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The Baptism of the Lord

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The Baptism of the Lord

13 January 2013 – The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

THIS SUNDAY: It may seem strange, but this is a Christmas Feast. Not if we think of Christmas only in terms of the Baby in Bethlehem, but if we have followed the ideas of the Feasts of Holy Family and especially Epiphany, and have seen the Season in terms of the growing manifestation or appearing of the Son of God: first to the shepherds and then to the wise men from the East. Now in the River Jordan, Jesus, Son of Mary, is revealed to all as the fullness of all God’s promises: “This is my Son, the Beloved”. On this day we stand before the revelation of God’s love for us, such that he would send his only Son into the world. Christmas without the Baptism of the Lord, and the words that are spoken from heaven, would be incomplete, since it is only in them that we fully see the wonder of what happened in Bethlehem. As we come to the end of Christmas today, and look forward to hearing the Gospels in Ordinary Time, we do so having been shown who it is we listen to: the only Son of God, the Beloved. The trees come down this weekend, but the crib remains in place until February 2.

VESPERS for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (this Sunday afternoon) at 4.00pm ~ 13 January.

WELCOME to the children preparing for First Communion this coming summer joined by their families for the 10.30am Mass as well as some of the families who have celebrated the baptism of their children during 2012. As we welcome them all to Mass this weekend, we come renew our baptismal commitment, our faith and that invitation to being like Christ in the world in which we live.

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY:  In this Year of Faith, the Bishop is inviting us together with friends from other churches to join him in the Cathedral next Sunday – 20 January at 4.00pm. Do go along and invite your friends from the local churches to join you – this is a great opportunity for us to journey together. Please do go along and represent our parish and do encourage your friends from the other Christian communities to go along with you.

FIRST COMMUNION: Session 2 for the children takes place in the hall next Saturday (19 Jan) from 8.45am. Session 2 for the parents is on Tuesday 5 February at 7.00pm.

CONFIRMATION: The next session of preparation is on Wednesday 23 January at 5.30pm in the hall. Apologies for error in previous given date. The bishop is visiting St Bernadette’s for Confirmation on Tuesday 12 February for Mass at 7.00pm. Please do keep the thirty candidates in your prayers.

CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE: Once again the bishop is inviting all married couples to join him for the annual celebration of Marriage in the Cathedral on Saturday 9 February at 12.00noon. If you are celebrating a significant anniversary in 2013, please let FrC know to ensure you receive your personal invitation. It is always a wonderful celebration so please do consider going along – it is open to everyone.

THIS IS OUR FAITH: We continue our monthly reflections on the Creed during this Year of Faith. The next talk in the series entitled ‘He suffered, was crucified, died and buried’ is on Tuesday 22 January, led by Fr Michael Healy at St Bernadette’s, 7.30pm-9.00pm (refreshments from 7pm). Do come along if you can.

EXPLORING THE COUNCIL: Gavin D’Costa continues his very clear exploration of the Council on Thursday 17 January in the Apostle Room of our Cathedral beginning at 7.30pm. This session will focus on Dei Verbum, the dogmatic Constitution of Divine Revelation. Gavin has provided study notes and prompts in preparation for this coming session. You can find all the information at cliftondiocese.com/year-of-faith-whats-happening and get in touch with Gavin so that you have everything you need in readiness. We follow that session here at St Bernadette’s on Wednesday 20 February at 7.30pm in the hall. This is a great opportunity for us, as a parish community, to engage with the documents. You can find them at the same diocesan web link or on the Vatican website.

GRAND DRAW WINNERS: Congratulations to Paul Hodgson, Alfie Dolan, Sue Fletcher, Maureen White, Marie Meecham, and the Critten family who all pick up their prizes from last weekend’s draw. Thanks to all of you for supporting the Grand Draw.

CAFOD: As part of the food and hunger campaign “Hungry for Change” there will be a gathering on College Green on Friday 25 January at 11am led by Canon Bernard Massey. The gathering will be with Christian Aid, Tearfund, Bristol Christian Action Network, and other Christian groups, there will also be a conference on Saturday 26 January entitled Our Daily Bread at Broadmead Baptist Church starting at 9.30am. The morning session will be led by Bishop Declan. Please see the noticeboard in the Narthex for details of the conference.

LENT: Frighteningly so, the Season of Lent is only a couple of weeks away (13 February).  The notice board holds details of some of the things happening around the diocese which may support you on your Lenten journey – a course in Clevedon on the sacraments, or Schools of Prayer at Brownshill, as well as our own parish celebration of Evening Prayer each Lenten Sunday, our Lenten soup lunches (22 Feb and Palm Sunday), and the CAFOD collection boxes for your homes will be available. Watch this space and have a glance at the notice board.

MASS OF ANOINTING OF THE SICK: On Sunday 10 February at 3pm there will be a celebration of Mass during which those who are sick and housebound will also have the chance for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. If you can help with transport for that day, please get in touch with Gordon or Linda Hodgson. More details next week… but please put the date in your diaries now. There will be refreshments in the hall afterwards. All are most welcome to this celebration.

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