BULLETIN                            10 MAY 2020


Because of the coronavirus pandemic, public Church services and gatherings are suspended till further notice.
Father Duncan will celebrate Holy Mass privately every day and assures you of his prayers for you and your family.

About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews. In the daily distribution, their own widows were being overlooked. So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them. It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food. You, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom. We will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word. The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these to the apostles who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of the Lord continued to spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem was greatly increased and a large group of priests made their submission to the faith.

The Lord is the living stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him. Set yourselves close to him so that you too, the holy priesthood that offers the spiritual sacrifices which Jesus Christ has made acceptable to God, may be living stones making a spiritual house. As scripture says - See how I lay in Zion a precious cornerstone that I have chosen and the man who rests his trust on it will not be disappointed. That means that for you who are believers, it is precious, but for unbelievers, the stone rejected by the builders has proved to be the keystone, a stone to stumble over, a rock to bring men down. They stumble over it because they do not believe in the word. It was the fate in store for them - but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

Jesus said to his disciples "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father's house. If there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me so that where I am you may be too. You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said "Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you know me, you know my Father too. From this moment you know him and have seen him." Philip said 'Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied." "Have I been with you all this time, Philip" said Jesus to him "and you still do not know me? To have seen me is to have seen the Father so how can you say Let us see the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself. It is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work. You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason. I tell you most solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father."

Dear brothers and sisters
As the Body of Christ, the Church in all her sons and daughters has been enduring a time of severe trial. As we continue to practise social distancing to limit the spread of coronavirus, I write today with deep gratitude for all of you, the faithful in Ardrossan, who have been walking the path of love for one another, particularly the most vulnerable among us, by sacrificing your ability to gather together for Mass during these last several weeks. Thank you for your witness, your faith and your loyalty. I am so grateful for all the signs of support and kindness, the telephone calls and numerous emails being sent and received. Many of you have shared with me your sadness and devoted desire to return to Mass. Please know that we share this deep longing for the Eucharist and have taken them to prayer as our bishops in Scotland discern the next steps of the Church's response to this global pandemic. I share your desire to return to normal liturgical life and reestablish the rich spiritual and communal life of our Parish and school. We are grateful to God that as the lockdown restrictions may soon be eased, public Masses are once again becoming a possibility in our parish Church. While we do not yet have a firm date when it will be safe to resume public gatherings here, please know that the Scottish Dioceses are working together to find a suitable way forward. We will resume our public Masses and other parish events when we are confident that doing so will not pose undue risk to the health and well-being of the members of our Parish Family. I celebrate Holy Mass privately every day and consciously include all our parishioners and our personal needs and intentions. I am also very grateful to George McGrattan and Colin Mulhern who have been working so hard on our parish websites. Both are up and running and will keep you informed with the latest news and offer information and a variety of resources for prayer. It is important to note that the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation has not been prohibited during the pandemic. Parishioners are welcome to call me and we can work out a time together. Likewise, Anointing of the Sick and the pastoral care of the sick and the dying have continued as clergy are able and with respect for individual hospital policies. It is my daily prayer that we will gather again soon for Mass, in one form or another - although the regulations may be somewhat strange for us. We know that this return will look and feel different from what we are used to experiencing. As we move forward, we must remember God's unending love for us and his ability to bring good from our trials. He created each of us to live in this moment, during this pandemic so that we might give witness to our confidence in the good news of the Lord's victory over suffering and death. Let us pray together that we all may rise to this challenge. Let us also continue to pray for our heroic health care and social care workers, for those who are ill or who have died from the virus and for their families. We entrust them and our entire parish family into the loving care of Our Blessed Lady, Health of the Sick and Refuge of Sinners. To this end, I repeat the invitation of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, that we all pray a daily Rosary in the special month of May. On your behalf, I crowned the statue of Our Lady in Church on the first Sunday of May. We unite ourselves once again with the faithful throughout the world and entrust ourselves to the prayers of our Blessed Mother. Through her intercession, may God bring about an end to the pandemic and grant healing and protection to the people in Ardrossan and beyond. Let us hold each other as we pray at home in these difficult times. Looking forward to seeing you all soon! Keep safe, keep well and keep praying!
God bless,
Father Duncan, Parish Priest

Every day this week, Father Duncan will celebrate Holy Mass privately, focusing on these Thoughts for the Day taken from Our Lady, Undoer of Knots by Marge Fenelon.

