Bulletin Archive 2013 – 2024

PREVIOUS PARISH BULLETINS (2013 – 2024) ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

+ 7th SUNDAY OF EASTER 
12th May 2024

Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day 2024

“AI CAN NEVER REPLACE WISDOM OF HUMAN HEART”

In his message for the 58th World Day of Social Communications, Pope Francis urges humanity to cultivate wisdom of the heart in the age of artificial intelligence.
THE THEME for this years: Artificial Intelligence and the Wisdom of the Heart: Towards a Fully Human Communication.
Celebrated on 12 May, this year’s theme is closely linked to the Pope’s message for the World Day of Peace, which was devoted to the development of systems of artificial intelligence (AI).
AI is “radically affecting the world of information and communication, and through it, certain foundations of life in society,” says the Pope in his Communications Day message, adding that “these changes affect everyone.”
So, the Pope asks, “How can we remain fully human and guide this cultural transformation to serve a good purpose?”
Starting with the heart. In answering this question, the Holy Father notes that “at this time in history, which risks becoming rich in technology and poor in humanity, our reflections must begin with the human heart.”
He recalls that, in the Bible, the heart is seen as the place of freedom and decision-making, “symbolising integrity and unity, while also engaging our emotions, desires, and dreams.”
But, he continues, the heart is, above all, “the inward place of our encounter with God.
“Wisdom of the heart, then, is the virtue that enables us to integrate the whole and its parts, our decisions and their consequences, our nobility and our vulnerability, our past and our future, our individuality and our membership within a larger community,” says the Pope.
Opportunity and danger The Holy Father goes on to stress that such wisdom cannot be sought from machines.
Growth in humanity. Pope Francis then invites everyone to grow together, “in humanity and as humanity,” recalling that we are all challenged to make a qualitative leap in order to become
“A complex, multiethnic, pluralistic, multireligious, and multicultural society.”
Speaking of information, the Holy Father warns that “information cannot be separated from living relationships.”
He explains that relationships involve the body and an immersion into the real world, but that they also involve human experiences, “compassion, and sharing.”
With this in mind, Pope Francis refers to the many reporters who have been injured or killed in the line of duty as they attempted to show the world what they themselves had seen.
“For only by such direct contact with the suffering of children, women, and men can we come to appreciate the absurdity of war,” says the Pope. To read the message in full visit: https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/communications/documents/20240124-messaggio-comunicazioni-sociali.html

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+ 6th SUNDAY OF EASTER
5th May 2024

The Ascension of the Lord – THURSDAY 9TH May
“…HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN…” (Creed)

THURSDAY’s celebration of Our Lord’s Ascension gives us much to ponder and treasure in our heart. Our Lord has completed everything the Father had given Him to do, crowned by the Paschal Mystery, and now He is returning to the Father. His joy is complete, and He invites us to share His joy.
Our true joy is to share His joy!

He goes to prepare a place for us. Heaven is where we truly belong, to be with God for all eternity. Our Lord has prepared a place for us. He is calling us “so that where I am, you may be too”.
Do I live with heaven as my goal and true homeland?

We are never alone: in his Ascension He promises that He will be with us always, “Yes, to the end of time”.
He is always present to us: are we always wanting to make ourselves present to Him?

My Mission and purpose in this world is to share in the Mission Jesus gave the infant Church at His Ascension: “Go out into the whole world and proclaim the Good News…”
Our Lord shares His life fully with us through the Church: do we seek to bring others to share His life through the Church?

“Gladden us with holy joys, Almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son in our exaltation, and where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope”. (Thursday’s Collect)

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+ 5th SUNDAY OF EASTER
28th April 2024

MARY’S MONTH OF MAY

MAY starts this coming week and is dedicated to Our Lady. It is a time to get to know and love Our Lady more. At the 10am Mass Sunday 5th May we have the Crowning of Our Lady as Queen of the May. This helps us express and understand how the reign of Mary is the reign of “YES- TO-GOD” in our daily life. May we let the spirit of Mary, the spirit of “YES-TO-GOD”,flourish in our day-to-day living.

