Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Second public Mass at Richmond (Homily: Ordination joy)

It was great to celebrate a public Mass (with 10 people) this morning for the first time in nearly four months! Mass was celebrated for the intentions of Albert Lawes, who is to be ordained a (transitional) deacon this coming the weekend for Plymouth Diocese. Please keep him and all those approaching ordination this summer (both diaconate and priesthood) in your prayers.

Homily: Ordination joy
Rev Andrew Coy lies prostrate for the Litany of Saints at his ordination on Sunday (Photo: Diocese of Northampton)
On Sunday afternoon, I had the great honour of being one of the few who could go to a friend’s diaconate ordination at Northampton Cathedral. We may all feel a bit “dejected” like the crowds in today’s Gospel because of what we’ve been living through. So, Rev Andrew Coy’s ordination brought a deep sense of joy that, even amid these challenging times, the Lord is still sending out young men to serve Him and his people.

It was very moving to see Andrew make his promises publicly before the Church - and with the Cathedral door wide open and the ordination being live-streamed – to the world: promises to be celibate for the sake of the Kingdom, to serve the people of Christ, to proclaim the Catholic faith in word and action, to pray the Liturgy of the Hours for the Church and the world, and to conform his life to Christ’s. To make these promises demonstrates a deep trust in the Lord, the important instruction today’s Psalm puts across.

In the Gospel we hear Our Lord’s words that are always associated with vocations: “The harvest is rich, but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.” And so today we follow the Lord’s instruction and we continue to pray for vocations to the priesthood, especially for our own Diocese.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Mass Intentions Canon michael

It was wonderful to celebrate my first public Mass since lockdown. There were 23 people there. Marvellous!

On Monday, Tuesday , Thursday & Friday i am offering Mass for the Holy Souls.
On Wednesday it is my monthly Mass for the Yorkshire Brethren and on Saturday it is my sister Carmel's birthday so I am offering Mass for her intentions. Many of you know Carmel from Lourdes.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Urgent Message from Bishop Terry

This evening, Bishop Terry has written to draw our attention to the biggest threat to the lives of unborn children since the 1967 Abortion Act. On Monday, two amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill will seek to liberalise the law to make abortion on demand (i.e. for any reason) legal up to 28 weeks in England and Wales. The measure would remove almost all current legal safeguards on abortion.

Bishop Terry asks that people "witness their faith in action on this most important issue" by writing to our MPs asking them to oppose the move. Please go to the Right to Life website (https://righttolife.org.uk/StopExtremeAbortion/), from where you can send a message to your MP in 30 seconds.

Friday, July 3, 2020

St Thomas the Apostle

Thomas is something of a favourite with me. I know he is called doubting Thomas but he has one of the best sayings in the whole of the Gospel. Thomas has the great prayer of adoration when he really sees and believes in the Risen Christ "My Lord and My God", I know many of us say that prayer when we hear the bell ring at the consecration of the Mass and Jesus comes to our altar under the appearance of bread and wine.

Of all the apostles no one travelled further than Thomas in spreading the Good news. He gat as far as Chennai (Madras). When our St Francis Xavier got to India 1,500 years later he met the descendants of Thomas' converts. Thomas for me is a great man of Faith. Do not worry about having doubts, if you place them in the hands of Jesus , you can have the greatest Faith.

Fr Bill East
died July 1st. he had been the parish priest of Pickering until his retirement. Let us pray for him and thank God for his priestly ministry.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Fr Richard's recent Mass intentions

13th June: Priest's Intention
14th June: Priest's Intention: Young People of the Parishes
15th June: Priest's Intention
16th June: Priest's Intention
17th June: Peter Toother
18th June: Fr David Evans
19th June: Priest's Intention
20th June: Priest's Intention
21st June: Priest's Intention
22nd June: Spread of the Catholic Faith in the Middlesbrough Diocese
23rd June: Ints. Fr Benjamin Hilton
24th June: Protection of Unborn Children
25th June: Joyce Burke
26th June: Priest's Intention - Thanksgiving for Holy Orders
27th June: Priest's Intention
28th June: Young People in the Parishes
29th June: Vincent Ashley
30th June: Thanksgiving and Ints. of Paul and Jean Marsden
1st July: Yorkshire Brethren
2nd July: Fr Bill East R.I.P
3rd July: Kathleen Murphy

