Last year, for a short while, Paul was unable to be with us at Sunday mass, but he was able to watch and share our mass on YouTube. He was grateful for this opportunity and wrote, wondering if this might be a way of planning for the future.
With the continuing fall in the number of priests (we shall be down to 2 for 3 parishes and 5 churches, locally, soon) he wondered if screens might be put up in each of the churches and mass relayed from one church to each of the others.
People would receive Holy Communion in each of the churches, given by ministers of the Eucharist, and normal parish socialising could continue. This was Paul’s idea last year: now it may have become reality!
See the plan? A priest may celebrate Mass on Sunday up to three times if there is a need. He celebrates mass at times agreed by the people of the area. Everyone is welcome to come to the actual church (common sense will have to work out car parking, distances, etc.). All will share the prayer of the mass, virtuously and virtually, and the social life of each of the communities would continue.
We need some new thinking and don’t need grumbles as the Bishop tries to plan everything with fewer and fewer priests. Being united in prayer and able to receive Holy Communion might be a good way to go. It would mean just a few priests – even one! – could serve the city of Leicester, leaving the other priests to go where there is greater need – and there are many places in greater need than Leicester.
Neatly coinciding with this new thinking we have news from the Council of a housing development on the the Moorfields by Netherhall Road and across the road from the Rosary Church and land, which the Council would be interested to consider in their planning. Some of you in the area already know this, but we are all involved.
One time I did dream of small retirement bungalows for parishioners around the Rosary Church, but no housing association was interested. It may not be too late . . .
A number of you will have your opinions, so develop them ready for our meetings (possibly via the internet) which will have to take place to fulfil the Bishop’s plans for the parishes in Leicester.
God bless us to listen,
Rev Fr John
(10th May 2020)