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The Feast of Christ the King

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The Feast of Christ the King

20 November 2011 ~ Christ the King – Thirty Fourth Sunday of the Year

THIS SUNDAY: “Shepherd-King o’er mountain steep, homeward guide thy wand’ring sheep.” This hymn which we will probably sing today captures the readings perfectly: our King is not a cruel tyrant or despot, but a shepherd who loves his flock, who would (and did) give his life for them. Love for the flock means that he will have to judge them, separating the sheep from those who do not belong to him. Coming to the end of the Church’s year leads us to look to our final ending, the homecoming the hymn speaks of. The judgement of the end of time we do not view as a trial or a terror, but as a coming home: look back to the Isaiah reading on the 28th Sunday to see what a homecoming party is offered. All we do is put our lives in order, living just and holy lives, longing for the day of the lord to come.

200 CLUB MEMBERSHIP: Subscriptions for 2012 are due soon. Look out for your membership letter.

FIRST COMMUNION 2012: The complete list of preparation sessions, celebration Masses, and parents’ sessions can now be found on the notice board as well as on the parish website. If you missed the details and the meeting for whatever reason you will need to contact FrC, please. The children begin their preparation for First Confession on Wednesday 30 November in school. We look forward to welcoming them for their Mass on Enrolment in January.

ROTAS: You’ll find the December rotas online and paper copies as well as notes for Readers in the narthex.

FIRST FRIDAY SOUP LUNCH: The next First Friday soup lunch takes place on Friday 2 December, following Exposition, at 12.15pm. All are most welcome.

BINGO NIGHTIN AID OF THE LITTLE SISTERS: Bingo night on Saturday 26 November (next Saturday) (7.30pm) to raise money for the Little Sisters. A hearty supper for £5 and bingo cards will be available to buy on the night. Pop your name on the list in the narthex if you would like a seat… and bring your friends with you! There will be plenty of opportunities to help the Little Sisters raise a little money for their home in Cotham. The Grand Draw of the 200 Club will be drawn at the Bingo night – there’s a big cheque for £200 to be taken home!

NEW ALTAR MISSALS: The Sunday Missals should arrive this week in readiness for Advent. Watch this space. Weekday missals ordered will be with us in January. You’ll be able to pick yours up from the narthex.

VESPERS FOR CHRIST THE KING: There will be Vespers (4.00pm) for the feast of Christ the King this afternoon – do come along if you can. Today is also National Youth Sunday, a Sunday where we pray for the young people of our Church and also where we are asked to support our diocesan youth service through the retiring collection. There is so much to support our young people in our diocese and your gift through this collection works to encourage them and those who work with them to be confidently Catholic.

ADVENT: Next Sunday we begin a new year in the life of the Church, and the season of preparation for Christmas. There will be Vespers on the first three Sundays of Advent (27 Nov, 4 Dec and 11 Dec), and our Family Crib Service on Sunday 18 December at 3.30pm. There are little reflection books for Advent, allowing you to journey through the scriptures of the season each and every day. You’ll find these in the narthex.  There will be opportunities for Confession during Advent – each Saturday and during the week as we approach Christmas. It is important that we use Advent as a season of prayer, too. If you have an Advent Wreath ready for home, then bring it along to Mass next week, place it under the Church’s wreath and take that blessing and that light into your homes.

A CHRISTMAS WELCOME AND OUT-REACH: There are some beautiful cards available from this weekend that give clear details of the week’s build up to Christmas so that you can ‘invite’ folk to join us for Christmas this year. The cards give times of the celebrations at St Bernadette’s, opportunities for confession, and allow you to encourage those who may not normally be with us at the weekend to come back and join us at this special time of year. This is a most important part of reaching out to folk and an important aspect of evangelisation. There may be friends, family, neighbours who just need that encouragement from you to put them back in touch with Church and with that living encounter with Christ. You are encouraged to take the cards and hand them on!

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR THE HOMELESS: Once again, we’ll be collecting your gifts for the guests of Julian House this Christmas. You’ve been great in previous years wrapping socks, jumpers, toiletries and chocolates for the homeless. The box will be in the Lady Chapel in time for the Crib Service, mid December.

OUR RETIRED PRIESTS: We are fortunate to be welcoming some of our retired priests back to St Bernadette’s for their annual mass and lunch with the Bishop this Wednesday, 23 November. Mass will be celebrated at 11.00am with Bishop Declan, so do come along and help make these priests welcome.

DIOCESAN YEARBOOKS AND DIRECTORIES: Get them while you can! There are only 20 directories (£5) and 8 liturgical yearbooks (£5.99) this year. There were too many left last year, so get these whilst they are available from the Narthex. You can pop the money into the newspaper money box.

READERS FOR CHRISTMAS: If you are available to read at either of the Christmas morning Masses (8½am or 10½am), please get in touch with FrC or Cora Pring asap. Readers for 6pm and Midnight have been sorted.

FIFTY YEARS ON – VATICAN II: The next date for your diary is Tuesday 6 December, 7.30pm in our cathedral when Fr James Hanvey SJ will explore Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes, inviting us to think about being the Church in the contemporary world.

OUR PRAYERS go in support of baby Eryn Barber and Elizabeth Anthony who died recently and, of course, their families. We pray that God will bring them into his peace and bring comfort to those who grieve their loss. You will see the details of funerals in the weekly mass schedule.

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