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.
The Gospel from St Mark this week will have a particular meaning for us. It speaks of the disciples on the sea/lake and their boat is rocked by a sudden storm that is sudden, enduring and fills them with fear and panic. We are still in the midst of the pandemic and can identify with the disciples in the midst of the tumult. The pandemic like the storm came suddenly and no one was prepared. Fear and vulnerability is our common response.
This Gospel is timely for us as it seeks to reassure us that we are not alone. We note that Jesus is in the boat but the disciples fear is undiminished. They panic and accuse Jesus of indifference to their plight. The Lord is sleeping which is a sign of His total confidence in the Father to watch over Him. The lesson is that all the disciples need to feel safe is an intense awareness that Jesus is with them and trust Him. The sea is a symbol of all that can disturb and unsettle us, it is the abyss. Jesus shows His power over the storm by calming the wind and the waves. The Lord points out that the disciples need more faith. Faith brings confidence that, no matter what difficulty we face, God is in authority and will bring us through. This only makes sense if there is a Heaven. This life is not the only one. God will bring us through the storms and trials of life to be with Him in Paradise. We have lost loved ones who are now with Jesus in an indescribable happiness. Many people carry immense crosses and some never seem to be free from tribulation. I always feel humbled when overburdened people smile and just thank God for the odd better days and for always being there for them in the hard times. No one will have a storm free life. I read somewhere trials are just opportunities with their work clothes on. My mother didn’t have an easy life and was in poor health and she offered up all her trials to God as a share in the Lord’s Passion. I never heard her complain. Mom just put her trust in God and she was and is streets ahead of me. I wonder from time to time why God doesn’t intervene? Why has He allowed something so trying to happen to a loved one of mine? Why do good people have to go through so much? I wish I had Mom’s faith.
This Gospel is for those of us who feel we may have inadvertently settled for a particular level of faith that needs to be deepened and made more trusting and robust. In another place Jesus says when He returns at the end of the age will He find any faith? Let us keep the faith, allow the Holy Spirit to strengthen the faith, and enable us to pass the precious gift of faith to others. Let us play our part and the Lord when He comes will not be disappointed. To be able to trust God at all times in all situations is our goal. Let us ask Mary, the Mother of God to mentor us in the gift of trust which she exemplified.
The Diocesan Safeguarding team has just sent all parishes a link to a survey from the Catholic Safeguarding Project, with a request for some volunteers from our parish to complete it, so that they can get a better understanding of the current support, training and resources available for parish volunteers and how they might best be supported in future. The responses will be collated centrally and the Catholic Safeguarding Standards authority (CSSA) will analyse all responses.
If you volunteer with young people or vulnerable adults at St Dominic’s or Sacred Heart (e.g. SVP, Children’s Liturgy, Youth work) you can, if you wish, complete the online survey. To do so, follow the link below before June 25th 2021.
Pilgrimage Mass Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes Hednesford
Cancelled due to Covid
Bishop Stephen will celebrate a Pilgrimage Mass with anointing on Sunday June 20th at 3 pm in the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes at Hednesford. If anyone would like to come, please ask them to let us know by ringing 01543 422576 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The mass will be filmed and made available on Sunday July 4th at 4 pm to replace the normal Diocesan Pilgrimage Mass. I am sorry that continuing COVID restrictions mean that I cannot issue a general invitation to concelebrate. We all hope and pray that normal service will be resumed next year! Best wishes.
Fr Jeremy Howard – Parish Priest – Our Lady of Lourdes Hednesford
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|