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Seventh Sunday of the Year

Seventh Sunday of the Year

23 February 2014 – Seventh Sunday of the Year

THIS SUNDAY:  “Love your neighbour as yourself.” These are words we associate so clearly with the teaching of Jesus and the way of life the Gospel calls us to. But it may be a surprise to some people to hear that these words come first from the Old Testament, in the mouth of Moses himself. Moses was speaking the Lord God’s instruction for the community – the community of the people of Israel in flight from Egypt in their long sojourn in the wilderness. God’s instructions were about how that community had to work – without grudges, resentment or vengeance, but with love and forgiveness and tolerance. When Jesus comes with the message of the Kingdom of heaven, it is the same – instruction for a perfect, God-guided society, which depends on how each of us lives with others. The “wisdom of this world”, which Saint Paul mentions in the Second Reading, will not teach us this: the world will believe in vengeance and friendship only for your friends. Each of us must ask how we can embrace the apparent folly of Jesus’ teaching: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.


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: If you can see yourselves taking away at least five books (£5’s worth) to either buy, or pass on and sell, it 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. You can take away as many as you like.


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 from 10.30am. There will be time before the Blessed Sacrament (11am – 12pm) 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.


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.


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.


LEN GILLARD RIP: Len’s 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.


ANNE LEIGHTON SCOTT RIP: Anne died this last week and her funeral takes place here at St Bernadette’s on Monday 3 March at 10.00am. Her body will be received into Church on Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm. We keep her family in our prayers, too. May she 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.


OUR PARISH DEVELOPMENT PROJECT: There’s chance for us to come together again to ponder the road ahead of us and what we do with the challenges before us on Tuesday 4 March at 7.30pm. Do come and find out more.


ROTAS FOR MARCH AND APRIL are available from the narthex as well as online.


FROM POPE FRANCIS: Pope Francis’ message for Lent is available from the narthex in English, Spanish, Italian, and Polish. Do pick up a copy. Also, Pope Francis’ Wednesday audience address on the Sacrament of Reconciliation s available for you to peruse – a nice prelude to the Season of Lent. Pick up your copy.


MARY’S MEALS:  A speaker from Mary’s Meals will talk briefly at Masses next weekend, about the work of this small but highly effective charity giving hope to children in 16 countries around the world.

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