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Fourth Sunday of the Year

Fourth Sunday of the Year

31st January 2010 – Fourth Sunday of the Year

THIS SUNDAY: Last week, when Jesus spoke in the synagogue, his words pleased the crowd – as we hear at the beginning of today’s Gospel. How quickly the mood changes! This story shows very clearly that Jesus was not a “crowd-pleaser” – he wasn’t interested in saying the right things to be popular or accepted. He was interested in the truth – which is the basic definition of a prophet – whatever the personal cost. So today, when Jesus points out that salvation is not just for the Jews, or even just the people of Nazareth, they reject the message and the messenger. Just like Jeremiah, when he was called to be a prophet (first reading), Jesus has to confront the land: they will fight with him, but not overcome him.

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: The group of 32 children comes together this Wednesday (3 Feb) for their second session. Do keep them in your prayers over this next six months: Samuel Cadell, Malachy Walsh – Langford, Kian Blake, James Farrell, Kate Shortman, Matthew Reynolds, Ellena Trickey, Amy Carmichael, Ellis Gould, Taylor Kabuye, Bonitta Nakitto, Kelvin Kalungi, Alfie Condon, Ciaran Jones, Niall McGirr, Yasmin McDonald, Jade Osborne, Charley O’Toole, Oskar Kleszcz, Jacob Hynes, Michal Komada, Finlay O’Regan, Leah Holland, Rico Russo, Luca Mercato, Carlo Mercato, Jessica James, Jack Phillips, Lauren Sanders, Isobel Heard, Oliver Murphy, and Benedict McGovern.

FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION: This fortieth day after Christmas will be celebrated by Mass this Tuesday evening beginning with the procession of candles. Do come along if you can. Candlemas offers us a wonderful reflection bridging Christmas and the Lenten season. Mass at 7.00pm.

FEAST OF ST BLAISE is celebrated this Wednesday. The traditional blessing of throats will take place after Mass.

YEAR FOR PRIESTS – MONTHLY DAY OF PRAYER: Our next day of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in this year for priests takes place this coming Friday, 5th February. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed after the 9.30am mass and will remain on the altar until Evening Prayer at 6.00pm. The list for those half hour slots is up on the notice board. Please do be generous in giving that time to pray for the priests of our diocese.

HCPT APPEAL: We welcome some of the members of one of the Bristol groups of HCPT who work hard throughout the year to enable children with particular difficulties and needs to make the Easter pilgrimage to Lourdes. Angela Parry will be with us on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st January to ask for our support. We contribute each year to HCPT through what you give for tea and coffee each Sunday morning. The invitation for this month is in the hope we might be able to boost our support and our contribution to them.

EDUCATION SUNDAY: There is usually a retiring collection for the Catholic Education Service but as HCPT are appealing this weekend, the retiring collection for CES will take place next weekend – 7th February. Apologies for two collections one after another!

THE SEASON OF LENT is just under a month away. There will be details of what is happening here during Lent to make our Lenten journey fruitful. Watch this space.

ASH WEDNESDAY: Lent begins on Wednesday 17th February. Mass will be celebrated with the distribution of ashes at 10.00am and 7.00pm. It is an important beginning to our Lenten journey so do make a note of the times.

WEEKLY CATECHESIS: Our weekly catechesis will begin on Ash Wednesday (17th February) as we begin the start of the Season of Lent. After the evening Mass, there will be a short catechesis on the readings for the following Sunday. Do try and make this a real part of your Lenten resolutions. Each Wednesday of Lent the Catechesis will take place from 7.30pm in the hall. All are most welcome.

LENTEN CONFESSIONS: Lent possesses that wonderful characteristic of penance, inviting us to turn back to the Lord. To help us celebrate that return, as well as the two sessions on a Saturday, there will be an opportunity each Wednesday of Lent for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Confessions will take place from 6.30pm each Wednesday before the 7.00pm Mass. Do make use of this wonderful opportunity to encounter the healing love of the Lord.

LENT SOUP LUNCH: The first in a season of soup lunches for Lent across the churches takes place here at St Bernadette’s on Friday 26th February. As it is CAFOD Lenten Fast Day it is a great way of tapping into both the Lenten charism of fasting and almsgiving. There’s no cost, just a donation for some of the world’s hungry and poor.

AD LIMINA VISIT: Do keep Bishop Declan in your prayers over this next week as he and the other Bishops of England and Wales continue their pilgrimage to the tombs of the apostles and their visit to the Holy Father. Looking at our diocesan website, the Bishop met the Holy Father last Monday. As the bishop keeps us in his prayers so we keep him in ours.

COMMUNITY CHOIR: If you enjoy singing then come and join others at the Community Choir.  Rehearsals start on Thursday 4th February at 7.30pm at Bridge Farm Primary School with a view to performing a small concert on 17th April in aid of the people of Haiti.  Details on notice board.

CRIB OFFERINGS: The crib is taken down during this coming week after the feast of Candlemas on Tuesday. The basket next to the crib will go in support of the Kasisi Orphanage in Lusaka. Your offerings will support those without a family or abandoned by their own families because of their sickness (some suffering from HIV and AIDS) in very practical ways. If you want to see more about the orphanage, have a look at their website – – where you will find images of the orphanage as well as details of their expenses.

DAY OF RECOLLECTION: A date for your diaries! Fr John Edwards SJ has accepted an invitation to come and lead a parish weekend of prayer and reflection. He will be with us for Saturday May 8th and Sunday 9th May. Fr John is a great writer and speaker on prayer and it is good to be able to have him with us. More details nearer the time but please make room in your diaries for the Saturday, most especially!

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