FR CHRIS WRITES:
Sadly we have had to postpone our First Communion classes for a month because of the present COVID wave among families. Hopefully this will subside in the coming week or two. Please pray for our First Communion group.
The Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Tuesday and runs till Tuesday 25th January. Sadly we cannot have our usual meetings in person and United Service. However their are prayer meetings on Zoom as you can see in this Newsletter. Some in the evening, some at Midday. Please continue to pray for the Unity Christ willed for all Christians that the world may believe. It would be good to have a presence of Catholics at these meetings.
Fr Chris PP
WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY: 17 - 21 January 2022
Each year at this time we try to meet together for prayer. Because of current restrictions and concerns we shall do so remotely via Zoom in 2022. However, that need not limit our fellowship and our prayerful support of one another in our mission and ministry across the area.
The meetings normally last 30 - 40 minutes. They will focus on local prayer needs together with wider issues. The format will be decided by each leader.
This year, we have one log-in for all five meetings, thanks to Revd Andy Murphy who will act as host for each one.
Meeting ID: 651 972 9380 Passcode: MHMC; Telephone passcode: 472588
Monday 17th, 7.00 pm Leader: Mrs Janet Smith (Harborough Baptist Church and Chair, Churches Together in Harborough)
Tuesday 18th, 12.00 noon Leader: Revd Alison Iliffe (Team Vicar, Transfiguration parish of St Nicholas Gt Bowden, and St Hugh’s Northampton Road)
Wednesday 19th, 12.00 noon Leader: Revd Andy Murphy (Minister, Harborough Methodist Church and Vice-Chair, Churches Together in Harborough)
Thursday 20th, 12.00 noon Leader: Mr Tim Jeffery (Chief Executive Officer, Torch Trust)
Friday 21st, 12.00 noon Leader: Revd Hils Corcoran (Team Vicar, St Peter & St Paul Great Bowden)
RED MISSION BOXES
Please can you bring in your Red Mission Box for emptying. If anyone would like a box please contact Fr Chris or Christine Shepherd. Thank you.
is combining efforts with the DEC to launch the Afghanistan Crisis Appeal. In Afghanistan, 8 million people are on the brink of famine because of drought, collapsing economy, food shortages, conflict, and COVID. CAFOD is supporting sister Caritas agencies to reach communities most in need with food, clean water, and fuel. During Advent, when we open ourselves to the needs of others, let’s do all that we can to save lives. You can donate on the CAFOD website: cafod.org.uk/AfghanistanAppeal and please pray for the people of Afghanistan.
YOUR ACTION REQUIRED:
From the Parish Consultation, one of the themes that emerged was the need for good Communication. We realised we need to update the Parish List to build the community through good communication. We have now sent out a letter or email to all who are on the Parish List. If you did not receive either a letter or email, you are not on the Parish List. Please pick up a Parish registration form from the Narthex so we have your details or you can email Fr Chris: email@example.com Please check with any Catholic neighbours or friends to see if they have received the letter or want to be on our Parish List.
It's a couple of months since we resumed Welcoming at some of the weekend Masses, but currently we only have 3 people on the rota for Sunday 11.00 am Mass, and 5 people for the Saturday evening Mass. We're appealing to any welcomers who maybe didn't see our original email requests or who may now have changed their minds, to consider helping out, and also to anyone else who feels that they would like to volunteer to take part in welcoming their fellow parishioners to Mass. Please do consider helping out if you are able to, and feel free to contact either of us if you would just like to chat about it. Many thanks, Beatrice (01858 465492) and Theresa (07748 591398) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CALLING CATHOLIC TEACHERS
If you are a Catholic teacher currently working outside of Catholic education and would like to find out more about the joys of working in a Catholic school within the Diocese of Nottingham, a virtual information session will take place on Tuesday 8 February from 7.00pm – 8.30pm. Please see the poster on the parish notice board. For further information 7 Booking contact: Julie Sweeney at the Diocesan Education Service (email@example.com)
SECONDARY SCHOOL VACANCIES:
St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Multi-Academy Trust have vacancies for a Headteacher ( English Martyrs’, Leicester) and a Deputy Headteacher (St Martin’s, Stoke Golding). Closing date for applications is 26 January 2022.
