Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint John’s,
These are indeed unprecedented times we are in! With people falling ill, social isolation, social distancing, the closure of schools, restaurants, cinemas, etc. there is no one in society who is not being affected by this horrid Coronavirus. I know this is felt so keenly by all of you with the stopping of public celebrations of Holy Mass. For us people of faith, this is one of the most difficult restrictions to live with, especially during the holy season of Lent and the upcoming Easter celebrations. The postponing of Holy Communions and Confirmations is obviously difficult for our children. However, for the safety of others and ourselves, we have a duty to do everything we can – a duty rooted in our faith and the Lord’s teachings to love and have a genuine concern for those around us.
During this difficult period, I urge you to deepen your relationship with the Lord – speak to Him every day, pray the Rosary, ponder the Stations of the Cross, where possible attend Holy Mass via computer or television. Bishop John is currently having our cathedral fitted out so that he can celebrate Holy Mass daily for us, enabling us to join him by live stream. As soon as this is up and running, I will let you know via this website and also notices in the church porch. It is also worth logging on to the diocesan website (www.rcdop.org.uk) where there are a number of spiritual resources as well as further information and useful links.
I encourage you to reach out in concern to those isolated, especially the elderly and lonely, some of whom have literally no one to turn to. Remember though this must be done always keeping in mind the restrictions which will keep them and you safe. Phoning to chat or popping a card through their door asking if they need anything is an excellent thing to do.
As people of faith, we always trust in the guidance of God watching over us and our world. We know that these times will pass but, in the meantime, as we live through them, pray to be strengthened by God. Pray for the health workers on the frontline, for the leaders of our society who have such difficult decisions to make and for all affected by this virus here in Scotland, in Uganda and all around the world.
Our church will be open for personal prayer every day from 9am until 5pm. Call in to visit and spend time with the Lord truly present in the tabernacle and know that Fr Laurent and I will be celebrating private Mass every day for you and all your intentions. If you need us, we are here for you!
May God bless and protect you and all those dear to you!