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Reopening for Mass

The Sunday obligation to attend Mass remains suspended. Strict guidelines have been imposed by the Government and the Bishops of England and Wales to make sure everyone is safe. Only those churches that have had risk assessments approved by the Diocese are able to start public Mass. Therefore, for the time being, this means that St Mary’s, Wycliffe, and Ss Simon and Jude, Ulshaw Bridge, aren’t able to open as yet.

I am unable to open Richmond and Leyburn for Mass this coming Sunday. The reasons for this are that I do not have sufficient volunteers under the age of 70. Volunteers are required to sanitise the benches, steward the congregation, and help keep the two-metres social distancing (where possible). I very much hope we can open the Church for Mass in Richmond and Leyburn next Sunday (July 12th).

You are required to inform us if you would like to come to each Mass either by telephone or by email giving your name, address, contact number, and which Mass you will be attending - in order to comply with the Government’s “test, track, and trace” system.

Daily Mass will recommence in Richmond on Monday morning at 9.30am. There will also be a 12 Noon Mass in Leyburn on Friday, 10th July.

We are always available for Confessions upon request. Please give us a ring to arrange a time.

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! We need your help!

God bless

Canon Michael & Fr Richard

Monday, June 29, 2020

Mass intentions Canon Michael

Sunday 28th People of the Parish, Monday 29th Leyburn parish in honour of Sts. Peter & Paul,
Tuesday 30th Agnes Teresa Farrar, Wednesday 1st July Mary McNelis, Thursday 2nd July Lawrence Peiris, Friday 3rd July Eileen Loughlin, Saturday July 4th Canon Garvan O'Hara.

Recently deceased: Mary McNelis, Lawrence Peiris
Anniversaries: Eileen Loughlin, Canon Garvan O'Hara, Fr. Patrick O'Hara

Harold Murphy R.I.P.
Last week we laid to rest Mr Harold Murphy. He had been for many years under the care of the Brothers of St John Of God both at Potters Bar and in Scorton. Sadly his elderly sister over in Limerick was unable to attend the funeral, however, it was lovely to see so many carers and residents of the Care home in attendance in the cemetery. It seemed so very fitting that Harold who had been looked after by the brothers should have been buried in their special cemetery. He was buried next to Brother Felix whom I remembered from his time in Hemlington. I also saw Brother Casimir's grave and Fr.Wilfrid's and Fr John Joe Ryan's grave all of whom I met over my time in the diocese.
So at first I thought Harold's funeral would be a sad occasion with just myself and the funeral director being present in fact Harold was surrounded by friends in this world and the next.
May he rest in peace

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Solemnity of Ss Peter and Paul: Right religion

Fr Richard's words for the Solemnity of Ss Peter and Paul

"Right religion"

A very happy Solemnity - particularly to the parishioners of Ss Peter and Paul, Leyburn, on this our patronal Feast!

Our attention today naturally turns to the Eternal City. A pilgrimage to Rome – which it will soon be possible to make again I understand (!) – is for the purpose of visiting the tombs of the apostles, especially those we celebrate today. Both of them won the crown of martyrdom in Rome. They are the rock upon which the Church of Jesus Christ is built.

The collect for today’s Mass makes a very clear statement: that the Church received the beginnings of “right religion” through the teaching of Peter and Paul. This is a day indeed to rejoice in the gift of our Catholic Faith because we know and testify that we follow the one true Faith handed on by the apostles. This isn’t to be triumphalist. Nor is it at all to disrespect those who follow other professions of faith. On the contrary, we have a profound respect for them and we acknowledge “all goodness and truth found in these religions as ‘a preparation for the Gospel’.” [Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 16] But we hold firmly that the ‘one true religion’ “subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church” [Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2105]. The Church, founded by Jesus Christ Himself, is the way by which we can enter life eternal. It’s the Church, founded by Jesus Christ Himself, which shows us how to give the adoration that man owes to God.

