25th April 2021, Fourth Sunday of Easter
World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Today, Good Shepherd Sunday, is a special day of prayer for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life. ‘Vocation’ comes from the Latin word for ‘call’. God calls us and we have the free will to respond. In the Gospel Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd, not the hired hand, and he ‘knows’ his sheep, that’s us!
Quite often we hear ‘God loves us’ and we find that quite easy to accept. But sometimes to say ‘God loves me’ is much more difficult. I was drawn to priesthood from quite a young age. The example of priests in my home parish was very inspiring but then I would find myself thinking ‘but I’m not as holy as him, so I couldn’t be a priest.’ This was the main reason why it was not until I was 32 that I entered the seminary! Why the change of heart? Was it because I had stopped sinning and become a holy paragon? I’m afraid not!
The two main triggers were meeting a seminarian for the first time and seeing that he was just an ordinary person (he has ended up succeeding me in my last parish!) and then having my parish priest ask me ‘have you ever considered a vocation to the priesthood?’ Having somebody else seeing potential in me made me think hard. ALL OF US can be vocation promoters. If the priesthood or religious life is your call from God, it can be so rewarding – and his grace can work in you. We can ALL affirm people in their gifts, no matter what call God has for them. Affirming the gifts of others is bread and butter to parents and teachers – and it is part of our mission as disciples.
We are fortunate having our own seminary, Allen Hall, in this diocese and so we have all met students like Michael, Alex and Axcel – each very different individuals.
Go to https://issuu.com/rcwestminster/docs/allen_hall_newsletter_-_easter_2021 to view the latest seminary magazine.
You can also view a new video at https://youtu.be/nP_u0A3S-q0
If you have a son or daughter why not send these links to them – you never know what seeds you are sowing. They may, like me, take some years to get around to hearing God’s call but seeds need sowing in order to germinate!
Above all please PRAY that the Lord of the harvest may send more workers into his vineyard – and that we may all be open to his continuing call. Fr Shaun
01707 654359 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.olasv.org.uk
All services are live streamed – click on ‘live streaming’ link on website
Recording of Sunday Mass available on 01707 518202 after 10am Sunday
Parish Priest: Canon Shaun Lennard email@example.com
Presbytery: 243, Mutton Lane, Potters Bar, EN6 2AT
Deacon: Rev Donal Hopkins firstname.lastname@example.org
Catechetical coordinator: Mrs. Francesca Khaliq email@example.com
Secretary: Mrs. Bernadette Saunders
Safeguarding Rep. Mike Sibley firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Office open Tues & Fri 10am – 12noon but emails are checked daily
To speak to a priest in an emergency ring 07854 866860
11 April Envelopes £288 Loose £335
Cardinal’s Appeal £272.03
Holy Places (Good Friday) £511.03
Easter Offerings £3368.70
Collections are counted a week after they are taken.
All should have received new envelopes by post. Please do not use old envelopes. If you have not received yours or if you would like a set, please email email@example.com
PRIESTS’ TRAINING FUND
The annual collection for the Priests’ Training Fund will take place next weekend. This fund pays for the formation of men for the Catholic priesthood in our diocese. There are currently 42 men studying at Allen Hall seminary, 18 of whom are for our own Diocese, and 2 are studying in Rome. Your generous donation helps ensure we can support these men who are called to be like Christ the Good Shepherd. Donation leaflets are available in the narthex. Please take one home, read the information, and bring it back next weekend with your donation. Please continue to pray for vocations and for our priests. You can donate online anytime at www.rcdow.org.uk/donations
STEWARDING AND CLEANING
If you can help please let the office have your email address and you can then give your availability each week.
OR SIGN UP NOW
POTTERS BAR CHURCHES HOLIDAY CLUB
This is exciting! This is such an important outreach for the most vulnerable families in our community! How are you going to help? There are information sheets in the narthex. If you cannot come to church contact the office to have one sent. EVERYBODY has a part to play – reach out in love. STOP PRESS We have 36 volunteers but we need 60 to go ahead. Please register if you can help.
LOVE IN ACTION
There was a really productive zoom meeting on Monday with the Evangelisation Group and those who had expressed ideas from the Love in Action programme which we ran in the autumn. We were joined by Meriel Woodward from CARITAS Westminster who was a great support. Several initiatives were discussed. We can start moving with some of them quite soon but others will need more discernment and prayer.
The next stage is a Day of Prayer for the whole parish next Saturday, 1st May from 10am – 6pm. It will start with Mass at 10am and then the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for prayer in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel from 10.30am – 2.30pm. There will also be various Prayer Activities around the church and in the garden, including the powerful ‘Stations’ featuring black and white photography around the plight of refugees.
The invitation is to drop in (and bring your children) to pray at any time during the day. We will need people to welcome people and to ensure that the Blessed Sacrament is not left alone. Please sign up if you can help. If you cannot get to the church, please spend some time praying for this important area of our mission as a parish.
The parish office is currently open on Tuesday and Friday from 10am – 12noon. Emails and the answerphone are checked daily. Mass cards can be posted out outside these hours. As usual, if you have a pastoral emergency requiring a priest you should use the number on the front of the newsletter.
