Because of the coronavirus pandemic, public Church services and gatherings are suspended till further notice. will live stream Holy Mass every day and assures you of his prayers for you and your family.
This is a difficult feast to celebrate at home when we are unable to receive the gift that Jesus gives us - his Body and Blood - and it is now quite a long time since we were able to receive Holy Communion. Perhaps today we can offer our prayer in solidarity with all those, past and present, who have been unable to receive this gift. Our own forebears in the time when Catholics were not allowed to celebrate Mass in our country, or people today, especially in the developing world, who have no access to Mass or perhaps do so only every couple of months. The gift of Jesus, while a real, physical gift that we eat and drink, is also a spiritual gift - a gift of presence and communion beyond the physical. Let us give thanks for that, as we look forward to receiving his Body and Blood again in the future.
FROM THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN (6:51-58)
Jesus said to the crowd "I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world." Then the Jews started arguing with one another "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" they said. Jesus replied "I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me. This is the bread come down from heaven - not like the bread our ancestors ate. They are dead but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever."
The Eucharist is not a thing - it is a person. Jesus gives himself to us, not as an idea or concept, not as a symbol or memory, but as a living reality in our here and now. This faith of the Church in the 'real presence' of Jesus is what we celebrate today. But as we do so far from our Church buildings, unable to receive Holy Communion, it challenges us to think a little more broadly about that presence. Our priests are still celebrating Mass every day and this is true throughout the whole world. Just imagine, for a moment, all those Masses. Imagine them connected up, like a network, each Mass a point where the Body and Blood of Jesus are truly present. Each Mass is the presence of the same Lord Jesus, who thus spreads his presence across the whole world. We may not be at Church, we may not be receiving Holy Communion but the 'net' that is the real presence of Jesus is spreading over us even now, from altar to altar throughout the world.
NEW APPOINTMENT FOR FATHER DUNCAN
Bishop Nolan has appointed Father Duncan as Parish Priest of Saint Bride's Church, West Kilbride with the coming retirement of Father Boland on 21 June 2020, whilst remaining Parish Priest of Saint Peter's. Our two parishes will be looking at common issues for the coming months, particularly the issue of Mass times and so on.
LIVE-STREAMING AT SAINT PETER'S
Saint Peter's is now live-streaming the daily Mass and the Sunday Mass and it is already in operation. Kevin Rennie, David Priest and Eddie McArdle have literally 'worked their socks off'over many hours and days to get it ready. I am very grateful to them for all the hard work and dedication. It has been a huge task. Mass will be live-streamed during the week from Monday to Saturday with the Holy Rosary at 9.35am and Holy Mass at the weekday usual time of 10.00am. On Sunday. Mass will start at the usual time of 10.30am. Just go our websites SaintPeterInChains.net or SaintPeterInChains.co.uk and click on the link to the live-streaming. Please pass the word, especially to those who are stuck at home.
REOPENING OF OUR CHURCH
We are hoping and praying that Saint Peter's will be open soon for private prayer. To open safely, we will need to find an answer to two big challenges - cleaning the Church and stewarding it during opening times. Our cleaners, who have done such a wonderful job over many years - we'll come back to this later - can't help with this because of age restrictions and health issues. If you could help with cleaning or being a steward , please get in touch with the Parish Office as soon as possible. The reopening of Churches depends on these two things - cleaning and stewarding, otherwise we won't be able to go ahead. Thank you!
