Newsletters

31st May 2020 – PENTECOST SUNDAY



ANNIVERSARIES THIS WEEK: Bedelin Harrison, William Frederick Truan, Robin Rolfe, Carol McKenna, Vera Andrews, Richard Wade, Peter Keatley, John McNiffe.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK IN OUR PARISH: Lilian Behrendt, Babs Biggadike, Cathleen Bradshaw, Len Boulden, Mary Clarke, Stephen Clarke, Margaret Dunne, Sheila Freeman, Eileen Groves, Deirdre Hanley, Jackie & Larry Kendel, Joe Lanigan, Brian Nicholls, Jean Power and all those in hospital, the sick, the housebound and whose names do not yet appear here. “Lord, keep them in your heart”. If you would like the name of a relative or friend included in the prayer list please collect a form from the porch.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those in our community who are self-isolating or who are experiencing anxiety. May the Lord bless them with his peace and free them from any distress. May they be comforted in the knowledge that Jesus is close to them and that we are praying for them.

PLEASE PRAY for all our doctors, nurses and carers; paramedics and pharmacists; research scientists; all those in support roles; all the volunteers. Please also pray for our emergency services, for our supermarket workers and for everyone serving the community in all sorts of wonderful ways. May God bless and sustain them in these times of such need.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those people who are ill with COVID-19, that they may make a good recovery.

PLEASE PRAY for all those who have died from COVID-19; for their families and loved ones; and for those who cared for them. May God embrace them with His tender and infinite love.

PLEASE PRAY FOR, and support, each other. Please keep an eye on our parish website for information and news of how we can help each other through these challenging times. Please keep in touch with each other and do not hesitate to ask for help with shopping, collecting prescriptions, a friendly phone call, a request for prayers, etc. We can all play our part. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen. (St Alphonsus Liguori)

ROSARY: May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and so let's unite in praying the Rosary. Tradition tells that the Rosary was given to St Dominic (d.1221) by Our Lady. The Dominican Pope, St Pius V, established the Rosary in its current form in 1569 (The ‘luminous’ mysteries were added this century). Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter, "Rosarium Virginis Mariae," emphasised the importance of the Rosary in modern times.

PENTECOST SUNDAY NATIONAL ROSARY RALLY 31st MAY 9am to 9pm

Dioceses across England, Wales and Scotland will take part in a Rosary relay rally on Pentecost Sunday. Each diocese is designated an hour and its people are invited to pray the Rosary individually, as families or in online prayer-groups.

Bishop Alan will be at St John's Cathedral, Norwich to lead priests and people across our diocese in praying the Rosary from 2pm to 3pm. Please visit www.sjbcathedral.org.uk for live-streaming of the Rosary.

At 9pm, the Rally will end with a final Rosary and Blessing from Bishop John Keenan at St Mirin's Cathedral in Paisley. To see the full timetable of the Rally, please visit www.walsingham.org.uk

Come Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us

NEWS FROM OUR BISHOPS www.cbcew.org.uk

- Mass for the sick and their families, NHS front-line workers and those working in social care. Bishop John Arnold will celebrate the Mass at 7pm on Thursday 4th June at the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist in Salford. The Mass will be live-streamed on www.churchservices.tv

NEWS FROM OUR DIOCESE www.rcdea.org.uk

- Stay close to Jesus: Rebecca Bretherton has written the third of her articles about the UEvangelise Virtual Summit which took place in April. 25 Catholics from East Anglia joined over 4000 others from across the world. While our churches have been closed, their websites have seen a significant increase in visitors. Sherry Weddell, author of Forming Intentional Disciples, encourages us all to be ready to welcome people 'home': not just our regular parishioners but also people who have been away from church for a long time and those who have never ventured into our community.

Fr James Walsh, parish priest of North Walsham, offers his reflections on the lockdown.

For these and many other stories from around our diocese, please visit the above website.

CAFOD www.cafod.org.uk

- Read how COVID-19 is affecting the people of South Sudan.

- NHS nurse, Marie Pennell from Buckinghamshire, has run a half-marathon in support of health-workers tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. She raised nearly £2000. Read her story.

- Cyclone Amphan has struck communities in Bangladesh and India that were already struggling with the spread of COVID-19.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are in need.

LOURDES www.lourdes-france.org

- Even better news!!! The Grotto is reopening to pilgrims at Pentecost and Masses will be in public again. Please visit the Lourdes website to see the programme for this weekend.

- Praying the Rosary with Pope Francis at the Grotto of Lourdes in the Vatican gardens. This Saturday at 4.30pm (UK time), broadcast live around the world. Together with all the Marian Shrines, let us unite in prayer with Pope Francis to ask Our Lady for her help and comfort during the pandemic. Please visit the Lourdes website (above) or www.vaticannews.va/fr to watch the broadcast and take part.

- At the Grotto on Pentecost Sunday, there will be Rosary in English at 2pm (UK time); and Mass in English at 4pm (UK time).

- Candle-lit Rosary at the Grotto this Saturday and Sunday at 8pm (UK time)

- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Rosary Basilica, 4pm to 5pm (UK time) this Sunday.

NATURE NOTES: Another of my favourite trees is the Sycamore (or is it an oak?) in the churchyard at Stow Bardolph. I'll have to go and pay my respects again soon...it's a glorious tree! And the gardens at Stow Hall have some pretty majestic trees, too. So, when the gardens reopen I can recommend a visit. Wildflower meadows are heavenly places but sadly we've lost so many over the years. The National Trust website www.nationaltrust.org.uk has a Fascinating Feature all about them and the amazing stories of our wildflowers. And finally a plug for BBC Springwatch on BBC 2 and at www.bbc.co.uk (now and until 12th June)… it shows how nature has the power to amaze, delight and heal us!


24th May 2020 –7th SUNDAY OF EASTER



ANNIVERSARIES THIS WEEK: Joy Cleverley, Patrick Smith, Harold Cliff Cole, David Rees, Mary Mahony, William Adams, Brenda Winifred Burke.

PLEASE PRAY FOR LEN BOULDEN, who is in hospital.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK IN OUR PARISH: Lilian Behrendt, Babs Biggadike, Cathleen Bradshaw, Mary Clarke, Stephen Clarke, Margaret Dunne, Sheila Freeman, Eileen Groves, Deirdre Hanley, Jackie & Larry Kendel, Joe Lanigan, Brian Nicholls, Jean Power and all those in hospital, the sick, the housebound and whose names do not yet appear here. “Lord, keep them in your heart”. If you would like the name of a relative or friend included in the prayer list please collect a form from the porch.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those in our community who are self-isolating or who are experiencing anxiety. May the Lord bless them with his peace and free them from any distress. May they be comforted in the knowledge that Jesus is close to them and that we are praying for them.

PLEASE PRAY for all our doctors, nurses and carers; paramedics and pharmacists; research scientists; all those in support roles; all the volunteers. Please also pray for our emergency services, for our supermarket workers and for everyone serving the community in all sorts of wonderful ways. May God bless and sustain them in these times of such need.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those people who are ill with COVID-19, that they may make a good recovery.

PLEASE PRAY for all those who have died from COVID-19; for their families and loved ones; and for those who cared for them. May God embrace them with His tender and infinite love.

PLEASE PRAY FOR, and support, each other. Please keep an eye on our parish website for information and news of how we can help each other through these challenging times. Please keep in touch with each other and do not hesitate to ask for help with shopping, collecting prescriptions, a friendly phone call, a request for prayers, etc. We can all play our part. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen. (St Alphonsus Liguori)

ROSARY: May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and so let's unite in praying the Rosary. Tradition tells that the Rosary was given to St Dominic (d.1221) by Our Lady. The Dominican Pope, St Pius V, established the Rosary in its current form in 1569 (The ‘luminous’ mysteries were added this century). Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter, "Rosarium Virginis Mariae," emphasised the importance of the Rosary in modern times.

PENTECOST SUNDAY NATIONAL ROSARY RALLY 31st MAY 9am to 9pm

Dioceses across England, Wales and Scotland will take part in a Rosary relay rally on Pentecost Sunday. Each diocese is designated an hour and its people are invited to pray the Rosary individually, as families or in online prayer-groups. Our diocese is asked to pray from 2pm to 3pm. At 9pm, the Rally will end with a final Rosary and Blessing from Bishop John Keenan at St Mirin's Cathedral in Paisley. To see the full timetable of the Rally, please visit www.walsingham.org.uk

Come Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us

GIFT AID SCHEME (envelopes or standing orders): please note that to comply with HMRC requirements, all Gift Aid donors must be paying UK Income or Capital Gains Tax in an amount equal to the tax claim of their donation (i.e.25%); for example if you donate £500 in the year, you need to be paying at least £125 worth of tax in the same Tax Year. Unless the Gift Aid Officer is informed to the contrary, he will assume this to be the case. In addition, can all donors be reminded that they are obliged to notify the Gift Aid Officer of any change to their name, address or postcode to avoid the need for a new Gift Aid Declaration form to be completed. Again, he will assume this to be the case unless advised.

Thank you for everyone’s support.

Jose Villatoro (Gift Aid Officer), 01366386677 or j.villatoro@sky.com

NEWS FROM OUR BISHOPS www.cbcew.org.uk

- Cardinal Vincent Nichols recently spoke on BBC Radio 4 about how Catholic churches might be safely reopened for private prayer as the Government eases the lockdown restrictions. ( As it stands, the Government's plan is for places of worship to remain closed until 4th July at the earliest.) Visit the above website to listen to/read the full interview.

- Mass for the sick and their families, NHS front-line workers and those working in social care: This week's Mass will be celebrated at 7pm on Thursday 28th May by Bishop Terence Drainey at St Mary's Cathedral, Middlesbrough. Please visit www.middlesbrough-diocese.org.uk and follow the links for live-streaming of the Mass.

NEWS FROM OUR DIOCESE www.rcdea.org.uk

- Jane Crone (Community Participation Coordinator for CAFOD in East Anglia) writes about Laudato Si' and CAFOD's Live Simply project which invites us all to live in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation.

- Mgr Tony Rogers offers reflections of a parish priest in lockdown.

- Visitors to our diocesan website have doubled since lockdown showing that the faith of our Catholic community is staying strong and active.

