How to join the Mass online

A YouTube channel has been created so that during this time Mass and other devotions will be live-streamed from the chapel at Bishop’s House. This can be found by searching for ‘Bishop Patrick McKinney’ on YouTube and it will also be linked to his Facebook and Twitter accounts. Sunday Mass will be streamed at 10.00am each Sunday.

Mass is streamed from St. Joseph’s, Goodwood Road, Leicester
– search for “St Joseph’s Leicester”

Mass is streamed from St. Barnabas Cathedral at 1.00pm Monday – Friday and Sunday at 10.00am – search for “St Barnabas Cathedral Nottingham”

Many other Churches are currently streaming Mass online – here are some other possibilities

Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham

A variety of Parishes and Cathedrals

NDCYS (Nottingham Diocese Catholic Youth Service) have a new “You Tube” Channel, NDCYS Live!  It’s not just called “LIVE” for a reason. Each letter is one of four streams that give you an idea of what their channel is all about. LEARN, INSPIRE, VOCATION, ENCOUNTER! There will be new videos every week so hit subscribe and let them know what you think! Upcoming streams include 9.30am Mondays Club and 6.00pm Friday Nights Live. Have a look and be inspired by Tom Baptist the Director and all the members of The Briars Team.

Click here for the NDCYS YouTube Live! channel.


Opening of our churches

We are awaiting clear guidance from the Bishops on how we may be able to open our churches again for public worship, after 4th July. What is certain though as we look towards reopening our churches after 4th July, is that every church that may wish to open for public worship will need to be able to fulfil all the various government requirements with regard to stewarding, hygiene and social distancing. We will need many volunteers aged between 18 and 69 years to monitor access to our Churches, ideally already DBS checked as this is also a requirement and who are not in the vulnerable or shielding groups. Permission will only be granted for public worship to resume in a church that has put in place all these government requirements, and completed a full Risk Assessment, in order that we may keep safe, and to help to avoid the spread of the corona virus. Guidelines and generic risk assessments are currently being prepared for us by the Diocese, after which we will need to assess each individual parish and await the Diocese to issue COVID-19 Secure certificate for each parish before any liturgies can be arranged. We ask for your patience and forbearance whilst all these safety measures are cascaded to us at parish level.

The following Churches in Leicester are open for private prayer only –

Sacred Heart, Leicester City East: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10.00 – 12.00; Wednesdays and Fridays, 17.00 – 19.00
Holy Cross, Leicester City: Tuesday to Sunday, 14.00 – 17.00

The following Catholic Churches are due to open shortly – please check the Diocesan Website as dates and times are yet to be confirmed
St. Patrick’s, Beaumont Leys Lane, Leicester City North
St. Joseph’s, Goodwood Road


A great BIG THANK YOU to all who made my 70th (surely some mistake!) birthday such a wonderful occasion. The amount of cards, presents, phone calls and good wishes were quite overwhelming. As you can see from the above Igor worked his magic as usual. Thank you to the pupils and staff of St Thomas More School and St John Fisher School for the huge cards and the videos. The videos were very entertaining and the staff of STM did a very good impersonation of Elvis Presley! My sisters and brothers had planned a big celebration for me that obviously had to be postponed but I don’t feel I missed out. I am truly blessed to have the love and support of so many people.

With every good wish

Fr Michael

Clergy update

I and Fr John have continued to celebrate Mass and pray the Divine Office daily for all parishioners. We have both been telephoning vulnerable and alone parishioners. If you know of any parishioner that would appreciate a call, please let us know. Some meetings such as Diocesan Trustees and School Governors are still being held virtually, funerals are being held at gravesides and a considerable amount of sorting and administration has been achieved during lockdown. Lockdown has provided many opportunities for us all and many people have told me that their gardens have never looked so good. So in spite of lockdown there is plenty to be done. The painting of St Thomas Church and Parish Rooms is now complete and the sound system at Oadby has been completed and tested. So even though we have not seen one another for some weeks we have been kept very busy within our respective presbyteries during lockdown. We continue to pray for you all and hope you continue to pray for us.  

Plans to open our Church buildings….

Bishop Patrick has sent details concerning the necessary preparation for the re-opening of our churches containing all the measures drawn up by the Government Task Force which need to be carried out, including the completion of a Risk Assessment document, before permission can be granted for a church to re-open for private prayer only.

Very few parishes will have the body of people available and be able to follow the directives. It is anticipated that as a first step only a limited number of churches in each Deanery will be open for private prayer, after consultation with the Dean and based on churches open during normal times.

We are celebrants not consumers!

Tom O’Loughlin, Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham, has written an outstanding article on virtual Mass and liturgy during these COVID days. It has been attached as an addendum to this newsletter and can be found online on the ACTA webpage along with commentaries on the Sunday Gospel by Dr Joseph O’Hanlon, priest of our Diocese.

Words of encouragement from Fr Michael

As many of you know, this Saturday 6th June would have been First Holy Communion Day at St Thomas More Church , Sunday 14th June at Immaculate Conception Church and Confirmation for both parishes would have been on Friday 19th June. The necessary postponement is a sadness not only for the young people and their families but for the whole parish community that we feel very deeply. I have reassured them that these celebrations will eventually take place and they are continuing their preparation at home. Meanwhile I would ask that we keep them in our prayers as we would normally when we would gather as a community at this time.

