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Thirty First Sunday of the Year

Thirty First Sunday of the Year

THIS SUNDAY: Every priest, and indeed every Catholic, can sometimes find themselves in the position of someone asking “This religion of yours – what’s it all about, really, when you come down to it? What’s the bottom line?” Our temptation might be to start going on at length, which is when we should remember this Gospel. Jesus, asked a very similar question, pins our faith down to two very simple things – love of God and love of neighbour – which together make up the foundation for everything else in our religion. The very simplicity of these two commandments is a gift, so that we can try to live them out each day of our lives. The first commandment, which is also that given by Moses in the first reading, is actually a prayer that our Jewish brothers and sisters still recite every single day.  Jesus, our perfect High Priest, gives us these two commandments to be written in our heads and our hearts, to remember each day, so that we may conduct ourselves in the paths of the Kingdom of God.

THIS IS OUR FAITH: Our little series for the Year of Faith has got off to a great start and each month, now, we will continue to journey through the Apostles’ Creed to help us understand what it is that we live and we seek to hand on to others. The next session takes place here in our parish hall on Tuesday 20 November – I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God. Do come along if you can. Fr Christopher will be leading this evening for us… and if you bring your copy of the Catechism (if you have one) or can read up beforehand, all the better. Refreshments from 7.00pm and we begin at 7.30pm. If you cannot come along to these evening sessions, do still try to make something of the Year of Faith. Keep an eye open for what may suit you.

CONFIRMATION PREPARATION: The next session for our young people journey towards Confirmation is Wednesday 14 November, 5.30pm in the Hall.

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) – and they are open to all: 12 Dec, 20 Feb, 24 April, 12 June, 24 July. Great opportunities to journey through the Year of Faith. If you want to read the documents then download them from the Vatican website – and search in the resource library.

MASS IN THE HALL: We will continue to celebrate Mass (Monday-Friday) in the hall. It is much easier and more efficient to heat. Please use the hall entrance. Saturday Mass will be celebrated in the Church.

PARISH FUNDRAISING: Keep those draw tickets stubs coming in… its good to see the envelopes in the narthex going down gradually. Our parish Grand Draw at the start of the New Year – 5 January 2013, will be our major fundraising event for the year. It may be two months away yet, but do, please, take away with you as many books as you can to buy them/sell them over the autumn. Please do your best to make it fruitful. Money and stubs returned to the presbytery, please, in clearly marked envelope. There are some fantastic cash prizes as well as other prizes, too. The more we sell the more income we receive. Each envelope contains £5 worth of tickets. Please do what you can!

FIRST COMMUNION: It’s that time of year (already) when our parish begins to think about the start of preparation for First Communion. There will be a meeting for parents on Thursday 15 November at 7pm in the Church. Children in Year 3 (and above) at primary school are due to start their preparation. If you would like you son/daughter to take part in the programme for 2013, please make sure you have that date clearly set aside.

NOVEMBER MASSES: The list of Masses for the month of November (Holy Souls) is on the notice board so if there are any vacant slots add your intention. Fr Christopher will honour any mass intentions that have been requested but no mass said in Church as soon as he can.

FIRST FRIDAY SOUP LUNCH: Thanks to those who supported last Friday’s soup lunch. The little gathering raised near £70 for our parish outreach projects. Thanks to them and those who worked hard to provide such a nourishing lunch. Keep your eyes peeled for the December date.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND: As part of our diocesan celebration of the Year of Faith, Bishop Declan is leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land from October 30 – 7 November 2013. Thirty five people have signed up already and there are places remaining. If you would like the details then have a look at our diocesan website and search in the ‘Year of Faith’ section in the left hand column; booking form and details are there.

LESLIE WHITEHEAD RIP: As you know FrC’s father died last Tuesday – very peacefully at home. Fr C wants to thank you for your kindness, your sympathy, your patience, and your cards. Les’ funeral takes place in St Peter’s, London Road, Gloucester this coming Friday at 1.00pm. FrC also has to apologise if the mass schedule is a little all over the place this coming week. Do keep his family in your prayers at this time.

DAVID SHAW RIP: David died last week and his funeral will take place here at St Bernadette’s on Monday 12 November at 11.30am followed by cremation at South Bristol. We remember David in our prayers and also his family and friends at this time. May he rest in peace.

NEXT SUNDAY – REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: Our Mass at 10.30am next Sunday will be offered for all those who have died in war or conflict. We will observe a time of silence during the bidding prayers.

CONGRATULATIONS to Rebecca Fitzgerald and John O’Brien who were married here this Saturday.

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