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Fifteenth Sunday of the Year

Fifteenth Sunday of the Year

10 July 2011 – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year (A)

THIS SUNDAY: The Gospel today is the beginning of a new section in Matthew, called ‘The Parabolic Discourse’ – a section of parables Jesus tells the crowd, which we will read over the next three weeks. A parable is a story with a hidden meaning: we can easily remember the story, and gradually the true meaning becomes clearer and clearer. Today is a famous example: the Parable of the Sower. In itself it is a story that would easily be understood by Jesus’ audience – people who lived in an agricultural economy. Jesus uses their understanding to make an important teaching about the message he has brought: it is like a seed that is thrown out and received in different ways – the ideal is when the seed finds good soil, and produces a crop that can be seen and harvested: so the ideal listener to the word is one who allows it to lodge in the heart, but also produces a visible result. What is the harvest we should yield, when we have heard the word?

NEW TRANSLATION OF THE ROMAN MISSAL: As you know, the English speaking world receives a new translation of the Missal from the autumn of this year. From September, we will begin to use and familiarise ourselves with these new texts. The Mass remains the same, but the words we use and the some of the words we hear will alter. Over the last month we have been exploring something of the new translation. Some of the music we use at Mass for the Gloria, the Holy, holy, the Memorial Acclamation will be changing. There will be an opportunity to explore some of the new musical settings on Monday 18 July (7.00pm) here in St Bernadette’s as we host an evening for some of our parish musicians and singers. There will be Mass cards detailing the new texts for the Mass from September and there will an opportunity to order new Sunday and weekday missals. Watch this space. There are also some new CTS simple prayer books in the narthex.

Please put a note in your diaries: Sunday 10 July. Full programme and details on the notice board in the narthex. It’s always a great diocesan gathering at the beautiful shrine. Do go along if you can. It would be good if St Bs was represented. Cadge a lift if you know of someone who is going along. It is a wonderful opportunity to take part in this procession around one of the oldest and most significant of Marian shrines in England. We are fortunate to be following in the footsteps of St David and St Patrick, seeking the watchful prayer and protection of the Mother of God.

It’s back and it’s on at the Colston Hall at 7.30pm on Friday 30 September. Twenty £10 seats have been reserved for us… and there are about a half dozen left. Please see the notice in the Narthex and add your name to the list if you want a ticket. Transport will be arranged nearer the date. Several of our Clifton Priests are taking part and performing for our entertainment and to raise funds for CAFOD. Get those remaining tickets whilst they are available.

CAFOD EAST AFRICA DROUGHT APPEAL: You will be aware that East Africa is currently experiencing the worst drought in almost 60 years, affecting people in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea. While great progress has been made in supporting communities to cope with droughts, the scale of this disaster is outstripping all local capacity to act as it comes on the heels of two drought-affected years. The number of people affected is immense, with tens of thousands already on the move in search of water, pasture and food.  
Given the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to respond quickly, the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), of which CAFOD is a member, has decided to launch an appeal and emergency response with immediate effect. As part of this response CAFOD is launching its own £5m appeal so that Catholics can choose to give directly to CAFOD. So much is asked of your finances when you come to Church, but if you can respond to CAFOD’s appeal, please do so as generously as you can. There will be a retiring collection after both Masses this weekend.

To welcome in the summer holidays and to support CAFOD’s drought appeal in East Africa, there will be a cream tea on Sunday 24 July from 3.00pm to 5.00pm. £3 per place and you are contributing to support so many people hungry, thirsty and displaced from the homeland at this time.

FIRST-STAGE-LAST BIKE RIDE: Following on from bike rides in 2007 across Spain and in 2009 through France, Gordon Hodgson intends to cycle from St. Bernadette to Paris, Chartres and Lisieux to complete the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Leaving on 2nd September, Gordon hopes to raise as much sponsorship money as possible for our Outreach projects. Sponsorship forms are available and your support and generosity would be appreciated.

THE DIARY OF GOD: There is another chance to pick up this engaging course dipping into deepening our understanding of the scriptures in the autumn. Sacred Heart, Westbury-on-Trym and Chipping Sodbury are hosting the course in November onwards. There is a poster in the narthex for you to peruse and consider. More details later.

ONE YEAR ON: In celebration of the first anniversary of the visit of the Holy Father this September, Ann Widdecombe is coming to St John’s, Bath, to reflect upon the impact and legacy on the historic visit of Pope Benedict last September. Wednesday 21 September at 7.30pm. Pop the dates in your diaries and go along… she might even tango, too!

FIFTY YEARS ON – VATICAN II: Beginning this October our diocese is hosting a series of seven talks/lectures inviting us to re-engage with the teachings and the documents of the Second Vatican Council which began October 1962. Starting on Tuesday 18 October, Bishop Declan opens the series. The talks take place at the Cathedral and start at 7.30pm. Have a look at the Adult Education and Evangelisation newsletter on the narthex notice board.

SUMMER CONCERT in aid of the Roof Fund of St Bonaventure’s, Bishopston, taking place on Friday 15 July at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £6 and all are welcome. Details from Neta Roylance-Smith or Val Anglin (0117 974 4624).

PARISH MAGAZINE: The summer edition of the magazine is out in the narthex. You are most welcome to pick up a copy. They are free and if you want to make a contribution towards printing costs, then please feel free to pop something in with the newspaper money. The magazine is packed with some wonderful articles from parishioners. When you’ve read it, why not pass it on to someone else.

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