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Thirteenth Sunday of the Year

Thirteenth Sunday of the Year

1 July 2012 – Thirteenth Sunday of the Year (B)

THIS SUNDAY: Today we are invited to marvel at one of the most dramatic and amazing of the Lord’s miracles – the raising back to life of the daughter of Jairus. The story is told with a level of emotional realism: the calm faith but dreadful fear of Jairus, the servants who bring the news of his daughter’s death, the calm reassurance of Jesus and even the laughter of the servant who mock Jesus – all these make this a story that can engage us and speak to us. And what it says is something profound: all the miracles of the Lord proclaim the Kingdom of God – the world the way God wants it to be. God does not want us to die: death is not part of God’s plan for us. This is reinforced by the unfamiliar first reading from the book of Wisdom, which opens our listening to God’s Word today with the dramatic phrase: “Death was not God’s doing.” God created us to live forever, and the raising of Jairus’ daughter to life is a vivid and outstanding proclamation of this truth.

PETER’S PENCE: Apologies for insufficient warning. This retiring collection, taken every year around the Feast of the Apostles, Pete and Paul, is a charitable gift made to the Holy Father in order that he can be charitable on our behalf. Through this gift, the Holy Father supports dioceses, parishes, communities, schools, hospitals, disaster relief funds, and other Catholic institutions in some of the struggling parts of the Church and the world. Through your kindness and your support, our parish (and our diocese) is able to reach out to those who share our faith but who lack something of the basic resources. Please do give generously after Mass this weekend.

WE WELCOME:  Fr George Henwood from St Gerard’s to Mass this Saturday evening. Fr Christopher is working at the diocesan family day and Fr George comes to help us out. Do give him a warm Whitchurch welcome.

TUESDAY CAFÉ: Our parish series spread over eight weeks continues this week. Exploring the person of Jesus, we continue this Tuesday, 3 July, as we reflect upon Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life. 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. The sessions are open to everyone so do come along and to bring friends with you. We meet then on 10 July, and 17 July. Posters and details are available from the narthex. Even if you haven’t had chance to take part so far, do feel that you can come along even at this stage.

GLASTONBURY PILGRIMAGE: This year’s pilgrimage is on Sunday 8 July. Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Declan at 3.30 pm in the Abbey grounds. Poster and full programme for the day on the notice board. The pilgrimage is an important event in our diocesan calendar, drawing our diocesan community together in this beautiful and ancient shrine. A great day out for all the family, too.

JOURNEY IN FAITH: Are there people you know who may be interested in the faith we profess and the faith we live? Are there people you know who come to Mass and yet are not, maybe, Catholic? Are there people you know who may just need a little encouragement to deepen their faith, their understanding of the Lord, and deepen their relationship with him? If so, then maybe now is the time to sow that seed and invite them to take a step deeper into communion and friendship.

YEAR OF FAITH: This coming October, at the Holy Father’s initiative, we embark upon a momentous journey of celebration as we recall the opening of the Second Vatican Council fifty years ago. The Holy Father seeks to draw us into deeper discovery of the One who lies at the centre of our faith, and draw us into deeper love with the One who gives life purpose and meaning. Our parish will mark this year’s journey with an exploration of our creed, with moments of prayer, retreat, and reflection, with a pilgrimage, and chance to explore once again the thoughts and reflections of the Council through looking at those important documents. This Year is for all who seek to understand their faith and to deepen it. Details over the next week or so, but now is the time to get ready.

PERMANENT DIACONATE FORMATION: From September, the students on their journey of discernment towards the permanent diaconate will be coming to St B’s for their Saturday formation sessions. The context of the parish community will allow them to develop some of the skills we would look for in those who minister as deacons. Fr Christopher, who directs the formation programme, will see them preside at Morning Prayer, serve at Mass, read, distribute Communion from the chalice, and one of the students near to ordination will also give the homily after the readings. As a parish community we can be a real part of their formation by supporting them in our prayer. FrC will give you plenty of notice when they are coming each time. Do remember to pray for them as well as praying for vocations, too.

CATECHISTS SYMPOSIUM 2012: This year’s Symposium takes place on Saturday 21 July at St. Joseph’s College, Swindon. The focus of day centres on nurturing and supporting our catechists as well as offering chance for a sharing of ideas and methods. All those who look after catechesis in our parishes are encouraged to take part in the day. The day is also open to anyone who is interested in the work of catechesis and handing on faith to others. Details can be found on the notice board and on

FIRST FRIDAYS: Don’t forget that we pick up again our first Friday time of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament after the morning Mass this coming Friday. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed and the Church will remain open until midday. This gives us the chance to make something of our Friday penance and prayer. Please do pop in – even if you are simply passing by. It’s good to have the Church open and used – Friday 6 July.

CONFIRMATION PREPARATION: In readiness for the celebration of the sacrament of Confirmation with Bishop Declan after Christmas, the autumn months will be used for that period of prayer, reflection, formation and preparation. FrC is inviting those in Year 8 and above – who would like to put themselves forward – to start thinking about getting in touch with FrC in the next week or so. More details to follow.

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