THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Thoughts for the Day for 13 to 7 June are about the Most Holy Trinity.

A message from Father Duncan on Friday 12 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass for the Parish and Sheelagh Kelly at her anniversary. Drawing Nearer to Our Neighbours -this mysterious and wonderful doctrine about God, that he is both unity and trinity, is called by the Catechism 'the central mystery of Christian faith and life'. It's the centre of our faith because it gives us a glimpse into the inner life of God himself, the God we believe in - and it's the centre of our life, because we are called to be living images of God, created to love and be loved. Jesus gave his Church the great commandment to 'love one another as I have loved you'. He did not command us to make millions of pounds. He did not command us to win awards and prizes in our profession. He did not command us to be comfortable. He commanded us to be like him - to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbour as ourselves. And loving God leads automatically to loving our neighbour. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 11 June 2020 - Memorial of Saint Barnabas
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass for the Parish and for the reopening of Churches soon. Every human family is an image of this Trinitarian love. The husband gives himself without limits to the wife and the wife receives him and gives herself in return, without limits and it is through that total love of mutual self-giving that God brings a new life into the world - a child, called to eternal friendship with God. This is the true sacredness and beauty of married love, of sexual love. This is why the Church never wavers in issues of sexual morality. Human sexuality has a deep theological meaning that we must all honour if we are to live life to the full. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 10 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass for the Parish and doctors, nurses and care staff. The Catechism teaches us that 'the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life'. This is because we are created in the image and likeness of God as the Bible tells us. Therefore, if God's essential nature is love, so is ours! We have a built in openness to other people. We are incomplete by ourselves. We are created to give ourselves to others and to receive others. The Father, from all Eternity, loves the Son and pours himself into the Son and the Son loves the Father in return - and that mutual love is so complete that the Holy Spirit proceeds from it. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 9 June 2020 - Feast of Saint Columba
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass for the Parish, the sick and housebound. The most fundamental and essential characteristic of the Blessed Trinity is love. Not power, not knowledge, not transcendence - but love. This explains why Jesus came to earth in the first place - "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life" (John 3:16). This also explains what the Holy Trinity is all about. If God were solitary, how could his nature be love? Love always means relationship and self-giving. God is love. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Monday 8 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Hugh and Tommy McEvoy at their anniversaries and Julia Paterson on her anniversary.
God Is Love Because he Is a Trinity - It's something we have all heard many times. In fact, we may have become so used to it that we don't remember how revolutionary and unique that conception of God really is. There are many religions in the world and many of them have come to understand that God is good - but almost all of them start with man's search for God. Christianity is different. Christianity is about God's search for man. When Jesus Christ came to earth, he came in order to rescue the fallen human race from evil and bring it to the joys of eternal life. And so, in Christianity, we have the privilege of receiving God's own revelation of himself - he actually shows us, in Christ, who he is and what he is like.
Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 7 June 2020 - Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Alison Dunn on her anniversary. There is a famous story about Saint Augustine who was walking along the seashore one morning, trying to understand the Most Holy Trinity. Suddenly he saw ahead of him a little child playing. The child had made a hole in the sand and was walking back and forth between the hole and the ocean. He held a little shell in his hands. When he reached the ocean, he would fill the shell up with water. Then he would carefully carry it back and pour the water into the hole. He kept on doing this. After a while, Saint Augustine asked what he was doing. The child answered "I am going to empty the sea into that hole which I have dug in the sand." Saint Augustine laughed out loud. Then he said "Child, that is quite impossible. Look how big the ocean is and how small this hole is!" The child looked at him and answered "And yet, it would be easier for me to do this than for you to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity." And with that, the child disappeared. Our faith in the Blessed Trinity is a great mystery, so we must always stay humble and confident in God, like little children. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


Thoughts for the Day for 6 June to 31 May are taken from The Holy Spirit by Matthew Kelly.