LAUDATO SI': On 24th May, we celebrate the 5th anniversary of Laudato Si', Pope Francis' encyclical on caring for the gift of creation, our common home. The Catholic Church has been celebrating Laudato Si' Week to reflect on its message and invite everyone to take action in the spirit of the encyclical. The Week's theme is "Everything is connected:" for the connections between how we treat God, nature and each other offer profound truths about the bonds that unite us.

Please visit www.cbcew.org.uk for lots of resources and prayers, and a message from Pope Francis; and www.vatican.va to read the encyclical.

CAFOD www.cafod.org.uk

- Resources, prayers and news related to Laudato Si' and Live Simply...and much, much more.

- Covid-19 Petition: CAFOD invite you to sign their petition asking our Prime Minister to work closely with other world leaders to put the needs of the most vulnerable first. "We must never forget that we are one global family, united in this struggle. Now is not the time to build barriers, but for the world to unite in love and compassion." Please visit CAFOD's website above for more background information, and to sign the petition.

LOURDES www.lourdes-france.org

- Good news!!! After weeks of closure, the Sanctuary finally reopened to pilgrims from the locality on 16th May. Strict safety measures are in place. Whilst under lockdown, the chaplains of the Sanctuary have been maintaining a constant vigil of prayer at the Grotto ( which will continue). The Rector of the Sanctuary writes, "The countless testimonies and prayer intentions confirm that the role of the Sanctuary is to be a beating heart of prayer for the world."

- Help the Sanctuary to rise again: The resources of the Sanctuary are reliant on pilgrims. Without them, without their offerings and donations, it cannot exist. Losses of 8 million Euros are forecast. To secure its future and to preserve jobs, it is vital for the Sanctuary to appeal to the generosity of its donors and launch this appeal. If you would like to make a donation, please visit the website above.

- Both the Dioceses of Middlesbrough and Birmingham would normally be on pilgrimage to Lourdes at this time but sadly not this year. However, they are both making a 'virtual', spiritual pilgrimage, with a daily programme of liturgy and prayer. Our own diocesan pilgrimage is normally in August, as part of the Catholic Association pilgrimage. There is still the intention to hold the pilgrimage from 21st to 28th August but matters will be under constant review, as and when guidance is received from the authorities. Please visit www.catholicassociation.co.uk for more information and news about the pilgrimage.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us

St Bernadette, pray for us


FLOWER POWER: The Chelsea Flower Show went all virtual and digital this year. The RHS website is well-worth a visit for a feast of floral delights. The RHS gardens may still be closed but you can still make a virtual tour and gain inspiration for your own garden www.rhs.org.uk

NORFOLK has natural beauty and wonderful wildlife...and, amazingly, it's all around us! You can explore it all with the help of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust at www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk

YOU GOT THE LOVE: Just go to www.bbc.co.uk/arts to enjoy the BBC Lockdown Orchestra and the Great British Public performing the song "You got the love." It's brilliant and very moving. And there's a whole lot more there on the website to enjoy.


17th May 2020 –6th SUNDAY OF EASTER



BUILDING WORK began at our church on Monday 11th May. The work had been due to start in April but the builders had to suspend all work due to COVID-19 restrictions. The porch is being extended and the kitchen enlarged slightly. We can look forward to a great enhancement to our church, with a more spacious, open and hospitable space to meet and welcome in comfort. Please pray for our builders and for the safe, successful and timely completion of the work. Thank you to everyone who has helped to make this project possible and in particular to Eddy, our Treasurer.

THANK YOU very much to everyone who helped to clear the porch, parish-room and kitchen in preparation for the building work.

ANNIVERSARIES THIS WEEK: Donald Keady, Doris Reid, Peveri Nazimova, Elizabeth McNeil, Bill Kenney.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK IN OUR PARISH: Lilian Behrendt, Babs Biggadike, Cathleen Bradshaw, Mary Clarke, Stephen Clarke, Margaret Dunne, Sheila Freeman, Eileen Groves, Deirdre Hanley, Jackie & Larry Kendel, Joe Lanigan, Brian Nicholls, Jean Power and all those in hospital, the sick, the housebound and whose names do not yet appear here. “Lord, keep them in your heart”. If you would like the name of a relative or friend included in the prayer list please collect a form from the porch.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those in our community who are self-isolating or who are experiencing anxiety. May the Lord bless them with his peace and free them from any distress. May they be comforted in the knowledge that Jesus is close to them and that we are praying for them.

PLEASE PRAY for all our doctors, nurses and carers; paramedics and pharmacists; research scientists; all those in support roles; all the volunteers. Please also pray for our emergency services, for our supermarket workers and for everyone serving the community in all sorts of wonderful ways. May God bless and sustain them in these times of such need.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those people who are ill with COVID-19, that they may make a good recovery.

PLEASE PRAY for all those who have died from COVID-19; for their families and loved ones; and for those who cared for them. May God embrace them with His tender and infinite love.

PLEASE PRAY FOR, and support, each other. Please keep an eye on our parish website for information and news of how we can help each other through these challenging times. Please keep in touch with each other and do not hesitate to ask for help with shopping, collecting prescriptions, a friendly phone call, a request for prayers, etc. We can all play our part. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen. (St Alphonsus Liguori)

ROSARY: May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and so let's unite in praying the Rosary. Tradition tells that the Rosary was given to St Dominic (d.1221) by Our Lady. The Dominican Pope, St Pius V, established the Rosary in its current form in 1569 (The ‘luminous’ mysteries were added this century). Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter, "Rosarium Virginis Mariae," emphasised the importance of the Rosary in modern times.

NEWS FROM OUR BISHOPS (www.cbcew.org.uk)

Statement on “Our Plan to Rebuild – the UK Government’s COVID-19 recover strategy”


The following statement has been prepared regarding the Government document above; it was made public this evening:

The timing and the manner of the opening of churches touches profound sensitivities and spiritual needs. The Government's document and statements fail to recognise this.

The Government's position, established today, includes these steps aimed at opening churches as soon as possible: the establishment of a task force for places of worship, to work closely with 'stakeholders' in ensuring that premises are COVID-19 secure; and heeding the experience of other countries in which churches are already open for worship.

In dialogue with the Government, the Catholic Church will continue its engagement in this process and has already submitted a detailed plan, in full accordance with public health guidelines, for churches to be opened for private prayer. The Church is ready to play its full part in the task force, understanding that this includes the possible earlier use of churches for private prayer, as a first safe step towards their use for public worship.


A link can be found: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/catholic-bishops-respond-to-governments-lockdown-easing-plans/

On 11th May, the Government released a document, "Our plan to rebuild: the UK Government's COVID-19 recovery strategy." Please visit www.gov.uk to read the document in full. According to Step 3 of the strategy, the Government is not likely to allow places of worship to reopen until after 4th July at the earliest. The Government intends to set up taskforces to work closely with 'stakeholders' to 'develop ways in which they can make public spaces COVID-19 secure.'

- Our Bishops have issued a statement in response to the Government's recovery strategy. Please visit www.cbcew.org.uk to read the statement, or find it at the end of this newsletter.

- Visit the above website for an online directory of churches in England and Wales (including East Anglia) that are streaming Catholic Mass online.

- Mass for the sick and their families, NHS front-line workers and those working in social care. This week's Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Mark Davies and live-streamed from Our Lady, Help of Christians and St Peter of Alcantara, Shrewsbury at 7pm on Thursday 21st May. Please go to www.cbcew.org.uk and follow the links for the Mass.

- International Nurses Day was celebrated on Tuesday 12th May, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. We were invited to light candles in our windows to mark the occasion and as a sign of solidarity with nurses around the world. We owe them so much. Please pray for them. And please visit www.vatican.va to read Pope Francis' message to mark the day.

NEWS FROM OUR DIOCESE (www.rcdea.org.uk)

- Read about Ignite @ Home, an online youth festival organised by our diocesan youth service and which took place last weekend. There was an array of speakers and worship-leaders from across the UK, and beyond.

- Radio Maria is broadcasting the daily 10am Mass from St John's Cathedral, Norwich. There are also broadcasts from Walsingham and Blackfriars, Cambridge. Tune in for daily liturgies, teaching and catechesis. Radio Maria broadcasts through digital radio to Cambridge and London, and through the internet across the country. Please visit www.radiomariaengland.uk

FOODBANKS are a vital lifeline for many, especially now in the midst of this pandemic. The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of foodbanks and together they provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for foodbanks in the UK. The Trust has seen a record spike in need. There was an 81% increase for emergency food parcels from foodbanks during the last 2 weeks of March.

Our local foodbank is situated at Eternity Downham Market, The Sovereign Centre, Sovereign Way, Downham Market PE38 9SW. It is open on Tuesdays 12.30 to 2.30pm and on Fridays 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Our local Tesco and Morrison's both have collection points for donations of food for our foodbank. Any donations will be greatly appreciated at this time of unprecedented need.

Pleasevisit www.trusselltrust.org and www.eternitydownham.co.uk/foodbank for more information. Please pray for the people who are in need and for the volunteers keeping the foodbanks open and at the service of their local community.

CAFOD www.cafod.org.uk Join CAFOD in praying for all those affected by COVID-19 around the world and read stories from Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a weak and fragile health-care system. Please visit the website for prayers, liturgies and reflections; worksheets, prayers, films and activities that support home-learning for young people.

NATURE NOTES: I love trees! I miss the magnificent Copper Beech in our church carpark, amongst many others. Do you have a favourite tree? Well, now you can nominate it for "Tree of the Year" and share its story by visiting www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear Entry closes 29th June.

NORFOLK OPEN STUDIOS 23rd May to 7th June We may not be able to visit studios in person but we CAN still enjoy 'virtual' tours, video demonstrations, audio recordings, photographs and filmed stories. Just go to www.norfolkopenstudios.org.uk and immerse yourself artistically!

A People who Hope in Christ

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England and Wales

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The radiance of the risen Lord shines upon us. At a time when so many shadows are cast into our lives, and upon our world, the light of the resurrection shines forever to renew and restore our hope. In the words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis: ‘In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side.’ (27 March 2020)

The impact of Covid-19, both nationally and internationally, has been immense. So much of what we take for granted has changed. Our health and physical interaction, our capacity to travel and gather, have all been affected. There is uncertainty in our future, especially with work and the country’s economy. As we know, very sadly, large numbers of people have died because of the coronavirus, and others have been or remain seriously ill. Keyworkers, not least in the National Health Service and care sectors, are serving selflessly to sustain the life of our nation. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone who is suffering because of Covid-19, and to all those battling to overcome its effects. May those who have died rest in peace and those who are bereaved find comfort.

