Since last Monday, our church has been open for prayer every day from 12 noon till 2pm. This will continue in the coming week. We are all so pleased that this has been possible. Thank you for the thoughtful conduct and cooperation of everyone who has visited the church, and thank you to those who have kindly volunteered to supervise and clean the church. The whole operation has only been possible by the generosity and patience of all involved. May God bless you all.

Today we keep the great solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). We send you every blessing and good wish for this feast of the Holy Eucharist. We celebrate the real presence of Christ who feeds us with his own self and invites us to draw near to his saving death on the cross. As St Paul says, 'Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you are proclaiming the death of the Lord until he comes.'

Today is the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Next Sunday we will celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi).

Today is the Feast of Pentecost and the final day of the Easter season. In fact, Pentecost or Whit Sunday is also a great feast in its own right. Today we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit into the life of the Church and how that power enables us to preach the Gospel everywhere. Today is sometimes known as the ‘birthday of the Church’ because it marks the transition from the time of Jesus’s earthly mission to the age of the Church and the presence of Christ throughout time and history. The Holy Spirit brings everything that the Church needs, and we can all share in the gifts that the Spirit bestows by our participation in the life of the Church. To each of us, the Spirit brings gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. As we celebrate this great feast of the Church’s life, let us also remember in prayer all our young parishioners who were preparing to celebrate their Confirmation this May. We look forward to seeing them again soon and celebrating their Confirmation at a rearranged time.

Last Thursday we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension, forty days after Easter. We are now in the time of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost, when we are invited to join the first disciples spiritually who looked for the outpouring of the promised Holy Spirit. We too want to ask God the Holy Spirit to renew his gifts among us and empower us to really live our Christian witness. We will celebrate the great Feast of Pentecost next Sunday – the fiftieth and final day of Easter time. That date, sadly, reminds us that we have almost celebrated an entire season, Easter time, without the physical presence of the faithful at church. However, we are really strengthened and consoled by your prayers and spiritual presence, especially by those who are praying for the parish at home, and those who are able to join our celebrations and Holy Hours online or by telephone. Let us really ask the Holy Spirit to help us through this trial and to strengthen the gifts of faith and love that he brings to our lives.

This weekend we celebrate the Sixth Sunday of Easter conscious that we are fast approaching the climax of the Easter season. This Thursday is Ascension Thursday, the fortieth day of Eastertide. Of course this would normally be a holy day, but just like Sundays and other feasts right now, the obligation is removed. Please join us online if you can or pray with us in your home. Our Mass on Thursday will be at 10am on the live-stream.

Next Sunday will be the Seventh Sunday of Easter, and in two weeks we will celebrate the great feast of Pentecost.

Many thanks to everyone who joined in our celebration of ‘School Mass’ on Wednesday. It was great to have you all praying with us. Thank you to Mrs Hood and Mrs Hutton for helping us arrange the celebration. God bless you all – keep safe and, of course, we’re looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Dear young parishioners! We haven’t forgotten about you, and we hope you remember us in your prayers each day. Many young people in our parish were making excellent preparations before the lockdown to celebrate the sacraments. Last weekend should have been our First Holy Communion Masses, and this coming Friday we would have celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation with our young people in Year 9. Please can everyone in the parish remember them in your prayers. We look forward to seeing you all again in the not-too-distant future, and making preparations with you to celebrate these wonderful sacraments. We also miss all our young peoples’ groups we normally see so often: school children, altar servers, musicians and singers, our Scouts, Beavers, Cubs, Brownies, Irish Dancers, everyone who comes to Mass, and many more! God bless you all – keep your prayers going strong!

Please remember that this Friday, 8th May, is the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe and the end of the European war.

We will mark this special occasion in prayer during the 10am Mass on Friday.

In addition to this, there will be a national two-minute silence at 11am.  At 3pm there will be the Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War Two, and at 9pm there will be a special broadcast by the Her Majesty the Queen.

Please join in prayer as we recall the sacrifices made by so many, and celebrate the peace and freedom those sacrifices achieved.

There is a pastoral letter from Pope Francis to all the faithful concerning the month of May. Please follow the link to read the full text of the Holy Father's letter and the two prayers he has composed for this special time. May is the month of Mary. If possible, let us pray the rosary in our homes for all those affected by the current crisis. We can all be apostles of prayer - even from our armchairs and living rooms! God bless you all.

Today on the Third Sunday of Easter we hear the beautiful Gospel story about the mysterious appearance of the Risen Jesus on the way to Emmaus, and about how the disciples not only recognised him at the breaking of bread but also about how their faith in the resurrection was confirmed. They asked each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within us?'. May we too, like them, be moved by the power of God's word and come to even greater faith in the Risen Lord. Next week, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is known as Good Shepherd Sunday and is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood and Consecrated Life.

Today, Sunday 19th April, marks the fifteenth anniversary of the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. On Thursday, Benedict also celebrated his 93rd birthday in lockdown inside the Vatican City. Today, incidentally, is also the twelfth anniversary of Fr David's ordination as a deacon.