12th January 2020 – The Baptism of the Lord

“When England returns to Walsingham, Our Lady will return to England” – Pope Leo XIII.

As we begin 2020 we approach a most important moment in the spiritual life of our country with the re-dedication of England as the Dowry of Mary.  The consecration takes place on the solemnity of the Annunciation 25th March.  There is then a 3 day triduum of prayer on the 26th, 27th and 28th.  On Sunday 29th March the Catholic Faithful in of England will render to Mary, Mother of God, a personal re-dedication of England as her Dowry.  This will be done throughout the country in Walsingham, Cathedrals, Parishes and homes.  More details to follow as to how you can take part.

England will render to Mary, Mother of God, a personal re-dedication.

The first dedication in 1381 was by King Richard II, when he sought the prayers and protection of Our Lady of Puy in Westminster Abbey, in a time of great political decision and turmoil.

Since 2018 the National Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham has been visiting England’s Catholic Cathedrals for a 3 day triduum of prayer.  As the statue has already visited Salford Cathedral you are encouraged to support the Statue’s visit to Lancaster Cathedral Balmoral Road, Lancaster LA1 3BT from 6th—8th February.  Annually there are 2 two pilgrimages to Walsingham from this area, for details see the poster in our church porch or parish Web site: olotv.org.uk.


CARITAS SUNDAY 25/26 JANUARY

Caritas is asking all parishioners to use their gifts and talents to BeTheChange and to help House the Homeless, Build Stronger Families and Communities, and Welcome Refugees. The second collection after Mass and ongoing support will allow Caritas Diocese of Salford to BeTheChange in our parishies across the Diocese. The Caritas representative for our parish is Anthony Brown. There will be a retiring collection at all masses next weekend for Caritas, Diocese of Salford


HOLY WATER

In Christianity Holy Water is water that has been blessed by a member of the clergy and is used in baptism and to bless individuals, churches, homes and articles of devotion.  The Holy Water fonts known as stoups can be found at the back of churches as you enter, and in Clitheroe  on two of the pillars situated in the side aisles.

Fr Paul has blessed some water this week, and filled Holy Water bottles are now available for sale at the back of church for 50p (for the bottle not the water), in all of our three churches

Why not take one home with you to use to bless your house and family

 

Parish Finance

The Parish Finance Committee is tasked with assisting the Parish Priest with matters relating to parish finance.  At a recent meeting it was agreed that more information should be shared with all parishioners in order to provide transparency and understanding.  Over the next few weeks items of interest relating to your parish finances will appear in the weekly newsletter

15th December 2019 – Third Sunday of Advent

REFUGEE UPDATE

On the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on September 29th, Pope Francis celebrated mass in St Peter’s Square, Rome, in front of 40,000 faithful.

At the end of mass, he underlined the moral imperative to welcome and give hospitality to refugees by inaugurating a 20-foot tall bronze, three and a half-ton sculpture, in St. Peter’s Square.

Entitled “Angels Unaware”, the work by Canadian artist Timothy P Schmalz depicts 140 migrants and refugees from various historical periods travelling on a boat, and includes the Virgin Mary and Joseph, Jews fleeing Nazi Germany and those from war-torn countries, along with an Angel.

Pope Francis said the statue had been inspired by a passage in “Letter to the Hebrews” from the New Testament: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

Our Parish continues, alongside members of our community from other faiths and from none, to lend support to refugees and asylum seekers. Recently, a 4 generation family of Sikhs who had fled persecution in Afghanistan, and had been placed by the Home Office in Clitheroe, were finally given leave to remain in the UK. They have since moved to Southall in London to be part of the Sikh community there.

The future of the Kurdish Iraqi family, whose legal costs the Parish has been supporting, is now awaiting the outcome of a Judicial Review – we await the date. Their lawyer thinks they have a strong case. Another Kurdish family also living in Clitheroe, this time from Iran, is awaiting a Home Office decision on their future.

So we think of the migration of the Holy Family, firstly to Bethlehem and then, after the birth of our Lord, to Egypt to escape Herod’s persecution, please pray for a good outcome for these families, and for all others fleeing persecution, war, and famine.

 

8th December 2019 – Second Sunday of Advent

HOPE IN THE FUTURE

From 5th January next year we will be including the Hope in the Future Prayer at the end of each Mass. The prayer embodies our mission as a parish. In the Diocese of Salford the ‘Hope in the Future’ programme was launched by Bishop Arnold in October 2017 and in his forward he reminds us of its objectives
“Pope Francis urges us to be aware of the poverty, isolation, marginalisation and needs of people around us and to bring the practical care of the Gospel to them. In order to do that effectively we must always be strengthening our own communities with a worthy celebration of the Sacraments, a life of prayer, an effective and engaging catechesis of the faith for the young and those who may feel drawn to our Church.”
For those who missed the launch of hope in the future there is an excellent video clip on the Salford website

Launch of Hope in the Future


In the parish of Our Lady of the Valley we launched the first stage of Hope in the Future ‘Celebrating our Parish’ by exploring and recognising the strengths and the weaknesses of the parish in a series of meetings held in Clitheroe, Sabden and Dunsop Bridge. The second stage ‘Harvesting our Talents’ started in October 2018 and involved many parishioners volunteering to assist.
The next step on our journey is to ‘Live the Eucharist’ and will provide an emphasis on how we can build on the celebration of Eucharist to ensure that our parish is mission orientated through our welcome, our liturgy and our hospitality.
The Hope in the Future Prayer will be said at the end of the bidding prayers at each Mass and will remind us of how central the missionary parish is to Our Lady of the Valley parish.