When the Prime Minister announced the lockdown, this included places of worship and therefore Catholic churches. These measures were put in place to stem the general transmission of the virus. It is right that the Catholic community fulfils its role in contributing to the preservation of life and the common good of society. This must continue until the restrictions applied by the Government are lifted.

None of us would want to be in the situation in which we find ourselves. While the live-streaming of the Mass and other devotions is playing an important part in maintaining the life of faith, there is no substitute for Catholics being able to physically attend and participate in the celebration of the Mass and the other sacraments. Our faith is expressed powerfully and beautifully though ‘seeing, touching, and tasting.’ We know that every bishop and every priest recognises the pain of Catholics who, at present, cannot pray in church or receive the sacraments. This weighs heavily on our hearts. We are deeply moved by the Eucharistic yearning expressed by so many members of the faithful. We thank you sincerely for your love for the Lord Jesus, present in the sacraments and supremely so in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The bishops and priests of every diocese are remembering you and your loved ones at Mass each day in our churches as we pray ‘in hope of health and wellbeing.’ We thank our priests for this faithfulness to their calling.

As the Government’s restrictions are relaxed step by step, we look forward to opening our churches and resuming our liturgical, spiritual, catechetical and pastoral life step by step. This will also be of service to those beyond the Catholic Church who depend on our charitable activity and outreach through which much goodness is shared by so many volunteers from our communities.

None of us knows, as yet, how or when the lockdown will end. There is likely to be a phased return to travelling and gathering. As a church, we are now planning for this time and our discussions with the statutory public health agencies and Government representatives are ongoing. Together with Catholics across England and Wales we desire the opening of our churches and access to the sacraments. Until then, we are continuing to pray and prepare.

We want to acknowledge with gratitude the service of our fellow bishops and priests, our deacons and religious, our families and lay faithful, together with all our parish and school communities, for the wonderful ways the life of the faith is being nourished at this time, especially in the home. We also pay tribute to the Catholic organisations and networks that are working to support the vulnerable and needy.

On that first Easter day, the disciples were in lockdown and the doors were closed. In their isolation the Lord Jesus came among them and said ‘Peace be with you.’ May the peace of the risen Lord reign in our hearts and homes as we look forward to the day we can enter church again and gather around the altar to offer together the Sacrifice of Praise.

We unite in asking the intercession of Our Blessed Lady and assure you of our prayers and blessing

Yours devotedly in Christ,

✠ Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

✠ Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool

✠ Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham

✠ George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff

✠ John Wilson, Archbishop of Southwark



The following has just come in from Father Erico:


If you’re looking for one final reason to join Laudato Si’ Week, this is it.

Christiana Figueres, an architect of the Paris climate agreement, will join Fr. Augusto Zampini-Davies, adjunct secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development, for an exclusive conversation on “Laudato Si’ at 5: As Prophetic and Relevant as Ever.”

This and a full week of workshops is below–all offered completely free of charge as part of Laudato Si’ Week. Space is limited, so please register now to attend.

16-17 MAY | Laudato Si’ Week Retreat with Tomás Insua

Laudato Si’ Week begins with a two-day retreat to deepen our spirits. Grow in gratitude and connect with people around the world through prayer, reflections on the encyclical, and time with creation. Hear both the cry and the song of creation, and find hope for the future. Group conversations and interactive exercises enrich the experience. Register here for this two-day event (English only)

Our featured speaker is Tomás Insua. Tomás co-founded GCCM after being awakened to the close connections between the climate crisis and social justice during a life-altering trip to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Tomás also served in the UN Climate Secretariat for COP21, worked as a marketeer for Google, and was a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard's Kennedy School.This conversation takes place on Saturday and Sunday, 16 and 17 May. Register here for this interactive two-day retreat. (English only)

18 MAY | Laudato Si’ at 5 with Christiana Figueres and Fr. Augusto Zampini-Davies

Explore Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical on our common home and its deep roots in our faith. Learn how Laudato Si’ reflects millennia of Christian thought in a new way for today’s ecological crisis from a top Laudato Si’ expert at the Vatican. An interactive format will help us share how the encyclical has touched us as individuals.

Our featured speakers are Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Figueres was an architect of the Paris climate agreement and has continued her leadership of the global climate movement.

Fr. Augusto Zampini-Davies, adjunct secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development, helps lead the Vatican’s work on Laudato Si’. He is the former theological adviser to CAFOD and an Honorary Fellow at Durham University, Roehampton University, and Stellenbosh University.

This conversation takes place on Monday, 18 May. It’s at 8:00 New York / 14:00 Rome / 20:00 Manila. Register here to join us for this or any other weekday workshop.

19 MAY | Eco-spirituality with Mary Evelyn Tucker

Reflect on the spiritual depths that we stand on as we work to protect our common home. Through prayer, scholarship, and living examples, we’ll dive into the theology and spiritual practices that strengthen us. The gifts of the spirit are truly needed to conquer the challenges we face, and our faith is a transformative force for good.

Our featured speaker is Mary Evelyn Tucker, who co-founded and leads the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, which “informs and inspires people to preserve, protect, and restore the Earth community.” She is also a senior lecturer and research scholar in the university’s joint Masters of Arts program in religion and ecology.

This conversation takes place on Tuesday, 19 May. It’s at 9:00 New York / 15:00 Rome / 21:00 Manila. Register here to join us for this or any other weekday workshop.

20 MAY | Sustainability with Yeb Saño

Learn how Catholic people and institutions can make a big difference in the global race to protect our common home. Catholics–who make up nearly one-seventh of the world’s population–are showing extraordinary leadership while making a real contribution reducing our impact on the Earth. This is a practical, action-oriented conversation.

Our featured speaker is Yeb Saño, who was the lead climate negotiator for the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), a disaster linked to climate change that killed thousands of people. Yeb's tearful plea to protect his people shook the COP19 climate negotiations. Since then, Yeb has marched thousands of kilometers on climate pilgrimages and taken up leadership as the Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. He is a member of the GCCM board of directors.

This conversation takes place on Wednesday, 20 May. It is at 9:00 New York / 15:00 Rome / 21:00 Manila. Register here to join us for this or any other weekday workshop.

20 MAY | Advocacy

Learn how advocating for policies that protect the most vulnerable among us is part and parcel of our faith. From in-depth exploration of the ways that we harm “the least among us” to practical tips for putting our faith into action, this session offers essential guidance to building a better world for the long term. An interactive format offers the opportunity to share ideas and hear the personal experiences of Catholics from around the world.


This event is co-sponsored by GCCM and CIDSE. Our featured speaker will be announced soon!

This conversation takes place on Wednesday, 20 May. It is at 11:00 New York / 17:00 Rome / 23:00 Manila. Register here to join us for this or any other weekday workshop.

22 MAY | Social Action

Grow your relationships, where the Holy Spirit moves us. Learn how to build communities of care that protect the most vulnerable. Explore new ways of connecting with the people around you in common projects that draw on the transformative power of our faith.

This event is co-sponsored by GCCM and Caritas Internationalis. Our featured speaker will be announced soon!

This conversation takes place on Friday, 22 May. It is at 9:00 New York / 15:00 Rome / 21:00 Manila. Register here to join us for this or any other weekday workshop.

Laudato Si’ Week begins in just a few days! Be sure to register for the weekend retreat or for one of the weekday sessions.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

In faith,

Christina for GCCM

PS: If you aren’t able to register, join us on Facebook at the time of each webinar to see a Facebook Live broadcast in English. Visit our Facebook page here at the time each conversation starts.

STOP PRESS: The building work on the church porch will be starting on Monday, 11th May.


10th May 2020 –5th SUNDAY OF EASTER



COLLECTIONS: The monthly collection for April was a generous £631.00. A big thank you to our parishioners for all their very kind donations.

ANNIVERSARIES THIS WEEK: Andrew Skeparnides, Paul Bentley, Brian Weedon, Hugh James Walton, Bronislaw Anthony Szczepanski, John O'Neill, Frantisek Bezdek, Victor Thomas Parnell.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK IN OUR PARISH: Lilian Behrendt, Babs Biggadike, Cathleen Bradshaw, Mary Clarke, Stephen Clarke, Margaret Dunne, Sheila Freeman, Eileen Groves, Deirdre Hanley, Jackie & Larry Kendel, Joe Lanigan, Brian Nicholls, Jean Power and all those in hospital, the sick, the housebound and whose names do not yet appear here. “Lord, keep them in your heart”. If you would like the name of a relative or friend included in the prayer list please collect a form from the porch.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those in our community who are self-isolating or who are experiencing anxiety. May the Lord bless them with his peace and free them from any distress. May they be comforted in the knowledge that Jesus is close to them and that we are praying for them.

PLEASE PRAY for all our doctors, nurses and carers; paramedics and pharmacists; research scientists; all those in support roles; all the volunteers. Please also pray for our emergency services, for our supermarket workers and for everyone serving the community in all sorts of wonderful ways. May God bless and sustain them in these times of such need.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those people who are ill with COVID-19, that they may make a good recovery.

PLEASE PRAY for all those who have died from COVID-19; for their families and loved ones; and for those who cared for them. May God embrace them with His tender and infinite love.

PLEASE PRAY FOR, and support, each other. Please keep an eye on our parish website for information and news of how we can help each other through these challenging times. Please keep in touch with each other and do not hesitate to ask for help with shopping, collecting prescriptions, a friendly phone call, a request for prayers, etc. We can all play our part. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen. (St Alphonsus Liguori)

POPE FRANCIS' LETTER TO THE FAITHFUL FOR MAY. Please scroll down to last week’s newsletter to see this, and to see the Bishop’s pastoral letter as well.

ROSARY: May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and so let's unite in praying the Rosary. Tradition tells that the Rosary was given to St Dominic (d.1221) by Our Lady. The Dominican Pope, St Pius V, established the Rosary in its current form in 1569 (The ‘luminous’ mysteries were added this century). Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter, "Rosarium Virginis Mariae," emphasised the importance of the Rosary in modern times.


NEWS FROM OUR BISHOPS (www.cbcew.org.uk)

- Mass for the sick and their families, NHS front-line workers and those working in social care. This week's Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Robert Byrne and live-streamed from St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle at 7pm on Thursday 14th May.

