Blessed Robert Grissold Catholic Church

A Community based on Faith, Altar and the Word

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Welcome to the website of Blessed Robert Grissold Catholic Church in Balsall Common. Here you can find details of the parish, our latest newsletter, services and sacraments offered by the Church and, in our parish archive, the events we have held. As a parish we value your privacy. Please follow the link here to learn more about the privacy policy that covers all catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Birmingham,
Christmas 2019 Services

If you are looking for our mass times for Christmas 2019, click
here
Father Frank writes
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My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, friends, I trust that you are keeping well. Although we cannot gather for the Mass at the present time, I believe it would be good if we could all be praying together as a community on Sundays, at 9.30 am, the usual time of the Mass praying for one another, for our country and world at this time of disease and sickness. To this end I have suggested below how we might make a Spiritual Communion together. I will say the Mass at 9.30 am on Sundays offering the intentions that have already been requested. I will also offer those intentions that have already been accepted through the week and, of course, it goes without saying that I will be praying especially for our community. Please take the time to read the suggestion below. In this time of quarantine, we might all share in prayer and making a Spiritual Communion on Sunday mornings - joined to the Eucharistic Christ and to one another.
Sunday 12 July 2020 and Sunday 19th July 2020 Spiritual Communions

Please note that the Spiritual Communion for Sunday 19th July can be found
below the Spiritual Communion for Sunday 12th July displayed after this message.

Apologies for including the second ahead of schedule but our website designer is away on holiday for the next two weeks!
Sunday 12 July 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, friends,

Cardinal Nichols has announced that Churches are allowed to open and to celebrate Mass from the 4
th July as long as they are able to demonstrate that they can comply with the health and safety criteria laid down by the Church and government and satisfy the health and safety demands specified in the Archdiocesan ‘Risk Assessment’ document. On Thursday we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel - a great opportunity to pray the Rosary - asking for Our Lady’s prayers for the Church and for the world. I am presently making efforts to progress matters in order that we may open the church as soon as it is safe for us to do so.

This Friday the Church celebrates the Feast are our beloved Patron, Blessed Robert Griswold - the Mass on that day will be for the People of the Parish.

It’s been good to hear that you are joining together in the prayers and readings of the Mass on Sundays at 9.30 a.m. when I offer the Mass. Be assured of my prayers for you daily as I offer the Mass.

If anyone needs prayer or if you feel anyone would feel comforted by knowing that the Church is praying for them, then please contact me - I can offer the Mass for them or include them in the prayers of the Mass.

Please find below an order of service for making a Spiritual Communion.

With all good wishes and every blessing

Fr Frank

Making a Spiritual Communion *

FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
12th July 2020
Mass Intention: Alison Rand (RIP)


Create a prayerful setting through the placing of a crucifix, Bible, statues, icons, etc Then follow this order of service:

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen


Read the
Entrance Antiphon

As for me,
in justice I shall behold your face;
I shall be filled with the vision of your glory.

In silent prayer call to mind your sins then make the following penitential act:

You were sent to heal the contrite of heart: Lord have mercy
You came to call sinners: Christ have mercy
You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us:
Lord have mercy

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.



Pray the
Collect (the Opening Prayer of the Mass of the day)

O God, who show the light of your truth to those who go astray,
so that they may return to the right path,
give all who for the faith they profess are accounted Christians
the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ
and to strive after all that does it honour.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who live and reign with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

First Reading: From the prophet Isaiah chapter 55 verses 10-11

Responsorial Psalm:
R. Some seed fell into rich soil and produced its crop.

You care for the earth, give it water,
you fill it with riches.
Your river in heaven brims over
to provide its grain.
R.

And thus you provide for the earth;
you drench its furrows,
you level it, soften it with showers,
you bless its growth.
R.

You crown the year with your goodness.
Abundance flows in your steps,
in the pastures of the wilderness it flows.
R.

The hills are girded with joy,
the meadows covered with flocks,
the valleys are decked with wheat.
They shout for joy, yes, they sing.
R.

Second Reading:
From the letter of St Paul to the Romans, Chapter 8, verses: 18-23.

Gospel: A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such crowds gathered round him that he got into the boat and sat there. The people all stood on the beach, and he told them many things in parables.

He said, ‘Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!’

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection

The sower in the parable today sows the word of God and we encounter the word of God in the Mass.

In the life and practice of the Church the Eucharist consists of two inseparably linked parts: word and sacrament. The word presupposes the sacrament as its fulfilment, for in the sacrament Christ the Word becomes our life. The Word assembles the Church for his incarnation in her. It is through the sacrament of the Eucharist that the word is authentically interpreted, for the interpretation of the word of scripture is always witness to the fact the Word who was made flesh has become our life. Only in this unbreakable unity of word and sacrament can we truly understand why the Church alone preserves the true meaning of scripture. That is why the necessary beginning of the Eucharistic ceremony is the first part of the liturgy - the sacrament of the word - which finds its fulfilment and completion in the offering, consecration and distribution to the faithful of the eucharistic gifts.