 

1st December 2019 – First Sunday of Advent

Thank you for making me feel so welcome in your parish of Our Lady of the Valley.  Thank you also for your patience and understanding as I find my way around the parish and our three churches and three schools.

One of my main priorities, at the moment, is to visit the sick and housebound, so I am slowly making my way around the Nursing homes, and people in their own homes who are sick or housebound.  Please be patient with me as its taking a while for me to get to visit everyone!

If you know of anyone who is not on my list, who would appreciate a visit, please let me know

Also you might know of others who are not sick, but who perhaps would be happy for me to visit, again please just let me know. I’ll get round eventually.

Let us all do what we can to use these days of Advent wisely, as a wonderful God given opportunity to grow closer to the Lord, so that we will be truly ready to celebrate his birth at Christmas.

Fr Paul

 

Visits – Father Paul

Thank you for making me feel so welcome in your parish of Our Lady of the Valley.  Thank you also for your patience and understanding as I find my way around the parish and our three churches and three schools.

One of my main priorities, at the moment, is to visit the sick and housebound, so I am slowly making my way around the Nursing homes, and people in their own homes who are sick or housebound.  Please be patient with me as its taking a while for me to get to visit everyone!

If you know of anyone who is not on my list, who would appreciate a visit, please let me know

Also you might know of others who are not sick, but who perhaps would be happy for me to visit, again please just let me know. I’ll get round eventually.

Let us all do what we can to use these days of Advent wisely, as a wonderful God given opportunity to grow closer to the Lord, so that we will be truly ready to celebrate his birth at Christmas.

Fr Paul

 

17th November 2019 – 33rd Sunday in Ordinary time

Questionnaire—Parish Website

 In order to help us develop the website to fulfil your needs, could you please answer the questions below and return your form by next weekend to the box at the back of church.

  1. a) Do you use the parish Website?  (www.olotv.org.uk)

    YES/NO

If your answer is “NO” please say why not—be frank.

If “YES” please say what you use it for, and how frequently

  1. b) What more would you like to see on the website?
  1. c) Would you like to be contacted by email with Parish updates?

YES/NO

If Yes, please give your email address:

  1. d) Please tick to which age group you belong (optional)

Under 18 (  )      18—25  (  )       26-40  (  )       41—65  (  )

66  –  80   (  )     Over 80  (  )

Please add any other comments or suggestions.

Thankyou

10th November 2019 – 32nd Sunday in Ordinary time

Canonisation of St John Henry Newman.

“Cor ad cor loquitur”, (Heart speaks to heart) is the motto that was taken by Cardinal Newman on his appointment as a Cardinal by Pope Leo X111 in 1879.

On Sunday 13 October 2019 Cardinal Newman was canonised as a saint in St Peter’s Square in Rome.  The parish of Our Lady of the Valley was informally represented by the Spencer’s and the Wallace’s.  The pilgrimage started at Chiesa Nuova, the site of St Philip Neri’s first oratory, which was the base for the organisation of the British contingent.

Twenty thousand seats were laid out in st Peter’s Square and large TV monitors located down the length of the Via della Conciliazione to the Tiber.  The Mass started at 10am with the security gates opening at 7am to process everyone through.  The skies were absolutely blue and the southern façade of the square provided some shade from the sun in the hours leading up to the Eucharistic Celebration of the Canonisation.

The Mass began with the canonisation.  In addition to St John Henry, four other saints were canonised, St Giuseppina from Rome, St Miriam Thresia from India, St Dulce from Brazil, and St Marguerite from the canton of Fribourg.  Many pilgrims had made their way to Rome and the Brazilians and Indians were well represented by a sea of flags.  The Mass started with a short summary of each saints’ life and work.  Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu then made the petition “Beatissimo Padre, la Santa Madre Chiesa chiede che Bostra Santita iscriva I Beati”, (the Holy Mother Church beseeches your Holiness to enrol blessed…..)

Pope Francis then responded declaring them saints “e li scriviamo nell’Albo dei Santi”, (and we enrol them among the saints).  Cardinal Becciu then replied, concluding with the words “Lo ordiniamo”, (we so decree).

There then followed the most incredible organisation as Holy Communion was distributed to the 20,000 seated congregation and beyond.  The crowds extended down to the Tiber and must have exceeded 200,000.  The final hymn of the Mass was ‘Lead kindly light’, written by St John Henry, and a fitting conclusion.  After Mass, Pope Francis was able to drive along the pre-formed alleys to the bottom of St Peter’s Square.

The following day there was a Mass of Thanksgiving with Cardinal Vincent Nichols at the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, which in his final words “brought the party to a conclusion”.  There was another connection with Clitheroe at the end of the Mass when I met with Fr Rod Strange, author of a number of works on St Henry including ‘A Mind Alive’, a former pupil of Stonyhurst and friend of parishioner, David Clews.

N.Wallace