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Fourth Sunday of Lent – Laetare Sunday

Fourth Sunday of Lent – Laetare Sunday

13th March 2010 – Laetare Sunday Fourth Sunday of Lent THIS SUNDAY:

As today we hear the familiar para¬ble of the Prodigal Son (or the Forgiving Father), the message is Reconciliation – the making new of relationships, the healing of past wrongs and the opening of ourselves to the “new creation”. This is just as the Is¬raelites opened themselves to the New Cre¬ation of the Promised Land, when under Joshua they ended their sojourn in the wilderness after forty years of hardship, and began to eat of the produce of the country. It is all God’s work: it is God who calls us back, and God who welcomes us into the Promised Land of his mercy when we re¬turn. So today, let us think not so much of sin and offences, as the new creation God offers us, if we but turn back to him and embrace him as our Father.                                            courtesy of

HAPPY MOTHERING SUNDAY: Today was traditionally the day when people returned to their ‘mother’ Church – the place of their baptism. It was a chance to reflect upon the motherhood of Christ’s church – she who brings us to birth through the watery womb of the font. Now focusing on our own mothers, we pray for all those who are mothers… and maybe especially those preparing for motherhood at this time. May God’s maternal care and protection shine on their families through them.

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: The children continue their preparation this coming Wednesday (17th) in the hall at 4.00pm. Please do keep them in your prayers.

CAFOD ‘Give it up’ BOXES: The smallest amount of money can transform and change lives for the better.  CAFOD have reminded us that £4, for example, can provide fresh water for a family. Lent invites us to show kindness and generosity to others from making those small sacrifices ourselves. Please hold onto your box until Holy Week. They can be handed in during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. Do bring them along to that Mass

WEEKLY CATECHESIS: Our weekly catechesis continues this coming Wednesday (17th March) as we continue through this 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. Do make use of this wonderful opportunity to encounter the healing love of the Lord.

LENT SOUP LUNCHES: There is something happening around the weeks of Lent: Monday 15 March at12.30pm – URC. Here, in our Hall, on Sunday 28 March (Palm Sunday) at 12 noon the second of the Lenten Soup Lunches will take place. There will be a hearty homemade soup lunch provided with fruit and fresh bread as well as cheese to launch us into the final week of Lenten fasting. If you would like to come along (there’s no cost, just a simple donation to our outreach causes) then pop your name on the list in the porch so that we can cater for everyone.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Each Sunday afternoon of Lent at 4.00pm. Please do come along if you can. HOLY WEEK & EASTER TRIDUUM:  It is worth putting dates in your diary even at this stage of the season of Lent. Palm Sunday: Masses begin with the blessing and procession of Palms; 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.

CHRISM MASS: The annual gathering of our diocese – priests and people – takes place on Wednesday 31st March at 11.00am. The Bishop blesses the oils that will be used in our parishes throughout the next twelve months and he invites us to join him in this Mass. If you can go along and ‘represent’ St Bernadette’s, then please do. As we prepare for the Triduum of Holy Week, it gives us chance to come together as a diocesan family to renew our sense of belonging to Christ and his Church. Parking is limited but there are good buses that drop you near the cathedral.

SUNDAY TEAS AND COFFEE: Don’t forget that there is always a welcome in the hall after Mass and a chance to be social over a cup of tea or coffee. Just pop in!

OFFERTORY ENVELOPES:  New supplies for the coming year (beginning April) will be available in the narthex on Sat/Sun 21st March. Did you know that by signing a Gift Aid form, your offering to the Church is increased by some 20%?   If you would like to join the scheme, or have further information, please see Dave Lavelle or enter your name and contact number on the list, and Dave will get in touch with you. A huge thank you to those who support the parish in this way. The envelopes also allow you to plan your giving – whether Gift Aided or not.

PARISH DAY OF RECOLLECTION: Fr John Edwards SJ is coming to our Parish on Saturday May 8th to lead a day of reflection for us. He will explore ways of praying and invite us to deepen our lives of prayer, too. Do come along.

GROWING IN OUR FAITH: What is it that we need to equip ourselves to live out and pass on our faith to others? Maybe the starting place is to deepen our own understanding of what has been passed on to us. Many of us have not had an opportunity to learn about faith since we left school and formal education. Now’s the chance. The autumn will bring us two opportunities! There will a course (eight sessions) on the Bible – The Diary of God, and a parish based opportunity to look at the faith we profess Sunday by Sunday. Watch this space!

PARISH ‘DARTS’ NIGHT: Saturday 27th March.  Alyson, Gordon or Linda, and some of our Parish Social group will be twisting your arm to encourage you to come along to this simple yet fun evening in the hope that we can, not only come together socially as a parish family, but raise a little money for some of our Outreach Projects. Keep that Saturday evening free and come along. Hot supper will be provided, too. Tickets cost £5 (to include your supper) and the bar will be open to quench your ‘Eric Bristow thirst’ and a raffle to tempt you with smashing prizes! Do come along – everyone can have a go!

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