Vellore Hospice (Light for the Blind) – Essential Repairs
Although our Church building is currently closed, the Lenten Project is not! Donations are needed more than ever in this situation where very ill, disabled, homeless people are facing a threat of the Coronavirus epidemic. There is a dramatically growing need for the Vellore Hospice to take lots of them off the streets, and into their care.
Donations can be posted through the letter box at the Presbytery – Thank you!
Please visit their website – and see the wonderful work which is being done!
Mass from St Joseph’s, Bilton
Aside from a few teething troubles, I have uploaded two Masses which I have offered here at St Joseph’s this weekend. Once I have dealt with the WiFi issues, I shall endeavour to stream Sunday Mass – and hopefully the Holy Week & Easter Liturgies.
Your Giving to Your Parish
A number of parishioners have been in touch to ask how they can continue to make their weekly offerings to St Joseph’s Church here in Bilton. Thank you all for asking!
There are a number of ways, the first might be to consider setting up a Standing Order with your bank, please download the form below, or set it up using the following details via your own Internet Banking Service:
Account Name: St Joseph’s Harrogate
Sort Code: 40-27-15 Account Number 11017500
(Please fill out this form if you are a UK Tax Payer and would like us to claim back the Gift Aid on your donations – at no extra cost to you. This part of the form would then need to be sent back to the Presbytery, address below)
The second way might be to use the new text service:
To contribute £5 to St Joseph’s Parish Offertory, please text CHURCH BILTON to 70500
The third way is to send a cheque made payable to “St Joseph’s Church” to
St Joseph’s Presbytery,
281 Skipton Road,
Harrogate, HG1 3HD.
Thank you for your continued support during these difficult times, please be assured that I hold each one of you, your families and loved ones in my prayers and Masses each day.
Fr Stephen PP
Live-Streaming of Daily Mass and Devotions
from Leeds Cathedral
From 25 March 2020, Holy Mass will be live-streamed EACH WEEKDAY at 10.30 am and on SUNDAYS at 11.00am. There will also be a live-stream of the Angelus at 12.00noon each weekday, followed by praying the Rosary. Details of other devotions are available via the Leeds Cathedral website and Cathedral Bulletin. To participate online, please access the Leeds Cathedral Live YouTube channel www.leedscathedrallive.org.uk where the words of Prayers, Devotions and Orders of Service may be viewed, or downloaded from the Diocesan and Cathedral websites.
Here at St Joseph’s Catholic Church
In accordance with the Prime Minister’s instructions and by order of the Bishops of England & Wales,
All Churches are now CLOSED
until further notice.
Holy Mass will be offered privately each day by the Parish Priest, praying for our Parish and all people affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Our Lady of Unfailing Help – Pray for us
St Joseph, Our Patron – Pray for us
PASTORAL MESSAGE TO THE CLERGY, RELIGIOUS AND LAY FAITHFUL DIOCESE OF LEEDS, LAETARE SUNDAY, THE 4 TH SUNDAY OF LENT, MARCH 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am sure that you, like me, will be troubled by the threat to human life resulting from the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic. We will be unsettled too by the unprecedented measures which all of us have a duty to undertake to contain and stop this threat.
Yet the Church’s liturgy today, ‘Laetare’ Sunday, tells us to rejoice! The entrance antiphon for today’s Mass invites us: “Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning.” (Is 66: 10)
We might think, what a strange sentiment for us to express at this moment in time, given that so great a number of people worldwide are experiencing anxiety, and many are suffering and dying. How can we rejoice when the normal locations and familiar occasions for working together, for meeting one another, and for socialising with others are now places and moments which present potential harm to our health and well-being?
For the first time also, in living memory, the public celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has been suspended in Jerusalem, in Rome, in our country and, indeed, in many other nations. In witnessing these events, it can seem that a time of darkness and isolation is about to overshadow and oppress us. Why then should we rejoice?
Today’s Gospel tells us why. The Lord Jesus heals a man blind from birth. The blind man is taken out of his darkness and the social isolation he endured begging on the streets. Now he is able to see not just the natural light but discovers the supernatural light of faith. Jesus reveals himself as the “light of the world” (John 8:12); he offers a way out of darkness and the isolation it can bring.
