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Thirty First Sunday of the Year

Thirty First Sunday of the Year

3 November 2013

THIS SUNDAY: There is a subversive humour in today’s Gospel which turns upside down the conventions of everyday life: we see a senior tax official climbing up a tree for a glimpse of Jesus, and the faintly ridiculous scene where Jesus stops, looks into the branches of the sycamore and says, “Zacchaeus, come down!” Did Zacchaeus worry about what people thought? The rest of the story shows that he did not. It would be easy to laugh at little Zacchaeus – and people in the town probably did, in between muttering about his extortionate taxes. And yet he has understood the message of God more clearly than others: he reveals the meaning of the first reading, since he understands that God is gentle, merciful and loving. Jesus corrects him, “little by little…so that he may abstain from evil and trust in the Lord.”


A VERY WARM WELCOME to Fr Michael English who joins us this weekend to celebrate Mass whilst FrC is in the Holy Land with the diocesan pilgrims. Do keep them in your prayers during this time.


JOY O’CONNOR: We remember Joy in our prayers. Her funeral will be celebrated here on Tuesday 5 November at 10.00am. We keep her and Tony, her husband, and their sons in our prayers. May she rest in peace and find joy in God’s presence.


MEDITATION – THE PRAYER OF THE HEART: The penultimate session in this beautiful series takes place on Thursday, 7 November, at 10.30am and taking place in our hall. Come along and enjoy the peace and the stillness amidst the busy-ness of daily life. It lasts an hour. Refreshments follow. Poster in the narthex. Last session on Thursday 14th.


CATECHISTS FORMATION COURSE: The come and see evening only whetted the appetite for what is to come in the New Year. This course isn’t just for those who bear the title ‘catechist’; its for all those who have any part in handing on faith to others. It is crafted in such a way as to encourage us in our own faith, seeking to deepen it and the friendship our faith draws us into, giving us the confidence to hand it on to others. Have a look at the details in the narthex and think about taking part.


PARISH BAZAAR 2014: If you fancy lending a hand with this coming year’s bazaar or running one of the stalls, then come along to the hall on Thursday 14 November at 7.30pm. The more, the merrier, and it will be good to put all our efforts into this great fundraising and social event.


EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS HOLY HOUR: Wednesday 20 November at 7pm in preparation for commissioning and re-commissioning on the Feast of Christ the King (23rd/24th).


MASS TO CLOSE THE YEAR OF FAITH: The Bishop is celebrating Mass at 3.30pm on Sunday 24 November, closing the Year of Faith. Each parish is asked to be represented and it would be good if St B’s was well represented at that diocesan gathering. Please make a note in your diaries.


FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: Letters have gone home with the Year 3 children about the re-jigged sessions. If you were at the parents’ meeting a week or so ago, please note the dates have been re-jigged. The full listing will appear on the parish website, once registration has closed, for you to download. Parents need to register their children no later than 8 November – that’s this Friday.


DIACONAL ORDINATIONS: Two of the students whose preparation has been taking place here in the parish over the last two years are in the final throws of preparation for ordination in the Cathedral on Saturday 16 November at 11.00am. Steve and Bogdan warmly invite you to join them in this beautiful celebration where they commit themselves to the service of the Church and of God’s people, as deacons. If you would like to go along, then please do. It would be good to have the parish represented as you have supported them along their formation journey thus far! Our morning Mass time will be altered to 9am that Saturday.


CHRISTMAS CARDS AND ADVENT CALENDARS: You will see that Siobhan has plenty of stock in readiness for Christmas. Our repository brings us in a little money each year because of what you buy. If there is one little thing you can do to support our parish this Christmas, it is to buy your cards from the shop in the narthex. There are few places where you’ll find great value and, in this Year of Faith, it gives us the opportunity to retell the Christmas story through the cards we send to others…maybe to those who have forgotten who lies at the heart of Christmas. Advent begins 30 November/1 December.


CONGRATULATIONS TO Alexander Michael Roberts and to Mariusz Kopciuch who were baptised here this last weekend. We welcome them into the life of our parish family and congratulate their parents, too.


NEXT SUNDAY: We keep our annual remembrance next Sunday of all those who fallen in the two Great Wars of the twentieth century as well as those who have died in more recent conflicts. Our 10.30am Mass will be offered for the fallen, and we will observe a period of silence during the bidding prayers.


LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR: Sister Therese from St Joseph’s Home in Cotham will be with us at both Masses next Sunday (9th/10th) to appeal (as she does annually) on behalf of work of the sisters with the elderly in our city.


PARISH FORUM meets next on Wednesday 13 November at 7.45pm.


DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND: You can make that pilgrimage a virtual one from the comfort of our own home by following the diocesan group on You will be able to tap into the daily reflections, the itinerary, the pilgrims’ insights as well as follow their route and enter into the pilgrimage through joining their prayer and, of course, through photographs of where their journey takes them.

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