Welcome to the website of St Michael’s Catholic Parish in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire in the UK. My name is Fr Philip Shryane, I am the parish priest and I have been here since November 2017. You can read information on our website about our parish, I hope it helps you and that you will contact us if you wish or come to visit us if you are in Huntingdon.
St Michael’s Parish is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia, we are midway between Cambridge and Peterborough. We are a friendly parish with a mixture of different nationalities coming together at weekends to celebrate Mass and to pray together. On our website you can find Mass times, the weekly newsletter and read contributions from some of the communities who make up our parish. You can also find out how to access the Sacraments and what preparation is required by the Church for each Sacrament.
May God bless you and your family,
28th March 2020
Don’t forget to change your clocks this evening, they move forward one hour. I will be live streaming Mass tomorrow morning at 10.00 on our parish Facebook page, St Michael Archangel Church Huntingdon, please join me if you can. During Mass I say the prayer for a Spiritual Communion which you can find below and at the end of Mass I say the prayer with all those self-isolating, again it is below: if you can watch Mass and also access the prayers please join with me in saying the prayers.
Tomorrow at the end Mass we will also join in the Act of Entrustment of England to Mary, again the prayers are just below, please join in if you can. I know many of you love Walsingham and visit when you can and that you are now visiting their website, http://www.walsingham.org.uk to attend Mass, they will be live streaming the Act of Entrustment at 12.00 noon, so if you wish you will be able to join them.
26th March 2020
Thank you to those who joined me via Facebook for Mass this morning and thanks for letting me know that it came across well. Mass tomorrow and Saturday will be at 9.30, join us if you can. Tomorrow evening I will lead a meditation on the way of the cross at 18.30 to remind us that we are still making our Lent journey towards Easter.
I will live stream Mass on Sunday morning at 10.00 I hope that will be a good time for you, between our normal Mass times. I will also post a newsletter for Sunday 29th March at about 08.30 on Sunday morning giving you further details about our parish and times for next week.
I hope you are all keeping safe and well, please keep our vulnerable parishioners and our many NHS workers and other carers in your prayers at this time. I am adding here the prayer the Church is using at this time for you to make a spiritual Communion when it is not possible for you to be present to receive Communion and also a prayer which I say at the end of Mass with those self-isolating.
May God bless you and all those you love, now and always,
AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
My Jesus, I believe that You are 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 if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
A PRAYER TO BE SAID AT THE END OF EACH MASS AND TO BE GIVEN TO ALL WHO ARE SELF ISOLATING
God our Father, Creator of the world, almighty and merciful, out of love for us You sent your Son into the world as the doctor of our souls and our bodies. Look upon your children who, in this difficult time of confusion and dismay in many regions of the world, turn to you seeking strength, salvation and relief. Deliver us from illness and fear, heal our sick, comfort their families, give wisdom to our rulers, energy and reward to our doctors, nurses and volunteers, eternal life to the dead. Do not abandon us in the moment of trial but deliver us from all evil. We ask this of You, who with the Son and the Holy Spirit, live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.
Mary, mother of health and hope, pray for us! St Michael, pray for us.
25th March 2020
Things move very quickly these days, with changes happening every day. Cardinal Vincent Nicholls has sent a video message to the whole Church in this country, here is the link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5s_4EwRm4s&feature=youtu.be I hope you can find it from this link. Since the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday evening, we are all in further lockdown, so please do not come to visit the Church as we have been asked to keep it locked.
In order to support you all and so that you can keep in touch with our parish, we have created a Facebook page, St Michael the Archangel Parish, Huntingdon, please have a look and pass the message on to other parishioners. Facebook is new to me, so I ask you to bear with me when things are not quite as you might be used to. I will live stream Mass from tomorrow morning at 9.30, I hope, and I invite you to join me, either live or whenever you are able to watch. You can check the newsletter to find out what time mass is each day. I hope this will help you all to keep in touch with the prayer of the Church and to know that the Church is here for you even though we cannot meet together.
some sad news for our parishioners who have been in the parish for many years, Canon Michael Hazell died today after a long battle with cancer. Fr Hazell, as he was then, was one of the founders of the Good Shepherd Church on the Oxmoor estate. He was a much loved and wonderful priest who served our community very well. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
Please keep safe and well, be assured of my prayers for you all at this difficult time.
Sunday & Weekday Mass
You have probably heard and seen by now that Cardinal Nicholls, the Archbishop of Westminster, has sent a letter to the whole Church in this country instructing us not to gather for Mass or other acts of public worship in our Churches. You can read the whole of his letter below. This is already our action so there will be no public Masses over the weekend of 21st/22nd March 2020 and until further notice. This pandemic is a serious reason why the obligation to attend Mass does not apply at this time.
St Michael’s Church will be open for you to visit for private prayer, for solace and for a little quiet space. It will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10.00 -16.00 for you to visit and pray. If you wish to pop into Church on a weekday, please ring me to let you in. Please remember to keep physical distance when you come to the church and do not use it as a place to chat and catch up with each other, you can do that in the garden or on the phone.
The celebration of Mass will continue without a congregation Sunday by Sunday and mostly day by day. There will be a newsletter added to the website each Sunday morning to keep you updated and give times when I will be saying Mass, you can join me in spirit, though not in person. You can follow the prayers and readings at home, you can make a spiritual communion with Christ in these days, a suitable prayer is given on the newsletter. (Google “Daily Mass Readings” there are many sites to read the daily readings).
