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The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

15 August 2010 – The Feast of the Assumption of the BVM

This great feast is a twin to the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Then, if you recall, the preface of the Mass contained these words: “Christ is the beginning, the head of the Church; where he has gone, we hope to follow.” Today we celebrate the first of us to do just that, as we remember Mary following our Lord into heaven. She is the first to follow him – but not the last: this feast should help open our eyes to our final destination, heaven. So this feast pushes us right back to Easter, to thoughts of death and resurrection: it is the second reading which underlines all this. It talks of the “gradual” resurrection of the dead: Christ first, then “those who belong to him”.  Of these, the first is Mary, she who was without stain of original sin, she who was “most blessed of all women.” In her, today, we see the fulfilment of the vision of the first reading: the end of death and the victory of life in Christ.

VESPERS AND BENEDICTION this Sunday afternoon to continue our celebration of the Feast of the Assumption.  Do come along if you can – 4.00pm.

Our Bazaar takes place, this year, on Saturday 9th October. Keep those donations coming in – they are much appreciated. If you want to lend a hand, then, Gordon needs empty jars and sugar for his jams and preserves; Dave & Dolly need anything in a bottle for their bottle stall; Kim and the Children’s Liturgy Group ask all our bakers and cake makers to think about the cake stall; Carmel, Delphine and FrC’s mum are looking for those unwanted gifts or new items you can give to the Gift Stall, Caroline and Sue are looking for your bric-a-brac; and Emma and Judy are looking for toys galore. We also need plants and cuttings as well as anything else you might think is useful for the bazaar. Do think about what you can give and start bring your contributions in. The box is already in the narthex for your gifts. Draw Tickets are still available from the basket in the Narthex – the more you can take and sell, the better. £2000 worth of tickets are to be sold. £1 per book – £5’s worth in an envelope. Please pop money and counterfoils (placed in a sealed envelope) through presbytery door or in collection basket as it goes round. Please do your best – the draw money is profit for our parish funds so please help where you can.

Confirmation prep begins soon after the summer break. There are five sessions in the autumn: September 8, October 6, November 10, December 8, and January 12. The Bishop will be with us on Thursday 27 January. Each of the sessions will begin at 6.00pm. Information will be sent out to those who registered over the next week or so.

All the names of those who wanted to make use of the allocated Pilgrim Passes available to our parish have now been sent into the papal visit coordinator. Those of you who have put your names down will be hearing from the Papal Visit coordinators directly. Details of each event can be found on the notice board in the narthex for you to have a look at. Fr Michael McAndrew, our diocesan Papal Visit coordinator needs to have the contributions for each event by next weekend. If you could let FrC have the £30 (Cofton Park) or £5 (Hyde Park – NB reduction) then that would help enormously. Cheques can be made payable to St Bernadette’s. Nineteen of you are representing StB’s at Birmingham and fifteen of you representing our parish in Hyde Park. Rhiannon Lampard, Sarah Craig and Paige Wise are representing us at the gathering of young people with the Holy Father at the Prayer Vigil in Hyde Park. Our two schools have also been invited to send some students to take part in a schools’ event with the Holy Father – our primary school is sending three of its pupils along with Mrs Bennett to take part in the Papal Big Assembly St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Do look at the website set up for the papal visit: as well as

OUR LADY OF THE TAPER: The Holy Father, as you know, is not visiting Wales on this trip and has invited the Welsh contingent to be present at the Mass in Westminster Cathedral. The statue of our Lady of Cardigan is being taken to the Cathedral in London for the Papal Mass. As she leaves Wales, she crosses into our own diocese and Bishop Burns of Menevia has given permission for us to welcome her into our own cathedral the eve of the Pope’s arrival. This is a great honour for our diocese and a significant gesture as the last time the statue was taken on its journey to London was in the 1530’s during the Reformation and the statue taken by Thomas Cromwell to Chelsea to be burned. This statue, crafted in the late twentieth century, is allowing the Holy Father to keep in touch with the people of Wales. The Prayer Vigil begins on Wednesday 15 September at 7.00pm with evening prayer and it would be good if as many of you as can take part in that evening. There will be a rich celebration of the luminous mysteries of the rosary as well as a period of exposition before the Blessed Sacrament. It is a real opportunity for us to take part in the papal visit, uniting ourselves in prayer with the Holy Father the night before he arrives on this island. Please make a note in your diaries. Full details will be given out over the next week or so. The Taper (candle) Our Lady holds in her right hand reminds us of the light of Christ coming to set us free from our darkness. We ask our blessed Lady to journey with us towards her Son. Details on our parish website.

THE DIARY OF GOD: John Huntriss is leading a course spread over eight weeks during the autumn on the scriptures taking us gently through the story of God and his love for his people, and enabling us to deepen our understanding of the Word of God. Full details and application forms for the course (which is taking place here at St Bernadette’s) can be found in the narthex. The eight week’s course (beginning 29 September) costs £24. It is a most valuable course and well worthwhile signing up for. Do pick up one of the forms and if you want to know more, have a word with FrC. You can hand your form into FrC or send it onto the Adult Education Office. Poster on the notice board.

ROOTED IN CHRIST: The Diocesan Department for Adult Education and Evangelisation is hosting a course which begins 12th October enabling us to deepen our understanding of faith. The course runs through until July of 2011 and flows gently through our creed and what it is we hold dear to as a Christian people. The course is aimed at those who simply want to know more and to grow in confidence in the faith they possess whilst having the opportunity to ask questions. The sessions are not deeply academic nor overwhelmingly theological but they allow those who take part to re-familiarise themselves with what we believe and so root ourselves more firmly in Christ who calls us to follow him. The talks take place at Holy Family, Patchway, (7.30pm – 9.00pm) and the full details of the course as well as application form are available from the narthex. You don’t have to attend each session – you can dip in and out as suits you. It’s well worth going along to so pick up a form and sign up!

meet with FrC on September 2 at 7.00pm in the Church.

CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME to Alessandro Ashton Verata who was baptised here last Sunday. Congratulations to     Alessandro’s parents and family, also.

Congratulations to Len Gillard & Rose McGovern who pick up £25 cheques from monthly draws.

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