A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 10 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Ian McCormick on his anniversary. Knots. Bumps in the road. Thorns in the side. Rough edges. Call them what you will, but we all have them - those difficulties in life that make life knotty, bumpy, thorny or rough. Some of them are, unfortunately, of our own creation - we make bad choices and things get complicated. Others come of the craziness that is life-illness, misunderstandings, unforeseen situations. While I certainly couldn't begin to explain the reasons or solutions for the many knots in life, I can say with one hundred percent certainty that we all have them. During his 12 October 2013, catechesis, Pope Francis revealed to the world his special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. In his address, he spoke of Mary as the 'new Eve' who unties the knot of Eve's disobedience. He is referring to a beautiful image of Our Lady where she unties the knots of our problems and worries. Each day this week tackles a different knot-injustice, separation, confusion, hopelessness, grief and loss, discord, betrayal, envy and pride and affliction. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Monday 11 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Kathleen Cairns. The Knot of Injustice - "You young people, you have a particular sensitivity towards injustice but you are often disappointed by facts that speak of corruption on the part of people who put their own interests before the common good. To you and to all, I repeat - never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished. Be the first to seek to bring good, do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it with good. The Church is with you, bringing you the precious good of faith, bringing Jesus Christ, who 'came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10) - Pope Francis. What injustice burdens you? Have you been discriminated against because of your culture or religion? Perhaps it was something subtle, like a snide remark whispered behind your back, or the withholding of some privilege. That can be painful and disturbing. Injustice becomes a knot that can trap us in sinfulness and turn us away from God. We can become caustic and vengeful. Revenge can lead us to hatred and that's a serious sin. That's why we need to turn our knot of injustice over to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots - before it entangles us in sin and ruin. We might prefer to cling to the knot, seeking vengeance or believing we deserve restitution. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 12 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and John Ross who died recently. The Knot of Separation - "The divisions among Christians, while they hurt the Church, they wound Christ. And, divided, we wound Christ. The Church is indeed the body in which Christ is the head. We know well how much Jesus cared that his disciples remain united in His love" - Pope Francis. Can you think of a time when you felt the pain of being separated from a friend or loved one? At one time or another, most of us have had such an experience. Rest assured, Our Lady wants you to place your troubles into her lap, with confidence and childlike trust. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 13 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Joseph McIver who died recently. The Knot of Hopelessness - "May the Church be a place of God's mercy and hope, where all feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live according to the good life of the Gospel. And to make others feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged, the Church must be with doors wide open so that all may enter. And we must go out through these doors and proclaim the Gospel." - Pope Francis. Pope Francis assured them of the Lord's goodness and mercy. He gave them hope. We are all exposed to sin, to evil, to betrayal. We are fully conscious of the disproportion between the grandeur of God's call and of own littleness, between the sublimity of the mission and the reality of our human weakness. Yet the Lord in his great goodness and his infinite mercy always takes us by the hand lest we drown in the sea of our fears and anxieties. He is ever at our side, he never abandons us. And so, let us not be overwhelmed by fear or disheartened, but with courage and confidence let us press forward in our journey and in our mission. Do you think your situation is hopeless? Are you struggling with a chronic illness, or an unrelenting burden of circumstance? Are you suffering from anxiety or depression that is wreaking havoc in your personal life? Take it to Mary. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 14 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Mary Durkan who died recently. The Knots of Grief and Loss - "Dear young people, let us entrust ourselves to Jesus, let us give ourselves over to Him because He never disappoints anyone! Only in Christ crucified and risen can we find salvation and redemption. With him, evil, suffering, and death do not have the last word, because he gives us hope and life. He has transformed the Cross from being an instrument of hate, defeat, and death to being a sign of love, victory, triumph and life." - Pope Francis. Every injury, every one of our pains and sorrows, has been borne on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd who offered himself in sacrifice and thereby opened the way to eternal life. His open wounds are the cleft through which the torrent of his mercy is poured out upon the world. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the basis of our hope! Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Friday 15 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and John Mullen at his month's mind. The Knots of Envy and Pride - "What is the law of the People of God? It is the law of love, love for God and love for neighbour according to the new commandment that the Lord left to us (John 13:34). It is a love, however, that is not sterile sentimentality or something vague, but the acknowledgment of God as the one Lord of life and, at the same time, the acceptance of the other as my true brother, overcoming division, rivalry, misunderstanding, selfishness - these two things go together. We must ask the Lord to make us correctly understand this law of love. How beautiful it is to love one another as true brothers and sisters. How beautiful! Let's do something today." - Pope Francis. Envy and pride can lead us to segregate our lives into quarters, like the Old City of Jerusalem, in the sense that we separate the 'haves' from the 'have-nots'. Whether it's property, popularity, talents, intelligence or something entirely different, we can be prideful when we have more than others and envious of those who have more than we do. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 16 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and James Joseph Timmons at his anniversary. One of the defining aspects of being Catholic is devotion to Mary. I favour no Marian celebration more highly than May Crowning, the feast that recognises Mary as queen of heaven and earth. To a person of any age, this is a mighty big title but to a child of five or six or seven, it expands to enchanting, magical proportions. How many queens does one get a chance to meet in a lifetime, much less crown? May Crowning marked a new spiritual season. Our Mary, queen of heaven and earth, lifted us right out of the last long, cold days of winter and firmly planted our hearts in the warm and promising soil of spring. I will be forever grateful to the Church for bringing me Mary and grateful to Mary for bringing me her Son. For that was my route. I might not have discovered the gaze of Jesus if I had not first felt the maternal, nurturing and safe embrace of my mother in heaven. Through Mary, I became enamoured of the holy family. Through Mary, I was invited into the Catholic fold. It was her feminine presence and the safety of her motherhood that helped me grow. My child's heart was so full of love for my mother in heaven and understood already what my head could not yet know - Mary would bring me to Jesus. The growing would be toward Jesus, for Jesus, with Jesus. Through Mary, Jesus was brought to you and to me. She was delivered up like an innocent, perfect spring flower to lighten our spirits, complete our senses, bring the very aroma of heaven to our world in need of warming, and welcome our hearts into the eternal mystery of spring and growing things. This was written by a mum of three children. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

