Tuesday, 22 April 2014

SITE MEETING

Tomorrow I will be involved at site meetings at both churches for the building and electrical work that has to be carried out in both our churches.
 
Extensive building work has to be carried out at St Joseph's Church.  It involves work on the main roof area of the church and over the confessionals.  Re-plastering and decoration will take place in the sanctuary area, nave and choir loft. 
 
The cost of the building work at St Joseph's will be £48,969.00 that means with VAT the total cost will be £58,762.80
 
At St Marie's the church needs to be completely re-wired so that it complies with the latest legislation and a certificate can be awarded.
 
The total cost of the work at St Marie's will be £17,164.80
 
Obviously there will be some disruption whilst the work is going on.  Please be patient and sensible about it all.  The work has to be done so that our buildings will be fit for purpose in the future. 
 
If any one has any fundraising ideas then please bring them forward.

EASTER DAY

ALLELUIA CHRIST IS RISEN!
HE IS RISEN INDEED, ALLELUIA!
 
 
The Paschal Candle is solemnly carried into church
 at the beginning of the Easter Day Mass


The Font is solemnly blessed and incensed
 

 
The Empty Tomb with the statue of the Risen Christ in glory

THE TRIDUUM - HOLY SATURDAY

The Liturgy of Holy Saturday Night is one of the most beautiful of the whole year. 
 
The Fire is light outside the church and from it the Paschal Candle is light and processed into the dark church.  The faithful light their own candles from its flame.
 
The deacon (or in the absence of a deacon) the priest solemnly intones the Praises of the Risen Christ and the Paschal Candle in the words of the Exsultet. 
 
Readings are then proclaimed stating how God has saved His people throughout history.  It is important to note that these readings are read in the light that comes from the Paschal Candle - the Risen Christ.
 
Easter is also traditionally the time that new converts are welcomed into the church.  The Easter candle is plunged into the font to sanctify its waters.  This water will then be used in the coming year for the celebration of baptisms when we welcome new members into the Church.
 
Having two churches has its own problems. At the end of Mass the Paschal Candle for St Marie's Church was solemnly carried out of St Joseph's so that it could be welcomed and solemnly carried into our Parish Church on Easter Day.
The Blessing of the Font

The Paschal Candle for our Parish Church
 taken at the end of Mass


THE TRIDUUM - GOOD FRIDAY


On Good Friday we focus on the Cross.  As part of the Liturgical Celebration of the Lord's Passion the Cross is carried in solemn procession through the church.  We stop at three points to adore the wood of the cross on which hung the Saviour of the world.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

THE TRIDUUM - HOLY THURSDAY

 
On Holy Thursday the Church gathers to celebrate the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. 
 
This Mass recalls Our Lord's Institution of the Mass and the Ordination of the first priests of the Church. 
 
At the end of Mass the Blessed Sacrament is carried in solemn procession to the Altar of Repose and the high altar is then stripped of its furnishings.
 
The church remains open for sometime after Mass for the faithful to keep watch with the Lord as he prays for the strength to endure all this is going to happen.
 
The Altar of Repose at St Joseph's Church
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

EASTER SERVICES

As we have seen in the last few posts the children of our primary schools have led us prayerfully in the Events of Holy Week.

We gather in Church to commemorate those events week too.  This year the Holy Week Services will take place at St Joseph's Church.

 
 
HOLY THURSDAY
 
8:00pm
Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper and Watch at the Altar of Repose
 
 
GOOD FRIDAY
 
3:00pm
Celebration of the Lord's Passion
(Confessions will be available after the service)
 
7:30pm
Stations of the Cross at St Marie's Church
 
 
HOLY SATURDAY
 
8:30pm
Lighting of the Paschal Candle, Solemn Vigil
Renewal of Baptismal Promises
and First Mass of Easter
 
 
EASTER DAY
 
9:15am
Holy Mass in St Joseph's Church
 
11:30am
Holy Mass in St Marie's Church

STATIONS OF THE CROSS

This morning the children of St Marie's School led us by means of drama and song through the events of Holy Week.
 


