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Sixth Sunday of the Year

Sixth Sunday of the Year

13 February 2011 – Sixth Sunday of the Year

THIS SUNDAY: Back in the 60s some groups “adopted” Jesus Christ as an icon of rebellion, overturning authority and tearing up the rule book – possibly because of the frequent confrontations between Our Lord and the Pharisees. Today’s Gospel, however, shows us Jesus not as rule-breaker, but as rule-fulfiller, bringing an even greater depth to the rule that had guided the people of Israel for centuries. Jesus does not throw out the rulebook – or as the first reading says, He does not command us to be godless!  He challenges us in this Gospel to see how far our keeping God’s Law will go: will it just be about the letter of the Law (“I have never killed anyone”), or will it look deeper (“Have I ever been angry? Have I been violent in my thoughts?”). The challenge of the Kingdom of Heaven is to keep the commandments first and foremost from within, so that our outward behaviour conforms to the requirements of God’s Law.

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 this coming 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. It is good to hear that some of you have received your invitations from him. Let’s remember all our married couples, and especially those who are preparing for marriage this year.

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! The youngsters join us for Mass at 10.30am on Sunday 6 March for the Presentation of the Scriptures.

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: 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 forthcoming 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. These begin on Tuesday 1 March. 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.

THE SEASON OF LENT: 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.

LENTEN SOUP LUNCHES: Details next week about the series of Lenten Soup lunches taking place both here and at some of the other Churches round about. This is a great way of tapping into the spirit of Lenten fasting as well as supporting charitable causes through your giving. Watch this space for further details next week.

EDUCATION SUNDAY: Next Sunday, Bishop Declan has sent us a Pastoral Letter which we will listen to as part of Education Sunday. This is a Sunday where we pray, most especially, for all those who work in the field of education – our schools, our colleges, our universities – and all those who work to hand on faith to others. The retiring collection next Sunday goes to support the Catholic Education Service which works so closely with our school and our bishops, advising them and representing them at national and governmental level, seeking to keep our Catholic schools on the agenda. In supporting them we are supporting the work of Catholic education and our Catholic schools.

~ 12 – 26 February: Please support our Traidcraft Stall in the Narthex after Mass and other Fairtrade suppliers during this fortnight.  Our support will help poor farmers and growers to become self-sufficient and enable them to provide for their families and communities.

the priests of our diocese to our parish on Wednesday for one of their formation days.

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