CORONAVIRUS AND OUR LADY OF VICTORIES PARISH
Updated 5 June 2020
My Dear Parishioners
WHEN WILL IT EVER END?
Those words, I think, are a variation of the words of some song or other, that is lurking some place in my brain. But I am now using them, questioning when will our Churches be open again. When will we be free to permit folks to enter our Churches, and indeed all places of worship, for private prayer to begin with, and then at some stage later for services to take place. When oh when will that be!!! Many of you will have heard Cardinal Nichols being interviewed on the radio on this very point, at least twice, during this past week, trying to argue the case for opening, for at least private prayer. But oh what restrictions, conditions for opening we must expect. It looks as if opening for private prayer will be for a limited period each day to begin with. All such times will have to be supervised. Hand sanitation will be required on entering and leaving, and possibly entrance and exit through different doors. All places occupied where somebody might have sat in Church, where some place might have been touched, will have to be sanitised immediately on that person leaving. All door handles, stair banisters, pew ends or any possible touch or contact points, will have to be sanitised. Toilets cannot be open for public use. Above all, the required social distancing is an absolute imperative. It is certainly going to be “a different approach” to the Church going we have known and has been part of the lives of so many for years and years.
We have been asked by the Bishop over this past week to let him know via his Deans, the seating capacity of our Churches and our estimated seating possible, observing social distancing. Our seating capacity is 325 and I reckon we could seat 50 observing the required social distancing. However we will be guided by the Diocese as to what might be possible and can be safely implemented. The Diocese, have of course the overall responsibility, and is guided by health authorities, legal personnel, Insurance demands – all as interpreted and enforced to be implemented by our Government. Every Parish is legally, spiritually and socially bound to observe the laws and demands and high standards requested from us. Hopefully, we as a Parish, will not be found lacking in anyway in what we will be asked to do, and what will be expected from us. More on this when the information will come to us.
TODAY IS TRINITY SUNDAY:
Have you ever stopped to think of the many times, yes even daily, you consciously or unconsciously, profess your faith in the great mystery of the Blessed Trinity – one God, yet three persons in that one God. There is no human parallel. It is complete, total and absolute mystery. To those without faith, no reasoning, no explanation is possible. To those of us with faith, no explanation is necessary. It was Jesus Himself who revealed to us this great mystery. Without this revelation we could never have known. How often in Scripture does Jesus compare himself to the Father “ I and the Father are one … to know me is to know the Father”. How he promised to send the Holy Spirit after his Ascension, his promise that he would not leave his followers as orphans, his promise that he would be with his Church until the end of time. Jesus empowered his Church through the coming of the Holy Spirit on the feast of Pentecost. Probably on an average week day you might profess your faith in the Trinity on a number of times e.g. when you make the sign of the Cross; when you say the Glory be to the Father etc.; when perhaps you read a particular passage in Scripture; when you might sing or just read a particular hymn. And of course at an average week end Mass, you could be professing that faith up to 20 times during the celebration itself. Just have a think and recall approx. the number of times you actually profess that faith at an average Sunday Mass. You will be amazed at your discovery! So I wish you all a very happy and blessed week, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Have a safe and happy week.
God bless you all.
GOD BLESS ALL THOSE WONDERFUL
DOCTORS, NURSES, CARERS, CLEANERS, ALL THE MANY KEEPING OUR COUNTRY GOING, THE UNSUNG HEROES, THE KNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN.
So many have inspired us with commitment, dedication, inspiration, determination, and any other accolades that you can think of. Isn’t sad that we have to wait for a tragedy like this to acclaim the wondrous commitment, care and love of the many big hearted, committed people! It takes something like the present for all of us to acclaim the real heroes. We all know that the good deeds, kindnesses and devotion to the cause, by so many people daily, doesn’t really make the News Headlines or sell Newspapers. We are so used to seeing “Bad News Headlines”. Now so refreshing to read the “Real Good News” Headlines – the dedication of our wonderful N.H.S. workers. God bless them all and keep them safe.
OUR PRAYERS AND CONDOLENCE
are offered to Elizabeth Bojko (or Liz as we affectionately know her) on the unexpected death of her dear husband Jerzy or George as we all knew him, on Monday night last. To the family members, 3 sons, one living in Harborough with his family, one in Australia with his family and one in the States with his family, and also knowing how close and united the family are with their in-laws, I also want to express our condolence to you as well. Unfortunately the sons in Australia and the States will not be able to come home for their Dad’s funeral. George came to England as a Polish refugee and was placed in the Polish camp near Husbands Bosworth on his arrival. George found work locally. Before long he was to meet his beloved Liz. Liz’s family embraced George as one of their own. George and Liz were subsequently married and blessed with 3 sons of their marriage. George and Liz have been blessed with happiness and love all their married life.
