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.

17th October 2021

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time



Every Sunday Mass is live-streamed  at 11:00 am.

To view the Mass, click here.



Saturday (Vigil) Mass at 6:00 pm (MONMOUTH). Booking essential

Sunday Mass at 09:15 am (MONMOUTH) Booking essential

Sunday Mass at 11:00 am (ROSS-ON-WYE) NO NEED TO BOOK 

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 10:00 am  (MONMOUTH) No need to book

Tuesdays, Thursdays: 10:00 am (ROSS-ON-WYE) No need to book



Applications for the following weekend’s Masses open on Mondays and close on Thursday evenings.

Applications for Mass on 16th and 17th October are now CLOSED. 

Click MONMOUTH to apply for Mass in St Mary’s, Monmouth.

If there are more applicants than places for any service and you are not allocated a place this week, when you apply for another week you will be put at the front of the queue.


Should you need to contact Father Nick, please do so by phone (01600 712029) or by email (monmouth@rcadc.org)

If you are new to the parish and would like to be included in the parish register, please contact the parish secretary (sec.stmarysrc@gmail.com).

A Message from Father Nick 83

In the name of Christ …

It was emperor Constantine who in 325 A.D. summoned the first great council of the Church at Nicaea in modern Turkey. Troubled by arguments over Christ’s divinity, Constantine asked the assembled bishops to provide a true statement of Christian belief. Their Nicene Creed, completed by a following Council, is the one we regularly say at mass today.

Over the centuries, other Councils have been called in times of need. Nicaea and six others are recognised as ecumenical, because they were debated by the undivided Church. Perhaps unsurprisingly, after the great Schism of 1054 when West and East excommunicated each other, the East would not recognise future “western” gatherings like the mediaeval Lateran Councils, the 16th century Council of Trent, and the two Vatican Councils of the 19th and 20th centuries.

One later council did try to heal the rift. By the 1430s, the ancient city of Constantinople, last bastion of old Rome, was in mortal danger from its Ottoman enemies. The Byzantine emperor John VIII Palaeologus appealed to Pope Eugenius IV for aid “in the name of Christ”. Eugenius urged the reconciliation of Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic Christians, and a council was arranged at Ferrara in Italy to debate details of leadership and doctrine. When the emperor arrived, he was accompanied by more than 700 delegates – too many for a small town like Ferrara already at risk from plague. Instead, Cosimo de’ Medici offered to host the council in Florence and even to cover its expenses – a consummate piece of power-play.

Paul Strathern describes the emperor’s arrival there in 1439:

“The citizens of Florence lining the streets…were spellbound by the sheer spectacle of the Byzantine delegation, with its bearded priests in their curious ancient headdresses, and their dark-skinned servants, many of whom were of Mongol, Moorish or Black African descent. Yet all of this was as nothing compared with the extraordinary pets which accompanied the delegation – said to have included monkeys, birds of exotic plumage, and even a pair of chained cheetahs. (Several of these would consequently appear in paintings by Florentine artists.)”

 (continued in the next column)

A Message from Father Nick 83 (contd)

The emperor stood out, in a white hat which came to a point at the front and was decorated by a ruby bigger than a pigeon’s egg. Twenty years later, one of the great Florentine artists, Piero della Francesca was commissioned to paint the first Christian emperor Constantine. Piero painted him wearing the hat he had seen that day and with the features of John VIII Palaeologus.

Much else was shared during the months that followed, especially in the field of philosophy. Florentines at last could listen entranced as a Greek expounded Plato’s theory of ideas. They had known Aristotle through Arabic translations; their encounter with Plato would be a kind of revelation.

Agreement was reached at the council, but it would be quickly cancelled out. Compromises made by the Greek delegation caused riots in the streets of Constantinople, and the old Schism opened up again. There was no military help from the West when Ottoman troops sacked Constantinople on 29th May, 1453. The Council had failed in its stated aim, but its human effects remain incalculable. It offers us a poignant glimpse of people learning in new ways – both seed and fruit of the Renaissance.

NOTE: All of Father Nick’s Messages can be accessed through the tab “E_Bulletins” at the top of this page, or by clicking HERE.

(updated 7/10/21)

Pastoral Letter for 9th-10th October 2021 in advance of COP26 ©

Archbishop George Stack has written to all parishioners asking that we make Sunday 31st October (the Feast of All Saints) a Day of Prayer for the success of the meeting in Glasgow.

Click COP26 for the full text of the Archbishop’s letter.


Archdiocese of Cardiff “The God Who Speaks”: Scripture Study Days

The next two Scripture Study Days will be given on Saturday, October 9th and Saturday, November 6th from 11am-12.30pm.

Click RCADC for further information and details of how to access the talks.

Saint of the Month: St Luke, feast day 18th October


Please pray for all those in our parishes who are not well and would like to be remembered, especially:

Kitty Osborne (Raglan)

Denis and Elaine O’Connor (Ross-on-Wye)

Jacob Sprackling (aged 2 1/2 years), great-grandson of Nell Tregaskis (Monmouth)

Eithne Holcom (Ross-on-Wye)

Honor Houghton (Ross-on-Wye)

Claire Doherty, sister of Broo (Monmouth)

Elizabeth Allcock (Monmouth)


Please pray for the repose of all who have died at this time, especially for those who died very recently.

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, especially those who died recently.


(updated 15/10/21)



Mass at St Mary’s

Weekly Mass times from 18th October:

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 10:00 am. No need to book.

Saturdays (Vigil), 6:00 pm. Booking essential

Sundays, 09:15 am. Booking essential

Applications for Mass on 16th and 17th October now CLOSED.

Click MONMOUTH to apply for Mass in St Mary’s, Monmouth.

Fr Nick, Tim and Gail have now carried out a risk assessment of St Mary’s, in accordance with the latest Guidance issued by the Bishops of England and Wales.
Social distancing has been slightly relaxed to increase the number of available seats at each Mass.
Given the restrictions on space within the Church, the following remain in place for the time being:
1. It will still be necessary to book a place at Mass on Saturday and Sunday
2. Places do not need to be booked for weekday Masses
3. Contact details will still be required
4. Face coverings are mandatory
5. Hands must be sanitized before entering the Church
6. Where possible all doors will remain open before and during Mass for good ventilation
7. Stewards will continue to be present and will clean the Church after each Mass
It is essential that we protect all Parishioners, whilst allowing as many people as possible to attend.
Mass. With this in mind, the above restrictions will be reviewed on a regular basis.


We hope at last to begin again a programme of preparation for the Sacraments. Would parents of children eligible for FIRST COMMUNION please contact Father Nick. monmouth@rcadc.org  Tel: 01600 712029

Those eligible for CONFIRMATION (from Year 8 upwards) are also invited to make contact with Father Nick.




Now that Covid restrictions have been lifted in England we welcome a larger congregation back into St Frances of Rome.

In the interests of all it would be much appreciated if those attending would continue to wear masks during the service as social distancing cannot not be easily maintained in the church.

Weekly Mass times from 18th October: No need to book – please read note above:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 am.  

Sundays, 11:00 am. (This Mass is also live-streamed)


Results of the 100 Club draw on 3rd October 2021:

67 numbers now sold and included in the draw. If you would like a number for the next draw (7th November), please let us know (email: stfrances.editor@gmail.com) or speak to Aidan.

£100  No. 91  Mark Barratt

£25    No. 76  Marie Clarke

£25   No. 8    Lindsey Wise



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.

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