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.

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday 12th July 2020



NOTE: Mass will be said every Sunday at 10:00 am.

Click here to watch the live streaming of mass.


A message from Father Nick 17

Building a continent

On 11th July we keep an annual commemoration of St Benedict, whose influence has been both lasting and profound. In 1964 Pope Paul VI declared him to be patron saint of Europe and, although since then five other saints have also been included in this distinction, he remains for us a kind of prototype of dedicated Christian life.

Benedict’s importance is shown in the title sometimes given to him: “Midwife of the West” (we will have more to say about the East again). Born around 480 AD, he came to study in Rome just before the year 500. The seat of empire had long since moved to Constantinople, and Rome was by now a “paradoxical mixture of vitality and decay”. The spiritual and moral aspects of that decay affected Benedict deeply.

Resolved to lead a life of prayer, he left the city accompanied at first by his loyal nurse and went to a place called Enfilde, forty miles away. From there he moved to Subiaco, a rather gloomy valley where the emperor Nero had once had a villa. Benedict was not the first “monk” (the word means single or solitary). Egypt was the motherland of monasticism, and Anthony of Egypt was regarded as its “father”. But Benedict had a special gift for leadership, and men came to him asking to be led.

In Subiaco, and after that famously in Monte Cassino, he formed a community based on prayer and work and study.  He produced a “rule” acclaimed for its moderation and still followed today by Benedictine men and women. And with his way of life he gave old Rome a new serenity and vision.

The effect of that vision is incalculable. Even fierce “Barbarians” were deeply impressed by Benedictine houses of prayer. And each such house became a place of learning too, handing on to future generations the treasures of the past. Towns grew up around monasteries, and roads were built to connect towns – in a way the landscape of Benedictine life became the infrastructure of an emerging mediaeval world.

And the great rhythms of prayer have never ceased, reminding us of God’s purpose for peace. During the Second World War, at the height of the battle of Monte Cassino, a handful of monks remained to sing the office. Nothing could be heard above the shell- and gunfire, but one monk ran his finger along each psalm line and his colleagues prayed the words with him in their heart. “Midwife of the West” – it seems a title well deserved.

Covid-19:  Premises Re-opening. An update (issued on 9th July 2020)

The repair and redecoration works are in progress in both Ross and Monmouth and once the works are finished and the necessary Certificate obtained from the Archdiocese, we hope to open each church for individual prayer on one day a week (Monmouth: Wednesday; Ross: Thursday). At present, we hope this will be around the end of July in Ross and towards the end of August in Monmouth.

However, to meet the necessary safety recommendations, it will be necessary for us to have two stewards in attendance on each occasion, so we are asking for volunteers to steward. Therefore, if you can help with this please do let Fr Nick know as soon as possible (contact details below), so that a rota can be prepared for each church.

The main duties of the stewards will be:

  • as a point of contact for visitors, controlling access and explaining accessible areas.
  • reinforcing social distancing and hand washing (hand sanitiser will be provided).
  • checking that notices, signs and barriers remain in place.
  • replenishing hand washing materials.
  • carrying out the cleaning of surfaces that are touched frequently (materials, gloves, etc., will be provided.
  • implementing emergency procedures in event of accident or other incident.

Full guidance will be given to volunteers in advance.

With the necessary social distancing, the number of people that can be accommodated at any one time will be limited, with people sitting apart, access controlled and with one-way systems implemented, so it would also be helpful to have an idea of how many parishioners would like to take advantage of the opportunity of visiting for individual prayer, to establish if times need to be allocated. Therefore if you could let Fr Nick know in the next couple of weeks, it would be appreciated.

We are also asking for volunteers for the regular cleaning of the churches, so if you can help with this please do let Fr Nick know, so that rotas can be prepared.

Volunteers should not carry out parish tasks if they:

  • Have symptoms or are sharing a home with someone who has coronavirus symptoms.
  • Are shielding.
  • Are vulnerable to infection because of age or underlying health conditions.
  • Are uncomfortable about catching or spreading the virus.

In the longer term, we do not know when we will be able to open the Churches for Mass, but we will keep you informed as the situation changes.

Fr Nicholas James: The Presbytery, 26 St Mary’s Street, Monmouth. NP25 3DB

e-mail:  monmouth@rcadc.org

Tel No: 01600 712029


Unfortunately, we cannot now provide any services for our children face-to-face. But all is not lost! CAFOD has made available valuable resources and activity sheets for children’s liturgy for every Sunday of the year.

Click here for further information.


Hymns for this Sunday to sing at home

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, 12th July: 

at 9:55 am: “Praise we our God with joy”

After Mass, after the violin solo: “Forth in the peace of Christ”

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


Please pray for those parishioners who are ill and especially for David Sweeting (Monmouth) for a speedy recovery from his operation.


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.

Especially for:

Doreen Dempsey and Mark Warman, R.I.P., relatives of parishioners (Monmouth), who died during the week.



As lockdown continues, the Parish income is understandably far lower than in past years. It would be very helpful, and greatly appreciated, if you would use one of the following methods to continue to contribute to the Parish:

1. Set up a regular standing order to the Parish Bank Account – a Standing Order Mandate is available here.

2. Make a regular BACS payment to the Parish Bank Account (account details here).

3. Post or deliver your offering to the Presbytery, clearly marked “offering”.

There are of course new weekly offering envelopes for use from this Month, but in the current circumstances it is not possible to distribute them to Parishioners.

Geoff Quinn, Treasurer

Gail Wright, Gift Aid Co-ordinator


A number of parishioners have asked what they should do with their weekly contributions during the isolation period. To try to answer their query the following suggestions may help:

1. Keep your contributions and hand them in as one amount

2. Raise a cheque to St Frances of Rome R C church

3. Set up a standing order or make a direct payment

For full details, click here.


To find out what help is available in Monmouth, click here.

To find out what help is available in Ross-on-Wye, click here.




Click here for further information.

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