Friday, 31 July 2020

Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola

Feast of St Ignatius Loyola
Today we celebrate the Feast of St Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Ignatian spirituality and The Society of Jesus or Jesuits. To read more about Ignatian spirituality why not follow up God: our response to God's gifts

Although a video for children, there is lots for adults who are unfamiliar with St Ignatius and his Spiritual exercises and teachings too.  For adults you may also find Pray as you go with its daily prayer and reflection a useful resource, perhaps something to explore during the coming month. 

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Getting ready to come to church

Two videos have been prepared to explain the arrangements for coming to Mass at the Cathedral and also at St Thomas More.  These plans have been informed by the government guidance (for further detail Statement on reopening of churchesand it is clear that behind the scenes a lot of work and preparation have been undertaken ... our thanks to all those who have helped in cleaning, preparing signage etc. 

Guidance for the cathedral

Guidance for St Thomas More

Private Prayer
Arrangements continue at 1.30 to 2.30 and for further guidance the re-opening for private prayer video.

Friday, 3 July 2020

Bishop Paul invites us to take time to pray

Today a little later in the week, but at the start of July, Bishop Paul Swarbrick invites us to join him in a time of prayer.  And encourages those with children to join too.  We bring all that we have been doing to the Lord. Towards the end of the video there is a lovely close up of the Tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is there waiting for the time when we can come and join him.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Feast of St Peter and Paul

Happy Feast Day, today we celebrate the Feast of St Peter and Paul.  In recent years there have been additional flowers and candles lit before our statue of St Peter and for some a time to revisit the 150th Anniversary timeline to see all the popes descended from St Peter as leaders of the church.  This year things are a little different, but it is good to know that Bishop Paul was able to join with Frs Steve and John-Paul, and Deacon Jim to celebrate Mass.  As the local leaders of our Diocese and parish we remember them in our prayers and look forward to the day when we will be able to be together again. 

If you have already been to Mass today, but still want to hear Fr Steven's homily on this feast day starting at 15.30

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Corpus Christi and Benediction of Lancaster

On Sunday 14th June we celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi, Bishop Paul Swarbrick used this as an opportunity to lead a time of prayer and then go to the Cathedral doors to give a benediction (blessing) to the city and people of Lancaster.  Below you can see Bishop Paul returning to the Cathedral after the memorable moment captured at 17.50 in the video below. 

Sunday, 14 June 2020

We are the body of Christ

Continuing with extracts from the newsletter, Fr Steve reminds us:
Picture body filled with people, Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it 1 Corinthians 12:27
Noting the need for social distancing
of this body!
The Catholic identity depends upon our sense of being and working together. Viruses apart...we belong to the Lord and to each other...we are the Body of Christ.. Not even a potent virus can change that!

For our Cathedral to be available for private prayer we will need people to sacrifice of their time and presence or it may not be possible. 

The Principles established by government to enable safe re-opening of churches below have been incorporated into Diocesan guidance. We need to: 

  1. Protect those at higher risk (e.g. the elderly, those extremely vulnerable and shielding, or the clinically vulnerable and accessing annual flu immunisation); 
  2. Enhanced cleaning of premises - more regularly and no sharing of items; 
  3. Social Distancing - including when using outdoor spaces; 
  4. The use of face coverings by stewards where possible for reassurance; 
  5. Hygiene (hand-washing) or hand sanitising facilities for all; 
  6. Managing children (children under 16 must be in the company of a responsible adult and remain with them) 

Please help us in this vital work by volunteering for stewarding. Please contact Cathedral House by email or ring 384820 and include your contact details so that we can be in touch. 

See yesterday's post for further details about arrangements.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

New life during COVID a process?

The Resurrection...New life during COVID a process? 
Newsletter update about plans for private prayer at church.
The new life of Easter happened after a brief period of waiting, that is between Good Friday and Easter day. The birth of the church at Pentecost happened after a period of waiting, that is between the Ascension of the Lord then ten days later and the first Christian Pentecost when the Holy Spirit and the gospel mission were given to the new church. These were events...happenings.

The emergence into the slightly fragile new life of COVID 19 for our church buildings is not so much an event as a process. The Pandemic is still upon us. Maybe the numbers of infections and fatalities are falling, especially the latter, but we still need to follow the government’s advice on social distancing and personal hygiene wherever we are. 

During last week, as was anticipated in some quarters, it was made clear that places of worship would be allowed to reopen for personal prayer only from June 15th. For us as a parish community with two churches, the nature of the recommendations expected of us mean that only one of our buildings can be opened. This needs to be the Cathedral because of its centrality in the life of our town.

I wish to put before you now the recommendations handed down to us by the Diocesan Authorities so that this opening can go forward. Currently the Cathedral has been disinfected within an inch of its life. We have mapped the benches for social distancing and we propose to have space available for up to 20 individuals. A one way system in and out of the building via the South (the usual) door will be in place. The pathway to the available spaces will be clearly marked by arrows on the floor. 
If you plan to make a visit to the Cathedral please follow all these protocols to the letter. Yet please feel like you are in our Father’s house where the Lord resides waiting for your prayers and your company. 
We have moved the statues of Our Lady, St Joseph, and the Sacred Heart (The Holy Family!) into the “Inspire” display cabinet at the back of the Cathedral near to the North door. We are doing this so that people may pray before these beloved statues without journeying through the Cathedral. It is not yet clear if we can make votive candles available.

The regulations for this opening of churches make it clear that there needs to be two stewards in the Cathedral during its opening hours to see that the social distancing and the cleansing with hand gel are observed. Clearly the more volunteers we have for this duty the lighter the burden will be. Currently we have five people who have volunteered to help. We need several more for this to work. Please contact Cathedral House to discuss.
Currently I am hoping to keep the Cathedral open from 1.30pm to 2.30pm Monday through to Sunday but these hours and this span of days is dependent upon sufficient stewards being available.