George, God rest his soul, was a lovely man, always smiling, always happy, always welcoming. He and Liz were faithful and loyal Parishioners, always at Mass either at Husbands Bosworth or here. Whilst he will be missed by all of us who knew him, he will be especially missed by his loving family, relatives, friends, and his Polish contemporaries. I believe that George had a very special “down memory lane trip” on Monday as he died on Monday night. His daughter in law took George and Liz for a drive on Monday afternoon. It was a trip “down memory lane”, to the site of where the Polish camp was near Husbands Bosworth, to where George first worked, to where Liz was born, and to where they had happy and special memories of their courtship years. Was it sheer coincidence I ask myself, or was it providential to recall, revisit and to relive again those special times and memories! Whatever the explanation might be, it was his final journey on this earth before his great and unexpected journey to his heavenly home. May you rest in peace George, as your memories of the past will live on in the memory of all who knew you, loved you, and shared part of this earthly pilgrimage with you.
FURTHER CONDOLENCE AND SYMPATHY
are offered to Margaret Clifton on the death of her sister who had been in poor health for a number of years; to Ewa and Terry Green, on the death of Terry’s brother; to Liz Harris and family on the death of husband Steve. As we offer our condolence to family and friends of the deceased, we pray God’s comfort and healing for you all at this time, and also praying that you departed loved ones will find that everlasting peace and rest in the new way of life, which we believe in faith, awaits all of us after our earthly journey has ended. We pray and we sing in faith and hope those reassuring and comforting words of Jesus: “Be not afraid, I go before you always. Come follow me, and I shall give you rest.”
MARATHON FOR MILOSZ:
All Parents and children and many Parishioners will know who Milosz is. Milosz has special needs, and to help his mobility, many of you will have contributed towards a special wheel chair for Milosz some 3 / 4 years ago. That wheel chair meant everything for and to Milosz. Now he is leaving St. Joseph’s and moving to Secondary School. He has of course outgrown his special wheel chair that has served him so very well. He now must have a Power Wheelchair to fit his size and his weight. His special pal at St. Joseph’s, Stanley, has started a fund raising for the new wheel chair, which will cost £6,000 running a mile a day for 26 days. Stanley has already raised £920 towards the £6,000 required. If any Parishioner, or any Reader of this Newsletter would like to contribute, you can do so on the fundraising page, which is www.gofundme.com/marathon-4-milosz. Thank you.
Mass intentions to be fulfilled this week (in no particular order):
In thanksgiving for 65 years of blessed marriage (Clive and Angela Blencowe)
A belated feast day gift to Sr Catherine
A private intention (DM)
An 80th birthday gift (B)
Hal Starken R.I.P.
Please be assured that all Mass intentions requested are offered, if not by Fr. Owen in person, then at his request by another priest. When a Priest accepts an offering for a Mass to be offered, he is legally, morally and spiritually bound to do so either “per se or per alio”. So even if you don’t see your request in the Newsletter, be assured your request has, or will be fulfilled.
Maggie has now stopped making Face masks, but still has a small number ready made. Should you wish to order one or more, please contact Maggie direct on 461909.
SCAFFOLDING IN CHURCH:
Some of you will be aware that there are some open gaps in the Choir gallery between the roof and the wall plate. Having been inspected by Structural Engineers, and having been monitored and measured for any further opening or movement over the past 6 months or so, the engineers now tell us that it is purely the result of “settlement” since when the Church was reordered, and is nothing to worry about. Scaffolding is now in place ready for Plasterers to come in next week as well as Decorators, to paint the back wall in the Cloister area where there had been a fair amount of water ingress, thus leaving water stains on the walls.
After this has been done, the last and I hope, and the final job before I retire, is to replace the Lighting system in the Church which you already know about. Because of the Pandemic this scheduled work has been greatly delayed, and still not sure when a start, or rather a completion (lights have already been replaced under the choir gallery) can begin. The hope was that the completion might have taken place during the lockdown, but this doesn’t look like happening now.
THANK YOU: THANK YOU:
A very special ongoing thanks to the many who try to continue their weekly contribution to the Church during this lockdown time. Obviously direct debits come to our account automatically, but so many are so faithful in pushing their envelope or cheque or whatever through the Presbytery letter box. I realise and appreciate so very much, the challenges that might be facing a number of our Parishioners, because of the uncertainty of their future employment, and the commitments and responsibilities that are yours in paying your mortgage, maintaining your family and so on. For that reason I am ever so grateful for your continuing support to your Church and parish. I don’t like writing or talking about money at any time, but I especially dislike referring to it at this time. I know you will all continue to do your best, and I will continue to do my best here to meet the bills, to keep all our Church property in a way and in a manner, so that all of us can be proud to belong, and to present our Church as a place and a building, which truly reflects and gives witness to the presence of God, and a vibrant Christian community who worship there.