Our Marian devotions should not be limited to church. Please ensure you honour Our Lady in your home. Do crown a statue or picture of Our Lady at home. Gather around the statue or picture of Our Lady: recite the Rosary and the Angelus. Let us teach our children (and remind ourselves!) that the reign of Mary, the reign of “YES -TO-GOD”is the best way to true self-fulfilment and happiness.

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+ 4th SUNDAY OF EASTER
21st April 2024

GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY

PRIEST TRAINING FUND

TODAY is GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY and our second collection will support the Priest Training Fund. This fund pays for the priestly formation of men for the Catholic priesthood. There are currently 49 men studying at Allen Hall seminary, 13 of whom are from our own Diocese.
We also have one seminarian in Valladolid and one at the Beda, presently on pastoral placement in Ruislip. There are also two on a propaedeutic year at Redemptoris Mater. Last year 3 deacons were ordained for Westminster Diocese. The Priest Training Fund also supports the ongoing enrichment and formation of our ordained priests.
Your gift ensures we can provide training for these men responding to Christ’s call to dedicate their lives to serve God’s people.
Please be as generous as you can. Please also pray for vocations and for all our priests. If you do not have a donation envelope, plenty are still available at the back of the church. You can use the QR code to make your donation online or visit www.rcdow.org.uk/donations . Thank you for your generosity.

PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
Lord Jesus Christ, Guide and Shepherd of your people,
touch the hearts of our young people, that they may, for the love of you
give their lives in the service of the Church.
Renew the hearts of priests, that they may model their lives on the mystery of the Cross
and imitate the Sacred Mysteries they celebrate at the altar.
Strengthen our families, that they may generously support those of their sons
whom you call to serve you as priests. Amen

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+ THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
14th April 2024

PRIEST TRAINING FUND

Next weekend is Good Shepherd Sunday, the day we pray for priests and for vocations to the priesthood.
The motto of Allen Hall, where the men training for the ordained priesthood live and study, is Vivamus in spe – May we live in hope.

Now, more than ever, as the nation faces an unprecedented challenge and there are so many people in desperate situations across our Diocese, that hope is needed. Our seminarians work in parishes, schools, hospitals and hospices, as well as prisons, with refugees, and anywhere where a Catholic presence can make a contribution.

In all they do, they strive to be formed in the image of Him who came not to be served, but to serve. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, countries, and religious congregations. However, despite their differences, their desire to be formed in the image of Christ unites them, and creates an even stronger bond to their faith.

This year, we have 49 men studying at Allen Hall, of whom 13 are from our own Diocese. We also have one seminarian in Valladolid and one at the Beda, presently on pastoral placement in Ruislip. There are also two on a propaedeutic year at Redemptoris Mater. Last year, 3 Deacons were ordained for Westminster Diocese. The Priest Training Fund also supports the ongoing enrichment and formation of our ordained priests. Your generous donation helps ensure we can support these men who are called to be like Christ the Good Shepherd.

Donation envelopes are available in the back of the church. Please take one home, read the information, and bring it back next weekend with your donation. Please continue to pray for vocations and for our priests. You can use the QR code to make your donation online or visit www.rcdow.org.uk/donations Thank you for your generosity.

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+ THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
7th April 2024

The Divine Mercy Devotion

From the diary of a young Polish nun, a special devotion began spreading throughout the world in the 1930s. The message is nothing new, but is a reminder of what the Church has always taught through scripture and tradition: that God is merciful and forgiving and that we, too, must show mercy and forgiveness. But in the Divine Mercy devotion, the message takes on a powerful new focus, calling people to a deeper understanding that God’s love is unlimited and available to everyone — especially the greatest sinners.

The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.

The message of mercy is that God loves us — all of us — no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. It is a message we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC.

A — Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.

B — Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.

C — Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.

+ EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION
31st March 2024

THE LORD IS RISEN, Alleluia
HE IS RISEN INDEED Alleluia

This ancient Christian greeting, said on meeting one another during Eastertide, should surely be recovered and used again – encouraging us to deepen our faith in the Risen Lord.

