Pastoral Letter from Pope Francis – May 2020
Attached is a pastoral letter from Pope Francis encouraging us to renew our commitment to praying the Rosary in our families this May. Included are prayers to Our Lady which you may find helpful.
LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
to the Faithful for the Month of May 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary at home within the family. The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view.
For this reason, I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May. This can be done either as a group or individually; you can decide according to your own situations, making the most of both opportunities. The key to doing this is always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow.
I am also providing two prayers to Our Lady that you can recite at the end of the Rosary, and that I myself will pray in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you. I include them with this letter so that they are available to everyone.
Dear brothers and sisters, contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial. I keep all of you in my prayers, especially those suffering most greatly, and I ask you, please, to pray for me. I thank you, and with great affection I send you my blessing.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 25 April 2020
Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist
You shine continuously on our journey
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who, at the foot of the cross,
were united with Jesus’ suffering,
and persevered in your faith.
“Protectress of the Roman people”,
you know our needs,
and we know that you will provide,
so that, as at Cana in Galilee,
joy and celebration may return
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering,
and burdened himself with our sorrows
to bring us, through the cross,
to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.
We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always
from every danger, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.
“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.
In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.
Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.
Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.
Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.
Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.
Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.
Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.
Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
Beloved Mother, help us realise that we are all members of one great family and to recognise the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need. Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.
Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.
To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.
Bishop William Crean
A Cháirde, dear friends in Christ,
“A time of testing” is the best way of representing the experience of the whole of society. None of us are untouched by the threat of the deadly invisible virus that lurks among us. We are naturally fearful and on our guard.
The extraordinary level of co-operation and generosity of so many in the face of this threat is truly inspirational. It lifts our hearts to witness such kindness and concern for the most vulnerable. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are evident all ‘round us and we are grateful beyond words.
Holy Week has been marked. We have recalled the Passion of Jesus who, though innocent, loved unto death for our sake. He, through his saving death sowed the seed of life so that henceforth our lives are “rich in immortality” (Preface of Mass for the Dead).
Tried and tested we may be but we are an Easter people. In the Risen Jesus, the Christ, the Anointed One of God, the light of hope burns brightly for us. It lifts our hearts and lights our way so that we can see clearly “the hope that His call holds for us” (Eph. 1:18).
My friends, hold steadfast to the Lord in prayer and in life. May our sense of solidarity and mutual support in these testing times be a source of encouragement and resilience.
As a symbol of that light of hope that is ours as disciples, I invite you to light an Easter Candle when you gather to share your table for food and for prayer. Invite the children to light that Easter Candle as we seek to pass on to a new generation the torch of Easter Light.
Wishing you the blessings of Easter Joy and Peace.
CANCELLED : The Gospel Choir will practice each Thursday night at 8pm in St. Colman’s Church, Cloyne Parish Prayer Group now meets in the Parish Office in Cloyne on Thursdays at 8:15 pm. Come any night you can. It is a very meaningful way to grow in faith, help our prayer life and gain a love for the scriptures.
Books for Sale
A book of prayers entitled “Prayers Old and New” is now available to purchase (Price €5) from the Parish Office or from any parish church. It has been compiled by members of the Parish Pastoral Council.
Celebrating 200 Years of St Colman’s Church, Cloyne
To commemorate the event a book entitled entitled “ Celebrating 200 Years of St Colman’s Church, Cloyne” is now available from the Parish office. Price €25 for hardback (very limited number left) and € 15 for paperback.
It is also available after Masses in Cloyne from the Sacristan or by telephoning 021-4652965 or 0872109095.
A History of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and its People
To commemorate the bi-centenary of the Church of the Immaculate Conception Shanagarry a book entitled “A History of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and its People” by Tom Morrison is on sale at €10.00 in local shops or from the parish office.
A History of the Medieval Diocese of Cloyne
A recently published book, which chronicles the available history of each parish in the diocese to the year 1600AD. There are now 46 parishes in the diocese having decreased from 133 designated centres of worship in medieval times.
Commissioned by the late Fr. Bob Forde and written by historian Dr. Paul MacCottor.
Available from the Parish Office. Cost €24.99
A previous work by Dr. MacCottor from 2004 covering the earlier period is entitled “Colman of Cloyne, A Study”.