THE GOOD NEWS:
Those of you who have signed a “Gift Aid” declaration in favour of your parish will be delighted to hear that the total Gift Aid refund to our Parish has earned us just over £13,000. How wonderful ---- money for nothing, Because you as a Tax payer, wished that the tax you had already paid, and because you were now giving x. amount to a Charity, that that Tax should be refunded. And so it has by Her Majesty’s Government. So remember if you are a Tax Payer, and you contribute to your Church on a regular basis, the Parish can reclaim the Tax paid by you in favour of your Parish. It won’t cost you an extra penny. All you have to do is contact either Steve McGlone or Kate Parry, (Fr. Owen will give you contact details) who will provide you with the necessary form. All we have to do is to record that you have paid x. amount so that we can claim back the Tax you will have already paid on that Amount. Remember you can make every £1 you contribute worth £1 – 25p. in favour of your Parish. That is why I have said above “money for nothing”.
I CAME ACROSS THIS PRAYER - REFLECTION – SELF ANALYSIS, AND RATHER LIKED IT.
(I believe it is prayed every day by Members of Alcoholics Anonymous)
PRAYER OF ENCOURAGEMENT:
Just for today, I will try to live through this day,
and not tackle my whole life problem at once.
I can do something for twelve hours that would appal me
if I felt I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today, I will be happy. Most folks are as happy
as they make up their minds to be.
Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is,
and not try to adjust everything to my own desires.
I will take my “luck” as it comes, and fit myself to it.
Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind.
I will study, I will learn something useful.
I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something
that requires effort, thought and concentration.
Just for today, I will exercise my soul in three ways:
I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out;
if anybody knows of it, it will not count.
I will do at least two things I don’t want to do – just for exercise.
I will not show anybody that my feelings are hurt.
they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
Just for today, I will be agreeable.
I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly,
talk low, act courteously, criticise no one,
not find fault with anything, and not try to improve
or regulate anybody except myself.
Just for today I have a programme.
I will not follow it exactly, but I will have it.
I will save myself from two pests:
hurry and indecision.
Just for today, I will have a quiet half hour
all by myself and relax.
During this half hour, sometime I will get a better perspective of my life.
Just for today, I will be unafraid.
Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful,
and to believe that as I give to the world,
so the world will give to me.
Director of Communications. The Diocese of Nottingham seeks to appoint a Director of Communications to work with the Bishop of Nottingham and the Parishes, Chaplaincies and Schools of the Diocese to lead the development and implementation of an effective communications framework across the Diocese, promoting the Diocesan Vision and Mission and the three themes of Encounter, Discipleship and Missionary Discipleship. This would suit a committed Catholic with a strong track record in communications; an experienced media professional (or journalist) who has recently been involved in leading communications in a dispersed organisation. Salary: £45,000 - £50,000 dependent on qualifications and experience. For more information and an application pack email: email@example.com Closing date 22 June 2020.
BOWER HOUSE - **NEW SUPPORT PHONE LINE**
From Monday 4th May we are providing a new service which is available to anyone. Our Support Line will be manned by trained volunteers who will be there to listen to and support you.
If you are feeling lonely, anxious, afraid for whatever reason and would like someone to talk to then do ring us on
(01858) 469257 or 463708
Monday / Wednesday / Friday - 9 am - 4 pm
Thursday 2 pm - 8 pm
HOLDING ALL OUR SICK, ELDERLY AND HOUSEBOUND IN OUR PRAYERS:
Prayer is a powerful weapon, a strengthening comfort, a genuine act of love, for all in need. To know that others are praying for us is a healing love. To pray “Walk with them O Lord, through the darkest night and brightest dayonse should be a life of holiness. Keep them close to you. Give them the strength, courage, faith and hope to come through this time of darkness. Lay your healing hands gently upon them, and if it be your will, grant them healing and recovery. Amen”.
Many Churches in England and in Ireland are now streaming Mass live, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Morning and Evening Prayer, Rosary etc. Just go into Google, type in www.churchservices.tv
and take your pick of a great number of Churches. It is a way of simply keeping in touch with the Lord, reflecting on your own spiritual journey, and praying for others.
If you would like to download and print your own copy of the Parish Newsletter please click the News tab at the top of the page and then click the Newsletters tab. You can now click on the link for the Parish Newsletter (it is in pdf format) and print it. You might also wish to print extra copies and push through the letterbox of fellow parishioners who do not have access to the Parish website. Please try and keep all our parishioners in touch with the Parish family during these challenging times. Thank you.