Vocations: Next weekend at the 5.30pm Mass on Saturday in St Mary’s and 6.00pm Mass at Bishop Eton on Sunday,Fr Charles will speak about vocations to religious life and the priesthood. There will be informal receptions afterwards for everyone in the respective parish centres and we hope there may be among you some young people who will form a group to support one another to discern and pray about vocations. Fr Charles has been asked by the Redemptorist Provincial Council to look after this work for us in the north-west of England.
It will be good for us to welcome Fr Charles Randall properly and we are planning that he will preach at the 5.30pm Mass at St Mary’s on Saturday week (25 February) and at Bishop Eton at the 6.00pm Mass on Sunday (26 February). There will be informal receptions in the parish centres afterwards.
Fr Charles has been asked to work with Fr Richard Reid in the field of vocation and take responsibility for this part of the world. So at these Masses he will address the subject of religious and priestly vocation.
I invite any young men and women who may be interested to make a point of coming to one of these Masses. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could form a support group to meet and discern with Fr Charles over the coming months? To learn more about the Redemptorists visit www.redemptorist.co.uk, to learn about their sister order the Redemptoristine nuns visit www.rednuns.com
WELCOME TO FR CHARLES: Fr Charles Randall joins the community on Monday. This is his first appointment after his priestly ordination and I am sure he is going to have a wonderful experience ministering in our two parishes. It will be good if each parish can celebrate his arrival with a special celebration of the Eucharist. My hope is that we can use these occasions, not only to invite everyone to simple receptions afterwards, but also extend special invitations to any young men who may be interested in our Redemptorist way of life. I will provide details in next week’s bulletin when we have had a chance to discuss the suggestion.
Redemptorist Community: I have good news on many fronts. On Thursday we welcome Fr Charles Randall, who comes to serve in our two parishes. This is a wonderful blessing for us at this time and I know you will make him very welcome as you did when he worked with us as a deacon. Fr Barrie O’Toole is recovering well from his eye operation as well as from a fluey cold, which has been attacking most of the community in recent weeks. I am also happy to report that the domestic team is now up to full strength and two new cooks will begin working with us in a week’s time.
Fr Charles Randall, C.Ss.R.: Fr Charles is at present visiting his family and the Redemptorists with whom he studied in Colombia. On his return to England he will join the Bishop Eton community on 2 February as the new assistant priest for our two parishes. We very much look forward to welcoming him back and will begin by arranging occasions to celebrate his ordination with him.
Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity (18 to 25 January)
This week we enter this important time of prayer with our brothers and sisters from the other Christian traditions. Next Sunday there will be a Unity Service at 4.00pm at St Matthew and St James, Mossley Hill: Matthew and St James, Mossley Hill:please make every effort to join us there. I will be preaching at Dovedale Baptist Church in the morning.
THE EPIPHANY: Albeit the Wise Men are arriving two days late in our calendar this year, the Epiphany is a wonderful feast to celebrate. Indeed, for a number of complicated historical reasons in the Eastern Orthodox Church the Epiphany takes pride of place. Essentially this was because after three centuries of persecution the Church had emerged from the catacombs and it was possible for Christians to celebrate publicly. 6 January was the date on which they celebrated the whole mystery of the incarnation, which incorporated the birth of Christ and his manifestation to the world. We might pray today for those parts of the Church which still need freeing from persecution, recognising that Christ’s message is for all men and women of all time.
NEW YEAR MESSAGE
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are now ready to launch into a new year full of renewed enthusiasm. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Mother of God, so once again let us dedicate our parish to Mary’s protection, especially under the title of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour. Next weekend we celebrate the Epiphany, the great feast which speaks of the manifestation of God, a reminder that as his disciples that is precisely our vocation: to manifest God to the world.
PARISH HELPERS’ SOCIAL
We have set the parish helpers’ social for Friday week (13 January) in the Fisher-More Hall between 7.00pm and 10.00pm. It is a way of saying ‘thank you’ for all that you do to build up the community of faith here in Bishop Eton. I still fear that some of you may not feel worthy of the invitation. Please do come and enjoy one another’s company. This gathering is now very much part of our social calendar. So, whether you help with the altar linen, clean the church, arrange the flowers, help in the sacristy, are a minister of the Eucharist, a Reader, an Altar Server or parents of an altar servant, help with the music, cover the front door of the monastery, are in the SVP or any of the parish societies or involved in one of the thousand and one other ministries you are welcome. And even if you are saying to yourself ‘I must get more involved’, then come along and you surely will!
A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL.
Page 8 of 30