Letters from Fr John

18 July

Dear Parishioners of St Jerome’s and St Anne’s 

Next weekend, the celebration of public Masses will begin again in Formby. It has been over four months since the last public Masses were celebrated, and I think we can say that much has changed since then. But above all, this will be a day when we can thank God that we are finally able to gather about His altar to celebrate the Eucharist together again.

I want to begin by saying a sincere ‘thank you’ to those parishioners who volunteered for stewarding duties. Only a few days ago, I was reminded by the Archdiocese about the Government directive relating to the shielding of those over the age of 70. Consequently, I was unable to accept the generous offer of some of our volunteers. It would have been easy for me to turn a blind eye and allow all our volunteers to help in order to increase numbers. But we are all aware of how contagious this virus is, and we are also aware of the disastrous consequences should anyone fall ill whilst helping in our church.

I shall be meeting with the remaining volunteers this week for a training session to prepare for our Masses. Only after that meeting, once I have confirmed who is able to commit to days and times, can I make a final decision about the times of our Masses next weekend. I shall be writing to you mid- week to give you the final times of Masses. 

Tomorrow, Archbishop Malcolm will visit St Jerome’s to ordain John Mc Carthy to the Diaconate. This marks the end of a five year journey for John, and I am delighted that he has finally reached his goal. I am sure that I speak on behalf of all of us when I offer sincere congratulations to John, Clare, Edward and Ciaran. Although the celebration will take place privately, I am delighted to say that our new live streaming equipment has just been installed at St Jerome’s. This means that everyone can follow the Mass, which begins at 3.00pm tomorrow, through the live streaming link. The link has been put in a message to you all on the parish website. If you are not sure, just send an email to the parish address and you will be directed to the right place.

In due course, once we arrive at safer days, there will be a parish celebration for John. But until then, please remember him and his family in your prayers. 

God bless you all,

Father John