Saints Peter and Paul lay the foundation stones for practising this “right religion” by the ‘offices’ they hold, and also by their saintly examples.

In the Gospel, Jesus gives Saint Peter the authority to teach in His name in union with the other apostles. This authority is handed on through the centuries to the popes in union with the bishops, right through to the present day. The ‘Magisterium’ safeguards the Church because it’s the guarantee that the Bride of Christ remains true to her Bridegroom. By this authority, the Church is able to hold fast to the teachings of Christ through the choppy waters of human existence. The authority to “bind and loose” is given to Peter who stands for the whole universal Church. It refers to the office of the priesthood by which the Sacraments are celebrated and, by them, the grace of God that flows to the members of Christ’s Body.

Saint Paul shares in this ministerial priesthood of Jesus Christ. He brings baptism, the Eucharist, and repentance to the Gentiles. He is the “outstanding preacher” as today’s Preface describes him. He is also the greatest evangeliser the Church has ever known, zealously bringing the message of salvation to many peoples. He left fourteen epistles, which the Butler’s Lives of Saints describes as the “fountainhead of the Church’s doctrine, the consolation and delight of her greatest saints.”

In his holiness, St Peter shows us how to be bold in professing Jesus as the Christ, no matter how hostile those listening may be. As demonstrated in today’s First Reading, he shows how by trusting in divine power, Christ can free us from oppression. He reminds us how even the greatest of disciples are weak and fragile, but become saints because they cling to Our Lord’s feet and depend constantly on His mercy.

St Paul’s life testifies that even the greatest persecutors of the true Faith can undergo conversion. As in today’s Second Reading, he encourages us to persevere and hold fast to the Faith we have been gifted. St Paul schools us in virtuous living and exhorts us to “to run the race to the finish”, to follow the path that leads us to eternal life.

By their glorious martyrdoms in the Eternal City, Ss Peter and Paul provide an enduring witness of faith to Christians throughout all time.

And so today we rejoice. We give thanks to Almighty God for the gift of these two Apostles who give us the one foundation stone upon which to worship God and to build our relationship with Him, in communion with our brothers and sisters.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour: 'It's not about her'

Fr Richard's words for the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
Readings: See below

'It's not about her'

The central focus of the beautiful image we venerate today is not, in fact, Our Lady, but Our Blessed Lord whom she cradles in her arms. This is the wonderful reality about devotion to Our Blessed Mother – “it’s not about her”. She is only interested in pointing the way to her Son. Indeed, Mary Our Mother looks after us, protects us, “helps” us when we are in need each and every day of our lives. All of this motherly tenderness is, however, encapsulated by the overall, all-encompassing thing that Our Blessed Lady perpetually “helps” us with – to come closer to Christ.

Even the readings the Church chooses for this Feast of our Diocesan Patroness are truly centred on the Christ-child. We hear Isaiah’s prophesy of Jesus’s birth. Then in the Gospel, the joy of Mary, Elizabeth and the unborn John is all because of the child in the womb of Mary who is to bring salvation to the whole world.

The icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, which dates back to the 13th/14th century, looks ahead to the Passion of Christ. As our Diocesan Ordo explains: “It seems as if the Christ child is caught in the very moment of shock and horror at the sight of the instruments of his passion carried by the angels, and his sandal all but falls off his foot in his fear.” The sacred image, therefore, draws to our attention the inseparability between Jesus’ infancy and His coming suffering for our sake.

This great Feast plunges us deep into the mystery of the Person of Jesus Christ. By mystery we do not mean “perplexity”. On the contrary, we mean the inexhaustible depths of who Christ is and what He does for us. Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, help all in our Diocese to come closer to your Son, the Son of God, who is our Saviour.


