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Sixth Sunday of the Year

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Sixth Sunday of the Year

16 February 2014 – Sixth Sunday of the Year

THIS SUNDAY:  Back in the 60s some groups “adopted” Jesus Christ as an icon of rebellion, overturning authority and tearing up the rule book – possibly because of the frequent confrontations between Our Lord and the Pharisees. Today’s Gospel, however, shows us Jesus not as rule-breaker, but as rule-fulfiller, bringing an even greater depth to the rule that had guided the people of Israel for centuries. Jesus does not throw out the rulebook – or as the first reading says, He does not command us to be godless!  He challenges us in this Gospel to see how far our keeping God’s Law will go: will it just be about the letter of the Law (“I have never killed anyone”), or will it look deeper (“Have I ever been angry? Have I been violent in my thoughts?”). The challenge of the Kingdom of Heaven is to keep the commandments first and foremost from within, so that our outward behaviour conforms to the requirements of God’s Law.

THIS SUNDAY: Education Sunday – retiring collection for the Catholic Education Service. Education Sunday is an opportunity for schools and parishes to come together to celebrate and give thanks for all that goes on in our Catholic schools.  Our schools are places where the gospel is not only proclaimed, but lived and handed on, supporting families and parents in handing on faith to another generation. It is also a chance for us to reflect upon the contribution that Catholic education makes to our communities. The retiring collection goes to support the work of the Catholic Education Service, supporting and nurturing our Catholic schools and colleges at local, national and governmental level.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO ASSISI: Bishop Declan is leading a week’s pilgrimage to Assisi, walking in the footsteps of St Francis and St Clare. The pilgrimage is set to take place from 22 – 29 September 2014 and full details of the itinerary are on the notice board. FrC has further copies and booking forms. Details are also on the diocesan website. Nearly all the spaces are taken up so if you want to accompany the pilgrimage and make use of one of the remaining spaces, get booking now!

PARISH BAZAAR – 17 MAY: We begin, now, to focus on this year’s bazaar – the biggest fundraising event in our calendar. There’s much that can be done even at this early stage. The bottle stall needs any kind of bottle, most especially those spirits and wine, to fill up there stall. You can hand these into the sacristy or presbytery. The Gift Stall needs those unused and surplus Christmas gifts that you want to let go of. Any fancy goods and things that can be used as gifts can be handed in from now. Toys and games in good condition are needed. We need cakes and home-baked goods either the day before or on the day. Now’s the time to start thinking! You can start bringing on those plants and cuttings ready for the Plant Stall. And, maybe, you could think about popping an extra little something into your shopping baskets for the Produce Stall. More to follow, but please do what you can at this stage. You can use the box in the narthex for your donations for this year’s bazaar.

GRAND DRAW TICKETS: The major source of income for the bazaar is always the Grand Draw. There are 10,000 tickets printed – 2000 books at £1 each. If you can see yourselves taking away at least five books (£5’s worth) to either buy, or pass on and sell, would be appreciated. All you need do is return the counterfoils and the money to the presbytery or through the offertory basket. Please make sure that you seal money and counterfoils in a marked envelope.

SHROVE TUESDAY: This year, as a way of ‘reclaiming’ something of Shrive Tuesday, there will be a morning of catechesis and reflection to get us ready for Lent. You can see the poster in the narthex (and some flyers to take away) giving details of the Mass at 9.30am followed by a catechesis on how we live a good Lent. There will be time before the Blessed Sacrament during which there will be chance for the Sacrament of Reconciliation… and then, of course, pancakes in the Hall afterwards. All are welcome. Handouts in the narthex.

FUNDRAISING CONCERT: The Bristol Fashion Chorus will be coming to St Bernadette’s on Saturday 22nd March. This award winning ladies chorus are here to help us raise a little money for our building project. Do give this fantastic evening your support. Their concert begins at 7.30pm in the Church. Tickets £10, concessions £8. You can get hold of tickets after Mass this weekend.

SIX NATIONS RUGBY GATHERING ~ Saturday 22 February ~ England vs Ireland. Come and watch the match in the Parish Hall next Saturday afternoon. Match starts at 4pm on big screen. Bar and hot snacks available. £2 adult and £1 child. How do you get tickets? Have a look at the poster in the narthex.

JOYCE SHEARING RIP: Joyce, known to many from the ‘Mothers’ at St Gerard’s; her funeral is to take place at St Gerard’s on Wednesday 19 February at 10.00am. May she rest in peace.

LEN GILLARD RIP: Len died, sadly, this last week. His funeral will take place here at St Bernadette’s on Monday 24 February at 12.30pm followed by burial at Whitchurch Cemetery (his body brought into Church on Sunday at 5pm) Our prayers go to Margaret, and to Martin and Paul at this time. May he rest in peace.

SECONDARY SCHOOL MISSION:  Our Secondary School is holding a mission week run by the Holy Spirit Fathers.  The mission is taking place between 10th-14th March; our parish is very much invited to join in the celebration of Mass on Wednesday 12th March at 7pm.  You might be able to help by providing overnight bed and breakfast accommodation to the mission team from Sunday 9th March to Friday 14th March.  We are in need of 13 beds!  If you have a spare bed or two, please contact FrC.

LENT BEGINS on Wednesday 5 March, and is a real chance for us to renew our relationship with the Lord and our lives of prayer, too. Mass on Ash Wednesday will be celebrated at 9.30am and 7.00pm with the distribution of ashes. There will be two Lenten Soup lunches, one on CAFOD Lenten Fast Day, 14 March, and the second on Palm Sunday, 13 April. There will be Stations of the Cross on the Sundays of Lent, and sung Evening Prayer on Palm Sunday. There will be a weekly catechesis around the Sunday readings and opportunities, of course, for us to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There will also be ways that you can reach out through your Lenten Alms to those in need, thereby inviting us to make those small sacrifices which make a great difference to those we give to. Watch this space.

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