Welcome to St Austin's Catholic Parish, Stafford
WeThe 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
Liturgies during Holy Week will also be live streamed. The principal ceremonies will be celebrated in the Cathedral by Archbishop Bernard and all are welcome to participate through the live stream facility.
Palm Sunday (Sun 5 April) – 11am
Daily Mass (Mon 6 and Tues 7 April) – 12.15pm
Mass of Holy Chrism (Wed 8 April) – 11.30am
Mass of the Last Supper (Thurs 9 April) – 7.30pm
Solemn Liturgy, Good Friday (Fri 10 April) – 3pm
Easter Vigil Mass (Sat 11 April) – 8pm
Easter Sunday Mass (Sun 12 April) – 11am
Easter Monday Mass (Mon 13 April) - 10am
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. We are hoping to set up live streaming from Saint Austin's in the near future and will keep you informed.
Please click on the links below, which will show you which parishes are live streaming and when their Mass times are:
Masses in Warwickshire
Masses in the West Midlands, including Coventry
Masses in Oxfordshire MCN Media
Masses in Oxfordshire Church Services.tv
St Teresa of the Child Jesus, Trent Vale, S-o-T
St Newman Cluster - Four churches working together in the West Midlands
Our Lady of the Assumption and St John Vianney, Coventry
Sacred Heart and Holy Souls, Acocks Green, Birmingham
St Christopher, Codsall
Make an Act of Spiritual CommunionAs 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.
Listen to this Sunday's Gospel reading by visiting the website www.sundaygospel.co.uk.
Narrowing the Focus
Palm Sunday is one of the two days each year (the other being Good Friday) when congregations have the opportunity of participating in the reading of the entire ‘Passion of Jesus Christ’. This participation is meant to be a blessed occasion not a physical endurance test. Whether we stand or sit, these two participations are an opportunity to exercise the collective prayer of listening, but with the heart.
It is difficult to hold in one’s mind and heart a composite picture of the entire Passion event as related, for example, in Matthew’s Gospel this Sunday (26:14-27: 66). Narrowing the focus to concentrate on one or two particular aspects gives us time for a more detailed examination of Jesus’ disposition and, if he speaks, his words in each particular situation. We can invite the Holy Spirit to open up our understanding and appreciation and thereby deepen our relationship with our Lord in the suffering he willingly and lovingly undertook for our salvation.
Another idea might be to compare the differences we find between the Evangelists’ accounts of the same incident. For example, St. John, in his account of the Last Supper (13:21-31), tells us that Jesus had become troubled and then announced:
“One of you will betray me”
“as soon as Judas had taken the piece of bread he went out.”
St. John then adds one three-word very-telling sentence:
“Night had fallen”.
We might see St. John’s use of these three words to mark a seismic change in Jesus’ behaviour. Up to this point in his public ministry, Jesus has been the great initiator. He had been the One who forgave, healed, called, sent, announced, denounced. From this point on Jesus initiates nothing. The words, “Night had fallen”, seem to announce an all-enveloping darkness in which Evil appeared to triumph. Jesus surrendered himself to the events he knew must follow and through which he would fulfil his heavenly Father’s will. The short sentence, when reflected upon, opens up one’s appreciation of the profound obedience of the Man, Jesus, who is also the Son of God. This would lead, naturally, to an overview of how, in our own life, we implement those words from the ‘Our Father’ – “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth”.
Another example might involve the centurion who was present on Calvary the day that Jesus died (Mark 15:39 and Matt: 27:54):
“And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way Jesus breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39)
Can you imagine that centurion’s surprise to hear himself utter such words? He had picked up his duty rota that day and found he was in charge of the execution detail, probably not one of his preferred options. There were three to be executed that Friday afternoon! There would likely have been the usual delays plus, this day, the presence of some Pharisees who harangued one of those to be executed. The name Jesus may not have held particular significance for the centurion.
The Gospels do not detail the struggle of a scourged and thorn-crowned Jesus, now loaded with the cross beam of his own cross, to climb to the top of Calvary save that a passer-by, Simon, was forced to help Him carry the wooden beam (Luke 23:26). The surmise is that the Pharisees feared Jesus dying on the way whereas they needed his crucifixion for their own political ends.
Luke 23 gives us an insight as to what transpired when Jesus reached the summit. However, there is no indication of what might have brought the public and spontaneous proclamation of faith from the centurion.
Perhaps you may wish to select other passages from the Passion of Jesus Christ, one for each day of Holy Week. If you could spend a moment reading it several times during the day, you would give yourself time to enter, as it were, into the scene you are reading. You could imagine yourself personally present within whatever is happening as one of the crowd, or one of the soldiers, or as someone accompanying Mary, Jesus’ Mother or even as a pharisee. As you reflect, invite the Holy Spirit to break open for you the meaning of what you are contemplating. This is an age-old method of praying, without the saying of words, called Lectio Divina. If you have a mobile you could download the passage for each day so that you have it in hand, literally.
Should someone ask what you are reading, tell them. Witness to Jesus by offering to explain what Holy Week means to you.
Based on the gospel for Sunday 5 January - Matthew 2:1-12
“Where is the infant king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.”