City of Wolverhampton Council is seeking feedback from residents on their experiences of the Coronavirus lockdown through their short ‘Life in Lockdown’ survey. You can take the survey by clicking the button below.
The Archbishops of England have issued an important briefing about the celebration of Mass which will be able to begin soon. Please read the announcement by clicking the button below.
You will read that a church cannot open for Mass unless it has a strong team of stewards and cleaners.
We have begun a team at St Michael's but this was just for opening twice a week. If it is to open for more days of the week, we will need a bigger team. SS Peter & Paul and St Bernadette's will also need teams of stewards and cleaners who are under 70 before we are able to celebrate Mass in these churches.
If you are able to volunteer, please let Fr Mark know as soon as possible. Please note that none of our churches will be able to open for the celebration of Mass unless we can satisfy the requirements to keep them safe.
As you may be aware, the Catholic Church is represented at various international organisations through the Holy See's Diplomatic Missions. Last month, world leaders and their representatives met together virtually for the 73rd World Health Assembly. As expected, the COVID-19 pandemic was discussed extensively.
His Excellency Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organisations in Geneva, delivered a statement outlining the global response of the Catholic Church to the pandemic. Quoting Pope Francis, he urged Member States to ensure that "the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters living in the cities and the peripheries of every part of the world" are not abandoned.
You can read the statement by clicking the button below.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols spoke to presenter Justin Webb on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on the 14th of May about how Catholic Churches can be safely re-opened for private prayer as the UK government eases its lockdown restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19. You can listen to the interview using the radio player below.
The Holy Father invites us all to participate in an historical event this Thursday 14th May'
Last year, during a Global Conference in Abu Dhabi, the Holy Father and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, signed a Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together. One of the consequences of this agreement was to set up The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. This day of prayer has been proposed by this committee, inviting everyone, regardless of religion to participate. This is the first time in history that all religions are being brought together in prayer and fasting.
There are no set time or set prayers for the day as this will be determined by each of the religions.
Here are a few possible suggestions to choose from, however:
After the online Mass there will be a special prayer marking the day.
Given the news from the Prime Minister this evening (Sunday 10th May) we will await news from the Bishops' Conference to see if this has any implications on the churches, but clearly this will not be for a while yet!
The sisters, and I have been going through the parish database and ringing people to see if they are doing all right. We have discovered a major problem, however, many of the entries are incorrect. This may have happened because of difficulties in reading handwriting when the entries were made into the computer or possibly that some entries which were copied from previous address books are simply out of date.
If you are aware of any parishioner who has not been rung yet, therefore, please could you pass on their details to us so that we can make contact and also update the parish database.
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.
Cafod are also providing some great resources for children during the week and also for children's liturgy on Sundays. They can be accessed below.
Catholic Social Teaching is often described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ for Catholics. At this time when communities are coming together to act in solidarity to battle the spread of COVID-19, Catholic Social Teaching would seem more relevant than ever.
Churches are closed, friends are separated, the elderly and vulnerable are self-isolating - some away from their families - and the rest of us are on lockdown to protect the herculean efforts of the NHS as the virus reaches its peak in the UK.
Professor Jim McManus is Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire and has been helping guide the Catholic Church's response to COVID-19. He talks to us about the vital guiding principles of solidarity, subsidiarity and upholding the common good to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
"We often neglect what's called 'horizontal subsidiarity' - the skills of good citizenship. The skills we learn of participating, of helping one another out, of good behaviour, of pro-social behaviour. This is the time when these networks of skills and goodwill are most needed.
"The 'soft skills' we need as a society are the things we need to practice. So 'horizontal subsidiarity' absolutely comes in. It is derived, theologically, from a duty we owe one another in justice - as fellow creatures - and we should follow that."
You can listen to the podcast by using the 'soundcloud' player above.
The UK Government has released a series of videos giving general advice to the public. You can watch these by clicking on each one below. To see these videos in other languages, click the button at the bottom of this post.
Spot the Signs
Pope Francis sends this video message to Christians around the world as we prepare to celebrate Holy Week in an unusual manner due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. He prays especially for those suffering and for all the families whose lives have been upset in this difficult time.