We began with Jesus and His Apostles gathering in the Upper Room to celebrate the Passover


As we know Jesus gave a new meaning to the events of Passover when he surprised the Apostles by taking break and saying 'This is my Body' and taking the wine and saying 'This is my Blood.  Do this in memory of Me.' 



 
 
From the Last Supper celebration with His Apostles Jesus is then arrested and condemned to death by Pilate and led to His death on the Cross. 


The soldiers accompany Him to Calvary where He suffers and dies on the cross.
 

 
The dead body of Our Lord is placed in the tomb.  The women go to anoint His body and stay for a while by the tomb. 


 
As Christians we know that Good Friday was not the end. 
 Our Lord was to rise from the dead on the third day. 
 It is the central event of our Faith and we celebrate His Glorious Resurrection on Easter Day
 
 
____________________________________________
 
 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

SWIECONE 2014

W sobotę 19ego kwietnia o godzinie 12:30 odbędzie się świecenie pokarmów Wielkanocnych w kościele naszym (St Marie's, Bury). Gorąco zapraszamy państwa i prosimy o rozpowiedzeniu znajomym. Bóg zapłać.
 
The traditional blessing of Food will take place on Holy Saturday 19th April at 12:30pm in St Marie's Church.  All are welcome to be part of this celebration.

PASSION PLAY

This afternoon I attend a wonderful dramatization of the central events of our Faith - the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord. 
 
Through prayer, drama and song the children of St Joseph's school helped us to meditate on the real meaning of Easter. 
 
Thank you to all the children and staff who have worked so hard in preparing today's service.

Our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate the Passover as a family.  They remember the escape from slavery at the time of Moses and this sustains them and reminds them of God's everlasting love. 
 
The children explained the meaning and significance of the different elements of the Jewish Passover celebration and how the Jews remember how God rescued them from slavery.
 
They then reflected on how Jesus as a devout Jew came to celebrate the Passover with his disciples.  Jesus however gave a new meaning to the Passover when he took bread and wine, distributed them among His disciples saying that it was His Body and Blood and that when ever they met together they were to remember Him.
 
Through the use of different colours the children helped us to focus on different aspects of the life of Jesus and his Passion.

White is the colour of holiness and perfection, the colour of peace and new beginnings.

We thought about the Suffering Servant as written about by the Prophet Isaiah. 
''Long before Jesus was born a prophet spoke of a time that was to come, things that were to happen.  A person who would save people who were lost - lost like sheep, lost and far from God. He will be beaten and not cry out.  He will be like a lamb going to die.  He will be accused without reason and sent to die though nothing wicked had been in his heart or on his lips.  This is the one who will turn darkness into light and his light will lead us home. 
 

 
Dark colours make us think about sadness and injustice, about times in our lives and in the world when things go wrong. Things are beginning to go wrong when Jesus prays in the garden. 
 
This eventually lead to his arrest, crucifixion and death. 

 
 
As Christians we know that the death of Jesus was not the end of everything.  It is called Good Friday for a reason.
 
We believe that Jesus rose from the dead and is living with us now.
 
Some of our younger children helped us to reflect on the Resurrection by talking about and showing us many examples of new life that we see all around us each day.
 
 
 
 
 
Our celebration was concluded by the youngest members
of our school community singing a delightful song for us.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

NEARLY THERE

The old translation of the introduction to the Palm Sunday liturgy used to say 'For five weeks of Lent we have been preparing by works of self sacrifice....'  Many times I have wanted to add the word 'long 'so that it reads 'for five long weeks of Lent...'
 
With the New Translation the Church spurs us from having such unholy thoughts as now we pray 'since the beginning of Lent until now we have prepared our hearts....'
 
As we enter this Holy Week it is an indication that the penances and disciplines of Lent that we have taken upon ourselves will soon be over.  However this does not mean that we simply return to the way things were.  The whole point of 'giving something up for Lent' is to help us focus on the things that really matter.
 
Let us continue to pray for each other in this Great Week that we will come closer to the Lord in His Passion so that we may truly share in in Resurrection.