The reason that we rejoice as Christians, even in times of great anxiety and suffering, even when we “walk in the valley of darkness” (Psalm 22(23):4), is the faith, hope and love which has been revealed and given to us in Jesus Christ, the light of the world.
In the passion and death of Christ, anxiety, suffering and death have been overcome; this is our faith. In the resurrection and ascension of Christ, darkness has been banished; this is our hope. In the promise of Christ to send and give us the Holy Spirit to be with us forever, we know that we are never alone; this is the love which unites us with him and together as one.
At this time though, there is much fear and anxiousness in our world. There is also much generosity and dedication being shown, particularly by those caring in different ways for the sick. The serious threat to people’s health and the social challenges which we face now are one of those moments in time which can bring out both the best and the worst of human nature. The acts of kindness, generosity and self-sacrifice of a great many people can, sadly, be mirrored by the lack of concern, meanness and selfishness of others.
The light given to us in the life and teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ reveals to us not just the best of human nature; it heals, restores and renews in us the fullness of our human nature. The Letter to the Ephesians tells us about the consequences of this: “You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of light, for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right living and truth”.
How do we express that goodness, right living and truth, if not in the care, concern and love we show to others, particularly those who are most vulnerable and isolated. We may think that because of the necessary constrictions on our movements in the weeks ahead that there is little we can do or contribute to help others. But this is not so! As Christians we have much to offer at this time.
Even though we are temporarily unable to come together to participate physically in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we can still raise our minds, hearts and hands to God and offer him our sacrifice of prayer. Our love for God should lead us to make an Act of Spiritual Communion, to desire his presence within us and thank him for the gift of life he has given to us. Our love for our neighbour should lead us to offer prayers of intercession for the Church, for the world and, particularly at this time, for the sick and those who care for them.
We can demonstrate practical care for each other too. As Cardinal Nichols has said in his recent letter addressed on behalf of all the bishops to the members of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, “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”.
The light of Christ enables us to see as God would have us see. So today, on this Laetare Sunday, united as members of the one Body of Christ, let us rejoice in the light of faith which has been given to us. Let us place our hope in the power of the Lord to heal, restore and renew all things, and let our love be made manifest in our prayer and in our goodness to those around us.
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Unfailing Help, may the Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, bless you and your family, ‘guide you along the right path’ and ‘give you comfort’ now and in the time ahead.
+ Marcus Stock
Bishop of Leeds
Donations towards the Lenten Project can be left at the Presbytery, and new envelopes can be collected from Church during the times for Private Prayer & Devotion.
LIVE-STREAMED CELEBRATION OF HOLY MASS
The Holy Father’s Daily Mass, celebrated in Italian with English translation, can be accessed on the Holy See’s Youtube Channel. This can be found via the following web link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxIsefyl9g9A5SGWA4FvGIA/featured
The Bishop of Leeds will live-stream Sunday Mass from the Cathedral beginning on Sunday 22nd March at 11.00am. The 11.00am Sunday Mass from Leeds Cathedral will continue to be live-streamed each week whilst the celebration of public Masses is suspended. To participate online, please access the following new YouTube channel which will be live from Sunday: www.leedscathedrallive.org.uk and may also be accessed via a link embedded on the Leeds Cathedral home page: https://www.dioceseofleeds.org.uk/cathedral
In our diocese, the parish of St Edward’s, Clifford https://www.mcnmedia.tv/camera/stedward-king-confessor-church-clifford-wetherby and the parish of St Mary’s, Halifax https://www.stmaryshalifax.com/ both have live-streaming available.
Holy Mass is celebrated and live-streamed from the National Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham every day at 12:00noon. This can be watched live or later. These videos allow the viewer to participate in the Mass from home and, at the time of Holy Communion, they lead the viewer in an Act of Spiritual Communion. To view please follow the following link: http://www.walsingham.org.uk/live-stream
Daily Mass and other devotions can also be accessed through the EWTN television channel to which many people already have access. Their programmes can also be accessed online: https://www.ewtn.com/
Bishop Robert Barron is also live-streaming his Daily Mass at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcMjLgeWNwqL2LBGS-iPb1A
A Statement from the Catholic Bishops
of England and Wales
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
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
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
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