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY
Every day this week, Father Duncan will celebrate Holy Mass, focusing on these thoughts about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 14 June 2020 - Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass for the Parish. During Pope Benedict's visit to the United States a few years ago, he had a meeting in Washington with leaders of different religions. During that meeting, he encouraged everyone present not to be afraid to speak about the real differences between the different religions. He said "Dear friends, in our attempt to discover points of commonality, perhaps we have shied away from the responsibility to discuss our differences with calmness and clarity." - Papal Address to Inter-religious Leaders, 17 April 2008). One of the biggest differences between the Catholic faith and the different Protestant Christian denominations like Baptists, Methodists, and Evangelicals, is connected with the great mystery of the Eucharist which the whole Catholic Church, throughout the world, celebrates in a special way today, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ - Corpus Christi. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Monday 15 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass for the Parish. The Catholic Church has always believed and taught that Jesus Christ is really, truly present in the sacrament of the Eucharist. This makes the sacrament of the Eucharist the greatest of all sacraments. Here's how the Catechism puts it - In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained. That means that the Eucharist is not just a symbol of Christ's presence. A symbol points to a reality but as Catholics, we know that Christ is not just symbolically present in the Eucharist - he is truly, really present. That's what makes the Eucharist a sacrament, instead of just a symbol. Every time an ordained priest pronounces the words of consecration at Mass - when he says "This is my body ... this is my blood" - Jesus himself, in a mysterious, sacramental way, becomes truly present under the appearances of bread and wine. This is what Jesus taught and this is what Catholics have believed since the very dawn of the Church. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 16 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass for the Parish. Every time Mass is celebrated, whether on a battlefield, in a hospital, in the jungle or right here in Saint Peter's in Ardrossan, a real miracle occurs. Just as Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana, at every Mass he turns bread and wine into his own body and blood. Only God can do that kind of thing - only God can perform miracles. Theologians can only describe what happens. They call it transubstantiation. This means that during the Mass, the substance of the bread and wine are changed into Christ's body and blood, but the appearance of bread and wine remains the same. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 17 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass for the Parish and Bernard Kilbane, Michael Leonard and Robert Bennett at their anniversaries. Many times throughout the history of the Church, God has allowed other miracles to take place to remind us of the reality of the central miracle of the Eucharist. There are documented cases of consecrated hosts - the host is the small piece of bread used during the Mass and after it is consecrated by the priest, it becomes a consecrated host, the Eucharist - that have begun to bleed, that have turned into flesh, that have been miraculously preserved in the midst of devastating fires. Miracles like these, of which history is full, are just reminders of the main miracle that occurs every day - Christ turning bread and wine into his body and blood. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 18 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass for the Parish, in thanksgiving for support following the death of Joe McIver and Owen McGuire on his anniversary. This miraculous presence of Christ explains why we give so much reverence to this greatest of all the sacraments, the Eucharist. We use precious metals for the vessels used at Mass. We decorate our Churches with beautiful and valuable art because here in the church building, in the small box called the tabernacle, our Lord is present, accompanying us and interceding for us in the Eucharist 24/7. We celebrate first Holy Communion with splendour and joy. We always genuflect when we cross in front of the tabernacle. We hold processions every year in which the Eucharist is carried in honour through the Church or through our streets just as any other king is honoured by his subjects. We dress respectfully and elegantly when we come to Mass, because we are coming to worship and receive our Lord who will truly become present once again. All of this is part of our rich heritage as Catholic Christians, and it all flows from Christ's true presence in this sacrament. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Friday 19 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass for the Parish and Sheelagh Kelly at her anniversary. Why did Jesus decide to give us the Eucharist? He wanted to extend his incarnation into every corner of the world, into every cranny of history. That's how much he loves us. We are human beings, body and soul, and so we need to feel Christ's presence not just spiritually, but also here-and-now, in this sacrament. He knew we would need a place, a real physical place, where we could go to speak to him, heart-to-heart, in good times and bad. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 20 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass for the Parish and to overcome all forms of racism, intolerance and the instrumentalisation of the human person. We also need Christ's own strength to help us fight bravely against temptations and stay faithful to God's will in our lives. Through the Eucharist, we are mysteriously present at the very sacrifice that Jesus made on Good Friday and so at every Mass we can unite our own sufferings and sacrifices to his. Let's thank him again today for this amazing gift and when we receive him in Holy Communion hopefully soon, let's promise him that we will never take it for granted or let it go to waste. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A SIMPLE EXPLANATION OF THE MASS - PART 3
The Introduction to the Order of the Mass comments - Since worship engages Christians fully, in every aspect of their being, they worship God with their bodies and feelings as well as their minds and spirits, with their hands and feet as well as their eyes and ears. The non-verbal elements of the Liturgy can express what cannot be articulated in words and, at times, can reinforce the spoken word. Because of their importance, the gestures and postures of the Liturgy are to be given the attention they require. Our celebration of the Eucharist is filled with many scared gestures and postures. For example, when we enter our Church, we bless ourselves with Holy Water - a reminder of our Baptism in Christ. Before we enter a pew, we genuflect or bow as an act of adoration and mark the respect for the Eucharist. Every Catholic Church has a Tabernacle where hosts are kept. We believe that Jesus continues to be truly present in the hosts after the celebration of Mass has finished. In Christian liturgical tradition, standing is the posture of an Easter people lifted up to greet the Risen Lord. During Mass, we sit to listen and meditation the Word of God. We kneel before God as an expression of our humble submission to him as our creator as a sign of contrition for our sins and as an act of adoration and reverence. Other gestures used during Mass include bowing a a natural and gracious sign of respect, kissing the altar and the Book of the Gospel, joining hands as an expression of prayerfulness and striking the breast as an act of humility and contrition. A good practice suggestion is to perform ritual actions in a prayerful and reverent way, for example, making the Sign of the Cross slowly and reverently, bowing and genuflecting with reverence, exchanging the Sign of Peace with a sense of the presence of Christ in those around us.