Just as the consecration of the gifts of bread and wine is preceded by the offertory procession, so too the reading of the Gospel is rightly preceded by the procession of the Book of the Gospels in the entrance at the start of the Mass. The Book of the Gospels is rendered the same reverence as the altar in that it is kissed and censed. This is because the Gospel book is a verbal icon of Christ’s manifestation to and presence among us. Above all, the Book of the Gospels, is an icon of his Resurrection - it is the appearance of the risen Lord in fulfilment of his promise: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” The proclamation of the word is preceded by its appearance. The entrance with the Gospels is a meeting - a joyous meeting - with Christ, and this meeting is brought about by means of the bringing out to us of this book of books - the book that is always transformed into power, life and sanctification.

In the reading from scripture in the Mass, the word of God is addressed not to the rational mind alone but to something deeper - it is addressed to the depths or, in the language of the Holy Fathers of the early Church, scripture is addressed to the heart. Therefore, before and during the Introductory rites of the Mass, we should prepare ourselves through stilling the rational mind and opening ourselves to the Word of God which wants to root itself in the deep soil of our hearts. When Christ has spoken to our hearts - to our deepest level - through his Word, then he opens our minds to understand the scriptures. And this, as the disciples on the road to Emmaus discovered, is a transforming experience.

The reading of the Gospel in the Mass is traditionally preceded by the singing of the “Alleluia.” The singing of the “Alleluia” is inherited by Christianity from Hebrew worship and the “Alleluia” belongs to a very particular singing known as
melismatic. Melismatic refers to a form of sacred music in which the music and melody takes precedence over the words. This is because melismatic singing expresses the experience of worship as a real contact with the Divine - an entry into the supernatural dimension and reality of the Kingdom of heaven. This is why the singing of the “Alleluia” is melismatic - for “Alleluia” is not here simply a word which can be logically translated as “praise God” - it is rather an expression of joy and praise at the appearing of the Lord - a reaction to his coming. The “Alleluia” is a greeting which presupposes a divine appearing or manifestation and it is a reaction to this manifestation. The singing of the “Alleluia,” which precedes the reading of the Gospel, expresses the joy and praise and experience of the presence of Christ - a presence that is deeper, more profound and more real than any rational explanation is capable of articulating.


Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, have mercy on us

Saints Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, pray for us

St Bonaventure

Blessed Robert Grissold, pray for us

Blessed John Sugar

All holy Guardian Angels watch over, guard and protect us.

Pray the Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen

Offer up Prayers of Intercession for the Church, for the world, for our community, for the sick and for those who have died - and offer up your own intentions.

A Prayer in time of sickness and disease:

All powerful and merciful God,
our refuge and our shield,
bring healing to all those suffering as a result of sickness and disease.
Guard and protect us from all harm
and assist those whose skill and art can put an end to this affliction.
Through Christ our Lord.

Ask for Our Lady’s prayers, saying the Hail Mary…

Pray the
Lord’s Prayer: Our Father…

Pray the Agnus Dei:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Make a Spiritual Communion* - asking Our Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart and feed you with heavenly grace so that you might be one with Him. You can use the following prayer of St Alphonsus Liguori:

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Ask for God’s blessing and protection:

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen

Make the sign of the Cross saying:

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Finish with the Prayer to St Michael:

Holy Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defence against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down into hell Satan and all other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen




+++


* A Spiritual Communion can be made if one has a deep desire to receive Our Lord and to be one with him - even if one cannot, for whatever reason, receive him sacramentally. Spiritual Communion is an act of love and desire to be united with Christ and is a means of drawing on the life of the Holy Spirit dwelling within our souls.

The Church teaches us that we can receive Our Lord Jesus Christ in spiritual communion if we have a great desire to receive him and to feed on him, the spiritual heavenly bread, through our longing for the Blessed Sacrament. In spiritual communion we invite Our Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts.

In this way we can receive the graces and blessings of the Blessed Sacrament even in those circumstances where we are unable to receive Christ in Holy Communion. And the good news is that we can make a spiritual communion several times a day. Indeed, St Maximillian Kolbe endeavoured to make a spiritual communion - asking Our Eucharistic Lord - to come to him every fifteen minutes - every time his clock chimed.

St Teresa said: “Spiritual Communion is very profitable, therefore do not omit it for by it the Lord learns how much you love him.”

I will post the Sunday Collects, and Readings week by week on the parish website.

I hope this has proved helpful. Please don’t feel bound by these suggestions
- if you have your own better way of staying in prayerful and close spiritual communion with Our Lord then, of course, follow it.

Be assured of my prayers - please keep me in yours. Remember that the Rosary is a most powerful means of prayer.

With all good wishes and every blessing

Fr Frank

***

Weekday Spiritual Communion

You can use the format for Sunday’s Spiritual Communion for daily worship and prayer. The Sunday Collect and scripture readings can be used throughout the week but if you prefer you might like to use the Gospel of the day - I will supply the scripture references for these. Also, please don’t forget the supreme value of praying the Rosary daily.