- Our Bishops have dedicated 2020 as The Year of the God who Speaks: Scripture is at the centre of everything we do as a Church. Please visit www.cbcew.org.uk to see resources and prayers.

- Hope in the Risen Lord: Writing on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, the five Metropolitan Archbishops have addressed the Covid-19 pandemic and, specifically, the measures taken and the restrictions imposed to combat the spread of the virus. Please visit the above website to read their letter in full.

- 'Pray as you go' is a website and app. produced by the Jesuits to provide a framework for daily prayer sessions (with music, scripture and some questions for reflection). And 'Pray as you stay' is a series to support you during this time of uncertainty, self-isolation and fear. Please visit www.pray-as-you-go.org

- Pause for Faith: Join Fr Stephen Wang each day for some conversation, prayer and reflection on the treasures of our Christian faith at www.youtube.com/c/PauseforFaith

NEWS FROM OUR DIOCESE (www.rcdea.org.uk)

- Ignite @ Home is an online youth festival taking place this weekend 8 - 10 May, organised by our diocesan youth service. Each day features music, entertainment, talks and prayer. The festival invites participants to explore their spirituality and go a little deeper. Go to the Ignite Team's YouTube channel @igniteyea for live-streaming of sessions from 7.30pm to 8.45pm each night. Be sure to subscribe to receive notifications. Any questions to Ciaran at igniteteam@rcdea.org.uk

- UEvangelise Virtual Summit: 25 Catholics from our diocese joined over 4000 others from around the world to learn that the call to share the Gospel is not constrained by our current circumstances. Read the first in a series of 3 reports about the summit. (Please also see the Evangelisation page on our parish website).

- and there are also articles on St Edmund, Radio Maria England and much more.

LOURDES www.lourdes-france.org

- International candle-lit Rosary is live-streamed from the Grotto every Saturday at 8pm (UK time). Join people from across the world in this beautiful service, with your own lighted candle.

ASK LILY ( www.asklily.org.uk ) is an online directory compiled by the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk. It lists organisations, services and activities that help people to live healthy, active and independent lives. For mental and physical health advice, please also see www.justonenorfolk.nhs.org

NATURE NOTES: "Now that must have been a Swallow...white front, forked tail," I said to myself as I drove into the village last Saturday evening after my weekly shop in town. This Swallow (as I humbly venture to identify the bird) was sitting on a telegraph wire. I was not able to stop and study it at length as I was hungry and wanted to get home and cook my tea. The Swifts arrived here on Tuesday...a great sight, high up in the sky. Last night, the Owls woke me up again and I've never heard anything like it...loud shrieks, and I mean LOUD!!! Barn Owls...what an Amazing (and Quite Scary-sounding) sound! I got up and looked out the window, hoping I might possibly see one in the bright moonlight but sadly not. Do you appreciate the wild plants growing in your street? "More Than Weeds" is a project aimed at changing our perception of urban plants growing on walls and pavements. Its founder and other like-minded botanists chalk the names of wild plants on pavements etc (with permission) "to raise awareness of the presence, knowledge and respect of these plants"...visit www.morethanweeds.co.uk and be amazed and awed like I was!


3rd May 2020 –4th SUNDAY OF EASTER



ANNIVERSARIES THIS WEEK: Cyril Vincent, Robert Wales, Michael John Bryant, Helen McCarthy, Bernard O'Brien, Kevin Hanley, Christopher White, Hazel Midgeley, John Carey, Fr. Liam Crowley.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK IN OUR PARISH: Brian Nicholls, Sheila Freeman, Eileen Groves, Jean Power, Cathleen Bradshaw, Babs Biggadike, Jackie & Larry Kendel, Mary Clarke, Lilian Behrendt, Deirdre Hanley, Stephen Clarke, Joe Lanigan and Margaret Dunne and all those in hospital, the sick, the housebound and whose names do not yet appear here. “Lord, keep them in your heart” If you would like the name of a relative or friend included in the prayer list please collect a form from the porch.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those in our community who are self-isolating or who are experiencing anxiety. May the Lord bless them with his peace and free them from any distress. May they be comforted in the knowledge that Jesus is close to them and that we are praying for them.

PLEASE PRAY for all our doctors, nurses and carers; paramedics and pharmacists; research scientists; all those in support roles; all the volunteers. Please also pray for our emergency services, for our supermarket workers and for everyone serving the community in all sorts of wonderful ways. May God bless and sustain them in these times of such need.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those people who are ill with COVID-19, that they may make a good recovery.

PLEASE PRAY for all those who have died from COVID-19; for their families and loved ones; and for those who cared for them. May God embrace them with His tender and infinite love.

PLEASE PRAY FOR, and support, each other. Please keep an eye on our parish website for information and news of how we can help each other through these challenging times. Please keep in touch with each other and do not hesitate to ask for help with shopping, collecting prescriptions, a friendly phone call, a request for prayers, etc. We can all play our part. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen. (St Alphonsus Liguori)

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS is this Sunday, 3rd May. Please pray for vocations. You will find a lovely prayer and two stories of discernment to the religious life on our Bishops' website www.cbcew.org.uk

This week's Mass for the sick and their families, NHS workers and those working in Social Care will be on Thursday 7th May at 7pm from St Anne's Cathedral, Leeds. The Mass will be live-streamed. Please see www.cbcew.org.uk for links to the Mass, and all the latest news from our Bishops. (Bishop Mark O'Toole's Pastoral Message, inviting us all to be like Christ the Servant, is well worth reading...follow the link to "news and media").

POPE FRANCIS' LETTER TO THE FAITHFUL FOR MAY. Please see the end of this newsletter to read the letter and some special prayers. (N.B. Daily Mass celebrated by Pope Francis is live-streamed via the Vatican website www.vatican.va).

ROSARY: May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and so let's unite in praying the Rosary. Tradition tells that the Rosary was given to St Dominic (d.1221) by Our Lady. The Dominican Pope, St Pius V, established the Rosary in its current form in 1569 (The ‘luminous’ mysteries were added this century). Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter, "Rosarium Virginis Mariae," emphasised the importance of the Rosary in modern times.

NEWS FROM OUR DIOCESE:

For followers of Evening Prayer from St George's, Norwich (highly recommended), there is an amazing story of Fr Sean Connolly's fortitude and improvisation (www.stgeorgenorwich.com).

A May Magnificat Retreat is being presented via Zoom by the Margaret Beaufort Institute in Cambridge on Saturday 16th May. Also, news of a course for the Diocesan Certificate in Catholic Studies.

FaithhopeloveNorfolk is an ecumenical project to help churches and Christian groups across Norfolk respond to the developing Covid-19 crisis. (www.faithhopelovenorfolk.co.uk was launched on 8 April by the established Christian community website www.networknorfolk.co.uk).

Please visit www.rcdea.org.uk to read about all the above stories, and many more.

CAFOD EMERGENCY APPEAL: The effects of coronavirus on developing countries where CAFOD works are likely to be devastating. Families without enough to eat and without access to clean water and healthcare are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. The poorest and most marginalised communities will be pushed further into poverty. Your prayers and gifts are needed now more than ever to help protect the lives of those in poor communities. While we are not able to hold physical collections in our church, you can donate as individuals at www.cafod.org.uk/coronavirusappeal, or as a parish community via your own parish finances.

The appeal was launched on 30th April. Christine Allen (Director, CAFOD) writes, "I truly believe that our way through these times lies in holding fast to our faith and to one another. Please remember CAFOD's work in your prayers.

We are living through one of the global events that will shape humanity, and our response can only be the response of the heart of God. We need to be His hands and feet - we cannot do otherwise."

Please visit the CAFOD website for a lot more background information; a video message; prayer resources; online talks; weekly livestreamed Mass.

MISSIO is the agency of the Catholic Church for overseas mission. Pope Francis has established an emergency fund to come to the aid of those communities who are being tragically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. He asks each one of us to contribute what we can via Missio at www.missio.org.uk/donate Please visit the website for other methods of contributing, prayers, information and resources.

Fr Tony Chantry (Missio National Director) writes, "Any gift that you can make at this time will help our missionaries reach out to the most vulnerable people and offer them spiritual and practical support; and any prayer you offer for them will surely be heard."

NATURE NOTES: On second thoughts, I don't think it could have been a Swallow I saw the other day. I expect it's a little Too Cold for Swallows at the moment. Some summer migrants have already arrived, though, like our friend the Cuckoo heard in town...I wish he/she would pay us a visit in Shouldham. Anyone spotted a Mint Moth or Holly Blue Butterfly? Moths are one of those Hugely Underrated Creatures, I think. Anyway, the Jackdaws are still pretty boistrous and keeping us entertained. The Lilac and the Bluebells are in flower and what about the hedgerows and verges...looking across my local landscape I see all those streams of white of the Hawthorn and Cow Parsley. Talking of Bluebells, I am reminded of the National Trust website www.nationaltrust.org.uk which will take you on a stroll through a beautiful Bluebell Wood as well as inviting you to explore their gardens, houses and collections...enjoy a 'blossom-watch', go stargazing, listen to birdsong.....a Treasure-Trove of Delights!

PASTORAL LETTER of

BISHOP ALAN HOPES for the

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today is commonly known as Good Shepherd Sunday because in today’s Gospel, Jesus claims to be the Good Shepherd who looks after his sheep.

How important it is for us to remember this truth! Our God is not the clockmaker god of the post-Enlightenment philosophers who winds up the world and then leaves it to its own devices. Nor is he the capricious despot of the ancient Greek and Roman gods. Nor is he some impersonal force of nature that directs this universe to no apparent end. No, he is a shepherd - someone who sees us and cares personally about us, someone who guides us with an unfailing hand, if we are willing to follow Him.

Today we pray particularly for vocations to the priesthood – for those who will become images of the Good Shepherd for us in our parishes. We pray for men who will be willing to look after the flock of God, not for their own gain, nor for their own convenience, but selflessly, with the love of the Master himself.

That is a tall order! That is why we need to pray for our priests, for those in formation for the priesthood, for those who are discerning a call to be a priest, those who are afraid to follow the call, those who have not yet heard the call which is already in their heart. Our prayer is essential!

It is also important for us to actively encourage anyone who is showing the signs and the gifts that are needed for today’s priests.

