With regret we announce that the church is now completely closed. This is a decision of the bishops following instructions received from the Government. There have been some mixed messages in the media, but please note that the church will not be open for private prayer - please STAY AT HOME and join us in prayer (and online) if you can. God bless you all.
 

Fr. David Reilly

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

You need no words from me to state the grave seriousness of the crisis of the spread of the coronavirus around the world and throughout this country. We know the steps and the sacrifices we must take in order to play our part in slowing its spread, saving lives and enabling the NHS to continue its vital work. These things are our duty before God.

There are other vitally important aspects of this moment in our history that are less prominent in our media and conversations.

At this moment we stand before God. That is never to be forgotten. Together we turn to God in prayer, at this moment as never before.

Dear Parishioners,

I write to you with important information for the parish regarding the suspension of normal activities due to the Covid-19 coronavirus disease. We are following the advice and instructions from the Cardinal, the Diocese of Westminster and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW). These are available to view at the Bishops’ Conference website www.cbcew.org.uk

If you are able to, please use our website www.ourladynewsouthgate.org.uk to follow news, updates and Masses. Please also see churchservices.tv/newsouthgate

From today the public celebration of Masses here at Our Lady of Lourdes will be suspended. Please note carefully that this does not mean there will be no Masses. The Eucharist is always the centre of our lives and of the saving work of Christ in his Church. The Bishops are very clear that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is removed during this time. Father Andrew and I will continue to celebrate Mass every day for your intentions and for the spiritual good of all. You will be able to join in these Masses by watching online through the parish website. If you participate in the Mass by the internet or phone at home, you can unite yourself spiritually to the celebration and to all other members of the parish in prayer. We will say the 10am Mass every day (and on Saturdays also at 6.30pm) for the intentions that have already been allocated. The intentions for the 8am Masses and other Masses will either be transferred to later dates, or sent to be celebrated by other priests who do not have intentions. So here, from tomorrow (Thursday 19th March), Holy Mass will be celebrated and streamed live every day, 7 days a week, at 10am, plus also a Mass at 6.30pm on Saturday evening. All other usual times are now suspended. Let us all, please, continue to pray for each other. Confessions may be heard here by pre-arranged appointment only.

  • The Lent Talk on Wednesday 18 March at 7.30pm has been cancelled.
  • New boxes for the Planned Giving Envelopes will be available from Friday - parishioners are invited to call in to the parish office on Friday (9am-2pm) to collect their envelopes. If you would like to sign up for a Standing Order you can also do that at the Parish Office.

 

BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting, in its 15-minute drama slot, a series on Easter from the perspective of the man who, in the end, betrayed everything. Judas runs for five episodes and it's available to listen to on iPlayer, or live at 10:45am and 7:45pm throughout Holy Week. You can find Judas here.

SUMMER PARTY

Her Worshipful The Mayor of Enfield, Cllr. Patricia Ekechi is holding a Summer Party on Saturday 26th September at St Edmunds Catholic Church Hall, 115, Hertford Road, N9 7EN to raise money for Dementia Awareness

Tickets are £15 per person, and include food, drink music and raffle and can be purchased from Bernadette Igboaka on  07813 367787.  Children under 12 are free of charge.

 

Carol Singing at Arnos Grove Tube Station Friday 18th December 5.30 pm to 7 pm to raise funds for Christian Aid.

Singers and musicians all invited to join the “choir” at Arnos Grove to cheer up the commuters with Christmas Carols.
Children are welcome, but should be accompanied by an adult or guardian.

Anyone who attends should bring with them their photo ID (e.g. Passport or Driving Licence) for registration at the station otherwise they may be refused attendance.

Archbishop Peter Smith, Chair of the Bishops' Conference Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship:

"I welcome Parliament’s recognition of the grave risks that this bill posed to the lives of our society’s most vulnerable people. There is much excellent practice in palliative care which we need to celebrate and promote, and I hope now the debate on assisted suicide is behind us, that this will become a focus for political action.

"I am encouraged by the participation of so many Catholics throughout England and Wales in this important discussion and hope that everyone involved will continue to support calls for better quality care as life nears its end."

Cardinal Vincent Nicols, President of the Bishops' Conference added:

"I thank all Catholics in our parishes who took the time to write to or visit their Member of Parliament to express their concern about the Bill.

"It was an important moment of witness to our Christian faith and the value it places on each and every human life.

"Now let's strengthen personal palliative care and see it developed in all our hospitals!’

THE HOLY DOOR


All the four papal basilicas in Rome have what is known as a holy door. These doors are normally shut from the inside and cannot be easily opened; they are only opened during Jubilee years.  On the first day of the Holy Year (Jubilee Year), the pope opens the door of St Peter Basilica to let in the pilgrims.
In the following week, the Pope will announce that in every local church, at the cathedral or, alternatively, at the co-cathedral or another church of special significance, a Door of Mercy will be opened for the duration of the Holy Year.


According to the Roman Catholic Church, the Holy Door represents Jesus, the Good Shepherd and the gate of the sheep pen. The bible says in John 10:9 that “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me, will be safe. He will go in and out, and find pasture”.


A very important symbolic act performed by each pilgrim has been to pass through the Holy Door.  Christ identified Himself as “the door.”  In his bull Incarnationis Mysterium proclaiming this Holy Year, Pope John Paul II stated that the Holy Door “…evokes the passage from sin to grace which every Christian is called to accomplish.  Jesus said, ‘I am the door’ (John 10:7) in order to make it clear that no one can come to the Father except through Him. This designation which Jesus applies to Himself testifies to the fact that He alone is the Saviour sent by the Father.  There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into this life of communion with God:  This is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation.  To Him alone can the words of the psalmist be applied in full truth:  ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’ (Psalm 118:20).”