Gospel readings for Week 15 in Ordinary Time

Mon 13 July St Henry
Matthew chapter 10:34- 11:1
Fr David Duggan
Tues 14 Matthew chapter 11, verses 20-24
Bishop Leo McCartie

Wed 15
St Bonaventure
Matthew chapter 11, verses 25-27
Margaret Bixby (RIP)

Thurs 16
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Matthew chapter 11, verses 28-30
Private Intention

Fri 17
Blessed Robert Grissold
Matthew chapter 12, verses 1-8
People of the Parish
Sat 18 Matthew chapter 12, verses 14-21

Sunday 19 July 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, friends,

Cardinal Nichols has announced that Churches are allowed to open and to celebrate Mass from the 4
th July as long as they are able to demonstrate that they can comply with the health and safety criteria laid down by the Church and government and satisfy the health and safety demands specified in the Archdiocesan ‘Risk Assessment’ document. I am presently making efforts to progress matters in order that we may open the church as soon as it is safe for us to do so.

It’s been good to hear that you are joining together in the prayers and readings of the Mass on Sundays at 9.30 a.m. when I offer the Mass. Be assured of my prayers for you daily as I offer the Mass.

If anyone needs prayer or if you feel anyone would feel comforted by knowing that the Church is praying for them, then please contact me - I can offer the Mass for them or include them in the prayers of the Mass.

Please find below an order of service for making a Spiritual Communion.

With all good wishes and every blessing

Fr Frank

Making a Spiritual Communion *

SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
19th July 2020
Mass Intention: People of the Parish


Create a prayerful setting through the placing of a crucifix, Bible, statues, icons, etc Then follow this order of service:

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen


Read the
Entrance Antiphon

See, I have God for my help.
The Lord sustains my soul.
I will sacrifice to you with willing heart,
and praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.

In silent prayer call to mind your sins then make the following penitential act:

You were sent to heal the contrite of heart: Lord have mercy
You came to call sinners: Christ have mercy
You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us:
Lord have mercy

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.



Pray the
Collect (the Opening Prayer of the Mass of the day)

Show favour, O Lord, to your servants
and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace,
that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity,
they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who live and reign with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

First Reading: From the book of Wisdom chapter 12 verses 13, 16-19

Responsorial Psalm:
R. O Lord, you are good and forgiving.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
full of love to all who call.
Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my voice.
R.

All the nations shall come to adore you
and glorify your name, O Lord:
for you are great and do marvellous deeds,
you who alone are God.
R.

But you, God of mercy and compassion,
slow to anger, O Lord,
abounding in love and truth,
turn and take pity on me.
R.

Second Reading:
From the letter of St Paul to the Romans, Chapter 8, verses: 26-27.


Gospel:
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus put another parable before the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said: “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection

In today’s Gospel Jesus repeatedly mentions the ‘enemy’ of souls - the Devil. St Paul tells us that in the spiritual battle, ‘our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.’ The chief aim of the ‘evil one’ and of his minions - the demons - is to deprive us of our heavenly inheritance - of eternal life in God’s kingdom. The Devil is a fallen angel and like his fellow fallen angels they were created good by God but they became evil through their rebellion against God. They continue their rebellion by making every effort to tempt humanity away from God’s loving purposes - that is why Satan tempted our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise and has attacked the people of God ever since - even attempting to tempt Our Lord himself away from the Father’s will for him.

Because our Adversary is unwearied in his diligence and insatiable in his desire for the ruin of souls - because, as St Peter says, he is like a ‘roaring lion going about, seeking whom he may devour’ Our Lord urges us to pray, ‘deliver us from evil’ - to pray to God against those evils which threaten our spiritual interests. The Devil is powerful, from the fact that he is pure spirit - a fallen angel - nevertheless, if we put on the armour of faith and the shield of innocence, he can have no power to hurt us.

We should take courage and comfort that Christ prayed for us, saying, ‘I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.’ We can entrust ourselves to Christ who has already gained the victory over the Devil and, as St Ambrose says: ‘One who entrusts himself to God does not dread the devil’ and ‘if God is for us, who is against us?’

Our prayer to God to be delivered from evil does not mean will never have to endure suffering, after all, it is written in the Scriptures that: ’All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution’ and again, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.’ A servant is not greater than his Master and Christ had to suffer before entering into his glory. And just as the evil of Christ’s suffering was turned to great good so too ‘we know that, in everything, God works for good with those who love him.’

All this also serves to reminds us of the great efficacy and power of praying the Rosary and asking for Our Lady’s prayers because she is the one who crushes the evil serpent’s head. Also, it is profitable to invoke the protection of our Guardian Angels and of St Michael, the Archangel, who was instrumental in the casting down and defeat of Satan.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, have mercy on us

Saints Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, pray for us

St Mary Magdalene

St Bridget

St James

All holy Guardian Angels watch over, guard and protect us.

Pray the Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen

Offer up Prayers of Intercession for the Church, for the world, for our community, for the sick and for those who have died - and offer up your own intentions.

A Prayer in time of sickness and disease:

All powerful and merciful God,
our refuge and our shield,
bring healing to all those suffering as a result of sickness and disease.
Guard and protect us from all harm
and assist those whose skill and art can put an end to this affliction.
Through Christ our Lord.