John Vianney, a saintly French Parish Priest who lived two hundred years ago, preached these words:

A good shepherd, a pastor after God’s own heart, is the greatest treasure which the good Lord can grant a parish, and one of the most precious gifts of divine mercy.

The priest is a precious gift for the People of God. It is the priest who is the Lord’s instrument, in bringing about His Presence in the Eucharist. It is the priest who brings the Lord’s loving mercy and forgiveness into the messes we make of our lives. It is the priest who helps us find purpose and meaning and direction in our lives as they guide us in God’s teachings. It is the priest who cares for us as at all the special moments of our lives and who shares in all our joys and sorrows.

As your Bishop I am concerned about the future of our Diocese of East Anglia. Those priests who now serve in our parishes have given up their whole lives in faithful service of God’s people, many of them above and beyond the years expected of them. Pray for them at this challenging time. Know that every day in this lockdown they offer the Holy Mass and the Prayer of the Church for each one of the Parish community and for all whose lives have been affected by the pandemic, and for all those who have died. And as we pray for them, we pray today that future generations of Catholics may also be served and loved and guided by true shepherds.

On this Good Shepherd Sunday, we also remind ourselves of the women and men who serve the Church through their Religious Orders and Congregations. We are blessed in our Diocese. We have a contemplative community who offers its life in prayer and worship on behalf of the whole world. We also have active communities who lovingly serve God through a variety of gifts. Pray for them in thanksgiving and pray that they may continue to be blessed with vocations.

Finally, as St John Henry Newman reminds us, each of us has been called into being by God to carry out a specific service. Through our Baptism we are all members of the Body of Christ, whatever our state in life – and we are called to serve God and one another. That is our Baptismal vocation. We must pray for the ability to abandon our own plans, our own safe calculations and to learn to ask the Lord:

What are your plans, and calculations for me, what do you desire for me and my life?

We should be ready with a generous and open heart to respond to whatever God replies.

May the Lord grant us more vocations both for the priesthood and the religious life. May he help us all to discover how we might strengthen the witness and the service of the Church in the world.

May the Risen Christ continue to fill you with hope and peace in these uncertain days. And may the Holy Spirit of Pentecost renew and strengthen us all in the Lord’s service and in the service of one another.

With all good wishes and prayers for you to stay safe and well,

Yours devotedly in Christ,

The Right Revd Alan S Hopes

Bishop of East Anglia


Letter and Prayers of the Holy Father

LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS to the Faithful for the Month of May 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary at home within the family. The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view.

For this reason, I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May. This can be done either as a group or individually; you can decide according to your own situations, making the most of both opportunities. The key to doing this is always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow.

I am also providing two prayers to Our Lady that you can recite at the end of the Rosary, and that I myself will pray in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you. I include them with this letter so that they are available to everyone.

Dear brothers and sisters, contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial. I keep all of you in my prayers, especially those suffering most greatly, and I ask you, please, to pray for me. I thank you, and with great affection, I send you my blessing.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 25 April 2020

Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist

FRANCIS

First Prayer

O Mary,

You shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who, at the foot of the cross, were united with Jesus’ suffering, and persevered in your faith.

“Protectress of the Roman people”, you know our needs, and we know that you will provide, so that, as at Cana in Galilee, joy and celebration may return

after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us. For he took upon himself our suffering, and burdened himself with our sorrows to bring us, through the cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.

We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God;

Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from every danger, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

Second Prayer

“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.

In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.

Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.

Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.

Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.

Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.

Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.

Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.

Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Beloved Mother, help us realise that we are all members of one great family and to recognise the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need. Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.

Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.

To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.


26th April 2020 – 3rd SUNDAY OF EASTER


COLLECTIONS:

THE EASTER OFFERING

In collaboration with the Bishop’s Council and with Matthew, our Director of Finance, it has been agreed that the Easter Offering should be taken up on a Sunday designated for this purpose by the Diocese once the present pandemic crisis is over. Any donations made online over the Easter weekend will also count towards the Easter Offering.

With all good wishes and prayer,

+Alan

The Right Rev Alan S Hopes

Bishop of East Anglia

ANNIVERSARIES THIS WEEK: George Riddiford, Louise Wright.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK IN OUR PARISH: Brian Nicholls, Sheila Freeman, Eileen Groves, Jean Power, Cathleen Bradshaw, Babs Biggadike, Jackie & Larry Kendel, Mary Clarke, Lilian Behrendt, Deirdre Hanley, Stephen Clarke, Joe Lanigan and Margaret Dunne and all those in hospital, the sick, the housebound and whose names do not yet appear here. “Lord, keep them in your heart” If you would like the name of a relative or friend included in the prayer list please collect a form from the porch.

PLEASE PRAY FOR JOHN STANTON, Shirley Stanton's husband, who was admitted to hospital after a fall at home. He now has the coronavirus. Please pray for John, Shirley and their family.

Shirley was a parishioner of St Dominic's for many years before they moved to the south of England to be nearer their family. There are many in the parish now who would remember Shirley and John, and who would like to pray for them.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those in our community who are self-isolating or who are experiencing anxiety. May the Lord bless them with his peace and free them from any distress. May they be comforted in the knowledge that Jesus is close to them and that we are praying for them.

PLEASE PRAY FOR, and support, each other. Please keep an eye on our parish website for information and news of how we can help each other through these challenging times. Please keep in touch with each other and do not hesitate to ask for help with shopping, collecting prescriptions, a friendly phone call, a request for prayers, etc. We can all play our part. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those people who are ill with COVID-19, that they may make a good recovery.

NEWS FROM OUR BISHOPS:

Masses for the sick and their families, NHS front-line workers and those working in Social Care: Every Thursday at 7pm, beginning 23rd April, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate Mass in their Cathedral. The Mass will be live-streamed so that we can all join in this act of spiritual solidarity. Please see www.cbcew.org.uk for more details and links to the weekly Cathedral Masses.

NEWS FROM OUR DIOCESE:

Our Lady of the Annunciation Church in King's Lynn is now live-streaming its 11.30am Sunday Mass at www.catholicparish-kingslynn.org.uk as well as a midweek Mass at 4pm on Wednesdays, which will be followed by Exposition, Vespers and Benediction.

Evangelisation in the midst of a pandemic: a virtual online event is taking place this Saturday 25th April to show how we may still evangelise in these times: 5pm to 8pm (UK time). To register for a FREE place at the U Evangelize Virtual Summit, please see the link at www.rcdea.org.uk

Hope into Action is a charity which links up with church communities to provide accommodation and support for vulnerable people: refugees, the homeless, prison-leavers, who lack networks of support. Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Sawston is providing a home for a family of Syrian refugees through a partnership with Hope into Action. News reports can distance us from the horrific scale of the human suffering in Syria. A parishioner writes, "Our involvement with this one family has lifted and personalised our consciousness of the situation." Please visit www.hopeintoaction.org.uk for more information about the charity's amazing work.

CAFOD invites young people from East Anglia, aged 18 to 30, to take part in its Gap Year programme, "Step into the Gap." The 10-month programme helps young people to gain valuable leadership skills and work experience. This Thursday 30th April at 11am, Julia Corcoran of CAFOD will be putting on a webinar, in which 3 gappers talk about their experiences. Placements are available from September 2020. Please see www.cafod.org.uk/gapyear for more details and how to apply. Please visit www.rcdea.org.uk for the full report and link to join the webinar.

The Knights of St Columba have launched a series of competitions for young people to encourage creativity during this period of lockdown. The Easter Scene Painting Competition is open to children from East Anglia in Key Stage 2 (school years 3-5). There is also a National Prayer-writing Competition and an Essay-writing Competition.

For more details of all the above stories, please visit www.rcdea.org.uk

CAFOD: Please visit www.cafod.org.uk to read how CAFOD is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and still providing care and sanitation to the most vulnerable across the world. Your prayers and gifts are needed now more than ever.

THE 2.6 CHALLENGE: The pandemic is having a drastic impact on many charites, and they need our support. On Sunday 26th April, the London Marathon would have taken place, with runners raising £1000's for charities. Instead, people across the UK will be taking part in the 2.6 Challenge to fund-raise for their favourite charities. The challenge is about doing anything that involves the number 2.6 or 26. So, it could be a 2.6 mile walk or cycle-ride, a 26 minute exercise, baking 26 cup-cakes, writing a 26-line poem etc, etc. Please visit www.twopointsixchallenge.justgiving.com for more information, ideas, how to get involved and to donate.

LOURDES: We may not be able to travel to Our Lady's shrine just yet but why not make a spiritual pilgrimage. When St Bernadette was living at the convent in Nevers, she said, "Every day I go in spirit to the Grotto. I make a pilgrimage there." The website of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes www.lourdes-france.org has all the information and resources to help you.

The Sanctuary is live-streaming from the Grotto all day and night. There is continuous prayer from 6am to 7.30pm (UK time), with a Mass and the Rosary at regular intervals.

"A flame, a presence"...Bernadette arrived at the Grotto on 18th February 1858 with a lighted candle. Our Lady asked her to leave it burning at the Grotto. Millions of candles have been burning there continuously ever since. Lighting a candle is a prayer...and you can ask for a candle to be lit for your intention in Lourdes, saying this lovely prayer:

Lord, may this light be the sign of your presence for me.

May it illuminate my life and be the sign of my faith.

In my troubles and difficulties may it warm my heart.

This flame carries my prayer and the prayers of those I love whom I now entrust to you.

Help me to be the light for those around me. Thank you, Lord.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

St Bernadette, pray for us.

As well as asking for a candle to be lit, you can also request a Mass, place a petition at the Grotto and make a donation. Just go to www.lourdes-france.org and follow the links.

And, finally, here is a beautiful prayer to the Immaculate Conception for a spiritual pilgrimage:

Our Lady of Lourdes,

You who revealed your presence to Bernadette

By simply saying "I am the Immaculate Conception,"

Grant us the grace to be present with you

at the Grotto of Massabielle.

We cannot be there today

but we are present in spirit

with Bernadette and all the pilgrims from Lourdes

who have gone before us.

You gave birth to the Saviour of the world,

Look tenderly on our world in her distress.

Open in us a path of hope,

Guide us to Him who is the Living Source,

Jesus, your Son, who teaches us to say

Our Father...

BON PELERINAGE!