Covid 19: We need to proceed carefully and slowly. This is the opinion of those whom I have consulted. With the Omicron variant on the rise in our area Hands, Face, Space, Ventilate is just as important.as ever. So we will still have to wear masks in Church as before: this is to protect all concerned and is an act of Christian charity Mostly There will still be the 2m social distancing in Church back to back., but we will be closer along the benches.We will still sanitise hands as we enter and leave Church. Stewards will operate at the weekend Masses with booking for Mass as we do now. However, on weekdays there will not be a steward. We ask people to sign in or use the NHS QR code. It will be easier if people book in online on a weekday. On a weekday we will alternate sitting: on the Sacred Heart side on Monday, Our Lady’s on a Tuesday and Sacred heart on a Wednesday etc. If people could help sanitise the touch points after Mass that would be helpful i.e. the tops of the benches. I think we are now all accustomed to how to act in a safe way. We will review this every few weeks in the light of local conditions.
The Church is open for Private prayer each day
Enter through Fairfield Road
Sanitize your hands on Entry and Exit
Please sign in on the list or use the Covid NHS App Q code displayed
On-line Booking for Mass
Latest News: If you are a couple living in the same house or bubble you only need to book one seat!
As we gradually come out of lockdown, after long reflection I have decided to move to on-line booking for Mass. I have been asked to do this by many of the younger families who find this much more convenient and it is easy for those who have internet access. Also you can see at a glance if a Mass is full. This will be happening more and more as numbers increase with the vaccine roll out but social distancing remains.
How do I do it?
You just sign up with your details and create a password (write it down!) NB confirmation email could go to spam folder
Click on the Churches tab and select our Church which is under Leicester and you will see a booking button next to the particular Mass. (They appear about a week ahead.) Now you can book your seat or seats or choose to book for someone else.
Some seats are allocated as family benches which are particularly for those who are 4 or more in a family or part of a “social bubble”. (there are 2 family benches at present)
For Couples or 3 people in a bubble, I suggest you book one place as you can sit together giving all your names.
For 4 people in a bubble if there are no family benches left I suggest you book 2 places
If you cannot come please cancel the booking. You can go to my details on the web page when you have signed in. Someone else can use your place.
Booking closes 4 hours before the Mass.
How do I book if I am not online or find it difficult?
You can ask a family member or friend to do it for you. I would ask people to help those they know who do not have internet access. You can book for others with their details. That would help me. Otherwise you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or ring me at the Church (01858 462359). It will only take me a couple of seconds to book you in.
What about weekday Masses?
Booking is not strictly necessary at the moment as they are not full. However it is helpful to the Stewards who will only have to tick your name.
There is a very good help section on the website.
Please remember the following:
You should not turn up for Mass if you feel unwell particularly if you experience a new persistent cough, a high temperature, or a change in your sense of smell or taste.
All must enter the Church through the through the Fairfield Road door
Please come in good time so we do not have large gatherings.
Please sit where you are shown by the stewards for safety reasons. You can no longer choose which side.
Our Lady’s side to leave by the Coventry Road door and Sacred Heart side from Fairfield Road.
Please do not stop and linger near the doors as this is unsafe and causes a hold up for people leaving.
Please do not mix with people outside your bubble.
Remember to always keep your 2m distance and remember there is no rush to leave Church.
We will continue to review Mass in the light of our local situation.
Confessions is a difficult one at the moment! But I will be available as always on Saturday at 11.00 am.
God Bless you all and especially all who are isolating and unable to come to Church.
Those of you with internet please print off a copy of the Newsletter for Parishioners who do not have the internet. Paper copies are available at church.
May God bless you all and your loved ones in these coming days of grace.