THE RESURRECTION is a supernatural event, a clear break with the natural order, Jesus is raised from the dead through the power of God, and in sharing this victory we are “saved”. To reduce our understanding of life to the natural order alone is to miss out on the full reality of human existence: life is so much more wonderful, beautiful and exciting when we can see everything in the light of the Risen Lord!

WE ARE WITNESSES to our Risen Lord because we choose to believe and trust the witnesses who saw Him, believing the accounts of the Risen Lord in the Sacred Scriptures, and also believing the Church who has faithfully handed on the message to us.

TRUST and FAITH is at the heart of our believing.

Wishing you all a Blessed and joy-filled Easter.

Fr David Barnes, Rector

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STATIONS OF THE CROSS DURING LENT: WEDNESDAY 6:30pm and FRIDAY 6:30pm

+HOLY WEEK
PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD 

Sunday 25h MARCH 2024

Holy Week & Easter

Holy Week is the most important week in the Christian year. Pope Francis says “Holy Week” is a privileged time when we are called to draw near to Jesus: friendship with Him is shown in times of difficulty”. The best way to draw near to Our Lord is to participate as much as possible the liturgies of the Church.

PALM SUNDAY — the commemoration of Our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem when he was greeted with praise and thanksgiving, the waving and strewing of palms. We too carry palms, then take them home to put with our household crucifix.

THE SACRED TRIDUUM —the 3 Holy Days of the Paschal Mystery

HOLY THURSDAY The MASS of THE LORD’S SUPPER at 6:00pm commemorates the institution of the Eucharist, the total gift of Himself to us as the Bread of Life. Afterwards, Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. After this mass the consecrated hosts are taken to the “altar of repose”. All are invited to spend some time with Him, learning to be with Him in His suffering. The church is stripped of its candles and linens, all holy water is removed and the sacraments are not celebrated until Easter. It is a time of mourning, but always lived in light of the Resurrection.

GOOD FRIDAY — A day of fasting and abstinence. Fasting applies to those 18-60: no meat (abstinence) and only one simple meal and two small ones, and no food in between. Do all you can to be at THE LITURGY OF THE LORD’S PASSION AND DEATH at 3:00pm, the hour at which Christ died on the Cross.

HOLY SATURDAY — the Church waits in the Lord’s tomb, reflecting on his Passion and Death, waiting with faith, prayer and fasting the glorious Resurrection. Mary is waiting with us. We gather at 8:00pm to celebrate the Vigil Mass of the Resurrection, to celebrate in readings and song how God prepared His People for the Resurrection and conclude with the First Mass of Easter

EASTER CARDS: Please do take an Easter card home with you as you leave today, all the Easter Liturgies are inside the card. Fr David Barnes, Rector

HOLY PLACES: There will be a collection after the Liturgy of The Lord’s Passion on Good Friday. Please continue to pray for the suffering Church in the Middle East. Thank you.

+                +                 + 

+FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT 
Sunday 17th MARCH 2024

CARDINAL’S LENTEN APPEAL 2024
There will be a retiring collection TODAY after all masses.
If you can, please show your support for the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal. All funds raised go towards projects across our Diocese. Each year, the Diocese uses donations made to support the work of our services, such as Marriage & Family Life; Youth Ministry, and Education. Funds are also used to support the work of Caritas Westminster, which works for and with some of the most vulnerable people in our Diocese. Cardinal Nichols, has expressed his gratitude to everyone who supports the Appeal, with whatever they can afford. So, please take a donation envelope today, for more information. You can use the QR code to make your donation online. Thank you for your generosity.

THE NATIONAL NOVENA TO ST JOSEPH: will take place from 10th – 18th March 2024 at St Joseph’s Church in Maidenhead. Details at: www.millhillmissionaries.com/novena. You are welcome to send in your petitions and/or to request a Novena prayer booklet. Email novenamhm@gmail.com
THE NOVENA WILL BE RECITED AFTER MASS IN OUR PARISH FROM 10th – 18th MARCH. NOVENA LEAFLETS ARE AVAILABLE.