NATURE NOTES: Joe thinks he saw a swallow sitting on a telegraph wire (but he could have been mistaken). A Reliable Source reports a cuckoo singing in Downham. The Jackdaws of Shouldham are up to Mischief and being particularly raucous about it. Lovely to see Bats flying about as dusk falls. I awoke the other night to hear Owls hooting and making all sorts of Other-Worldly Noises...wonderful stuff! And nothing beats the Dawn Chorus at this time of year. The RSPB's website www.rspb.org.uk presents a cornucopia of Amazing Sights and Sounds you too can enjoy this spring...and you can even request a FREE guide to show how you can welcome wildlife into your garden!

AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen. (St Alphonsus Liguori)

PLEASE PRAY for all our doctors, nurses and carers; paramedics and pharmacists; research scientists; all those in support roles; all the volunteers. Please also pray for our emergency services, for our supermarket workers and for everyone serving the community in all sorts of wonderful ways. May God bless and sustain them in these times of such need.

PLEASE PRAY for all those who have died from COVID-19; for their families and loved ones; and for those who cared for them. May God embrace them with His tender and infinite love.

EVENING PRAYER: Amongst the many churches streaming daily Evening Prayer online, is St George's in Norwich www.stgeorgenorwich.com where you will also find reflections, prayers and links to other helpful resources.

STUDENT CROSS: Their annual pilgrimage to Walsingham during Holy Week could not take place due to the pandemic. So, instead all 11 groups that make up the pilgrimage (including our Kettering group) were encouraged to walk a 'virtual pilgrimage.' During Holy Week, participants were invited to dedicate some time to the 'pilgrimage,' by walking around their home, garden or local area and taking part in a daily online liturgy and Stations of the Cross. 109 'pilgrims' took part and recorded their steps online. They dedicated a staggering total of 2,450,514 steps to their 'pilgrimage'...well over 1000 miles! A pilgrim wrote, "It's something special that will be remembered due to its unique nature and the way the community pulled together." Read more about Student Cross at www.studentcross.org.uk We look forward to seeing the pilgrims of Student Cross back on the road in 2021. Please pray for them and give thanks for their dedication and witness.

HUGE GROWTH IN NUMBERS JOINING ONLINE SERVICES: For example, Plymouth Cathedral usually attracts up to 650 worshippers for Sunday Mass but 2,200 tuned in for Palm Sunday; weekly evening prayer is attracting between 200 and 400 people whereas the usual attendance is about a dozen. Mark O'Toole, Catholic Bishop of Plymouth, writes, "This period of isolation has given us the confidence to embrace new platforms to communicate God's message of love and hope. This is sorely needed at this time."

The Vatican is also reporting a significant growth in online viewers, listeners and followers for its services. Please see www.thetablet.co.uk for news of this growth; an interview with Pope Francis; and many more interesting articles. The Tablet is an international Catholic news weekly. The Vatican website is www.vatican.va

Pope Francis says that this extraordinary Lent and Eastertide could be a moment of creativity and conversion for the Church, for the world and for the whole of creation. Let us all seek to play our part through our prayer and witness to the joy of the Resurrection.

CAFOD writes, "In these challenging times, many of us may be feeling lost at sea, scanning the horizon for familiar land and the chance to move freely outside once again. But Pope Francis beautifully reminds us of the strength and hope in the promise of our Faith:

'We have an anchor: by His cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by His cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: by His cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from His redeeming love. … He is risen and is living by our side.' "

CAFOD thanks you for your continuing support and wish each of you Easter Blessings: "We are one body, different parts. One family, spread throughout the world. Living Christ, work through us, as we open our hearts to all those in need so that there may be one hope, one joy, one welcome in you. Amen."

LIGHT A CANDLE: You can visit CAFOD's online votive stand at lightacandle.cafod.org.uk to light a candle for someone who is in your heart, with a donation to protect our global family as they face the unfolding pandemic.

KEEP IN TOUCH: You may be required to self-isolate but you are not alone. Always remember that your CAFOD family is praying for you and for our brothers and sisters in need around the world.

WALSINGHAM NEWS: The Shrine is already live-streaming Mass, prayer-services and Exposition. In addition, Mgr. John Armitage will be leading An Eight Day Retreat via the Shrine's Livestream. The retreat will begin after Compline at 8pm on Sunday 19th April and finish on Sunday 26th April. There will be morning prayer at 8.30am; talks at 10am and 4pm; Mass at 12 noon; Divine Mercy prayers and the Rosary at 3pm; evening prayer at 5pm.

Catechesis: the Shrine is presenting an online catechetical course in 20 half-hour videos, starting on Monday 27th April. They will be shown at 10.30am and 4pm each day.

For more details of the retreat and catechesis, please visit www.walsingham.org.uk

To ask for a candle to be lit for your intentions or to request a Mass intention at the Shrine, please visit their website above.

MISSIO is the agency of the Catholic Church for overseas mission. Thank you for helping to share the love and compassion of Jesus with the world through your support of the Red Box and direct donations. Last year, our parish Red Box collectors raised £275.98.

Fr Tony Chantry, Missio National Director, writes, "As never before, we are reminded of how closely we are all connected to, and dependant on, each other across God's world. Pope Francis challenges us to 'remain united' in prayer and action. He goes on to say that far from abandoning those who are suffering, the Church is called by God to reach out to them in order to express the love God has especially for them."

Please visit www.missio.org.uk for lots more information about the work of Missio.

SPRING is such a busy time for all our wildlife and there is so much to see, hear and enjoy from the comfort of our homes. A little bird tells me that the RSPB has a wonderful website to educate, enrich and entertain! I'm also reliably informed by his friends and relations that the dawn chorus is especially beautiful at this time of year and highly recommended. Has anyone seen a swallow yet or heard a cuckoo? Please do share your wildlife/gardening observations in our newsletter.

A MESSAGE FROM FATHER ERICO:

Dear Parishioners,

“If it be possible let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as you will” (Mt 26:39)

With the communion antiphon taken from Palm Sunday, which already launched the Holy Week, I would like to start this message of hope in this very different time for everybody, including ourselves.

Our catholic faith impels us to recognize that we live prophetic times, because we believe that nothing happens by chance. God takes a good from evil.

“Scimus autem quoniam diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum his qui secundum propositum vocati sunt sancti” (Romans 8:28)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called to be holy according to his purpose.

We are praying in these days like Esther:

Memento, Domine, et ostende te nobis in tempore tribulationis nostrae, et da mihi fiduciam, Domine rex deorum, et universae potestatis.” (Esther 14:12)

Remember, O Lord, and show yourself to us in the time of our tribulation: and give me courage, O Lord, king of Gods and of all power.

We remember the Gospel from Ash Wednesday when we heard:

“tu autem cum orabis intra in cubiculum tuum et cluso ostio tuo ora Patrem tuum in abscondito et Pater tuus qui videt in abscondito reddet tibi”

But you, when you pray, enter into your inner room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:6)

We have three essential elements in our Christian prayer that in the present times we are invited to make grow: prophecy, confidence and personal commitment. Catholic families around the world are keeping their commitment to faith through all the difficulties. I’ve heard from the Diocesan newspaper what I report to you:

“It feels very alien to me not to be going to church every week, something I so rarely do even when away from home or abroad on holiday (something my children will attest to!)

So anything that helps to make more of a ceremony of the live streaming is important to me. Sitting on the sofa watching the TV would not feel the same.

I use my missal as usual and we say all the words out loud as if we are in church. I also read the Spiritual Communion prayers that are in the missal as that helps with the sadness and slight emptiness I feel at not receiving communion.

These are such strange times, so getting used to the new normal on something that is so ingrained is very thought-provoking and a little challenging.”

Yesterday I heard from a couple in my place in Brazil that on Sundays they dress their usual best robes to the Mass and sit in front of the TV to watch Mass as they were in the Church.

Hear the words from the Bishop to the priests for the Easter message:

“Our churches may well be closed but our pastoral ministry has not been diminished during this lockdown.

All of this work, the people we serve and the whole world, we bring together in our daily offering of the Mass. When Jesus was lifted up on the wood of the Cross, opening his arms to embrace all mankind, he willingly offered his life in sacrifice for the redemption of the world.

Every time we celebrate Mass, even alone, we continue to offer this same Sacrifice for the salvation of the whole world. Thank you for so generously celebrating Mass in the present difficult circumstances – God’s people are blessed and their faith is strengthened in knowing that the Mass is still being offered for them and the world throughout the Diocese.

The Mass is at the heart of the rhythm and purpose of a priest’s daily life. It is crucial that it is supported by the prayer of the Church, the Divine Office, (and how the Psalms support and encourage us in these difficult days!), and our own time of meditation, intercession and spiritual reading. These days of isolation may help us to rediscover just how crucial they are! For these are the ways in which the Lord draws us more closely to himself and helps us to trust and hope in him more deeply - and especially when we go through some of the darker moments in these weeks of isolation.

Soon we shall begin our solemn celebration of the Triduum – the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord. It will be a unique and poignant celebration as we do so in empty churches or, for those of you at home, as you share in the live streaming of these Mysteries.”

As you see it is not common for priests to say Masses on their own, as they do sometimes when they are ill, or travelling or for other reasons.

The thing is that now we must say Mass privately, every single day, in our silent chapels, sometimes through the livestream or other media resources, sometimes not.

When saying Mass I feel very happy and of course when I see the empty building, I try to keep everybody in mind and heart when I remember all of you.

St Thomas Aquinas speaking about how we are to serve God, says:

“Since we are possessed of a double nature – we are intellectual beings and physical beings also – we should therefore offer to God a double adoration, consisting in the interior devotion of the mind, and a bodily adoration made up of the external acts done in acknowledgment that God is God. The external act depends on the internal – for the internal act is the more important - so the external acts of adoration are done for the sake of the internal adoration. That is to say, that it is by our gestures of humility that we are moved to subject ourselves to God in our inclinations and our will.

Whence the internal acts are as the end, the thing that is to say, which is sought for its own sake: the external acts, through which the body is shown as God’s creature, are but as means, i.e., things directed to an existing for the sake of the end. Now when it is a question of seeking the end we do not measure our energy or resource, but the greater the end the better our endeavour. Man puts no measure to his faith, his hope, and his charity, but the more he believes, hopes and loves, so much the better man he is. That is why it is said: you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength (Dt 6:5). But in the external actions we must use discretion and make charity the measure of our use of them.”

