THANKS are very much in order to all of you who work so hard throughout the year, but especially around this time, to keep everything running smoothly in the church: sacristans, servers, readers, ministers, catechists, musicians, flower arrangers and church cleaners. Thanks also to all those of you who work to ensure the efficient administration of our parishes, who sit on the various committees and support the organisations, which keep our sense of mission alive. Please be assured that all of this is never taken for granted.
WITH FR RICHARD AND ALL THE REDEMPTORIST COMMUNITY, I WISH YOU ALL THE JOY AND PEACE OF EASTER
It has been a privilege for us to celebrate the great mystery of our redemption again with you this year. The message is forever new and life-giving. I hope that the sense of joy and expectation which the Easter season brings will permeate into your homes and enliven our parish and school communities. Once again we have around 130 children entering the last phase of their preparation for the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion. They and their families need our support and prayers, just as we need their love and commitment to enliven our parishes with the joy and energy which are the special gifts of the young. Pope Francis, on the Feast of the Annunciation, invited the whole Church to embark on a special time of prayer for families as we prepare for the Synod in October and I will return to this invitation in the coming weeks as well as looking with you for practical ways in which we might be more effective in supporting one another as the family of the Church. But for now let’s just relax and enjoy Easter Week!
We come once more to the most important week in the Church’s calendar and again I can only encourage you all to make it special for you and your families. The key events come during THE TRIDUUM, beginning with
THE MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER on Thursday evening at 8.00pm. This is followed by a time of quiet prayer before the Altar of Repose, recalling Jesus’ time in the Garden of Gethsemane. Please note:We invite all our Ministers of Communion to renew their commitment at this Mass. On Good Friday we have
THE LITURGY OF THE PASSION at 3.00pm and on Holy Saturday we celebrate
THE EASTER VIGIL at 8.30pm. This is the celebration which gives meaning to all our celebrations throughout the year. I never tire of reminding you and myself that without the Resurrection, nothing makes sense.
As final opportunities to prepare well for the Triduum, we offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation after all the Masses on the first three days of the week, and on Tuesday evening we have our Reconciliation Serviceat 7.30pm. For those who wish to make a personal confession, there will be as many priests as we can muster after the Service. (NB: St Mary’s Reconciliation Service is on Monday at 7.30pm.)
The Chrism Mass (at which all the oils for the sacraments in the coming year will be blessed by Archbishop Malcolm) is in the Cathedral on Wednesday at 7.30pm. (NB: We will offer the Novena Prayers at the Noon Mass that day.) Finally, please note that the Children’s Way of the Cross will be on Good Friday morning at 11.00am. (led by our Confirmation and First Communion class).
Redemptorist Appointment. The Provincial Council has issued the appointments for the coming four years and there is one major change affecting Bishop Eton: Fr Richard has been appointed as the new Rector and Parish Priest in Clapham and Fr Andy Burns is coming from Middlesbrough to replace him. Otherwise everyone else remains in post. I am honoured and happy to remain as parish priest of Bishop Eton and St Mary's, and after Easter together we will have a look at how best we can prepare for the future. We congratulate Fr Richard and wish him well as he takes on a plethora of new responsibilities. The changes will take place by the end of April so we will have time to say 'farewell' to him and prepare to welcome Fr Andrew, who is a contemporary of mine and is also a member of our Extraordinary Provincial Council.
Freddie Freckles. I am delighted with the interest in Angela Rigby’s Freddie Freckles’ teddies. Copies of the pattern are in the sacristies and she has even prepared a starter kit if anyone would like to claim it. Once we know how many people are making them, we can market them among the families. It looks as though we may be on to something!
Freddie Freckles. Angela Rigby, who is the wife of our Deacon Bernard at St Mary’s, has come up with a wonderful pattern for making Freddie Freckles’ teddies, à la his picture on the front of the books. If anyone would like a copy of the pattern, please contact either Fr Tim or Angela. Anyone interested in starting a cottage industry?
Welcome Back. We welcome back Ann O'Neill to the office in St Mary's. We hope and pray that her back will continue to grow strong and that she will not require an operation. Over the next few weeks we will have the luxury of Kris in our own office, and Ann and Sara Eccleston at St Mary's.
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