Please scroll through this page and access some of the resources we have collated to support us all during this challenging time. We will be keeping this page regularly updated.
Mass and Services live-streaming service
A prayer by Havana in Neptune Class:
You can listen to the Sunday homily from St Michael's by clicking here
If you feel in a position to do so, you may like to complete this survey on Christian Witness which Fr Mark Hogan is collating.
How are you managing? How are you coping in the face of all the uncertainty?
People deal with uncertainty very differently.
Some people live a life of routine and habit and custom.
When all of that is thrown up in the air and we are not sure where it is all going to land
that can be challenging, unsettling, distressing.
For some of us when our usual pattern has gone we can flounder;
the daily landmarks have been re-arranged,
well-known faces are not where they were,
where, our hearts tell us, we need them to be.
Accustomed voices are not heard as they have been;
the usual comfort and certainty and consolation are missing.
But other people can find it exciting to have everything re-arranged.
They are no longer tied to daily expectations and schedules and requirements
that have, maybe, become a drudge and a chore.
However well or badly people cope just now, there is for all of us
an uncertainty about what eventually will happen.
We certainly will be glad when that is finally resolved.
Thomas preferred certainty, clarity.
Thomas, the disciple, preferred knowing what was going to happen.
Consider this. On one occasion Jesus said to His followers:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.
But Thomas straightaway spoke up and said:
Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?
Thomas’s question gave Jesus the beautiful opportunity to say something timelessly consoling.
Pray this, meditate on this:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.
Thomas’s uncertainty, his doubt, is for us the beginnings of a real gift.
Listen to the Gospel.
Thomas’s uncertainty lets Jesus draw from him a potent prayer: My Lord and my God!
Millions of people pray at Mass, millions of people pray at the precious moment
when the Body of Christ is elevated before them,
words which arose from doubt and uncertainty.
My Lord and my God! Words which are certain, utterly free from any doubt.
See this reflected when, from the desolation of Christ’s Passion, from His Crucifixion,
comes the absolute affirmation of life in the Resurrection.
Our Easter hymn, the Exultet, sings it for us:
This is the night when Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld.
We might really be feeling the loss of certainties
that just four or five weeks ago seemed unchangeable.
What really counts is not how soon that all changes again,
because none of us can know that,
but how resilient we prove to be in the face of all that change.
When we miss something that has been a steady, given part of every day,
that now has had to give way to our new way of life, be thankful.
When you cannot go for quite as long a walk as you were used to do,
or when you can’t go for a walk outside at all,
when you are having to queue at shops where you were accustomed to come and go as you pleased,
or when you have to make do with looking on Skype or Zoom or WhatsApp
at a face that you have held between your hands since first it was born,
or when all you can cherish is the voice on the phone
of someone who knows and loves you better maybe even than you know and love yourself,
and whom you yearn to be with,
take it as a moment to really thank God for all that has been.
Ask for the grace never again to take anything or anyone for granted ... ever.
St Thomas was uncertain. He doubted the word of all the others.
In five words he catches exactly who Jesus is: My Lord and my God!
Our uncertainty today is more intense than most of us have ever known.
We pray, earnestly, for it to end.
But we pray as well for the grace to draw from it the goodness
that we find if we look with the eyes of Christ.
Don’t dwell on what is missing; gaze on all that is.
St Teresa of Calcutta helps priests do this.
In every sacristy belonging to her order, the Sisters of Charity, are these words:
Priest of God, celebrate this Mass as if it is your first Mass, your last Mass and your only Mass.
That offers a great model for everyone’s life:
Live this day as if it is your last and only day,
take nothing for granted, be grateful for everything,
adapt to whatever change demands of you
and whatever you cannot adapt, accept with a good grace.
To put it so much more succinctly, just say over and again with Thomas: My Lord and my God!
Fr Gerard's Homily for Second Sunday of Easter 19th April 2020
Keeping in touch with Fr Gerard
Canon Gerard has been delighted to keep in touch with so many of you by phone and email. If you wish to make sure that we have your contact details please register here: REGISTRATION LINK
If you know of anyone who wishes to be added to our Parish newsletter distribution list please ask them to contact firstname.lastname@example.org requesting this.
Fr. Tom Grufferty (who used to be the Parish Priest of St Joseph's, Havant, and was a Governor at our school) is generously offering everyone his support during this time.
“If you are in need of prayer or spiritual guidance,” he says, “you can use this specially dedicated prayer line. In return you will receive prayers for those concerned about the current crisis, and also some recommended prayer ideas, available at the click of a button. These include ideas on how to relax, mindfulness and websites dedicated to prayer.”
He also says people are welcome to use Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp. The line will be open each day during Holy Week and Easter: from 10.00 -12.00 and again from 16.00-18.00: Palm Sunday April 5th to the Second Sunday of Easter, April 19th inclusive. Callers will be invited to give a brief reason for the prayer and “we will then pray about this and finish off with the Lord’s Prayer and two other prayers specifically about Coronavirus.” Fr. Tom says this is a strictly confidential and a personal service and “your personal needs will be prayed for.”
Contact Fr. Tom either by email or by phone on 07905-949198
Our Parish Community
Particularly in this difficult time, please remember our parish community, the parishioners, Fr Gerard, Fr Leslie, Fr Mark and Deacon Nick in your prayers.
Are you struggling to recognise God's presence in your life? Perhaps we can help...
Fr Gerard offers some reassuring words and guidance...
God is with us in all this suffering and disturbance.
There will be no public Masses from Friday 20th March for the foreseeable future. This will be a difficult loss for so many people. In this necessary fast from the Eucharist perhaps we can take a moment to really reflect on what it means for us and come to appreciate this mystery all over again. But don’t for a moment think that if you are unable to get to Mass you are committing a sin! God does not expect more of us than we can offer.
This website might help: https://www.ctsbooks.org/if-you-cant-get-to-mass-making-a-spiritual-communion/
And this prayer leaflet is good to keep handy:
Since we cannot gather to celebrate Mass perhaps we could watch Mass online. Of course, it’s not the same, but it could help us maintain our Sunday custom, remembering that Sunday is the Lord’s day.
Our own St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth offers live-streamed Mass. https://www.portsmouthcatholiccathedral.org.uk/live-mass.php
So too do the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph at Sway. https://dominicansistersofstjoseph.org
The Sisters’ website also offers the Rosary, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Divine Office.
Mass Online offers links to Mass being streamed in many churches across the world https://mass-online.org/daily-holy-mass-live-online/
A resource offering Mass from Medjugorje can be found on the Mary App at https://www.marian.org/app
Bishop Robert Barron’s Daily Mass can be found at: https://www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass