On Wednesday morning we had a lovely Mass, celebrated online, for the children at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School to mark their special feast. Children, families and staff watched from home and joined in the prayers and hymns. There were also a small number of children and staff in school who were able to join in from the classrooms. Thank you to Mrs Hood, Mrs Payne and Mrs Hutton for helping with the celebration, and thank you to all the families who joined in online and in prayer. Thursday evening we celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes with a special Mass broadcast from church. It wasn't the same as last year but was nevertheless a lovely opportunity to be united in prayer and mark our patronal feast. Let us pray for the continued protection and prayers of the Immaculate Virgin of Lourdes, and her special closeness to all who are sick and their carers.

This weekend we reopen for public Masses here. This is also the case in some of our other deanery parishes. Thank you to everyone for your patience and prayers during this most difficult time. Here at New Southgate the Saturday Masses will be at 4pm and 6pm. Sunday Masses will be 9am, 10am, 11am and 12 noon. Please note there is no 8am Mass - the numbers at the first two Sunday morning Masses were quite low so we have rolled them into one at 9am. Public weekday Masses will generally continue at 12 noon (with the exception of Ash Wednesday). Fr Johnson also celebrates an evening Mass each day 7pm in Malayalam which will also be open. Confessions will resume on Saturday afternoons at 2pm. We still have more work to do regarding Holy Week and are awaiting guidance from the Bishops' Conference and the Holy See. More information in due course.

Thank you for your cooperation regarding the parish office. It is not possible to come in person - please ring or email. If you want to telephone us, please do so between 9.30am and 2pm (Monday-Friday).

The Covid-secure procedures continue at here at church. Please stay away if you have any symptoms or if it is safer to stay at home. Please use the hand sanitiser on the way in, and wear the face covering inside the church. We must all observe social distancing inside the church, and there can be no mixing or mingling before or after Mass. Thank you.

Ash Wednesday is a beautiful occasion at the start of the Lenten season. This year, Ash Wednesday has proved to be somewhat complicated. It is normally a day on which great numbers of people would rightly want to come to church. This weekend at Mass we will hear a message from the Cardinal in which he asks us to mark this day at home. He has specifically asked us not to make further provision, such as we did at Christmas. This is the procedure for Our Lady of Lourdes, New Southgate: Fr David and Fr Andrew will be available outside the church from 9.30am till 11.30am to give ashes to anyone who is able to come. The bishops have instructed us to give ashes in the European way, that is, to sprinkle them on the top of the head rather than the cross on the forehead. After this the church will close and the Mass for Ash Wednesday will be livestreamed only at 12 noon. Please do not come to the church for Mass, or come back in the afternoon for ashes, as we have other duties that day. You are also kindly asked not to travel to other churches or areas. Please mark the day with prayer and penance at home. Thank you!

This weekend, we are making available materials that will help you pray and bless each other at home on Ash Wednesday. These sheets will be available from the back of church, along with copies of the full version of the Cardinal's pastoral letter. You will also be able to read the pastoral letter on the diocesan website

Our candidates for reception into the Church are continuing their RCIA journey each week, meeting on Zoom. Please keep them in your prayers. Next weekend we would normally go to the cathedral for the great 'Rite of Election'. This year, of course, that is not possible. We will mark their election here in the parish. Thank you to Fr Andrew and Teresa Buffery for their work with the candidates.

The start of these new programmes continues to be delayed. Please do not worry - we will begin as soon as possible. While it may be possible to do part of these courses online, we feel that real interaction and accompaniment is vital in these journeys of formation, and also that parents and children already have a huge amount of online learning to deal with. Fear not - no one will miss out. In fact, it will be even more lovely to begin properly when it possible to do so!