GREAT AND EXHAUSTIBLE
In 1263, a German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a pious priest but one who found it difficult to believe that Christ was actually present in the consecrated Host. While celebrating Holy Mass above the tomb of Saint Christina, he had barely spoken the words of the Consecration when blood started to seep from the consecrated Host and trickle over his hands on to the altar and the corporal. The priest was immediately confused. At first he attempted to hide the blood but then he interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the neighbouring city of Orvieto, the city where Pope Urban IV was then residing. The Pope listened to the priest's account and absolved him. He then sent emissaries for an immediate investigation. When all the facts were ascertained, he ordered the Bishop of the diocese to bring to Orvieto the Host and the linen cloth bearing the stains of blood. With archbishops, cardinals and other Church dignitaries in attendance, the Pope met the procession and, amid great pomp, had the relics placed in the cathedral. The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the Cathedral of Orvieto. It is said that Pope Urban IV was prompted by this miracle to commission Saint Thomas Aquinas to compose the Proper for a Mass and an Office honouring the Holy Eucharist as the Body of Christ. One year after the miracle, in August of 1264, Pope Urban IV introduced the saint's composition and by means of a papal bull instituted the feast of Corpus Christi. After visiting the Cathedral of Orvieto, many pilgrims and tourists journey to Saint Christina's Church in Bolsena to see for themselves the place where the miracle occurred. From the north aisle of the church one can enter the Chapel of the Miracle where the stains on the paved floor are said to have been made by the blood from the miraculous Host. The altar of the miracle, which is surmounted be a ninth century canopy, is now situated in the grotto of Saint Christina. A reclining statue of the saint is nearby. In August of 1964, on the seven-hundredth anniversary of the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi, Pope Paul VI celebrated Holy Mass at the altar where the holy corporal is kept in its golden shrine in the Cathedral of Orvieto. Twelve years later, the same pontiff visited Bolsena and spoke from there via television to the forty-first International Eucharistic Congress, then concluding its activities in Philadelphia. During his address Pope Paul VI spoke of the Eucharist as being " ... a mystery great and inexhaustible."
PRAYER DURING A PANDEMIC
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours. Amen. Cameron Bellm
JUST FOR A LAUGH ...
• The Government in Egypt has asked the city's taxi drivers to drive around Cairo sounding their car horns. It is hoped that the familiar sounds of the city will induce a return to tranquillity and normality following the recent pandemic. Operation Toot 'n Calm 'Em will last for the rest of the week.
• Last night my wife sent me a text, saying she was in casualty. When I got home I watched all fifty minutes of it - I never saw her once. She still hasn't come home yet. I'm starving!
There are two Catholic-themed documentaries which will be broadcast next week on the BBC Scotland channel - My First Communion on Tuesday 16 June at 8.00pm and Our Fathers on Thursday 18 June at 8.30pm. My First Communion follows four little girls in the months leading to their First Holy Communion, a day they will never forget. Each year, around eight thousand children in Scotland make their First Holy Communion. This rite of passage brings with it months of preparations, dress shopping, party planning and religious instruction. In a rural school in the Highlands, it's the first day of communion lessons for the Primary 4 class. Miss Smith runs the class through rehearsals before the day and Father Roddy lets the children taste the altar bread for the first time. Along the way, we meet the family members, teachers, priests and catechists who guide, instruct and accompany the children. Through tears and excitement, interviews with the children and their own video diaries, each moment is another milestone on a personal journey as we go behind the scenes of their First Holy Communion.
If you would like to receive the weekly bulletin and updates by email, please get in touch with the Parish Office and send us your email address. If you know of someone who would like to be included on the mailing list, please let us know. Thanks!
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.
USED POSTAGE STAMPS
We have been asked to donate our used postage stamps to fund Medical Science. Please hand your used stamps to the Parish Office or give to Alfie Agostini.
NEW PARISH WEBSITE
Please have a look at our new parish website which is now up and running. There are lots of resources for prayer and information, latest news and also the weekly bulletin. The history section is being expanded step by step and has really interesting video clips and photos from past events at Saint Peter's. Have a look at SaintPeterInChains.co.uk.
If you would like to receive the weekly Bulletin and updates by email, please get in touch with the parish office and send us your email address. If you know of someone who would like to be included on the mailing list, please let us know - thanks.
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.