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+ FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT
Sunday 10th March 2024

“LAETARE” (“Rejoice”) SUNDAY

TODAY we are invited to REJOICE, because the coming celebration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection (the Paschal Mystery) is fast approaching. May our rejoicing energise us to use this second half of Lent as well as we can to prepare for Easter.

MOTHERING SUNDAY: today we pray for all mothers in their mothering. To be a mother is one of the greatest of lives – to conceive and bear a child, and mothering the child to maturity. What an awesome responsibility. Our Lady Mother of Jesus, is the model: Let us invoke her help for all mothers.

THE NATIONAL NOVENA TO ST JOSEPH: will take place from 10th – 18th March 2024 at St Joseph’s Church in Maidenhead. Details at: www.millhillmissionaries.com/novena. You are welcome to send in your petitions and/or to request a Novena prayer booklet. Email novenamhm@gmail.com

THE NOVENA WILL BE RECITED AFTER MASS IN OUR PARISH FROM 10th – 18th MARCH.  NOVENA LEAFLETS WILL BE AVAILABLE.

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH: Monday 19th March

SAINTS & MARTYRS: A series of DVD presentations Monday evenings at 6.45pm, in the Parish Room. This Monday 11th March, we explore the life of St Thomas More.

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+ THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
Sunday 3rd March 2024

THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE

TODAY’S GOSPEL tells of Our Lord driving out the money changers and those who sold birds and animals for sacrifice.
We are to learn that:
• the Temple sacrifices have come to an end because Jesus Himself is now God fully present among us, and His one perfect sacrifice on Calvary effects our reconciliation with God and one another
• after the Resurrection the Church is His Mystical Body on earth —  belonging to Jesus and His Church are two sides of the same coin.
• our churches are to be places of prayer. Authentic worship and prayer are means to let God transform us and enable us live better each day.
• Jesus wants to cleanse us of our sin but this cannot happen until we enthrone Him, so that He reigns fully in our life. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is our most powerful weapon to effect this.
• The Ten Commandments teach us ten ways of loving, so they are an excellent way to help us examine our life and prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We should know the Ten Commandments by heart! Do we?

OUR ARCHBISHOP, CARDINAL VINCENT NICHOLS, has asked us to keep this Friday 8th March as a special focus of prayer for the Holy Land. So our time of Adoration (5-5:50pm), our public Rosary (5:30pm), our Mass and then Stations of the Cross will all be offered for that intention. Please do come and participate in whatever is possible for you.

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+ SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
Sunday 25th February 2024

Inspirational Quotes for The Lenten Season

1. “Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” — Pope Francis

2. “Are you capable of risking your life for someone? Do it for Christ.” — Pope St John Paul II

3. “As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…’Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.” — St Teresa of Calcutta

4.  “Prayer is where the action is.” — John Wesley

5. “The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.” — Pope St. Gregory the Great

6. “Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and in this way to know the fundamental truth: who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life…” – Pope Benedict XVI

7. “Renounce yourself in order to follow Christ; discipline your body; do not pamper yourself, but love fasting.” — Saint Benedict

8. “Lent is like a long ‘retreat’ during which we can turn back into ourselves and listen to the voice of God, in order to defeat the temptations of the Evil One. It is a period of spiritual ‘combat’ which we must experience alongside Jesus, not with pride and presumption, but using the arms of faith: prayer, listening to the word of God and penance. In this way we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our Baptism.” — Pope Benedict XVI

THE SECOND SYNOD on SYNODALITY: towards October 2024.
Our Archbishop, Cardinal Vincent Nichols is inviting us to assemble as a parish to consider the following four questions.
Q.1: How do we witness as a Parish and proclaim our faith to:
those who have never heard of Christ;
those who have ceased walking with Christ;
those with whom we worship Christ (those who go to church)?
Q.2: How should we organise ourselves as a Parish to do this more effectively?
Q.3: What concrete steps/formation opportunities would help us begin to witness and proclaim our faith more effectively?
Q.4: What structures may need to change? How might we need to develop the way we are organised currently?

