We are over two weeks into our partial lockdown and, please God, we shall be more free at the start of next month. Please remember that we have silent private prayer with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in our (heated!) Church Hall on Thursdays from 11am-12 noon and on Saturdays from 5-6pm. We remember all parishioners, especially those who are sick and the recently bereaved.
Please note that the Funeral Mass for Pauline Crosbie will be in ST. THOMAS MORE CHURCH HALL on Tuesday 1st December at 11am, followed by burial at Cheltenham cemetery. Government regulations limit us to 30 mourners. Mike and family say if you wish to attend please phone them on 01242 235624.
Marjorie Muldowney wishes to thank all who have sent cards, letters, and assurances of sympathy and prayers following Michael's death. A memorial Mass and reception will take place at next year.
The 2021 issue of the Clifton Diocesan Directory is available, priced £ 5.00. They are in the sacristy or I will gladly deliver one to you - unless you live in Inverness! They are a fund of information about our Diocese, parishes, structures, events, obituaries, people and clergy.
I wish you all well - literally - until we are able to join together again for public Masses. Remember you can contact me about anything on the Presbytery phone (01242 573128). There is an answerphone.
Please be assured of my prayers and a mention at all my Masses for you and your families.
(Resident priest in St Thomas More Presbytery, Tanners Lane)
In the film Chocolat,a small, French, Catholic community follow the rules of the Church to the letter of the law. But it makes them
miserable and the villagers are often cruel, unkind, judgmental, and critical of each other. When a young woman arrives in the town and opens a
chocolate shop her way of life is frowned upon. However, her desire to bring joy and happiness to the people of the town, brings change in how
people relate to one another. Eventually, the young parish priest, himself full of doubt, finally sees the truth. In his homily on Easter Sunday
"I'm not sure what the theme of my homily, today, should be. Do I want to speakofthe miracle of the Lord's transformation? No, not really, no I don't want to talk about his divinity. I want to talk about his humanity. I mean, you know, how he lived his life here on earth; his kindness, his tolerance. Listen, here's what I think. We can't go round measuring our goodness by what we don't do, by what we deny ourselves, what we resist and who we exclude. I think we have to measure our goodness by what we embrace, what we create and who we include."
Next week marks the start of Advent. We are still living with the pandemic and many people are tired, unsure of what Christmas will bring. But this we do know, Jesus entered our world to live amongst the most vulnerable in society, reaching out in compassion and love and mercy. Today's gospel encourages us to do the same.
This course will start on Monday 30th November, with an introduction by Fr David Mills, and followed by "Reading Laudato Si with heart, head and hands". The subsequent dates are Monday 7th, 14th and 21st December, 7.45-9pm. Each evening will include breakouts for discussion in small groups. Please note this course via Zoom and a poster is displayed in the porch at St Gregory's for further information.
If you are an adult who wishes to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, or are baptised Catholic but have never been Confirmed, and wish to change this, please contact the parish via email, attn: Fr Tony Pazhayakalam at firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than Friday 18th December. This journey in faith will formally begin in January 2021; the group meetings will take place on Thursday evenings (possibly via Zoom). Receptions and Confirmation will take place at the Vigil of Easter in 2021.
Please refer to the website of the School for full information regarding the Admissions Policy at www.st-thomasmore.gloucs.sch.uk.
Bingo in the church hall on Thursday evenings is cancelled until further notice.
It is important that on admission to hospital, a patient (or his/her carers) inform the admission staff that they are Catholic. The hospital will not ask for this information, it is up to the patient to make it known and to make sure that a note is made. As of September 2018, Gloucester NHS no longer employ a catholic chaplain in an emergency. Please ask the nusing staff to contact the Chaplaincy Office at the hospital (or ring 03004 222222 and ask for the Catholic Chaplain). At this time ALL requests for visits within the hospital must go through the Chaplaincy office or the switchboard at the hospital (PLEASE NOTE: COVID-19 protocols at the hospital, still do not allow priest to go into the hospital, if they are contacted directly). Thank you.
For those who are housebound or find it difficult to get to daily/Sunday Mass; there are a number of Masses daily on the website www.churchservices.tv as well as on EWTN television which is Channel 589 on Sky. The EWTN Mass is usually at 8.00am, 1pm and 6pm.
You can also find streamed Masses via the internet on the following sites:
www.cliftondiocese.com (Mass from the cathedral)
https://mass-online.org (masses timed throughout the day)
During Streamed Masses, or indeed during times of prayer, especially in front of the Blessed Sacrament, you can make an act of Spiritual
Communion whereby though not physically receiving Holy Communion you can nevertheless participate in the Eucharist. The following prayer is ideal
for this purpose:
Prayer for use for Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in this Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come spiritually into my soul, so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever. Amen.
Anyone wanting to receive a copy of the Cheltenham Catholic Newsletter by email, please email Paul McCloskey at email@example.com.
Sign-up for this useful round-up of news, views, events and other information from around our diocese. It is easy to do, just go to our website www.cliftondiocese.com - click on the newsletter icon and register your email address.