Ask for Our Lady’s prayers, saying the Hail Mary…

Pray the
Lord’s Prayer: Our Father…

Pray the Agnus Dei:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Make a Spiritual Communion* - asking Our Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart and feed you with heavenly grace so that you might be one with Him. You can use the following prayer of St Alphonsus Liguori:

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Ask for God’s blessing and protection:

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen

Make the sign of the Cross saying:

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Finish with the Prayer to St Michael:

Holy Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defence against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down into hell Satan and all other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen



+++


* A Spiritual Communion can be made if one has a deep desire to receive Our Lord and to be one with him - even if one cannot, for whatever reason, receive him sacramentally. Spiritual Communion is an act of love and desire to be united with Christ and is a means of drawing on the life of the Holy Spirit dwelling within our souls.

The Church teaches us that we can receive Our Lord Jesus Christ in spiritual communion if we have a great desire to receive him and to feed on him, the spiritual heavenly bread, through our longing for the Blessed Sacrament. In spiritual communion we invite Our Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts.

In this way we can receive the graces and blessings of the Blessed Sacrament even in those circumstances where we are unable to receive Christ in Holy Communion. And the good news is that we can make a spiritual communion several times a day. Indeed, St Maximillian Kolbe endeavoured to make a spiritual communion - asking Our Eucharistic Lord - to come to him every fifteen minutes - every time his clock chimed.

St Teresa said: “Spiritual Communion is very profitable, therefore do not omit it for by it the Lord learns how much you love him.”

I will post the Sunday Collects, and Readings week by week on the parish website.

I hope this has proved helpful. Please don’t feel bound by these suggestions
- if you have your own better way of staying in prayerful and close spiritual communion with Our Lord then, of course, follow it.

Be assured of my prayers - please keep me in yours. Remember that the Rosary is a most powerful means of prayer.

With all good wishes and every blessing

Fr Frank

***


Weekday Spiritual Communion

You can use the format for Sunday’s Spiritual Communion for daily worship and prayer. The Sunday Collect and scripture readings can be used throughout the week but if you prefer you might like to use the Gospel of the day - I will supply the scripture references for these. Also, please don’t forget the supreme value of praying the Rosary daily.

Gospel readings for Week 16 in Ordinary Time

Mon 20 July Matthew chapter 12: 38-42

Tues 21 Matthew chapter 12, verses 46-50
Canon Sean McTiernan (RIP)

Wed 22
Feast of St Mary Magdalene
John chapter 20, verses 1-2, 11-18

Thurs 23
St Bridget
John chapter 15, verses 1-8
Bysshe and Judith Gibbs (Intentions)

Fri 24 Matthew chapter 13, verses 18-23

Sat 25
Feast of St James
Matthew chapter 20, verses 20-28

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops  of the Catholic Church in England   

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

On Tuesday we heard the announcement that, from the 4th July this year, places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services. We welcome this news with great joy. Since the lockdown began, members of all faiths have faced restrictions on how they have been able to celebrate important religious festivals. Our own experience of Easter was unlike any other we have known. Now, in our churches, and with our people, we can look forward again to celebrating the central mysteries of our faith in the Holy Eucharist. The recent reopening of our churches for individual private prayer was an important milestone on our journey towards resuming communal worship. Our churches that have opened have put in place all the measures needed to ensure the risks of virus transmission are minimised. This includes effective hand sanitisation, social distancing, and cleaning. We remain committed to making sure these systems of hygiene and infection control meet Government and public health standards.

We want to thank everyone within the Catholic community for sustaining the life of faith in such creative ways, not least in the family home. We thank our priests for celebrating Mass faithfully for their people, and for the innovative ways in which they have enabled participation through live-streaming and other means. We are grateful for the pastoral care shown by our clergy to those for whom this time of lockdown has been especially difficult, and, in particular, towards those who have been bereaved. We recognise too the chaplaincy services that have played a vital role in supporting those most in need.

Gaining from the experience of all that we have been through, and bringing those lessons into the future, we must now look forward. With the easing of restrictions on worship with congregations, we tread carefully along the path that lies ahead. Our lives have been changed by the experience of the pandemic and it is clear that we cannot simply return to how things were before lockdown. We remain centred on the Lord Jesus and His command at the Last Supper to “do this in memory of me.” We must now rebuild what it means to be Eucharistic communities, holding fast to all that we hold dear, while at the same time exploring creative ways to meet changed circumstances. It is important to reaffirm that, at present, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended. A significant number of churches may remain closed as they are unable to meet the requirements for opening for individual prayer. Fulfilling these requirements is a precondition for any church opening after the 4th July for the celebration of Mass with a congregation.

Please be aware that there will be a limit on the number of people who can attend Mass in our churches. This will determined locally in accordance with social distancing requirements. We therefore need to reflect carefully on how and when we might be able to attend Mass. We cannot return immediately to our customary practices. This next step is not, in any sense, a moment when we are going ‘back to normal.’ We ask every Catholic to think carefully about how and when they will return to Mass. Our priests may need to consider whether it is possible to celebrate additional Masses at the weekends. Given there is no Sunday obligation, we ask you to consider the possibility of attending Mass on a weekday. This will ease the pressure of numbers for Sunday celebrations and allow a gradual return to the Eucharist for more people.