In these days we understand much better what he intends to teach and we see so clearly his words as a light in the darkness. We put in practice the internal acts of worship keeping our mind up, the heart awake and we understand that it is true about us.

I would like to finish with the moving words from a recent poem written by a Spanish priest, read by the Archbishop of Lima, Peru, in a recent video that came out last week, putting hope in our hearts in the midst of the storm:

“Let no one say that the Lord is not present in the streets, when in the lonely churches, priests celebrate Mass daily.

Let no one say that the crucified will not go out in procession, while there is a sweet voice calling to whom is confined.

Let no one say that the almighty will not go on their journey, while so many pray, offer themselves and love.

With tiredness in their eyes, with good humor, without fail, Christ is present also in any supermarket, reloading the shelves.

Jesus comes and collects our bins and goes unnoticed.

When I see so many people burying their loved ones, I feel that Our Lady of Sorrows, with her Son in her bosom, also went out in procession.

Although we are all afraid to pass through the tomb, there is the fortress of the one who conquered the world.

Perhaps this year there are no processions with carved images, but you will see that Christ goes out to meet his life in a thousand hidden faces, without candles and without bells.

Even if there are no processions, it still smells the incense that his good people offer.

Love comes out from the heart and never get locked.

It will be a holy week more than ever true.”

Happy Easter.

Father Erico.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols encourages us to pray for our priests. Please pray for Fr Erico and for all the priests of our diocese. As they continue to celebrate Mass, they are praying for all of us.

MISSIO is the agency of the Catholic Church for overseas mission. Pope Francis has established an emergency fund through Missio for those people and communities across the world who are being tragically impacted by the spread of COVID-19. Contributions can be made via Missio at www.missio.org.uk/donate

For more news, prayers, resources, please visit the Missio website.

HOLY LAND: Cardinal Vincent Nichols is leading an Easter appeal for prayers and solidarity for the people of the Holy Land amid growing concerns about the impact of COVID-19, especially on those who are most vulnerable. Please visit the website of Aid to the Church in Need www.acnuk.org for more about the appeal and the work of ACN.

EASTER DUTIES: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our Bishops have, for this year, formally dispensed the "Easter Duties," that is, the obligation to receive Holy Communion during the period between Ash Wednesday and Trinity Sunday, and, therefore the implicit obligation to make a sacramental confession in preparation for this obligatory reception of Holy Communion.

We can make a Perfect Act of Contrition at this time:

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy on me. Amen.

Please listen to Cardinal Vincent Nichols talking about the Easter Duties, Confession and the forgiveness of sins at www.rcdea.org.uk

To sign up to an online WEEKLY NEWSLETTER from our Diocese, please visit www.rcdea.org.uk

LIVE-STREAMING OF MASS: More and more parishes across our Diocese are live-streaming their Masses. For all the information, please visit www.rcdea.org.uk

CATHOLIC RADIO STATIONS are broadcasting Masses and prayers, music and messages of encouragement. Please visit www.rcdea.org.uk for more details.

OTHER NEWS:

KEEP FIT ! Active Norfolk, which works to increase the county's participation in physical activity, has put together some ideas for keeping active at home: from videos for families to dance to, to gentle seated exercise for people who are older or have limited mobility. Find out more at www.activenorfolk.org/active-at-home or follow Active Norfolk on social media for updates and look for the tag StayInWorkOut (Your Local Paper).

Useful addresses:

The Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham www.walsingham.org.uk

Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales www.cbcew.org.uk for news, resources, prayers for when Mass cannot be celebrated publicly, a prayer of spiritual communion.

RC Diocese of East Anglia www.rcdea.org.uk for news, resources, prayers.

Please pray for, and support, each other. Please keep an eye on our parish website www.saintdominics.org.uk for information and news of how we can help each other through these challenging times. Please keep in touch with each other and do not hesitate to ask for help: shopping, collecting prescriptions, a friendly phone call, a request for prayers. etc. We can all play our part.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

THANK YOU TO BRIDGET VILLATORO who has set up a WhatsApp group for St Dominic's. If you would like to be included please text her on 07736 065997. If you still rely on a quill pen to communicate, just keep her number and ring if you need her help.

Marie Patmore and her husband are willing to help with shopping for people who are isolating, and to support them in any way they can. Her mobile number is: 07770 789526.


19th April 2020 –DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY



BUILDING WORK: The builder has informed Eddy that the work cannot begin until after the lockdown is lifted.

COLLECTIONS: The collection via standing orders for March was £412.00.

ANNIVERSARIES THIS WEEK: Mary Green, Frederick Harris, Kathleen Berkan, James McKenna, Patrick Walshe, Theresa Hall.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK IN OUR PARISH: Brian Nicholls, Sheila Freeman, Eileen Groves, Jean Power, Cathleen Bradshaw, Babs Biggadike, Jackie & Larry Kendel, Mary Clarke, Lilian Behrendt, Deirdre Hanley, Stephen Clarke, Joe Lanigan and Margaret Dunne and all those in hospital, the sick, the housebound and whose names do not yet appear here. “Lord, keep them in your heart” If you would like the name of a relative or friend included in the prayer list please collect a form from the porch.

PLEASE PRAY FOR JOHN STANTON, Shirley Stanton's husband, who was admitted to hospital after a fall at home. He now has the coronavirus. Please pray for John, Shirley and their family.

Shirley was a parishioner of St Dominic's for many years before they moved to the south of England to be nearer their family. There are many in the parish now who would remember Shirley and John, and who would like to pray for them.

PLEASE PRAY FOR all those in our community who are self-isolating or who are experiencing anxiety. May the Lord bless them with his peace and free them from any distress. May they be comforted in the knowledge that Jesus is close to them and that we are praying for them.

AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen. (St Alphonsus Liguori)

PLEASE PRAY for all our doctors, nurses and carers; paramedics and pharmacists; research scientists; all those in support roles; all the volunteers. Please also pray for our emergency services, for our supermarket workers and for everyone serving the community in all sorts of wonderful ways. May God bless and sustain them in these times of such need.

PLEASE PRAY for all those who have died from COVID-19; for their families and loved ones; and for those who cared for them. May God embrace them with His tender and infinite love.

EVENING PRAYER: Amongst the many churches streaming daily Evening Prayer online, is St George's in Norwich www.stgeorgenorwich.com where you will also find reflections, prayers and links to other helpful resources.

STUDENT CROSS: Their annual pilgrimage to Walsingham during Holy Week could not take place due to the pandemic. So, instead all 11 groups that make up the pilgrimage (including our Kettering group) were encouraged to walk a 'virtual pilgrimage.' During Holy Week, participants were invited to dedicate some time to the 'pilgrimage,' by walking around their home, garden or local area and taking part in a daily online liturgy and Stations of the Cross. 109 'pilgrims' took part and recorded their steps online. They dedicated a staggering total of 2,450,514 steps to their 'pilgrimage'...well over 1000 miles! A pilgrim wrote, "It's something special that will be remembered due to its unique nature and the way the community pulled together." Read more about Student Cross at www.studentcross.org.uk We look forward to seeing the pilgrims of Student Cross back on the road in 2021. Please pray for them and give thanks for their dedication and witness.

HUGE GROWTH IN NUMBERS JOINING ONLINE SERVICES: For example, Plymouth Cathedral usually attracts up to 650 worshippers for Sunday Mass but 2,200 tuned in for Palm Sunday; weekly evening prayer is attracting between 200 and 400 people whereas the usual attendance is about a dozen. Mark O'Toole, Catholic Bishop of Plymouth, writes, "This period of isolation has given us the confidence to embrace new platforms to communicate God's message of love and hope. This is sorely needed at this time."

The Vatican is also reporting a significant growth in online viewers, listeners and followers for its services. Please see www.thetablet.co.uk for news of this growth; an interview with Pope Francis; and many more interesting articles. The Tablet is an international Catholic news weekly. The Vatican website is www.vatican.va

Pope Francis says that this extraordinary Lent and Eastertide could be a moment of creativity and conversion for the Church, for the world and for the whole of creation. Let us all seek to play our part through our prayer and witness to the joy of the Resurrection.

CAFOD writes, "In these challenging times, many of us may be feeling lost at sea, scanning the horizon for familiar land and the chance to move freely outside once again. But Pope Francis beautifully reminds us of the strength and hope in the promise of our Faith:

'We have an anchor: by His cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by His cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: by His cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from His redeeming love. … He is risen and is living by our side.' "

CAFOD thanks you for your continuing support and wish each of you Easter Blessings: "We are one body, different parts. One family, spread throughout the world. Living Christ, work through us, as we open our hearts to all those in need so that there may be one hope, one joy, one welcome in you. Amen."

LIGHT A CANDLE: You can visit CAFOD's online votive stand at lightacandle.cafod.org.uk to light a candle for someone who is in your heart, with a donation to protect our global family as they face the unfolding pandemic.

KEEP IN TOUCH: You may be required to self-isolate but you are not alone. Always remember that your CAFOD family is praying for you and for our brothers and sisters in need around the world.

WALSINGHAM NEWS: The Shrine is already live-streaming Mass, prayer-services and Exposition. In addition, Mgr. John Armitage will be leading An Eight Day Retreat via the Shrine's Livestream. The retreat will begin after Compline at 8pm on Sunday 19th April and finish on Sunday 26th April. There will be morning prayer at 8.30am; talks at 10am and 4pm; Mass at 12 noon; Divine Mercy prayers and the Rosary at 3pm; evening prayer at 5pm.

- Catechesis: the Shrine is presenting an online catechetical course in 20 half-hour videos, starting on Monday 27th April. They will be shown at 10.30am and 4pm each day.

For more details of the retreat and catechesis, please visit www.walsingham.org.uk

To ask for a candle to be lit for your intentions or to request a Mass intention at the Shrine, please visit their website above.

MISSIO is the agency of the Catholic Church for overseas mission. Thank you for helping to share the love and compassion of Jesus with the world through your support of the Red Box and direct donations. Last year, our parish Red Box collectors raised £275.98.

Fr Tony Chantry, Missio National Director, writes, "As never before, we are reminded of how closely we are all connected to, and dependant on, each other across God's world. Pope Francis challenges us to 'remain united' in prayer and action. He goes on to say that far from abandoning those who are suffering, the Church is called by God to reach out to them in order to express the love God has especially for them."

