Covid has halted and postponed so many celebrations and events – but now, we are delighted to announce, children of the Parish are about to celebrate their First Holy Communion. This great celebration would normally have taken place in May of this year, but COVID – 19 put paid to that idea…but even COVID could not stop this great celebration from taking place, albeit at a later time than usual, and under different circumstances from usual.
First Communions will take place over 4 Saturdays this year, beginning on 19 September, and being spread over four celebrations because of the restrictions and demands of social distancing.
BUT we have a great way this year to celebrate in a never to be repeated way for St. Matthew’s Parish…
Our First Communions will be the first ever celebrations in the newly reopened St. Matthew’s!
Once the First communions have bee completed, we will begin to use the church for all our liturgical functions, although again, social distancing will be the order of the day
So, although we cannot attend this year’s First Communions in anything other than small numbers of family, I am sure we will all keep in our prayers the children, their families, teachers, catechists,and all who have and still are working so hard to ensure the church is ready for this major highlight of any year, but will be a landmark in the history of St. Matthew’s!
PLEASE KEEP THE CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES IN YOUR PRAYERS
With lockdown going on for some time, perhaps it’s a good time to introduce an ELECTRONIC BULLETIN or e-bulletin if you prefer!
Sunday 28 June 2020 – Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul
This important and very ancient Solemnity of the Catholic Church is normally celebrated on 29 June, but when this date falls on a Saturday or Monday, the Feast is celebrated on the Sunday. This is to avoid confusion as to whether Vigil or Evening Masses for the Feast belong to the Sunday or the Feast Day.
These two great apostolic figures were martyred – Peter, some time between 64-68 AD, by crucifixion upside down , according to a tradition cited by St Jerome because he said that he was unworthy to share the same kind of death as his Saviour and Lord. Paul was martyred by being beheaded, possibly between 62 and 64 AD. This was a privilege he could receive as a Roman Citizen.
THE BIG STORY THIS WEEK!
St. MATTHEW’S Church (well…the temporary church in the Hall!) is open for private prayer
☐ Our church/hall will now be open for periods of private prayer.
On Mondays. Wednesday and Fridays, between 11 am and 12 noon there will be the opportunity for private prayer in the temporary churchwith prayer slots of 20 minutes maximum, i.e. at 11.00; 11.20 and 11.40 am
☐ We have in place social distancing measures (2 metres, in case you’ve forgotten), and clearly marked areas for people to sit or kneel .
☐ We are most grateful to those who have volunteered to be stewards (at least 16 years old) to direct people to their seats, and direct them on how to leave the building.Can you offer some time for this too? Please let us know as soon as possible.
☐Stewards will clean seats after people leave . WE ALREADY HAVE SANITISER, GEL, AND DISPOSABLE PROTECTIVE GLOVES. AT NO TIME WOULD STEWARDS BE ABLE TO COME CLOSER THAN 2 METRES TO ANY OTHER PERSON.
These are the basic requirements. Could you help with any of this?An hour per week on a day that suits you would be a great help! Please let Fr Hill know as soon as possible, or just ask for more information. If you personally can’t help with this, but can think of someone who might, contact Fr. Hill who will contact them. Don’t worry; I won’t tell them who gave me their names!
FINALLY, we need teams of cleaners as before to clean the church once a week.
Canon Robert J. Hill, Parish Priest, St. Matthew’sTHE PROVISION OF PRIVATE PRAYER, EVEN ON A LIMITED SCALE, DEPENDS ON SUFFICIENT VOLUNTEERS. If you can help – or if you want more information – please get in touch.
If you have information you think should be shared with parishioners, then please let us know. Items for inclusion can be sent via email to:
Our conference members, like everyone else, are beginning to emerge a little from lockdown. We have started up our meetings on a fortnightly basis using Zoom and have been keeping in touch with regular communications on WhatsApp.
First of all, we would like to thank you all for your usual wonderful response to our Lenten appeal which was cut short by lockdown. As the Ozanam Centre closed a couple of weeks before that we had to find another recipient for the toiletries. We heard that the St Augustine’s foodbank was short of these items at a time when everyone was looking for them, so managed to deliver everything over there just before lockdown started.
