2nd March 2014 Eighth Sunday of the Year

School Reference Forms
We require a copy of your child’s Baptism certificates before the forms can be signed. If you did not enclose a copy of the certificate, please post to the office marked FAO Trish.

Sacristan Meeting
As reported last weekend, there will be a meeting for the Parish Sacristans on Saturday March 8th at 11.00am in the Church. All current Sacristans and anybody who would like to consider becoming a Sacristan are invited to attend.

Food Bank
Your generous contributions of food every week are most greatly appreciated. All of the food goes without delay to the organisers of the distribution system which ensures that the food goes directly to those with the most need in Stevenage.

Ash Wednesday March 5, 2014
The first day of Lent
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
Why we receive the ashes?
Following the example of the Ninevites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told “Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.” Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.

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23rd February 2014 Seventh Sunday of the Year

Three Parishes Magazine
We would like to welcome your contribution! Is there a personal spiritual experience (say a Pilgrimage) you would like to tell others about?  Perhaps a favourite recipe or an amusing story.  Please send your written contribution to the Parish Secretary by 24th March.

Next meeting in the Old Town presbytery at 7.30pm on Tuesday 25th February.

Sacristan Meeting
As reported last weekend, there will be a meeting for the Parish Sacristans on Saturday March 8th at 11.00am in the Church. All current Sacristans and anybody who would like to consider becoming a Sacristan are invited to attend.

Our Prayers and Congratulations to Cardinal Vincent Nichols
This weekend Pope Francis raises Archbishop Vincent to the honour of Cardinal at a special Consistory at St Peter’s in Rome.  The prayers and best wishes of all of us in the Diocese and throughout the country are with him as he takes up this great responsibility.

There will be TWO MASSES OF THANKSGIVING led by the Cardinal at Westminster Cathedral on his return: Friday 28th February at 5:30pm and Sunday 2nd March at 10:30am.  There is an open invitation to everyone for both these Masses, so please, if you can, go along and represent the Parish.

Prayer Meeting
Friday 28th in the presbytery at 2.30pm. Everyone welcome. Please call Colleen on 01438 359402 if you would like more details.

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16th February 2014 Sixth Sunday of the Year

Children’s Liturgy: This Sunday at 11.00 Mass

Preparing for your Baby’s baptism: Course date 8th March. Please take a form, complete part 1, and return to the presbytery no later than Monday 3rd March.

First Holy Communion Class: Saturday 1st March at 9.30am in the church.

There will be a Mass of welcome for the Cardinal designate, Vincent Nichols, when he returns from the Consistory and this will be at 5.30pm on Friday, 28 February, Westminster Cathedral.

Growing in Faith We estimate that we will raise about £2000 per year over the next five years for the Parish to spend on a Pastoral project. This weekend we are distributing short questionnaires to obtain the Parish’s views and ideas on what that project should be. Please fill it in and return to the “Growing in Faith” box over the next few weeks.
Remember that “no idea is a bad idea”!!”

Irish Network Stevenage are holding their next monthly social event on Wednesday 19th February at the new time of 1.00pm until 3.00pm at Bedwell Community Centre. This will be the last opportunity to buy tickets for the St Patrick’s Day Lunch. Their social events are always great fun, with dancing and a raffle and guests are provided with tea and
biscuits. Everyone is welcome and entry is only £1.50 for members and £2.50 for non members. If you would like more information please contact Elaine Connolly on 01438 725400.

Archbishop’s Mass of Thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Matrimony Westminster Cathedral Saturday 7th June 2014 at 3:00pm
The Archbishop will be inviting to this Mass all couples in the Diocese who are celebrating their 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th (and every year over 60 years) wedding anniversary of Catholic marriage in 2014. If you are celebrating an anniversary, please write a letter to Fr Michael with the following details: husband and wife’s name, wedding date, full postal address and email address (or telephone number, if no email). Letters should arrive no later than Sunday 2nd March 2014.

Fair Trade Fortnight The Diocese celebrates Fair Trade fortnight starting on February 24th .The main Diocesan celebration will be held at Holy Apostles Church, Cumberland St., Pimlico SW14LY on Saturday March 1st commencing at 2.00pm. If anyone wishes to attend further details can be obtained from our Fair Trade representative Michael Downing.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society needs more volunteers: Visiting & Befriending
Visiting those in need and sitting side by side with them remains the core work of the Society. Regular visiting based on trust and friendship is what gives the SVP its unique character.

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9th February 2014 Fifth Sunday of the Year

Children’s Liturgy
This Sunday at 11.00 Mass

Preparing for your Baby’s baptism
Course date 8th March. Please take a form, complete part 1, and return to the presbytery no later than Monday 3rd March.

First Holy Communion Class
Saturday 1st March at 9.30am in the church.

