ARCHBISHOP MALCOLM will make an official visit to the parish on Sunday 18 March. It would be good if we could organise a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit in the Fisher-More Hall after each Mass so that he is able to meet as many parishioners as possible. Cath Line is looking for help to ensure that this is possible. If you are able to help, please let Hayley or Kris know and they will duly inform Cath.
CONTINUING CHALLENGES: Unfortunately Fr Jimmy Smale fell last Wednesday and has damaged his shoulder. He has already been struggling with a damaged leg and therefore will be out of action for a while. We had already agreed to cover three Masses this weekend in Aintree and now have the Cenacle and Christopher Grange to look after as well. Please be patient with us as we try to be as helpful as possible to the wider needs of the Church. If we need further reminders, these events reinforce all that I wrote about in my Open Letter a few months ago.
Lent: Dare I mention that Ash Wednesday is in ten days’ time? In BE Alive I have made a few suggestions about how we might approach Lent this year, including the hope that we will be able to reintroduce Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Wednesdays. There is a sheet in the porch for those able to cover the various half hourly slots to sign up. For an electronic copy of BE Alive click here
The past week has been busy.
Our Provincial Council visited the Redemptorist community at the beginning of the week and I attended sundry meetings in both parishes about a variety of things, but did manage to get a couple of days away, returning in time for the Parish Social Evening at St Mary’s on Friday.
It has also been a difficult week for many. There was the distressing news that Kevin Fay RIP (careers’ master) at SFX College died at the school on Monday morning. We pray for the repose of his soul and offer his wife, Kathy (deputy head), and the family our condolences and an assurance of our prayers for them.
Likewise, we pray for the repose of the soul of Anthony, Fr Tony Hunt’s nephew, who had struggled all his life with health problems, and who died later that same day; and may his family be consoled and comforted.
THE BEST MADE PLANS! I have returned from Perth at peace after a good meeting, brilliantly facilitated by one of our North American confrères. But life is never that simple. As I try to prepare the bulletin notes and prepare myself for a funeral at midday, I am faced with the dilemma of whether our Parish Social should go ahead this evening, since the boiler in the Fisher-More Hall has packed up. On balance, the logistics of trying to cancel at this short notice seem more complicated than trying to find a few heaters to take the chill off and hope that everyone turns up ready for an outward bound course. By the time you read this, should you have ventured out on Friday evening, you will know the outcome. Hopefully, the boiler will be repaired soon, but all those who use the hall, please take note of the situation.
A NEW PROJECT: This weekend you will be informed of a new project which the members of the Parish Core Team are enthusiastically embracing. It will involve caring for a Syrian refugee family and all that this will entail. In our troubled world, the more we can reach out in loving response to the call of the Gospel – “whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to you” – the deeper our coming together as a community of faith. Not everyone will be able to be involved practically, but I think it is important that we all own the project and surround those who become involved with our prayerful support.
OCTAVE OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY: In spite of the fact that this year there will be no special Unity Service in our area, nor any exchange of pulpits, I think it is important that we continue to pray fervently for Christian unity. We will offer a special bidding prayer during the Octave leading up to the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul on the 25 January.
ZIMBABWE: Bro Benjamin, whose project we have so generously supported, has written a warm letter of gratitude, which we will make available next weekend. There is enough going on this weekend to keep us going! Nevertheless, please note that the Pig Race to support the mission in Zimbabwe will be next Saturday, 20 January. Hopefully, there will be some heating in the hall by then!
THE EPIPHANY: Today we celebrate this wonderful Feast which speaks to us of how the child Jesus came to make God manifest to the whole world. The Wise Men represent all men and women of all time: a further reminder to us to be busy all the time as peacemakers and reconcilers, uniting a divided world.
A FURTHER HUGE ‘THANK YOU’ to you all for the messages of good will, the cards, gifts and your generous contributions to the community in the Christmas collection. I hope to have a definitive total for the latter next weekend. Please note in your diaries the Parish Helpers’ Social evening: Friday, 12 January: 7.00pm to 10.00pm.
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