I have taken the opportunity while the St Thomas More Church is closed to have the Church redecorated and various maintenance tasks carried out. Also the sound system at Immaculate Conception is being upgraded. Both projects should be completed this weekend. Please can I have some volunteers to help move benches at Knighton once the decoration is finished. Please ring me for further details.

Welcome back to the children who have returned to school this past week. Our schools have not closed even over the Easter holiday and half term as they remained open for children of key workers. A huge thank you to all staff who have been very busy both providing online lessons for our children and caring and teaching for those children who have attended school over this lockdown period. Special thanks to our wonderful head teachers, Mrs Crosse, Mr Gallagher and Mrs Conaghan for their outstanding leadership and commitment in these challenging times.

With every blessing, Fr Michael

Plans to open our Church buildings

Very detailed instructions on opening churches will be given when that time is appropriate. That is when the guidelines have been fully agreed by the Government and the Bishops’ Conference. At present there is a multi-faith task force, including Cardinal Vincent, working with the Government on this matter. Please see the following link for the Government’s latest comments on the task force and the reopening of places of worship:

Jubilarians 2020

The following priests will shortly be celebrating their Jubilee of Ordination. Please keep them in your prayers at this time. Addresses are provided from the Diocesan Yearbook should you wish to send congratulations to them.

Rev Brendan O’Callaghan 5th June 1960
Knockanure, Moyvane, Listowel, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Rev Canon Michael O’Donoghue 14th June 1970
Holy Trinity Presbytery, Boundary Road, Newark, NG24 4AU

Year of the Word: Acts of the Apostles in lockdown

With our improving grasp of technology, the Bible Study group has resumed virtually after an Easter break to share the treasure of Acts. Two chapters at a time (we are currently at chapters 5/6), this adventure book is providing us with an undeniably timely opportunity to discuss what it means to be church.

We discovered that many of us, in the past, had intended to read the whole book, but had never succeeded. The first chapters, then, are very familiar, as they are to anyone who would normally be attending Mass at this time of year. The conversations, however, are new, as we listen to the God who Speaks, here and now, to a small group of us who feel a bit lost. We have started a journey with a small group of people, witnesses to the resurrection, who used to be a community built around Jesus in his full humanity. As we read what happened when their focal point changed, we are considering what has happened and will happen to our own community as a result of the current change of focus. And it is so good to be able to do this together. We have shared our experiences, positive and frustrating, of attending Mass online and considered the application of what we have termed the ‘template’ of the church at the end of chapters 2 and 4 to our current situation.

Our group are using Zoom. We have no particular knowledge or expertise in this, but it is working for us. There are 8 participants, connected through 5 devices. We have found this a manageable number for discussion, now that we have learned to pause differently to allow others to speak. I have been to meetings with more participants, which have been more difficult and really require an active chairperson. It is also not possible to pray together, due to the delay from various devices, though I have attended an excellent interactive Mass from CAFOD, which was run more like a webinar.

For me, this has been an enriching experience, which is why I share it. Perhaps others have different ideas which could also be shared? I wonder if a network of groups would allow us to re-establish our connections and move us forward in a space where social distancing seems set to continue for a while. It would be great to hear other views. If anyone wants to know more about what we have done, feel free to email me on

Celebrate our birthday

In the Gospel for Pentecost Sunday we hear about the Risen Lord “breathing” on his disciples. Breath is essential to our bodies. Our first breath marks the beginning of our earthly life as our last breath marks the end of earthly life. In the Book of Genesis we read of God breathing life into Adam (Genesis 2:7) and “thus he became a living being.” In breathing on his disciples, Jesus was giving life to the Church. Perhaps for this reason, Pentecost is known as the birthday of the Church – our first breath!
Our Church buildings remain locked, but some Churches are displaying notices reminding us that the Church is not a building – you are the Church, and you are to remain open! Pentecost Sunday this year might be a day to ponder how we might be and remain open to new ways of being Church without our communal prayer and without sacraments for the time being until our buildings do eventually reopen.
Cardinal Vincent Nicholls in pleading the cause for our Churches to be open, at least for private prayer, spoke of the “painful fast from Communion” and that we, as a Church, the Body of Christ, are all longing to receive communion.
Our Eucharistic fast

  • unites us with the disappointment and sadness of our young people of having First Holy Communion and Confirmation celebrations postponed as they too long for the sacraments.
  • connects us with those who were unable to be received into the Church throughout the world at Easter; they too like us are yearning for the sacraments.
  • empathises us with those who for whatever reason, be it lack of priest or marriage impediment, who will still be unable to receive communion when our buildings reopen and the celebration of the sacraments resume in time.
  • calls us to remember that our priests continue to celebrate daily Eucharist for us, continuing to minister to us in spiritual communion despite the loneliness and strangeness of their priestly ministry during these days.

Pentecost is the day when Jesus’s disciples waited patiently in longing for the Risen Lord and are empowered with the Spirit to be commissioned as the Body of Christ. Our Eucharistic fast will come to an end. Until then the Body of Christ (church), awaits the Body of Christ (sacrament).

Jackie Williams