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.
Today we celebrate the mystery of God as revealed to us by Jesus: one God, but three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is a mystery we can never understand, and even less explain. We are invited to trust in Jesus and what he teaches, and take our place in the mystery of the Divine Community.
FROM THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCODING TO JOHN (3:16-18)
Jesus said to Nicodemus "God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world but so that through him the world might be saved. No one who believes in him will be condemned but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already because he has refused to believe in the name of God's only Son."
We begin our Summer Ordinary Time by celebrating a strange feast - not of a particular saint or event, but of the awesome paradoxes of our God, the three-in-One, Father, Son and Spirit - so immeasurably distant, yet so amazingly close, so full of power and so full of love. It is love that is the key to the mystery: the revelation of God, to Moses and in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, shows a perfect love - a perfect unity.
In the beginning, in the story of Creation in Genesis, God made man and woman 'in the image and likeness of God' to live together as a community of love. So too, the Church is an image of this perfection of community which is Father, Son and Spirit. We, as many members of one Church, strive in our everyday lives to imitate God who is Three and One, perfect unity and perfect love.
CLOSE OF THE MONTH OF MAY
We will close the special month of May with the Solemnity of Pentecost. We entrust the needs of the Church and our personal petitions to Mary, the Mother of God.
SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI
Next Sunday is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. There will be a special Eucharistic Blessing for the Feast Day for all our parishioners, friends and family. Through the blessing, we ask the Risen Lord to protect all our loved ones from the virus and from danger.
SAINT PETER'S PASTORAL COUNCIL
The weeks of lockdown have been a good opportunity to get our Saint Peter's Pastoral Council going. The following parishioners have agreed to be members - Katrina Pollock, Anne McGrattan, Andrena Hughes, Aidan McGrath, Maureen McGuire, David and Maure Priest, George Poole, Sharon McLaughlin, David Benson, Rob Penguilly, Monica Bennett, Marade Griffen and John Walsh. I am very grateful to them for their time and support. One of the pressing pastoral themes will be the challenges facing us when the Churches are open again, hopefully by the end of June.
REOPENING OF OUR CHURCH
We are hoping that places of worship may be allowed to open around the second week of June for private prayer and visits. Hopefully, soon after this, the Mass and public services can be celebrated again. When public services begin again in Church, there will be some restrictions that we will need to deal with - cleaning the Church, sanitising, distancing, face coverings and so on. We will need to get a few teams ready to help out. If you would be willing to help with the cleaning or be an usher, please get in touch with the Parish Office. We would be very grateful for your help to get things moving again.
NEW APPOINTMENT FOR FATHER DUNCAN
Bishop Nolan has appointed Father Duncan as Parish Priest of Saint Bride's Church, West Kilbride with the coming retirement of Father Boland on 21 June 2020, whilst remaining Parish Priest of Saint Peter's. Our two parishes will be looking at common issues for the coming months, particularly the issue of Mass times and so on.
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY
Every day this week, Father Duncan will celebrate Holy Mass privately, focusing on these thoughts of the Most Holy Trinity.
A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 7 June 2020 - Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Alison Dunn on her anniversary. There is a famous story about Saint Augustine who was walking along the seashore one morning, trying to understand the Most Holy Trinity. Suddenly he saw ahead of him a little child playing. The child had made a hole in the sand and was walking back and forth between the hole and the ocean. He held a little shell in his hands. When he reached the ocean, he would fill the shell up with water. Then he would carefully carry it back and pour the water into the hole. He kept on doing this. After a while, Saint Augustine asked what he was doing. The child answered "I am going to empty the sea into that hole which I have dug in the sand." Saint Augustine laughed out loud. Then he said "Child, that is quite impossible. Look how big the ocean is and how small this hole is!" The child looked at him and answered "And yet, it would be easier for me to do this than for you to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity." And with that, the child disappeared. Our faith in the Blessed Trinity is a great mystery, so we must always stay humble and confident in God, like little children. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Monday 8 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Hugh and Tommy McEvoy at their anniversaries and Julia Paterson at her anniversary.
