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Fourth Sunday of Easter

Fourth Sunday of Easter

29 April 2012 – Fourth Sunday of Easter (B)


THIS SUNDAY: This is traditionally called “Good Shepherd Sunday” because of the Gospel narratives (from John 10) read each year, in which Jesus talks of himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his flock. A general “theme” to the Scriptures is the person of Jesus and what he has achieved by the Paschal Mystery (his dying and rising): the first reading talks of his name, and the power of the name of Jesus to save: one of the results of the “power of this name” is that in him we are all God’s children, and are promised an eternal reward. All this is summed up in the Gospel, in which Jesus talks of himself as the real shepherd, who is prepared to do anything for his flock, even to the point of giving his life. This he said before his passion, but in Eastertide we read it with the benefit of hindsight. His words are true, and by his dying and rising he has truly saved his flock.


MISSIONARY WELCOME: We welcome to Mass this weekend the Missionary Sisters of St Peter Claver who are appealing in our diocese this year and in parishes in our deanery this weekend. They will tell us something of their missionary work, the work of their congregation, and seek our support and our help for the work of all the missionary Sisters. Please do respond as generously as you can to this appeal.

GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY – DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS: This Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is a Sunday where we focus our prayer each year upon praying for Vocations to the Priesthood, the Diaconate, and to the Religious Life. We keep this intention in our prayers – not just today – asking God to touch the hearts of those he calls to respond generously and in love to his call.


FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: The children preparing for First Communion come to celebrate the gift of the Cross this Sunday, 29 April, at the 10.30am Mass. They continue their preparation for First Communion this coming Wednesday. First Communion, this year, is being celebrated on Sunday 27 May at 10.30am.


WEDNESDAY CAFÉ: Beginning on Tuesday 22 May, our parish will start a short series of catechesis, deepening our understanding of the person of Jesus. Titled ‘Who are you looking for? I am he.’ this course spread out over nine weeks will explore the person of Jesus we find in the Gospel. The format will be simple and uncomplicated. We meet after Mass at about 10.15am for a short little input and then leaving time for conversation around the table to explore the theme a little further. We have a wonderful, simple chance to deepen our understanding of  who Jesus is and what it means to be a Catholic… and all over a cuppa, beginning to explore what lies at the heart of what we believe. The sessions are open to everyone and you are warmly encouraged to come along and to bring friends with you. There will be a good cup of coffee or tea and some cakes, too. Dates: 22 May, 29 May, 12 June, 19 June, 26 June, 3 July, 10 July, and 17 July. We start at 10.15am and will meet for an hour… simple, informative, engaging, and uncomplicated. Posters and details will be available for you to take away next weekend. Do make a note of the dates… and feel free to come along.


PARISH LITURGY GROUP: The group meets next on Wednesday 16 May at 7.30pm (after Mass) in the presbytery.


OPENING THE WINDOWS – IN CELEBRATION OF VATICAN II: The fifth lecture in our diocesan series takes place at the Cathedral on Tuesday 15 May, beginning at 7.30pm. Professor Gavin D’Costa from Bristol University leads the reflection upon the Church reaching out to those of other faiths. He will explore the Declaration on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions – Nostra Aetate, and the Declaration on Religious Freedom – Dignitatis Humanae. They have been fantastic lectures so far. Do go along. There’s plenty of parking and it is free to get in, too.


PARISH MAGAZINE: The Easter/Spring edition of the parish Magazine is still available from the Narthex. Do pick your copy as there are some interesting articles in it. They are free and if you want to pop a little something towards production costs in with the newspaper money, then please feel free to do so.


SALVATORE COSTA RIP: We keep the Costa family very much in our prayers at this time. Salvatore’s funeral takes place at St Gerard’s this coming Wednesday at 11.00am followed by burial in Whitchurch cemetery. May he rest in peace.


CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME to Ayla Baker who was baptised here last Sunday.


DIAMOND JUBILEE ‘RED, WHITE AND BLUE’ SOCIAL: If you are not tootling off for half term over the diamond jubilee weekend, then come along to our parish social on Saturday 2 June at 7.00pm. There will be a tasty jubilee supper and chance to raise a glass, too. Great fun for all the family. The dress code is, of course, red, white and blue! Tickets available soon! We’ll also draw the big prizes of the 200 Club that evening, too.


TABLE TOP SALE – THANKS! There was a terrific buzz in the hall last Saturday that contributed £989.48 towards CLIC and SANDS. The total raised for those two charities over two events comes to £2000. Barbara thanks all those who supported and contributed to that wonderful total. Keep an eye on the notice board for the letters coming from those two charities.


COALITION FOR MARRIAGE: From the news you will know that the Government is consulting as it wants to extend the definition of marriage to same-sex relationships. The Bishops are inviting you to add your voice to the petition against redefining marriage. You are also invited to contact your MP. You will find the petition and the points which you may like to include in your MP’s letter on the board in the narthex.  Marriage is so readily under threat in our society and this gives us chance to uphold its dignity and its place within society.

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