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 virginmoneygiving.com and type “Vinnie Packs” into the sponsor a friend box.