Because of the coronavirus pandemic, public Church services and gatherings are suspended till further notice. will celebrate Holy Mass privately every day and assures you of his prayers for you and your family.
This is an 'in between' Sunday. Last Thursday was the Ascension when Jesus returned to his Father in heaven. Next Sunday is Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to take possession of the disciples. On this 'in between' Sunday, we think of what Mary and those disciples were doing - waiting in prayer for Jesus to complete his Mission by sending the Spirit. Let us praise the glory of God.
FROM THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN (17:1-11)
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said "Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so that your Son may glorify you and, through the power over all mankind that you have given him, let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him. And eternal life is this - to know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I have glorified you on earth and finished the work that you gave me to do. Now, Father, it is time for you to glorify me with that glory I had with you before ever the world was. I have made your name known to the men you took from the world to give me. They were yours and you gave them to me and they have kept your word. Now at last they know that all you have given me comes indeed from you for I have given them the teaching you gave to me and they have truly accepted this, that I came from you and have believed that it was you who sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me because they belong to you. All I have is yours and all you have is mine and in them I am glorified. I am not in the world any longer, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you."
Notice how, in today's Gospel, Jesus starts by thanking his Father as he completes his Mission - something which happened both on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Ascension Thursday - one mystery referred to as the 'Paschal Mystery'. But then he moves on to pray for us - those to whom he has made known the Father's name. This is Jesus' prayer for us, the Church, today and always. The last words of the Gospel make it perfectly clear why he is praying like this - it is our job now. We are the ones still in the world, still proclaiming the Gospel, still working our daily miracles of kindness and mercy and compassion. But Jesus never abandons us - as last week he said "I will not leave you orphans" - but comes to us spiritually and physically and sends his Spirit constantly to strengthen us. Come, Holy Spirit, renew the face of the earth to the Church. That promise is fulfilled for us every day of our lives, when we invite the Spirit in. What are the ways in which we can ask the Spirit into our lives? How can we rejoice in our 'togetherness' with God?
PENTECOST SUNDAY - ROSARY RALLY
Pope Francis is encouraging Catholics to pray the Rosary in their family homes during the month of May, especially when the pandemic is making us aware of the value of our families and making it possible for us to pray together in lockdown at home. He encourages simple Rosaries and joining online Rosary initiatives to pray to Our Lady for deliverance from Covid-19 and he has composed two prayers for this intention. You are invited to join in an initiative that follows on the Pope's request, the Pentecost Sunday National Rosary Rally, from 9.00am to 9.00pm across Scotland, England and Wales. Bishop Nolan has pledged our Diocese to lead an hour from 8.00 to 9.00pm.
Esther Tumilty died on Friday 8 May 2020. Her funeral service will be at Ardrossan Cemetery on Wednesday 27 May 2020 at 2.00pm. May she rest in peace and rise in glory!
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY
Every day this week, Father Duncan will celebrate Holy Mass privately, focusing from Sunday to Friday, on these Thoughts for the Day taken from Quotes That Reveal the Secrets of the Holy Rosary by Eric Robinson.
