message of an angel,
so by His passion and cross
we may be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.
Through the same Christ, our Lord.

Amen.


Practicing Spiritual Communion
It’s important to recall that, although our obligation to attend Mass might be dispensed, we are never dispensed from honouring the Commandment to “keep holy the Lord’s day.” Sunday remains to be set apart as another opportunity to grow in communion with the Lord. When we are unable physically to attend Mass, we may consider the practice of “spiritual communion”.
Spiritual Communion is a traditional practice of expressing to the Lord our longing for him and our desire for him to enter our hearts. St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) said: “When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you.”
St. Jean-Marie Vianney (1786-1859), the famous country priest from Ars, France, once said “when we feel the love of God growing cold, let us instantly make a spiritual Communion. When we cannot go to the church, let us turn towards the tabernacle; no wall can shut us out from the good God.”

Prayer to make a Spiritual Communion
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.

Making a Spiritual Communion in church
Oh Jesus, I turn toward the holy tabernacle where You live hidden for love of me. I love you, O my God. I cannot receive you in Holy Communion. Come, nevertheless, and visit me with Your grace. Come spiritually into my heart. Purify it. Sanctify it. Render it like unto Your own. Amen.
Lord, I am not worthy that Thou should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
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Parish Meeting:
All Parish meeting’s are now cancelled until further notice.

Parish sick & housebound:
All visit to are currently suspended until further notice. Please make sure we have full contact details for all sick & housebound especially phone numbers.

2020 Walsingham Pilgrimage: Cancelled: Important Information: COVID-19:
Hi to all those who have booked to go on this year's Walsingham Pilgrimage. It is with a heavy heart that I write to advise you that our May Pilgrimage has been cancelled due to the current situation, understandably.
I asked Walsingham whether I could re-book for later in the year when, hopefully, things have settled down. Unfortunately, they aren't taking any bookings at this point in time.
You have all paid a £20 deposit. This will be honoured for when I am able to re-book.
Some of you have sent payments to me recently. I will be in touch with you very soon to arrange getting them back to you.  Everyone else, please do not send me any more payments.
I will write again when I have further information about us re-booking.
Much love, Dave Cotterill

Dear Parishioners
As an additional part of our Synod Journey, and in light of the changes COVID-19 has brought to our lives, we are being invited to reflect on the kind of Church God is calling us to be. 
Please do take a few moments to watch the short film, click on and read the reflections, which are there to help you in making your proposal.  Then Submit your proposal directly to the Synod Team before 18th May 2020.
Thank you for your continued support.   
Take care, stay safe
God bless
Anne

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We come together as a Parish to discuss our 4th and final Synod Theme
“BUILDING COMMUNITY, NURTURING BELONGING”
In this theme “BUILDING COMMUNITY, NURTURING BELONGING” we are given the opportunity to look at how we, as a church can reach out to all people in our society, the young, the elderly and those living on the periphery eg migrants, Travellers, Prisoners, The handicapped, the poor and those in our hospitals and nursing homes etc . Helping us to put forward a vision, enabling all to participate fully in the life and mission of the church. Everybody to feel their contribution is respected and values and all to feel welcomed.
Questions to help you prepare proposals
• How do we ensure our parishes are inclusive and welcoming?
• How do we hand on our faith? Can you think of ways to do this better?
• How can we encourage and support the work of our Catholic schools?
• How can we support and strengthen the home, school, parish partnership?
• How do we reach out to those who feel excluded, on the margins, weak, or vulnerable?
• How do our parishes grow in love for God and service of our neighbour?
• How can parishes work better together?
• What will the parish of the future be like - given a realistic look at the number of priests and people we have?

This is what you said (Taken from the Synod Listening)
“Children should feel safe and loved in our Church.”
“Divisions leave people feeling marginalised and pushed to the fringes.”
“Young people should feel fully part of the community.”
“Parishes are important for building community in a fractured society.”
“The Church is vital in welcoming and valuing the weak and the vulnerable.”
“Find better ways of handing on the faith.”
“Housebound or infirm should still feel part of our communities.”
“Belonging to a parish community is good for children and families.”
And much more
Take a moment to ponder these questions:
• Pope Francis reminds us that we love God by caring and loving each other, this is at the heart of our faith. Individualism gives way to solidarity. In what way do I try to do this in my own life?
• Pope St John Paul II says we must do all we can to support families, especially in handing on the faith. What is my experience of this in my own family, in my parish?
• How do the families I know show their care for each other and for those in need?
• Have I seen evidence of parish communities becoming families in themselves, drawing in and including those who don’t have a supportive family network?
? how as a church can we embrace everybody’s uniqueness make them feel Valued, Equal, Welcomed, Included and Respected

Please complete the proposal slip below, you can email it to me on; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thank you  



Building community, nurturing belonging
Having reflected on the situation and how our Faith informs us, what needs to be done in order to become the Church God is calling us to be;
 
 



 

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