Coping with illness: personal reflections from Fr Isidore

Fr Isidore, of the Holy Cross community, had to be moved to a nursing home just over a year ago and has been writing reflections on coping with illness, the loss of independence, and the problem of suffering. Previously he had written a book with his fellow Dominican priest and twin brother Peter on the Works of Mercy, and this new project is the other side of that coin: learning how to receive care, rather than give it.

Most of these reflections have been shared already through Facebook, and now Fr Isidore has collected them in this 36-page pamphlet called ‘Coping with illness: a personal approach’. Towards the end he talks about using his bed as his pulpit!

You can download the PDF below to read these reflections. Please consider sharing them with anyone coping with illness, who you think might benefit from his words. Especially at this time, as we go through this Coronavirus crisis, we hope Isidore’s preaching will bring some comfort and meaning to many who are suffering and isolated.


Click the link below for the electronic copy (PDF), which may be printed in A4 or A5 paper size:

You can also order a copy of the Works of Mercy book through the online store here for just £3.

Coronavirus – what are we doing at Holy Cross?


The Conference of Bishops (CBCEW) has prepared comprehensive advice about precautions and procedures in this ever-changing situation. We are following the directives of CBCEW, which follows on the advice from Her Majesty’s Government. This advice is subject to constant revision, relying on a national strategy.


The main thing to note is that we are following the up-to-date statutory advice, and not acting on privately held opinions, professional or otherwise. To that end, the principal restrictive measures we have in place are as follows:

  • Communion is distributed under one kind only and on the palm of the hand; communicants who are uncomfortable with this are asked to make a spiritual communion, formulae for which are provided;
  • The Sign of Peace at Mass is suspended indefinitely;
  • All “extra-curricular” pastoral gatherings are suspended indefinitely – so this means no social time after Mass and all other such events.

In the meantime, the following things will remain in place:

  • The regular schedule of Mass and Confession continues for now;
  • Pastoral visiting of the sick who are not self-isolating or suffering from contagious disease;
  • Pastoral care of the dying under any circumstance.
  • Provision for other ordinary sacramental support that falls within the guidelines, such as baptisms, marriages, funerals etc.

Please note that we are continuing to receive updates as the circumstances change, and we will do whatever we can to keep you informed of developments.


It may well be the case in the coming weeks that we are asked to suspend our Masses and services entirely. In this scenario, we would hope to broadcast Masses and our community prayer via our Facebook page. We would encourage everyone to sign up to Facebook (even if you don’t usually approve!) and to “like” our page, Holy Cross Priory Leicester (Dominicans). Please ask us if you need assistance with this! But this is how we will keep in touch should we arrive at a ‘lockdown’ scenario.


As cases increase and anxiety rises, it is more likely that the more vulnerable members of our faith community may experience symptoms and have to self-isolate. This is especially the case for the elderly and for students, and also for those who might be outside this category, but living alone for whatever reason. Please let us know at the Priory if it becomes necessary for you to self-isolate, so that we can keep in touch and provide assistance as and when appropriate and necessary. Please also be ready if possible to offer assistance, in a safe and appropriate way, to anyone who might require our assistance. Keep an eye on our facebook presence and also communicate with us as necessary.

Through Lent with Saint Paul

*** Update on 14 March 2020 ***

Following measures to limit the possible spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), we regret that it will not be possible to meet for the remaining sessions of this Scripture Study series. We are considering ways of potentially running a session online, or the sessions may simply be resumed when the virus threat has decreased. Please watch this space, and our Facebook page, for updates, and keep praying for one another.



Our Scripture Study continues in this Year of the Word of God, looking at that theological giant of the New Testament: St Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles.

Tuesdays in Lent
from 3rd March to 7th April
Frassati Centre, Wellington Street, LE1 6HW

You may wish to bring your own Bible, but texts will also be provided.

The evenings start at 7pm with food (bring and share!), followed at 7.30pm by the Scripture study and discussion, led by Fr Matthew, and we finish at 9pm.

Free entry. All welcome.


The Frassati Centre for Preaching and Evangelisation

Over the last few months, we have indicated the plans we are developing for a new pastoral centre here at Holy Cross – The Frassati Centre for Preaching and Evangelisation. This would seek to breathe new life into the original church buildings that we knew as the ‘Holy Cross Centre’. We’ve assembled £180k so far to develop these buildings, and we are seeking to embark on a major fundraising project as we look towards our bicentenary. There’ll be lots to talk about in the weeks ahead. Please come along to the events next weekend, 2nd March.

WHO IS BLESSED PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI? He’s the inspiration for our new initiative with developing our buildings and our apostolate, but who is he? He’s a lay Dominican, whose life was marked by living the Dominican Charism in his everyday life. He was deeply devoted to prayer and study, and he inspired great fellowship with his contemporaries, and devoted himself to the service of others, especially the most vulnerable members of the community. We look forward to getting to know him more closely as we develop our apostolate.

IMAGE OF BLESSED PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI We want to foster devotion to this Dominican Beatus. At 10:30am Mass next Sunday, 3rd March 2019, Fr Robert Gay, prior of our community in Oxford, will bless an image, as we prepare to enshrine Blessed Frassati in our church.  Please do come along.

holy cross school reception play area

Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

Holy Cross Catholic Primary School was founded by the Dominican Order here in Leicester in 1817.  From 1824, it operated from the Old School House on Wellington Street; it is now situated on Stonesby Avenue in the Saffron Lane area of Leicester.  If you would like a place for your child at this wonderful school, please contact the school office, tel: 0116 2833 135.  Visitors are welcome; come and have a look around.  Currently there are a few places left in the Nursery, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3.

Head Teacher: Gail Neill

Chair of Governors: Fr. David Rocks O.P.

Please keep our school community in your prayers.


Holy Hour

Join us for a Holy Hour with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary, Dominican Rite Compline, and Benediction every Sunday evening (6pm-7pm), and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament every Saturday morning following the 10am Mass until Benediction just before the 12.30pm Mass.