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First Sunday of Lent (C)

First Sunday of Lent (C)

THIS SUNDAY: As with each First Sunday of Lent the Gospel tells of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness; as we begin the journey of Lent, during which we will consider our lives as members of the Church, we look to the ex¬ample of Jesus when it comes to dealing with temptation. Choosing to follow God’s path is the first characteristic of the Christian: this is underlined in the two other readings, which outline the two” creeds” or statements of belief – one of Israel and one of the Christian. Both of them emphasize “believing in the heart and confessing with the lips”: both creeds underline the Salvation that God has achieved – for Israel it was freedom from Egypt, for the Christian freedom from death in Jesus.

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: Preparation resumes after the half term break this coming Wednesday. The children meet in the Hall in readiness for 4.00pm. The children also gather this coming Saturday (27th) beginning at 10.30am for their day’s preparation for First Confession. The children celebrate First Confession on Thursday 4th March here in the Church and then the parents gather with Bishop Declan that same evening (7.00pm). Do continue to the children in your prayers during this time of prep. The children also come together on Sunday, March 7th, for the Presentation of the Scriptures as part of their preparation. They will be here for the 10.30am Mass that Sunday.

READERS’ NOTES: Copies of the little ‘readers’ pointers’ for each Sunday of Lent are available from the Narthex. If you are a reader, please collect yours.

CAFOD ‘Give it up’ BOXES: CAFOD are once again inviting us to transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most hungry through our Lenten ‘giving up’. Whatever we give up may enable someone else to grow this Lent. These boxes are for you to take away and keep at home during Lent. They can come back in at the end of Lent and handed in at the Mass of Holy Thursday. The smallest amount of money can transform and change lives for the better. This Sunday, the CAFOD Fast Day envelopes will be attached to the newsletter in anticipation of CAFOD Lenten Fast Day on Friday 26th Feb. The Fast Day this Friday invites us to go without a little something and , with the money we might have spent, offer it up for those who go without as an everyday experience.

WEEKLY CATECHESIS: Our weekly catechesis continues this coming Wednesday (24th February) as we begin the start of the Season of Lent. After the evening Mass each Wednesday of Lent, there will be a 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 (beginning 24th Feb). Do make use of this wonderful opportunity to encounter the healing love of the Lord.

LENT SOUP LUNCHES: The first in a season of soup lunches for Lent across the churches takes place here at St Bernadette’s this coming 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. The other local churches have picked up what we are doing once again and have taken up the challenge to do likewise so that there is something happening around the weeks of Lent: Thursday 18 February 12.30pm  St Nicholas; Friday 26 February at12.30 – St Bernadette; Wednesday 3 March at 12 – 1 pm – Christchurch; Friday 6 March at 12 noon –  Counterslip; Monday 15 March at12.30 – URC; Sunday 28 March (Palm Sunday) at 12 noon here at St Bernadette.

Each Sunday afternoon of Lent at 4.00pm (beginning 21st February – this Sunday) we celebrate the Stations of the Cross using a different reflection each week as we journey with the Lord to the Cross and the tomb. Please do come along if you can.

WALK WITH ME: The little Lenten reflection books are still available from the narthex – priced £1. Pick up your copy. There are also some Lenten calendars for the youngsters. Help yourself!

HOLY WEEK & EASTER TRIDUUM: It is worth putting dates in your diary even at this stage of the season of Lent. Palm Sunday: Vespers at 4.00pm; Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper: Mass at 8.00pm; Good Friday – Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion: 3.00pm; Holy Saturday – The Great Easter Vigil: 8.00pm; Easter Sunday: Mass at 8.00am & 10.30am, Vespers at 4.00pm.

– The Promise of New Life: Saturday, March 13th at St Nicholas’ Church, Lawford’s Gate. This is a real opportunity to reflect upon those three great days of Holy Week. Fr Christopher is leading the day of prayer and reflection as Director of our diocesan department of Adult Education & Evangelisation and it is open to anyone. Pick up a leaflet from the Narthex for fuller details.

YEAR OF PRIESTS: As we have become accustomed to doing on the First Friday of the month, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed during the day to allow people to come into Church and spend a little time in prayer for our priests. On March 5th, one of the classes from our school will join us for Mass at 10.00am (please note the change of time) to enable them to take part in this opportunity for prayer. The list is in the Narthex for you to sign up for one of those half hour slots. The day of prayer ends with Vespers at 6.00pm.

This year the Day of Prayer takes place on Friday 5th March and is being hosted at Counterslip Baptist Church with the Service of Prayer beginning at 11.00am. All are welcome to this ecumenical gathering. Please go along and represent St Bernadette’s if you can.

Congratulations to Anthony Irvine who picks up the £25 January draw prize.

HOLY FATHER’S LETTER FOR LENT: The Letter of the Holy Father for this Lent 2010 is available from the narthex. It offers us a little spiritual reflection at the start of the season of preparation.

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