Thursday 26th March 2020
Dear parishioners and friends,
Today is the first of our days in lock-down. I’m sure like me you are finding it to be a surreal experience.
1) Our Leaders. In your prayers, remember to pray for our civic leaders as well as our religious leaders. We are blessed with stable government both nationally and locally. We are free from the panic which has paralysed some other countries which are following the same path as NZ. But our leaders are only human, and the wisdom which they are exhibiting is due in no small part to our intercession for them to our Father in heaven.
2) Our churches are now closed. They cannot be visited because we have been directed to not go out and meet others face to face. I encourage you to come close to the Lord by prayerfully being present to Bishop Paul’s Mass live-streamed Monday to Saturday at 9am and on Sundays at 10am. A number of people have contacted me to say how moved they have been by prayerfully participating in this Mass. The web site for this event is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbDyKPjjDeYWfpoz_hSDLfw/videos
3) Offering Mass for Special Intentions. This is an ancient and venerable practice of the Church. If you have a special intention which you want Mass offered for, please send your request to me through the parish secretary. We will place those intentions in a box at the foot of the altar before Mass begins. As well as Bishop Paul, the priests of the parish will be present at each of these Masses and we will offer the Mass for your special intentions.
4) Planned Giving. Please note that the end of the tax year is next Tuesday 31 March. While donations cannot be brought to the church or parish office, we encourage you to make your church gifting via internet banking. (Any automatic payments which you have set up will be continuing as usual). If you want your gifting to be included in the tax receipt for this current tax year, please ensure that you make your payment by next Tuesday (payments after that date go into the 2021 tax year). Mairehau Parish bank account number is 03-1592-0602105-020. Cathedral Parish bank account number is 03-1592-0602201-020 .
Please ensure your name and planned giving number is included in the details boxes when you set up the payment.
If you want to help us financially and are not sure how to do this you can contact Kirsten at Mairehau Parish on 022 063 5119 or Colleen at Cathedral Parish on 027 381 2089. They will guide you as to what to do. A sincere thank you for your support.
5) Contacting your priests. If you would like to speak to Father Job, Father Thanh or me, please call the presbytery at 377-5610. You are welcome to call us, and we assure you we will be home!
6) Staying in Contact. It is so important that we stay well connected to each other. Most people have access to a mobile phone or the internet. I encourage you to regularly check out our Facebook page (St Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish, Mairehau), the phone app (Cathedral Parish at St Mary’s) or the web site (mairehauparish.org.nz). Send in your email details to the parish secretaries and they will include you in regular newsletter postings. If you know of a Catholic who doesn’t have access to these resources, I ask you to buddy up with them, and regularly phone them with news from us.
I will send you an update like this every week on Wednesdays (sorry, this one is late!). And on Saturday we will send you some spiritual reading prepared by our team in preparation for your Sunday.
7) Take Heart. We are working hard to ensure that we stay knitted together and even that we may grow closer to God and each other during this time. If you have any questions you think we may be able to answer, please contact the parish secretaries and we will endeavour to help you.
May God bless each of us over these days.
Father Simon Eccleton