A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 6 June 2020 - Our Lady's Day
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Nan Donohoe. You have another decision to make. Are you going to welcome the Holy Spirit into your life or ignore and reject him? If you are going to welcome the Holy Spirit, then prepare yourself to receive him. If you had an important visitor coming to your home, you would tidy up and make special preparations. The consequences of embracing the Holy Spirit are peace, joy, order and purpose. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Friday 5 June 2020 - Memorial of Saint Boniface
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Mrs Gallagher who died recently. So, what are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit?
1 Wisdom - the ability to discern what is true, right, and lasting. Wisdom enables us to see life from God's perspective. It helps you to establish the right priorities in your life, and leads you to think and act in mature ways.
2 Understanding - allows you to look beyond the shallowness of the world and see the lasting truth in every situation by recognising how God is working in our lives.
3 Counsel - the right judgment that allows us to see what is right and what is wrong and the prudence to act accordingly.
4 Fortitude - the courage and strength of will to do what you know you should, even if that means personal loss or suffering.
5 Knowledge - the ability to see things from a supernatural viewpoint, in particular, to know what God is asking of you.
6 Piety - A loyalty to God that manifests as generous love and affectionate obedience. This is the gift that allows you to love and worship God as he deserves to be loved and worshipped.
7 Fear of the Lord - reverence - helps us to grasp God's greatness and our dependence on him. As a result, we are filled with enormous respect for God and we dread above all offending him or being separated from him.
Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 4 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Joseph Gibb who died recently. The Holy Spirit will allow you to maintain joy even in the midst of suffering. Suffering is an inevitable part of life. It is easy to be joyful when things are going well but the Holy Spirit brings us joy in times of suffering and that is a thing of beauty. Saint Paul is a perfect example here. Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon are called the 'prison' epistles because they were written during Paul's first imprisonment, mentioned in Acts 28. Throughout these writings he talks about his joy and all the things he rejoices about. When you think about the fact that he was in prison for being Christian and you consider the filthy conditions of prisons at the time, you have to ask yourself - what did he have to be joyful about? He was joyful even in the midst of suffering because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. All this is what the Holy Spirit wants to do for you. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 3 June 2020 - Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Theresa McGarvey. The Spirit of God is within you. This is good news. It means that you have a power within you that you have not even begun to comprehend. The Holy Spirit will give you the courage to face difficult situations. The Holy Spirit means that you are never alone. He is always with you, ready to guide you, encourage you, comfort you and challenge you. The Holy Spirit is a true friend who always wants what is best for you. Think about Peter who denied Jesus three times before his death out of selfish fear - but after Pentecost he literally risked his life just to let people know about Jesus. The Holy Spirit doesn't change us into someone else - he just brings the best and the most out of us. The Holy Spirit will help you know and do God's will. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 2 June 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Michael Collins at his anniversary. Are you ready to have that power unleashed in your life? What will unleashing the Holy Spirit in your life mean to you? The Holy Spirit will help you find and understand truth, and you will never have more happiness in your life than you have truth. The more truth you allow into your heart, mind, and soul, the happier you will be. But if you allow the truth to be crowded out with lies and deceit, you will find yourself miserable. The Holy Spirit wants to help you build a throne for truth in your heart. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Monday 1 June 2020 - Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Cathie McClintock who died recently. In the Scriptures God is revealed as the Father who creates us (Genesis 1), his Son who redeems us (Matthew 1) and the Holy Spirit who inspires us (Acts 1). The whole history we find in the Bible is the story of God's ongoing concern for the human family and for each of us individually as his children. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity. He is the one whom Jesus promised the Father would send to guide and encourage us. How often in your life do you need guidance and encouragement? Whether you are aware of it or not, you need these things every day, and the Holy Spirit is within you to provide them. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 31 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish. Have you ever noticed the difference between a person who is inspired and one who is not? Sometimes when you watch two teams compete in sports, you can tell one team is inspired and the other isn't. Inspiration makes a huge difference. For twenty years I have been working with people of all ages and from all walks of life and one thing that I have noticed over and over again is that people don't do anything until they are inspired - but once they are inspired there is almost nothing they cannot do. The disciples are a perfect example. Before Pentecost they were full of fear. After Pentecost they were full of courage. What changed? They got inspired. They got filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus didn't leave us to face the world alone. He promised he would be with us and that he would send the Holy Spirit to guide, inspire and encourage us. Jesus made that promise not just to the disciples. it was a promise he made to you. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


Thoughts for the Day for 30 to 24 May are taken from Quotes That Reveal the Secrets of the Holy Rosary by Eric Robinson.

A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 30 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Simon and Matilda Brannan. Finally, my dear brothers and sisters, the daily Rosary has so many enemies that I look upon the grace of persevering in it until death as one of the greatest favours God can give us. I hope that these words help you to persevere in praying the rosary and being devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary so that our sole worship to God may be magnified. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Friday 29 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and for all those struggling in these difficult times. Your closest enemies will attack you all the more cruelly because they are within you. I mean the powers of your soul and your bodily senses, the distractions of the mind, distress and uncertainty of the will, dryness of the heart, exhaustion and illness of the body-all that will combine with the evil spirits who say to you 'Give up your rosary - that is what is giving you such a headache. Give up your rosary - there is no obligation under pain of sin. At least say only a part of it. The difficulties you are having are a sign that God does not want you to say it' You can say it tomorrow when you are more in the mood - and so on. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 28 May 2020 - also the anniversary of the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop John Cunningham in 2004
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and John Ross who died recently. Only he who perseveres in asking, seeking, and knocking, will receive, will find and will enter. It is not enough to ask God for certain graces for a month, a year, ten or twenty years; we must never tire of asking. These crowns are not for the timid who are afraid of this world's taunts and threats, neither are they for the lazy and indolent who only say their rosary carelessly, or hastily, just for the sake of getting it over with. These crowns are not for cowards who lose heart and lay down their arms as soon as they see hell is let loose against their rosary. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 27 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Katherine and Peter Finnegan. What a wonderful thing to have Jesus Christ in our midst! And all we have to do to have him with us is to come together to say the rosary. That is why the first Christians met so often to pray together, in spite of the persecutions of the emperors, who had forbidden them to assemble. They preferred to risk death rather than to miss their gatherings where our Lord was present. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 26 May 2020 - Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, priest
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Deceased Members of the Little family at their anniversaries. It is not so much the length of a prayer as the fervour with which it is said which pleases God and touches his heart. A single Hail Mary said properly is worth more than a hundred and fifty said badly. When the rosary is well said, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious for the soul than any other prayer. But it is also the hardest prayer to say well and to persevere in owing especially to the distractions which almost inevitably attend the constant repetition of the same words. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Monday 25 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish that we may be strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our Lady revealed to several people that each time they say a Hail Mary they are giving her a beautiful rose and that each complete Rosary makes her a crown of roses. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 24 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish. When I was on my journey from Protestantism to Catholicism over five years ago, Mary was my biggest stumbling block to coming into the Church. It's that way for many converts. I did not see her importance in Scripture and probably would have told you that the Hail Holy Queen prayer was a certain form of blasphemy. Alas, seeing Mary in the Scriptures as the 'New Eve', 'New Ark of the Covenant' and 'New Queen Mother' overcame my discomfort with devotion to her. Though I was comfortable enough with the Church's teaching about Mary to join the Catholic Church, it took a severe trial in my life a year later to get me to pray the rosary on a daily basis. For the first few months, the rosary seemed burdensome, cumbersome and not very fun at all. Yet, through the grace of God, I persevered in praying my rosary and it has since become my absolute favourite form of prayer. Much could be said about Mary in this wonderful month of May, which is dedicated to her honour. For my part, I will leave you with six quotes by Saint Louis De Montfort from his book called The Secret of the Holy Rosary. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


Thoughts for the Day for 23 to 17 May are taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).

