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Fifth Sunday of Easter

Fifth Sunday of Easter

3 May 2015

THIS SUNDAY: Last week it was sheep: this week, the vine. Jesus offers us another (agricultural) image to explain the mystery of his offering of himself, and our belonging to him, our being part of him, which comes about through the sacrament of Baptism. This is, as was stated earlier, the period of Mystagogy, when the newly baptised are helped to see what life in Jesus Christ really means. Today this comes out strongly for all of us, with two of the three readings emphasising the moral aspects of life in Christ: it is not simply enough to “belong” to him: our belonging must be shown by the works we do, by the fruits we bear – while remembering of course that we cannot bear fruit except in him.


CAFOD EMERGENCY APPEAL FOR NEPAL: CAFOD are supporting the D.E.C appeal for help with the earthquake victims of Nepal. There’s no warning of today’s retiring collection – no warning, of curse, for those who suffer! This is a way of us responding to the plight of those who have lost everything. If you want to give, please be generous through today’s retiring collection after Mass. That money will be sent to CAFOD as our gift.

VESPERS: This Sunday we celebrate Evening Prayer at 4.00pm in the Church.


PROCLAIM’15: The third and final session of this little reflective series takes place on Thursday 14 May at 7.00pm in the presbytery. This is a wonderful chance to think about equipping ourselves for growth and for prayer. Do come along if you can. The national gathering of diocesan delegates takes place in Birmingham on July 11. Do keep the intention of Proclaim’15 in your prayers.


CLIFTON VOCATIONS: Fr Matt Anscombe, our diocesan Vocations’ Director, is cycling to each parish in our diocese, raising awareness of the need to pray for Vocations. He visits us here in Whitchurch at 2pm on Friday 8 May. This will be a time of prayer and you are invited to join him in Church for that forty minutes he is with us before he cycles to his next stop!


THANK YOU for your support of those in formation for priesthood. Last Sunday’s retiring collection brought in £367.93 for the Clergy Training Fund. That is kind of you.


FIRST COMMUNION: Do keep the youngsters in your prayers. They journey ever closer to their celebration of the Eucharist on Saturday 16 May at 12noon. The children will join our parish community for the celebration of Sunday Mass the following day – 17 May – at 10.30am. The final preparation session takes place this coming Saturday (9th) at 8.45am.


MENDIP MALE VOICE CHOIR joined by ‘Vox in Frox’ and Wadebridge Male Voice Choir on Friday 15 May here in the Church. Tickets (£10) are available from the narthex. This is a superb opportunity to raise a little money for our repairs. These three fantastic choirs are coming to support us. Buying a ticket means you not only contribute to the Building Project but you get an evening’s entertainment, too. Do pass the word around; do bring your families and your friends. It’s set to be a wonderful evening. Do come along!


NEW HYMN BOOKS: Our new hymn books come into use this weekend. We don’t get rid of the Celebration Hymn books; we’ll use them side by side. Please do look after the new ones. Thank you to all those who donated a copy or two. There has been no cost to the parish as each one of the 150 books has been kindly given and sponsored. Inside the front cover you will see the name of the donor or those we keep in prayer. The list of donors and ‘intentions’ is to be found on the notice board. (If yours is missing, please have a word with FrC). Gently, we will broaden our repertoire, holding onto what is good, and learning new things from the present, too.


PENTECOST: The great feast which draws our Easter celebration to a close is not that far away – Sunday 24 May. We have always used Pentecost to reflect upon the wonderful diversity of language and culture that contributes to the make up of our parish. This year, again, we will celebrate Mass with some of the many languages of our community. Watch this space.


APF NEWS: It is always good and encouraging to see a real commitment to the work of mission in our parish and the continual support of the work of the APF. The final figure raised for the APF in 2014 from St. Bernadette’s was £1926, many thanks to all. You will be able to see on the notice board in the narthex the diocesan breakdown of what parishes have raised but you will see the St Bernadette’s can be proud (in a good way!) of what you have done this last year. Thank you to all APF members, supporters, and to Judy for the work she does on our behalf.


PARISH LITURGY GROUP meets this coming Wednesday in the presbytery at 7pm.


MAY – THE MONTH OF THE MOTHER OF GOD: Allow this month dedicated to the great Mother of God to fuel and focus your prayer. St Bernard only encourages us: “In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary.” And Mother Theresa: “If you ever feel distressed during your day — call upon our Lady — just say this simple prayer: ‘Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.’ I must admit — this prayer has never failed me.”

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