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Laetare Sunday – Fourth Sunday of Lent

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Laetare Sunday – Fourth Sunday of Lent

3 April 2011 – Fourth Sunday of Lent ~ Laetare Sunday

THIS SUNDAY: Following on from the woman of Samaria encountering the thirst of Jesus, we find ourselves in the company of a blind man, Bartimaeus. The thrust of St John’s little episode of this healing is to show us, not only Jesus’ power to heal the blind, but to bring this man from unbelief to belief, from darkness to light, from blindness to sight. Those who were newly baptised in the early Church were given the Greek name photozomenoi – the enlightened ones. What St John shows us is that those who belong to Christ are those who are not walking in darkness but are guided by he who is the Light of the World. The light that is given to us at our baptism is a reminder that we have Christ as our light. It is our faith that illuminates the path we walk, leading us to Christ. It is that light we journey towards this Lent as at the heart of our Easter Vigil is the light of the Paschal Candle. Christ is our light and our way, our guide and our lead. His is the light we follow; he will not leave us in darkness, but bathing in his glorious light.  This joy-filled Sunday – Laetare Sunday – also marks the mid point of our season.

MOTHERING SUNDAY
: This day, of course, is a day to reflect upon the Church of your baptism, the church where you were brought to birth into the family of the Church – hence the reason why we call the Church, our Mother. We also remember our own mothers today. Whether they have gone before us to glory or whether we still enjoy their presence in our lives, we ask God to bless them and to watch over them, today and always.

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: Preparation continues on Wednesday 6 April at 3.45pm in the school. The children then break for Easter, returning to their preparation on Wednesday 27 April. Their next celebration Mass is when they come to receive the gift of the cross on Sunday 8 May at 10.30am.

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. Deacon Kevin Moloney is reflecting upon the Sacrament of Marriage this week – Tuesday 5 April at 7.30pm. Find out more either on our diocesan website or else on our notice board in the narthex.

THE SEASON OF LENT – PREPARING FOR THE SACRAMENTS: We will have three adult Baptisms this Easter – Joe Alsop, David Fitzgerald and Rebecca Fitzgerald – as well as two celebrations of Confirmation – Nora O’Brien and John O’Brien.  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.  We keep them all in our prayers.

LENTEN SOUP LUNCHES:
Palm Sunday, 17 April, here at St Bernadette’s -12 noon. The proceeds from our lunch will go to support CAFOD.

CAFOD BOXES: Your CAFOD boxes can be brought back to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday where they will be taken up with the gifts as our offerings for the poor.

LENTEN BRUNCH: Thank you to those who provided last week’s lunch and those who cam along in support. £330 was raised thanks to your kindness. This will go to support our parish outreach projects.

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. On Good Friday, the Stations for children and families 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.

SCHOOL STATIONS: Year 5 are leading the Stations of the Cross here in the Church on Friday 8 April (10.30am). Put the date in your diary and come along and allow the children to help us reflect upon this journey to the cross.

DIOCESAN FAMILY DAY: 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 this coming Thursday 7 April in the Church for a time together.

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. The full programme for Holy Week is also available from the narthex.

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

WEB STATIONS: From this coming Friday (8th) you will be able to reflect on the Stations of the Cross via our parish website. A station a day taking us up to Good Friday. Make it a part of your prayerfulness each day. On the home page each day from nextFriday (8th), we journey through the fourteen Stations, taking us to Good Friday and the celebration of the Lord’s Passion. The reflections have been composed by Fr Christopher and Jane Critten. The images are the first images of the stations placed in our Church. Originally, the stations were just marked by a cross. Fr Mitchell (as he was then) obtained a set that were given by St Thomas More’s, Cheltenham. They are slate with the images carved out and highlighted in white. The photgraphs were taken by Fr Robert King.

APF – Missio:
Thank you to all red box holders, annual members, and to those who gave donations.  The parish raised £2799 in 2010 in support of the missions.

COMMUNITY CHOIR: Spring Concert in support of the people of Japan.   The Amplius Community Choir are giving a concert of sacred and secular music celebrating  Spring, Lent, and Easter on Saturday 16 April at Counterslip Baptist Church in aid of the Japan Red Cross Relief Fund.  Starts at 7.30pm – everyone welcome.

NEW TRANSLATION OF THE ROMAN MISSAL:
Four Thursdays in Eastertime have been set aside for the beginnings of our reflection and preparation for the new translation of the missal ~ 5 May, 19 May, 2 June, and 16 June. These sessions (an hour each) beginning at 7.00pm will give us an opportunity to reflect upon the Eucharist and the words we pray when we come together for Mass. Please do come along and take part in this catechesis.

PARISH MAGAZINE: Don’t forget that copies of the Lenten/Spring edition of the magazine are available from the narthex. Get in touch if you would like a copy sent to you.

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