to the Catholic parishes of Monmouth & Ross-on-Wye

Welcome to Visitors: we extend a very warm welcome to you and hope you enjoy your time in these areas of outstanding beauty. Both our churches, one in Wales and one in England, are in the Archdiocese of Cardiff.

We are a Catholic community growing in faith, spreading the Gospel message of Love through our daily lives and by supporting one another and the wider community through prayer, fellowship and service.

We welcome you to our website and hope you enjoy learning more about our communities.  We warmly welcome both new parishioners and visitors from all over the world to our parish.

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday 9th August 2020



NOTE: Mass will be said every Sunday from 2nd August at 11:00 am (NOT 10:00 am).

Click here to watch the live streaming of mass.

A Message from Father Nick 21

Constantine’s Mother (2)   Bringing the Mystery back home

Last week, we honoured St Helena as our pioneer of pilgrimage, remembering her journey to the places most intimately associated with Jesus. But we honour her for more than simply going to those places. Helena is also credited with finding the instruments of Our Lord’s Passion and bringing them back to Rome. In that sense we can also regard her as a pioneer of venerating relics.

According to some early Christian historians, Helena’s visit to the Holy Land was in 326-328 AD. The site of the Holy Sepulchre had long been covered by a temple dedicated to Venus, probably commissioned by Hadrian in his rebuilding of Jerusalem as a pagan city. Accounts tell us that, under Helena’s supervision, three crosses were found beneath the temple, one of which worked a miracle of healing. (Socrates Scholasticus mentions also the finding of the “titulus”, the name attached to Jesus’ cross, and the nails with which he was crucified.)

When Helena returned to Rome, she brought relics of the Passion with her – including soil which acted as ballast in her ship and which she later used to pack the floor of a new church constructed from rooms in her own palace. This became known as the basilica of “Santa Croce in Gerusalemme”, or “Holy Cross in Jerusalem”, and can still be visited today.

The relics, of course, are its outstanding feature, though they can never be finally authenticated. They include two thorns from the crown of thorns, part of the “Good Thief’s” cross, a nail, and – not for those as sceptical as the apostle himself – the skeletal finger of St Thomas. But most interesting is the so-called “titulus” or title that was set above Jesus’ head on Calvary. Stanley Luff, author of The Christian’s Guide to Rome, describes its discovery when the basilica was repaired in 1492. Although fourth century accounts mention such a relic in Jerusalem, it seems to have been brought to Rome and at some point bricked up behind the inscription “TITULUS CRUCIS”, only to be curiously forgotten. Stanley Luff points out:

“An intriguing feature is that the words still legible on this fragment – Jesus of Nazareth, King, in Greek and Latin – are cut in the wood so as to read from right to left, This is correct for Hebrew – of which the barest trace remains – but very unexpected for these two languages. Both possible explanations appear to support the authenticity of the relic. One can well picture a Jew, acting under Roman orders and using the letters of a language he did not really know, setting them down one by one the way he wrote his own language. On the other hand, it is not unheard of for an occasional Greek or Latin inscription, on a tomb or coin, to appear written ‘back to front’ for some unaccountable reason. But it is very improbable that a mediaeval forger would fake the Title in such a sophisticated way.”

Titulus Crucis

(top image from https://www.religionenlibertad.com/; lower image: By Commando 76)

Hymns for this Sunday

A number of parishioners have been singing before and after the Masses. We all sing the same hymn at the same time but unconnected by social media.

Hymns for Sunday, 9th August: 

at 9:55 am: “Dear Lord and Father of mankind”

after Mass: “Lead us, heavn’ly Father, lead us”

You can find the words on the internet or call Sheila Crotty (01600 228 679) who will send them to you.


A COMPUTER DESK – in good condition, surplus to requirements from the Monmouth parish office and FREE to a good home, first come, first served. Contact anne@themays.org.uk.

POSTS AVAILABLE AT VENNTURE (closing date 11th August)

Vennture is a dynamic charity making a proven impact in the community. 

Do you want to work in a role where you can support people, helping them to help themselves?

Due to funding from the Reaching Communities Fund, Vennture is seeking to fill two posts:

LINK WORKERS – to expand its Family Mentoring Team.

 A YOUTH MENTOR – Vennture has exciting plans to design and provide a new service to mentor young people alongside their proven families’ programme.

Click here for further details of both posts.


As lockdown restrictions continue, the Parishes’ income is understandably far lower than in past years. It would be very helpful, and greatly appreciated, if you could continue to contribute to the Parishes.


Click here for full details of ways of contributing to St Mary’s.


For full details of how to contribute to St Frances of Rome, click here.



The preparation required has now been completed and the certification obtained for St Frances of Rome to re-open.

CELEBRATION OF MASS on Sunday 9th August at 11:00 am:

It is great to be able to celebrate Mass again with members of our congregation, but unfortunately numbers present have to be strictly limited. It is very heartening to see the response of parishioners. Those who have already applied but have not been able to have a place this Sunday will be first on the list when they apply again (we are bound to keep a register of those who attend in these Covid-19 times).

The application form will be available from Monday 3rd August  here and in emails to those on the St Frances of Rome email list.

PRIVATE PRAYER: The church is now open for private prayer every Thursday from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Stewards will be on duty to ensure social distancing is maintained. There is no booking system for this session, but you may be asked to wait outside if capacity has been reached.



The renovation and redecoration of St Mary’s is due to be completed by the end of August. Once the required preparation for re-opening is made and certification obtained, the church will re-open for private prayer on a Wednesday and for Mass on Saturdays and Sundays as previously. . However, because of the requirement to maintain social distancing, there is a strict limit on the number of attendees permitted – no more than 30 at a time. Hence, we will put in place a booking system for each Mass. If there are more applicants than places, those unable to be offered a place will be top of the list for the next Mass they apply for.


Our congratulations and prayers to Redemptorist Brother Royston Price, originally of Monmouth parish, who was ordained for the deaconate on Saturday, 1st August, at the Church of St Mary’s, Clapham.

We hope to welcome him when possible and wish him a joyful and fruitful ministry.


to Mike and Tish Squires who celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.


Please pray for those parishioners who are ill.


Please pray for the repose of all who have died at this time. Sadly and inevitably because of the pandemic all funerals are subject to severe restriction but we hope, when it is again possible, to celebrate a memorial mass for each of those we can now only acknowledge in prayer.

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