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.


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 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 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 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 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 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.


Thoughts for the Day for 16 to 10 May are taken from Our Lady, Undoer of Knots by Marge Fenelon.

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.


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 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 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 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 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 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.


Thoughts for the Day for 9 to 3 May are taken from taken from Answering the Questions of Jesus by Father Andrew Apostoli.

A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 9 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Michael Bruin at his anniversary. Sixth question - Do you love me? Peter's reconciliation with Christ should give us courage. In spite of his denial, he is still entrusted with the great work of the Church. We should never use our failures as an excuse to stop trying to serve the Lord. The Lord restores us. He gives us the grace and the strength because we can't do it by ourselves. Like Peter, we begin again. Pope Saint John XXIII said that when we die, the Lord will only ask us one question - How much did you love me? We can prepare for answering that question by asking ourselves as if Jesus himself were addressing us - Do you love me? How would we answer that right now? Do you love me? - that's the question. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Friday 8 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish
and Jean Owens and Nora King who both died recently. Fifth question - For what can a man gain in return for his life? We need to live with the end of our lives in mind. Heaven will fulfil our every desire. All the happiness, beauty and joy we can find in this life are but a tiny reflection of the happiness, beauty and joy of God himself. Heaven is going to fulfil every hope we've ever had - every dream will come true. And hell will fulfil every dread we've ever had - every nightmare will come true. The stakes are high. It's eternal happiness or eternal misery. We have to live each day making sure we follow the way that will lead us to Christ. It can be shocking to hear Our Lord talk about the lengths we should go to in order to see Heaven and avoid hell. He famously said "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away. It is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell." (Matthew 5:29). The point is that there should be nothing in this life that we should be unwilling to sacrifice if it stands in the way of our getting to heaven. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 7 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Lorraine Docherty and Patrick McGuire at his anniversary. Fourth question - Do you know what I have done to you?By performing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, we will not only be fulfilling Jesus' teaching in this Gospel story but will also be building the 'civilisation of love' that Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have talked about. Remember the old saying, 'It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness'. If we see all the problems in the world and just throw up our hands and walk away, then we're avoiding our responsibilities. But if we light one candle, others will be encouraged to do the same. We can change the world, as Mother Teresa would say, one person at a time. The second way we can answer this question of Jesus is by honestly asking ourselves - what has Jesus done for me? Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 6 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Noelle Collins at he anniversary and Shirley Currie who died recently. Third question - Will you also go away? Jesus is telling his Apostles that if they can't handle His teaching on the Eucharist, then they should walk away as well. That's how insistent he is on this teaching - and that's why we say in the Church that the Eucharist is the source and centre of the Christian life. In response, Peter, acting as a spokesman for the apostles, affirms their faith and trust in Jesus. At this point they probably did not understand how Jesus could possibly feed them with His flesh and blood - just as we don't often understand what Jesus wants from us. Even so, they believed He was the one whom the Father had sent, so they trusted him. Unlike the disciples who left, they believed without seeing the proof with their own eyes. That faith was rewarded at the Last Supper, hen Jesus formally instituted the Eucharist. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 5 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Jean McLellan in thanksgiving and John McLaughlin who died recently. Second question - Why are you afraid, have you no faith? Faith also has a second aspect, this one related to the heart - or, more specifically, the confidence we have to live according to the faith. In this sense, faith is like trust. This is a similar message that we read in Paul's Letter to the Hebrews. Again, let's take the idea of Heaven. Not only do we believe it exists, but we also have confidence - 'assurance' - that we will achieve the Kingdom of Heaven with God's grace. When Jesus dealt with people, he wanted them not only to believe in the truth that he taught, but also to have confidence in organising their lives around those truth. Jesus had to teach that kind of trust to his disciples. If the people were going to follow him, they had to trust him. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Monday 4 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish Geralyn McGarvey and Mandy Dillon. First question - Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house? When Jesus asks his parents why they didn't go directly to his 'Father's house,' he is, first of all, as we've said, revealing His relationship to his Heavenly Father. He continues to be Mary's and Joseph's son. As we saw in the Gospel, he went back to Nazareth and 'was obedient to them.' This is a great reminder that Christ spent three decades with the Holy Family, living in Nazareth. He was getting ready for his mission work. But He was also the Son of the Eternal Father. His parents can't quite grasp this but Mary ponders it in her heart - and there's a second takeaway from this question of Jesus - He is telling us where to find him. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 3 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish. Pope Francis has said that our Faith is found not just in lists of doctrines but in relationship with a person - Jesus Christ. What better way to deepen that relationship than to enter into conversation with him? And what better way to enter into conversation with Jesus than to answer the questions he asked throughout His ministry? Every day this week, we will reflect on some of the questions asked by Jesus that gently guides us into a deeper understanding of the wisdom of who he is and what he is asking of each one of us. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family
.

Thoughts for the Day for 2 May to 26 April are taken from taken from A Quiet Place - How Daily Prayer Can Change Your Life by Father John Bartunek.

