First Holy Communion. As we celebrate the sacrament of First Holy Communion with our children and their families this weekend, my prayer is that they will experience the joy and wonder of the occasion. Pray for the children, pray for their families and pray for yourselves: allow the Lord to fill you with the peace and joy of his abiding presence.
World Communications Day. Next Sunday, Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, is World Communications Day, promoting the valuable work done on behalf of the Church by the communications office of the Bishops’ Conference. There will be a retiring collection after all Masses next weekend and prayer cards are available in the porch.
The Pope has released a message for World Communications Day on the Vatican Website - click here to read it.
Fr Tim returns later this week ready for the First Holy Communions which will be held at 10.00am and 3.00pm Saturday and 3.00pm Sunday.
PLEASE NOTE: there will be no 12.00 noon Mass on Saturday 20 May and no Sacrament of Reconciliation in the afternoon in order to accommodate the two First Communion Masses.
Mass for Madeleine McCann and the family:
Wednesday, 3 May at 6.00pm. On this tenth anniversary of her disappearance, please remember to pray not only for Madeleine, but for her parents and all the family.
EASTER: Once again I would like to thank all of you who made the Sacred Triduum and the Easter celebrations so special. In both parishes a remarkable number of people have commented on how spiritually uplifted they were as a result of the whole experience, which is very gratifying.
Work around the monastery: Most of the internal work in the monastery is now complete and we are enjoying our newly refurbished rooms. However, there will still be some disruption in the weeks ahead.
In the first place, sadly we are having to dispose of some diseased trees and in the coming week the entrance to the monastery and all the parking area will be out of bounds. The church will be open and access to the monastery through the gates at the back. A temporary bell has been put on the back door
Madeleine McCann: Wednesday 3 May marks the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. As you know, her grandparents Susan and Brian Healy are faithful members of our parish community and I have promised them and her parents, Gerry and Kate and the twins, Sean and Amelie, that we will continue to support them with our prayers. Each year we have marked the anniversary with a Mass and we will do the same this year at 6.00pm on Wednesday week.
AN EASTER GREETING
In the midst of all the uncertainty in our world today, I find myself with an overwhelming sense of gratitude to be supported by the communities of Bishop Eton and St Mary’s as well as my own Redemptorist community. During Lent, in each of these communities, we have been coping with the sadness that comes with death, and yet that sadness has turned to hope and joy as we have entrusted each of those who have died to the Lord, confident that he will fulfil his promise of eternal life.
Towards the end of his book – God with us: The meaning of the cross and resurrection then and now – Rowan Williams has so many wonderful passages that I want to quote them all, but I will settle for this one, under the sub-title Death cannot defeat us:
St Paul’s statement in his first letter to the Corinthians is unequivocal: ‘If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.’ Easter is the feast without which none of our Christian living makes sense. I want to thank you all for your faith and invite you to pray that this Easter our faith will grow stronger and our commitment to the mission of Christ more fervent.
My thanks to all of you who work so hard to ensure that the Holy Week and Easter ceremonies are celebrated with such dignity and reverence and this includes all the unsung heroes and heroines who beaver away in the background in the offices and sacristies as well as our catechists who have been preparing the adults and children throughout the year.
Furthermore, as the priests visited the sick and housebound in preparation for Easter, I realised just how many people our Ministers of Holy Communion visit each week. Thank you too for your wonderful ministry.
A VERY HAPPY EASTER TO YOU
FROM ALL THE REDEMPTORISTS
HOLY WEEK: I encourage you not to let this week pass you by, but with your families and the family of the parish to allow the Lord to enrich you and deepen your awareness of his literally loving you to death. It would be wonderful to think that in every home there will be some special moments in the day when the family will reflect together on the events that lead us to Easter Sunday and of course I urge you to join in the great ceremonies at the end of the week, which take us from the drama of Maundy Thursday and the institution of the Eucharist, through Good Friday and the Passion to the joy of the Resurrection after a patient wait on Holy Saturday.
Laetare Sunday: Today we reach the halfway point in Lent and the Church invites us to take a breather. The entry antiphon is from Isaiah and tells us to “rejoice…be joyful…exult.”
Happily it is also Mothering Sunday, so we greet all our mothers and thank you not just for all you do, but for the people you are… I hope the family spoils you today!
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