PASSION REFLECTIONS

Palm Sunday is often remembered for the procession and the 'long gospel.'  At Mass today we read the Passion according to St Matthew.  The events of the Passion are at one and the same time familiar and unfamiliar to us.  They are familiar in the sense that we have heard the story so many times that we think we know it.  There are unfamiliar in the sense of something new always seems to catch our attention each time that we hear them.
 
As I was reading the Passion this morning I was struck by the line 'Friend, do what you are here for.'  Those words were spoken by Jesus to Judas.  It is amazing to think that Jesus, knowing all that Judas was about to do (and indeed how all the other apostles would react in the Passion events) addresses him as friend.  I wonder how we would have reacted if we knew that Judas was to betray us to death.  We are more than likely to be thinking along the lines of 'come on you old so and so. get one with what you have to do.  Betray me and then we can move on.'  Thankfully the Lord is more merciful than we are and addresses Judas as His friend.
 
That same injunction is given to us as well as we stand on the threshold of this Holy Week.  Our Lord says to us 'Friend do what you are here for.'  Will we walk with the Lord?  Will be accompany Him into the Garden of Gethsemane?  Will we be with Him as He is nailed to the Cross?  Will we enter into the tomb with Him so as to rise with Him on Easter Day?
 
Friend do what you are here for.
 
As a child I used to think that there were two crowds.  There was the crowd that gathered, cut branches from the trees, spread their cloaks in the road and joyfully welcomed the Lord as he rode into Jerusalem.
 
Then there was a different crowd of people that pitched up on Good Friday wanted the Lord to be done away with. Their cry was not 'Hosanna to the Son of David' but 'Crucify Him, crucify Him.'
 
It came as a revelation to discover in my teens that there weren't two crowds.  It was the same group of people.  The crowds that joyfully welcome the Lord into the city had now turned on Him and were crying for His blood.  How fickle people can be.  Isn't it so easy to go with the crowd?
 
As we enter into the events of this Great Week what will you do.  How will you react to that command of the Lord: Friend do what you are here for? 

THE GREAT WEEK BEGINS

This morning at both our churches we commemorated the Lord's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem with the traditional Blessing of Palms and Procession. Thankfully the weather was kind to us (no rain) but it was a little on the cold side and windy.  None the less we managed to process a little way around the grounds and into church for Mass.
 
Below are come pictures that were taken at St Marie's.  My apologies to the people of St Joseph's but due to technical difficulties the photos taken there did not turn out.  Hopefully we will get more photos from St Joseph's as the events of this Great Week unfold.
 





 

Friday, 11 April 2014

FREE SCHOOL MEALS


During the week the head teacher of St Marie's School was interviewed on BBC News 24 about the latest legislation to come into force by September 2014 regarding free school meals for primary school children. 
 
As Mrs Robinson pointed out our own school will be able to cope with this added burden as we have a kitchen on site but many schools in the borough will find this difficult. 
 
We await to see how the new legislation will be put into effect.

HOLY WEEK AND EASTER

 
 
PALM SUNDAY
5:00pm Vigil Mass with Blessing of Palms
at St Joseph's Church
 
9:15am Mass with Blessing of Palms and Procession
at St Joseph's Church
 
11:30am Mass with Blessing of Palms and Procession
at St Marie's Church
 
HOLY THURSDAY
8:00pm Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, Transfer of the Holy Eucharist
and Adoration until 10:00pm
in St Joseph's Church
 
GOOD FRIDAY
3:00pm Solemn Celebration of the Lord's Passion
at St Joseph's Church
 
Confessions will be heard after the Liturgical Celebration
 
7:30pm Stations of the Cross
at St Marie's Church
 
HOLY SATURDAY
CONFESSIONS
10:00 till 12:00
at St Marie's Church
 
12:30pm Swiecone
Blessing of Easter Food
in St Marie's Church
 
8:30pm Blessing of the New Fire, Vigil,
Renewal of Baptismal Promises and First Mass of Easter
in St Joseph's Church
 
EASTER DAY
9:15am Mass at St Joseph's
11:30am Mass at St Marie's Church
 

LATIN MASS

A reminder that Mass is offered in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite
every Friday at St Marie's Church at 7:30pm.
All are welcome to participate in the liturgical tradition of the Church.
 
