24th Week of Ordinary Time – Year A

Hello again,

So, we have another  ‘tweaking’ of the rules by the Government with regard to  ‘Covid’  containment instructions;  and  listening to any number of people, the majority of folk express the opinion that restrictions are going to become more stringent before they get  ‘better’ –  whatever that may mean in the new world that this pandemic is forcing us to inhabit.

Our limited-numbers – Sunday Mass is gaining momentum, and it is good to be able to come together in this most ‘Catholic’ of ways. From the experience of the past few months, it is so foreign to celebrate Mass without other people present.  The ‘active participation’ envisaged by the Second Vatican Council is not merely an idea written in a Vatican document – it is a lived reality.

In the days when the priest celebrated ‘his’ Mass, with his back to the people for much of the time, this would have been less of a concern. Indeed , in past centuries, we had ‘chantry priests’ – who offered Mass after Mass after Mass after Mass, on a never-ending basis, usually as a result of an abbot promising that a great number of Masses would be offered for the repose of the soul of some worthy, (not infrequently another abbot, so I remember reading), with the consequence that certain clergy were delegated to ‘chant’ hundreds , if not thousands of Masses, to honour the promise.

The intention was praiseworthy, but those days are past us. Obviously, we still remember and pray for Deceased Sisters, Brothers and Loved Ones at every Mass – indeed, an ‘Ad clerum’ arrived moments  ago, (the occasional ‘letter’ sent by the bishop to the priests of a diocese – now disseminated in electronic form), beginning with the reminder to pray for all the faithful Departed.  This work of mercy will ever be part of our devotional life.

A further example of ‘evolution’ in our practices: with respect to the new scenario that has been forced on us, yesterday sound and vision engineers visited St. Mary’s in order to investigate the possibility that we might be able to ‘stream’ Mass from here in the near future. Having gone through their tests, it is eminently possible to ‘stream’ Mass from St. Mary’s, (but not, unfortunately, from St. Paul’s), due to the ‘software/hardware’ that has been installed over the past year or so in the parish office.  So much so, that shortly the requisite camera will be installed, together with the necessary back-up equipment, and we shall be able to offer Parishioners this totally new experience.

All going well, within a fortnight, we might be able to ‘stream’ Mass, then add weekday Masses and think about the possibility of offering periods of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament that people can access from home.

What do you think of other Services, (‘para-liturgies), with organ music, Readings and periods of reflection?  The opportunities are so unlimited!

The initial outlay , in terms of pounds , shillings and pence , is in the region of £1,500  –  £2,000 , BUT, the good news is that there is funding available from Archbishop’s House, which has gained access to monies for such projects, most likely because we now realise that things are not going to change in the foreseeable future and measures must now be taken to mitigate an unsatisfactory situation. You may remember me musing last week about comments passed on regarding ‘Christmas’ and our limited-numbers-Masses.  Streaming these Masses would be some kind of positive response to people’s questions, don’t you think?

With things financial in mind: many thanks to all those who are sending in their ‘Collection’, whether posted through the letter-box, or handed in at Mass, or via newly set-up arrangements with their banks.  It is so typically generous and thoughtful.  Incidentally, this morning’s ‘Ad clerum’  mentions a special number that has been allocated to each Parish of the Archdiocese, whereby further donations can be easily affected. I will let you know more of this initiative next week.

A comment was passed in the week that some people are still dubious about the ‘official’ name of the Parish current account as they seek to set up standing Orders and Direct Debits. I have been assured time and again that our account is listed as ‘Archdiocese of Cardiff’, (as with every other Parish), BUT, the guarantee that your money goes into our account is vouchsafed by our exclusive Sort Code Number and Account Number.

So, in our case, the necessary information is ARCHDIOCESE OF CARDIFF ACCOUNT NO. 23083578    SORT CODE  20 – 18 – 23

I hope this is of help.

Let’s continue to keep one another in our prayers and look forward to being able to stream Mass from St. Mary’s, along with other Services/Devotions that are practicable and ‘safe’ – provided we have sufficient Volunteers to play their vital role.

With every Blessing and Prayers,

Fr. Michael