Attached to this Bulletin is a Lenten article from Archbishop George,
encouraging us all in our Lenten devotions, ( FIND IT BELOW) along with information on the
Archdiocesan plans to house refugees from Syria. Also at the back of Church
there are books and pamphlets for Lent for both kids and adults, all free.
Please take some home with you and make use of in your daily Lenten prayers. We
welcome to the parish today Deacon Patrick Lobo OSB, who will be assisting and
preaching at all masses today. In next Sundays 9.30am mass we will be
celebrating the baptism of Joy Frances Goodwin, daughter of Emily and Elliot.
Our preparations to provide meals to the needy on Saturday lunchtimes are proceeding;
we will meet again on Monday 6th March at 7pm in the parish room.
– 100th ANNIVERSARY.
This year is the 100thanniversary of the apparitions in Fatima, I am proposing to run a pilgrimage
there for the whole Deanery, if there is sufficient interest. The dates would
be Monday 25th - Friday 29th September, flying from
Manchester. 4 nights in a good standard hotel very close to the shrine, half
board. Price £599/person, £120 extra for single rooms (only a few available)
and insurance. Booking forms at back of Church, deposit £200. Return forms and
deposit to Fr. Matthew ASAP.
REFLECTION – DO NOT BE ANXIOUS.
We are by nature prone to be anxious and
troubled about many things. In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus confronts us with our
most common fears. We are anxious mostly about how we will meet our material
needs—for food and drink; for clothing; for security for tomorrow. Yet in
seeking security and comfort, we may unwittingly be handing ourselves over to
servitude to “mammon,” Jesus warns. “Mammon” is an Aramaic word that refers to
money or possessions. Jesus is not condemning wealth. Nor is he saying that we
shouldn’t work to earn our daily bread or to make provisions for our future. It
is a question of Priorities and goals. What are we living for? Where is God in
our lives? Jesus insists that we need only to have faith in God and to trust in
his Providence. The readings this Sunday pose a challenge to us. Do we really
believe that God cares for us, that he alone can provide for all our needs? Do
we believe that he loves us more than a mother loves the infant at her breast?
Do we really trust that he is our rock and salvation, as we sing in the Psalm?
Jesus calls us to an intense realism about our lives. For all our worrying,
none of us change the span of our days. None of us has anything that we have
not received as a gift from God. St. Paul reminds us in the Epistle that when
the Lord comes he will disclose the purposes of every heart. We cannot serve
both God and mammon. We must choose one or the other. Our faith cannot be
partial. We must put our confidence in him and not be shaken by anxiety. Let us
resolve today to seek his Kingdom and his holiness before all else—confident
that we are beloved sons and daughters, and that our Father in heaven will
never forsake us.
Sunday 26th February – 8thSunday of the Year.
9. 30am – Keith
Davies and Neil Hillyer for recovery and Family Int. 11.30am – Ray Cotterall 80th Birthday
6.30pm – Marlene Ruck.
Monday 27th .
9.30am Mass – Sick of
7.00pm Parish Council Meeting.
Tuesday 28TH – Feast of St. David
7.00pm Mass – Tom Supple (Divine Mercy prayers before mass and Rosary after.)
ASH WEDNESDAY 1st MARCH.
9.30am Mass – Raphael
7.00pm Mass – Fr.
Leonard May – Recovery.
(2.30pm School Service in School
Thursday 2nd March 9.30am
Mass – Tom Supple
Friday 3rd March.
6.00pm Stations of the Cross.
7.00pm Mass – Daniel
Saturday 4th March – Memoria of BVM.
10.00am Confessions, exposition and
11.00am Mass – Margaret
Thomas. 11.30am Church Cleaning.
Sunday 5th March – 1st Sunday of Lent.
9. 30am – Keith
Davies (including baptism of Joy Goodwin.) 11.30am – Tony
6.30pm – People of the Parish
ARCHBISHOP GEORGE STACK
led by the Spirit into the wilderness…..He fasted forty days and forty nights”
The Forty Days
of Lent have a great biblical precedent, not least in the forty years the
people of Israel wondered the desert in search of the Promised Land. The
example for our own practice of “Quadragesima” lies in the forty days Jesus was
in the wilderness before he undertook his public ministry. A time of discipline
and preparation is important before any important event or decision in life.
Prayer, Fasting and Abstinence are the three tools we use as we prepare to celebrate
the great mystery of Easter the Passion Death and Resurrection of our Lord. No
accident that the Lenten exercises really came into focus with the Baptism of
Adult Converts at the Easter Vigil and
the Reconciliation of Sinners during the days preceding it. These important
events also lie in the foundation of the Lenten Season.
Abstinence have nothing to do with hating or despising the world and its
material goods. Neither are they ways of punishing ourselves. Fasting is one way in which we deepen our awareness of God. By denying ourselves food, or a luxury (the
sweets,the cigarettes,the alcohol) what else do we do except say “I do not
depend on these things”. It enables us
to step back from the usual habits and distractions and give particular attention
to God. An outward restraint can be a
sign and symbol of an inner attention, and a help towards it. This is a meaning
of the great symbol of ashes given on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This is also the Prayer which lies at the
heart of Lent. Reminding ourselves to give time to God so that God may speak to
us in the silence of our heart.
faiths encourage fasting and abstinence as spiritual disciplines. The Christian
Faith is no exception. Jesus himself
fasted in the desert as part of his preparation to meet his tempter. The early
Christians observed fasts. (Acts 13:2
14:23). The Fathers of the Early
Church recommended the practice also. “Fasting is food for the soul,
nourishment for the spirit. (Ambrose of Milan c.339-97).
fasted in the wilderness for forty days, he did so in order to clarify his
relationship with God and the nature of his calling. To face inner temptation,
he needed to explore how he stood in relation to material needs and worldly
power, and to affirm that his ultimate trust was in God “Man does not live by
bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”. (Matthew 4:4).
and abstinence,if we are serious about them, have a particular significance in
a world dominated by a culture of consumption. Today we are all encouraged to
think of ourselves as ‘consumers’ or ‘customers’, as if the material things of
creation had no other meaning than to be used by human beings. Fasting is a
form of restrain in which we stand back to contemplate things as they are in
themselves, as they are in relationship to God the creator, and not just a they
exist for us. “Fasting prevents us from identifying ourselves with the world in
order merely to possess it, and enables us to see the world in a light coming
from elsewhere. Then every creature,
every thing, becomes an object
of contemplation. Fasting puts between ourselves and the world a
wondering and respectful distance”. So wrote Oliver Clement, an Orthodox
Christian theologian who was born into an agnostic family in 1921.
enjoyment of the world comes not from possessing it or consuming it, but from a
detached enjoyment of its goodness. Far from being a negative reaction to the
material world, fasting is a positive affirmation of it. Fasting leads to
thanksgiving. In fact, there is no effective act of thanksgiving -no Eucharist-
without some form of self
always linked in the teaching of the Fathers with prayer and almsgiving.
Charitable giving is part and parcel of Lent. Solidarity demands that others
who are in need benefit from our self restraint
– otherwise even fasting and abstinence can be seen as self indulgence, as the
slimming world reminds us! Each one of
us will have our own good intentions as we receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. Self
denial and solidarity with the poor must
surely be part and parcel of our Lenten practice. The Diocesan charity for Lent
is the support of the Syrian Refugee Families Project. Let our prayer, fasting
and abstinence be of benefit not just to ourselves but to those who are in
desperate need of our charitable support.