The gradual opening of our church doors to welcome people in to pray will be a joyful one, and we will be able to draw strength from the stillness and calm of St John’s once more. One of the effects of the past few months has been the highlighting of the things that are important to us. There are relationships and friendships that we’ll delight in re-kindling, there’s been a slightly gentler pace to life which has felt less pressured, and there’s been a profound sense of the challenges in practicing our faith in the exile from the Sacraments and from our church buildings itself. The continuing work of the St John’s will be to lead us into the holiness of God and draw us deeper in our prayer and contemplation. It is essential that we do not become obsessed by our church buildings. Equally, we would be unwise and irresponsible stewards of the mysteries of faith if we did not also reverence them as sacred space and visible signs of the kingdom of God in our local communities.
As your parish priest, I remind you reminded us that God is known in the particular: He was incarnate in the particular person of Jesus Christ in the particular place of First Century Palestine. He is incarnate now in the particular gifts of bread and wine transformed by the prayer of the Church and the action of the Spirit as his body and blood, and in the particular places where his people find a spiritual home. As we look to the future, the interruption to our routines of worship should have made us re-examine what a church building is for, and why it matters to us and to the people for whom it is the house of God where they find hope and encouragement.
So, we will be able to re-open our Church for PRIVATE PRAYER from Wednesday of this week after we all the necessary risk assessments are completed on Monday. We will open the Church on Wednesday and Friday of this week from 11am-1pm and on Thursday from 5pm-7pm.
Seats will be marked for sitting, following the 2-metre rule and there will be a one-way system in place with sanitiser stations at the door. The toilet will be closed.
There will be simple adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at these times, no Benediction or public prayer.
It is suggested that those over 70 years and anyone with an underlying health condition do not visit the Church yet. This is phase 2 of the Government regulations and will last until at least July 9th. Hopefully, after that date we may be able to restart public Masses. Everyone who visits will be required to follow the guidelines we put in place and must cover their nose and mouth with a mask which you should provide. You will arrive through the main front door where you will able to sanitise your hands and leave through the side door which will be clearly marked.
Confessions will be available. This may sound rather prescriptive, but it is in the best interests of us all and, if we adhere to these guidelines, we may be able to have public Holy Mass sooner.
Thank you for your support in adhering to the guidelines.
With my prayers,
A message for Ascension Day from Canon Mulholland
St Augustine called the Ascension ‘the crown of all Christian feasts.’ Had you lived a good many centuries ago, Ascension Day would have been a public holiday.
Listen to these words from the Holy Gospel according to St John:
Jesus said to his disciples: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
One way or another there’s a good deal of uncertainty around at the moment. A lot us are feeling anxious about what the future may hold, and it’s difficult to imagine life returning to normality again.
It’s that kind of fear about what the future holds that Jesus addresses when He invites His followers not to let their hearts be troubled. He’s preparing them for what the future will bring as He speaks of His departure to prepare a place in God’s eternal kingdom for all those who follow Him, and so He calls us to see that in the Father’s House nothing will be lost.
These words are given to offer immediate reassurance to his company of disciples. Though Jesus is going away it will be for their benefit; he won’t forget them, he won’t abandon them. They are words that reach out to each of us too, and they remind us that we are in the Father’s hands for eternity.
When the disciple Thomas challenges Jesus about what he means, the reply he receives shows us that Jesus provides the way to heaven because he himself is heaven come down to earth. “I am the Way,” he says, “if you want to get to the Father’s house, you must come with me.” To be in the company of Jesus is to be standing already in the courts of heaven with God’s angels ascending and descending. With him we see what the life of the Father’s House is like, and through the Holy Spirit we can begin to share that life now.
God’s eternity breaks into our lives now. Eternity is not just what happens at the end of time, after we are dead. It is our sharing in the life of the Lord. Every time we know ourselves to be forgiven and forgiving, to be loved and to love we have put a foot into eternity. Every time we reach out in concern and care to those around us we are telling the world we are living in the Father’s house even now. Every time we practice hope, every time we place ourselves into God’s hands, and almost despite ourselves, trust in his mercy we are living as those for whom the kingdom is coming on earth as it is in heaven.
At the end of John Drinkwater’s play about the life and the death of the great American President, Abraham Lincoln, an actor comes to the front of the stage after Lincoln’s assassination and says, ‘Now he belongs to the ages’. That is true of all the great men and women of the past: now they belong to the ages. But of this man Jesus we have to put it the other way round: ‘Now the ages belong to him’.
My dear boys and girls
My dear boys and girls
How have I missed you! Loads & loads. I’m sure you are all growing taller and I will probably not recognise you. I’m sure you are growing in wisdom too with all that fantastic schoolwork on-line!
The thing we can all do at home is pray. We can pray that God will help all the doctors and nurses, that God will give them the wisdom to know what to do and that God will protect them.
Also, I want you to know that I am praying for you, I am praying that God will be with you through this time. I’m thinking of all the boys and girls who will have to wait a wee bit longer to make their First Holy Communion.
On Thursday we celebrate a very special day. The day of Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven.
You cannot see me, but you can hear me and you know I am here even if you cannot see me.
Even though the disciples cannot see Jesus in the same way as before, he promised them, He would be with them always.
When Jesus took his place with his Father in heaven, He did not abandon us or leave us alone. He also tells us to spread His Gospel all over the earth.
In ‘My Fair Lady’ Eliza Doolittle says “words, words, words, I’m so sick of words… if you’re in love, show me!” We show Jesus we love him by keeping His commandments to love God and each other.
During this time of lockdown, there are many chances at home to love God and each other. Keep up the good work. I will see all you very soon, Lots of love, Canon Steven.
A Easter Message from Canon Mulholland
Welcome to St John’s, Perth
Our parish of St John the Baptist’s Perth serves the central and northern parts of the city of Perth as well as the rural areas to the north and east of the city towards Dunkeld, Coupar Angus and Errol. The parish also serves Perth Royal Infirmary, Murray Royal Hospital, North Inch Home, Luncarty House, Catmoor Nursing Home, St John’s Nursing Home, Strathtay House, Upper Springlands Home, Ochil, Louise Brae, Viewlands, the Grange (Balbeggie) and Kincarathie Nursing Home.
St John’s is part of the Diocese of Dunkeld, which serves east central Scotland – including Aberfeldy, Alloa, Alva, Alyth, Arbroath, Auchterarder, Blairgowrie, Brechin, Callendar, Carnoustie, Crieff, Cupar, Doune, Dunblane, Dundee, Dunkeld, Forfar, High Valleyfield, Kinross, Leuchars, Pitlochry, Kirriemuir, Perth, Newport, Tayport, and Tullibody.
Rev. Bogdan Palka SDS
16 Melville Street, Perth, PH1 5PY
Tel: 01738 564182
Rev Krzysztof Jablonski
Tel: 07851 735590
Recent news from the parish
Congratulations to our P7 pupils for a brilliant produce of School of Rock.
St John the Baptist RC Choir, 30th Anniversary Concert – Sunday 30th September 2018. For the Beauty of the Earth – Rutter Directed ...
St John the Baptist RC Choir, 30th Anniversary Concert – Sunday 30th September 2018. Clare Benediction – John Rutter Directed by Allan Kellman