We shall do this on Monday evening at 6.45pm, as part of our Lenten celebration of Saints. If you cannot be present, do please let me know your views or email your responses to the Parish office. Fr David Barnes, Rector

CAFOD FAMILY FAST DAY APPEAL TODAY: This Lent, your donations to CAFOD’s Family Fast Day appeal will help hardworking people like James the fisherman in Liberia with resources, tools and training to feed their families. Give today using the envelope or online at www.cafod.org.uk To watch James’ inspiring story please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFWxJpczass

SAINTS & MARTYRS: A series of DVD presentations Monday evenings at 6.45pm, in the Parish Room.
26th February St John Henry Newman
4th March St Ann Line and the Martyrs of Lincoln’s Inn Fields
11th March St Thomas More

+ FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
Sunday 18th February 2024
In these 40 days of Lent we seek to identify with Our Lord’s experience in the desert and so come to understand and love Him better.
It was the Holy Spirit who led Him into the desert, and we shall only keep a good Lent in so far as we keep asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. Our Lord was tempted by the Devil, and, if we are intent on following Our Lord, so shall we be tempted — to give up, to make the things of this world (food, drink, possessions, status and money) the treasures of our heart. This is why we must emphasise the disciplines of Lent:  PRAYER, FASTING and ALMSGIVING.
Practising these liberates us from our self-centredness and self-indulgence. We need always to ask the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the help of the angels, just as Our Lord experienced this in the desert. There is the wonderful prayer to St Michael the Archangel to keep us from the influence of the Devil and bad spirits.

THE SECOND SYNOD on SYNODALITY: towards October 2024.
Our Archbishop, Cardinal Vincent Nichols is inviting us to assemble as a parish to consider the following four questions.
Q.1: How do we witness as a Parish and proclaim our faith to:
those who have never heard of Christ;
those who have ceased walking with Christ;
those with whom we worship Christ (those who go to church)?
Q.2: How should we organise ourselves as a Parish to do this more effectively?
Q.3: What concrete steps/formation opportunities would help us begin to witness and proclaim our faith more effectively?
Q.4: What structures may need to change? How might we need to develop the way we are organised currently?

We shall do this over the next two Monday evenings at 6.45pm, as part of our Lenten celebration of Saints. If you cannot be present, do please let me know your views or (best!) email your responses to the Parish office.
Fr David Barnes, Rector

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6th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Sunday 11th February 2024

POPE FRANCIS MESSAGE for XXXII WORLD DAY OF THE SICK

“It is not good that man should be alone”.

Healing the Sick by Healing Relationships.

TODAY is the 32nd WORLD DAY OF THE SICK. Pope Francis writes:
Brothers and sisters, the first form of care needed in any illness is compassionate and loving closeness. To care for the sick thus means above all to care for their relationships, all of them: with God, with others – family members, friends, healthcare workers – , with creation and with themselves. Can this be done? Yes, it can be done and all of us are called to ensure that it happens. Let us look to the icon of the Good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10:25-37), to his ability to slow down and draw near to another person, to the tender love with which he cares for the wounds of a suffering brother.
Let us remember this central truth in life: we came into the world because someone welcomed us; we were made for love; and we are called to communion and fraternity. This aspect of our lives is what sustains us, above all at times of illness and vulnerability. It is also the first therapy that we must all adopt in order to heal the diseases of the society in which we live.
To those of you who experience illness, whether temporary or chronic, I would say this: Do not be ashamed of your longing for closeness and tenderness! Do not conceal it, and never think that you are a burden on others. The condition of the sick urges all of us to step back from the hectic pace of our lives in order to rediscover ourselves.
The sick, the vulnerable and the poor are at the heart of the Church; they must also be at the heart of our human concern and pastoral attention. May we never forget this! And let us commend ourselves to Mary Most Holy, Health of the Sick, that she may intercede for us and help us to be artisans of closeness and fraternal relationships.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 10 January 2024 FRANCIS

To read the full message please visit: https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/sick/documents/20240110-giornata-malato.html

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5th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Sunday 4th February 2024

CHILDREN’S LITURGY

OUR CHILDREN are among our greatest treasures, and as a parish family we must therefore ask ourselves “How is this lived in our parish?”