Moving forward, there will still be many people who cannot attend Mass in person. We therefore ask parishes, wherever possible, to continue live-streaming Sunday Mass, both for those who remain shielding and vulnerable, and also for those unable to leave home because of advanced age or illness. When we return to Mass there will some differences in how the celebration takes place. For the time being, there will be no congregational singing and Mass will be shorter than usual. None of this detracts from the centrality of our encounter with the Risen Christ in the Eucharist.

We ask everyone to respect and follow the guidance that will be issued and the instructions in each church. “As I have loved you,” said the Lord Jesus, “so you must love each other.” (Jn 13:34) The lockdown has brought forth remarkable acts of charity, of loving kindness, from Catholics across our communities as they have cared for the needy and vulnerable. We have seen love in action through charitable works, and through the service of many front-line key-workers who are members of our Church. Now we can begin to return to the source of that charity, Christ himself, present for us sacramentally, body, blood, soul and divinity, in Holy Communion. As we prepare to gather again to worship, let us, respectful of each other, come together in thanksgiving to God for the immense gift of the Holy Eucharist.

Yours devotedly in Christ

Vincent Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster
Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool
Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham
John Wilson, Archbishop of Southwark

This letter is addressed to the Catholic Community in England; the opening of the Catholic Churches in Wales is devolved to the Welsh Assembly who are still evaluating their position on opening Places of Worship.
The Archdiocese is seeking a voluntary part time Trust Secretary

The Archdiocese is seeking a voluntary part time Trust Secretary to assist the Trustees in good "corporate practices". Details can be found on www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/jobs and on the parish website.
SCAM DIRECTED AT PARISHES AND PARISH PRIESTS

This alert is being sent out to advise all clergy and safeguarding staff. Please circulate it as widely as possible.

We have become aware of a group of individuals who are scanning parish websites from which they gather information on the parish in order to target the parish priest. As an example, the scammers will identify that the parish was looking to raise money for a significant project such as a major renovation, an individual over social media will then make contact and befriend the parish priest telling him that they are due to come into a significant amount of money and would like to make a sizeable donation to the project.

They will then start asking for money to pay fees etc to get the money released. They will ask that the money is sent via an untraceable means normally a pre-paid card of some sort. In addition to straightforward fraud the individual will also endeavour to get the priest to behave inappropriately on line. If they manage to get inappropriate conduct they will then subsequently use this to blackmail the individual.

Please be aware this going on. Simple Tips
  • If something seems too good to be true then it probably is.
  • Take extreme care as to what information is displayed on parish websites and social media (Facebook, Twitter, What’s App etc)
  • Under no circumstances pay an individual who you meet on line without being very clear who they are. Never pay money other than into traceable bank accounts.
  • This is only one potential scam. Please be aware of emails, texts or calls purporting to come from your bank or a government agency saying you have a refund or are owed some money. These are almost always a scam. No such organisation will ask you for personal details by this means.
  • If you have any concerns report the matter to the Vicar General. For further information visit: www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk
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CAFOD Coronavirus Emergency Appeal

CAFOD launched its coronavirus emergency appeal on 30 April. The effects of coronavirus on developing countries where CAFOD works are likely to be devastating. Families without enough to eat and without access to clean water and healthcare are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. The poorest and most marginalised communities will be pushed further into poverty. Your prayers and gifts are needed now more than ever to help protect the lives of those in poor communities. While we are not able to hold physical collections in our church, you can donate as individuals at cafod.org.uk/coronavirusappeal.

The inequalities exposed by coronavirus is a matter of justice. We can do something about this crisis. We can use our voices here in the UK to tell our government to take practical, concrete actions to assist developing countries in the coronavirus response. Please help to sign our petition CAFOD coronavirus petition | CAFOD

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Friends of the Holy Land Pentecost Challenge

Dear Fathers, Dear Deacons
 
I have been asked by the Friends of the Holy Land to send you the following important message.  I would be very grateful if you could bring it to the attention of your parishioners.
 
As a Patron of FHL, I am kept informed of the wonderful work they are undertaking with a very small team of paid staff and many volunteers both over here and in the Holy Land. Coronavirus is changing the lives of all of us but for so many Christians, especially in the West Bank but also Gaza, Israel and Jordan, it is devastating.  So many are dependent for their income on pilgrimages and tourism which disappeared overnight in early March.  For many they have no government support nor even a health service which can handle this crisis.
 
So, FHL launched an appeal in March for those impacted in Bethlehem and widened it on 3 April as a Pentecost Challenge to cover the whole of the region. They secured match funding for the first £100,000 and, with a few days to go to Pentecost, are close to reaching the target but are seeking help from your parishioners to get over the line. Perhaps you could include details in your newsletter this weekend.
 
www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk/pentecost-challenge will direct parishioners to the FHL website where more information is available.  You may also wish to view the news story on our diocesan website FHL launch Pentecost Challenge!
 
Thank you for your support to help those worse off than ourselves, as FHL strive to maintain a Christian presence in the Holy Land and please keep the FHL staff and volunteers plus those in the Holy Land in your prayers.
 
With my prayers and kindest wishes.
 