It is absolutely essential to pre book your intention of coming to Mass. Unless you have previously booked, and all places are filled to our limited capacity, it will not be possible or permissible for us to let you in. It goes without saying that this disappoints and hurts us as much as it does you, and especially so the stewards who have the responsibility to implement the very strict rules and regulations imposed on us by Government Law, together with our Church Compliance and implementing of those laws. Also please note that nobody should, or can enter the Church for Mass without being greeted and taken to a seat by one of the stewards.
Don’t forget to bring and wear a Face Mask.
Please follow the stewards requests at all times.
Sanitise your hands on entering and leaving the Church.
Remember the Church must be cleaned and sanitised after every service.
Please remember also that all toilets WILL NOT be in use.
Your help and cooperation in everyway is required and expected.
You must book beforehand to come to Mass because of limited places.
Because we are observing the distance of a metre plus, face Masks must be worn by all from the moment you step inside the Church door, to the end of Mass when you step outside the Church door.
If you happen to forget to bring your mask, we have some disposable ones available for you to purchase at 60p. each. We would request that children of 12 years and upwards, wear a mask during Mass.
Both Church doors will be open.
After you have sanitised your hands, you will be taken to your seat by a steward.
Whilst our car parks will be opened, you will have to walk around the outside to enter the Church. You will not be able to come through the Hall doors as you normally will have done.
Also please be aware that the toilets will not be in use.
With every good wish to you all, and God’s blessings to you and your loved ones.
SOME LINKS FOR FOLLOWING MASS ONLINE
St Barnabas Cathedral will be live streaming Mass accessed at:
Bishop Patrick tends to stream his Mass on Sundays via:
(This can be found by searching for 'Bishop Patrick McKinney' on YouTube)
FOR OUR LITTLE CHURCH AGE GROUP AND YOUTH:
CAFOD also have Children's Liturgy activity resources on their website. Please see the link:
Also check out our Youth Service NDCYS for their live streaming on you tube: https://ndcys.com
NDCYS (Nottingham Diocese Catholic Youth Service) have a "YouTube" Channel
FR CHRIS’ THOUGHTS FOR SUNDAY
As we begin ordinary time, we are blessed with this most wonderful gospel of the marriage feast at Cana which sadly we only hear once every three years. In fact, it is the third part of the epiphany of Christ which unites the revelation to the three Wise Men, the baptism of the Lord and finally the glory of Christ is revealed at Cana and the mystery of Christmas: our union with Christ is shown with further richness as that of bride and bridegroom. And importantly, today's miracle is the first sign that Jesus performed.
It is no coincidence that it takes place at a wedding which is where the Bible story itself began with Adam and Eve. The covenant of God with Israel as we have heard in the first reading was often described in terms of a marriage. This reading was used at the vigil mass of Christmas and describes a time when God word renew Israel and renew the Covenant relationship with her removing her infidelities and sins to the extent but God would rejoice over her Like a young man marrying a virgin, so will the one who built you wed you, and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so will your God rejoice in you. Wonderful word to meditate on and not mere metaphor! Jesus now reveals himself as that bridegroom. At Jewish weddings it was the bridegroom’s responsibility to provide the wine. Indeed, we see that the Steward takes the new wine straight to the bridegroom assuming he had given it and wondering about the strange behaviour. However, this wine has come from God, from Jesus and in magnificent style from six stone water jars which could be 180 gallons of the finest vintage. He is the bridegroom par excellence. He gives the new wine of the new covenant which joins Man and God as bride and bridegroom in intimacy. There is a whole new level in the family Covenant relationship.
The six stone water jars represent the old covenant as St John hints when he tells us they were used for ritual washing which was necessary for a relationship with God. The number 6 also hints at the imperfection of the old covenant which falls short of the perfect number which is 7. Water was also a symbol of the Law of the Old Testament which as Saint Paul says can only condemn. Jesus provides the new wine the wine that brings joy because it gives grace to keep the covenant Law. As Mary says they have no wine. Mankind needs the grace of God, we need the Holy Spirit which Jesus the bridegroom will provide. We cannot do it ourselves, only Jesus can do the miracle. In the vast quantities we see that there is no shortage of his grace so that we might live the Law of the New Covenant which is love. Our prayer should be we have no wine; I have no wine – I need your grace asking always the intercession of Mary to whom Jesus listens even to anticipating his hour on the cross.