THE MASS is the heart of parish life: it is our means of union with God through communion with Christ. The Mass is God—with— us. That is why Mass, at least on Sundays, is such an essential. To rob ourselves or our children of Sunday Mass is to rob ourselves of our greatest good .

THE CHILDREN’S LITURGY is a good way of making the Word of God more accessible to our children. We have an excellent history of Children’s Liturgy in this parish. This Sunday and every Sunday we shall have a Children’s Liturgy at the 10:00am Mass, led by Marthe and Antoine Danzin.

WE ALL have a responsibility to treasure and support our children —first by our prayers, by supporting our altar servers and children’s choir, and the children’s day trips and theatre visits. I am especially grateful to our school, St Joseph’s Macklin Street, for all they do in forming our children in the Catholic Faith. Frequent prayers for our school too please. My sincere thanks also to Mr Brian Stalker who is preparing our children for First Holy Communion.  

Do please let me know of other ways we can develop our love and care of our children.

Fr David Barnes, Rector

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4th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Sunday 28th January 2024

TODAY is RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY.

Bishop Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for Racial Justice, message for Racial Justice Sunday:

Hello. My name is Bishop Paul McAleenan. The theme of Racial Justice Sunday in England and Wales in 2024 is ‘Seeing one another in the life of the Church’. There are different ways that the theme could be approached. I would like to suggest one particular way.

In the history of the Church, there have been those who looked at the society in which they lived, and responded to what they saw. They looked, made a decision based on what they saw, and acted. Alert and sensitive as they were to the commandments of Christ, when they saw justice being denied to someone because of their racial origin or colour, they were prompted to act. Their actions of opposing racism, promoting equality and justice, became their life’s work. Following this path, sometimes they encountered hostility, rejection, and attempts to overturn what they were doing.

However, they persevered and became instruments of change, agents of progress, and some are acknowledged as saints of the Church. There are many, many saints in the Church. Each is different. Each chose to follow a particular aspect of the person of Jesus.

Some saw Jesus as a teacher and devoted their lives to teaching. Some followed Jesus as one who loved the sick, and opened hospices and hospitals. Others saw Jesus as the friend of the poor and gave witness to that. Among the saints are those who remembered the words of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for what is right. They shall be satisfied.” And then they spent their lives working that everyone would be treated justly, with fairness and without discrimination.

For Racial Justice Sunday this year, can I suggest that you explore the lives of those great men and women – those who devoted their lives to the pursuit of racial justice, those who emulated God’s passion for justice, which we read about in the scriptures.

They will inspire us, teach us, and make us sensitive to the importance of racial justice and why we work for it. May we too, like them, see one another in the life of the Church.         Bishop Paul McAleenan

A PRAYER FOR RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY
Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth,
so that we may discover anew
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity
that God so loves.
Amen.

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3rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Sunday 21st January 2024

SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD

POPE FRANCIS has made this Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (today!) an opportunity to deepen our devotion to the celebration, study and spread of the Word of God.

“Devoting a specific Sunday of the liturgical year to the Word of God can enable the Church to experience anew how the risen Lord opens up for us the treasury of his word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world.” Pope Francis

THE SACRED SCRIPTURES (the Bible) are the inspired Word of God. God speaks to us in a particular way when we read them with faith and love. Like Our Lady we need to ponder them and treasure them in our heart.

St Paul writes: “All Scripture is inspired by God and can profitably be used for:
1. Teaching
2. Refuting error
3. Guiding people’s lives
4. Teaching them to be holy

This is how the person who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any good work” (2 Timothy 3:16,17)

READ THE SCRIPTURES therefore every day, even if only a few verses. We should feast on them more than food and drink!

RESOLUTION: decide today to be committed to reading the Sacred Scriptures every day.
1. Give the Bible a special place of prominence in your house. Hold it with reverence. The priest kisses the Gospel after proclaiming it at Mass: we do well also to kiss the Bible as we use it.
2. If we are beginning again, why not start with St Mark’s Gospel, a clear and simple presentation of what Jesus said and did?

Or, the First Letter of John, a beautiful presentation of how to come back to God with all our heart.

