Welcome to St Austin's Catholic Parish, Stafford
We are now able to live stream masses from Saint Austin's
Masses being streamed this week are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 10.00 am Wednesday at 7.00 pm and Friday at 12.00 noon
Click on this link to view mass on Monday at 10.00 a.m
2020 Pilgrimage - Join us Online!
We invite you to a Virtual Pilgrimage starting with the opening Mass on Sunday 24 May at 3pm- from St Chad's Cathedral. The Mass is available to anybody, but especially for those who would have been making the pilgrimage this year.
You can take part in a daily programme of Masses, Liturgy and Prayer for the week that we would have spent in Lourdes so, like Bernadette, we will make a spiritual pilgrimage: “Every day I go in spirit to the Grotto. I make a pilgrimage there.”
The full programme with the links to livestreams is below.
Please continue to join us in prayer via the Diocesan webpage, as we pray for the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes at this difficult time.
We very much look forward to joining together in Lourdes on our 2021 pilgrimage.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for us, Saint Bernadette, Pray for us, St Chad, Pray for us.
To view The Archdiocese virtual pilgrimage to Lourdes click this linkhttps://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/lourdes-pilgrimage
Hope in the Risen Lord
Bishops proclaim that our hope is in the risen Lord as they recognise the pain of Catholics who cannot pray in Church or receive the Sacraments
Writing on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, the five Metropolitan Archbishops have addressed the COVID-19 pandemic and, specifically, the measures taken and restrictions imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus. Please click on the link to view the full text https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/news/hope-in-the-risen-lord
Several of you have asked how you can continue giving to your parish during the pandemic.
PLEASE DO NOT WORRY. We appreciate the many difficulties and hardships that people are going through, with many out of work.
If, however, you feel you can make a contribution at this time, a standing order is the easiest option for your regular giving. This can be done via online banking, or by completing and sending a paper Standing Order form to your Bank. In either case, please contact Phil Hood on 01785 211701 and he will help you.
Alternatively, you may like to give a one-off donation. You will need access to the internet for this. Go to the Diocesan Website at www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk and click on the red DONATE button on the top right hand corner. This will allow you to give by credit or debit card.
The Bishops Conference of England and Wales has issued guidelines to enable Catholic churches and organisations to find the relevant information in one place.
UPDATE Wednesday 18 March:A letter from the President and Vice-President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has been published. All public acts of worship have been suspended.
Please see the attached letter
https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/news/letter-on-public-acts-of-worship-in-catholic-churches-in-england-and-waleLive streaming of Masses at St Chad’s Cathedral will then continue as follows:
Monday to Friday – 12.15pm
Saturday and Sunday – 11am
Mgr Timothy Menezes, Dean of St Chad’s Cathedral, said: “I’m absolutely delighted we now have a live streaming facility at St Chad’s Cathedral.
“Now more than ever we want people to be able to access Mass and to feel a part of the Church even when they cannot physically attend.
“So many priests have enabled their people to continue to belong to the Eucharistic parish community through live streaming. Now people can share that same sense of belonging to our Diocesan family.
“Moving forward we will be able to live stream special occasion Masses too, for example ordination ceremonies and Masses of Thanksgiving.
“I’m sure we will also see more live streaming events with Archbishop Bernard and our Diocesan schools, such as last October’s Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary event.”
Live Streaming at St Chad's Cathedral
Online Mass We have gathered together some of the parishes in the Diocese which live stream their Masses, so you can still access a Mass even if not in person.
Please click on the links below, which will show you which parishes are live streaming and when their Mass times are:
Parishes with Live Streams
Make an Act of Spiritual Communion.
As we are now entering a time when we cannot attend Mass for a valid reason, and are therefore exempt from our Sunday obligation.
During this time we are encouraged to make a Spiritual Communion when we desire to be in union with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This can be done whilst you watch a live stream of Mass being offered.
There are 2 options of prayer you can say.
You can make an act of Spiritual Communion by saying the following prayer:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
I wish, my Lord, to receive You with the purity, humility and devotion
with which your Most Holy Mother received You,
with the spirit and fervour of the saints.
Come Lord Jesus.
Give me, good Lord, a longing to be with You,
give me warmth, delight and quickness in thinking upon You.
And give me Your grace to long for Your holy sacraments,
and specially to rejoice in the presence of Your very blessed Body,
Sweet Saviour Christ, in the Holy Sacrament of the altar. (From St Thomas More)
Or you may wish to print the free prayer card produced by the Knights of the Holy Eucharist:
When you cannot go to MassThe Liturgy Office of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has produced prayer materials that can be used during these uncertain times.
When Mass cannot be celebrated publicly
Isolated but not aloneResources for Catholics at home, from the Diocese and beyond.
