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Barra Priest asks islanders to come together and pray together

Fr. John Paul MacKinnon, parish priest on the island of Barra will urge the island community to come together and pray together this weekend as the islands of Barra & Vatersay struggle to come to terms with “a devastating week”.

 

Preaching at Mass tomorrow (Sunday 28 May) he will say:

 

“A week which began normally for so many has turned out to be real “living nightmare” especially for two of our island families. Today we face the reality that one of our teenage girls- Laura MacIntyre, aged only 15, is in Hospital in Manchester fighting for her life with her parents by her bedside. And sadly another of our beautiful teenage girls- Eilidh MacLeod, aged only 14 has died tragically in Manchester because of the terrible atrocity of the terrorist bombing”

 

Fr. MacKinnon will also say;

 

“I have spoken to both families, to both sets of parents and they have asked me to tell everyone that they are so grateful for all your love and support, prayers and messages. Their hearts are broken, their lives have changed forever but they are lifted up by the love and support of their island and also by the wider world.”

 

While urging parishioners, to “Come together, be together and pray, pray continuously as the early Apostles and followers of Jesus did in their own time of need.” “Praying to the Holy Spirit to come down upon our islands and communities and families and especially upon the MacLeod Family & MacIntyre Family.”

 

Referring to 14 year old Eilidh MacLeod, he will say;

 

“God has a special place for our dear beautiful Eilidh, she will be united forever with God’s Holy Angels. She will forever see the glory of God face to face and will forever be in God’s love. She will forever be loved and remembered by her family and by all her many friends. Our loss is certainly heaven’s gain.”

 

ENDS

Peter Kearney 

Director 

Catholic Media Office 

5 St. Vincent Place 

Glasgow 

G1 2DH 

0141 221 1168

07968 122291 

pk@scmo.org

www.scmo.org

 

Note to editors:

The full text of Fr. MacKinnon’s homily is shown below, together with additional prayers which will be used.

 

7th SUNDAY OF EASTER- YEAR A- 2017

 

Last Thursday was “Ascension Thursday” and on Ascension Thursday Jesus told his followers, “know that I am with you always, yes to the end of time”. That was the promise of our Lord Jesus as he ascended into heaven- to be with us always- and we need to know that and we need to remind ourselves of that truth “Jesus is with us always especially in our times of need”.

 

Our islands of Barra & Vatersay have had a devastating week. A week which began normal for so many but has turned out to be real “living nightmare” especially for two of our island families. Today we face the reality that one of our teenage girls- Laura MacIntyre, aged only 15, is in Hospital in Manchester fighting for her life with her parents by her bedside. And sadly another of our beautiful teenage girls- Eilidh MacLeod, aged only 14 has died tragically in Manchester because of the terrible atrocity of the terrorist bombing at a music concert. This news has been devastating for our small island community. There are no words to express our sorrow and to try and understand what the MacLeod family and MacIntyre family are going through right now.

 

I have spoken to both families, to both sets of parents and they have asked me to tell everyone that they are so grateful for all your love and support, prayers and messages. Their hearts are broken, their lives have changed forever but they are lifted up by the love and support of their island and also by the wider world.

 

Out of the darkness and badness of the bombing has come the goodness of so many people. So many people throughout the islands and all over the UK and further afield have been touched by our “heart break”- and this has given us all a lift at such a difficult time especially to the MacLeod & MacIntyre Families.

 

At times like this, what do we do? The answer is given in the first reading today of our Mass. In that reading from the Acts of the Apostles- the answer is found. Jesus has ascended to heaven and the apostles are upset; Jesus has gone, they will never see him again but they come together in one place, in one room- the upper room. There in the upper room is everyone, Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, Simon & Jude, other followers  and Mary and other women. They are all there together. And what are they doing? PRAYING.........CONTINUOUS PRAYER.

 

That’s what we must do to! Come together, be together and pray, pray continuously as the early Apostles and followers of Jesus did in their own time of need. It was when all the followers were together in the one room that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit upon his early church. The Spirit of God who gives strength and peace and healing. That’s what we pray for  today. Praying to the Holy Spirit to come down upon our islands and communities and families and especially upon the MacLeod Family & MacIntyre Family. This is an important time of prayer between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday- 9 days of continuous prayer to the Holy Spirit to strengthen us all at this sad time.

 

This is a very difficult time for our islands- we have faced difficulties and tragedies before on this island but this is something very new and alien to us all- but we have to let our faith guide us and put our hands into God’s hands and pray for God’s healing, peace and love to come down upon us all but especially upon Laura and her family and upon Eilidh and her family.

 

God has a special place for our dear beautiful Eilidh, she will be united forever with God’s Holy Angels. She will forever see the glory of God face to face and will forever be in God’s love. She will forever be loved and remembered by her family and by all her many friends. Our loss is certainly heavens gain.

 

My dear brothers and sisters, today the readings tell us what to do- be together and pray together. Pray continuously in our churches, our homes and in our hearts. Let us today in this Sunday Mass reach out our hearts to the many hearts that are broken because of the terrible atrocity in Manchester.

 

It is a time of prayer and so let our prayers  be directed to the Holy Spirit for us all and for Laura & her family & friends and for Eilidh and her family & friends- “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love”.

 

BIDDING PRAYERS FOR 7th SUNDAY OF EASTER

We pray for the church, to be a light of God’s love and peace, striving to penetrate the darkness and evil of our world. We pray to the Holy Spirit to guide the church and guide all the faithful to the Risen and Ascended Lord Jesus. LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for peace in our hearts, our homes and our world. We pray for an end to all forms and acts of terrorism. We pray for an end to all wars and fighting in our world. May the Holy Spirit guide all rulers and leaders and all people to be instruments of peace in our World. LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for our islands at this sad and difficult time. We pray to the Holy Spirit to lift us up and help us to support one another and to be a support to all the MacIntyre and MacLeod family at this sad time. LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for our young, we pray especially for the school friends of Eilidh & Laura, we pray for everyone at Castlebay School, teachers, staff and all children. May the Lord Jesus enfold his loving arms around our young at this time of hurt and pain and fill their hearts with peace and healing and love. LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for all who have been affected by the terrible atrocity of the bombing in Manchester last week. We pray for all in Manchester who have been incredible in their help and support to all who needed help. We pray for the work of our police, and paramedics and for all doctors and surgeons and nurses helping all the sick and injured at this time. May they Holy Spirit touch the hearts of all hearts broken at this time and bring God’s healing and peace. LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for Laura MacIntyre, in Hospital just now in Manchester fighting for her life, and remembering all the injured from the bombing, may the Holy Spirit be with the doctors and nurses taking care of them all and may the Holy Spirit give Laura all the strength she needs and also to her parents and family. LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for all our faithful departed and pray for all who died in the bombing- 22 lives were taken that night and in a special way we pray for our own beautiful Eilidh MacLeod, aged only 14, tragically taken from us all. May the Lord Jesus guide Eilidh’s soul to the glory of heaven and to be forever with him in the Glory of God’s Angels and Saints. May Eilidh forever enjoy the love of seeing her Lord in the paradise of heaven and may our Lord bring his healing and peace to the parents and sisters and all family and friends of Eilidh. LORD HEAR US

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