A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 2 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and James Terence O'Toole and Moira Gowrie who both died recently. One of the most concise and moving expressions of this essence of Christian prayer is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the entire fourth part of which is dedicated to explaining and describing the rich mystery of Christian praying. Here is how it defines Christian prayer: "Great is the mystery of the faith! This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Friday 1 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Theresa McLaren and Hilda O'Toole who both died recently. God is a Trinity, and through the Incarnation God did become man and has taken human nature to himself for all eternity. Therefore, when we communicate with God, we mustn't simply communicate through ritual and reverence. An additional dimension is essential. Christian prayer, at its very core, is the kind of communication that happens between two persons who know and love each other. It is a conversation that happens in relationship. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 30 April 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Andy Dougan who died recently. For us, prayer is never just a dry and sometimes fearful duty, or a complex and somewhat self-absorbed technique, as it is and has been for so many other religions throughout the expanse of human history. For us, the essence of prayer is relationship. It's not primarily about doing something, but about getting to know someone. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 29 April 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Louis Ferguson who died recently. A life of prayer is the soil in which the seed of grace can quicken, grow, and flourish, bearing the spiritual fruit that we all yearn for, because it's what we were made for. And every single one of us can develop a life of prayer. All we have to do is decide. Understanding what prayer really is can help make the decision a lot easier. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 28 April 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and John McLaughlin who died recently. If the right conditions for an acorn to become an oak tree are good soil, water, sunlight and a healthy climate, what are the right conditions for the seed of grace to produce spiritual maturity? What makes it possible for this seed to grow, flourish and yield its marvellous fruit? One essential element is a life of prayer. In a sense, prayer is the soil in which grace can grow. The other sacraments - the Eucharist, confession, marriage, and so on - are like the water and the sunlight. Moral integrity and virtue are like the good climate. But the soil, the very ground that enables our spiritual potential to quicken, unfold, mature, and thrive, from the beginning of our spiritual journey until its very end, is prayer. If we want to experience in our own lives, ever more abundantly, the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, and if we want to contribute through them to our loved ones and to the world around us, we simply must develop a life of prayer. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Monday 27 April 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and John Mullen who died recently. This is what is so attractive, so mysteriously inspiring, about the lives of the saints. They are our older brothers and sisters in Christ, in whose lives grace truly flourished. They found and fulfilled their most genuine identity by living in communion with God, by living a real, unique, and dynamic relationship with him. They are the spiritual oak trees that fully show forth the magnificence of authentic human greatness and beautify the landscape of human history. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Francis of Assisi, Mary Magdalene, Augustine, Catherine of Siena, John Paul II - none of them started out as saints. But God's grace entered their lives, purified them of their brokenness and sin, and allowed them to flourish. The same grace that worked wonders in them is at work, like a seed waiting to grow and flourish, in every baptised soul - including yours. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 26 April 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish. Prayer is so much more than just 'saying your prayers'. Prayer is a spiritual adventure. It brings interior depth and meaning that can come from nowhere else - absolutely no where else. Imagine you have an acorn in the palm of your left hand and a stone the same size and shape as an acorn in your right hand. Look at these items. They look similar, feel similar and weigh almost the same. What's the difference between them? If you plant one of them in the right conditions, it will begin to put out shoots and roots and start to grow. And, once again given the right conditions, that growth will continue unabated for perhaps two centuries. A gorgeous oak tree will emerge from the acorn, giving beauty and fruitfulness to the world for hundreds of years. But if you plant the stone in the same soil, under the same conditions, nothing will happen. The stone will just stay a stone. It will not sprout, or grow, or beautify the landscape or give food and shelter and shade to people and animals and birds for centuries. The acorn bears within itself the mysterious force of life. It is a seed - small, vulnerable, but full of magnificent potential. All it needs in order to fulfil this potential are the right conditions - good soil, water, sunlight and a healthy climate. The stone, on the other hand, is inanimate. It is dead matter. It has no life, no potential to grow and organically develop into something magnificent and wonderful. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


Thoughts for the Day for 25 to 19 April are taken from the Easter Sunday Urbi et Orbi - for the city and for the world - blessing of Pope Francis.