Our Lady of Lourdes
World Day of the sick: February 11th marks the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 to fourteen-year-old Marie Bernade (St. Bernadette) Soubirous. Between February 11th and July 16th, 1858, the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times, and showed herself to St. Bernadette in the hollow of the rock at Lourdes. On March 25th she said to the little shepherdess who was only fourteen years of age: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Since then Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and many cures and conversions have taken place. The message of Lourdes is a call to personal conversion, prayer and charity. During the Holy Eucharist there will be a prayer for the sick and the Ointment.

There will be a Mass of welcome for the Cardinal designate, Vincent Nichols, when he returns from the Consistory and this will be at 5.30pm on Friday, 28 February, Westminster Cathedral.

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2nd February 2014 Presentation of the Lord

Presentation of the Lord

In today’s feast we can see a moment of transition of the liturgical season, from Christmas time to the time of Easter. Mary and Joseph bring baby Jesus to the Temple of Jerusalem, present him and offer him to the Lord God, as prescribed by the law. Jesus was consecrated to God and declared His property. Being born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, he is the holy one of God, totally given to Him and at His service. Mary, Mother of the Messiah, did not need any purification as she had not contracted any impurity. Neither did Jesus, the holy One of God, need any consecration. Yet in solidarity with the rest of Israel, they humbly observe the law. Mary recognises fully the rights of God over her Child and associated herself with his consecration. This is her first direct participation in the sacrificial offering of Christ which will finally be completed on the cross.

For that very reason, this feast is a fitting occasion to celebrate the Day of Consecrated Life. Today we remember the persons and institutions that offer themselves to God and consecrate themselves to him. The Church and the society benefit immensely from the silent and sustained work of thousands of religious Priests, Brothers and Sisters all over the world in various fields like education, care of the sick, care of the orphans and of the aged, and carry out other forms of social services. Like Jesus and Mary, they consecrate themselves to God and participate in the mission of the Saviour. We thank and praise the Lord for them. Their life of chastity, poverty and obedience are eschatological signs pointing to the life to come and the kingdom of heaven.

Every Christian, of course, is a consecrated person, consecrated in Baptism, Confirmation and the other sacraments. The religious reconfirm that consecration through the vows which they voluntarily make, and live that consecration in a more radical way through their life of chastity, poverty and obedience. They closely follow and imitate the Lord who was born poor, who lived chaste and was obedient unto death.

Today we pray for all the consecrated persons that they may be docile instruments in the hands of God and remain faithful to Him till the end. We pray that they may not fall into   temptation and evil, but be shining models of truth, justice, love, goodness and holiness. May they be the salt of the earth that preserves society from evil and corruption. May the Lord send more and more good workers into his vineyard, and may the members of the institutes of consecrated life increase. May He inspire many young men and women to dedicate themselves to His service as religious. And may the people see their good work and give glory to the Father in heaven.

St Patrick’s Day is a time of pride and joy for all Irish men and women everywhere and, as is the tradition all over the world, INS will be presenting our Mayor with Shamrock on this special day and would like to invite everyone to join us and to be a part of this important event. The Presentation of Shamrock is being made at 12.00pm on Monday 17th March 2014 at The Holiday Inn, St Georges Way, Stevenage. Following the Presentation there will be a Bacon and Cabbage Lunch, with Apple Crumble Tart for dessert, for which we are making a charge of £8.00 for members and £13.00 for non-members, the afternoon will continue with entertainment until 3.00pm. For more information please contact Elaine Connolly on 725400.

Mr Flanagan, first Headteacher of St Margaret Clitherow School has died in Hastings. His pioneering leadership is fondly remembered by the Catholic community in Stevenage, especially all former colleagues and pupils. His funeral has already taken place in Hastings.

Ladies lunch the next Ladies lunch will be on Wednesday 5th February at the Coopers Arms next door to Sainsbury’s at the Poplars SB1 bus terminates there.  Good meals at very reasonable prices take advantage of their offers, warm welcome of new and old diners plenty of chat and laughter. Raffle prizes always welcome, we have just donated £110 to the Red Cross Philippine emergency fund.

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he had only had good intentions

Archbishop’s Mass of Thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Matrimony Westminster Cathedral Saturday 7th June 2014 at 3:00pm

The Archbishop will be inviting to this Mass all couples in the Diocese who are celebrating their 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th (and every year over 60 years) wedding anniversary of Catholic marriage in 2014. If you are celebrating an anniversary, please write a letter to Fr Michael with the following details: husband and wife’s name, wedding date, full postal address and email address  (or telephone number, if no email).

Letters should arrive no later than Sunday 2nd March 2014.