God Is Love Because he Is a Trinity - It's something we have all heard many times. In fact, we may have become so used to it that we don't remember how revolutionary and unique that conception of God really is. There are many religions in the world and many of them have come to understand that God is good - but almost all of them start with man's search for God. Christianity is different. Christianity is about God's search for man. When Jesus Christ came to earth, he came in order to rescue the fallen human race from evil and bring it to the joys of eternal life. And so, in Christianity, we have the privilege of receiving God's own revelation of himself - he actually shows us, in Christ, who he is and what he is like. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 9 June 2020 - Feast of Saint Columba
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, the sick and housebound. The most fundamental and essential characteristic of the Blessed Trinity is love. Not power, not knowledge, not transcendence - but love. This explains why Jesus came to earth in the first place - "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life" (John 3:16). This also explains what the Holy Trinity is all about. If God were solitary, how could his nature be love? Love always means relationship and self-giving. God is love. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 10 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and doctors, nurses and care staff. The Catechism teaches us that 'the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life'. This is because we are created in the image and likeness of God as the Bible tells us. Therefore, if God's essential nature is love, so is ours! We have a built in openness to other people. We are incomplete by ourselves. We are created to give ourselves to others and to receive others. The Father, from all Eternity, loves the Son and pours himself into the Son and the Son loves the Father in return - and that mutual love is so complete that the Holy Spirit proceeds from it. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 11 June 2020 - Memorial of Saint Barnabas
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and for the reopening of Churches soon. Every human family is an image of this Trinitarian love. The husband gives himself without limits to the wife and the wife receives him and gives herself in return, without limits and it is through that total love of mutual self-giving that God brings a new life into the world - a child, called to eternal friendship with God. This is the true sacredness and beauty of married love, of sexual love. This is why the Church never wavers in issues of sexual morality. Human sexuality has a deep theological meaning that we must all honour if we are to live life to the full. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Friday 12 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Sheelagh Kelly at her anniversary. Drawing Nearer to Our Neighbours -this mysterious and wonderful doctrine about God, that he is both unity and trinity, is called by the Catechism 'the central mystery of Christian faith and life'. It's the centre of our faith because it gives us a glimpse into the inner life of God himself, the God we believe in - and it's the centre of our life, because we are called to be living images of God, created to love and be loved. Jesus gave his Church the great commandment to 'love one another as I have loved you'. He did not command us to make millions of pounds. He did not command us to win awards and prizes in our profession. He did not command us to be comfortable. He commanded us to be like him - to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbour as ourselves. And loving God leads automatically to loving our neighbour. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 13 June 2020 - Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and to overcome all forms of racism, intolerance and the instrumentalisation of the human person. Pope Benedict wrote in his first encyclical 'In the saints one thing becomes clear - those who draw near to God do not withdraw from men but rather become truly close to them' (Deus Caritas Est, 42). Let's be the first ones to forgive, even if the other person is at fault. Let's be the first ones to go out of our way to help someone who is struggling. Let's be the first ones to defend the truth when others attack it, In short, today, let's renew our commitment to make our way through this sin-darkened world by being bright, shining images of God, of the Most Holy Trinity who is love. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A SIMPLE EXPLANATION OF THE MASS - PART 2
The Mass is not something that people created. Rather, it is the creation of Jesus himself. Saint Paul, in his First Letter to the Corinthians describes the institution of the Eucharist. We are also very fortunate to have a description of the Mass that was written about 150AD - a little over a hundred years after Jesus died - by Saint Justin, martyr, in a letter to a Roman Emperor. It is comforting and important to be aware that the Mass we celebrate today is almost identical in structure and content to the Eucharist that the early Christians celebrated two thousand years ago. When Catholics gather to celebrate the Eucharist, they are acting in obedience to the Lord's command - Do this in memory of me. Our faith reminds us of the four-fold presence of Christ in the Liturgy. Jesus is present in the assembly gathered in his name. Jesus is present in the priest, who represents Christ, the head of his Body. Jesus is present in the Word proclaimed and Jesus is present in the Eucharistic species - in the bread and wine. During our celebration of the Lord's Supper, it is Jesus who calls us and gathers us together so that we might offer fitting worship to God - Introductory Rites; who speaks in us when the Word of God is proclaimed - Liturgy of the Word; who takes our prayer of praise and thanks to the heavenly altar and who shares with us his Body and Blood - Liturgy of the Eucharist and who commissions us to go forth to continue his saving work in the world - Concluding Rites. A good practice suggestion is to try and see Christ in the people you pray with at Mass, keeping in mind that some of them may be carrying heavy burdens.
SUN AND ROSES
The shamrock, a kind of clover, is a leguminous herb that grows in marshy places. Saint Patrick, the missionary patron saint of Ireland, used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. The story goes that one day his friends asked Patrick to explain the mystery of the Trinity. He looked at the ground and saw shamrocks growing amid the grass at his feet. He picked one up one of its trifoliate leaves and asked if it were one leaf or three. Patrick's friends couldn't answer - the shamrock leaf looked like one but it clearly had three parts. Patrick explained to them "The mystery of the Holy Trinity - one God in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - is like this, but more complex and unintelligible." Saint Cyril, the teacher of the Slavs, tried to explain the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity using sun as an example. He said, "God the Father is that blazing sun. God the Son is its light and God the Holy Spirit is its heat - but there is only one sun. So there are three Persons in Holy Trinity but God is One and indivisible." Saint John Maria Vianney used to explain Holy Trinity using roses on the altar. "The rose has colour, fragrance and shape. But these are expressions of one reality, namely, the single rose. There is also a very old and much-repeated story about Saint Augustine, one of the intellectual giants of the Church. He was walking by the seashore one day, attempting to conceive of an intelligible explanation for the mystery of the Trinity. As he walked along, he saw a small boy on the beach, pouring seawater from a shell into a small hole in the sand. "What are you doing, my child?" asked Augustine. "I am trying to empty the sea into this hole" the boy answered with an innocent smile. "But that is impossible, my dear child" said Augustine. The boy stood up, looked straight into the eyes of Augustine and replied "What you are trying to do - comprehend the immensity of God - is even more impossible." Then he vanished. The child was an angel sent by God to teach Augustine a lesson. Later, Augustine wrote "You see the Trinity if you see love." According to him the Father is the lover, the Son is the loved one and the Holy Spirit is the personification of the very act of loving. This means that we can understand something of the mystery of the Holy Trinity more readily with the heart than with our feeble mind. Evagrius of Pontus, a Greek monk of the 4th century who came from what is now Turkey in Asia and later lived out his vocation in Egypt, said "God cannot be grasped by the mind. If God could be grasped, God would not be God."
PRAYER 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
JUST FOR A LAUGH ... with thanks to Alfie Agostini
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!
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.