Online Parish Newsletter – PENTECOST: The Gift the Holy Spirit

WELCOME TO OUR PARISH WEBSITE: Our Parish serves the whole of Bletchley as well as its outlying villages, Newton Leys, parts of Emerson Valley and Furzton. During this lockdown we are finding news ways to reach out, stay connected and share our faith.


NATIONAL ROSARY RALLY
: As part of a national celebration for the Solemnity of Pentecost as well as praying for the end of the present Pandemic, every Diocese in England, Wales, and Scotland has been asked to pray the Rosary on Pentecost Sunday. Our Diocese has been invited to pray the Rosary between 9am – 10am. Please scroll down to find links on praying the Rosary online with the Parish Clergy.

JOIN US AT MASS FROM HOME: Live Stream via Facebook
We will be live streaming Mass in the Parish each day at 10am. If you are unable to connect for the live broadcast it will remain recorded for 24 hours and so can be viewed later on. We will post a link around 10 to 15 minutes before each broadcast which will appear below.

Saturday- Seventh week of Eastertide MASS 10:00am from St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Bletchley.

PREPARING FOR PENTECOST. A message from Fr Emmanuel. Greetings to you, What are your plans for Pentecost? Would you like to refresh your understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and pray for a reawakening and a renewal?If yes, let’s get started from the feast of the Ascension. Here is the book you need. It is nine days of prayers and reflections for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Just click the link and the book will be in your room, on your hand, in your phone. How much? Christ has paid.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1atukXft0xC49OIhWBZh0_7vs93OVZO2h/view?usp=drivesdk

I wait to share in your powerful Pentecost experience. Humbly yours, Fr Emmanuel Okami

LATEST MESSAGE FROM BISHOP DAVID: Over the past few months, we have experienced something unseen before in this land. Even during the dark days of martyrdom and persecution, Catholics have gathered in small groups to celebrate Holy Mass. After the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1829, such gatherings were no longer illegal. After the restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy in 1850, the Church began in earnest to build schools, then churches and religious houses. In truth, the Church’s energy has been somewhat drained in recent decades. We all need to discover again the energy for mission which comes from a lively faith and a passion for the Church, which is the Body of Christ.
The coronavirus has achieved something which persecution and war has not done, the closure of our churches and the inability to gather together to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass. Let’s be clear about this, the bishops and priests have not closed the churches. Neither have the UK government in a sense. A deadly and highly contagious virus has brought this about. And it has also brought to the fore a serious hunger in our communities. Many are missing the solace of sitting quietly in a church for a few moments before the Blessed Sacrament. Many are yearning to gather together and to celebrate Holy Mass and to receive the sacraments. A number have let these things lapse and would dearly like to rediscover them again.
Cardinal Vincent and the Bishops’ Conference advisors are meeting with the UK government to seek a way forward, to respond to the deep thirst in many souls. Government regulations do not allow us to open the churches at the moment. This way forward will not be easy and will demand careful planning and preparation. Here in the Northampton Diocese, a small task force has met to put together a strategic plan. We need to ensure everyone is safe and this will mean it is not possible to open every church immediately. But I want to insist, the well of pastoral hunger in my heart, and that of all our clergy, is as deep as the spiritual need in your heart. As soon as we can safely open wide the doors of our churches, we will be standing ready to do so.
In the meantime, please write to your MP and tell him of your need. We all need to become an army of prayer, asking heaven to change hearts and minds and protect us from the taunts against our faith in our Lord and His Holy Church. Ask Our Lady of Walsingham to intercede for us, to keep our minds focused on the truth in charity and to deliver us of this terrible virus pandemic.
And finally, be assured of my daily remembrance of you and your needs in prayer. Thank you for the many kind words I have received in these weeks. Please pray for me and all our clergy at this time.
With my blessing and desire that you experience the strong embrace of the Good Shepherd.
David

OUR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS: Please pray for our staff and students as our Parish Schools prepare to partially re-open on Monday 1st June. We are particularly grateful to our school staff who have worked so hard and courageously to provide a safe learning environment for Reception, Year One and Year Six as they return to class.

