AN EASTER GREETING
The dramatic image of Notre Dame de Paris going up in flames will be one of the abiding memories of this Holy Week. It is difficult to process something like this as we search for meaning and understanding, yet some of the images will remain etched on our memories forever. Among the most compelling for me was the sight of the tower crashing to the ground, followed by the stunning image of the white cross shining through the debris the day afterwards. The amount of media coverage suggests that deep down in the hearts of all men and women is a sense that a sacred place like this is not just a monument to the past, but carries a living message.
Now, as we learn that the building was saved and will be restored, could we thank God for this reminder of all that we are celebrating in these days: death and RESURRECTION. The crowning moment for me came when a young woman was interviewed and reminded the interviewer that what made Notre Dame was not just the beautiful building, but the community of people who pray and worship there: a timely reminder of all that we are about.
FROM ALL THE REDEMPTORISTS;
A VERY HAPPY EASTER
Let us pray for one another that this will indeed be a holy week for each and every one of us.
I remind you that from the middle of the week the timetable changes radically.
We enter into the Sacred Triduum and in our liturgies accompany Jesus through his Passion and death. Then on Holy Saturday night we erupt with joy and celebrate the Resurrection.
Please do all you can to play your prayerful part with the community during these special days.
Monday 15 April at 7.00pm at St Mary’s
Tuesday 16 April at 7.30pm at Bishop Eton
Bearing in mind all that I wrote about this sacrament in BE Alive this month, please make every effort to share in these community acts of penance, reconciliation, and peace: we need each other in this context as in every other.
THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION:
We come to the last two weeks of Lent and the countdown to Easter.
Once again I wish to give you every opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation if you wish. Therefore, we will try to provide confessors after the weekday Masses as well as celebrate our community acts of sorrow with the Reconciliation Services on the Monday (St Mary’s) and Tuesday (Bishop Eton) of Holy Week.
Please read my thoughts on all this in the article I have written for this month’s BE Alive.
We have already reached the halfway point in Lent and so the Church gives us a breather today with this special Sunday, named after the opening word of the ‘Entry Antiphon’, Laetare: Rejoice! Fittingly it has also becomeMothering Sunday or Mothers’ Day. So we wish all our mums every blessing today and we thank you for all the sacrifices you make on behalf of your children and your families. ENJOY!
I took the opportunity of visiting Fr Barrie on Thursday and surprisingly he has slightly improved, although he remains bedridden and in need of constant care. As always he was delighted to receive all your good wishes and in turn assures you of his love and prayers.
We will continue to pray for all those who are struggling with serious health problems and I ask your prayers for young Jo K who remains very poorly. May I also ask your prayers for the repose of the soul of Peter Quinn, a parishioner here for so many years, who died on the Wirral in the early hours of Friday morning.
I hope your Lenten efforts are proving fruitful. Remember it is not a time to oppress ourselves but to free ourselves to be more loving. Those of us involved in the Synod are continuing our preparations – I will be attending a session in Ormskirk next Saturday – and we will soon present some plans to continue the listening process, which the Archbishop emphasised in his letter.
If you missed the Archbishop's letter you can view it below
Today the Sunday of Lent displaces the Feast of St Patrick. Nevertheless, to all of you with Irish blood: a happy St Patrick’s Day and may his prayers help to ensure that no new tension will arise in Ireland as a result of the protracted Brexit negotiations. The terrible events in New Zealand and the chaos surrounding Brexit, not to mention the many personal challenges we all face, may serve only to create a mood of deep despondency.
At times like this, I personally try to meditate on the most fundamental message that emerges from the whole of the New Testament, namely that Christ continues to redeem all the evil, pain and suffering. We participate in that redeeming presence by always seeking to be at one with him and one another.
“If one more person prays for peace, the world becomes a more peaceful place.”
FR BARRIE O’TOOLE
Fr Provincial and Fr Andrew both visited Fr Barrie last Saturday and I went last Monday. He continues to have the most loving care from his family and from the medical team. We spent some precious time in prayer and once again he thanks everyone for their love, good wishes and prayers.
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