SACRED HEART CHURCH, HILLSBOROUGH
Parish Priest: Fr. Michael Achile Umameh
Parish Deacon: Rev. Tony Strike.
479 Langsett Road, Sheffield, S6 2LN. Telephone: (0114) 2343580
Parish website: www.sacredheartsheffield.co.uk Parish email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 29th March 2020 – 5th Sunday of Lent (privately offered without congregation)
Mass Times and Intentions
Sunday 29th March in the church, Mass, 5th Sunday of Lent 11.00 am For all parishioners
Monday in the church NO CONGREGATION 10.00 am For carers and health workers
Tuesday in the church NO CONGREGATION 10.00 am All those affected with Covid-19
Thursday in the church NO CONGREGATION 10.00 am For all parishioners
Friday in the church NO CONGREGATION 12.00 noon For Doctors and Nurses
Saturday in the church NO CONGREGATION 10.00 am For all in Isolation
Sunday 5th April Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion 11.00
Mass information 29 March– 5th Sunday of Lent
Links to Mass Streamed online: Click
St. Marie with Bishop Ralph at 11 am: https://stmariecathedral.org/mass-and-services/mass-livestream/
Leeds cathedral at 11 am: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgWKPTunArY
Mass Book Dedications
We are now using our new Mass Books, which replace the Sunday Message. This book is for Cycle A and we will buy Cycles B and C over the next 2 years to complete the set. In order to personalise these books to our parish and indeed offset some of the cost, dedications are now available for purchase. A Give Net website has been set up to enable this. Whilst the labels will be printed, the dedications will be handwritten, so each will be truly personalised. Simply visit the https://www.give.net/sacredheartbooks and get your Dedication started. A donation of £5 per label is suggested. Should you not be an internet user and / or cannot get your children or grandchildren to help you, envelopes for dedications and offerings will be made available soon to assist with this. We will soon be issuing dedication stickers to those who have donated.
(Fr. Michael’s Homily)
The Valley of the Dry Bones and Hope of the Resurrection
As our journey through lent draws near to Easter, we hear of the most dramatic readings in all the scripture: Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of the dry bones (Ezek. 37: 1-14). This vision reminds every generation that God not only gives life but restores life, that death will not have the last word, even when all signs of life has been taken away, Our God is the creator of all life, its origin and goal. Ezekiel’s vision is given for a people who have lost heart, who are suffering a death of the spirit, a living death in the face of the tragic and painful toll of the Corona virus epidemic, the sorrows, the anxiety and unending torture of fear. After Ezekiel walked all around the valley full of dry bones, God asks: “son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” Again, He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ Yes, God knows. Today, we hear the promise only God can give. Thus, says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. This is the life-giving breath of God. Through the prophet, God assures the exiles that they will live again. They will be raised from death and filled with life. They will experience new life, life that springs from God’s own Spirit. And in the story and experience of Lazarus, God made his promise concrete and tangible.
In the story of Lazarus, we feel the tension between the finality of death and the hope of the resurrection. We live in a world that has been caught up in death for a long time. We kill each other in acts of murder, abortion, euthanasia, execution, war, terrorist activities, and drunken, reckless driving. We kill ourselves through suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, overwork, stress, bad eating habits, and physical neglect. We watch calmly as others die from poverty, hunger and malnutrition, homelessness, unemployment, poor education, disease, lack of health coverage, child abuse, arms proliferation, discrimination, pollution, destruction of the environment, unsafe working conditions, and all the laws, policies, practices and attitudes which contribute to these conditions. Now, the world is in the throes of Covid-19 pandemic. May the god who gave life to the dry bones bring us health. May the God who raised Lazarus from the grave intervene in the death-dealing corona virus pandemic. Jesus, I trust in you!
God gives us the power of his Holy Spirit that we may be made alive in Christ. Even now we can experience the power of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus in our personal lives. The Holy Spirit is ever ready to change and transform us into men and women of faith, hope, and love. Do you believe that the power of Jesus’ resurrection is at work in your life today? In this troubling and tragic time, may the word of Psalmist strengthen us: “I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13-14). Let us continue to pray for God to heal our world and stay the raging hand of death.
Yes, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me (Psalm 23:4).
Remember: Stay at home to save lives!
Please consider making your offertory donations to the Parish via Standing Order: Parishioners may prefer to give regularly by standing order since this is an efficient and convenient method. There’s no need for cash or to write cheques. If you would like to donate by standing order, please set this up with your bank. The parish bank account details are Sort Code: 40-41-07 Account no. 21094319. Whether you give by envelope or by standing order, if you are a taxpayer the best way to increase the value of your donations, without it costing you anymore, is to complete a Gift Aid declaration. Gift Aid allows the church to claim back from the government on your behalf 25p for every £1 you donate, boosting the value of the donation by a quarter. Gift Aid declaration forms are also available at the back of church. Please place completed forms in the Sacristy. As a church community, we are encouraged to increase the amount we give to support our church as income is failing to keep up with growing expenses. Please consider if it is possible to give a bit more. Thank you for everything you already give and do in any way.