COVID-19 Resources

Lockdown: Support and Resources

The COVID-19 lockdown is a difficult period, and we hope that these resources will provide some support, comfort, and solace.

Support

COVID-19 Pastoral Care Group

We have been supporting some of our parishioners at risk of being isolated by:

  • Keeping regular phone contact

  • Buying and delivering shopping

  • Collecting and delivering medication

  • Delivering our weekly newsletter

If you, or anyone you know, would like to receive our support, please get in touch.

St Vincent de Paul Conference

If you are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis, St Vincent de Paul might be able to help. For more information, please contact us, and a member of the St Vincent de Paul will respond to your enquiry within 48 hours.

Parish Emergency Planning Group (PEP)

Our PEP Group has been meeting regularly to develop and implement plans for pastoral, spiritual, and liturgical care in these new circumstances.

If you have any ideas and suggestions for the group, please contact us.

Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline

Helpline is open for 24 hours: 0800 027 1234

You can also contact the helpline by email or online chat. For more information, visit: sdafmh.org.uk

Dial-a-Mass

This is a phone service for those without internet connection but would still like to celebrate Mass. Dial 0141 473 4869 for a 15-minute recording for a daily Mass by Fr Stephen Baillie of St Joseph's in Clarkston, Paisley.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are being held online during the COVID-19 lockdown. For more information, visit: aa-edinburgh.org.uk/online-meetings/

Prayer Resources from South Edinburgh Cluster

Lots of handy resources to keep us connected and prayerful during this time, including some fantastic resources for children and young people.

People Know How

A fantastic charity offering digital inclusion and befriending services for adults to help us stay connected. Visit peopleknowhow.org or contact them via contactus@peopleknowhow.org for find out more.

Reflections

Two Poems About the COVID-19 Lockdown

by Canon Andrew Monaghan

Lockdown Frustration

Stories abound these days
of the rise in mental stress at home
and of domestic violence erupting.
The sunshine breeds a restlessness
for the outside space
which was once neglected and despised. The young break boundaries
to once again roam free
and divert resources from the greater needs around.

Frustration is the easy label
but for me the artist Michael Craig Martin found a deeper meaning
when he stressed the special
exists in the ordinary things around us.

Frustration is for me the restless search for what is special,
and the failure then
to find what is or should be truly special in the ordinary things around.
Can we in lockdown start again
to find the joy of ordinary things,
and that appreciation of our loved ones which give us inner strength?
And can we in the ordinary things around find once again the God
who made the ordinary special
by becoming one of us?

Lessons in this time of Lockdown

How many Mums and Dads,
Grannies, Grand-dads and the like,
have come these last few months to appreciate the teachers we once took for granted?
An easy job, they said,
with lots of holidays to boot.
Great words are spoken of resources given
to make home lessons just a breeze
but those who take it seriously
are struggling with the task.

In speaking of the teachers he once knew, James Mumford spoke in recent times
of how some people could not have proved so pivotal in life,
if they had had much more concern
for their own lifes and cares.
He spoke of unknown teachers hearing Christ's own words and laying down their lives for all their children day by day. The secret of one person's success in years to come
is another person's real success,
but one remaining always one of life's great secrets.

That made me think again of Mums and Dads, of Grannies and of Grand-dads
in this special time of lockdown challenge, and how, so often unappreciated,
they too as teachers
lay aside their own concerns
and give themselves to serve the young.

Reflection on the Eucharist During COVID-19 (excerpt)

by Fr Andy Grayson

‘...It is important that the Eucharistic celebration, that is the Mass, is not limited to the church or to the priest. We are, all of us together, a Eucharistic community and even our closed churches cannot, in any way, prevent us from living our lives as a Eucharistic People.

While it’s great to have live streamed Masses broadcast into our living rooms, which helps to connect to the wider Church, it is ultimately a passive experience, as all television is. We cannot truly participate in the celebration of the Mass on TV. On the other hand however, simply being physically present at a Mass does not guarantee that a person is fully participating. We need to come to appreciate that the Mass is not something that we attend or which is given to us by the priest but an experience which we all fully participate – priest and people alike.

First of all, the Eucharist is about sharing in a meal – food and drink – bread and wine. Jesus loved to share in a meal and the Gospels are full of stories where Jesus gathers around a table to eat and drink with all kinds of people. Even living on our own we can give thanks to God for the food we eat. In the old days it was called ‘grace before and after meals.’ We can be particularly thankful if other people are doing our shopping for us, or in some cases cooking meals for us and bringing them to our door. St Paul reminds us in his first letter to the Corinthians ‘ ..... every time you eat the bread and drink the cup, you are proclaiming his (Jesus) death ...’

Secondly, prayer unites us, even when we pray alone. We are not really alone when we pray because the presence of Christ resides within us. That’s why we never pray, even on our own, ‘My Father, who are in heaven ....’ But always ‘Our Father .....’ and ‘forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ It’s always including other people. Praying for others and giving people a call on the telephone or through an email or even a text keeps us united in prayer. Being isolated does not mean we become passive recipients of the good will and kindness of others, but prayer makes us active members of the Body of Christ reaching out to others.

Remember St Teresa of Lisieux, (commonly known as ‘the little flower’) who became a nun at the age of 15 years. She died of tuberculosis 9 years later at the age of 24 years. These years were uneventful and ‘ordinary’. Yet she stuck bravely to her ‘little way’ of simple trust and love of God and her neighbour. Her neighbours were not only the sisters in the convent with her, but she united herself with all people everywhere, especially the poor and sick. It is no wonder therefore, that the Church has made her the patron saint of missionaries. Even though she never physically left Lisieux, her loving heart reached out to the whole world in prayer. Just like the human heart pumps blood around body, so Teresa’s heart of prayer was the driving force of love that flowed around the world.

In this way our own prayer, no matter how solitary it may be, is a well spring of love that reaches out to the whole world. Oh yes, indeed we are an active, engaging, and empowering Eucharistic community, which gives life to the world.’