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Third Sunday of Lent

Third Sunday of Lent

22 March 2014 – Third Sunday of Lent


THIS SUNDAY:  The Gospel of the third Sunday is the remarkable conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman by the well, the theme is water – which gives life, which cleanses, which is so necessary. This reading forms part of the catechesis given before Baptism at Easter: the candidates who would go into the water are invited to reflect on what that means. But more necessary than the water which gives life is the water which gives eternal life – the water of baptism, the water flowing from Jesus’ side on the cross. This beautiful Gospel reading calls us to reflect upon the renewing our own baptismal promises at Easter: we should take this opportunity to reflect on what baptism has given us, and what God has done for us in this gift… a quenching of an inner thirst for love and for God. After the Homily, Donna Hatto who will be baptised at the Easter Vigil, comes forward for one of the Scrutinies – a blessing that flows from the Gospel – supporting her and encouraging her on her Lenten journey towards initiation. We keep her in our prayers.


STATIONS of the Cross this Sunday afternoon at 4.00pm followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.


PARISH BAZAAR – 17 MAY: Keep those items for the bazaar coming in – gifts and new goods, bottles and fancy goods, too; toys and children’s books. They can be handed into sacristy or presbytery, or left in the narthex.


CAFOD FAST SOUP LUNCH made £155 which will be sent off with our Family Fast Day offering. Thank you.

GRAND DRAW TICKETS: Once sold, the completed counterfoils and monies can be put in an envelope and pushed through the presbytery front door, please. Keep picking them up from the narthex and selling them on. There are about £100’s worth of draw tickets remaining in the narthex… that’s just twenty of the bundles. If you can help clear those, then pick up one or two.


LIVING LENT: There will be a second Lenten Soup lunches, on Palm Sunday, 13 April. The other Christian churches in Whitchurch are also hosting soup lunches: 25 March: URC, and 7 April: Baptist Church. All are welcome. The monies raised through these simple yet nourishing lunches goes to support outreach projects across the church communities. Don’t forget the opportunities for prayer – Lectio Divina (see below) and the Mediation Group which meets each Thursday morning around 10.15am. Have a look at the CAFOD table to see how your Lenten almsgiving can make a difference in communities in the developing world.


OFFERTORY ENVELOPES: The new boxed sets of envelopes are available in the narthex. Please make sure you collect yours if you usually have a set. If you are a tax payer and not yet signed up for the Gift Aid scheme, why not have a word with Dave after Mass? It costs you nothing but reaps a harvest for our parish. You might like to consider Standing Orders instead to make life easier and simpler. Dave is around at both Masses this weekend.


FAMILY RACE NIGHT: A fantastic opportunity to come together as the schools finish for Easter – Saturday 5 April from 7.30pm. Entrance is by ticket (60 available), and you can buy your tickets for the evening (£2.50 to include Ploughman’s – under 12’s, 50p) after each of the Masses. A good evening for all the family. Do think about coming along and reserving a table for your group of friends. Each of the races is sponsored and four of the races have already been generously sponsored already. If you want to pick up one of the ‘vacant’ races, then sponsorship costs £30 and you can look at the notice board to see what takes your fancy. This should be a great fundraising event for our parish project.


HAVE YOU THOUGHT… about becoming a Catholic or is there someone you know who might be pondering faith in their own lives? Well maybe now is the time to allow that pondering to take a further step forward into the fullness of life within our community of faith. It is the personal invitation that can often be the gentle nudge for someone to draw closer to the Lord in faith. This Lent could be the time to ask and invite. If so, then what’s next might be a gentle way for that next step to bear fruit! Read on…


LECTIO DIVINA: Lectio is a gentle way of reading and praying the scriptures and allowing the Word of God in prayer to speak into our lives. Each Thursday evening a group meets in the presbytery to listen to the Word of God proclaimed and allow that word to resonate within them and draw them to the Lord who speaks to us. If you feel you might like to explore this way of praying, then come along on a Thursday from about 7.45pm – you’d be more than welcome. If you want to learn how to pray or deepen your prayer, then this might just be for you. If you are dipping your toe in the Catholic pond, then this prayerful reading of the scriptures is a beautiful way into the life of faith and the life of love.


 A DAY OF REFLECTION in preparation for Holy Week takes place here at St B’s on Saturday 5 April from 10.00am until about 3.30pm. Fr John Udris, Oscott College, will lead the day inviting us to ponder the Triduum in preparation for the celebration of Easter. All you need do is bring a packed lunch. All are welcome. The poster for the Day is on the notice board in the narthex.


PARISH FORUM GROUP meets on Tuesday 25 March at 7.45pm.


THE TRIDUUM: There’s a real invitation here to make space in our diaries for these wonderful celebrations of our faith that bring Holy Week and, of course, Lent, to a conclusion. If you have never entered into the richness of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, then why not come along this year. We are fortunate to have Fr Patrick Daly, the secretary to the Bishops’ Conference of the European Union, coming to preside for us at the Triduum. These prayerful celebrations allow us to enter more richly into what lies at the heart of our faith – the free gift of salvation that comes from God through the sacrifice of Christ. The Holy Week schedule will be available next weekend so that you can begin to plan ahead.


SCHOOL STATIONS OF THE CROSS: The youngsters of Year 5 will be leading the Stations with and for our school on Monday 31 March at 10.30am in the church. It is always a moving and prayerful celebration. Do come along if you can.

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