You can also share at Mass through live streaming especially from Walsingham which will continue with a full programme available to watch, www.walsingham.org.uk The parish of St Laurence in Cambridge also has live streaming on their website www.saintlaurence.org.uk go to their newsletter first to find the time of Mass and then to live streaming.
There are many resources for prayer on the internet, do a little exploring to find something that suits you. You can find more details about the pathway of prayer and sacramental life we are now to take on the Bishops’ Conference website, www.cbcew.org.uk
Confession can still be offered on request as long as hygiene and social distancing requirements can be observed. Simply ring or email Fr Philip to make a request and book a time.
First Confession and First Holy Communion
These celebrations will be postponed until such time allows for family and friends to gather safely in our Churches; our programme sessions will also be cancelled at this time. It would be very good for parents and children to continue to use the I Belong book during this time and work through it together; this will help the children to be ready to share the sacraments when it is possible to do so.
Anointing and Holy Communion for the Sick
Pastoral visits to the sick and housebound will continue as they wish and as long as they are not self-isolating. This also depends on Fr Philip staying free of the virus. We can also do much on the phone, supporting each other and asking for help if necessary. If you need visits during this time of separation and isolation, please phone to ask.
At this time the funeral service will take place either at the graveside or in the crematorium, subject to their conditions. Arrangements can be made at a later date for a Memorial Mass to be celebrated when congregations are allowed to gather.
For now, these are the main items for our parish, I am sure there will be more changes as the days go by. Please remember to keep your times of prayer, feel free to come to the church at weekends or ring if you wish to come in during a weekday, I am more likely to be at home during this time. Although we cannot gather at the Church, the Lord will not abandon us He will be present in the Blessed Sacrament for you This is a time when we need to turn to the Lord asking his help and guidance, praying for his protection for ourselves and our loved ones. Remember in your prayers those who are sick and their families; pray also for those who work in the NHS and all caring for others; pray for yourselves and your own family. Keep safe and well, be sensible about what you can do; if you are vulnerable take care and accept the limitations; if you are not in the vulnerable group, please pray for those who are and help them if you can. Please keep an eye on our parish website for the newsletter each Sunday morning.
May the Lord bless us all during this time,
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES
A letter from the President and Vice-President on behalf of all the Bishops of the Conference
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice.
Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing.
However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation.
Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day.
We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the ‘serious reason’ why this obligation does not apply at this time.
You will find more details about the pathway of prayer and sacramental life we are now to take in the accompanying document and on the Bishops’ Conference website (www.cbcew.org.uk). Your own bishop and parish priest will provide further support, encouragement and information about our way of prayer together in the coming weeks.
The second vital aspect of these challenging times is our care for each other. There are so many ways in which we are to do this: being attentive to the needs of our neighbour, especially the elderly and vulnerable; contributing to our local food banks; volunteering for charitable initiatives and organisations; simply keeping in touch by all the means open to us.
During these disturbing and threatening times, the rhythm of the prayer of the Church will continue. Please play your part in it. The effort of daily kindness and mutual support for all will continue and increase. Please play your part in this too. For your commitment to this, we thank you.
‘The Lord is my shepherd,
There is nothing I shall want.’
May God bless us all.
Vincent Cardinal Nichols Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP
18th March 2020
St Michael’s Parish
Season of Lent 2020
Stations of the Cross
There will be Stations of the Cross every Friday at 18.30 to follow Jesus on the way of the Cross and meditate on his journey of suffering to the cross. Each week a different version of the meditations will be used so as to deepen our devotion to this journey of Redemption.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
There will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Thursday morning after Mass from 10.00 – 11.00. this will simply be a time of silent prayer which you are invited to attend to listen to and wait on God. During this time, you may wish to use the Scripture readings for the following Sunday as a help for your prayer, they are available in the Parish Mass Book. You are welcome to stay for as long as you are able, or just pop in for a few minutes.
Lent is also a time of fasting from something we do in our life and by our fasting we draw our attention to God each day because we are doing without something that is usually part of our life. Fasting is very much part of our faith and is found many times in the Bible, people fasting for a particular intention before God and using their fasting as an intense form of prayer.
Our Lent Collection
This year our Lent collection in the Diocese is split between Aid to the Church in Need, supporting persecuted Christians in the Middle East and SVP East Anglia to buy and refurbish a second house in the Diocese for the homeless.
Aid to the Church in Need
Lent Course: The God who Speaks
There will be a four-session course called “The God who Speaks” which follows the Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI on the Word of God. This short course invites us to see how the Church understands the Bible; each session has a time of Lectio Divina using the gospel of the following Sunday as the basis of meditation and prayer. This will be offered on Mondays during the day and in evening each week in the hope that more of you will be able to come to these sessions.
The daytime sessions will be with a soup lunch
Monday 2nd March, 12.30 – 14.00
Monday 9th March, 12.30 – 14.00
Monday 16th March, 12.30 – 14.00
Monday 30th March, 12.30 – 14.00
The evening sessions will be the same day at 19.30 – 20.00, all sessions in the Good Shepherd Room.
Bishop Alan Hopes and Fr. Philip Shryane together with our young people
who had the Sacrament of Confirmation
4th July 2019