It was this Mass that nourished the lives of the faithful for hundreds of years. 
It was this Mass that the Martyrs died for. 
 
 
 
The photo shows me offering Mass at the Shrine Church
 of Ss Peter, Paul and Philomena in New Brighton. 
The Shrine is under the pastoral care of the
 Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

TASTY SOUP

Carrot and Coriander Soup
 
1 large onion
750g of carrots
1 litre of vegetable stock
large handful of fresh coriander
1 dessert spoon of oil
 
First collect the ingredients

Peel and chop the onion and carrots

Add the oil to a pan together with the onion
and sauté for about 3 minutes

Add the carrots and continue to sauté, stirring ocassionally

Meanwhile prepare the stock. (I cheat and use stockpots.) 
Add two of these to 1 litre of boiling water.
Tip: It doesn't matter if they are not completely dissolved. 
 They will continue to dissolve once added to the carrots and onions
 

Add the stock to the carrots and onion and stir.
Bring to boil and then simmer until the carrots are tender

Once cooked add a good handful of fresh coriander

Blend all the ingredients together using hand held blender

Serve and enjoy. 
It can be accompanied by crusty bread
 
 

Monday, 7 April 2014

DO WHAT YOU LIKE?

A few brief thoughts on today's Gospel
 
As I read the Gospel at Mass today (The woman caught in adultery)  I was struck as to how this passage is often quoted by those who feel that Church teaching on marriage and divorce and relationships is old fashioned and needs to be revised so as to be 'living in the modern world.'
 
Yes it is true that a woman who was caught 'in the very act of adultery' was brought to Jesus.  As we would expect Jesus receives her kindly and listens to her story.  For many this is where the story ends.  They mistake Our Lord's kindly welcome as a sort of permission to do whatever they like. 
 
The real challenge given to the woman and to us is given in Our Lord's admonition at the end of the passage.  'Go in peace and do not sin again.' 
 
That is the challenge of Lent - to turn away from our sins - to put ourselves once again on that path of virtue that will one day lead us to heaven.  It is no good going to confession and saying that we are sorry for our sins if we do not intend to do something about it.
 
Lent is a time for us to contemplate that nasty word that no one likes - change.  We are called to change our lives and our behaviour so that we can become all that God is calling us to be - saints.
 
Let us pray for each other that through our prayer, fasting and charitable works we can overcome our sinful ways and walk together the path of virtue to heaven.
 

A NEW APOSTOLATE


As an affiliate member of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP) I announce with great joy that the Institute is to take on another apostolate in England.
 
The Institute has been given pastoral care of the church of St Walburge in Preston.  This historical church which was destined for closure but thanks to the welcome of the Bishop will now be a shrine dedicated to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and for the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

This great news is the result of lots of prayer and the co-operation of the Bishop of Lancaster, the Rt Rev Michael Campbell and the Founder and Prior General of the Institute, Mgr Gilles Wach.

The Institute already has one flourishing apostolate in New Brighton - the Shrine Church of Saints Peter, Paul and Philomena. So now please keep all members of the Institute in you prayers at this time as we prepare to take on this new apostolate.
 
 

HOW TO GO TO CONFESSION

         1       Examine your conscience
2       Be sincerely sorry for your sins
3       Confess your sins
4       Resolve to amend your life
5       After your confession do the penance the priest assigns.


‘It was God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the work of handing on this reconciliation. 
The appeal we make in Christ’s name is: Be reconciled to God.’     1 Cor 5:18-20

‘A recommendation for all the faithful: have confidence in sacramental Confession.’  Pope Paul VI


An Examination of Conscience

You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart.