Yours devotedly in Christ
unknown
XBernard Longley
Archbishop of Birmingham

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Online Lourdes Pilgrimage

Dear Father, Dear Deacon,
 
Please find below an invitation for parishioners to join the virtual Lourdes pilgrimage for your newsletters:
 
You are invited to an online Lourdes pilgrimage, starting Sunday 24 May with Archbishop Bernard’s opening Mass at 3pm live streamed from St Chad’s Cathedral.
 
The week features daily Mass, liturgy and Rosary ‘processions’. 
 
Find the full programme on 
www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/lourdes-pilgrimage .
 
Best wishes
 
Caroline
 
Caroline Bletso
Press and Media Relations Officer
Archdiocese of Birmingham
Cathedral House
St Chad’s
Queensway
BIRMINGHAM

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International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians

Dear Fathers, Dear Deacons
 
I am pleased to forward the attached letter I have received from John Adam Fox, the Chair of Trustee of the Fellowship and Aid to the Christians of the East (FACE), together with a poster and further information regarding the International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians which will take place on Sunday 17 May 2020.
 
Around  20 million Eastern Christians will be praying for Western Christians on Sunday; and conversely a similar number of Catholics from Poland, Belgium, Monaco, France, Spain, Switzerland and Italy will be praying for Eastern Christians at the same. 
 
More information is available via: https://oeuvre-orient.com/the-international-day-of-prayer-for-eastern-christians/
 
I would be grateful if you could arrange to share this with your parishioners via your newsletter and parish website, please.
 
With my prayers and every kind wish.
 
Yours devotedly in Christ
unknown
XBernard Longley
Archbishop of Birmingham


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Bethany Food Bank Appeal

Please find below information about an appeal from G&T SVP. Can you please bring it to the attention of all the parishioners you are in contact with, and if they can donate any food etc it would great. It can be delivered to Lesley Murtagh at 36 Arden Close Balsall Common. If they can't get there if they let Joe Martin know he will go and collect it and take it around. There is also a collection box in Tesco in the Village. Please help us to help disadvantaged families in the area.

The Bethany Food Bank Appeal has produced a weekly newsletter showing their progress. You can find there below:





Easter Music during our Lockdown

Some of our parish musicians have recorded music to celebrate Holy Week and Easter. Even though we are unable to worship together as a parish, it's hoped that these will remind us of the importance the Easter Tridium in our lives. The first set are from Lesley and Katie Ritchie. Lesley is the Head Teacher of St. Augustine's catholic primary school in Kenilworth and sings and plays in our music group. She made these videos for the children who attend her school.

Songs from the Head Teacher's Living Room

Maundy Thursday

Fit My Video Tag

Good Friday

Fit My Video Tag

Holy Saturday

Fit My Video Tag

Easter Sunday

Fit My Video Tag
The next songs are from Hannah, Ellie and Ian Clarke. Ian and Ellie lead the Church Choir and Hannah is studying Music at Leeds University. They had been busy preparing some Easter music for the last week or so, quite unaware of Lesley and Katie's pieces! Their pieces consist of two old favourites: 'This is the Day' by Thomas Morley and 'Alleluia', a canon by Tim Brace and a new piece of choral music, composed for Easter by Hannah Clarke, called 'The Lord is truly Risen'.

Songs from the Music Room

Alleluia
by Tim Brace

Fit My Video Tag

This is the Day
by Thomas Morley

Fit My Video Tag

The Lord is truly Risen
by Hannah Clarke

Fit My Video Tag
Balsall Common Coronavirus Community Help

Please be aware of the following service available in Balsall Common. Please use the phone number or email address if you need any support.

covid support
MASS STREAMED ON THE INTERNET

Mass can be streamed directly from the internet. A number of churches in England and Ireland are available. Please visit this link to find out more.
Important notice from the Archdiocese concerning Safeguarding for all those supporting others in the community through this crisis

Email sent on behalf of Alan Hassall, Head of Safeguarding

Hello,

In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak and need for some households and those in certain high risk groups to self-isolate, we are aware of the good work that parishes may be undertaking to support parishioners through this crisis. I email today because there have been some questions about whether those volunteering need to have DBS checks so I wanted to provide some clarity.

The laws still apply as usual and so those working closely with those who are ill, elderly or disabled would still require DBS checks. However, where you are providing basic support such as dropping off food etc and this is not because the person themselves would be unable to do this but simply because they are following advice to self-isolate, then this would not require a DBS check. I would advise that volunteers keep minimal contact both for safeguarding and virus control measures and do not enter houses but leave shopping etc on the doorstep. Doing such activities in pairs can also offer reassurance, although again follow virus control guidance. Any payments for shopping etc must be very carefully managed and recorded.

Where parishioners have more complex needs and these are tasks which they are themselves unable to do, irrespective of the request to self-isolate, then, as with such activities under normal circumstances, a DBS check would be required. Volunteers who already have such a check (eg Parish Visitors) should be used to assist these groups.

We absolutely want to support the good activities in parishes to help those in need at this time and we can take a common sense approach as long as we stick to these safeguards, remember there could be some unscrupulous individuals who may wish to exploit such opportunities which is why the above needs to be followed. Think carefully about who is being asked do what and make sure everyone knows the expectations.

I hope this offers some clarity.