First reading
Acts 12:1-11
'Now I know the Lord really did save me from Herod'

King Herod started persecuting certain members of the Church. He beheaded James the brother of John, and when he saw that this pleased the Jews he decided to arrest Peter as well. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread, and he put Peter in prison, assigning four squads of four soldiers each to guard him in turns. Herod meant to try Peter in public after the end of Passover week. All the time Peter was under guard the Church prayed to God for him unremittingly.
    On the night before Herod was to try him, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with double chains, while guards kept watch at the main entrance to the prison. Then suddenly the angel of the Lord stood there, and the cell was filled with light. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. ‘Get up!’ he said ‘Hurry!’ – and the chains fell from his hands. The angel then said, ‘Put on your belt and sandals.’ After he had done this, the angel next said, ‘Wrap your cloak round you and follow me.’ Peter followed him, but had no idea that what the angel did was all happening in reality; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed through two guard posts one after the other, and reached the iron gate leading to the city. This opened of its own accord; they went through it and had walked the whole length of one street when suddenly the angel left him. It was only then that Peter came to himself. ‘Now I know it is all true’ he said. ‘The Lord really did send his angel and has saved me from Herod and from all that the Jewish people were so certain would happen to me.’


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 33(34):2-9

From all my terrors the Lord set me free.
The angel of the Lord rescues those who revere him.

I will bless the Lord at all times,
    his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
    The humble shall hear and be glad.

From all my terrors the Lord set me free.
The angel of the Lord rescues those who revere him.

Glorify the Lord with me.
    Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
    from all my terrors he set me free.

From all my terrors the Lord set me free.
The angel of the Lord rescues those who revere him.

Look towards him and be radiant;
    let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called, the Lord heard him
    and rescued him from all his distress.

From all my terrors the Lord set me free.
The angel of the Lord rescues those who revere him.

The angel of the Lord is encamped
    around those who revere him, to rescue them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    He is happy who seeks refuge in him.

From all my terrors the Lord set me free.
The angel of the Lord rescues those who revere him.


Second reading
2 Timothy 4:6-8,17-18
All there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me

My life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his Appearing.
    The Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from all evil attempts on me, and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia!
You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.
And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it.


Matthew 16:13-19
You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’

Friday, June 26, 2020

Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart: Burning Love

Fr Richard's words today for a Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart

June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It’s a wonderful devotion, which has its origins in the 11th century and was furthered by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, who had apparitions of Our Lord and permitted her to rest her head onto His Heart.

Jesus’ Heart of flesh is the great symbol in the Church of His burning love for the whole of humanity. From his Heart flows an abundance of gentleness and compassion, demonstrated wonderfully in today’s Gospel. The leper humbles and abandons himself before Jesus, knowing that the Lord can heal him. The man doesn’t demand Christ’s healing touch but is respectful of God’s will: “If you want to, you can cure me.” Jesus’ response, emanating from His Sacred Heart, is instant: “Of course I want to, be cured!”

When we place ourselves humbly before the Lord, trusting in Him, Jesus pours out charity upon us from His burning Heart, healing us too of our wounds.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

Thursday, June 25, 2020


St Peter & St Paul will be open for private prayer tomorrow between noon and one o'clock.
We have been given permission to do so following a risk assessment.
I am sure we all hope it will not be long before we can celebrate Mass but it is a first step to be able to pray in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
Let us pray for one another.
Canon Michael

Thursday, 12th Week of Ordinary Time: The Divine Mouth

Fr Richard's words for Thursday, Week 12, of Ordinary Time

Homily: The Divine Mouth

When someone speaks with authority – we sit up and listen. Sometimes those who do actually have superiority over us appear weak when they speak! And, conversely, some who have no authority whatsoever can speak as if they had plenty!

Neither of these two observations, of course, apply to Jesus Christ. Rather, St Matthew says at the end of today’s Gospel: “…His teaching made a deep impression on the people because he taught them with authority, and not like their own scribes.”

Indeed, every syllable that came forth from Christ’s Divine mouth was spoken with complete authority from someone who has eternal authority. Every word that comes from the mouth of God is essential for our living the Christian life and our journey towards eternal salvation.

Like the people in the Gospel, so our ears and hearts must be attentive to Christ’s every teaching. For following His ways will bring us to life everlasting.