WHATEVER WE DECIDE, DO SOMETHING!
Every Blessing,
Fr David Barnes, Rector

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2nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Sunday 14th January 2024

POPE FRANCIS’s – MESSAGE ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND PEACE.
There are the fundamental concerns that Pope Francis raised when he announced his theme for the World Day of Peace: the need to be vigilant that a “logic of violence and discrimination” doesn’t take root in the development of AI at the expense of the most fragile and excluded; that the advancement of AI does not fuel injustice and inequality and therefore conflict, and, of course, that AI is developed so that it serves humanity and the protection of our common home. It is a theme we will need to keep returning to. To read the message in full, visit: https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/peace/documents/20231208-messaggio-57giornatamondiale-pace2024.html

PRAYER FOR PEACE
God our creator and sustainer,
We thank you for the gifts of creativity you have given us, for the ability to explore science and understand your creation.
We ask your forgiveness for the times we have used science for evil and not for good, for war and not for peace.
Make us vigilant as we develop technology, that violence and discrimination may not take root,
that injustice and inequality will not be fuelled, that the poor and vulnerable will not pay the cost.
May all that we create contribute to peace and justice. Amen

PAX CHRISTI (PEACE SUNDAY): TODAY 14th Jan 2024. “The work of Pax Christi is based on the Gospel & inspired by faith. Their vision is of a world where people can live in peace, without fear of violence in all its forms. Please use the following link: https://paxchristi.org.uk/about-us/support-us/donation/

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
18th – 25th January. We pray each day for the reunion of all Christians.  The theme this year is “You shall love the Lord your God… and your neighbour as yourself” (Lk 10:27).

PRAYER
Lord, give us the grace to know you deeply, in order to love you entirely.
May the gift of your Holy Spirit enable our eyes, ears and minds to receive the unconditional love with which you love us.
Purify our hearts that we may always be ready to love our neighbour, however different, as ourselves.
Through the self-giving life of Christ our Lord. Amen.

QUESTIONS
Personal: How do you see yourself? How do you think God sees you?
Local: Does God’s view of you change your view of those around you?
Global: How does God’s view of you change how you respond to the news?

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THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
Sunday 7th January 2024

THE EPIPHANY 

TODAY we celebrate the Epiphany. In the coming of the Kings/the Magi, we see that all real power and wisdom are found in the person of Jesus —  He is the Power and the Wisdom of God personified.
The Kings/Magi fall on their knees and worship Him: we too must imitate them, falling on our knees and worshipping Him — only then are we better disposed to recognse who He really is.
The Feast of the Epiphany was the day I was ordained priest — now 48 years ago! On my ordination prayer card I put a prayer written by a saint who has influenced me greatly throughout my adult life: St Ignatius Loyola (1491— 1556)
I put the prayer here again, and encourage you to say it regularly. Pray for me too, please, as I do for you.

Dearest Jesus,
teach me to be generous; teach me to serve You as You deserve;
to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for any reward
save that of knowing I am doing Your Will.

TOMORROW (Monday) we celebrate Our Lord’s baptism by his cousin John the Baptist….

Our Lord is revealed as divine, the Son of God. Our Lord commissions the apostles to go out into the whole world and baptise people everywhere in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

To be baptised means we are immersed into the life of the Blessed Trinity, so we can share God’s life. In baptism God places us in His Son and we become a son or daughter of God: when God looks on us He sees us as a son or daughter because we are in God’s Son. This is all pure gift, a grace of God. We could not do this ourselves: God does it for us.

God wants to share His Life with us, and for us to share our life with Him. Baptism initiates this relationship. Today, thank God for the Sacrament of Baptism, and pray we shall all live our friendship with God more devotedly. 

POPE FRANCIS ONCE ASKED: “If I were to ask you today, “which of you knows the exact date of your baptism?” I do not think there would be too many hands raised…. Yet, it is the day on which we were saved, it is the day on which we became children of God. Now, those who do not know it should ask their godparents, their dad, their mom, an uncle, an aunt: “When was I baptised”? And that day should be remembered each year: it is the day on which we became children of God”.
Fr David Barnes, Parish Priest

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