FrMichael  parish

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Fr Tim

ECUMENISM: I had the privilege and pleasure to be at the Institution of The Reverend Alan Kennedy as the new Team Rector of the Mossley Hill Churches last Wednesday. I assured him of the prayers and support of our parishes. We do have good relations with our sister churches both here and in Woolton and I am keen that we look for every opportunity of working together with them.

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR HOLY WEEK AND EASTER. 

Once again I want to thank everyone in both our parishes who ensured that all the ceremonies over Holy Week and Easter were celebrated with such fitting devotion. The sacristans and the support teams ensured that the churches themselves were carefully prepared to reflect the solemnity of each occasion and were resplendent for Easter itself. The musicians and the servers prepared meticulously and the congregations were exceptional, with so many of you expressing your appreciation. Thank you too for your generous response to the Easter Offering for the Redemptorist community.

annunciation

SOLEMNITY OF THE ANNUNCIATION: 

MONDAY 4 APRIL—Tomorrow is the transferred Feast of the Annunciation, which, of course, is the titular feast of our parish. Archbishop Patrick will lead the celebration at 12.00 noon. Please remember to park behind the church as there will be work taking place on the trees in front of the monastery!

AN EASTER MESSAGE

As I write these few words on the morning of the Wednesday of Holy Week, I realise that, after the events in Brussels, our minds and hearts are once again consumed with a mixture of fraught emotions, including perhaps a feeling of helplessness. And then I read these words in today’s Office of   Readings from the Letter to the Hebrews:

Always be wanting peace with all people, and the holiness without which no one can ever see the Lord. Be careful that no one is deprived of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness should begin to grow and make trouble; this can poison a whole community.”

We are not helpless; our first response is always to ensure that we as individuals and communities are united and peaceful and that is my prayer for us all this Easter. “Peace be with you” was the greeting of Jesus on Easter night: it is my prayer that we will all experience that peace this Easter. This will make us grateful for one another and all the remarkable things taking place in our two communities. I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all of you who have made such an effort to ensure that our Holy Week and Easter celebrations fittingly reflect the mysteries we are caught up in. I am very conscious of some remarkable initiatives in both parishes. Clearly they are bearing much fruit and probably in ways beyond our imagination. But for a start, let us thank God for all those who have come into full communion with us this Easter. To each of you we say: “Welcome and we embrace with our love and affection. You are God’s very special gifts to us this year. May you experience the joy and peace of Easter to the full.”

A VERY HAPPY EASTER TO YOU FROM ALL THE REDEMPTORISTS

HOLY WEEK IN THE HOLY YEAR OF MERCY—I urge you to make sure that you take note of the times of all the Holy Week Services, keeping this bulletin in a prominent place in your home. As well as the great liturgical celebrations—Maundy Thursday Evening, Good Friday Afternoon and Holy Saturday Evening—there are other opportunities to come together for prayer this week, including Morning Prayer at 9.00am on each of the three days, Stations of Cross on Good Friday (11.00am the children and 7.30pm for the adults). If you prefer there will be Prayers at the Foot of the Cross at the same time (7.30pm) at St Mary’s. Also, please note the Ecumenical Walk of Witness on Good Friday morning.

Reconciliation: You do not need me to stress the importance of this opportunity during the Year of Mercy to ask the Lord to heal the hurt of our sins. There will be the usual Reconciliation Services at 7.30pm—Monday 21 March in St Mary’s and Tuesday 22 March in Bishop Eton. After each service there will be many priests for those who wish to make an individual confession, which I would encourage in this Holy Year of Mercy.

OUR WELCOMING COMMUNITIES: I am simply delighted that this year we are baptising, receiving into full communion and confirming so many people in our two parishes and a joy that those involved speak of the warmth and welcome they experience in our churches. My thanks to our catechists and all involved in the ‘Journey in Faith’… may we all grow together in the love and friendship of the Lord during this holy season.

THE HOLY YEAR: I think all those who were able to get to the Cathedral for the special Holy Year pilgrimage last weekend, found the experience uplifting and rewarding. The format was simple and the prayers thoughtful. If you were not able to go I would encourage you to think about making your own family pilgrimage in your own time. We will continue to support you by offering ample opportunities for the sacrament of Reconciliation. As usual we will try and make priests available after all the weekday Masses in the run up to Easter, though it is obviously more difficult on the days we have funerals. There will also be the usual Reconciliation Services in Holy Week:

Monday, 21 March at 7.30pm at St Mary’s

Tuesday, 22 March at 7.30pm at Bishop Eton

OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR. After Easter we will look again at how best to celebrate the Jubilee Year for the icon, which is so precious to the Redemptorists. We are planning to have a preached Novena in preparation for the Feast on 27 June as the climax of our celebrations and we will endeavour to make this known across the city.

Copies of a new bookFountain of Gracefor this Jubilee Year are still available at £7.95. I strongly recommend it.

PRESENTATION OF OUR CATECHUMENS AND CANDIDATES: At the 11.30 a.m. Mass this Sunday we will present to the parish those who are to be baptised and received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. Please keep them in your prayers during the coming two weeks.

MOTHERING SUNDAY: After a little research I have discovered that Mothering Sunday actually goes back to the late Middle Ages, when people returned to their mother church (possibly the church of their baptism or the cathedral) for a special service to mark the half-way point of Lent: Laetare(Rejoice) Sunday. It is no harm that our secular society has turned it into ‘Mother’s Day’ and we can happily combine the two focuses. Firstly we can ensure that we use the rest of Lent to prepare well for the renewal of our baptismal vows this Easter, as well as supporting with our prayers those who are preparing to be baptised at the Easter Vigil. At the same time we wish all our mothers a very happy day and thank them for all the love they shower on their own families as well as the larger family of the Church.

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