Fr Peter’s Message

This LENT in St. Anne’s!

 

For many parishioners Lent is a time of wanting to undertake a Lenten Commitment and a desire to try to understand our faith better and to do so with others.

 

We will be presenting two programmes: 

 

  1. Walking with Jesus along the Via Dolorosa. 

 

This is a five session programme beginning on Monday 22nd February at 7.30pm and continuing for the next five Mondays. It includes a Gospel Reading, Reflective Prayer and Scriptural Rosary and will be available LIVE on our YouTube Channel.  

 

  1. Lectio Divina in Lent

 

Lent is a time when many of us feel drawn to give more time to prayer. This Lent we invite you to join us online for a time of Prayer and Reflection with the Sunday readings.

 

The programme which will be held live on Zoom is for 5 weeks and will take place on Thursdays at 7.30pm for approximately one hour, beginning this Thursday 18th February. This will be a great opportunity for us to connect with one another and to the Word of God.

 

Spaces are limited, so if you would like to take part please leave your name with the parish office as soon as possible by email on stannes@downandconnor.org . We will then send you further details and a link for our meeting.

Our New Streaming Service!

We have recently installed a number of cameras and some new sound equipment in our church, so that our live streaming of all our services can be of the best quality for our parishioners and the many others beyond, who join us in worship online. This has been a huge investment for the future of our parish and it will allow us, in these very uncertain times of Covid-19, to continue to provide strong and good quality communication. This future-proofing has cost over £15,000 and already we have had generous donations towards the cost of the project. If you are in a position to do so, may I ask you to please consider making a donation to cover the costs incurred? Your continued generosity to the upkeep of our parish in these difficult days is very much appreciated, and please continue to help us provide you with the best pastoral care and service.

We continue to hold each other in prayer during these pandemic days.

 

 

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Your continued generosity is much appreciated.

 

Following the recent regulations regarding the increase in the spread of the Covid-19 virus, our church will be closed until 5th March 2021. We will still be able to celebrate weddings, funerals and baptisms while adhering to the regulations in place.

Statement by the Northern Catholic Bishops – 22nd January 2021

Re extension of the Covid-19 Shut-down by the Northern Ireland Executive to 5th March 2021.

 

Yesterday afternoon the Northern Ireland Executive took the unanimous decision to extend the current Covid-19 restrictions until Friday 5th March 2021. This decision was based on the strong recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Advisor, as a result of the continued extremely high level of transmission of the Covid-19 virus throughout the community (which over these last four weeks had not reduced to the level that had been hoped for), along with the increasing numbers in hospital and intensive care.

 

In the light of this decision, and on the basis of the clear and unequivocal public health advice that people should continue to stay at home, the Northern Catholic Bishops have decided that, until 5 March (but subject to ongoing review in line with any change to the public health advice), the celebration of the Eucharist and other liturgies should continue to take place without the physical presence of the faithful. Marriage, funeral, baptismal liturgies and drive-in services may continue (subject to strict safety guidelines and regulations). Arrangements for recording and/or livestreaming and making individual visits for private prayer are also permissible in accordance with regulations.  We encourage parishes, where possible, to continue to broadcast the celebration of Mass – and other devotions and prayer services – online and on other media, knowing that faith and prayer can be a tremendous support to individuals and society during these difficult times.

 

We once more make this decision reluctantly, conscious of the pain that not being able to gather for public worship causes for all the faithful, but in the hope that this period of sacrifice is inspired by the command of Jesus to love our neighbours and undertaken for the protection of life and health and for the Common Good. 

 

We continue to ask for prayers for the sick, the bereaved and all those whose livelihoods have been particularly impacted by the pandemic.  We keep especially in mind all health workers, carers, chaplains and other essential workers.  We welcome the announcement that a similar position is being taken by the leaders of the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland and many other denominations and faith communities in response to the unequivocal message from public health authorities that as many people as possible stay at home at this time.

 

Most Rev Eamon Martin DD                                              

Archbishop of Armagh & Primate of All-Ireland

Apostolic Administrator of Dromore

  

Most Rev Noel Treanor DD

Bishop of Down and Connor

 

Most Rev Donal McKeown DD

Bishop of Derry

 

Most Rev Larry Duffy DD

Bishop of Clogher

 

Most Rev Michael Router DD

Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh

 

 

 

 

___________________________________________

Dear St. Anne’s Parishioners,

At the beginning of 2020 no one could have foreseen the difficulties we would have to endure due to Covid-19.  While our first thoughts must be with those who have died, and with their grieving families, we think also of the sick and elderly in our care homes and in our hospitals.  They, though admirably cared for by hard pressed medical and nursing staffs, are, nevertheless, isolated from their families.  Many others have been “cocooned” in their own homes and depending on the goodwill of relatives and neighbours.  At the same time, the restriction on the numbers attending our churches – while very understandable – is not without its pain.  As priests, we too struggle with all of this, and experience the sadness and frustration of not being able to minister to our parishioners as we would want, yet, we continue to do what is possible in the circumstances.

The pandemic has caused a downturn in the economic situation and once healthy businesses have reduced their staff, or in some cases, closed altogether.  Consequently, many families may face this Christmas with greatly reduced income.  As a result, parish income is greatly reduced, as is the income of priests’ welfare fund, who rely entirely on the voluntary contributions of parishioners. The priests’ welfare fund has taken a significant reduction over recent months. If your circumstances permit, we ask that you please keep your priests in mind this Christmas.

The traditional Christmas collection, together with the other collections for the upkeep of priests throughout the year, is, in a spirit of priestly fraternity, “pooled” in a central fund.  This fund, administered by an elected committee of priests, is shared in such a way as to ensure that every priest ministering in the Diocese receives the same level of income.

Thank you for your kind support and your constant prayers.  We pray, that even in these difficult times, Christmas may be for you a time of blessing.

With every good wish and every blessing. 

Fr. Peter

 

_______________________

Walk Through for Private Prayer

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Thursday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clapping and Bell ringing for Carers

 

 

Good Friday

 

 

Holy Saturday

 

 

 

Easter Vigil

 

 

Easter Sunday Reflection