Welcome

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.

Sunday 17th January 2021

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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CELEBRATING MASS FOR OUR PARISHES

Mass is live streamed every Sunday at 11:00. To view the Mass, click here.

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

A message from Father Nick 44

St Agnes and the Pallium

            Thursday 21st January is the feast of St Agnes, one of our most beloved martyr saints. We believe that she was only twelve or thirteen when she died at the beginning of the fourth century, but Agnes casts a special light on both the hierarchy of the Roman Church and the faith of its early members. It is likely that she was killed by a sword-thrust to her throat, a common enough method of execution at that time. Her burial place is on the Via Nomentana, in the north east of Rome, where it is possible to visit her church and gain access to a set of ancient catacombs.

The fact that she was martyred is moving in itself, and it is all we can safely say about her (though a number of early Fathers of the Church added their own pious imaginings). We do know, however, that Agnes was killed in the last and most severe Roman persecution, launched by Emperor Diocletian in 303 AD. Within a few years, Constantine would take away the threat of martyrdom for Christians. Under him, they would be able to honour their martyr forebears from a position of social advantage.

Meanwhile, Agnes’ name continued to be linked with innocence and purity. And its closeness to the Latin word for lamb (“Agnus”) seems to have suggested an association with the “Pallium” worn by metropolitan archbishops throughout the world. As the Catholic Encyclopedia explains:

“The pallium is a narrow circular band made of white wool with two pendants about twelve inches long which hang down in front and back. It is ornamented with six small black crosses, one on each pendant and four on the quadrants of the circular portion. The pallium is worn around the neck and shoulders and over the chasuble by the pope and archbishops. Each metropolitan, within three months after his consecration or ordination, must petition the pope for the pallium. He wears it in solemn Pontifical Mass, on certain days, and only within his province, and it is buried with him. Its use by archbishops dates back to the eighth century.”

 (continued in the next column)

PARISHES UPDATE: 15th Jan 2021

It is confirmed that Places of worship can remain open under Level 4 restrictions  (Wales) and England Lockdown and a person is able to leave home if they have a “reasonable excuse”. Attending a place of worship is on the list and is regarded as a “reasonable excuse”.

Please keep checking the website for updated information.

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ST MARY’S, MONMOUTH

MASS WILL CONTINUE TO BE CELEBRATED every Saturday (Vigil) Mass at 6:00 pm; Sunday Mass at 09:15 am. There will be no public mid-week Masses until further notice.

No need to book for the weekend Masses. Just sign in at the door and follow the steward’s guidance as usual.

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ST FRANCES OF ROME, ROSS-ON-WYE

MASS WILL CONTINUE TO BE CELEBRATED every Sunday at 11:00 am (live-streamed).  Booking is essential if you wish to attend Mass in the Church.

Click HERE to apply for a place on Sunday, 17th January.

There will be no public mid-week Masses until further notice.

A Message from Father Nick 44 (contd)

But what does that have to do with Agnes who died centuries earlier? Inspired by her name and her innocence, the practice began of bringing two lambs to her basilica each 21st January. From here they would be taken to the pope to be blessed. These lambs would then provide wool for the next set of pallia, to be woven by the nuns of St Agnes’ convent. On 24th June the newly woven pallia would be placed on St Peter’s tomb and would remain there until the feast of Sts Peter and Paul on 29th June. To this day that is when they are given to new metropolitan archbishops.

Each pallium reminds us of the Church’s high pastoral office. It is a powerful symbol, but we must remember too that behind all such public symbols lie many unknown stories of humble faith – including that of a young girl who gave her life because, in defiance of all this world’s encouragements and threats, she refused to renounce her Lord.

FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE

ADVANCE NOTICE FOR ALL PARISHIONERS: BLESSING OF BIBLES

24th January (Sunday of the Word) is the special day inaugurated by Pope Francis to promote greater love of the Bible in our faith and daily lives. “Devoting a specific Sunday of the liturgical year to the word of God can enable the Church to experience anew how the risen Lord opens up for us the treasury of his word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world.”  Pope Francis – ‘Aperuit Allis’.

Blessing of Bibles  

Please have your bible with you at Mass on 24th.  Father Nick will bless them during the 9:15 Mass in Monmouth and the 11:00 am Mass (live-streamed) in Ross-on-Wye.

REQUIESCANT IN PACE

Please pray for the repose of all who have died at this time, especially for

Margaret Kelly, R.I.P., (Monmouth), who died 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.

For Catholic Universe Readers

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