It is the pope himself who closes the door at the end of the Jubilee Year.


Here's an example of the sort of letter you might write to your MP about the bill to legalise assisted suicide.

MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

Dear

I am contacting you regarding Rob Marris MP’s Private Member’s Bill on Assisted Dying which is due to have its second reading in the House of Commons on Friday 11th September.

If passed, this Bill will have a profoundly negative impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

As my Member of Parliament, I hope that you will attend the debate and vote against the Bill at its second reading.

I would be very grateful if you could let me how you intend to vote on this important matter and how you have taken my views into account.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours sincerely

Q & A on Assisted Suicide

On Friday 11th September 2015 the House of Commons will be debating and voting on a Private Member’s Bill to legalise assisted suicide.  Below you will find some answers to frequently asked questions about the law and ethics of assisting suicide in the light of Catholic teaching.

What will the Bill do?
The Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill is a Private Member’s Bill sponsored by Rob Marris MP.   It would ‘enable competent adults who are terminally ill to choose to be provided with medically supervised assistance to end their own life’. That means it would licence doctors to supply lethal drugs to terminally ill patients to enable them to commit suicide.

What's the law on this now?
Suicide was decriminalised in British law in 1961 because it was recognised that people attempting to commit suicide needed care, support and often medical treatment because of depression, rather than a criminal conviction. The serious tragedy of suicide meant that it remained against the law to ‘encourage or assist’ another person’s suicide or attempted suicide. 

In 2010 the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) issued guidance about the factors that are taken into account in deciding whether to prosecute this offence.  For example, prosecution is more likely if there is evidence of pressure having been brought to bear, or the assister had stood to gain from the suicide, or there was a duty of care for the person concerned. It is less likely if the assistance was given reluctantly and was ‘wholly motivated by compassion’.  The law, which protects vulnerable people, is able to deter assisting suicide and, if necessary to deal with malicious assistance with suicide, while also having discretion not to press charges in tragic cases.

Why shouldn't it be legal to assist suicide if the person wishing to die is old or disabled or ill?
Every person’s life is equally worthy of respect and protection.  Even if someone loses sight of the dignity and value of their life (whether through pain, suffering or loneliness), they remain valuable in themselves and a member of the human family. They deserve care, support and sometimes medical treatment for depression, not assistance with suicide.  Neither the criminal law nor the DPP guidance distinguishes between suicide of young people who are physically-well and of someone who is old, disabled or ill.  Indeed, as a society we rightly go to great lengths to prevent each and every suicide.  In the words of the World Health Organisation, ‘every single life lost to suicide is one too many’.

How can we stand by while people die in pain?  Don’t we have a duty to do something?
We do have a duty to do something.  The United Kingdom was a pioneer in the hospice movement and the development of palliative care but most people do not have access to a hospice. There is need for more resources to support improved palliative and end of life care. Most hospitals focus on curing people and sometimes ‘could do better’ when it comes to care of the dying. Over 95% of pain can be controlled with specialist help and as a last resort a person could at least be comfortably sedated. 

What does the Church say about the value and dignity of dying people?
In a message addressed to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, Pope Francis said, ‘Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect’.  The Church teaches that life is a gift from God and supports high quality care for the dying and protection for the weak and vulnerable. 

What does the medical profession have to say about physician assisted suicide?
The British Medical Association, and the Medical Royal Colleges are strongly opposed to legalising physician–assisted suicide.  A key principle of professional medical ethics, reflected in the criminal law, is that doctors should never intentionally shorten life.  This principle, which dates from the ancient, pre-Christian, Hippocratic Oath, can be found today in the General Medical Council’s statement about the duties of a doctor, and in the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Geneva: doctors must show ‘the utmost respect for human life’. 

Need life be preserved at all costs?
Doctors may withdraw futile or burdensome treatments, or respect a patient’s refusal of treatment, or give much needed palliative treatment even if they foresee that, as an unintended side-effect, death may come sooner.  In fact palliative drugs, properly administered, do not generally hasten death.  Palliative care focuses not on cure but on care and ‘intends neither to hasten nor to postpone death’.  It is no part of medicine to kill or to assist suicide but nor does it require doctors to preserve life at all costs. 

Wouldn't there be safeguards in any legalised system?
Once you concede a principle and cross a line in ethics and law, it is wishful thinking to imagine that bad consequences can be averted merely by qualifications, conditions, or procedures.  In the small number of jurisdictions where assisted suicide has been legalised or where it is not prosecuted under certain conditions (Holland, and a handful of states in the USA) there is ample evidence that the safeguards don't work.  For instance, some laws seek to restrict access to assisted suicide to terminally ill people with a specific prognosis.  But prognosis of terminal illness is fraught with difficulty: terminally ill people often live for much longer than the predictions they are given when they are diagnosed - occasionally they even recover.  Furthermore doctors often fail to spot clinical depression in people who would meet the legal requirements for assisted suicide.  Each year the numbers dying by assisted suicide increase and the ‘safeguards’ are taken less and less seriously.  For more information on this see the website of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre (www.bioethics.org.uk). 

What should I do if I am concerned about the dangers of assisted suicide?
If you are concerned about how legalising assisted suicide will put vulnerable people at risk, affect palliative care or encourage suicide please contact your local MP before the assisted Dying Bill is debated in the House of Commons on 11th September 2015.  If you have personal experiences to share with them please do. MPs listen to their constituents and will want to hear about your concerns. You can send an e-mail to your MP via the Catholic Bishops’ Conference website www.catholicnews.org.uk/assisted-suicide

This is a crucial opportunity to make your voice heard.