Westminster Cathedral Mass in Honour of Our Lady of Lourdes. This year’s Mass will take place at 2pm on Saturday 8th February. Archbishop Vincent Nichols will preside, and as in previous years, the Mass will include the Sacrament of the Sick. If you would like to attend, and need special assistance (eg. wheelchair space), please let Fr Auson know, so that the cathedral can be informed

St Vincent de Paul Society: The SVP are distributing 10,000 Vinnie Packs containing cold weather essentials to the homeless this winter.  If you would like to sponsor a pack the suggested donation is £3 per pack.  Donations can be sent to Vinnie Packs, P O Box 72264, London SW1P 9EZ with cheques made payable to SVP or go to and type “Vinnie Packs” into the sponsor a friend box.

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26th January 2014 Third Sunday of the Year

Archbishop’s Mass of Thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Matrimony Westminster Cathedral Saturday 7th June 2014
The Archbishop will be inviting to this Mass all couples in the Diocese who are celebrating their 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th (and every year over 60 years) wedding anniversary of Catholic marriage in 2014. If you are celebrating an anniversary, please write a letter to Fr Michael with the following details: husband and wife’s name, wedding date, full postal address and email address

John Henry Newman RC School General Catering Assistant Required for February 2014
The Governors of the School wish to appoint a general catering assistant to join our very strong school catering department.

Prayer Meeting
On Friday 31st January at 2.30pm in the presbytery. Everyone is welcome.

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19th January 2014 Second Sunday of the Year

Saturday 25th January will be exactly the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Transfiguration church in 1914. We plan to celebrate our centenary year in various ways. Details to be announced.

The Stevenage Community Food Bank trustees would like to thank all of you for the wonderful donations to date specially the Christmas Appeal which surpassed all our expectations. We were able to provide Christmas hampers to at least 30 needy families and provide extra Christmas goodies for children on our normal weekly sessions for at least 3 weeks before Christmas. Last year (we are now one year old) we fed 2800 people. 1900 adults and 900 children and will continue to do this with your help.

This weekend we are pleased to welcome our new Priest Fr. Auson. Like Fr. Michael, he is a Salvatorian and is currently a full time student studying for a MA in Catholic Education. Fr. Auson looks forward to his ministry with us and getting to know everyone.

Fr. Auson will be taking Mondays as his day off from the parish so there will be no Mass on Mondays. All other Masses will remain as normal.

The annual award to recognise local individuals who have made a personal contribution to the community within the defined Stevenage Old Town, Symonds Green and Woodfield areas, which has resulted in either benefits to the area or its people, or both. You may nominate one person who you consider to have excelled in providing a service to the community. Please take a card form the porch and return by 3rd February to Stevenage Borough Council. Forms in the church porch.

On Friday 31st January at 2.30pm in the presbytery. Everyone is welcome. Please call Colleen on 359402 if you would like more details.

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12th January 2014 Baptism of the Lord

Fr. Auson is a Salvatorian Priest from Tanzania and is studying full time for a Masters degree. He has been in England for the past 2 years working in a parish in South London. We look forward to his ministry here with us in the Old Town. Eucharistic Services will continue on weekdays until Monday 20th when weekday Mass will return to normal.

I’ve been speaking with Fr. Fred who has settled in as Chaplain at Nazareth House in Cheltenham. He is very happy and sends his fond regards to all at the Transfiguration and assures us of his continuing prayers. I assured him of all our prayers and the appreciation of all the parishioners in Stevenage. There will be a Retiring Collection today to show our gratitude to Fr. Fred for all that he has done in the Old Town.
Fr. Michael.

There will be a meeting with Fr. Michael on Monday 13th January at 7pm in the Presbytery for this year’s Candidates and their parents. Please ensure you attend this important meeting.

Funeral on Wednesday 15th at 10.15am at Transfiguration.

Funeral on Thursday 16th at 1pm at St. Hilda’s. May they rest in eternal peace.

Monday 13th January at 8pm in the Presbytery.

Are holding their first monthly Social Event of the New Year on Wednesday 15th January at the new time of 1pm at Bedwell Community Centre. Everyone is welcome and entry is only £1.50 for members and £2.50 for non-members. For more information please contact Elaine on 01438 725400.

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5th January 2014 Epiphany of the Lord

Fr. Fred has now moved to Cheltenham as a Chaplain in a nursing home. We give thanks for all his great work here at the Transfiguration and we will be holding a special collection for him next weekend to show our appreciation for all that he has done. Whilst we wait for a new Priest to be appointed to Transfiguration there will be Communion Services weekdays at 9.30am. As Parish Priest I will be celebrating the weekend Masses and will be talking to the Parish about Fr. Fred’s successor.

Mother of Jon White, Head of St. Margaret Clitherow School. Funeral to take place on 16th January at 1pm at St. Hilda’s. May she rest in eternal peace. Please keep Margaret and her family in your prayers.

In the Old Town Presbytery on Tuesday 14th and 28th January at 7.30pm.

Will meet on Monday 6th January at 1.30pm in the church. Please come and join us!

The next Ladies Lunch takes place on Wednesday 8th January 12noon at the Coopers Arms.

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