Some of you will know that, in February, we had been helping a young man in Bishopbriggs who had been homeless to furnish his new house and make it a home for him. We managed to get everything in place by early March, which was fortunate as he is now shielding for medical reasons and cannot go out. A number of parishioners helped out by donating items of furniture and other household goods for him. Our thanks to all of them for their kindness. I ask that we all remember him in our prayers.
A few of our members helped with the Matthew’s Messages project in the areas near their homes, as required. They had a few people coming back to them, but no one needed specific help although they were grateful for the approach. We are keeping in touch with them in case anything changes.
Please remember that we around and willing to help if we can where needed. We can’t do our normal visits, but can talk on the phone if anyone just wants to chat. We can also help with shopping, short term financial difficulties or anything else which might be causing worry at this time. We can be contacted by phone on 07519188138.
Please everyone stay safe. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we can meet again in person.
RCIA … what have we been doing?
In normal circumstances the team meets with new enquirers every week. At these meetings we reflect on Scripture, Sacraments, Church teaching, Evangelising and any other areas that our enquirers wish to explore eg: Catholic devotions such as Stations of the Cross, and Rosary. We usually visit the church a couple of times and explain the various elements …. sacred vessels, linens and vestments, tabernacle, monstrance etc.
This year we have no new enquirers but the team would continue to meet once a month to deepen our own faith and spiritual life. Our recent Cathecumens and Candidates are welcome to join us at these meetings if they wish to do so Due to Covid19 these meetings have been suspended. However, many exciting things have still been happening. ** Lewis and Emma had their first baby, a girl Ayda Anne Lewis, who is a policeman, was baptised at the Easter Vigil 2019. **Just prior to lockdown, Katie who was received at the same time as Lewis, also had a baby girl, a daughter for Katie and Chris and a wee sister for Sean. When we return to normal in our “ new” church wouldn’t it be wonderful to baptise our “second generation” of little RCIA Parishioners. ** Then there is Susan … she was received into the Church in St. Matthew’s at the Easter Vigil 2018. What an evening that was. ! ! Susan went on holiday after Christmas for a well earned break. While abroad she had a fall that resulted in her needing serious brain surgery. Thank God she is now back home now and recovering slowly. It was a great delight to have her with us at our last meeting. **Liz, who was already baptised and should have received first communion and confirmation was ill at Easter and unable to come for the Vigil. However, with the Archbishop’s permission, Fr Robert gave her the Sacraments later at a small service later with her personal friends and RCIA friends present. Liz was due to have some badly needed surgery but it was cancelled due to Covid19. She is in our daily prayers and we look forward to the time when she can join us again. ** Liam, who is the youngest member of the team, joined us in his last year at Turnbull High as part of his Caritas Award commitment …… and what a commitment he has made. Liam is now studying Law at Glasgow University but when he has any free time he commits so much to the Church, helping prepare for Easter, Christmas and any others of our big feasts. He was there giving 100% when we, moved from the church in to the hall – and no doubt he will be there when we move back. Recently Fr. Robert suggested that we, at St. Matthew’s, could maybe become involved in delivering shopping, medication etc to those who couldn’t get out. Alongside our other volunteers for this project he has developed a structure that is secure and that respects all the regulations.
We are all missing our monthly meetings but we are keeping in touch to make sure that everyone is OK. And of course Fr. Robert is still feeding our spirituality with his daily reflections on the Scripture. Being a member of the RCIA team is a privilege and a great opportunity to benefit from the spirituality of each other. But it is also great fun. When all this lockdown is over why don’t you think of becoming involved. Have a wee chat with Fr. Robert about it. Take care and stay safe.
