Because of the coronavirus pandemic, public Church services and gatherings are suspended till further notice. will celebrate Holy Mass privately every day and assures you of his prayers for you and your family.
Again, it is still Easter - though we are coming to end. Two great feasts lie ahead - the Ascension on Thursday and Pentecost a week on Sunday. We turn towards both those feasts in our Gospel today as we hear Jesus bidding his friends farewell and promising to send them the Holy Spirit. Celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and his love.
FROM THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - 14:15-21
Jesus said to his disciples "If you love me you will keep my commandments. I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you for ever, that Spirit of truth whom the world can never receive since it neither sees nor knows him - but you know him because he is with you, he is in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come back to you. In a short time the world will no longer see me but you will see me because I live and you will live. On that day, you will understand that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you. Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them will be one who loves me and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father and I shall love him and show myself to him."
Those who believe in God always trust in the future. Back in Advent, we heard how Jesus' coming into the world fulfilled the promises God made to his people in the Old Testament - and in today's Gospel we hear new promises, made by Jesus the night before his death on the cross, but read by us as we prepare to remember his departure at the Ascension on Thursday. His promise is, as always, togetherness with God - 'You are in me and I am in you'. This promise will be fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the Advocate - the Holy Spirit - is given to the Church. That promise is fulfilled for us every day of our lives when we invite the Spirit in. What are the ways in which we can ask the Spirit into our lives? How can we rejoice in our togetherness with God?
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY
Every day this week, Father Duncan will celebrate Holy Mass privately, focusing on these Thoughts for the Day taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).
A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 17 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish. Mary is 'full of grace'. The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as 'full of grace' (Luke 1,28). In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace. Through the centuries, the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, 'full of grace' through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception - CCC 490-491. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Monday 18 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and William Sheehan senior at his anniversary. Mary is the 'Mother of God'. Called in the Gospels 'the mother of Jesus', Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as 'the mother of my Lord' (Luke 1,43). In fact, the one who she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly 'Mother of God' (Theotokos, Council of Ephesus, 431) - CCC 495. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 19 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and William Calvert at his anniversary. Mary is ever-Virgin and Mother of the faithful. The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. Jesus is Mary's only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save. 'The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formulation she cooperates with a mother's love' (Lumen Gentium, 63). CCC 499,501. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 20 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Joseph McIver who died recently. Mary is the Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church. Since the Virgin Mary's role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. 'The Virgin Mary ... is acknowledged and honoured as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer'. She is clearly the mother of the members of Christ' ... since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head (Lumen Gentium, 53) - CCC 963. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 21 May 2020 - the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and John Ross who died recently. Mary is our Mother. Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further than being our model. 'In a wholly singular way, she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Saviour's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace' (Lumen Gentium, 61) - CCC 968. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Friday 22 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Lily McCartney who died recently. Mary is inseparable from her Son. Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her to be given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words 'Woman, behold your son' (John 19, 26f, Lumen Gentium, 58). After her Son's Ascension, Mary 'aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers' (Lumen Gentium, 69). In association with the apostles and several women, 'we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit' (Lumen Gentium, 59) - CCC 964,965. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 23 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Esther Tumilty who died recently. Mary is the object of our devotion and the measure of the Church's Greatness. 'All generations will call me blessed' (Luke 1,48). 'The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship' (Paul VI, Marialis cultis, 56). The Church's structure is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ's members and holiness is measured according to the great mystery in which the Bride responds with the gift of love to the gift of the Bridegroom" (John Paul II, Mulieris dignitatem, 27). Mary goes before us all in the holiness that is the Church's mystery as 'the bride without spot or wrinkle' (Ephesians 5,27). This is why the Marian dimension of the Church precedes the Petrine (Mulieris dignitatem, 27) - CCC 971,773. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
PRAYER FOR SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come spiritually into my soul so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever. Amen.
