Words From Father Colin Fifth Week Of Lent

CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION
OF OUR LADY TORQUAY

76 Abbey Road, Torquay, TQ2 5NJ
Presbytery: 01803 294142
Office: 01803 411193 (9.30 to 12.30 Tues to Fri)
Parish Priest: Fr Colin Groombridge.
Deacon: Rev Robert Giampaglia E-mail: robgiampaglia@sky.com
Parish Secretary & Safeguarding Rep: Mrs Joy Wells
Parish Website: www.assumptionofourlady.org
Diocesan Website: www.plymouth-diocese.org.uk
E-mail: torquay-abbeyroad@prcdtr.org.uk

Newsletter for Fifth Week of Lent, 2020

WORDS FROM FR COLIN


Dear Friends,
By now, our lives have considerably changed as we face the challenge of coronavirus. We are staying indoors and finding our days are very different. At the moment, we are not able to celebrate Mass or any liturgies in public or even to have the church open during the day for prayer.


However, despite these changes, I would like to encourage you and to let you know that I am praying for everyone in our parish family and beyond. We are all still connected together as the Body of Christ, and no Christian ever prays alone. Not only do we have the whole Host of Heaven praying with us and supporting us, but we have the connection to each other that our baptism gives us. So, whenever we pray, even at home on our own or in our families, we are joined together and connected. I am holding our entire parish in my prayers and especially when praying the Divine Office and celebrating Mass. It is indeed a very different and unfamiliar situation, saying Mass on my own, especially as all our liturgies and the Mass in particular, are for community and for people to join together in prayer and
worship! Still, we are managing to stream Mass and parts of the Divine Office for those who are able to access the internet.


So, what ideas are there for accessing ‘on-line Mass’ and other liturgies?


Firstly, there is the website for Plymouth Cathedral. Bishop Mark and Canon Mark O’Keefe (the Cathedral Dean) are streaming Mass daily at 11 am. The picture is clear and the sound is good! There are also prayers streamed each afternoon at 4.30 pm. I think there are plans to stream the Easter liturgies from the Cathedral, too, when the time comes. We are also streaming Mass and parts of the Divine Office from our own parish church of the Assumption of Our Lady. We tried having the equipment in the church, but I think it struggled a bit not being close to the Wi-Fi routers (or something!). It was also very strange and difficult celebrating Mass facing rows of empty pews! So, we’ve moved everything upto the Upper Room in the Hall, where it feels cosier and less empty. The equipment seems to work better as it’s closer to the Wi-F! It’s all experimental and ‘trial and error’ at the moment, but we’re extremely grateful to those whose technical know-how enable us to enjoy these opportunities. You just go to the parish website and scroll down to the stream. I know that some people in the parish have enjoyed seeing Mass celebrated on-line from Rome, with Pope Francis, and some people have found Mass on Sunday with Fr Denis McBride on the Redemptorists Publications website. These things can be put into Google or your favourite search engine. There is EWTN too, if you have satellite TV. There are some other resources that you may find helpful;


www.Lentinisolation.com
www.walsingham.org.uk
www.churchservices.tv

You may remember that we were having a teaching tour in the diocese celebrate the year of The God Who Speaks. Of course, these sessions have been cancelled, but the good news is that they’ve been recorded and are available on the diocesan website (www.plymouth-diocese.org.uk) and on Facebook (plymouthdiocese on Facebook). The following talks are available:

How Catholics read the Bible
Christ in the Old Testament
The Fulfilment of the Covenant in the New Testament.

There are apparently other scriptural resources available on www.stpaulrepository.com

There are also many UK Catholic Diocesan newspapers on www.ChurchPaper.co.uk so we can stay in contact with things going on. The website contains over 600 editions of various
newspapers from around the country.

If you’re able to access these things, I hope that they will help nourish you during this holy season of Lent, as we prepare our hearts for the Easter mysteries. I am sure that you have your own favourite devotions and prayers that draw us closer to the Lord and give us comfort. If you are able to access the daily readings for Mass, you may wish to read the readings and pray with them so that the Lord can speak to your heart. I will put my thinking cap on and see if we can stream a ‘lectio divina’ on Saturday afternoons as we had them in church. I’m sure many rosaries are being prayed for the world at the moment, and the
chaplet of Divine Mercy is always a blessing. Stations of the Cross can still be prayed at home, too. Let’s offer the Lord a bouquet of prayers for our Church and the World.

Other news in the diocese is that the Catholic Children’s Society (Plymouth) is looking for enthusiastic new Trustee Directors to fill vacancies that have arisen as a result of retirement. So, if this is for you, when we’re in better times, then contact Andrea Rodgers through the parish office.

Please hold in your prayers all those who were preparing for their First Holy Communion and for reception into full communion with the Church, and of course, our Confirmandi
preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. We shall look forward to recommencing all these things once we’re in better times.This weekend we have lovely readings from


Ezekiel 37:12-14
Psalm 129
Romans 8:8-11, and
John 11:1-45.

We have the lovely Gospel about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. It’s a long Gospel reading but full of richness to read and pray with.

Also, the Bishops are re-dedicating England as Mary’s Dowry. The service is to take place in Cathedrals, probably ‘streamed’ on 29 th March. I always remember England being Mary’s Dowry from my former Anglican days and my pilgrimages to Our Lady’s Shrine at Walsingham (still one of my favourite places). We join our intentions with those of the Bishops and place ourselves in Mary’s hands. I remember that there was a very large painting in one of the corridors at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, showing Our Lady holding the baby Jesus with the words, ‘England Mary’s Dowry’.


Right, I must get ready for Office of Readings and the events of the day!

I am praying for you all and missing seeing you all!

God bless, and remember – ‘Clean hands are happy hands’!

Every good wish,
Fr Colin

PS I’m still here for you all and there’s still the phone if you’d like a chat!