Finding our feet
It can be very hard to live with uncertainty. Back at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a counsellor was interviewed on radio about how people were coping with the ‘lockdown’. People were anxious and fearful, she said. Many were experiencing loneliness, as their normal routines and social life came to an abrupt halt.
Another thing that people really struggled with was the inability to make decisions. They felt trapped and stuck, unable to plan ahead. They couldn’t make plans to visit family or go on holidays. They didn’t know if their jobs were secure, or if their children would return to school. When things are up in the air, it is hard to find your feet and feel grounded. Many of us are still struggling with these feelings.
Today we enter a new church year, and our first Advent season since the pandemic hit. Many of us are feeling more subdued than normal as we begin our preparations for Christmas. It will be very different from the usual family and social occasion, and we are saddened and worried by this.
In today’s gospel, Jesus urges his disciples to ‘stay awake’. We might feel we have no choice at the moment – the feeling of not knowing what is coming is very familiar. We are on our guard, on edge, waiting for the latest news. Yet already, there are initiatives springing up to support those who are vulnerable or in need this Christmas. In our own families, we are plotting ways to ensure no one is alone or isolated. We are ‘awake’ to the strange circumstances, and we are finding ways to cope. We pray today for the strength to guide us through the coming weeks, and for the peace and joy of Christ to lift our hearts and carry us onwards.
‘In this time of tribulation and mourning, I hope that you will be able to experience Jesus, who comes to meet you, greets you and says: ‘Rejoice.’ Pope Francis
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Restrictions from 27 November 2020 The NI Executive has agreed new restrictions designed to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 within the community, these restrictions will apply from 00.0lam on 27 November for a period of two weeks. During this period, Churches will be required to remain closed, except for the following reasons:
• To broadcast an act of worship.
• For funerals, limited to 25 persons present.
• For weddings, limited to 25 persons present.
• To allow for visits for private prayer
Fr Mc Glynn will still continue to say Mass from behind closed doors . Mass will be celebrated for the intentions of all our parishioners, and anyone who has a Parish Radio please tune in. The Church will be open for private prayer from 10.30am-2pm each day with social distancing in place. All those attending St. Agnes’ must wear masks/face-coverings.
See below St Agnes’ Mass times for the 2 week period . ALL BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Friday 27th November 10am
Sat 28th November 6.30pm Vigil ( NO 1pm MASS)
Sun 29th November 9.30am ( NO 12.30pm MASS )
Monday 30th November 10am
Tuesday 1st December ( NO MASS )
Wednesday 2nd December 10am
Thursday 3rd December 10am
Friday 4th December 10am
Saturday 5th December 6.30pm Vigil ( NO 1pm MASS)
Sunday 6th December 9.30am ( NO 12.30pm MASS)
Monday 7th December 10am
Tuesday 8th December ( NO MASS )
Wednesday 9th December 10am
Thursday 10th December 10am
Friday 11th December 10am public Mass depending on the guide lines form NI Executive
Weekly Collection Sunday 8th November amounted to £1140.00 Thank you for your generous financial support.
SVP CHRISTMAS CARDS and Trócaire “Gifts of Love” - Will be on sale again after the Church opens on the weekend of 12th /13th December. However, you can still purchase the Trocaire gifts at 50 King Street Belfast, Online www.trocaire.org/gifts or call 0800 912 1200. Please support again this year.
PRAYER INTENTIONS: We extend our sympathies to the families of those who died recently and those whose month’s mind and anniversary occur at this time.
Sat: Vigil 6.30pm: Gerard Quinn, Sarah Mc Varnock
Sun: 9.30am: Priest’s intention
12.30pm: Bridget & Bernard O’ Kane & son Barney
Mon: 10am: NOV DEAD LIST
Tue: 10am: No Mass
Wed: 10am: Pat & Isobel Higgins & family
Thurs:10am: Priest’s intention
Fri: 10am: Priest’ intention
Sat: 1pm: Priest’s intention
In the event of a funeral, the assigned intention will be offered privately by the priest at his first available mass.
Those whose anniversaries occur at this time: David Rouse, Geraldine Dunlop, William Cinnamond, Paul Shiels, Bridget Mc Cusker
MARY’S MEALS “DOUBLE THE LOVE” CAMPAIGN All public donations will be doubled by the UK government, up to £2 million, bringing new hope to families in Liberia, where hunger prevents children from going to school, and more than half of children drop out, before they finish primary education. www.marysmeals.org.uk/doublethelove
CHRISTMAS HOMELESS SHOEBOX APPEAL The Catholic Chaplaincy at Queen’s, together with the University’s Order of Malta branch, is supporting this year’s Christmas Homeless Shoebox Appeal. We ask that you decorate a shoebox or gift bag for either a male or female (adult) and include items such as: gloves, socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, sanitary items, shower gel, shampoo, sweets, tinned food, Christmas card. Boxes can be left securely at the Catholic Chaplaincy QUB, 28 Elmwood Avenue, during opening hours (see qubcatholic.org) before 5 December. We thank you for your support of this worthwhile initiative.
PERMANENT DIACONATE The Diocese is preparing to start work with a third group of students for the Permanent Diaconate. This programme will commence September 2021. For more information, please contact Fr. Paul Strain via the Parish Office, or visit www.downandconnor.org/living-church/diaconate