All posts by 3 churches

Pope Francis’ prayer to Mary during the pandemic

O Mary, you shine continuously along our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you.
Health of the Sick, who at the Cross were near to the pain of Jesus, Keeping your faith firm. 
You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need. We trust that you will provide for those needs so that, as at Cana of Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this moment of trial.
Help us. Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us, He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and took up our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection.  Amen.

We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas. We who are put to the test
And deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Pope Francis

The power of images

And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but only Jesus”

I have spent some moments this week looking at a hundred year old photo. My sister has recently moved house and she was casually looking through a folder of photos she had from our dad, thinking they were all of staff and pupils of various schools where he taught.  Then, among them she found two family photos. One was of my father’s father’s father, my great grandfather, David Jones and the other of his son Lewis Jones.

I was absolutely over the moon, because David Jones has probably consumed more of my time than any other individual on my family tree, especially in finding who his parents were – John and Mary Jones – and where they lived etc. Born in Carmarthenshire, he became one of the first policemen in Cardiff, then trained to be a Welsh Baptist Minister which he remained for the rest of his life, while also later opening a bookshop first in Bridgend then in the new Cardiff Market in the 1890s, and being a father to six. But I had never seen a picture of him, and suddenly there he was. I had felt that I know more about him than almost anyone else on my tree, but did not have a clue what he looked like. Now my eyes were opened.

In the Gospel today at the Transfiguration the eyes of the poor old Apostles were opened and they were given an almighty nudge – a nudge forward from the Almighty – in their ongoing discovery of who Jesus was and is, for them and for us. Not a photo, of course, but a blinding image of a light-filled Jesus, conversing with Moses and Elijah and affirmed by a voice from the clouds. They were to learn that the Person they were getting to know was, to put it mildly, rather more than they could have imagined.

Most of us probably have photos of loved ones around in our homes, especially maybe if they are deceased. A picture somehow has the ability to convey so much of who a person is or was, and to trigger off our memories. Back in the early 80s, when I was at St Cuthbert’s in the Docks – sorry, the Bay –  a little elderly lady to whom I took Communion told me one day that the little fading black and white photo on the mantelpiece of her late husband was her most precious possession. Indeed, the silver frame was almost worn away from her polishing. Let’s take care of our images of those close or important to us. They have the power to transport us, as the Apostles were transported that day on the mountain to the realms of the Almighty.

Fr Matthew

Coronavirus advice

Advice for parishes, schools and Catholic organisations has been published by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales regarding coronavirus.  At this time, risk to individuals is low.  The following information concerns practical steps which parishes can take to limit the spread of the virus:

  1. Ensure everyone maintains good hygiene especially at Mass and parish gatherings. The best way of protecting us from spread is for everyone to use universal good hygiene, which will effectively disrupt spread of the virus. Remember to:
    • Catch it – sneeze into a tissue
    • Bin it – bin the tissue
    • Kill it – wash your hands with soap and water
    • Do not touch your face unless you’ve washed your hands
  1. Ask anyone with cold or flu symptoms to refrain from taking Communion from the Chalice and receive the host on the hand only.
  2. Ensure good regular cleaning of surfaces lots of people touch regularly.
  3. Consider asking everyone attending Mass to sanitise their hands as they come into church using sanitized gel dispensers (make these available in porches or entrances).
  4. Ensure ministers of the Eucharist sanitise their hands before and after distributing communion. This can be done by washing hands discreetly before proceeding to the sanctuary or using good quality hand gel discreetly. (Remember to use good hand washing and gel use technique. You can find more here; https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/and a poster here; https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/resources/posters/en/
  5.  There is no need, as things stand, for the Chalice to be withdrawn or Sign of Peacesuspended (such as was advised during the 2009 ‘flu pandemic). This advice would only come if we had a very serious epidemic in the UK and at the time of writing, this is unlikely.
  6.  When visiting parishioners at home, wash hands before giving the sacraments.  No pastoral visits to people who are self-isolating until isolation ends.  However do offer phone support.