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First Sunday of Lent

First Sunday of Lent

17 February 2013  –  First Sunday of Lent


THIS SUNDAY: As with each First Sunday of Lent the Gospel tells of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness; as we begin the journey of Lent, during which we will consider our lives as members of the Church, we look to the ex­ample of Jesus when it comes to dealing with temptation. Choosing to follow God’s path is the first characteristic of the Christian: this is underlined in the two other readings, which outline the two” creeds” or statements of belief – one of Israel and one of the Christian. Both of them emphasise “believing in the heart and confessing with the lips”: both creeds underline the Salvation that God has achieved – for Israel it was freedom from Egypt, for the Christian freedom from death in Jesus.


CONGRATULATIONS to Austin Lovell, Ciara Humphries, Ellie May Burge, Faustyna Sikora, Des Talbot, Oliver Tatar, Liya John, Brennan Daly, Millie Hewlett, Niamh Phillips, James Dunsford, Olivia Nicholls, Hanna Lowson, Niamh McGillan, Reece Foley, Harry Jenkins, Samuel Payne, Siobhan McAndrew, Luke Tatar, Thomas Ryan, Ana Mae Marchant, Lauren Parry, Orla Baber, Ewa Ozuch, Harry Hennessey, Brandon Kirwan, Millie Ryan, and Jack Harding celebrating Confirmation this last week. We pray that God will continue to guide them through the power of his Spirit along a path that leads to deeper friendship with him.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Each Sunday of Lent we trace that familiar journey of the fourteen Stations, walking with the Lord to his cross. If you can come along, then it would be good to have you join that journey. 4.00pm followed by Exposition and Benediction.


LENTEN SOUP LUNCH – CAFOD FAST DAY: This coming Friday, the Lenten Fast Day takes place, giving us the opportunity to reach out in solidarity and charity to those whose ‘fast’ is an everyday reality. There will also be a simple soup lunch taking place on this coming Fast Day. CAFOD collection boxes are available from the narthex if you would like one for Lent – hand it back on Holy Thursday. Next Sunday, there will be a retiring collection for CAFOD in response to the Fast Day. The other churches are having lent lunches on Wednesday 27 February at Christchurch; on Tuesday 5 March at the United Reformed Church; Saturday 23 March at St Nicholas Church By supporting these lunches you are helping agencies working to feed the hungry of the world. All the lunches start at 12 noon.


FIRST COMMUNION: Session 2 for the children takes place in the hall Saturday (23 Feb) from 8.45am.


THIS IS OUR FAITH: The next session in our Year of Faith series – he descended into hell – takes place in the hall on Tuesday 19 February at 7.30pm, led by Doreen Wyatt. Fr Healy’s cancelled session will now take place on Tuesday 12 March.


EXPLORING THE COUNCIL: We’ve been shadowing the cathedral series of talks and so we follow the session on Dei Verbum 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.


PASSOVER: Martyn Furman is coming to lead a day in the diocese on the Easter Triduum and the Passover on Saturday 16 March and will be with us in our parish in the evening to help us journey through the Passover celebration and deepen our understanding of what we celebrate not only through Holy Week but each Sunday Eucharist. We will do this within the context of a delicious meal, appropriate for the evening. There will be time to sign up and reserve your space as numbers will be limited and spaces open, eventually, beyond our parish. The reflection day takes place from around 10.30 until mid afternoon, and then the Passover celebration meal will begin at around 7.15pm. It is important that you sign up for the evening, so keep an eye on the board for the list. Cost is £5 per head – sign up from this weekend. All are welcome!


SCHOOLS OF PRAYER: if you want an opportunity to deepen your prayer during this Lenten Season, then the Sisters at Brownshill, near Stroud, are hosting a series across the Wednesdays of Lent delving into some of the great examples and teachers of prayer. Starting on 20 February (this Wednesday), they journey with us through the prayer of St Benedict, St Francis, Carmel, and Pope Benedict to draw us into deeper relationship with the Lord. The evenings are open to everyone and the details are on the notice board. They are most welcoming so do go along if you can. Look at the nuns’ website for clear directions.


LENTEN DAY OF PRAYER: Saturday 9 March from 10.00am until 3.00pm, this day will draw upon reflection around the parable of the prodigal son as a way of calling us back to the Father. Caroline Price is leading this day at Brownshill and the venue offers that wonderful opportunity for stillness and for quiet. Details on the notice board or via the diocesan website.


LENTEN WALK WITH ME: These simply reflection books for each day of the Lenten Season are available from the narthex. They cost £1. Do pick one up and keep with close to you throughout these forty days.


QUIZ NIGHT: Make a note of the date in your diaries – Saturday 9 March. There will be more details in next weekend’s newsletter. This should a fantastic social gathering – don’t forget to grab your ticket!


DIOCESAN MASS OF THANKSGIVING FOR PETRINE MINISTRY OF POPE BENEDICT XVI: How things change in a week! With the news of the Holy Father’s decision to step down from the position as Bishop of Rome and Successor of St Peter effective 28 February at 8pm, Bishop Declan is inviting our diocesan family to join him at the Cathedral on Thursday 28 Feb at 11.30am. He will celebrate Mass in thanksgiving for the ministry of pope Benedict to which all are parish communities are welcome to come along to. It would be good to see our own parish well represented as usual. We keep Pope Benedict in our prayers, we pray for the Church throughout the world and also those who are charged with electing his successor when the time comes.

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