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.

Second Sunday of Advent

Sunday 6th December 2020

CELEBRATING MASS FOR OUR PARISHES

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

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 38

Kazan Cathedral (©LovePik)

A glimpse of heaven on earth

All Christian peoples have their story of conversion, and the coming of faith to Russia tells us much about Eastern Orthodoxy. In 987, before the final schism between East and West, Vladimir Prince of Kiev sent out a number of ambassadors on an important mission. Vladimir had extended the borders of Russia and brought security to his people. Now he needed a form of religion that would truly unite them.

One embassy went to the Muslims of Bulgaria, but their way of faith was found to be unpromising. It seemed rather too grim, and a ban on alcohol and pork was never going to go down well with Russians.

The neighbouring people of Khazariah had chosen to become Jewish, but Judaism too was judged inappropriate by Vladimir, as the God of the Jews had not even protected his own temple.

As for Roman Catholicism – it had already been rejected by Vladimir’s ancestors.

Another embassy was sent to Byzantium, and this group came back with a glowing report. The ambassadors had been taken to solemn worship in the church of Hagia Sophia and found themselves overwhelmed by the experience. Describing it, they said,

“…We were led into a place where they serve their God, and we did not know where we were, on heaven or earth, and we do not know how to tell about this. All we know is that God lives there with people, and their service is better than any other country. We cannot forget that beauty, since each person, if he eats something sweet, will not take something bitter afterwards. So we cannot remain any more in [paganism].”

Their sense that liturgy brings a glimpse of heaven on earth has become a distinguishing feature of Orthodoxy and has come to be closely identified with the spirituality of “Holy Russia”.

Of course, the age of Byzantium eventually passed. In 1453, Constantinople (“New Rome”) fell to the Turks, and the active leadership of Orthodoxy moved to Moscow. Now Russia took on its own significant role.  In 1523/1524, a monk called Philotheus wrote to the Grand Duke of Moscow, urging him to be strong against heresies. Reminding him of his responsibilities, Philotheus said,

“All the Christian kingdoms have come to an end and have converged in the single kingdom of our sovereign. Two Romes fell, a third stands, and there will not be a fourth one.”

(continued in the next column)

MASSES AT CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS EVE, Thursday, 24th December

5:00 pm:  Monmouth: Mass for children and families. Carols in the garden from 4:30 pm

7:30 pm: Ross-on-Wye: Christmas Vigil Mass

10:00 pm: Monmouth: Christmas Vigil Mass

CHRISTMAS DAY, Friday 25th December

9:15 am: Monmouth: Mass for Christmas Day

11:00 am: Ross-on-Wye: Mass for Christmas Day (live-streamed)

ST STEPHEN’S DAY, Saturday 26th December

10:00 am: Monmouth: Mass

There will be no 6:00 pm Mass today.

FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH, Sunday 27th December

9:15 am: Monmouth: Mass

11:00 am: Ross-on-Wye: Mass (live-streamed)

Alas, because of the continued restrictions on numbers, we cannot have the usual large congregations at our Christmas Masses. Please see all of the Masses below as an opportunity to celebrate the feast of the Solemnity of Christmas and please note that we have to allow everybody an opportunity to attend over the few days, so please only book for one Mass. Applications will be open this weekend here. Watch this space!

A Message from Father Nick 38 (contd)

Rome – Constantinople – Moscow… Whatever we make of his reading of history, his sense of inheritance is powerful, and so is his summons to responsibility. We too have received our faith from others and we are reminded that we too must share our faith with others in return.

Five most important Russian Saints (© Legion Media)

FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE

COLLECTION OF CHRISTMAS PRAYERS 

The Archdiocese has sent us a collection of Christmas Prayers prepared by CAFOD. Click HERE to read these lovely seasonal prayers.

PARISHES UPDATE: 3rd Dec 2020

TUESDAY 8TH DECEMBER: FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. MASS AT 10:00 AM IN ROSS-ON-WYE.

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WEEKLY READINGS AND MUSIC FOR ADVENT…

… prepared by parishioners of St Frances of Rome are available on YouTube. Click HERE for link. More details to follow.

ST MARY’S, MONMOUTH

Click HERE to apply for Mass on the weekend of 5th/6th December.  Applications close at 11:30 pm on Thursday, 3rd December. It is essential to book for the weekend Masses.

Mass is celebrated on Wednesday and Friday at 10:00 am in St Mary’s, Monmouth. There is no need to book for these Masses. Just come and sign in!

SVP ADVENT TWIG: Those who wish to support the SVP Advent Twig Appeal can do so in a modified, safe manner in line with Government instruction. Direct handling of the labels will be avoided but you can still choose one and provide a gift. Financial donations can be placed in an envelpoe and handed to Fr. Nick. Please make cheques payable to – SVP St Mary’s Monmouth.”

ST FRANCES OF ROME, ROSS-ON-WYE

The church has now reopened. No need to apply for weekday Masses. Just come and sign in!

Click here to apply for Mass at 11:15 am on Sunday, 6th December.

LIGHT UP A LIFE: The annual ‘Light up a Life’ event organised by St Michael’s Hospice Hereford, is online this year, further details may be found here.

ORDINATION OF ROYSTON PRICE

Please pray for Royston Price (Monmouth) who will be ordained priest for the Redemptorist congregation on Friday, 4th December, in London. We wish him every blessing in the future.

REQUIESCANT IN PACE

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

Tapiwa Lawrence Katsande (Monmouth) whose Requiem Mass will be held on Friday 18th December.

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.

Rotary Monmouth Virtual Balloon Race

Click here for Latest Update on amount raised … and we have a winner!

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