We are invited to a great intimacy with God. Marriage has the greatest intimacy with its passion and self-sacrifice. God rejoices in us, takes delight in us, he weds us. This begins now and is fully consummated in heaven. But already is present through the nuptial bath of Baptism and the Nuptial feast of the Eucharist when we receive the body of Christ the bridegroom who says this is me given for you. Indeed, the words of Genesis are fulfilled in Christ: So a man leaves his father and mother and joins with his wife and the two become one flesh. As Isaiah indicates God will renew us in our intimacy with him. As in any marriage daily communication is vital. We cannot leave it to our weekly Mass. We must read the scriptures and pray each day which is our time of special intimacy when we listen to him and speak to him of what is in our heart. We need to set aside half an hour each day. If you are a beginner start with a lesser time and build up gradually adding it to your prayers that you already have a habit of. We will then be signs ourselves of the Joy of God for others letting his glory be seen.
PRAYER FOR SPIRITUAL COMMUNION:
I recommend that you pray this prayer every morning.
A “Spiritual Communion” encouraged when we are unable to receive Holy Communion Sacramentally. This prayer was composed by St Alphonsus Liguori:
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 this moment I cannot receive you sacramentally, I embrace you as being already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
'FROM DAILY GRIND TO DAILY GLORY' Encountering God in your daily work
For four Wednesdays, starting on 12 January 2022 at 7.00 pm, the Diocese will be running an online course looking at how we can encounter Jesus in our daily work and how it can help us to grow in holiness too. We spend more hours in a week at work than doing most other activities (including going to church) so lets make an experience of daily glory rather than a daily grind. For more information visit: www.dioceseofnottingham.uk/onlineevents
The Universe Catholic Weekly
is thrilled to announce that we have launched our new online newspaper with the full support of our first subscriber none other than His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
VICTORY PRIZE DRAW - January 2022 Results
First Prize - £70 - G Powell ticket number 184
Second Prize - £30 - M Packer ticket number 142
Third Prize - £20 - G R Bell ticket number 24
Annual ticket holders are reminded that they need to renew.
Cheques to be made out to THE VICTORY PRIZE DRAW and left for collection with Fr Chris or forwarded to Keith Shiers 23 Fairfax Road Market Harborough LE16 9JT. Many Thanks.
NEW MEMBERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.
VOLUNTEERING IN SCHOOLS:
There is a Churches Together initiative to gather volunteers to help in Schools. This is a town wide initiative to mobilise volunteers in all our primary schools. The flyer invites volunteers to complete a simple online form - https://forms.gle/HTDkPwYxneHq8Rvk9 - and identify which school they want to volunteer with. These will be distributed to the relevant schools at the end of January. See the flyers in Narthex.
THIRD WORLD GROUP:
Just a gentle reminder that the Third World Group is still selling clothes and other items through Ebay to try and maintain donations to our six charities. Please could you possibly make us your first choice Charity Shop at the moment by leaving any unwanted clothing, shoes, books etc in our box in the cloister or arrangements could be made to collect from your home - with strictest safety measures in place. Please contact Chris 01536 711560 , or Judith or Margaret at church.
Many thanks to everyone for continuing to help all those in our world who are so very needy.
SUPPORTING PRISONERS’ FAMILIES: COULD YOU BE A VOLUNTEER?
GRAPEVINE - News from Justice & Peace and Caritas:
Grapevine is the Diocesan Newsletter for Adult formation , Justice & Peace and Caritas in our diocese.
THE DIOCESAN CARITAS NEWSLETTER is available online:
There are various events such as: Church Action for Tax Justice invites you to an online presentation and workshop on why tax , and tax justice, matters for people of faith. Monday 17 January 2022 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm GMT.
