Welcome to the webpages of the Catholic Parish of St Gabriel, South Harrow and St Bernard, Northolt.
Our Churches are open for worship during this Lockdown. Our Bishops have issued a statement on the current position and role of our churches in this phase of the pandemic which can be found here.
You can reserve a place for Mass here.
Due to the type of heating in St Bernard’s we are unable to have the heating on during Mass, therefore until further notice, all weekday Masses will be held in St Gabriel’s Church.
There is currently a very high Coronavirus (COVID) infection rate in the Harrow area with some residents having COVID without knowing it, because they do not show or feel any symptoms. To help locate the infected residents and break the chain of infection Harrow Council have introduced Rapid COVID testing for people who are not showing any symptoms of COVID. You can get more details and are able to book a test here.
Fr James, Fr Tom and Fr Stuart send a message of thanks to everyone in the parish.
Thank you especially for your prayers, and for all your greetings and offerings at Christmas. As you know, the offerings made at Christmas – with those made at Easter – go a long way to provide financially for the priestly ministry to the parish, and with the “loss” of Easter to Lockdown, this is especially true this year. You generosity is very deeply appreciated.
Pope Francis proclaims “Year of St Joseph”
In a new Apostolic Letter entitled Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis describes Saint Joseph as a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.
The Letter marks the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To celebrate the anniversary, Pope Francis has proclaimed a special “Year of St Joseph,” beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020 and extending to the same feast in 2021.
The Holy Father wrote Patris corde against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, he says, has helped us see more clearly the importance of “ordinary” people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day. In this, they resemble Saint Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,” who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”
At the conclusion of his Letter, he adds another prayer to St Joseph, which he encourages all of us to pray together:
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.
Following on from their statement in September which can be seen here, and in the light of the approval of vaccines for immediate use in the UK the Bishops of England and Wales have issued the following update.
The development of a vaccine against COVID-19 presents an important breakthrough in protecting others as well as oneself from the virus; a virus which has not only caused a global pandemic and led to a huge loss of life but has also placed a great burden on healthcare workers and systems.
Each of us has a duty to protect others from infection with its danger of serious illness, and for some, death. A vaccine is the most effective way to achieve this unless one decides to self-isolate.
At present, debate concerns the use of the vaccines developed by Pfizer & BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. Some have questioned the use of the Astra Zeneca vaccine since it has been developed from cell-lines originating from the cells of an aborted foetus in 1983.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Academy of Life have expressed the view that one may in good conscience and for a grave reason receive a vaccine sourced in this way, provided that there is a sufficient moral distance between the present administration of the vaccine and the original wrongful action.
In the COVID-19 pandemic, we judge that this grave reason exists and that one does not sin by receiving the vaccine.
Both the Pfizer & BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have a different source since they are mRNA-based vaccines. On 2 December 2020, the Pfizer & BioNTech vaccine was approved for use in the UK.
Each Catholic must educate his or her conscience on this matter and decide what to do, also bearing in mind that a vaccine must be safe, effective, and universally available, especially to the poor of the world.
Catholics may in good conscience receive any of these vaccines for the good of others and themselves. In good conscience, one may refuse a particular vaccine but continues to have a duty to protect others from infection.
At their recent meeting the Bishops of England and Wales have published a statement on publication of the recent report by IICSA which can be found here. Cardinal Vincent also made a personal statement that can be found here.
We continue to keep our churches safe by following the safety guidelines.
For more information click here for the government website.
Meeting with the Clergy
Whilst our churches are open for Private Prayer, Fr James and Fr Tom will be available to meet with people in a socially distanced and safe way. Please telephone to make an appointment.
With no Sunday Mass collections, your giving matters now more than ever. There are various ways to contribute to the parish go to our Donations Page to see the different ways that you can materially support our parish.
Our YouTube Channel can be found here.
Contact the parish as follows:
The address of our parish office is St Gabriel’s, 390b Northolt Road, South Harrow, Middx HA2 8EX.
You will find us on the main road, south of South Harrow station, near the junction of Park Lane.
The address of the Presbytery is St. Bernard’s, 17 Mandeville Road, Northolt, Middx UB5 5HE
You can contact us on 020 8864 5455.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org