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Fifth Sunday of the Year

Fifth Sunday of the Year

6 February 2011 – Fifth Sunday of the Year (A)

THIS SUNDAY: While the world may seem to be very indifferent to Christianity most of the time, it can be very critical of Christians who do not seem to be following the most basic tenet of their faith – to be  a people of “good deeds”, as Jesus teaches in today’s portion of the Sermon on the Mount. While we may sometimes feel indignant about the world’s criticism of our faults, we have to remember that we are in a vital relationship with “the word” – we are to be its light. This means that we should welcome the world’s gaze and scrutiny of our actions and beliefs and we should, in a sense, be accountable to the world for the way we live. We should never be salt that loses its taste. This openness to the gaze of all is not for our own glory, however: it is so that others may find what we have found – their way to the Father.

DIOCESAN CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE: The Bishop is inviting our parish community, and especially our married couples, to join him in the cathedral for a diocesan celebration of marriage on Saturday 19 February at 12noon. We need as many from our parish to go along to join our bishop on this occasion. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the gift of marriage to our church and our society. It is a chance to come together, whatever state of life we find ourselves living, and join our diocesan community in celebrating the tremendous reflection of God’s love that is the gift of marriage. The bishop encourages those of you who are engaged and maybe marrying this year to come along and join him too. If any of you are celebrating 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, or 60 years of marriage, please let FrC know asap as the bishop would personally like to invite you along to this important celebration.

CRIB OFFERINGS: Your kindness has brought in £561.17 over the weeks since Christmas. This is being sent off to Mother Theresa’s nuns in Lusaka as our gift supporting their work with abandoned and orphaned children.

PARISHES IN COMMUNION FOR MISSION: A terrific gathering of people from across our city took place here in St Bernadette’s this last Tuesday. Thank you to those of you who helped with the refreshments and it was good to see so many from our own parish taking part in this stage of the diocesan conversation about working together and supporting one another in our parishes. There is much to be done and maybe we need to begin by thinking how we can work closer with the communities of St Gerard’s and Christ the King, offer them what support we have to offer, as well as be open to allowing them to work closer with us. There are copies of the Bishop’s document in the Narthex.

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: We pray for Rahul Vinoy, Oliver Towe, James Dean Fry, Chloe Jefferies, Fred Durow, Sophie Payne, George Cock, Rosie Pattison, Jessica Critten, Kara Richards, Rory Jones, Millie Gould, Eva Albert, Rory O’Driscoll, Sophie Lowson, Harry McGovern, Aldrich Virata, Isobella Khan, and Liam Monks They meet this coming Wednesday in the Primary School at 3.45pm. Please make sure you bring your I belong books with you!

FIRST COMMUNION PARENTS MEETING: Fr Christopher meets with this year’s group of parents on Thursday 17 February at 7.00pm in the Church. Please do make sure that one parent per family if able to come along.

ROOTED IN CHRIST: This simple, reflective series looking at our faith continues after the Christmas break this coming Tuesday 8 February when Prof Gavin D’Costa will help us reflect upon Salvation and Redemption. The talks have attracted many over the last couple of months and they are a simple way to begin to deepen our understanding of what we believe. The talks take place in Holy Family, Patchway, and are well worth going along to. The series on the Sacraments should be a really good couple of sessions focusing on those tremendous signs of Christ’s presence on our journey through life. Find out more either on our diocesan website or else on our notice board in the narthex. The full programme is on the board… and the details of the excellent speakers, too.

HELP TO CLEAN OUR CHURCH: Nina is always looking for willing hands to make up a team to look after our church and flick the hoover and duster around the place. We are down to two teams of cleaners, only. If you would like to help out once in a while, please do get in touch with Nina who will gladly pop you on the cleaners’ rota. The more there are to help out, the less your turn comes round. Contact Nina King on 01275 835766

WELCOMERS: If you could see yourself helping to welcome people as they arrive for Mass, then please get in touch with Linda Hodgson and let her make up another team of Welcomers. This is such an important ministry in the life of our parish – it’s not just about handing out newsletters and hymnbooks, but ensuring that we are a welcoming community of faith.

PARISH PILGRIMAGE: Maria Amesbury is looking to organise a pilgrimage to the south east part of Italy’s heel, with the prospect of visiting the historic region around Ruvo di Puglia as well as the shrine of San Giovanni Rotondo where Padre Pio lies in the Church. She’ll need to know if there is any interest pretty soon as we will need to secure flights from Bristol. Have a word with Maria this weekend and let her know.

YEAR FOUR join us for Mass this coming Friday. They continue the cycle of classes joining us for Mass each Friday. It is good to have them with us.

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE DIED: Judy Connors died suddenly last Friday morning. Her body will be brought into Church on Wednesday afternoon at 5.00pm and her funeral will be celebrated on Thursday 10 February at 10.00am and then her body taken to South Bristol. We keep Judy and her family in our prayers. We also remember Dorothy Stobbs, resident at Robinson House, Stockwood, whose funeral will take place at South Bristol Crematorium on Wednesday at 1.30pm. Requiem Mass will be celebrated in her native Hull in March. Also, we remember Pauline O’Grady, also of Robinson House, who died last Friday. For them and their families, we pray for God’s peace and his mercy.

Ash Wednesday – 9 March – marks the beginning of the season of preparation for Easter. It is also the traditional time whereby we accompany those who are journeying towards the Sacraments on Initiation at Easter. As a parish we are in a most fortunate position whereby (at the moment) we will have three adult Baptisms and a couple of receptions into full communion, as well as two celebrations of Confirmation.  This is a most encouraging prospect for our parish community and should find us wanting to use their journey as one that encourages us in our faith, too. More on this later. There will also be plenty of opportunity for us to make the most of this prayerful, charitable, renewing season. Watch this space.

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