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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

22 January 2012 – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time


THIS SUNDAY: Where does Jesus begin his ministry? Where John the Baptist left off – preaching a message of repentance, of change, to welcome the new Kingdom of God. There is a simplicity about this message, which is not compromised by anything – today’s Gospel has these simple words from Jesus, and then the story of his calling more disciples to follow him and share in the work of spreading this message. Repentance has had something of a bad press – we tend to think of it as an old-fashioned concept. But every age needs to hear this call: to look at what we do and say and assume, and realise that there are such things as right and wrong, and that sometimes we follow the wrong path. To follow Jesus, and to accept the Kingdom of God, demands that we make a radical choice, which might well change our lives.

THE CRIB: Do go and spend a little time at the crib which remains in place until 2 February, most especially with loved ones and family. We allow the loving touch of God precisely into the ordinariness of our lives so that we might know he is near to us in all that we do and all we go through in life. The little basket remains there, also, for you crib offerings for the homeless and the refugee in Bristol. You’ve already raised around £250 for the work done down at St Nick’s in Lawford’s Gate – thank you.

FIRST COMMUNION 2012: The preparation sessions for our youngsters pick up again from this coming Wednesday, 25 January. Parents are asked to ensure that the children bring their work books into school with them this week.

CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE: The Bishop invites all married couples to join him as part of National Marriage Week on Saturday 11 February in the Cathedral for Mass at 12noon. It’s a wonderful gathering from across our diocese. Do go along and celebrate the beautiful state of married life with him. Poster on the board and copies for you to take away from the narthex. If you are celebrating a significant anniversary this year (25th, 30th, 35th, 40th, 45th, 50th, 55th, 60th, 65th…) please do let Fr Christopher know that he can ensure you receive your individual invitations from the bishop.

FIFTY YEARS ON – VATICAN II: Responding to our Bishop’s pastoral letter at the beginning of the year and his invitation to reflect upon the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the next in our series of reflections on the Council is on Tuesday 24 January 2012 at 7.30pm (that’s this Tuesday evening). Fr Timothy Menezes will be leading our consideration upon Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Council’s document on the liturgy. This fantastic series of talks Opening the Windows offers us a simple route into re-introducing ourselves to the fruits of the Second Vatican Council. Do go along if you can. It is free, open to everyone, and there’s plenty of parking, too. Downloads on diocesan website.

PARISH FORUM GROUP meets again on Wednesday 8 February at 7.45pm in the presbytery.

GROWING IN CONFIDENCE IN OUR FAITH IN 2012: There will be one or two opportunities for us, as a parish community, to explore our faith, to ask questions about our faith, and grow in our confidence to live and proclaim our faith throughout this year. The spring will offer us chance to come together in an informal way to ask simple questions and find simple answers. There’s also something planned for the autumn to enable us, as a parish community, to take up the bishop’s invitation to explore to teachings of the Vatican Council. Watch this space and get ready to respond, maybe, to the invitations on offer.

FOR OUR PRAYERS: We remember Ronald O’Neil who died recently and whose funeral will take place on Friday 27 January at 10.30am here in St Bernadette’s. We remember also Andrea Bongiovanni who died during this last week and whose funeral will take place this coming Wednesday – 25 January – at 3.00pm. We remember them and their families at this sad time. May they rest in peace.

PARISH LITURGY GROUP: Fr Christopher is pulling together all those with particular responsibilities for the liturgical side of our parish as well as those who coordinate the various liturgical ministries. This gathering will look at ensuring that each of our ministers is formed and supported, as well as providing a real opportunity to reflect upon what we do as a community of prayer. The meeting aims, also, at allowing each of those coordinators to communicate with one another and facilitate a planning of what takes place here when it comes to our prayer. They meet next on Tuesday 6 March at 7.00pm in the presbytery.

ST BRENDAN’S OPEN EVENING: Thursday 9 February from 6.00pm until 9.00pm. Full details on the notice board in the narthex.

OUR PRIMARY SCHOOL: We keep the community of our primary school very much in our prayers over this coming week as they welcome Ofsted into school for their inspection. This is an anxious time, of course, for staff and pupils but we pray that the good work and the enthusiasm for care will shine through.

THE SEASON OF LENT: This important season of preparation looms on the liturgical horizon even though Christmas is only just behind us. We begin the Lenten season on Wednesday 22 February with our celebration of Ash Wednesday. As a season of prayer there will, of course, be opportunities for us to deepen our prayer; as a season of penance there will extra opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation; and as a season of charity there will the usual Lenten opportunities to reach out to those who hunger and thirst in our world through our fasting and our almsgiving. Watch this space!

CALLED TO BE…18 February 2012 at Sacred Heart, Grange Court Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm. This is an opportunity for adults who work with the young people in our parishes to shape youth ministry. There is a chance to meet our Youth Ministry Coordinator, Dave Wheat, and have a say on the future. This is one of five events taking place in every county in our diocese in January and February.

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