A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 24 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish. When I was on my journey from Protestantism to Catholicism over five years ago, Mary was my biggest stumbling block to coming into the Church. It's that way for many converts. I did not see her importance in Scripture and probably would have told you that the Hail Holy Queen prayer was a certain form of blasphemy. Alas, seeing Mary in the Scriptures as the 'New Eve', 'New Ark of the Covenant' and 'New Queen Mother' overcame my discomfort with devotion to her. Though I was comfortable enough with the Church's teaching about Mary to join the Catholic Church, it took a severe trial in my life a year later to get me to pray the rosary on a daily basis. For the first few months, the rosary seemed burdensome, cumbersome and not very fun at all. Yet, through the grace of God, I persevered in praying my rosary and it has since become my absolute favourite form of prayer. Much could be said about Mary in this wonderful month of May, which is dedicated to her honour. For my part, I will leave you with six quotes by Saint Louis De Montfort from his book called The Secret of the Holy Rosary. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Monday 25 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and that we may be strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our Lady … revealed to several people that each time they say a Hail Mary they are giving her a beautiful rose and that each complete Rosary makes her a crown of roses. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 26 May 2020 - Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, priest
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and deceased members of the Little family at their anniversaries. It is not so much the length of a prayer as the fervour with which it is said which pleases God and touches his heart. A single Hail Mary said properly is worth more than a hundred and fifty said badly. When the rosary is well said, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious for the soul than any other prayer. But it is also the hardest prayer to say well and to persevere in owing especially to the distractions which almost inevitably attend the constant repetition of the same words. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 27 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Katherine and Peter Finnegan. What a wonderful thing to have Jesus Christ in our midst! And all we have to do to have him with us is to come together to say the rosary. That is why the first Christians met so often to pray together, in spite of the persecutions of the emperors, who had forbidden them to assemble. They preferred to risk death rather than to miss their gatherings where our Lord was present. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 28 May 2020 - also the anniversary of the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop John Cunningham in 2004
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and John Ross who died recently. Only he who perseveres in asking, seeking, and knocking, will receive, will find and will enter. It is not enough to ask God for certain graces for a month, a year, ten or twenty years; we must never tire of asking. These crowns are not for the timid who are afraid of this world's taunts and threats, neither are they for the lazy and indolent who only say their rosary carelessly, or hastily, just for the sake of getting it over with. These crowns are not for cowards who lose heart and lay down their arms as soon as they see hell is let loose against their rosary. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Friday 29 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and for all those struggling in these difficult times. Your closest enemies will attack you all the more cruelly because they are within you. I mean the powers of your soul and your bodily senses, the distractions of the mind, distress and uncertainty of the will, dryness of the heart, exhaustion and illness of the body-all that will combine with the evil spirits who say to you 'Give up your rosary - that is what is giving you such a headache. Give up your rosary - there is no obligation under pain of sin. At least say only a part of it. The difficulties you are having are a sign that God does not want you to say it' You can say it tomorrow when you are more in the mood - and so on. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 30 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Simon and Matilda Brannan. Finally, my dear brothers and sisters, the daily Rosary has so many enemies that I look upon the grace of persevering in it until death as one of the greatest favours God can give us. I hope that these words help you to persevere in praying the rosary and being devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary so that our sole worship to God may be magnified. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
NOVENA FOR PENTECOST
To celebrate Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Church, we are invited to pray the Holy Spirit Novena every day from the Solemnity of the Ascension onwards. Ascension Thursday is 21 May 2020. It is a powerful prayer that is meant to help us open ourselves up to the third person of the Holy Trinity. The Pentecost Novena is the first of all novenas, nine days of prayer. After Jesus' ascension into heaven, he commanded his disciples to come together in the upper room to devote themselves to constant prayer (Acts 1:14). They prayed for nine days before receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. On 4 May 1897, Pope Leo XIII proclaimed "We decree and command that throughout the whole Catholic Church, this year and in every subsequent year, a novena shall take place before Pentecost Sunday in all parish churches" (Encyclical On the Holy Spirit, 13). Here is the Prayer to the Holy Spirit.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
DURING A PANDEMIC
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours. Amen. Cameron Bellm
OUR LADY'S JUGGLER
Many centuries ago, there lived a man by the name of Barnaby. He was a juggler who lived from day to day on the small donations he received. He went from town to town and he would take knives or balls and juggle them - and that is all that he could do. He felt embarrassed over his lack of talent. He almost felt totally useless. People in the town in which he juggled would be involved in their business work. Some would run small little shops. Some were doctors and teachers - and Barnaby would see all these people working every day and be more discouraged with each passing day. One day on his travels, he was passing a huge monastery and he started to think and pray. Maybe, if they let me enter this monastery I can do the most menial tasks, do something positive and save my soul and have more meaning and happiness in my life. He knocked on the monastery door and was greeted by the brother who was in charge of all the monastic duties. Barnaby told him he would perform the most menial tasks for just a place to sleep and a little something to eat. He was admitted and was given a small place in which to live and told when meal time was to happen. He did this for months and seemed to find more meaning and happiness to his life - but then his sense of meaning and happiness started to lessen. He knew all around him that the brothers of the monastery were preparing for an important feast day of Our Lady. One brother was writing a new musical score for the Mass. Another brother was making special bread to be given to the poor on the special day. Another brother was making a beautiful candle to be placed in front of Our Lady's statue. Barnaby, in seeing what was done by others so talented, felt more inadequate than ever. His sense of his own inferiority became more painful than ever. Our Lady's feast day was coming closer - and what was he doing but the most menial jobs in the monastery. He went to bed each night heartbroken - but then one night, and no explanation has been found for this, he took his small little blanket and his eight juggling balls and went to the chapel. He stood in front of the statue of Our Blessed Mother and gave her the only talent he had, the art of juggling. At that moment something extraordinary happened. The statue of our Blessed Mother almost came alive with radiance that Barnaby had never seen before. The brothers of the monastery, seeing how the chapel was becoming filled with this new light, rushed in thinking that something tragic had taken place. The Abbot was there and as all of them came into the Chapel they saw Barnaby juggling with joy and happiness. The statue of Mary, whether it took on new life to others, took on new life to him. This man who thought he had so little talent had brought joy to Mary, the Mother of Christ, on her special day. The story of Barnaby, the juggler, the individual who though he was a nothing in anyone's eyes teaches us that God has given to each one gifts and talents that if used can bring greater joy and meaning into each one's life.