Have I ignored God or excluded Him from my life and works?
Have been loyal to the Teaching Authority of the Church and been willing to profess my faith in public as well as in private?
Is my daily prayer a real conversation with God in mind and heart?
Have I put my trust in superstitions or involved myself in the Occult or Satanism?
Have I a true reverence and love for the name of God or have I offended Him through blasphemy, cursing or perjury?
Did I miss Mass on Sunday or Holyday of Obligation through my own fault?
Did I fulfil my Easter duties?
Have made a dishonest Confession in the past?

You shall love your neighbour as yourself.

Have I been disobedient, rude or disloyal to my parents or lawful superiors?
Have been harsh or overbearing to those under my authority?
Have I neglected my duty to provide a religious education for my children and to help them to know and love their faith?
Have I been impatient, angry, proud, jealous or hateful to others?
Did l get drunk, use drugs, give bad example or scandal?
Have I been involved in vandalism; driven recklessly or injured anyone?
Did in any way co-operate in an abortion?
Have I been lazy at my work, in study, or in the home?
Have I been immodest or impure by myself or with others?
Have I placed myself in occasions of sin, by reading, listening to, or looking at what was indecent, or pornographic?
Have failed to show love, understanding and respect to my marriage partner or been careless about my marriage vows?
Have I used forms of birth control forbidden by the Church?
Have I been guilty of cheating, theft, or gambling rashly?
Have I received stolen goods? Have I made restitution?
Do I give a full day’s work in return for a full day’s pay?
Do I pay a full day’s wage to those who work for me?
Have I told lies to injure anyone or excuse myself?
Have I been considerate, kind and generous to others in thought or deed?
Have I given way to self pity, brooded over injuries or refused to forgive?

 
PROCEDURE IN CONFESSION

Begin by saying:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Bless me, Father for I have sinned  it is – [a week, or a month, a long time] since my last confession.

 Then tell your sins to the priest.  If you get stuck do not worry.  Ask the priest to help you.  When you have finished confessing your sins you should say:

 I am sorry for all these sins and the those I cannot now remember.’

 Then wait while the Priest gives any necessary advice, and assigns the penance.

 Then make an Act of Contrition

O my God, because you are so good I am very sorry that I have sinned against You and with the help of Your grace I will not sin again.’

 The Priest then gives you absolution:

 God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins, through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.’

THINGS TO REMEMBER
 
  • Develop the habit of examining your conscience every day. It is then easier to recall sins committed.
  • If it is a long time since your last confession or you unsure what to do ask the priest to help you
  • Don’t postpone your confession. That never solves anything.
  • Try to go to confession frequently at least once a month, to offer to God your love in spite of failure and receive both His forgiveness and His strength to overcome your faults and future temptations.
  • Sin is any wilful thought, desire, word, action or omission forbidden by the law of God.
  • We are bound to confess to a priest each and every serious sin (commonly called mortal) of which we are aware, in order to receive forgiveness. - This is the firm teaching of the Church, founded on the law of a good and loving God.
 
‘It is here in the sacrament of Penance that God’s mercy will at last win the victory over human wickedness. It is here that men will be cleansed of their sins and reconciled to God. We condemn the theory that the frequent confession of venial sins is ‘not a practice to be greatly valued.’ On the contrary, for a constant and rapid advancement in virtue, we highly recommend the pious practice of frequent Confession, introduced by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.’      BLESSED JOHN XXIII

GOING TO CONFESSION

 
 
Lent is a time when we focus on the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession as it is more commonly called.  If we are honest with ourselves it is probably the one sacrament that most of us dread to celebrate.  Why is this?  The answer is probably something along the lines of 'none of us likes to admit that we have done any thing wrong.'  Those of you who have small children will see this played out many times as you ask them who has done this or that and they hang their heads in shame and tell you that it wasn't them!!!
 
Preparing to go to confession helps us to take an honest look our lives and our relationship with God and our relationships with others.  We can then come before God the Father of Mercies to admit to Him and ourselves that there are areas in our lives that are not as they should be.  Going to confession is a sign that we want to be better, that we want to change. 
 
Recently the Holy Father gave us a great example and encouragement by going to confession himself.  As he has said on many occasions 'we are all sinners - even the Pope needs to go to confession.'
 
