Fr Frank writes:
My dear friends,
One of the things we all value in this frenetic world is peace and quiet. One of the places where we can famously find this is in church. It is a delight to step inside one of these often cool buildings and, in the silence of a holy place, rediscover God. I find it hard to pass a church without entering and enjoying its sacred space.
It is also possible to enjoy relatively long periods of silence at weekday Mass. But, less so at our Sunday Masses. It is important that we greet one another at church – this builds up our sense of community and is particularly welcomed by those who are lonely. However, it is necessary to balance this with the need for prayer and silent preparation for the celebration of the Mass. For this reason we introduced the ‘five minute bell’ in both churches a short time ago. This bell is rung as a reminder to keep a few minutes silence before Mass begins. To do so is good for us, and for our neighbour who may wish to pray. Please use this brief spell of time well.
This week Anne and I travel up to Coventry to meet up with the family and to inter her mother’s ashes in the memorial garden of St James’s Church, Styvechale. This means that I shall be away on Tuesday and Wednesday. My thanks to our Eucharistic Ministers in both parishes for providing the Liturgy of the Word and Holy Communion in my absence.
May the God who we restlessly seek bless you now and always.
A newly ordained priest was nervous about hearing confessions, so asked an older priest to sit close by and listen in on his ‘sessions’. After the young man had heard several confessions, the older priest asked him to step out of the confessional for a few pointers. The old priest suggested that he cross his arms over his chest and rub his chin thoughtfully with one hand. The new priest successfully tries out the gesture. The old priest then suggests, ‘Try saying things like, “I see, yes, go on,” and “I understand – how did you feel about that?”’ The new priest repeats what the older man has said and nods. The old priest goes on to say, ‘Now don’t you think that’s a little better than slapping your knee and saying, “No way! What happened next?”