We are the parish which Includes Immaculate Conception and St. Dominic, Stone; Sacred Heart, Eccleshall; Holy Michael Archangel, Aston-by-Stone. We hope to keep you well informed during these strange times and offer some thoughts and prayers.
As these troubling times continue, I am grateful to all of you who are coming to Mass. Our gathering and solidarity in safe conditions, gives me hope. Baptisms and weddings are being celebrated and we have managed some Confirmations and First Holy Communions. I am very conscious of you who cannot come. Please feel a vital part of our worshipping community. You are in our thoughts at Holy Mass and I know the Lord will feed and nourish you through your spiritual Holy Communion. Your ministry of prayer in your home is of immense importance to the advancement of the Lord’s Kingdom of justice, mercy and love.
Now, what of our readings? The Book of Wisdom tells how the innocent and good suffer from their persecutor’s point of view. We are being tested. Those who oppose us think they know our breaking point. Why do they oppose us? Because God’s love, mercy, goodness and holiness challenges their way of life. It’s easier to silence us than to change their ways. We see this in the treatment they give to Jesus. Our psalm (53) is of individual lament and expresses absolute trust in God and His victory. The psalmist is totally assured as he speaks of the Lord’s help. We continue our reading from the Letter from St. James. He contemplates what holds people apart such as jealousy. The effect of enmity is conflict and disharmony. James reminds us to pray properly in a selfless, humble and sincere way. How we pray can determine the answer we receive. In the Gospel from St. Mark, Jesus once more speaks of His coming Passion, Death and Resurrection. This is, understandably met with the disciples/apostles feeling sad and without comprehension. It will happen and Jesus wants to prepare His followers to endure through the sad to the joy of new life He will bring. The issue of His followers arguing about who is an important one. Jesus exemplifies humility, selflessness and service. Only those who avoid power seeking, kudos, the need for admiration etc., can possibly do His will. Jesus takes a little child as an example of the receptivity and littleness that will serve the disciples well in God’s service. He wants lives that are uncluttered and open so that He can send His graces, compassion, mercy and love through us to others. This is not a call to allow ourselves to be trodden on. We must feel special, wanted, valued, loved, cared for, protected, nurtured and safe as all children should feel. God is always with us, caring and providing for us.
Please pray for all who have died and all who mourn. We call down God’s healing Spirit upon all who carry the cross of illness in mind and body. For all carers to have the love, patience, hope, compassion and joy they need.
In the garden: Chalkie the itinerant cat has reappeared. The starlings are waiting patiently every morning chatting away waiting for breakfast. The flowers in my garden are wonderful. You can see some beauties peeking over the wall on Station Road. The apples have largely fallen and I have eaten quite a few and given away some. The wasps are enjoying many. I watch from a safe distance.
Gift Aid – Certificates of Donation
Due to the pandemic the Diocese are unable to send out Certificates of Donation for the tax year 6th April 2019- 5th April 2020. Anyone requiring such a certificate should email our Parish Gift Aid Coordinator where your request will be dealt with.
At the moment Masses and some public services can now take place.
Our churches are open for Mass as follows:-
|Immaculate Conception & St Dominic, Stone|
|Sacred Heart, Eccleshall|