TURNING TO OUR BLESSED MOTHER DURING LOCKDOWN
On the morning of 7 August 1974, a tightrope stretched between the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Centre, 1350 feet above the ground. For forty-five minutes, French high-wire artist Philippe Petit tread that steel cable confidently, knelt on it, lay down on it and goaded police officers poised to arrest him on either end. He looked ahead, never down, and he carried a fifty-pound, twenty-six-feet balancing pole. In these unusual times, we are looking for balance. The Christian life has always been an exercise in looking ahead and carrying the pole of faith to steady us. Eight hundred years ago, Saint Thomas Aquinas penned the following prayer. 'May my way to you, Lord, be safe, straight and defined, not swerving between good times and setbacks, so that in good times I render you thanks and in setbacks preserve patience, so that in the former I may not be blown aloft and in the latter not depressed. May I rejoice only in what spurs me toward you, grieve only at what draws me away from you. May I desire to please no one but you, fear to displease no one but you. May all transient things be worthless to me, on your account and may all that is yours be dear to me, and you, my God, above all.' May is the month of the woman who sets us the perfect example of that God-oriented balance which is virtue. As Aquinas prays to render God thanks in good times, she rendered Him the perfect praise at the moment of the Incarnation - 'My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord' (Luke 1:48). As Aquinas prays to preserve patience in setbacks, Mary's patient endurance reached its fullness when she stood, hour after hour, beneath her Son's cross (John 19:25). Mary is our model of equilibrium. Let us ask her help when we are walking today's tightrope - working, not over-working, from home; sharing close quarters with the same people over long periods of time; worrying and grieving. Let us imitate Mary's rich interior life of prayer - 'she pondered all these things in her heart.' (Luke 2:19, 51) - and her eagerness in charity - 'she went in haste' to her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1:39). Perhaps you could incorporate the family rosary into your daily schedule or a decade of the Rosary, as Pope Francis asks of us, and offer some practical help to a person who is alone. Remember that, beneath the tightrope of our life, Mary stands with her maternal arms outstretched, ready to catch us when we fall into the excess or defect of sin, eager to set us right with her Son. "Am I not here, who am your Mother?" she asked Saint Juan Diego, distraught as his uncle lay dying. "Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? Let nothing else worry you, disturb you". With her beneath us, we, like Philippe Petit, can tread confidently, kneel earnestly in prayer, sleep in peace, and even maintain a sense of humour. Sister Maria Veritas Marks, Dominican Sisters of Mary
A member of the parish Church who previously had been attending Mass regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the parish priest decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The priest found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for the priest's visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The priest made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the priest took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination. As the one lone ember's flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and 'dead as a doornail'. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. Just before the priest was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it. As the priest reached the door to leave, his host said "Thank you so much for your visit Father and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in Church next Sunday."
NOVENA FOR PENTECOST
To celebrate Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Church, we are invited to pray the Holy Spirit Novena every day from the Solemnity of the Ascension onwards. Ascension Thursday is 21 May 2020. It is a powerful prayer that is meant to help us open ourselves up to the third person of the Holy Trinity. The Pentecost Novena is the first of all novenas, nine days of prayer. After Jesus' ascension into heaven, he commanded his disciples to come together in the upper room to devote themselves to constant prayer (Acts 1:14). They prayed for nine days before receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. On 4 May 1897, Pope Leo XIII proclaimed "We decree and command that throughout the whole Catholic Church, this year and in every subsequent year, a novena shall take place before Pentecost Sunday in all parish churches" (Encyclical On the Holy Spirit, 13). Here is the Prayer to the Holy Spirit.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen
FOR A LAUGH ...
An Arab Sheik was admitted to hospital for heart surgery but prior to the surgery, the doctors needed to store his blood in case the need arose. As the gentleman had a rare type of blood, it couldn't be found locally so the call went out. Finally, a Scotsman was located who had a similar blood type. The Scot willingly donated his blood for the Arab. After the surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman in appreciation for giving his blood, a new BMW car, diamonds and dollars. A couple of days later, once again, the Arab had to go through a corrective surgery. His doctor telephoned the Scotsman who was more than happy to donate his blood again. After the second surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman a thank-you card and a box of Quality Street chocolates. The Scotsman was shocked that the Arab did not reciprocate his kind gesture as he had anticipated. He phoned the Arab and asked him "I thought you would be generous again, that you would give me a BMW, diamonds and money - but you only gave me a thank-you card and a box of Quality Street". To this the Arab replied "Aye laddie, but I noo have Scottish blood in ma veins".
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.
PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS - MISSION STATEMENT
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.