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Third Sunday of Lent

Third Sunday of Lent

THIS SUNDAY: The Gospel of the third Sunday is the remarkable conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman by the well, the theme is water – which gives life, which cleanses, which is so necessary. This reading forms part of the catechesis given before Baptism at Easter: the candidates who would go into the water are invited to reflect on what that means. But more necessary than the water which gives life is the water which gives eternal life – the water of baptism, the water flowing from Jesus’ side on the cross. We are journeying with those who come into the life of our parish and our Church through baptism. Their journey should cause us to reflect upon the thirst within us that Christ can quench. As we accompany them, let us use this opportunity to prepare to renew that gift of faith, of living water, poured into our lives through baptism. Let us allow that gift to flow onto our world through the lives we lead and the thirst-quenching gift of Christ we seek to give.

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: Preparation continues on Wednesday 30 March at 3.45pm in the school. Bishop Declan meets with the parents of this year’s group on Thursday 31 March at 7.00pm in the Church. This is always a wonderful opportunity for our bishop spend time with the parents encouraging them in all they do to hand on faith to their children.

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 present series on the Sacraments focuses on those tremendous signs of Christ’s presence on our journey through life. Fr Tom Smith is reflecting upon the Sacrament of Ordination this week – Tuesday 29 March at 7.30pm. Find out more either on our diocesan website or else on our notice board in the narthex.

LENTEN BRUNCH: A good hearty brunch as British Summer Time begins takes place straight after Mass this Sunday, 27 March. All proceeds will go in support of our parish outreach projects.

THE SEASON OF LENT – PREPARING FOR THE SACRAMENTS: Lent has always been the traditional time whereby we accompany those who are journeying towards the Sacraments on Initiation at Easter. It was, in the early Church, an intensive time of preparation as the catechumens walked ever nearer to the font. As a parish we are in a most fortunate position whereby (at the moment) we will have three adult Baptisms – Joe Alsop, David Fitzgerald and Rebecca Fitzgerald – as well as two celebrations of Confirmation – Nora O’Brien and John O’Brien.  This will mean that some of the Sunday’s in Lent (three, four and five) will be used to celebrate the Rites appropriate for those journeying towards Baptism and the Sacraments at Easter. The Scrutinies, as they are called, are the Rites and prayers that ask for strength and courage in those walking towards the sacraments. At Easter, we will also be celebrating the reception into the Church of four members of the Anglican Communion who are seeking entry into the Church through the Ordinariate – Pauline & Michael Long, and Bernard & Beryl Coombs. They are part of a wider community spread across Bristol. 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.  Keep them and all those journeying towards the Sacraments this Easter in your prayers. They took part in the Rite of Election this weekend, welcomed by the Bishop, supported by the diocesan community. You’ll notice that the cover is over the font, inviting us to look forward to its ‘unsealing’ at the great Easter Vigil as we renew our baptismal promises in the presence of the newly baptised.

LENTEN SOUP LUNCHES: Our Lenten Lunch series got off to a great start this Lenten fast Day on Friday and it was good to see so many of our fellow Christians from the churches around coming along for lunch. Please do go along to offer them some support as they did to us. 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. The proceeds from our two lunches will go to support CAFOD.

CAFOD BOXES: To accompany your Lenten journey, there are still some CAFOD pyramids and boxes for your Lenten gifts (alms) which you are free to use across the six weeks. Just bring them back to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday where they will be taken up with the gifts and our offerings for the poor. We are sending just under £550 from last week’s retiring collection plus a further £260 from the Friday Soup Lunch. Thank you for your generosity.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Each Sunday of Lent we will make that prayerful journey to the Cross and to the tomb following in the footsteps of Jesus. The Sundays of Lent we start at 4.00pm in the Church, ending with benediction. Palm Sunday will find us celebrating Vespers at 4.00pm, and on Good Friday, the Stations for children and our young people will be celebrated at 11.00am. This gives the children a chance to enter into the story and the drama of Good Friday walking with Jesus to the Cross. This is also a chance for families to draw together on this important day in our lives of faith.

Year 5 are leading the Stations of the Cross here in the Church on Friday 8 April. Put the date in your diary and come along if you can allowing the children to help us reflect upon this journey to the cross.

Bishop Declan is inviting us to join him at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College on Saturday 21 May (from 10.00am – 4.00pm) with our diocesan community, drawing us together to celebrate our faith. There is a poster in the narthex, and please put the date in your diary. It is a great opportunity for the parish communities across the four counties of our diocese to come together – from climbing walls to workshops – there is something for everyone of all ages. Please go along and represent our own parish community.

WELCOMERS: Our welcomers come together on Thursday 7 April in the Church for a short time together.

PARISH MAGAZINE: Pick up your copy of this Lent/Spring’s issue. It’s free…if you want to pop a little something in the newspaper pot, then please feel free to do so.

CONGRATULATIONS to Richard Coles and Kirsty Grimsby who were married here this Saturday.

HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE: Palm Sunday: 5.45pm (Saturday) & 10.30am (Sunday); Holy Thursday: Mass at 8.00pm; Good Friday: Stations for Children (11.00am); Liturgy of the Passion at 3.00pm; Holy Saturday: Easter Vigil at 8.30pm (note the time as the sun does not set until 8.08pm BST and the Vigil is celebrated after the sun has set); Easter Sunday: 8.30am & 10.30am. Full programme for Holy Week available next weekend.

PARISH FORUM GROUP meet in the presbytery on Thursday 14 April at 7.00pm.

SUNDAY GOSPEL REFLECTIONS: Don’t forget to tune in to where five of the younger priests of our diocese will be leading us in reflection each Sunday of the day’s gospel. It gives us a chance to tap into the living water that is the Gospel as part of our lenten jounreying through the desert.

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