Hello everyone. I see this is number 15 in our website newsletters. Where have all those weeks gone?
I think the best thing to do is set a date for potential opening and try to make preparations for that date. We’ll see what happens. Suppose we say Saturday and Sunday 8 – 9 August. We could have three Masses. You would have to book to reserve a place, by phone, on a day in early August. Everyone would have to wear a mask, and sanitize hands on entrance, keep to a one-way system, and try not so socialize. We could put full details in the newsletter next Friday, and there will have to be some sort of meeting for the people who have volunteered to help. That is what shops and restaurants have had to do. It would be skipping the in-between stage of opening for 15-minute visits to pray. Let’s just go for it, and if it can’t be done then next week it can be announced that we had to postpone. At least this way we will see progress. It is not easy to organise with one-way communication.
This week I have offered Mass for Jill Gunn, Molly Higgins, and Tony Edwards. I have celebrated the feasts of two great women, Mary Magdalen who figured greatly in the gospel stories, and St Bridget of Sweden. Born in 1303, she married young, bore eight children, and when they grew up and her husband died she launched a new career, moving to Rome and founding the new order of Bridgettine nuns to engage in works of charity, and becoming famous for her mystical experiences while contemplating the passion of our Lord. She died at the age of seventy. Quite a lady! She was chosen as one of the patron saints of Europe. It is St James’ feast (‘Sant Iago’) on Saturday.
This readings for Sunday, the Seventeenth Sunday in ordinary time, have King Solomon choosing a gift for himself, the gift of wisdom. In fact he received an abundance of other gifts as well. Paul to the Romans writes ‘We know that by turning everything to their good, God co-operates with all those who love him…’ Pray about those words. And the gospel has two very short parables, the treasure hidden in a field, and the pearl of great price. It is sensible to be single-minded in pursuit of what we value most – which ought to be entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
The Shrewsbury Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes has been cancelled, but the organisers have had a brilliant idea of setting up a virtual pilgrimage on the internet. I am enclosing the timetable and details for this as an appendage to the newsletter. There are always people in our parish who are sick – they usually prefer their privacy – but we can remember to pray for them to Our Lady of Lourdes.
You can download the virtual pilgrimage timetable by clicking here.
Fr Tony Elder