Do not be afraid of going to Confession - you will meet the priest there, but more importantly you will meet Jesus who wishes to share with you his mercy, his forgiveness and his love.
 
 
DON NOT BE AFRAID.  THE LORD IS WAITING TO WLECOME YOU
 
 
CONFESSION TIMES IN OUR CHURCHES
 
 
AT SAINT MARIE'S
 
Wednesday and Friday
11:45 to 12:10pm
 
Saturdays
10:30 to 12:00
 
AT SAINT JOSEPH'S
 
Saturdays
4:30pm to 4:50pm
 
Sundays
8:30am to 9:00am


LENTEN VEILING

It must have seemed a little strange to come into church this weekend as see that all the statues have been covered over with purple cloths.  One of our altar servers asked the question why?
 
The Fifth Sunday of Lent marks the start of Passiontide when we focus more on the approaching events of our salvation. 
 
The statues are shrouded in purple and the church somehow feels different. Since the beginning of Lent our worship has become much simpler. There has been no adornment; no flowers, no extra music, purple vestments. As we approach the great moment of our salvation, as we draw near to the foot of that cross, upon which suffered and died the Saviour of the world, we focus on him alone. There will be no distractions.  
We human beings constantly flit from one thing to another. Our attention wanders. News reports and television programmes are short, so that we do not have to concentrate for very long. How many of you would bother to read the back of the bulletin if it were three or four times the length? The concentration needed in the coming weeks will be great, so that we can fully appreciate the momentous events that will take place.

This is why we veil the statues. We do not want anything to take our attention from God. Nothing should distract us. We should look at Him and Him alone, offered on the cross for us.

From the Fifth Sunday onwards Lent moves into a different phase. The end is in sight, but before that resurrection morning, we must walk with God-made-man. We must come with Him and stand in the crowd as He enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. We must sit with Him as he breaks bread with His disciples, washes their feet, and gives us the gift of the priesthood. We will stand in the shadows as Judas betrays Him with a kiss and be sickened by the blood on His fair skin from the lashes of the Roman whips. We will see the pain in the eyes of His mother as she follows Him on the way to the cross. And our breath will stop as He breathes His last... sighing for us, for our sins, to show us how much God loves us, to show us the consequences of our actions.

This begins now. We must prepare ourselves by prayer, fasting and almsgiving, that we may be worthy to walk in the footprints of Jesus, our God.  The journey is begun. Come, let us go to Jerusalem.
 

AROUND IN SCHOOL

Today I have been visiting the children in St Joseph's School.  It was a delight to wander around the class rooms and hear of all the different things that the children are learning.  Some of the questions that the children ask make me feel that I really should have paid more attention when I went to school.
 
As I went around the classes I heard snippets of life in the time of the Great Plague.  One of the children even asked the teacher if she was born in the time of the plague!!!  I also treated to a lesson on the planets.  I managed to cause a disturbance in class by saying that there were nine planets in our solar system!!!  (Will someone please tell me when they got rid of Pluto).
 
Sorry there are no pictures with this post, but I forgot to take my camera with me. 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

THE RAISING OF LAZARUS

This Sunday at Mass we heard the Gospel of the Raising of Lazarus.  It is a story that is familiar to us all, I'm sure.
 
At first it might seem strange that the Church puts this Gospel before us as we enter into Passiontide.  Our thoughts are naturally looking towards the cross and Good Friday, yet the Church calls us to look beyond those events to the resurrection.
 
'I am the resurrection and the life says the Lord. 
He that believes in me, yet though he die shall live
and whosoever believes in me will never die.'
 
 
I have recited, prayed and preached on those words of the Lord many times in my priestly ministry, usually at funerals.  It is understandable why these words from St John's Gospel should be chosen for a funeral.  There is the link between life and death played out before us.  The death of our loved ones and the resurrection of the dead.  They are words of consolation for us in times of grief.
 
 
However sometimes they are chosen and the that faith link between life, death and resurrection is very weak.  In more recent times I have seen a trend at funerals that focuses too much on the achievements and personality of the person who has died.  Indeed we are asked to have a 'celebration of the life of.....'
 