Regards,

Alan

Alan Hassall

Head of Safeguarding
Archdiocese of Birmingham
Cathedral House
St Chad’s
Queensway
BIRMINGHAM
B4 6EX
UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS

The UK government has moved into Stage 2 of its response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Diocese has provided guidance on changes we need to make to safeguard the health of our parish. Please click on this
link to learn more. These changes will be made with immediate effect and will be in place for the foreseeable future.
Diocesan Liturgical Guidelines in the light of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Until further notice THE CELEBRATION OF MASS WILL NOT BE PUBLIC IN ANY SETTING

Therefore there will be no Sunday or weekday Masses open to parishioners at Blessed Robert Grissold church from Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice.

Priests will celebrate the Mass privately. Mass intentions already accepted will be honoured and offered. ONLY PRIESTS MAY BE PRESENT FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE MASS

The obligation for the faithful to attend Holy Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation is removed until further notice. All the faithful are asked to make a Spiritual Communion during this time. To help with this there will be live-streaming of Masses on the Diocesan website
here. Please visit this website regularly for further updates.

As a Catholic community we should treasure the power of prayer during these challenging times and pray for the world and its needs; pray for our country at this time of uncertainty and sickness; pray for families and communities to which we belong; and pray for ourselves.

Merciful God,
come to the help of your people.
Be our shelter in this time of peril
and strengthen the bonds of our community.
Bring healing to all who suffer the ravages of disease
and assist those whose skill and art
can put an end to this affliction.
Through Christ our Lord.
UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS

The UK government has moved into Stage 2 of its response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Diocese has provided guidance on changes we need to make to safeguard the health of our parish. Please click on this
link to learn more. These changes will be made with immediate effect and will be in place for the foreseeable future.

