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Twenty First Sunday of the Year

Twenty First Sunday of the Year

THIS SUNDAY: Failure, rejection and isolation: these are the themes of today’s remarkable Gospel   but they are not all. In the face of them we see persever¬ance, fidelity and trust. Above all there is an adherence to the truth that is truly amazing. Jesus speaks the truth to all who will listen, and if they find that truth “intolerable” they are free to leave, just as they are free to believe. No one who reads this passage could accuse Jesus of being interested in fame or fortune or the simple accumulation of followers. He didn’t play the ‘numbers game’. Even more amazing is that when his followers seem to be down to their lowest ebb, he turns to the Twelve and gives them freedom to go as well. Peter’s reply, when he speaks of their belief, is the only answer that matters; it is spirit and life that replies, not the flesh, which has nothing to offer.

THE YEAR OF FAITH: This year celebrating and coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council is a real opportunity for us to deepen our friendship with the Lord and our understanding of the faith we profess and live. You’ll see the brochure of some of the things that are happening around the diocese in the narthex. Do pick up a copy. There are also plenty of details of the ‘Year of Faith’ section of the diocesan website –

CAFÉ BOOK GROUP meets on Tuesday 11 September from 10.15am – 11.15am.

OPENING THE WINDOWS: The penultimate lecture in this fantastic series exploring the Second Vatican Council, takes place on Tuesday 18 September at our Cathedral – 7.30pm. Professor Tina Beattie will be reflecting upon Mary’s place in the Council’s vision of the Church as the Mother of the pilgrim people of God.  On Wednesday 17 October at 7.30pm in the Cathedral, Cardinal Godfried Danneels will give the final lecture in the series… and this should be well worth going along to. FrC will arrange transport from St Bernadette’s to the Cathedral to maximise on the opportunity. Put the dates in your diary.

THIS IS OUR FAITH: You’ll see posters in the narthex detailing this simple course taking us through the Year of Faith in our parish. The series on the creed, hosted here at St B’s on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm until 9.00pm – aims at enabling us to understand our faith a little more and help us to grow in confidence in being able to articulate what we believe.  Put those dates in your diaries, now. The poster giving the focuses of each of those weeks can be found on the notice board. Do encourage someone to come along with you.

VESPERS – YEAR OF FAITH: The Bishop is inviting our diocese to come together at the start of the Year of Faith for a celebration of Evening Prayer on Sunday 14 October at 4.00pm.

EXPLORING THE DOCUMENTS OF VATICAN II: Professor Gavin D’Costa will be leading five sessions at the Cathedral exploring what happened at Vatican II and four key documents produced by the Council.  Thursday evenings – 22 Nov, 17 Jan, 14 Mar, 16 May, 11 Jul at 7.30pm in the Apostle Room at the Cathedral. We will follow that up in our parish with a Café-style reflection both upon the documents and Gavin’s input. If you want to take part in those then come along on Wednesday evenings (7.30pm): 12 Dec, 20 Feb, 24 April, 12 June, 24 July. Great opportunities to journey through the Year of Faith.

PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND: Bishop Declan is seeking to lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land next year – 30 October – 7 November 2013. Initial details are available from the narthex table. Interested? Pick up one of the leaflets from the narthex.

LECTIO DIVINA: Starting in September to accompany the beginning of the Year of Faith, there will be a short introduction to Lectio Divina, this prayerful reading of the scriptures, at St James’ Priory (by the bus station) beginning 11 September. Titled Listening to God’s Word, this seven session opportunity (11 Sept, 25 Sept, 9 Oct, 23 Oct, 6 Nov, 20 Nov, 27 Nov) draws us deeper into prayer around the Word of God. It’s open to all. Have a look at the poster and think about taking part in it. Starts at 7.00pm and ends at 8.30pm – convenient for the buses, too.

CONFIRMATION PREPARATION: The Bishop will be here at St Bernadette’s for the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation on Tuesday 12 February. This gives us a good period of time to journey with those who wish to put themselves forward to take part in the preparation programme. The first session will take place on Wednesday 19 September meeting in the parish hall at 5.30pm, hopefully giving our young people time to get home from school.  The following sessions are: 10 October, 14 November; 5 December; 23 January and 8 February (rehearsal). Do make a note of the dates.

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION 2013: It may seem an age away, but parents of those children who will seeking to prepare for First Communion next summer will be asked to make contact soon into the new school year. The programme will be put together which will involve parents during this next year. There will be some formation session for parents to take part in as a way of deepening their own faith and helping them to accompany their children in preparation for these sacraments of encounter. Details will be available on our parish website over the summer and soon into school when the children start back.

RECOMMISSIONING OF EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS: The annual re-commissioning of our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will take place over the weekend of 22/23 September and those who serve our community in this way will be commissioned for another year’s service.

PARISH LITURGY GROUP meets next on Wednesday 29 August at 7.30pm in the presbytery.

STUDENTS FOR THE DIACONATE: Our diocesan students will be here at St Bernadette’s on Saturday 8 September for their day’s formation. They will join us for Morning Prayer and Mass and spend the day using our facilities, here.

TEAS AND COFFEES: Refreshments in the hall after Mass (10.30am) from next Sunday onwards. Do go into the hall if you can.

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