News of the UCM. Unfortunately, during these unprecedented times the Union of Catholic Mothers are unable to meet once or twice a month , for our meetings or social events.On a typical evening we would come together for prayer and an update on our UCM / Church news . This would usually be followed by a talk from a guest speaker. Our next talk would have been from Fr .Antony Connolly O.P who was going to talk to us about his journey to the priesthood. . Also, we were looking forward to having Anthony Horan give a talk on his work within the Scottish Parliament where he represents the Catholic Church in Scotland and the various issues that he faces; whether its regarding Pro-life, Catholic Education or changes within the family unit- all of which are all very close to the hearts of the UCM members. Our AGM and closing Mass was due to take place later this month with Archbishop Tartaglia, the Branch Chaplains and all the members from across the Archdiocese .However, again we will have to wait until such times that it is possible to do this.Nonetheless, one thing we can continue with is our daily prayers for priests and vocations which we can say anywhere. Its during these times that our Priests and Bishops are very much in need of our prayers and support, as it’s not just the laity who are struggling with our churches being closed and no public Masses . Our Clergy are very limited as to what Pastoral care and priestly duties they can carry out which is challenging for them also. This at a time when they know the laity need them the most but sadly their help is very much restricted. We know that they also long for the day when they can open the church doors and welcome the faithful in.One thing that is unique to the UCM is when ever there are prayers needed within the UCM family, which has sadly been the case over the past few weeks, for various members and their families, you can be assured that within hours Prayers, Rosaries and Masses are being offered up over the Dioceses and this brings great comfort to members. As an organisation, the friendship, support and family feeling is second to none. While the ladies here in Bishopbriggs are missing their usual routine of Mass, coffee and a chat they are keeping in touch with each other and keeping their spirits up ,with full faith that these challenging days will be put behind us. We will continue our prayers for our Parish Community also and look forward to being reunited once again in our new Church.
Karen Smith, National President, UCM
So: who’s next to give us an update on their Parish Group’s Activities, or if nothing is happening just now becasue of COVID, what plans lie ahead when we’re back in business?
What’s happening just now in the parish?
We’ve become familiar with lock down and its effects on our churches. As yet, there is no clear indication when we will be able to resume the use of churches, but preparatory work is being carried out to see how churches can come back into use.
At best, it will be some weeks before we see plans being made to re-open churches. Social distancing means that our buildings will not be used to anything like their full capacity. With the need for 2 metres between people, this would mean that we could only use every second pew, and that it may be that each pew may only hold 2 people! So, it seems that if and when churches can re-open, it will be first for private prayer. There will also be a need to ensure social distancing is in operation everywhere in the church. This certainly means no stopping to chat on the way out!
These notes are published here simply to alert everyone to the challenges that lie ahead if we are to have the use of churches again. We must be prepared to comply with the government’s regulations at all times; otherwise we may find our churches closed again very quickly. Together, though, we can make this work! Watch this space for more details
Sadly, one of our most frequent activities has been in holding the funerals of parishioners who have died. We are not at present permitted to have funeral Masses in the church, but funerals continue. A list of all whose funerals have taken place, or will soon take place can be found by clicking HERE
It has often been said that nothing is certain, except for taxes. Church goers may feel inclined to add collections to the list!
Many of you have already made arrangements to support the parish financially during these difficult times. We are very grateful to you for doing so. We appreciate that times are very difficult indeed for everyone, but we also have to acknowledge that the parish has to meet its financial obligations as well
Many of you have already made arrangements to support the parish financially during these difficult times. We are very grateful to you for doing so. We appreciate that times are very difficult indeed for everyone, but we also have to acknowledge that the parish has to meet its financial obligations as well, and the various charities depend on collections for their survival.
Appeals and collections can still be processed. Parishioners have continued making online payments to the offertory and building fund collections. Some parishioners have continued to pay using their collection envelopes. Please contact Fr Hill by phone or by email if you wish to discuss ways of contributing.
PRAYERS FOR OUR PARISHIONERS
~ During this period it is important for us to keep together in prayer, for ourselves and for:-
~ Those who have died, and their families and friends;
~ Those who are ill, and all the very many people who care for them;
~ Those who have to make decisions affecting the country – our political leaders, medics and researchers;
~ Those who are afraid and vulnerable, especially those who are cut off from others.
This page was created during the height of the early days of Covid-19, when communication was very difficult. It is not anticipated that additions will be made to it now, although it will be left intact as it is for a while yet
It is a long standing Catholic tradition to pray for those who have died, but in these difficult times of isolation, it is easy to miss news of deaths and funeral arrangements, so we will provide an update here during the crisis.
PLEASE NOTE THAT NUMBERS OF MOURNERS AT CEMETERIES AND CREMATORIA ARE STRICTLY LIMITED AT PRESENT – Maximum of 10 for the crematorium and 6 for Cemeteries
Gospel Matthew 28:16-20 “The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.”