Resources for Catholics
Funerals during the pandemicThe Art of Dying Well team speak to leading funeral director Paul Allcock about funerals and the coronavirus (COVID-19), and answer questions about Catholic funerals and cremations.
Catholic funerals and cremations
If you would like to speak to someone about safeguarding and the Church’s work, please call
0121 230 6240. If you would like to speak to someone independent of the Church you can contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.
Message from Archbishop Bernard Longley:
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has published its report on the Archdiocese of Birmingham.
We apologise to all victims and survivors of child sex abuse. We hope that with this Inquiry they feel that they have been listened to. Even so, words are not enough.
We are committed to continuing to improve our safeguarding procedures and to listen to and learn from victims and survivors. Past failings must never happen again. The diocesan response to the report can be found at
If you have a safeguarding matter to report please contact the Archdiocese safeguarding team on 0121 230 6240 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advice for Parishes Regarding Coronavirus. Please see the attached advice given by The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales in conjunction with the Government and The NHS.
7th Sunday Easter
This Sunday we hear again a fragment of Jesus’ table speech during the Last Supper according to Saint John’s Gospel: the so-called High Priestly Prayer of Jesus. Jesus is praying for his disciples where Ascension Day is celebrated this Sunday, Matthew 28,16-20 is read.
28:16 Meanwhile the eleven disciples set out for Galilee,
to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them.
28:17 When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated.
28:18 Jesus came up and spoke to them.
He said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
28:19 Go, therefore, make disciples of all peoples;
baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
28:20 and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.
And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.'
These are the very last words of Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew prefers to close his Gospel with Jesus’ own words. Jesus has the last word, literally.
The disciples set out for Galilee. That was what the angel in Jesus’ grave had said to the women, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee’ (28:7) Remarkable, in the other Gospels we hear that the disciples first didn’t believe what the women said. Here it seems that the disciples did believe them.
Some disciples hesitated when they saw Jesus. Interesting. Jesus is not the same as he was before his resurrection. We don’t recognise him by his posture, but by his words and deeds, by his spirit. And that spirit can take on very different shapes.
Jesus says, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’ That is a reference to the way he spoke about himself during his lifetime. He called himself ‘son of man’. That was a reminiscence of a prophecy of Daniel, ‘I saw coming on the clouds of heaven as it were a son of man. [-] To him was given authority and all the peoples of the earth [-] serve him.’ That vision has become true in Jesus.
And what does he mean by ‘authority’? To answer that question we have to look back at his life: that is the authority of forgiveness, mercy, compassion, healing, new life, love. He invites his disciples to share that welldoing authority with all peoples. As if Jesus says, ‘Let all the peoples of the world experience the benefaction of that authority. Baptise them in it; submerge them in love.’
Picture - Copyright of Peter Clare
The whole picture is dominated by Jesus, clothed in red, the colour of the spirit, the colour of the fire of love. The authority which has been given to him is not made visible by a crown upon his head, but by the white dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit of Love. He is the king of all times; that is indicated by the sun and the moon. Behind Jesus, the Father is represented by another enormous sun.
In that sun a curved line is visible. Is it a rainbow, sign of God’s covenant with the people on earth? (cfr. Genesis 9:13). At the same time that curved line is a continuation of the circle which embraces the people beneath Jesus. God’s circle of life mingles with the people’s circle of life.
The earth, visible behind Jesus’ legs, belongs to that circle, but the circle is wider than the earth. The yellow warmth of the sunbeams try to reach to the most remoted people. One sunray reaches to the person who is baptised just beneath Jesus’ foot.
The people on the right are all looking up to Jesus. They are much closer to him than the people on the left side. Moreover the people on the right seem to be depicted in a lighter colour than the people on the left. These people give the impression to be on the move in the direction of Jesus. They are guided by a man, pointing at Jesus. He is clothed in the same red colour as Jesus is.
The people on the right give the impression that they did arrive already; they have the time and the rest to enjoy the vision of Jesus. Among them I see Saint Peter, just under the little sun, recognisable by his round razed hair and beard.
I take the time to look at Jesus, heading in my direction, but looking over the horizon behind me. What is my feeling, my impression? And I ask myself, ‘Is Jesus for me the representation of love? Do I hope and pray that other people receive the same blessings as I received from him?’
I look at that little red person who is guiding people to Jesus by pointing at him. Could it be me? Am I a guide to Jesus for others?
I look at all the people, represented in this painting, people in circles around Jesus. Is that a representation of the reality: are people of the world today indeed circling around Jesus? Are they on their way to him?
I have a talk with one of the people on the move on the left side; with that little guide in red; with the one who baptises or the one who is baptised; with one of the people on the right; perhaps with Peter and finally with Jesus…