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Seventh Sunday of the Year

Seventh Sunday of the Year

20th February 2011 – Seventh Sunday of the Year (A)

THIS SUNDAY: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” These are words we associate so clearly with the teaching of Jesus and the way of life the Gospel calls us to. But it may be a surprise to some people to hear that these words come first from the Old Testament, in the mouth of Moses himself. Moses was speaking the Lord God’s instruction for the community – the community of the people of Israel in flight from Egypt in their long sojourn in the wilderness. God’s instructions were about how that community had to work – without grudges, resentment or vengeance, but with love and forgiveness and tolerance. When Jesus comes with the message of the Kingdom of heaven, it is the same – instruction for a perfect, God-guided society, which depends on how each of us lives with others. The “wisdom of this world”, which Saint Paul mentions in the Second Reading, will not teach us this: the world will believe in vengeance, and friendship only for your friends. Each of us must ask how we can embrace the apparent folly of Jesus’ teaching: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

EDUCATION SUNDAY: This 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. Our catholic schools and colleges are a vital part of the life of our church and the handing on of our faith to the younger generation. Please do give as generously as you can.

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: Our youngsters take a break during this week’s half term break, and we resume preparation for First Communion on Wednesday 2 March at 3.45pm in the school. The youngsters join us
for Mass at 10.30am on Sunday 6 March for the Presentation of the Scriptures.

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.

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.  We will also be celebrating the reception into the Church of members of the Anglican communion who are seeking entry into the Church through the Ordinariate. 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.

The series of Lenten Soup lunches taking place both here and at some of the other Churches round about will begin from the start of the Lenten Season. This is a great way of tapping into the spirit of Lenten fasting as well as supporting charitable causes through your giving. Friday 18 March  –  St Bernadette; Wednesday 23 March  – Christ Church, Petherton Road; Monday 28 March  –  United Reformed Church, Whitchurch Village; Saturday 9th April – St Nicholas, Whitchurch Village; Palm Sunday, 17 April – St Bernadette. All at 12 noon. Do go along and support this charitable initiative.

and the beginning of Lent falls on Wednesday 9 March. Mass with the traditional imposition of ashes will be celebrated in Church at 10.00am (where we will be joined by KS2 children from school) and 7.00pm in the evening.

CAFOD LENTEN FAST DAY: This important day focused on our charitable giving during Lent to some of the world’s hungriest people takes place on Friday 18 March. The CAFOD envelopes will be attached to the newsletter in good time and, of course, the Lenten soup lunch also takes place on the Fast Day. The retiring collection on 20 March will be our Lenten gift to CAFOD.

LENTEN BRUNCH: make a note in your diaries, a good hearty lunch as British Summer Time begins will take place on Sunday 27 March. All proceeds will go in support of our parish outreach projects.

: The charity set up in memory of Joe Dymond Williams are hosting a charity night on Saturday 5 March. Tickets cost £5. Geraldine will be around after all Masses with further details.

‘CALLED TO NEW LIFE’: A day of prayer and reflection in peaceful surroundings has been arranged by the diocesan department for adult education and evangelisation seeking to accompany us on our journey through Lent. It takes place on Saturday 26 March at the Marist Centre, Nympsfield. Full details on the narthex notice board.

As you know, some of the prayers of the Mass are undergoing a revision of translation. That means we will all have to get used to a new ‘language’ and a new translation. There is plenty of time for us to prepare for the new translation of the Missal which comes into effect at Advent 2011. During Lent we will use the new translation of the I confess and during Easter time, we can familiarise ourselves with the new translation to the Gloria. It will give us an opportunity to think about the prayers we can easily take for granted and maybe, even, think about why these prayers have been revised. Watch this space.

NATIONAL FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT ~ 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.

JOSIE O’KEEFFE RIP & MARY JOHNSON RIP: Both Josie and Mary have died in this last week. We keep their families very much in our prayers at this time. Mary’s funeral will take place at South Bristol Crematorium Chapel at 1.30pm on Tuesday of this week, and Josie’s funeral takes place on Tuesday 1 March at 11.00am here in St Bernadette’s. May they both rest in peace and come to their eternal reward in heaven.

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