We have been told that St Michael's phone number will be restored either this evening or within the next week. This is not exactly helpful. The sisters can be reached temporarily on 01902 342 380. As soon as the original number begins to work, this temporary number will cease to work. There is, however, a further complication, this number is not working with the answer machine so its not possible to leave a message. Many apologies for all of this at such a crucial time!
Some of you may know that the Sisters' telephone has been paying up for some months. When someone rings, the internet stops working. This has been most unhelpful when someone rings up to book a place at Mass, because the booking system is on the internet! After trying to get this sorted for some months we eventually decided to switch to another telephone company. The switch took place yesterday but we have discovered that they changed the phone number, even though they were instructed to keep the same number. This means that it is not possible to contact the sisters by phone and they can only receive emails if they take a lap top and go and sit in the parish hall! (with no heating!)
We have spend a few hours on the phone today with the telephone supplier explaining how urgently this situation needs correcting because of the booking for Christmas Masses. Hopefully they will rectify the situation as soon as possible. Until then please bear with us!
The Bishops of England and Wales met last week and responded to the IICSA Report by overhauling the Safeguarding Structures across all Dioceses, Religious Orders and other Catholic Organisations in the Country. Please click the button below to read the Statement by the Archbishop of Birmingham and documents of the Bishops’ Conference confirming the acceptance of the independent Elliot Report’s recommendations which lay out the changes to safeguarding structures and procedures within the Church which are necessary to ensure best practice.
This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King and National Youth Sunday. Many thanks to the young people who will be helping take part in the broadcasting of our Masses this weekend. From St Michael's for the 5.30 pm Mass tonight, from SS Peter & Paul for tomorrow morning's Mass at 10.15 am, and from the University tomorrow evening at 7.00 pm.
The bulletin is now ready to download from the 'Mass Times and Bulletin' page, please note that all the information is there for the booking of Christmas Masses. Don't forget the link to the Advent Feast as a way to prepare your family bubble for Christmas, even now during lock-down. Let's pray that the public celebration of Mass may return in time for Christmas!
As you will have seen at Mass this morning, the Diocesan Youth team came to promote their work in the diocese and provided the music and readings for our Mass. At the end of Mass, Lucas mentioned various links so that you can follow up on all that they are doing. The buttons below will take to you straight to all the information you need.
In this Sunday's gospel we hear about the parable of the talents. We pray that despite the restrictions in our lives due to the pandemic, we can encourage each other to to share and develop our God given talents.
In the hope that we may have public Masses at Christmas, we have prepared a new schedule for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day across our three churches. It will be necessary to book seats because the demand will be high and we are not allowed to exceed the set numbers that ensure social distancing. Details of how to book will be available next weekend.
As Advent approaches you may be interested in celebrating the 'Advent Feast' with your family or your extended bubble. For more information, click the Advent Resources button below. Over the next few weeks there will be other initiatives added to this resource page so that we can make the most out of celebrating Advent and Christmas this year.
The Bulletin is now ready to be downloaded from the Mass Times and Bulletin Page. Please do take note of the completely new schedule for Online Masses and the opening times of the churches for private prayer. Please also note that the Cardinal has asked that we pray each day at 6.00 pm for an end to the pandemic. I have printed the Angelus on the bulletin as this is an ideal prayer to pray at this time each day.
You are invited to a series of zoom meetings promoting dialogue, listening and sharing among people of different faiths in the West Midlands. Please click below for more details:
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES
Statement from the President and the Vice-President of the Conference on the National Lockdown
Wednesday 4th November 2020
Today, Parliament passed into law the Regulations governing many aspects of activity in the whole of England until 2nd December. These Regulations prohibit the gathering of people for communal worship in churches and other religious buildings.
Churches remain open and in use for activities other than communal worship, including personal prayer and support for those in need. Funeral Masses and funeral services may be held. Please refer to the Regulations (for places of worship see paragraph 18) and associated Guidance.
Despite profound misgivings it is important that we, as responsible citizens, observe these Regulations, which have the force of law: ‘Remind them to be obedient to the officials in authority; to be ready to do good at every opportunity’ (Titus 3:1). We do this in solidarity with so many others on whom are being imposed restrictions which impact severely on
their lives and livelihoods.
It is also important to recognise that these Regulations are not an attack on religious belief. However, they do demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the essential contribution made by faith communities to the well-being, resilience and health of our society.
At this difficult moment, we ask that, as a Catholic community, we make full use of our churches as places of individual prayer and sources of solace and help. We must sustain each other in our patterns of prayer, joining a national shared moment of prayer each day at 6pm, and observing the Vigil of Christ the King (21st November) as a day of prayer
for the ending of this pandemic. And we encourage you all in your practical service and support of each other and those around you in need. This pathway of prayer and service is the royal road we are to take as a gracious witness in our society today.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP
Our two Seminarians in Rome, Dave and Toby are in Assisi today and they prayed for all of us at the tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis. Between 2015 - 2016 Toby spent a year at SS Peter & Paul's as a pastoral assistant whilst he discerned his vocation to the priesthood. He is now in his 5th year at the Venerable English College in Rome and, God willing, will be ordained a deacon next summer. Dave spent a year at SS Peter & Paul's similarly discerning his vocation from 2016-2017. He will be known to more of you because that was the first year of the amalgamation of our three parishes. Dave then spent a year at the Royal English College in Valladolid in Spain before moving to the Venerable English College in 2018. He is now in his third year of seminary. Many of you will remember when he received the Ministry of Reader online at SS Peter & Paul's earlier in the summer. As they have prayed for us, let us keep them in our prayers!
After praying at the tomb of Blessed Carlo, Dave and Toby also visited the new Youth Oratory which is dedicated to him. It lies just behind the old Cathedral where he is buried in Assisi. In the background you can see the tower of the Basilica of St Clare. Dave and Toby are looking forward to welcoming a parish youth pilgrimage there. Not to mention a parish pilgrimage for the not so young as well!
THIS WEEK'S BULLETIN is now ready on the Mass Times and Bulletin page. As I write this, I am aware that we may be going into another lock-down. If so, the schedule of Masses on the bulletin will have to be abandoned and we will produce a new schedule of online Masses for this week. This schedule will be posted on this parish news page.
God Bless, Fr Mark
This page page displays the latest announcements. For regular weekly news, please ensure you also read the Parish Bulletin.