Welcome to the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church Oxford
Sacred Heart Church in Blackbird Leys, Oxford is part of the Archdiocese of Birmingham. We hope that you will find our website useful and enjoy searching through the various aspects of life in the parish. Here you will be able to check our weekly newsletter, news and forthcoming parish events, read about how to go about with Sacramental preparation and find out Mass times and other services. The memorabilia is a pictorial capture of parish events which we hope will tell the story of what is going on in the parish. You will find useful links to other websites of institutions closely linked to the parish.
Whatever your reason for visiting us we pray that God will bless your search and grant you many blessings
News and Events
From the Archbishop: Friends of the Holy Land – Pentecost Challenge.
As a Patron of Friends of the Holy Land (FHL), I am kept informed of the wonderful work they are undertaking with a very small team of paid staff and many volunteers both over here and in the Holy Land. Coronavirus is changing the lives of all of us but for so many Christians, especially in the West Bank but also Gaza, Israel and Jordan, it is devastating. So many are dependent for their income on pilgrimages and tourism which disappeared overnight in early March. For many they have no government support nor even a health service which can handle this crisis. So, FHL launched an appeal in March for those impacted in Bethlehem and widened it on 3 April as a Pentecost Challenge to cover the whole of the region. They secured match funding for the first £100,000 and, with a few days to go to Pentecost, are close to reaching the target but are seeking help from us to get over the line. The web site http://www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk/pentecost-challenge will direct parishioners to the FHL website where more information is available. You may also wish to view the news story on our diocesan website http://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/news/fhl-launch-pentecost-challenge.
Thank you for your support to help those worse off than ourselves, as FHL strive to maintain a Christian presence in the Holy Land and please keep the FHL staff and volunteers plus those in the Holy Land in your prayers.
With my prayers and kindest wishes. Yours devotedly in Christ,
+ Bernard Longley Archbishop of Birmingham
Online Parish Tea Party
The online tea party using Zoom is conducted from time to time. Please let Chris Breward (email@example.com) know if you like to join in and Chris will send you a link that can be used from your computer or smart phone.
Mass Suspension Information
COVID 19: If you or someone you know in the parish is self-isolating and is in need of any support, such as help with shopping or a chat on the phone, please get in touch with the Parish Office: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 01865 776903 or 01865 762964. Corpus Christi Parish in Headington will continue to be live streaming weekday and Sunday Mass, and more details can be found at https://corpuschristiheadington.co.uk
Pleased also visit https://greyfriarsoxford.weebly.com
Masses will be celebrated each day privately by the parish clergy for your intentions. Mass intention should be sent to email@example.com
Normal weekend collections cannot be taken under current circumstances. While recognising that this is a very difficult time financially for many people, others may still wish to continue their regular Sunday donations, if they are not already using the envelopes or standing order facilities. Donations may be sent to the Parish even through standing order. We do not receive any financial support from the Diocese, and other important activities like letting out the hall for community use have ceased, while our expenditure remains effectively the same.
Sunday Reflection (24, May 2020)
Last Thursday we celebrated the ascension of the Lord. In this week we shall be preparing for the manifestation of the great promise of Jesus. On leaving the mountain, the disciples went to the Upper Room and stayed together in prayer. In that air of uncertainty, they did not know what the future had for them. The question they asked Jesus just before his ascension shows that the events that were happening around Jesus were still not clear to them (they were still hoping for the earthly restoration of the kingdom of Israel). Jesus knew this and he promised another an Advocate who would enlighten them and show them the direction to go in his absence. In the Upper Room the disciples with Mary and other women prayed together waiting on Christ’ promise. This was in imitation of their master who prayed before any task he undertook.
In the gospel reading, Jesus began the Priestly Prayer where he addressed God in a passion-laden dialogue as his Father. Jesus, the High Priest, offers his imminent Passion and Death to his Father. We see this Priestly Prayer in three parts. First, he recalls the glory he has with the Father ab initio. Secondly, he shares this glory with his disciples’ as he prays for them and for their well-being here on earth. Finally, he prays for unity among believers through the disciples’ ministration. The word ‘glory’ here refers to the magnificent, supremacy and administration which belong to the divinity. In the face of this global pandemic, most of us have become like the disciples of Jesus who appeared to lack vision, direction and hope. We are faced with the fear of the next bad news. Some of us have lost zeal and enthusiasm for the faith due to some events in life that we find difficult to understand. Now it is Upper Room time again, the Pentecost week. A time we refuel our lives with the power of the Holy Spirit. If we, like the disciples pray, meditate and share the word of God in our Upper Rooms, we shall be restored, renewed and rebranded by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost day.
Let us pray together …
Leader: Almighty Father, at the Last Supper, your Son, Jesus, asked you to protect us because of your love for him and for the people you created and keep in existence. We come to you with our prayers, confident of your unending love which is beyond anything we can imagine.
As we look towards the coming of the Holy Spirit of Wisdom at Pentecost, let us pray for Pope Francis and all religious leaders, that they will inspire and encourage people to discover the presence of God in their lives.Lord in Your Mercy…
Let us pray for governments and business leaders as they make decisions that will affect the whole world affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We pray that wisdom and compassion guide their discussions and actions. Lord in Your Mercy…
Let us pray for courage and support for families who have lost a loved one during the period of lockdown, whether or not the cause was the coronavirus, that they will be comforted and strengthened. Lord in Your Mercy…
Let us pray for all those whose future employment is uncertain and a cause of anxiety at this time, that they will discover a secure future which is full of hope and peace. Lord in Your Mercy…
Let us pray for parents and teachers as they decide the safest way of helping children to return to full-time education. Lord in Your Mercy…
Let us pray for everyone who is finding lockdown a stressful, lonely or otherwise difficult period, especially for those who are confined to their home because of their own or a family member’s vulnerability. May they find reasons to laugh and to hope. Lord in Your Mercy…
Listen to us, Lord, as we pray for the men and women who are working to keep us safe at this time. Lord in Your Mercy…
Hail Mary, full of grace…
Leader: Lord our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, watch over, protect and bless us and all those whom we know and love. Amen.
PRAYER FOR PROTECTION FROM CORONAVIRUS (Pope Francis)
O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick. At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain, with steadfast faith. You, Our Refuge and our Hope, know what we need. We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee, joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial. Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the Father’s will and to do what Jesus tells us: He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen
In uncertain times we may find this meditation from Saint John Henry Newman a help.
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.
(John Henry Newman, had strong Oxford connections, studying and then serving as an Anglican priest in Oxford. He, quite courageously, converted in mid-life and became a Catholic priest and ultimately Cardinal. He was renowned not only as a scholar, but as a great pastor and a man of letters. His writings on conscience and the importance of developing, and acting upon, an informed conscience, rather than mere blind obedience to authority, have had a strong influence on the teaching of the Church)
Updated on Sunday, 24 May 2020; For more details please see the Newsletter for the week.