If you know anyone who needs a parcel of food essentials left at the door, please get in touch with the Parish Office on 01294 464063, with the name and address.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of John Ross who died on 3 May 2020. His funeral service, for close family only, will be at the Clyde Coast and Garnock Valley Crematorium, Dalry, on Monday 18 May 2020 at 10.00am. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

A man was sleeping at night in his house when suddenly his room filled with light and the Saviour appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do and showed him a large rock in front of his house. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man's mind such as "You have been pushing against that rock for a long time and it hasn't budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it." This gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man even more. "Why kill myself over this?" he thought. "I'll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort, and that will be good enough." And that he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thought to the Lord. "Lord," he said "I have laboured long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimetre, What is wrong? Why am I failing?" To this the Lord responded compassionately "My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me, with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewed and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done. "I, my friend, will now move the rock."
    When everything seems to go wrong... just P-U-S-H!
    When your work gets you down ...
    When people don't react the way you think they should ...
    When your money is gone and the bills are due ...
    When people just don't understand you ...
    When you have a worry or trouble and can't find an answer ... just P.U.S.H.!
         P = Pray
         U = Until
         S = Something
         H = Happens

Two ninety-year-old men, Mike and Joe, have been friends all of their lives. When it's clear that Joe is dying, Mike visits him every day. One day Mike says "Joe, we both loved football all our lives and we played football on Saturdays together for so many years. Please do me one favour, when you get to Heaven - somehow you must let me know if there's football there." Joe looks up at Mike from his deathbed "Mike, you've been my best friend for many years. If it's at all possible, I'll do this favour for you." Shortly after that, Joe passes on. At midnight a couple of nights later, Mike is awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to him "Mike. Mike." "Who is it?" asks Mike, sitting up suddenly. "Who is it?" "Mike - it's me, Joe. I have some really good news and a little bad news." "Tell me the good news first" says Mike. "The good news" Joe says, "is that there is football in heaven. Better yet, all of our old friends who died before us are here, too. Better even than that, we're all young again. Better still, it's always spring time and it never rains or snows - and, best of all, we can play football all we want and we never get tired." "That's fantastic" says Mike. "It's beyond my wildest dreams! So what's the bad news?" "You're in the team for this Saturday."

The financial support and upkeep of the Parish is also drastically affected by the present situation. Please try and hand in your Offertory envelopes to the Parish Office when you can or better still, consider taking out a Banker's Order for Saint Peter's as the social isolation will probably impact us for the next months. Banker's Order and Gift Aid Declaration forms are available in the Parish Office and on our website. If you would prefer that we email you or post the forms, please let the Parish Office know. If you require any assistance in completing the forms, please contact George at the Parish Office and he can speak to you by phone. Thank you for all you do and for your solidarity and generosity. In these difficult financial times, there is no obligation to give to the Sunday Collection. If, however, you feel able to, you can donate by text message to an account set up by the Diocese of Galloway. It is not possible to nominate a particular parish so all text-giving donations will be shared among parishes. To donate, text the word SUNDAY to 70085 followed by the number of pounds, from 1 to 20. For example, SUNDAY 5 to 70085 gives £5. This message would cost £5 plus one standard rate message charge. Thank you for all your commitment and support.

If a member of your family or a friend is sick, please let us know and give us the details. Deacon Bill Corbett (01292 521208, 07904 248948, Rev.BillCorbett@btinternet.com) is the Chaplain to Crosshouse Hospital and is assisted by the Priest on call each week.

Our advertisers would welcome your support. We are grateful for their continuing sponsorship. We are grateful for the support of Mr and Mrs Sohal, Nisa Stores, Glasgow Street for the weekly donation of tea, coffee and milk for the Sunday teas.

The Catholic Church in Scotland is concerned with the lives, safety, wholeness and well-being of each individual person within God's purpose for everyone. It seeks to safeguard the welfare of people of all ages who are involved in whatever capacity
with the Church and its organisations. As a Church community, we accept that it is the responsibility of all of us, ordained, professed, paid and voluntary members, to work together to prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect of children, young people and vulnerable adults.