Please visit www.missio.org.uk for lots more information about the work of Missio.

SPRING is such a busy time for all our wildlife and there is so much to see, hear and enjoy from the comfort of our homes. A little bird tells me that the RSPB has a wonderful website to educate, enrich and entertain! I'm also reliably informed by his friends and relations that the dawn chorus is especially beautiful at this time of year and highly recommended. Has anyone seen a swallow yet or heard a cuckoo? Please do share your wildlife/gardening observations in our newsletter.

LATEST NEWS FROM OUR DIOCESE:

- Creative Easter celebrations across our diocese.

- Tens of thousands have been participating in live-streamed Masses from up to 17 churches across our diocese over Easter.

- The Margaret Beaufort Institute in Cambridge is offering a 3-week course on Theology and Creation, accessible via Zoom. 23rd April to 7th May. Register online by Tuesday 21st April.

- The Mass for victims and survivors of abuse, which was due to take place on 25th April, has been postponed because of the pandemic.

For more details of the above, please visit www.rcdea.org.uk

A MESSAGE FROM FATHER ERICO:

Dear Parishioners,

“If it be possible let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as you will” (Mt 26:39)

With the communion antiphon taken from Palm Sunday, which already launched the Holy Week, I would like to start this message of hope in this very different time for everybody, including ourselves.

Our catholic faith impels us to recognize that we live prophetic times, because we believe that nothing happens by chance. God takes a good from evil.

“Scimus autem quoniam diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum his qui secundum propositum vocati sunt sancti” (Romans 8:28)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called to be holy according to his purpose.

We are praying in these days like Esther:

Memento, Domine, et ostende te nobis in tempore tribulationis nostrae, et da mihi fiduciam, Domine rex deorum, et universae potestatis.” (Esther 14:12)

Remember, O Lord, and show yourself to us in the time of our tribulation: and give me courage, O Lord, king of Gods and of all power.

We remember the Gospel from Ash Wednesday when we heard:

“tu autem cum orabis intra in cubiculum tuum et cluso ostio tuo ora Patrem tuum in abscondito et Pater tuus qui videt in abscondito reddet tibi”

But you, when you pray, enter into your inner room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:6)

We have three essential elements in our Christian prayer that in the present times we are invited to make grow: prophecy, confidence and personal commitment. Catholic families around the world are keeping their commitment to faith through all the difficulties. I’ve heard from the Diocesan newspaper what I report to you:

“It feels very alien to me not to be going to church every week, something I so rarely do even when away from home or abroad on holiday (something my children will attest to!)

So anything that helps to make more of a ceremony of the live streaming is important to me. Sitting on the sofa watching the TV would not feel the same.

I use my missal as usual and we say all the words out loud as if we are in church. I also read the Spiritual Communion prayers that are in the missal as that helps with the sadness and slight emptiness I feel at not receiving communion.

These are such strange times, so getting used to the new normal on something that is so ingrained is very thought-provoking and a little challenging.”

Yesterday I heard from a couple in my place in Brazil that on Sundays they dress their usual best robes to the Mass and sit in front of the TV to watch Mass as they were in the Church.

Hear the words from the Bishop to the priests for the Easter message:

“Our churches may well be closed but our pastoral ministry has not been diminished during this lockdown.

All of this work, the people we serve and the whole world, we bring together in our daily offering of the Mass. When Jesus was lifted up on the wood of the Cross, opening his arms to embrace all mankind, he willingly offered his life in sacrifice for the redemption of the world.

Every time we celebrate Mass, even alone, we continue to offer this same Sacrifice for the salvation of the whole world. Thank you for so generously celebrating Mass in the present difficult circumstances – God’s people are blessed and their faith is strengthened in knowing that the Mass is still being offered for them and the world throughout the Diocese.

The Mass is at the heart of the rhythm and purpose of a priest’s daily life. It is crucial that it is supported by the prayer of the Church, the Divine Office, (and how the Psalms support and encourage us in these difficult days!), and our own time of meditation, intercession and spiritual reading. These days of isolation may help us to rediscover just how crucial they are! For these are the ways in which the Lord draws us more closely to himself and helps us to trust and hope in him more deeply - and especially when we go through some of the darker moments in these weeks of isolation.

Soon we shall begin our solemn celebration of the Triduum – the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord. It will be a unique and poignant celebration as we do so in empty churches or, for those of you at home, as you share in the live streaming of these Mysteries.”

As you see it is not common for priests to say Masses on their own, as they do sometimes when they are ill, or travelling or for other reasons.

The thing is that now we must say Mass privately, every single day, in our silent chapels, sometimes through the livestream or other media resources, sometimes not.

When saying Mass I feel very happy and of course when I see the empty building, I try to keep everybody in mind and heart when I remember all of you.

St Thomas Aquinas speaking about how we are to serve God, says:

“Since we are possessed of a double nature – we are intellectual beings and physical beings also – we should therefore offer to God a double adoration, consisting in the interior devotion of the mind, and a bodily adoration made up of the external acts done in acknowledgment that God is God. The external act depends on the internal – for the internal act is the more important - so the external acts of adoration are done for the sake of the internal adoration. That is to say, that it is by our gestures of humility that we are moved to subject ourselves to God in our inclinations and our will.

Whence the internal acts are as the end, the thing that is to say, which is sought for its own sake: the external acts, through which the body is shown as God’s creature, are but as means, i.e., things directed to an existing for the sake of the end. Now when it is a question of seeking the end we do not measure our energy or resource, but the greater the end the better our endeavour. Man puts no measure to his faith, his hope, and his charity, but the more he believes, hopes and loves, so much the better man he is. That is why it is said: you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength (Dt 6:5). But in the external actions we must use discretion and make charity the measure of our use of them.”

In these days we understand much better what he intends to teach and we see so clearly his words as a light in the darkness. We put in practice the internal acts of worship keeping our mind up, the heart awake and we understand that it is true about us.

I would like to finish with the moving words from a recent poem written by a Spanish priest, read by the Archbishop of Lima, Peru, in a recent video that came out last week, putting hope in our hearts in the midst of the storm:

“Let no one say that the Lord is not present in the streets, when in the lonely churches, priests celebrate Mass daily.

Let no one say that the crucified will not go out in procession, while there is a sweet voice calling to whom is confined.

Let no one say that the almighty will not go on their journey, while so many pray, offer themselves and love.

With tiredness in their eyes, with good humor, without fail, Christ is present also in any supermarket, reloading the shelves.

Jesus comes and collects our bins and goes unnoticed.

When I see so many people burying their loved ones, I feel that Our Lady of Sorrows, with her Son in her bosom, also went out in procession.

Although we are all afraid to pass through the tomb, there is the fortress of the one who conquered the world.

Perhaps this year there are no processions with carved images, but you will see that Christ goes out to meet his life in a thousand hidden faces, without candles and without bells.

Even if there are no processions, it still smells the incense that his good people offer.

Love comes out from the heart and never get locked.

It will be a holy week more than ever true.”

Happy Easter.

Father Erico.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols encourages us to pray for our priests. Please pray for Fr Erico and for all the priests of our diocese. As they continue to celebrate Mass, they are praying for all of us.

MISSIO is the agency of the Catholic Church for overseas mission. Pope Francis has established an emergency fund through Missio for those people and communities across the world who are being tragically impacted by the spread of COVID-19. Contributions can be made via Missio at www.missio.org.uk/donate

For more news, prayers, resources, please visit the Missio website.

HOLY LAND: Cardinal Vincent Nichols is leading an Easter appeal for prayers and solidarity for the people of the Holy Land amid growing concerns about the impact of COVID-19, especially on those who are most vulnerable. Please visit the website of Aid to the Church in Need www.acnuk.org for more about the appeal and the work of ACN.

EASTER DUTIES: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our Bishops have, for this year, formally dispensed the "Easter Duties," that is, the obligation to receive Holy Communion during the period between Ash Wednesday and Trinity Sunday, and, therefore the implicit obligation to make a sacramental confession in preparation for this obligatory reception of Holy Communion.

We can make a Perfect Act of Contrition at this time:

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy on me. Amen.

Please listen to Cardinal Vincent Nichols talking about the Easter Duties, Confession and the forgiveness of sins at www.rcdea.org.uk

To sign up to an online WEEKLY NEWSLETTER from our Diocese, please visit www.rcdea.org.uk

LIVE-STREAMING OF MASS: More and more parishes across our Diocese are live-streaming their Masses. For all the information, please visit www.rcdea.org.uk

CATHOLIC RADIO STATIONS are broadcasting Masses and prayers, music and messages of encouragement. Please visit www.rcdea.org.uk for more details.

OTHER NEWS:

KEEP FIT ! Active Norfolk, which works to increase the county's participation in physical activity, has put together some ideas for keeping active at home: from videos for families to dance to, to gentle seated exercise for people who are older or have limited mobility. Find out more at www.activenorfolk.org/active-at-home or follow Active Norfolk on social media for updates and look for the tag StayInWorkOut (Your Local Paper).

Useful addresses:

The Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham www.walsingham.org.uk

Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales www.cbcew.org.uk for news, resources, prayers for when Mass cannot be celebrated publicly, a prayer of spiritual communion.

RC Diocese of East Anglia www.rcdea.org.uk for news, resources, prayers.

Please pray for, and support, each other. Please keep an eye on our parish website www.saintdominics.org.uk for information and news of how we can help each other through these challenging times. Please keep in touch with each other and do not hesitate to ask for help: shopping, collecting prescriptions, a friendly phone call, a request for prayers. etc. We can all play our part.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

THANK YOU TO BRIDGET VILLATORO who has set up a WhatsApp group for St Dominic's. If you would like to be included please text her on 07736 065997. If you still rely on a quill pen to communicate, just keep her number and ring if you need her help.

Marie Patmore and her husband are willing to help with shopping for people who are isolating, and to support them in any way they can. Her mobile number is: 07770 789526.

YOUTH PILGRIMAGE TO MALTA IS STILL ON. BOOKINGS ARE STILL OPEN. Following in the footsteps of St Paul in the Year of the Word: Led by our Diocesan Youth Service. 26th to 31st July 2020. For anyone aged 16 to 35. For more information and to book a place, please see www.rcdea.org.uk/youth Bookings must be received by 13th APRIL

Any change will be notified.