The Most Useful Foods Cartons of long life semi-skimmed milk, Tinned Meat, Tinned
Chicken, Instant Mash Potato sachets, Porridge Oats, 1 litre cartons of Fruit Juice, Sandwich Paste, Tinned Vegetables (potatoes, carrots, sweetcorn, peas), Soap.
The following supermarkets are still kindly collecting for us: Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, B&M an both Coops. Refill Revolution at the Eco Village is our newest donation point. Lidl is on board now too! Thank you to the supermarkets and the work of their teams!
We do not need: Beans, tinned tomatoes, tinned fish, soup, fizzy drinks, pasta & meatballs, pasta sauce, rice, cereal, tins or large/family size packets of
Your foreign coins and used or unused stamps - all can be sorted and valued, with profits to our Bazaar fund.
See Fr Chris or Mick Crook for further information.
All data is stored securely on computer and access is limited to the Parish Priest and a small number of people authorised by the priest, to assist with parish administration. The Diocese remains the sole Data Controller (i.e. has responsibility for the use and control of this data), even where processing is carried out by parishes. The Diocesan Policy can be found at http://www.dioceseofnottingham.uk/data-protection-policy
WHO SHOULD REGISTER?
All who are associated with the Parish in any way are invited to register. When completing the form please use BLOCK CAPITALS and complete all relevant boxes. If there is not enough room on the form for any information please use the reverse. Thank you for your co-operation.
Market Harborough Fairtrade Town are promoting a bag of Rice can change a life in September and October. If they can sell NINETY one-kilogram bags of Kilombero rice then: ONE Malawian rice farmer can afford to send ONE of his/her children to secondary school for ONE year. Kilombero rice £2.99 will be available from The Oxfam Shop, The Growing Tree in Manor Walk, Anita Beer 07910 073436.
WE NEED THEM!
Yes, don’t forget to bring along your used postage stamps and foreign or old coins. We can use them. Just pop them into the box marked for that purpose in the cloister.
HAVE YOU BEEN AWAY? WANT TO CATCH UP ON PARISH NEWS?
If you have been away and want to catch up on what's been happening in the parish you can now read the Parish Newsletters for the previous four weeks. Click the "Newsletters" button at the top of this page. You can also download a copy of this week's Newsletter.
We are grateful for your generous support and would ask you to continue with your donations please. The following items are urgently required:
· Fruit Juice
· Tinned Sponge Puddings
· Tinned Meat Pies
· Tinned Meat
All non perishable donations will be appreciated. There is also an urgent need for more volunteers to help at the Foodbank. Those interested can leave their details at the Congregational Church Office on 01858 462376 or via email at email@example.com
ACTIVE GROUP FOR PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA:
Great news for Market Harborough. In addition to the Carers Support Group there will now be an Activity Group for people with Dementia. We are looking for people who would like to volunteer for the Activity Group on a Friday morning from 9.30 am - 12.30 pm. You will be involved in welcoming people with dementia and their carers and helping people with dementia to take part in a variety of discussions and activities. Please contact Alison Chaplin of Alzheimer's Society on 0116 231 1111
GOING INTO HOSPITAL FOR ANY REASON!
If so please ask your family, or if you are well enough to do so yourself, to let the Catholic Chaplain know that you are there. Otherwise you will not have a visit from the Catholic Chaplaincy or be able to receive Holy Communion. Under the Data Protection Act, the hospital staff can no longer reveal to any chaplain, or to anybody else enquiring, the religion of any patient in their care. The same applies to Residential Homes and other places of care. The onus is now on the patient or their family to inform the Chaplain.