It is now possible again to light candles before the statues of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart. Please do not touch the candles and place the wood tapers in the bin after use (prevents spread of COVID).
ANNUAL MASS OF THANKSGIVING FOR THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY MATRIMONY, VIA LIVE-STREAM FROM WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL, Saturday 15th May 2021 at 3pm
The Cardinal will be celebrating a live-streamed Mass for all couples in the Diocese who are celebrating their 5th, 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th (and every year over 60) wedding anniversary of Catholic marriage in 2021. If you are celebrating an anniversary, please give the parish office the following details: husband and wife’s names, wedding date, full postal address and email (or telephone number if no email), and these details will be sent to those organizing this celebration. An Order of Service can be downloaded from the Cathedral website before the event – www.westminstercathedral.org.uk
.COVID 19 – A CHALLENGE TO MANY MARRIAGES
So much uncertainty around, health, income, employment, vulnerable family members, children, housing. Different ways of seeing things, coping with change, managing fears can be a source of conflict and stress. It can be difficult to talk, to listen to support and comfort when there is so much uncertainty. Being together all the time, brings different challenges. You wonder would we be better apart?
Retrouvaille is a programme to support couples, it brings a positive focus, new hope and helps nourish and grow your marriage ….and you don’t need to leave home, it comes to you!
For confidential information about Retrouvaille’, or to register for the next programme, a Virtual weekend commencing on 1st -4th July 2021 Call or text +44788 729 6983
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – or visit www.retrouvaille.org.uk
Masses for June can be booked in person, by phone or email on Tuesday 4th May from 10.30am.
CALLING ALL MEN!
For the Year of St Joseph there is a zoom day for men, live from Walsingham. Entitled ‘Male Spirituality and Vocation for men in the Year of St Joseph. on Saturday 1st May. To find out more and book your place please go to www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/147796702917
MISSIO RED MISSION BOXES
At the moment money has to be left for 72 hours before being counted and so this makes collecting and handling Missio boxes very difficult. If your box is full please empty it into an envelope with your name written on it and deliver the contents 72 hours later to the sacristy where it can be stored in the safe for the promoter to count. Thank you.
CONTACTLESS DONATIONS TO OUR PARISH
We are pleased to introduce a contactless payments terminal for weekly or one-off donations, which is situated in the Narthex. The system has been approved and trialed by the Diocese and is designed to offer an alternative to loose plate donations. There is also the facility to add gift aid to your donation which will be linked to your payment and will gift aid any future donations made using the same method. Please do not use this system if you are already in planned giving via Standing Order or Weekly Envelopes except for one-off donations. Roy Medayil (Chair of Finance Committee)
THE GOOD COUNSEL NETWORK
Gives practical support to women in crisis pregnancies. Tuesday 27th April, is the 53rd anniversary of the Abortion Act coming in to effect. Since then, over 9 million babies have been aborted in the United Kingdom. Please join us that day in praying and fasting for the end of abortion in this Country. To find out more go to www.GoodCounselNetwork.com
Deadline for newsletter Tuesday 9.30am
PLEASE PRAY FOR
Please remember in your prayers
The sick, their families and all who care for them, including: Peggy Rafferty, Damien Grafton, Marsaili MacAuley, Linda Brooks, Patricia Wallington, Grant Davis, Bridie Spelzini, Frank Casali, Susan Lundrigan, Jean Rudd, Theresa Round, Joan Bonner, Antonia Cox, Margaret O’Loughlin, Jean Lowery, Jamie Giles, Mary Lindsay, Paige White, Bernadette Whelan, Christakis Christofides, Philomena O’Sullivan, Cheryl Pereira, Milena Braganza, Daniel Sardison, Bernard Keown, Ann O’Neill, Ted & Mary Pearce, Jason Mosely, Robert Chambers,Tamara Parrott, Abbey Cummings, Kathleen Gershlick, Anne Conlon.
Recently dead: John Steel, John Bannon.and for all those whose anniversaries occur about this time:
Maria Nicola, Madeleine Latham-Fox
READINGS FOR NEXT SUNDAY
2nd May, 5th Sunday of Easter
Acts 9: 26-31
1 John 3: 18–24
John 15: 1-8
Funerals are limited to 30 people invited by the family. They can be watched on live-streaming and you are requested not to congregate in the church grounds.
TIMES OF MASS & OTHER LITURGIES
Sunday 25th April, Fourth Sunday of Easter
6pm (Vigil) Paolo Scarna RIP (Anniv)
9am Jolana Hvozdik RIP
11am Maria Nicola RIP (Anniv)
Monday 26th April 10am Mass People of the Parish
Tuesday 27th April 10am Mass Leon, Myriam & Nicholas Vollaire RIP
Wednesday 28th April 10am Mass Agnes O’Brien RIP
Thursday 29th April No Mass
Friday 30th April 10am Mass Intentions of Sophie Leonard
Saturday 1st May DAY OF PRAYER FOR LOVE IN ACTION
10am Mass Love in Action
5.15 – 545pm Sacrament of Reconciliation
6pm (Vigil) John Bannon RIP
Sunday 2nd May, Fifth Sunday of Easter
9am John Kyle RIP
11am People of the Parish
**Numbers are limited to 30 for funerals. Please do not attend unless invited by the family.