A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 25 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, on the Feast of Saint Mark, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for John Mullen who died recently and Anthony Raymond Downes at his anniversary. Dear brothers and sisters, indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words for ever! They seem to prevail when fear and death overwhelm us, that is, when we do not let the Lord Jesus triumph in our hearts and lives. May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity and lead us into the light of his glorious day, a day that knows no end. I wish you all a happy Easter! Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Friday 24 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Agnes Ward and Alice Lynn at their anniversaries. This is not a time for forgetfulness. The crisis we are facing should not make us forget the many other crises that bring suffering to so many people. May he warm the hearts of the many refugees displaced because of wars, drought and famine. May he grant protection to migrants and refugees, many of them children, who are living in unbearable conditions, especially in Libya and on the border between Greece and Turkey and I don't want to forget the island of Lesbos. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 23 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Archie and Jane McFarlane at their anniversaries. This is not a time for division. May Christ our peace enlighten all who have responsibility in conflicts, that they may have the courage to support the appeal for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. This is not a time for continuing to manufacture and deal in arms, spending vast amounts of money that ought to be used to care for others and save lives. Rather, may this be a time for finally ending the long war that has caused such great bloodshed in Syria, the conflict in Yemen and the hostilities in Iraq and in Lebanon. May this be the time when Israelis and Palestinians resume dialogue in order to find a stable and lasting solution that will allow both to live in peace. May the sufferings of the people who live in the eastern regions of Ukraine come to an end. May the terrorist attacks carried out against so many innocent people in different African countries come to an end. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 22 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Francis Smith at his anniversary and John McLaughlin who died recently. This is not a time for self-centredness because the challenge we are facing is shared by all, without distinguishing between persons. Among the many areas of the world affected by the coronavirus, I think in a special way of Europe. After the Second World War, this beloved continent was able to rise again, thanks to a concrete spirit of solidarity that enabled it to overcome the rivalries of the past. It is more urgent than ever, especially in the present circumstances, that these rivalries do not regain force, but that all recognize themselves as part of a single-family and support one another. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 21 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Duncan Lyon and Janie Aitken at their anniversaries. This is not a time for indifference because the whole world is suffering and needs to be united in facing the pandemic. May the risen Jesus grant hope to all the poor, to those living on the peripheries, to refugees and the homeless. In light of the present circumstances, may international sanctions be relaxed, since these make it difficult for countries on which they have been imposed to provide adequate support to their citizens and may all nations be put in a position to meet the greatest needs of the moment through the reduction, if not the forgiveness, of the debt burdening the balance sheets of the poorest nations. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Monday 20 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Francis McEvoy junior at his anniversary. May Jesus, our Passover, grant strength and hope to doctors and nurses, who everywhere offer a witness of care and love for our neighbours, to the point of exhaustion and not infrequently at the expense of their own health. Our gratitude and affection go to them, to all who work diligently to guarantee the essential services necessary for civil society, and to the law enforcement and military personnel who in many countries have helped ease people's difficulties and sufferings. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 19 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish. Like a new flame this Good News springs up in the night - the night of a world already faced with epochal challenges and now oppressed by a pandemic severely testing our whole human family. In this night, the Church's voice rings out "Christ, my hope, is risen!" - Easter Sequence. This is a different 'contagion', a message transmitted from heart to heart - for every human heart awaits this Good News. It is the contagion of hope - "Christ, my hope, is risen!" The Risen Lord is also the Crucified One, not someone else. In his glorious body he bears indelible wounds - wounds that have become windows of hope. Let us turn our gaze to him that he may heal the wounds of an afflicted humanity. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

Thoughts for the Day for 18 to 12 April are taken from a wonderful spiritual classic Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Jacques Philippe. We pray for the gift of inner peace in this time of pandemic.

