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The Ascension of the Lord

The Ascension of the Lord

16 May 2010 – The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

THIS SUNDAY: Recently the bishops of England and Wales decided to move the celebration of Ascension to this Sunday. While this moves the feast away the fortieth day, it does open up this celebration as part of the journey of the Easter Season. Ascension is not just a feast that “happens to fall in Eastertide”: it is an integral part of the Easter mystery. Remember the Lord’s words at the Last Supper: “I am going to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me.” Jesus does not open the way to us just by rising from the dead: to complete the mystery presumes the Lord’s return to the Father. Ascension is therefore a feast of hope: our hope that the Lord will return, as he went. Our hope that he will take us with him, when our bodies are raised as his was. Our hope that we will take our place in heaven, where he sits at the Father’s right hand. The promise of the Spirit brings us hope. As Jesus returns to send us this gift, so we begin to pray Come, Holy Spirit.

VESPERS & BENEDICTION for the feast of the Ascension will be celebrated at 4.00pm. The following Sunday is Pentecost. There will be Vespers to bring to a close this Easter Season.

MASS FOR PENTECOST: Our parish is growingly multi lingual – rich and diverse in culture and tradition. To celebrate this richness in diversity, on the Feast of Pentecost (23rd May) our Liturgy of the Word will reflect some of the different languages spoken in our Parish family. The readings and the bidding prayers will be read in a particular ‘mother’ tongue and also in English. On the feast which unites through the gift of faith, we thank God for the faith that draws us together from across our continent and from across our world.

PENTECOST SUNDAY – Special collection: Though the visit of Pope Benedict XVI is a State visit, the Dioceses of England, Wales and Scotland have to make a financial contribution. To help with this there will be a collection on Pentecost Sunday in all parishes throughout England, Wales and Scotland. The target for this collection is £1 million. Each diocese has been allocated a target – our diocesan ‘target’ is £34,000 – that equates to £1 per Mass going head in our diocese. Every parish will be receiving from the Bishops’ Conference Gift Aid envelopes and these should be available for next weekend. FrC is aware of the many demands on your finances but would ask you to support this appeal as generously as you can. Please do think about that £1 to welcome the Holy Father to our country. If you can spare more, then please do.

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: First Communion will be celebrated in a couple of week’s time – Saturday 5th June at 12noon. The children will also be joining the parish for Mass on Sunday 6th June to celebrate Mass and receive their certificates. Do keep them in your prayers. The children come together once again this Wednesday, 19 May at 4.00pm in the hall. The parents of this year’s group meet together on Thursday 20th May at 7.00pm in the Church. They will also meet for the last time the following week, 26th May and not 2nd June as listed.

THE DIARY OF GOD: John Huntriss, who supports the work of the Diocesan Department of Adult Education and Evangelisation, is coming to St Bernadette’s in the autumn to lead a series of eight sessions looking at the scriptures. John will begin his course on Wednesday 29th September and will continue through to the end of November (29.ix/6.x/13.x/20.x/3.ix/10.xi/17.xi/24.xi). The poster will appear on the board with application forms and details in the narthex. watch out for them!

Bishop Declan invites you to join him at the close of this Year for Priests at the Cathedral on Friday 11 June (Feast of the Sacred Heart) at 11.00am. He will be joined by many of the priests of our diocese to bring this spiritual year to a prayerful close. There’s plenty of room in the Cathedral so please do go along and join our Bishop and our priests. If there is enough interest, FrC can easily arrange a coach.

PARISH BAZAAR: Our Bazaar takes place, this year, on Saturday 9th October. Details of how you can help in the weeks and months leading up to it will be given out next weekend… so watch this space. You might like to think about what you might be able to let one of the stalls have. Bottles, cakes, jams and chutneys, fancy goods and gifts, bric-a-brac and toys… now’s the time to start thinking. Details of stalls and stall holders will also be on the notice board next week so you can contact the appropriate person.

: At the invitation of the Bishops of our country in the light of last weekend’s pastoral letter from our bishops, on each of the Fridays of May (21st & 28th) the Church will be open from 8.30am and the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for a time of prayer and reflection. Please make use of this time and this opportunity. It is important that we come before the Lord, present in the Eucharist, to praying for those abused within the family of the Church and praying for healing and forgiveness, too.

A service of prayer for Christian Unity is being held in celebration of Pentecost on Friday 21 May at the United Reformed Church in Whitchurch Village at 7.30 pm. The speaker at the service will be Anne Doyle, Chair of the Clifton Diocesan Ecumenical Commission. Please do go along and represent St Bernadette’s if you can.

to Harvey & Lacey Muscat who were baptised here last Sunday. We congratulate their family, also.

Cream Tea will be served on Sunday 30th May from 3.30pm until 5.30pm. Sandwiches, scones with cream and jam as well as cakes will be served along with lashings of hot, fresh tea. Tea will cost £3 and you can sign up in the narthex and simply come along any time during that couple of hours. The three May ‘big’ prizes (first prize £200) will be drawn during the afternoon at 4.30pm… and it could be your number! Do come along if you can.

: Fr Oswald Mallya is studying in Kent on a sabbatical. Fr Oswald was the priest of the St Lawrence Community Project that we, as a parish, have been supporting in simple ways over the last two years. He is coming to visit us on Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th and he will be with us at both Masses that weekend and so able to tell us how what we have sent has been used for the community on the outskirts of Lusaka.

DIOCESAN CATECHISTS’ SYMPOSIUM: A gathering of all those who work in the field of catechesis from around our diocese is taking place on Saturday 3rd July at St bede’s Catholic College, Lawrence Weston, beginning at 10.00am. Professor Tina Beattie will be leading the day entitled Catechesis in Art ~ Art in catechesis and the day is opened to anyone interested. If you want more details have a word with Ronnie Mitchinson at Alexander House (0117 902 5595) or see our diocesan website

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