Celebrating a person's life and giving thanks to God for all the blessings that God has bestowed on us through that person is something that should be valued, but not to the exclusion of everything else. 
 
In some 'celebrations of life' there is no reference to the afterlife - eternal life with the Risen Lord. The life is celebrated because that is the end of everything.  The mortal remains are buried or cremated and that is it.  That may be the view of secular society but it is not and cannot be the way that Christians see it.
 
Yes our natural earthly existence will come to an end one day.  When, where and in what circumstances that will happen we do not know and have no control over.  But for the Christian that is not it. We believe that our existence will continue in heaven.  'Lord for your faithful people, life is changed not ended' one of the prefaces of the funeral Mass proclaims.  Our ultimate goal has to be heaven.
 
'I am the resurrection and the life says the Lord.  He that believes in me, yet though he die shall live
and whosoever believes in me will never die.'  As Jesus says to Martha (and to us) in today's Gospel:
 
Do you believe this? 


SAINT JOSEPH'S DAY

On the 19th March we celebrated the Feast Day of one of our Parish Patrons, St Joseph.
 
It was lovely to see all the children from our primary school gather in church for the celebration of Mass.  The children took an active part in the celebration by leading us in the readings and the bidding prayers.  They also helped us (in the words of St Augustine) to 'pray twice' as they sang their hearts out in honour of St Joseph.
 
Below is a video compilation of the Mass.  You can see more of the good work that our school is doing if you visit the school websites
 
 
and
 
 
 
 
 

ALTAR SERVER TRAINING

At the beginning of February we held a training day for the altar servers at St Joseph's.  The day begin by going through the various roles that the server undertake at Mass.  These involve thurifer(the one who has charge of the incense), acolytes (the ones who carry candles, crucifer (the one who carries the cross and finally book bearer which should be self explanatory.
 
In addition to these roles there is that of the MC or Master of Ceremonies.  In the liturgy he is the priest's 'right hand man' pointing out the various prayers to be said, ensuring that the books are marked correctly and generally making sure that everything in the liturgy runs as smoothly as possible.
 
The training day was a great opportunity for us to explain to the servers why we do certain things at Mass or more importantly why things are done in a certain way.  The good server not only knows what he is doing, but why he is doing it.
 
As part of our day we broke for lunch and the servers enjoyed pizza and juice.
 
My thanks go to all who helped organise the day and for all the hard work they put into it. 
 


 

MRS MARIE MILLER

 
It was with great sadness that the parish heard of the death of Marie Miller towards the end of January. Marie faithfully served the parish for many years in almost every role that you could expect in the life of a parish.  She was faithful housekeeper to my predecessor, Father Lawton and up until her death visited him regularly at Nazareth House.

In the latter years of Father Lawton's illness that eventually led to his retirement as Parish Priest, Marie faithfully kept the parish going.  Marie could be relied upon to sort things out: arrange supply priests, deal with undertakers for funerals, see parents wanting their children baptised, talk to couples who were planning to be married.  You name it and Marie was there at the fore to lend a helping hand.

She will be sadly missed in the parish and beyond not just for her work at St Marie's but also for the many kindnesses that she showed to people over the years.

 
MAY SHE REST IN PEACE AND RISE IN GLORY

 


OF YOUR CHARITY

Please Pray for the souls of those who have died in the intervening time that this blog has not been updated.

Dorothy Semple
Joseph Harvey
Canon Valentinus Kamaitis
Fr. Joseph Duggan
Marie Miller
Anthony Williams
Joseph Dunne
Ellen Kiernan
Frederick Bowker
John Clifford Leigh


BLESSING OF CHALK

On the Feast of the Epiphany we celebrated the traditional blessing of chalk in honour of the Magi. After the blessing the Faithful take the chalk to bless their own homes, marking the door of the house with the following:
 
 
20 + M + B + C 14
 
 
The numerals give reference to the current year and the letters M B C are the names that tradition accords the Magi - Melchior, Caspar and Balthasazar.