A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 18 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Andrena Donnelly and George McDowall who both died recently. With regard to what we have just considered, it is important to know how to unmask a frequent and very clever trick of the devil to trouble and discourage us. Faced with certain goods that we possess - a material good, a friendship, an activity that we enjoy, et cetera - the devil, in an effort to prevent us from abandoning ourselves to God, causes us to imagine that if we put everything in God's hands, God will effectively take everything and 'ruin' everything in our lives! And this arouses a sense of terror that completely paralyses us. But we must not fall into this trap. Very frequently, on the contrary, the Lord asks only an attitude of detachment at the level of the heart, a disposition to give Him everything. But He doesn't necessarily 'take' everything. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Friday 17 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Bridget McLellan at her anniversary and John Craig who died recently. Abandonment inevitably requires an element of renunciation and it is this that is most difficult for us. We have a natural tendency to cling to a whole host of things - material goods, affections, desires, projects et cetera and it costs us terribly to let go of our grip, because we have the impression that we will lose ourselves in the process, that we will die. Saint John of the Cross expresses this same truth in other terms - All things were given to me from the moment when I no longer sought them. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 16 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Michael MacLean and John McLaughlin who both died recently. In order that abandonment might be authentic and engender peace, it must be total. We must put everything, without exception, into the hands of God, not seeking any longer to manage or to 'save' ourselves by our own means - not in the material domain, nor the emotional, nor the spiritual. We cannot divide human existence into various sectors - certain sectors where it would be legitimate to surrender ourselves to God with confidence and others where, on the contrary, we feel we must manage exclusively on our own. And one thing we know well - all reality that we have not surrendered to God, that we choose to manage by ourselves without giving carte blanche to God, will continue to make us more or less uneasy. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 15 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Seamus Reilly senior and Pauline Grear who both died recently. The goodwill, the habitual determination to always say "yes" to God, in the great things as in the small, is a sine qua non for interior peace. As long as we have not acquired this determination, a certain uneasiness and sadness will not cease to abide in us - the uneasiness of not loving God as much as He invites us to love Him, and the sadness of still not having given all things to God. Because the man who has given his will to God has, in a certain fashion, already given Him everything. We cannot truly be at peace as long as our hearts have not found their unity and our hearts cannot be unified until all our desires are subordinated to the desire to love God, to please Him and to do His will. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 14 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Joseph Murray and John Mullen who both died recently. One of the most common strategies of the devil in his efforts to distance us from God and to slow our spiritual progress is to attempt to cause the loss of our interior peace. Here is what Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, one of the great spiritual masters of the 16th century, who was highly esteemed by Saint Francis de Sales, said: 'The devil does his utmost to banish peace from one's heart, because he knows that God abides in peace and it is in peace that He accomplishes great things. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Monday 13 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Pamela Devine and Joe Howie who both died recently. The more our soul is peaceful and tranquil, the more God is reflected in it, the more His image expresses itself in us and the more His grace acts through us. On the other hand, if our soul is agitated and troubled, the grace of God is able to act only with much greater difficulty. How can I communicate this peace to others, if I myself do not have it? How can there be peace in families, in societies, between individual people, if there is no peace first in peoples' hearts? Acquiring and maintaining interior peace, which is impossible without prayer, should consequently be considered a priority for everybody, above all for those who claim to want to do good for their neighbour. Otherwise, more often than not they would simply be communicating their own restlessness and distress. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Easter Sunday 12 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, on Easter Sunday, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish. It is essential for us to come to understand that the way to God and the perfection that is demanded of us is shorter and more efficacious, markedly easier too, when one has learned, little by little, how to conserve, in all circumstances, a profound peace of heart - because then the heart allows itself to be driven by the Holy Spirit and God is able to do more with it by His grace than the heart could do by its own effort. It is of the greatest importance that we strive to acquire and maintain an interior peace, the peace of our hearts. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Holy Saturday 11 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, on Holy Saturday, l celebrate the Easter Vigil privately for the Parish at 7.30pm. Pope Francis gave an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi Blessing - to the city and the world - on 27 March. Pope Francis said "The Lord is calling on people to put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be foundering. The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith. We have an anchor - by his cross we have been saved. We have a rudder - by his cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope - by his cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from his redeeming love." Pope Francis told people watching around the world that he would "entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, health of the people and star of the stormy sea. May God's blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace. Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm." Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Good Friday 10 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, on Good Friday, I celebrate the Lord's Passion privately for the Parish at 3.00pm. Pope Francis gave an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi Blessing - to the city and the world - on 27 March. Pope Francis preached "In the boat, when the disciples plead with Jesus to do something, Jesus responds 'Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?" Lord, your word strikes us and is meant for us, all of us. In this world that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things and be lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you 'Wake up, Lord!' Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Holy Thursday 9 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, on Holy Thursday, I celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper privately for the Parish at 7.00pm. Pope Francis gave an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi Blessing - to the city and the world - on 27 March. Pope Francis listed "doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves. How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope, taking care to sow not panic but a shared responsibility and how many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer. How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all. Prayer and quiet service - these are our victorious weapons." Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 8 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Seamus Reilly senior who died recently. Pope Francis gave an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi Blessing - to the city and the world - on 27 March. Pope Francis preached "It is a time to decide to live differently, live better, love more and care for others and every community is filled with people who can be role models - individuals, who, even though fearful, have reacted by giving their lives. The Holy Spirit can use the pandemic to redeem, value and demonstrate how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people - often forgotten people - who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines, but are serving others and making life possible during the pandemic." Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 7 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Joseph Murray who died recently. Pope Francis gave an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi Blessing - to the city and the world - on 27 March. Pope Francis said "We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. However, the pandemic storm has made most people realise that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented. And it has shown how each person has a contribution to make, at least in comforting each other. On this boat are all of us. The pandemic has exposed our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. In the midst of the storm, God is calling people to faith, which is not just believing God exists, but turning to him and trusting him. As Lent and the pandemic go on, he said, God continues to call people to 'convert' and 'return to me with all your heart'. " Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Monday 6 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Bridget McLellan on her anniversary. Pope Francis gave an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi Blessing - to the city and the world - on 27 March. Pope Francis prayed that the Almighty and Merciful God would see how people are suffering and give them comfort. He asked to care for the sick and dying, for medical workers exhausted by caring for the sick and for political leaders who bear the burden of making decisions to protect their people. Pope Francis included the Gospel of Mark's account of Jesus calming the stormy sea. "Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples on the stormy Sea of Galilee, we will experience that, with him on board, there will be no shipwreck, because this is God's strength - turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. The passage from Saint Mark's Gospel begins with the words, 'when evening had come'." Pope Francis said that with the pandemic and its sickness and death and with the lockdowns and closures of schools and workplaces, it has felt like 'for weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities. It has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void that stops everything as it passes by. We feel it in the air, we notice it in people's gestures - their glances give them away'. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Palm Sunday 5 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, on Palm Sunday, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish at 10.30am. Pope Francis gave an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi Blessing - to the city and the world - on 27 March. Popes usually give this blessing only immediately after their election and on Christmas and Easter. "The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is not God's judgment on humanity, but God's call for people to judge what is most important to them and resolve to act accordingly from now on. Lord, it is not the time of your judgment, but of our judgment - a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others." Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 4 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, on Our Lady's Day, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Annie and Andrew Murphy. Our second 'touchstone' is Our Lady's Protection. From the cross, Jesus gave us his Mother to be ours. In every age - from the days before Pentecost until today - the Church has been blessed through the Mother of God interceding for us, from her being close to us with her care and protection. Let us renew our commitment to 'fly to her protection'. I invite you to join with me in praying the Memorare every day to commend, not only the Church, but also our country - indeed the whole world - to the loving care of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Friday 3 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and that the Church continues to guide and lead us. Our first 'touchstone' Is Spiritual Communion. During this time when the public celebration of Holy Mass has to be suspended, we need the graces of the Eucharist more than ever - for these are the graces whereby the Holy Spirit works in our lives that dying to self and living for the Father that is Jesus's Paschal Mystery. These graces can be available to us through Spiritual Communion. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 2 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and for those who have died due to Coronavirus. We are called to accompany our neighbours. Each of us, especially in our families, faces fears about what the future holds as the spread of the virus unfolds. The pains caused by the pandemic will fall particularly hard on the poor, the elderly and the chronically ill. We Christians have a particular duty to care for them. One simple but much needed work of mercy will be to stay in touch - perhaps by phone - with the elderly who are quarantined. We should be sure that social distancing doesn't result in losing spiritual closeness. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 1 April 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and those mourning loved ones. Now is the hour of the Domestic Church. The Christian family, as the Domestic Church, has to be at the centre of the New Evangelisation. In these days when our large public gatherings for prayer and catechesis are suspended, the Domestic Church is all the more clearly 'ground zero' for our response. Now it falls squarely on families to make their homes places to hear the Word of God, and to offer him praise, especially in acts of Spiritual Communion and entrustment to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 31 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, the sick and those who care for them. It's still about living the gospel. Right now all of us, are focused on responding to the Coronavirus pandemic. Yes, but that doesn't mean that living out our faith has been abandoned - quite the contrary. We still must be about evangelisation. That's always our mission. This is a providential time for us to witness to our sure confidence in Jesus as Lord of history, to manifest to the world that we face this challenge with unshakeable trust that the Lord will sustain us. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.