Parish Events

Looking for the rest of the Parish Event List? We have archived the list from our old site but you can still view them here.
Date
TitleDescription
02.11.2016Get-togetherGet-together. This Wednesday 2nd November. Meet at BRG 10.30am, then on to Melbicks Garden Centre for coffee and shopping!
30.10.2016Parish Dinner - Pictures!Our parish event archive has now been updated with pictures (and lyrics to 'Our Church'!) from our parish dinner on the 15th October 2016. Follow the link to see more
30.10.2016Kathryn's African AdventureKathryn Green's adventures in South Africa are now online in our Parish Archive. Follow the link to learn more about Kathryn's visit to South Africa to team in a primary school, see the pictures and watch the video of her experience
30.10.2016Candle of DedicationThe dedication for this week is for Tom Murray RIP
30.10.2016ThanksThanks to all those who shared in the praying of the Rosary together in church during the Month of October - the Month of the Holy Rosary. Our gratitude, also, to Kathryn for sharing with us her experience in Africa and for the love and joy her team brought to the children there
28.10.2016Young Catholic Adult Weekend at Douai Abbey, 28th-30th October 2016An opportunity for those 18-40 to deepen their knowledge of the Catholic faith, learn its devotions, meet like-minded people and have fun. For more information click on the link. Prices start from 12. http//www.youngcatholicadults.co.uk/events.htm for more information
23.10.2016Parish DinnerThank you to everyone for supporting the Parish Dinner, especially all who helped to make this such a great evening. We raised the magnificent sum of 778.50. Watch out for pictures from the evening appearing soon. Pam and Chris
23.10.2016100 Club October WinnersCongratulations to the October winners of out 100 Club: Number 78 75 Kathy Jones, Number 67 45 Ros Cawley, Number 95 30 John McLellan
16.10.2016Can you help? - Church WardensWe are looking for some more volunteers to be church wardens and join our existing teams. The main duties are to welcome parishioners and visitors to Mass and help with the collections. Your turn only comes round about every eight weeks. If you are willing to help please give your name to Joe Martin after Mass.
16.10.2016Can you help? - Children's Liturgy RotaPlease can parishioners (particularly parents of young children) give some thought to joining our children's liturgy rota? You are welcome to volunteer as a leader or a helper, or both! New child protection rules mean that we need to have two vetted people in every session we run, and without more volunteers we will have weeks when we are not able to run a session. The vetting procedure is very simple - please ask Louise Perry or Kathryn Driffield for the paperwork
15.10.2016Parish DinnerLast Call for Parish Dinner. Next Saturday,15th October, and if anyone else would like to come, please see Pam after Mass. It is a four course meal including a glass of wine and entertainment, all for only 20 per person. Dinner is 7:30pm for 8:00pm. Please remember to bring your own drinks
09.10.2016BaptismWe pray that God will bless and guide Wyatt Bobby Chesshire-Ramon, who is to be baptised here today, and will strengthen his parents and Godparents to nurture him in the faith of Christ
07.10.2016One World WeekDinnerOur church will once again be hosting the dinner and speaker on Friday 7 October at 7 for 7.30pm. The Indian buffet meal will be provided by the Bengal Brasserie, bring your own drinks. Tickets are 12.50 available from John & Louise Perry
07.10.2016CAFOD Harvest Fast Day This Harvest Day we are invited to join 32-year-old Nicanora from Bolivia, on her journey from poverty to abundance. We can stand alongside Nicanora as she learns new skills and receives materials and seeds that will enable her to grow enough food to feed her family. Please pick up a Fast Day envelope and give what you can.
05.10.2016Get-togetherWe are meeting this Wednesday, 5th October at 10.30am in the parish room for tea and coffee
02.10.2016October and the RosaryOctober is the month of the Rosary and it is a good time therefore to renew our devotion to this rich source of prayer. We will offer up a decade of the Rosary at every weekday Mass throughout the month of October. On Friday 7th October we celebrate the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary and we will pray 5 decades of the Rosary after Mass. All welcome
25.09.2016Candle of DedicationThe dedication for this week is for Joe Sheen
25.09.2016Quavers Childrens ChoirThe childrens choir practice will restart this week after mass. All welcome
25.09.2016IntinctionIt has been brought to my attention that some are dipping the consecrated host into the precious blood of Christ at Holy Communion. This practice is forbidden. If you do not wish to drink from the chalice then just receive Communion in one kind. To receive Communion in one kind is to receive a full Communion. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Father Frank
25.09.2016Family Ministry Project WorkerThe Archdiocese wishes to appoint someone to this full-time post based at the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham. For further details contact 0121 360 8118
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17.03.2020
On Thursday at 10:00 am we celebrate the Feast of a very great saint of the Church: St Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Mass will be followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 11:00am.
15.03.2020
Please make every effort to read about the changes that the Diocese have asked us to make in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. You can click the link to the left or use the one at the top of this page.
15.03.2020
Thank you to all who have renewed or taken out a subscription this year. The first draw of 2020 will take place after Mass today. Prizes are 75, 45 and 30.
15.03.2020
Please pray for Eleanor Rose Orme who is to be baptised here today, for her parents and godparents, her friends and family - that together with them we will grow ever more faithful to our baptismal promises.
12.03.2020
There will be a Mass at 10:00am on Tuesday 17 Mar morning (Feast of St. Patrick) followed by Stations of the Cross.
12.03.2020
There is a parish meeting next Thursday 12th March in the parish room after Mass to plan events for the coming year. All are very welcome to attend
11.03.2020
Meeting in the parish room on Wednesday 11th March at 4.30pm for parents who would like their children to make their First Holy Communion this year. Contact Chris Mitchell if any queries - 07742288722
08.03.2020
Please pray for Brian Bernard Stokes who is to be baptised here today, for his parents and godparents, his friends and family - that together with them we will grow ever more faithful to our baptismal promises
08.03.2020
Our visitors from Solihull Cooperative Funeral Care were overwhelmed by the welcome and support which they received here last Sunday and by your generosity. With your help they raised 165.00 for Dementia UK. They have asked me to pass on their thanks.
08.03.2020
Father Frank would like to thank those who are responsible for cleaning the church.
06.03.2020
Women's World Day of Prayer on Friday 6th March at 10.30am, St Swithin's Church, Barston. Prepared by the Christian Women of Zimbabwe. All welcome, please contact Louise Perry if you can take part in the service.
04.03.2020
Get-together on Wednesday 4th March at 11.30am in the parish room for soup and dessert. All welcome.
01.03.2020
Following a recent incident in the church, a risk assessment and inspection of the kneelers has been carried out (by the Parish Maintenance Committee). While the kneelers are in good condition and did not require repairs, the inspection concluded that keeping the kneelers in the 'down' position is more hazardous than in the upright position. The Committee would like to remind everyone to take care when entering and exiting the pews.
01.03.2020
There will be a second collection on Sunday 1st March for Cathedral Maintenance
01.03.2020
We have been invited by the Deanery again, this year, to contribute a month of prayer for vocations to the priesthood. We are each asked to choose one day in March and to commit to saying on that day, a prayer - short or long - for increasing numbers of vocations. If you would like to support this, please sign your selected day on the sheet at the back of church. We hope to have one or more people praying this every day of the month. For further details, see Bysshe Gibbs.
26.02.2020
Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday with the Blessing and Imposition of Ashes. The Church orders the season of Lent to our preparation for the celebration of Easter. The forty days of Lent run from Ash Wednesday up to, but excluding, the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday. We are encouraged to participate fully in the Lenten preparation for Easter, approaching the Sacrament of Penance and making our confession during this season. The season of Lent also presents us with an opportunity to reflect on our prayer life and to give ourselves over to meditation upon the scriptures or some other spiritual reading.
23.02.2020
The sale of Christmas Cards, Advent Calendars and Candles in 2018 and 2019 amounted to 139.70. Proceeds went to HCPT Group 83. Thank you for your support, it was much appreciated.
23.02.2020
Please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Columban Father Joe Flanagan, who died recently in Ireland. Fr Joe celebrated Mass for us here on many occasions before we had our own Parish Priest. And also, for Peggy Anderton, a neighbour, friend & supporter of Group 83
23.02.2020
Walk with Me Booklets for Lent 1 each will be available this weekend. Please put your donation in the wall box. Thank you
16.02.2020
This weekend we welcomed Bishop William Kenney for the Warwick Deanery Parish Visitation to our parish. Click on the link to learn more about it and read the parish report presented to the Bishop
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Parish Calendar

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