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.

28th November 2021

1st Sunday of Advent



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

To view the Mass, click here.



Saturday (Vigil) Mass at 6:00 pm (MONMOUTHNo need to book

Sunday Mass at 09:15 am (MONMOUTH) BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Sunday Mass at 11:00 am (ROSS-ON-WYE) No need to book


Monday, 29th, 10:00 am  (MONMOUTH)

Tuesday, 30th, NO MASS IN ROSS-ON-WYE

Wednesday, 1st Dec, 10:00 am  (MONMOUTH)

Thursday, 2nd, 10:00 am (ROSS-ON-WYE)

Friday, 3rd, 10:00 am  NO MASS IN MONMOUTH



Applications for Mass on Sunday 28th November are 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 88

From his place in the virile, turbulent world of Renaissance Italy, Michelangelo Buonarotti still shines brightly. A troubled spiritual genius, he excelled in sculpture, painting and architecture and was also a gifted poet. We remember him too for his so-called “terribilita” and solitary maleness.

Born in 1475 near Florence, he was taken into Domenico Ghirlandaio’s studio at the age of thirteen. From there he gained access to a sculpture school in the Medici gardens where Lorenzo “the Magnificent” saw him and was mightily impressed by him. The two became close friends.

Stubborn and headstrong, Michelangelo frequently lost his temper. On one occasion he quarrelled with a colleague, who struck him with great force, breaking his nose. (Michelangelo’s broken nose would become famous from portraits, but this is not our only record of violence towards the artist. The patron of his great work in the Sistine Chapel – an even more “terrible” person, Pope Julius II – also hit him in frustration.)

As a young man working in the sculpture garden near San Marco, Michelangelo had often heard Savonarola speak – sixty years later he would admit that he could still hear the friar’s living voice ringing out in his mind. But, unlike Botticelli, he seems not to have been led to doubt his own artistic calling. Instead, he went on to produce many of the best loved images in Christian history. Some are Old Testament figures, like the great Sistine painting of Adam and the sculptures of Moses and David (his defiant David, in particular, would come to be seen as the personification of Florence).

Those figures are of course resolutely male, and Michelangelo is known for his appreciation of masculine beauty. But there is another, touching side to his story – which is very much someone else’s story too.

Vittoria Colonna was born into a famous Roman family in 1490 or 1492 and given a good, humanist education. It has been said that she grew up “about as free as any Renaissance woman could be”. Widowed in her thirties, she was moved by her deep spirituality to seek entry into religious life. But even this desire was thwarted by political forces. She was about to set up her own convent when the pope went to war with her family and their allies. Instead, she would become famous for her poetry.

(continued in next column)

A Message from Father Nick 88 (contd)

Her vision was deeply personal. As Dr Abigail Brundin has said, “The way in which she’s using lyric poetry to write about her relationship with Christ is entirely new” – Vittoria imagines using nails from the cross dipped in Christ’s blood to write her poetry on his flesh.

Though such ideas seem startling to us, her character and thought profoundly affected Michelangelo. They met in 1537 and entered what has been called a “passionate friendship”. In fact, they seem to have been an inspiration to each other, having long conversations on art, poetry and faith and encouraging each other to keep writing and publishing. Michelangelo referred to her as “the soul and the heart of my fragile life.”

In Rome, they saw each other daily, spending hours in conversation. Away from each other they wrote letters – they even briefly discussed founding a convent together. When Vittoria died in 1547, Michelangelo was inconsolable, mourning her for months. From among his many male images, a few significant female images stand out: the Sistine Eve; the “young” Madonna of the St Peter’s Pieta (Michelangelo was six when his own mother died); and his drawing of Vittoria Colonna when she was 50 and he was 65.

All previous Messages are available at https://monmouthandrosscatholicchurches.uk/e-bulletins/

(updated 18/11/21)


76 parishioners from about 30 parishes across the Archdiocese have stepped up as representatives for their parishes in this historic Synod.  Sean Dunne is our parish’s representative at the Synod. To read the first report from Madeleine Walters, Diocesan Synodal Co-ordinator, click SYNOD_1.

 “The God Who Speaks”

The next Scripture Study Day will be given on Saturday, December 4th from 11am-12.30pm.  Mrs. Kate Duffin will be giving a talk: “The Scriptures of Advent”. For further information on Kate, her background and how to access the talk, click SCRIPTURE.


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

Bernie Waters (Monmouth)

David Bloomfield (Father of Hayley Francis)

Bernadette Price (Monmouth)

Caroline Walters (Ross-on-Wye)

Denis 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, especially

Vera O’Sullivan, sister of Bernadette Meek (Ross-on-Wye)

Wilfred Blagden (Monmouth), funeral in St Mary’s at 11:00 am on Tues, 30th Nov.

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.



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.


Opening times: Monday-Saturday 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Sunday after the 09:30 and 11:00 am Masses. Click BELMONT for further details.

To access the Belmont Abbey Shop Online, simply click here: https://www.belmontabbey.org.uk/shop


(updated 26/11/21)


Collection in Monmouth and Ross churches

Envelopes with donations can be brought to our churches this weekend (27th/28th Nov)

The Archdiocese of Cardiff is blessed by retired clergy who remain active in or around the parishes in which they have retired. They do far more than simply act as a spare pair of hands. It would not be possible to sustain the richness of our life as a church without them.

Many continue in ministry leading active lives – celebrating Mass, serving as chaplains, counselling people in need, supporting parish life, and praying for us all.

Over the next 10 years just under half of all diocesan priests will reach retirement age (75 years). The cost of care will rise dramatically as a result. But with your help we will keep the promise and show our gratitude.  If you would like to support the Fund, you can donate on 20th/21st November at the church where envelopes are available. Alternatively you can donate online at https://rcadc.org/givewp/sick-and-retired-clergy-fund-appeal/



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.




The SVP Advent twig will be in church this weekend. Last year’s procedure applies again this year. If you wish to support the appeal, please consult the guide before choosing a colour-coded label, using a peg from the rack. Please return your gift – with the label attached – by Sunday December 12th to ensure that the recipients have them before Christmas.

Any problems, please ring Mike Hargaden, 01600 714244 or Helen Quinn, 01600 713728.


Weekly Mass times at St Mary’s:

Monday,  29th: 10:00 am

Tuesday, 30th: 11:00 am Funeral of Wilfred Blagden

Wednesday, 1st Dec: 10:00 am

Friday, 3rd Dec: NO MASS

Saturday (Vigil), 6:00 pm. No need to book

Sunday, 09:15 am. Booking essential

Applications for Mass on Sunday, 28th November now CLOSED.

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

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 Sunday
2. Places do not need to be booked for weekday Masses or Saturday evening mass
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.




Now that Covid restrictions have been lifted in England we welcome a larger congregation back into St Frances of Rome. There is no need to book for any of the Masses at 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 at St Frances of Rome: 

Tuesday 30th Nov: NO MASS (Funeral Mass in Monmouth at 11:00 am)

Thursday, 2nd Dec: 10:00 am

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

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