A message from Father Duncan on Monday 30 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, key workers and their families. No time Is without its grace. Christ’s death and rising is a grace that should shape every day of a Christian’s life and above all in these days. In this time of trial we are called to seize the grace of showing ourselves, by the power of the Spirit of Christ, to be, like Christ, filled with faith in God’s care for us. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family
.

A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 29 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, key workers and their families. This Is the Lent God our Father wants us to have. God in Christ is the Lord of history. He's in charge. His providential plan for our salvation and happiness cannot be defeated. If he has permitted us to have to be for a while without our public celebration of the Holy Eucharist and our usual Lenten devotions, his Spirit offers us other means to prepare ourselves for Holy Week and Easter. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.

A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 28 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, on Our Lady's Day, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Gerry Swan as a month's mind and David Russell's special intention. 'I have a dogmatic certainty - God is in every person's life. God is in everyone's life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else, God is in this person's life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.             Pope Francis

A message from Father Duncan on Friday 27 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish Brian Meechan and Lettie Anderson who both died recently. The saints throughout the ages have witnessed to the value of spiritual Communion. In a vision, Our Lord explained it to Saint Catherine of Siena by showing her two chalices - 'one made of gold, the other of silver' she wrote. 'He told her that her sacramental Communions were preserved in the gold chalice and that her spiritual communions were in the silver chalice.' Saint Teresa of Jesus wrote 'When you do not receive Communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a Spiritual Communion, which is a most beneficial practice. By it, the love of God will be greatly impressed on you.' Many of the saints practiced this throughout the day such as Padre Pio, who encouraged everyone to do so frequently for a closer union with God. In Seven Secrets of the Eucharist, author Vinny Flynn explained 'If you practice the holy exercise of Spiritual Communion several times each day, within a month you will see your heart completely changed.' He also related that 'Saint Francis de Sales resolved to make a Spiritual Communion at least every fifteen minutes so that he could link all the events of the day to his reception of the Eucharist at Mass.'

A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 26 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and the Ketchen family on an anniversary. It is only during the Mass at the consecration that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Thus, cancelling Masses is monumental. As explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Eucharist is 'the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch' (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324). Through this sacrament, 'we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body' (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1331). The Church encourages frequent, even daily, Holy Communion, but because we cannot go to Mass in or out of this season of the coronavirus, we can still unite ourselves to the Eucharist through making a Spiritual Communion. By making an Act of Spiritual Communion, we express our faith in Christ's Real Presence in the Eucharist and ask him to unite himself with us. Here is the Act of Spiritual Communion written by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori - My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 25 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, on the Solemnity of The Annunciation of Our Lord, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Andrew McCance and Betty Toner who died recently. 'During this Lent, especially, let us all take the opportunity to deepen our relationship with God. As your bishops and with our priests and deacons, we assure you of our continuing commitment to your spiritual, pastoral and sacramental needs. We want to maintain and foster the life of faith in every way we can, while also being informed by the advice and guidance of Government and health professionals. Over the centuries, the Church has often been a source of comfort in times of trial and transformed sadness and fear into peace and joy. We want the same to happen now.'             Pastoral Letter of the Scottish Bishops, 18 March 2020

A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 24 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Isabella Connor for her anniversary and Annmarie Dickie who died recently. 'In this time of trial, we, the Bishops of Scotland, wish to send you a word of reassurance and encouragement. We are all facing much uncertainty, anxiety and an unpredictable future. This situation touches on every aspect of our lives, individually and collectively. Sacred Scripture calls us repeatedly not to fear and to look to the help that comes to us from above. We are called to support one another in every way we can, especially those who are most vulnerable, through age or underlying conditions. Even in the midst of any necessary distancing we must stand by each other. We ask you to pray for the sick, those caring for them, for those in positions of responsibility with difficult decisions to make, indeed for our whole country and the entire human family. Most of all, we are being asked to put our trust in the living God who has created everything to be and to flourish and whose providence guides the course of world events. We put our trust in our Lord Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, and the true physician of our souls and bodies.'             Pastoral Letter of the Scottish Bishops, 18 March 2020


A message from Father Duncan on Monday 23 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Pat Woods' special intention and Ian Neal who died recently. Pope Francis has pointed out that our God 'is the God of closeness, is a God who is close, who walks with his people' and who 'makes the prescriptions, writes them with his own hands on the stone, he gives them to Moses, but he does not leave the prescriptions and he goes away - he walks, he is close, and he observes. What nation has a God so close? Ours is a God of closeness.' In this context, the Pontiff points out that 'Our God is close' and 'asks us to be close to each other, not to distance ourselves from each other.' And at this time of crisis due to the pandemic we are experiencing, he clarified "this closeness asks us to show it more, to show it more. We cannot, perhaps, physically approach for fear of contagion, but yes, we can awaken in us an attitude of closeness between us - with prayer, with help, many forms of closeness. And why should we be close to each other? Because our God is close and he wants to accompany us in life.


