Newsletter for Sunday 5 November 2017

3 Nov

The Month of the Holy Souls

As the weather grows colder and the leaves fall, Remembrance time comes round and so it is natural that our thoughts turn to those whom we loved who are no longer with us.

How appropriate, then, that our Catholic Church offers us November, which began with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, as the Month of Holy Souls in Purgatory – those who have died in grace, yet who failed in this life to make satisfaction for all their sins. In recent times, perhaps no Catholic doctrine has been more misunderstood by Catholics themselves than the doctrine of Purgatory.  Consequently, we can tend to downplay it, even seem a little embarrassed by it, and it is the Holy Souls who suffer because of our discomfort.

Purgatory is not, as many people think, one last trial; all of those who make it to Purgatory will one day be in Heaven.  Purgatory is where those who have died in grace, but who have not fully atoned for the temporal punishments resulting from their sins, go to finish their atonement before entering Heaven. This is an expression of God’s love as He desires to cleanse our souls so that they may experience the fullness of joy with Him.

As Christians, we don’t travel through life alone but within the community of the Church. We are to support and help each other, and this is true of the Holy Souls as well. They can pray for us and we should pray for them, that they may soon be freed from their punishments for their sins and enter Heaven.

We should pray for the dead throughout the year, but especially in this Month of the Holy Souls. Let’s devote some time each day to pray for them, starting with those closest to us – such as our parents, but including always those in greatest need and those most forsaken.

Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord. Let Light perpetual shine upon them.

Deacon David OLW

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Newsletter for Sunday 3 September 2017

1 Sep

We are Saved Through the Mass

The first thing one notices on coming into St Mary’s is the stunning depiction of the crucifixion scene above the High Altar.  And indeed, the Church insists that there should be a cross on or above every altar where the Mass is celebrated – and not just an empty cross, but one depicting the crucified Christ in His agony.  In today’s Gospel, Our Lord predicts His passion, death and resurrection, but the disciples are scandalised by this, since they do not yet realise this is how the human race will be saved.  When Jesus stretched out His arms and died on the cross, He reconciled the whole human race with the Father, and earlier He had told use told us it is by His saving death that He wants us to remember Him.  On the night before He died, He took bread and gave it to His disciples saying, “This is My Body which is given for you.” And then over the chalice He said, “This is the chalice of My Blood poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in memory of Me.”

That which He had prefigured at the Last Supper, He realized fully the following day when He was crucified and poured out His Blood on the cross for all of us.  At every Mass, His death is made present on the altar.  Therefore, if Christ’s death on the cross is the most important event in human history because by it we are saved, it follows that Holy Mass too is the most important event in human history. Calvary and the Mass are one and the same.  The priest at every Mass is Jesus – not Fr Paul or Fr Simon, or even Pope Francis, but JESUS. In the words of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “Picture then the High Priest Christ leaving the sacristy of Heaven for the altar of Calvary.  He has already put on the vestment of our human nature, the maniple of our suffering, the stole of priesthood, the chasuble of the Cross.  Calvary is His cathedral; the rock of Calvary is the altar stone; the sun turning to red is the sanctuary lamp; Mary and John are the living side altars; the Host is His Body; the wine is His Blood.  He is upright as Priest, yet He is prostrate as Victim. His Mass is about to begin” (1895-1979).

Fr Paul Gillham IC

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Newsletter for Sunday 7 May 2017

5 May

GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY  –  VOCATIONS SUNDAY
PRAY FOR VOCATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD AND RELIGIOUS LIFE

Please pray fervently in public and privately, individually and as a family for vocations to the priesthood and religious life from our own homes

LEADER:  Please kneel for our prayer for vocations.  Let us ask God to give worthy Priests to His Holy Church and Brothers and Sisters to Religious Orders.

ALL:  O God, we earnestly beseech You to bless this diocese with many priests, brothers and sisters, who will gladly spend their entire lives to serve Your Church and to make You known and loved.

LEADER:  Bless our families. Bless our children.

ALL:  Choose from our homes those who are needed for Your work.

LEADER:  Mary, Queen of the Clergy!

ALL:  Pray for us. Pray for our priests and religious. Obtain for us many more. Amen.

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IMPORTANT DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES
Thursday 12 May:  Confirmation Mass with Bishop Patrick. All parishioners  welcome.
Sunday 28th May: The Ascension of the Lord.
Sunday 4th June:  Pentecost Sunday – only one International Mass today at 11.00am
Saturday 17th June:  First Holy Communion Mass at 3.00 pm
Sunday 18th June: Corpus Christi

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Newsletter for Sunday 9 April 2017

7 Apr

PALM SUNDAY

Palm Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday.   Today we begin the most holy – indeed, the most important – week in the liturgical life of the Church.  Today we remember and ponder two key features of Jesus’ ministry:  His kingship as Lord and Saviour of all mankind and his Passion and agonising death.

We recall how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of Isaiah and Zechariah when he entered the Holy City amidst enthusiastic cries of acclamation, praise and worship.  But he did so, not as a warrior seated on a war-horse, surrounded by his troops, but as a humble servant, seated on a donkey.  Throughout history Christians have imitated the acclamations of the Hebrew children who welcomed Jesus with cries of “Hosanna to the Son of David”.  And so should we!

But let the Liturgy of the Word also speak to us of the horrendous events that occurred towards the end of Jesus’ life, as we recall his journey to Calvary and his excruciating death on the cross.

Fr Philip Sainter

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