We welcome this week Fr Alexander Ibe, SMMM who is joining Fr Dick, Fr Francis, SMMM and myself as the resident priests at the Rectory. I am sure you will make him very feel very much at home. We have started eating meals together as a family of priests should and we are very grateful to those parishioners who have kindly provided lunch for us over the last two weeks. We have advertised for a cook/housekeeper so eventually we will be able to carry on in a more regular way.
I have spoken to our Pastoral Assistants and we are in the process of organizing a Day Retreat for those who are presently Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for St Philip Howard, Our Lady and The English Martyrs and Sawston Parishes. The Diocese is asking that each parish keeps an up-to-date register of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
There will be eventually an Identity Card issued by the Diocese to those who are representing the Church in any capacity which will be for the good in maintaining Safeguarding Measures. A date and venue will be given in the near future for that day.
In the meantime, I would ask that anyone currently acting as an Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to let me know at which Mass they normally serve, to whom they normally take Holy Communion and the frequency of those visits as well as their availability for the period of May and June so that we can begin a Rota.
We also need to establish a Rota for Readers. So please, if you are currently reading at Mass please let me know at which Mass you normally read, as well as your availability for the period of May and June so that we can begin a rota.
May I take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all whom I have met so far who have extended such a warm welcome to me. As you probably have guessed the move from St Philip Howard to Our Lady and The English Martyrs was not something I anticipated, but the Bishop asked if I would do so and as each of us priests makes a promise of obedience to our Bishop then how could I refuse? Actually, it is a privilege to be here. I have known this parish for well over thirty years; in fact, I was ordained as a priest here in June, 1984.
A few changes are always inevitable and I have made some. Largely they deal with bringing the Liturgical celebrations in the Parish to a wider dimension with the introduction from Monday to Friday of Lauds (Morning Prayer) at 07:30 and Vespers (Evening Prayer) at 17:45.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament now has a fixed time of 11:00-12:00 on the Main Altar allowing visitors to our beautiful church to see it used as a place of worship and hopefully to be touched by the Lord’s presence among us.
As a City Centre church we have the possibility of reaching out to so many Catholics who come in for work purposes or simply as visitors. I have added two additional 12:15 Masses. One on Tuesday and one on Thursday. In addition, I also need to cater for the needs of the people at St Philip Howard Parish and for many years we have had a Mass in Latin there twice a week. These now will be offered at Our Lady and The English Martyrs Parish on a Tuesday and Thursday evening at 18:15.
Confessions on a Tuesday have been brought forward to 17:15-17:45 to allow for the Divine Office and to ensure that we have ample priests available to minister to those who come.
We will be welcoming Fr Alexander Ibe, SMMM this week. He comes to join Fr Dick and Fr Francis and I here at Our Lady and The English Martyrs. Please pray for us as we seek to service you to the best of our ability.
Father Peter writes: “The time has come for me to say goodbye. I am so grateful for all the kindness you have shown me over the years, and most especially for the words of encouragement and support that I’ve consistently received and particularly since my departure on sabbatical leave was announced. Our Lady and the English Martyrs and Our Lady of Lourdes, Sawston is a fine parish, if a bit on the big side. I have enjoyed my time with you immensely, and am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve your parish. You are great and good people who set such a wonderful example of faith and service. I pray for God’s blessing for the future.
This also provides me with an opportunity to offer some words of welcome to Monsignor Eugene Canon Harkness, as Parish Administrator (with the full mandate as a Parish Priest). You will be blessed by so fine a priest and I’m sure you will give him your support over the months ahead as he cares for the parish until a Rector is appointed. Monsignor Eugene has most graciously agreed to be Parish Administrator in addition to his responsibilities as parish Priest of St Philip Howard, here in Cambridge and his work as Chancellor of the Diocese.”
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