A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 22 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish
. "I asked the Lord to stop the epidemic. Lord, stop it with your hand." This is what Pope Francis responded when asked what he prayed for four days ago, when he ventured to Rome's Centre, making a pilgrimage on foot from Rome's Marian Basilica, Santa Maria Maggiore, to the Church of San Marcello al Corso where there is a miraculous cross. "This is what I prayed for. During these difficult days, we can find small, concrete gestures expressing closeness and concreteness towards the people closest to us. These include a caress for our grandparents, a kiss for our children, for the people we love. If we live these days like this, they won't be wasted. We must rediscover the concreteness of little things, small gestures of attention we can offer those close to us, our family, our friends. We must understand that in small things lies our treasure. These gestures of tenderness, affection, compassion, are minimal and tend to be lost in the anonymity of everyday life, but they are nonetheless decisive, important. I ask everyone to stay close to those who have lost loved ones, to be close to them in every possible way. Consolation must now be everyone's commitment." Today - Mothering Sunday - is a National Day of Prayer. We are invited to pray the Rosary at 12 noon, asking for her intercession for our country and our world in this time of need.
In the midst of all the uncertainty, changes and anxiety, we know the nature of God’s fatherly heart. We know he draws ever nearer to us in times of suffering, and we know his first impulse is to love and to create. So, in everything, we remain grateful, optimistic and full of hope that there are sublime blessings that will come from this. As we navigate our new reality, I wanted to assure you of two things - you, the Parish family of Saint Peter’s are my number one priority and I will offer Holy Mass daily for your and your families. In Church, the Parish is making available powerful resources to help bring Catholics closer to God, pray at home and keep the Sunday as a Holy Day. There is a special prayer leaflet called When Mass cannot be Celebrated Publicly, a prayer card The Act of Spiritual Communion and a pocket-sized prayer card with the Order of Mass. The Parish bulletin is also available with the Sunday Mass Readings and Thoughts for every Day. Please avail yourself of these resources and remember our Church is open from 9.30am until 4.30pm every day for a visit to the Blessed Sacrament and private prayer.

A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 21 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, on Our Lady's Day, l celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and for Veronica Stevenson and Christopher McManus for their anniversaries. The Pope offered a prayer to the Virgin Mary last week. The choice to celebrate last Wednesday's Mass at the Divine Love Sanctuary holds significant historical value. Pope Pius XII went to pray there before the statue of Our Lady in June 1944. He pleaded for the salvation of the city of Rome as Nazi troops withdrew from Italy during World War II. Now, over seventy-five years later, Pope Francis has asked the Virgin Mary to watch over the world in this current moment of crisis - O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick. At the foot of the Cross, you participated in Jesus' pain, with steadfast faith. You, Refuge of Sinners and Comfort of the Afflicted, know what we need. We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee, joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial. Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the Father's will and to do what Jesus tells us - he who took our sufferings upon Himself and bore our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our pleas - we who are put to the test - and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and Blessed Virgin. Amen.

A message from Father Duncan on Friday 20 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Agnes Dougan for her anniversary and Gerry Swan who died recently. We are certainly living in an unusual, challenging time. Even those of us who are strong in faith are feeling uneasy and uncertain. Think about our Patron, Saint Peter - a simple fisherman who walked on water. He faltered only when he took his eyes off Jesus, when he began to rely upon himself rather than the Lord - see Matthew 14:22-33. Peter could walk on water only because the one who called him, Jesus, was Lord of the universe. Jesus remains Lord of the universe. No worldly suffering, no virus, no health concerns, stock market crash, job loss, nothing is outside his loving providence. In such difficult times, we need to remember that God's grace is always present to sustain us and can even bring us some blessings in the midst of our suffering. Jesus said "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be open to you" (Matthew 7:7). His promise and his grace are certain, even in this uncertain time. Let us turn to the Prince of Peace for strength and courage.

A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 18 March 2020
Dear Parishioners
In recent weeks, the coronavirus outbreak has had a profound impact on countries around the world - and increasingly, here in Scotland. In light of measures being taken to contain the outbreak and avoid further illness, many of us may be hesitant to leave our homes. After Holy Mass at 10.00am on Thursday 19 March 2020, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, services will be suspended in all Catholic Churches. It is at this exact moment that our faith is most needed. In an effort to continue the practice of our faith in these trying times, I invite you to participate in the Masses offered online or on television. For example, Mass is streamed from Saint Margaret's Cathedral in Ayr every day on http://www.RCAyr.org.uk/live/. The Scottish Bishops have asked us to pray the Rosary on Sunday 22 March 2020 - Mothers' Day - at 12 noon on a National Day of Prayer, asking Our Lady's intercession for our country and our world in this time of need. If you cannot participate in Mass online or on television, I encourage you to read the Gospels, pray with your families, pray the Rosary and join yourself to the Eucharist - the source and summit of our Catholic faith - by making an act of Spiritual Communion. Prayer leaflets are available in Church for everyone. I will celebrate the Holy Mass privately for our Parish every day and the Church will be open during the day for private visits and prayer. The Parish bulletin will be available as usual. Please make sure you get your copy to keep up-to-date with developments. Each day, our Parish website will be updated with a Thought for the Day and the latest news. The Galloway Diocese website is also useful for information. Please don't forget to continue to support the Parish with your Offertory donation and Maintenance Fund offering by handing them in to the Parish Office. We are counting on your remembering. Please continue to pray for all those affected by the coronavirus. God bless, and may our Blessed Lady, the Health of the Sick, pray for us! Saint Peter, our Patron, pray for us!