RE-OPENING OF OUR CHURCHES In line with the Government’s directives it is hoped that Catholic Churches in England and Wales will be open again for private prayer by the beginning of July (tbc). To ensure that we maintain social distancing and are able to keep everyone safe we will be looking for a team of volunteers to steward the Churches for the entire period in which they will be open and to periodically disinfect surfaces. The availability of volunteers will determine on what days the Churches are open and for how long. Guidelines and procedures for volunteers will be provided by the Diocese in accordance with Goverment advice. If you are not in a “vulnerable group” and are under the age of 70 and would be willing to help as a steward please email Father Christopher at: staq@uwclub.net indicating your availability and contact details. A plan and rota can then be devised for potential reopening. Thank you for your help and support.

CHILDREN’S LITURGY RESOURCES, CAFOD have created a sign up service by which parents can access online Children’s Liturgy materials. Please follow the link: https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy

REQUIESCANT IN PACE: Please pray for the repose of the souls of our dear parishioners who have died recently and for their families as they grieve their passing: Peter Thomas; Cedric Hoptroff; Mario Oxide, Pauline Carpenter, Kathleen Bowman and Agnes Cheney Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them.

MESSAGE FROM CATHOLIC MARRIAGE CARE: The latest UK government figures have shown a dramatic and substantial increase in calls to mental health and relationship support helplines. Families, individuals and couples are seeking advice, direction and support during arguably our greatest cross-generational challenge. Marriage Care Milton Keynes is at the forefront of providing counselling support and marriage preparation for couples in Milton Keynes and the surrounding villages. Unlike some relationship organisations, we do not charge a session fee to our clients. All clients are invited to donate via a mobile app. We urgently require the following volunteers: Individuals or couples to train as marriage preparation facilitators Trained relationship couple counsellors – who can spare a few hours each week. For further information please email milton-keynes.admin@marriagecare.org or telephone 07795 461270.

PRAYING THE HOLY ROSARY TOGETHER

PRAYING THE CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY TOGETHER

LITANY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

MESSAGE FROM CAFOD: “CAFOD, our Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, launched its coronavirus emergency appeal on 30 April. Coronavirus (Covid-19) has now spread worldwide, with confirmed cases in many countries where CAFOD works. The effects of coronavirus on developing countries are likely to be devastating. Many countries have very weak healthcare systems and will not be able to cope. Families without enough to eat and without access to clean water, possibly living with other diseases, will be particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. It is not just a public health emergency. Many of the world’s most vulnerable people will lose their jobs and be unable to support their families. The poorest and most marginalised communities, working hard to transform their lives, will be pushed further into poverty. CAFOD is adapting its programmes to help manage the risk of coronavirus in communities and working with local Church aid agencies on the frontline of this crisis. They are already working to get food to where it is needed most; to improve hygiene, handwashing and sanitation in communities and households; producing radio messages, posters and leaflets in local languages on risks and prevention; and training community volunteers to carry out awareness campaigns. In order to continue protecting and improving the lives of those in poor communities, your prayers and gifts are needed now more than ever. While we are not able to hold collections in our church, you can donate at cafod.org.uk/coronavirusappeal Thank you”

PARISH OFFERTORY GIVING
The suspension of pubilc Masses has had a huge effect on our Parish income and we still have bills to pay. As a means of mitigating against this loss we would like to encourage those parishioners who do not currently give by Standing Order to donate online. This can be done at:
https://northamptondiocese.org/donate/
Please ensure that you type the parish name and area i.e. “St Thomas Aquinas and All Saints, Bletchley” in the NOTES SECTION of the donate page.

Or.., by Standing Order via your own bank:
You can also set up a standing order for donations to the parish using either your on line bank account or in branch. The information required to make the donation is as follows.
Bank: NatWest
Sort Code: 60-06-11
Account Name; 46898093
Account Name: NRCD Trust
Payment Ref: STAQ Bletchley

GIVE US A CALL TO DONATE OVER THE PHONE: Every Tuesday between 10am – 4pm, a member of the Diocesan Finance Team will be available by phone for you to donate to our Parish community over the telephone. To donate simply call 01604 712065 with your debit or credit card details.

Alternatively CHEQUES made payable to “St Thomas Aquinas Church” can be posted to:
The Presbytery, 1 Sycamore Avenue, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK2 2JE.

Every blessing to you all as we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Fr Christopher & Fr Emmanuel

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