Immaculate Conception and St. Dominic, Stone

Including Sacred Heart Church, Eccleshall


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Thoughts on this difficult time

Dear people,

Bring our faith to protect the world:

The opening prayer of Ash Wednesday said: Grant, Lord that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, we can take up the battle against spiritual evils. We are reminded that the battle between good and evil is ongoing and unrelenting. We as Christians fight in this battle daily for ourselves and the people of our world. For all are our neighbour and we have a duty of care.

I see the current crisis for the Covid 19 virus as an evil. The Devil is always trying to create uncertainty, undermine hope, cause anxiety, put wedges between God and people, and people and people, to separate and isolate us from each other. He must feel he has found a powerful tool in this virus and its unsettling effect on the world.

But the Devil always underestimates the power of love as it is an alien concept to him. Our solidarity with God and each other is primarily a spiritual family. We are bound with cords that cannot be broken. Nothing in our past, present or future can come between us and the love of Jesus. We may not be able to gather together physically in the Mass but we are still Church (the building is named after us). Let us be a solidarity of prayer, intercede for the world, call God’s healing on all who grieve, are ill or worried about a loved one. We will make our spiritual Holy Communion in our hearts. Let us come to the aid of an anxious people, spiritually hold hands and put all in God’s care who is with us through it all. Cardinal Nicholls said that when a plant is starved of water, it puts down deeper roots and become the stronger due to the challenge. Let us be a leaven of hope and reassurance rooted in our faith. I think of no greater service to render our world. Once the disciples felt unable to help an afflicted person and were told by Jesus “This kind does not go out except for fasting and prayer”.

Over to us. The tools are in our hands.

God bless, Fr. Gerard.


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