COMMUNITY COMPANIONS - Supporting Older People back into the heart of their communities:
Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL) has been offering a befriending service in the Harborough District for over 14 years and are keen to recruit more volunteers who could visit an older person for 1 - 2 hours a week. Training and ongoing support are given, and travel costs are covered. If you could volunteer, or you would like a befriender to visit you, please contact Rohini Corfield (Community Champions Project Manager) or Jenny Young on 01858 439262. More information is available at www.VASL.org.uk/our-projects/community-champions
SUPPORT FOR CARERS:
The Market Harborough Carers Support Group facilitated by Alison Chaplin meets on the first Friday of every month at 10am at the Coffee Lounge of the Methodist Church on Northampton Road. This group gives carers an invaluable opportunity to share some of their experience of caring for a loved one with dementia. There is also an opportunity to hear about the latest news from Alzheimer’s Society and to look at books and leaflets about dementia, including many written from a Christian perspective. If you or anyone you know is in a caring situation, do let them know about the group. Contact Alison on 0116 031 1111 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Or just turn up on the day and Alison will be thee to welcome you.
Alzheimer’s Society is also looking for volunteer befrienders in Market Harborough and area. The volunteer befriender enables a person with dementia to participate in an activity they would like to do in the community - perhaps going out for a cup of tea, shopping, going for a walk, doing a sport or taking a class. The befriender needs to be available for a session of up to 4 hours a week between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm Mondays to Fridays. It is useful to be able to drive too. Volunteers will receive induction and ongoing training and support from the Befriending Manager. If you would like to hear more, please contact Alison as above.
The Bower House Christian Counselling Service offers counselling and help to people of the local community. We are open from 9 am to 9 pm and need Support Worker volunteers to offer hospitality within the house as well as some admin. such as answering the phone and taking referrals. We have a lovely band of volunteers but could do with more help. How will you be spending your time this autumn and winter? Could you offer a three hours slot once a week or once a fortnight? If you are interested please ring Jadz Bower, Chris Hodgson or Jeanette Payne on 01858 469257 or drop in to see us between 9 am and 5 pm.
TORCH BOOK GROUP:
The Torch Book Club requires sighted people to be part of their group. They meet at the Congregational Church room on 1st Friday of the month from 2 pm - 4 pm. Book of the month ‘Faith like Potatoes’. If you are interested in becoming a member or would like to find out more please contact Angela Butlin 01858 467419.
AFRICAN CHURCH NEEDS ROSARY BEADS:
The developing Church in Africa is in need of Rosary Beads. If you have a surplus Rosary, or part of a Rosary, beads, or crosses and centre pieces surplus to requirement, please hand them to Vanessa, Lisa or Fr Chris.
THE LIFE GROUP:
wish to thank each and everyone for their gifts to the “LIFE SHOP”. When bringing in goods for the LIFE SHOP, can they be clearly marked with “LIFE” on the outside of the plastic bag. Small items of furniture will also be welcome, but please contact the Life Shop direct for collection. Please DO NOT place small furniture in the Cloister for collection.
INTERPRETING THE LAW:
Our Diocesan advisors have informed us that legacies left in wills, directly to the parish, should really be directed to the registered charity. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Nottingham is the registered charity. The advice given, is to encourage parishioners contemplating leaving a legacy via their will to their parish, and to make sure the parish will be the beneficiary , is to direct the legacy to the Registered Charity - the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nottingham with strict instruction that it is (in our case) for the parish of Our Lady of Victories, Market Harborough.
VOLUNTEERS FOR TORCH:
Torch Trust is an international Christian Mission that aims to help people with sightless to discover faith in Christ and live fulfilling Christian lives. They are continually developing their service for blind and partially sighted people and as a result the volunteer needs are also changing. Perhaps you know someone who has recently retired and is looking to use their gifts and skills, honed in the workplace, in a new avenue. Or perhaps you know someone who has been long termed unemployed, volunteering can help to raise self esteem and build new skills that can go on the CV with a view of getting back into work.
Further information on what volunteering roles are available can be found on the poster on the notice board.
"The Lord's Day" -
NEWS ITEMS FOR THE WEBSITE:
This webpage is updated from the Weekly Newsletter. Sometimes due to shortage of space it is not possible to include everything in the weekly Parish Newsletter. If you would like an item published on the website please email any items to email@example.com
We can only publish items which meet the criteria for inclusion in the weekly Parish Newsletter.