Freddie Freckles and the Sacraments. The new book is at the printers and Redemptorist Publications are arranging three launches on Thursday 20 November: at the start of the school day at Bishop Eton, at the end of the school day at Much Woolton and at 6.30pm at the Pauline Media Centre in Bold Street. More details in the coming weeks.
Fr Barrie O'Toole. You are constantly asking after Barrie and assuring us and him of your prayers. You will be pleased to know that his last session of chemotherapy takes place this week. He remains in excellent spirits and everything seems to be going to plan. Thank you for all the good wishes.
St Gerard Majella and our families. A very big 'thank you' to everyone for the wonderful celebrations in our schools and churches to mark the feast of St Gerard last week. With the Synod on the Family meeting in Rome it seemed to me wholly appropriate that we should have renewed our devotions to Our Mother of Perpetual Help and St Gerard.
I think these devotions teach us much about what it means to be part of a family that really cares.
The renovation of the chapel of St Gerard at the back of Bishop Eton church will continue during the coming weeks. I thank all those who took the initiative to make this possible. I have been fascinated to learn that there are those who have been in the Bishop Eton parish for decades and did not know that the chapel existed. Hopefully Gerard is now on the map.
I suggest that we continue to look for ways of deepening our devotional life in both Bishop Eton and St Mary's.
If anyone wishes to join the St Gerard's Family League please Contact
League of St Gerard
ACTA National Conference at Hope University: next Saturday 25 October.
Registering begins at 9.45am and the day ends at 4.45pm.
If you wish to book a place, please contact Kathy Bamber on 722 7258. The ordinary cost is £15 but there are concessions.
Once again this event carries particular significance because of the Family Synod at this time and I am working hard on my presentation!
We celebrate the Feast of St Gerard Majella this Thursday, 16 October. As you know I am keen that in our two parishes we have a real sense of belonging because we are called to be united through the Lord with the whole family of the Church, which includes Mary and all the saints. Down through the centuries different saints have become famous because of their concerns for particular prayer intentions.
Fascinatingly St Gerard, who was a Redemptorist brother, became famous for his prayers for mothers and their babies, including mothers still awaiting the birth of their children. We will mark his feast this week by having a short service in in the church straight after school on Thursday afternoon at 3.45pm. All children and their parents are welcome, including babes-in-arms and mums who are expectant.
We will bless all present with the relic of St Gerard and give everyone a medal of St Gerard and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Farewell to the Sisters at Knolle Park
Many of you will know that the Poor Servants of the Mother of God are leaving Knolle Park after almost 100 years of wonderful service to the community in this part of Liverpool. There will be a Mass of Thanksgiving on Friday evening, 31 October at St Mary’s, Woolton. The time is yet to be finalised. I have met so many people who are indebted to the sisters for their care when they were children. I hope we will have a wonderful congregation to pray with them and for them on this occasion.
The Roman experience was everything I could have hoped for and more. I met many Redemptorist and other friends from bygone days and the event with Cardinal Vincent Nichols was relaxed and enjoyable. I sense there is something providential about all this as the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour has once again been given special place in the life of the Church in our country.
I hope that I will be able to report that everything has gone extremely well over the past couple of days. The original icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour is in our church of St Alphonsus in Rome. Now that Cardinal Vincent Nichols has taken possession of his church, we hope and pray that devotion to Mary under this title will continue to spread far and wide across our country. There is now a copy of the icon in Westminster Cathedral!
For a photo Cardinal Nichols with the icon and to read more of his homily click here.
Another great devotion that originated through the Redemptorists is that of St Gerard Majella, the patron of mothers and babies.
His Feast is on October 16th and by then our chapel to St Gerard will have been refurbished. In both Bishop Eton and St Mary's we will have special ceremonies for mums and babies and expectant mothers during that week.
I have invested in 3,000 medals of St Gerard and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour!
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