From Fr Christopher
The COVID-19 pandemic is a trial, but also “a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not”, Pope Francis told world leaders on Friday, in his virtual address to the UN General Assembly The Holy Father suggested that this crisis is also an opportunity to rethink our way of life, and systems that are widening global inequality. However, he warned that it could equally lead to a “’defensive retreat’ into greater individualism and elitism”.
The first path, continued Pope Francis, s one that leads to stronger multilateralism, global co-responsibility, solidarity, and peace, whilst the second emphasizes self-sufficiency, nationalism, protectionism, individualism and isolation, which would be “detrimental to the whole community, causing self-inflicted wounds on everyone”.
The Pope reminded us that solidarity must not be an empty word or promise. With regard to the provision of a vaccine, He asked that, if preference must be given to anyone, it should be the poorest and most vulnerable. The Holy Father noted that the virus, whose spread has been partly blamed by the UN on mankind’s encroachment on nature, showed the importance of avoiding every temptation to exceed our natural limits. Another example of this excess is mankind’s use of technology, and both the pandemic and technology are, he declared, impacting employment, leading to “an urgent need to find new forms of work truly capable of fulfilling our human potential and affirming our dignity”.
The world is confronted, continued Pope Francis, by a growing “throwaway culture”, which has, at its origin, a lack of respect for human dignity; a denial of human rights; and a craving for absolute power. Ultimately, he concluded, it is “an attack against humanity itself”, and requires a change of direction.
The Holy Father described the continuing violations of human rights as painful, and a frightening picture of abused humanity. Religious followers, including Christians, endure persecution, including genocide, because of their beliefs, he said. The growing scale of humanitarian crises, added Pope Francis, means that they now represent the status quo: today’s weapons are “wreaking havoc on cities, schools, hospitals, religious sites, infrastructures and basic services needed by the population.”
Conflict is one reason for many people being forced to leave their homes, and many displaced people end up in desperate situations, deprived of the chance to improve their lives, noted the Pope. Whilst he praised the UN’s Global Compacts on Refugees and on Migration as promising responses to this crisis, he warned that more political support is needed to ensure their success.
Now is also the time, according to the Pope, to ‘renew the architecture of international finance’, in order to reduce the growing gap between the rich and poor. This would involve investing in education and infrastructure, providing debt relief and development assistance to the poorest nations, as well as closing tax shelters, and tackling tax evasion and money laundering.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on children, who are, said the Pope, suffering a dramatic increase in violence. School closures are, he added, leading to an increase in child exploitation in some parts of the world. The Holy Father denounced the promotion of abortion as a humanitarian response to the pandemic: “it is troubling to see how simple and convenient it has become for some to deny the existence of a human life as a solution’.
He went on to urge civil authorities to ensure that children are not denied their human rights, and warned of the breakdown of the family which, he said, is reflected in “social fragmentation”.
Pope Francis ended his speech by turning to the spectre of global conflict, and nuclear annihilation. He called for increased ambition on nuclear disarmament, and for the UN to be a more effective forum for world peace. The UN Secretary-General’s lobbying for a global ceasefire was praised by the Pope, as a “noble step” in this regard. International sanctions, on the other hand, must be relaxed, he said, where they make it difficult for States to provide adequate support for their citizens.
The world has a duty, declared the Pope, to rethink the future of the world, with strengthened multilateralism, and cooperation between States:
More Public Masses
It is intended that the number of public Masses be increased in Evesham and Broadway in order that an Evening Mass might be provided in Evesham on Sunday Evening. As yet it is not necessary to make this provision as the numbers returning to Mass do not warrant it. It is also my intention that as soon as possible the Thursday morning Mass in Evesham should become a Public Mass and that an additional weekday public Mass be celebrated in Broadway. There are now seven public Masses being celebrated between Evesham and Broadway. Thus, even using the minimum capacity in both churches there is the possibility of at least 290 per week in Evesham and 48 in Broadway. As ever all of these provisions will depend on the availability of volunteers and on pastoral need.
Please remember the Sunday precept remains suspended and parishioners are encouraged to come to Mass in either Broadway or Evesham on weekdays wherever possible thus leaving the limited space available on Sunday for those who cannot come on other days. You will already realise that with the limited numbers it would be impossible for everyone to come on Sunday.
The fact that we have been fortunate to receive some part funding for the Celebration of Pugin and Pugin and thus refurbishment for the church building also involves the establishing of a Facebook page which will ensure greater publicity. The details are as follows. https://www.facebook.com/The-Church-of-the-Immaculate-Conception-and-St-Egwin-Evesham-113814183806139/
Census and data Base
We had intended to begin gathering and storing this information at Easter but events rather prevented this course of action. In the course of the nest few months you will be asked to provide the necessary information which will enable the parish to have an accurate and up to date census. The information will be stored and used so as to conform to all the necessary legal requirements. It is essential that our census be brought up to date as quickly as possible
Due to the current situation, the Diocesan Gift Aid Office is closed and the staffs are working from home. As a result, they are not able to send out individual tax certificates to donors this year. If any donors need a record of their donations for the tax year ending 05/04/2020, in order to complete a tax return, please contact the parish gift aid organizer. Contact details can be obtained from Fr. Christopher.
The Donate Button
This is available for Evesham on the Website and appears in orange. It is hoped to provide a similar “button” for Broadway.( I understand that some have found some difficulty with this. We will look into it this week)
These can be set up on line for anyone who uses internet banking. Please phone the presbytery or send an email for more information. Fr Christopher will give the contact information for the person who deals with standing orders and Gift Aid. This applies whether one uses internet banking or not.
There are no plans at present to begin preparation for First Confession, Holy Communion and Confirmation for next year. Nor is it yet know when those already prepared will receive these Sacraments.
Could we have these by 26th September so that much needed monies may be forwarded to mission communities. Many Thanks
CTIB Harvest Festival
Sunday 27th September. Zoom at 6.00pm,.It is possible for contributions to be left at the side door of St Saviours. Any contributions will be taken to those in need.
Winter Mass Time
From Saturday 31st October the Saturday Vigil Mass will begin art 4.00pmn. This is the earliest permitted time for an anticipated Mass and will be of benefit during the dark nights +.