Parishes of St Mary, Lady of Lourdes
The obligation to attend Mass on Sunday remains suspended. Masses have resumed but with limited numbers, please try to attend a weekday Mass if possible.
Welcome to the community of St Mary, Lady of Lourdes, here in the Black Country. We are three parishes that have recently been united under one parish priest. All the parishes had similar names, so, whatever else we are, we are one community under Our Lady's protection - and that's a good place to be. We strive to be a welcoming community that reflects the truth and compassion that Jesus has given us.
Fr Tom Farrell daily at 9.30am: https://ctk-cov.org.uk/wp/live-streaming/
Fr Gary Buckby daily at 10.30am:
Fr Des, Stourbridge, Mon-Fri 9am, Sat 10am, Sunday 10.30am:
Masses at 12 noon and other devotions from the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham:
For other livestreams from around the diocese see:
Parish WhatsApp Group
Yvonne, a parishioner, has started a 'friends of the parish' WhatsApp group on 07724 420198, which we are encouraged to join.
Just text her to give her your name and number. It is a good way for us to keep in touch, keep alert for any needs that can be helped with, and maybe even inspire us to shared prayer. If you haven't got WhatsApp messenger on your phone, then simply go into Play Store, search for WhatsApp messenger, download the app and run it, and add your phone number and the name you wish to be known by when the app asks you. If you have an android phone rather than an iPhone then it can be a little more difficult to download, but you probably know someone who can help you with that. Joining this group would really help us to keep in touch, so particularly if you are a bit older than most, please pluck up the courage to have a go at something new! By sending your name and number to Yvonne, you are agreeing for this information to be held in the WhatsApp group information, but this group is only accessible to fellow parishioners.
Sunday Mass Collection
Many of us are under financial pressure during these times, and obviously the parish's revenue has practically reduced to nothing. If you would like to continue to donate to the parish, maybe by setting up a standing order with us, then please contact Stephanie regarding bank details.
For further help see:
The money donated this way comes to your parish, not the diocese.
Both our foodbanks at Old Hill and Kingswinford have now closed and the food redistributed appropriately.
In these difficult times, let us be faithful to God in trust and prayer,
and imaginative in helping each other and keeping in touch.
We can all help, we all need help:
don't ever think your call, your message,
your smile or your prayer don't matter!
Let us not be scared of quiet and stillness, but see in it an opportunity to allow the Lord to work in us and slowly reveal his love for us.
Stillness and Trust
The hardest prayer of all is stillness - just being. It is also the most important prayer. Cardinal Basil Hume, when asked by a teenager how long he prayed for in the morning, answered 'one minute'. The boy was a bit shocked at this answer, until the Cardinal answered, 'But it took me 29 minutes to get there.' Of course, all his 30 minutes were prayer, but we all know the seeming impossibility of just being still. All sorts of thoughts come into our minds, from practical decisions, to emotions over relationships or situations we are concerned about, to all sorts of hopes and fears, joys and sorrows. It is so much easier to give up and either recite prayers or move on to something else. That is a wasted opportunity. Have the courage to allow all those distractions to happen. Maybe start with a few familiar prayers, to help you get started, but after that commit to remaining still. We can't control what happens in prayer, but we can control the time we give. So choose the amount of time, and stick with it, whether you see choirs of angels doing summersaults or it feels like God is a million miles away. He isn't. Your prayer is real. And gradually, in his time, he is able to encounter you ever more deeply within you. Such time in prayer is never wasted. And we have never had such an opportunity to enter into it.
When we do allow ourselves to be still, the hardest bit isn't encountering God, it is encountering ourselves in our own vulnerability. We all have some fear that we are not loveable, that we are only useful when we are doing something, that there are things in me I'd rather not face. Jesus sees you completely as you are. And thinks you are worth dying for. So trust him, and in doing so, trust in your only loveableness, and persevere in stillness. It is what the world most lacks, and we can regain it one person at a time.
"Be still and know that I am God, supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth."
Connected with this Pope Francis led his Urbi et Orbi message and prayer on Friday.
He chose the Gospel of Jesus calming the storm (Mark 4:35-41). The point he made was that Jesus was asleep and the apostles woke him out of fear. After calming the storm, he rebuked their lack of faith because they woke him, in fear, with the words, "Teacher, do you not care if we perish?" We too, in this time, can wonder if Jesus is asleep; we too can be tempted to wonder whether he cares if we perish. And the over-riding answer he gives us is, "Do not be afraid. Have you no faith?" What we are most called to do in this time, is to trust that Jesus is not asleep, and that he does care for us: the Father cares for each of us with infinite love. It is necessary to admit our fears and emotions to him - but then choose to trust in his love.
All indeed will be well.
If you wish to receive any of the sacraments, or would simply like to know more about the Catholic faith, please do get in touch. Or if you'd like to share in our helping those in need.
More information on each parish can be found by following the links below. Weekly Mass times can vary, so the newsletter is particularly useful regarding them and you can listen to recordings of the homily.
Since I've just got a doctorate from Rome, you can view that too - don't be put off by some big words at the beginning!