JUST FOR A LAUGH ... CLASSIC CHURCH BULLETIN BLOOPERS
• The outreach committee has enlisted twenty five visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any Church.
• The congregation is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.
• Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7.00 to 8.30p.m. Please use the back door.
• For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
• The parish priest will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, Break Forth Into Joy.
• The concert held in Saint Peter's was a great success. Special thanks are due to the organist's daughter, who laboured the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.
• Pot Luck Supper - prayer and medication to follow.
• The parish priest is on holiday this week. Massages can be given to the parish secretary.
• The choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.
• Weight Watchers will meet at 7.00pm. Please use the large double door at the side entrance.
The financial support and upkeep of the Parish is also drastically affected by the present situation. Please try and hand in your Offertory envelopes to the Parish Office when you can or better still, consider taking out a Banker's Order for Saint Peter's as the social isolation will probably impact us for the next months. Banker's Order and Gift Aid Declaration forms are available in the Parish Office and on our website. If you would prefer that we email you or post the forms, please let the Parish Office know. If you require any assistance in completing the forms, please contact George at the Parish Office and he can speak to you by phone. Thank you for all you do and for your solidarity and generosity. In these difficult financial times, there is no obligation to give to the Sunday Collection. If, however, you feel able to, you can donate by text message to an account set up by the Diocese of Galloway. It is not possible to nominate a particular parish so all text-giving donations will be shared among parishes. To donate, text the word SUNDAY to 70085 followed by the number of pounds, from 1 to 20. For example, SUNDAY 5 to 70085 gives £5. This message would cost £5 plus one standard rate message charge. Thank you for all your commitment and support.
NEW PARISH WEBSITE
Please have a look at our new parish website which is now up and running. There are lots of resources for prayer and information, latest news and also the weekly bulletin. The history section is being expanded step by step and has really interesting video clips and photos from past events at Saint Peter's. Have a look at SaintPeterInChains.co.uk.
If you would like to receive the weekly Bulletin and updates by email, please get in touch with the parish office and send us your email address. If you know of someone who would like to be included on the mailing list, please let us know - thanks.
If a member of your family or a friend is sick, please let us know and give us the details. Deacon Bill Corbett (01292 521208, 07904 248948, Rev.BillCorbett@btinternet.com) is the Chaplain to Crosshouse Hospital and is assisted by the Priest on call each week.
Our advertisers would welcome your support. We are grateful for their continuing sponsorship. We are grateful for the support of Mr and Mrs Sohal, Nisa Stores, Glasgow Street for the weekly donation of tea, coffee and milk for the Sunday teas.
PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS - MISSION STATEMENT
The Catholic Church in Scotland is concerned with the lives, safety, wholeness and well-being of each individual person within God's purpose for everyone. It seeks to safeguard the welfare of people of all ages who are involved in whatever capacity with the Church and its organisations. As a Church community, we accept that it is the responsibility of all of us, ordained, professed, paid and voluntary members, to work together to prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect of children, young people and vulnerable adults.