24th Sunday in Ordinary time – 16th September 2018 (Home Mission Sunday)

HOME MISSION SUNDAY

In today’s Gospel Jesus presents us, as disciples, with a challenging question, ‘Who do you say I am?
For some the most challenging element of this question is whether we talk about him at all.  Today on Home Mission Sunday we pray for the spread of the Gospel in our own towns and villages and country.

There is a second collection as you leave church which will be used to help Catholics in England and Wales become more confident in sharing their faith, particularly by training and supporting diocesan evangelisation personnel and programmes.

Father Callum

This weekend we welcome back to the parish newly ordained Fr Callum Brown.

We wish him well in his priesthoold and pray that he will have a long and fulfilled ministry.

Pastoral Ministry & Leadership – Diploma course

DIPLOMA IN PASTORAL MINISTRY & LEADERSHIP  In association with the Liverpool Archdiocese and this year Wrexham Diocese.  The course begins January 2019 and ends December 2021 Cost £2,600 payable over three instalments.  Information Evening at Salford Cathedral Centre Tuesday 9th October 7.30—9pm.  This will be discussed at our next Parish Forum on 19th September.

22nd Sunday in Ordinary time – 2nd September 2018

LAUDATO SI AND THE ST MARY’S (SABDEN) PROJECT

St Francis of Assisi shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.  This one sentence from Laudato Si’ sums up the interconnectedness of everything Catholic, and everything our Parish is trying to do under the banners of Hope in the Future and the CAFOD Live Simply Award.

As a key part of our CAFOD Live Simply Award we are planning a major environmental project building on the enormous amount of work already undertaken, over many years, by a few stalwart souls at St Mary’s church, Sabden. Our plan is to make the place not only somewhere to glorify God but an exemplar also of how we can live simply, sustainably with creation, and in solidarity with the poor.  This is the essence of everything Pope Francis is saying to us.

Few parishioners away from Sabden will be aware of just how much effort has gone into Sabden already.  Removing the AstroTurf and covering the hardcore below it necessitated shovelling 40 tons of topsoil and 10 tons of bark but in addition paths were laid, beds of wild flowers planted, weeds killed, hedges trimmed hedges and a rockery built.  Most recently we have seen a stone circle at the front of the church with pots and plants.   The first priority now is to remake the bed in front of the church before two weddings in September.  However, there is much more to be done and then regular maintenance.

An element in our Live Simply Award Plan is: Encourage parishioners to become involved with the work behind St Mary’s and at the cemetery, with a particular emphasis on the practical and educational aspects of preserving the environment.  On August 13 we met to discuss how we might take this forward and full details of that meeting can be found on the Parish website under Groups/Laudato Si at        http://www.olotv.org.uk/parish-groups/laudato-si

Please consider playing a part in what we hope will become a community and social venture for young and old.  We aim to encourage participation not only via the Parish but also the schools.  We hope that a lot of people doing a little, rather than a few doing a lot, will not only make the task less onerous but also a pleasant way to spend a Saturday.  The first date is Saturday, 8th September.

Laudato Si Group

21st Sunday in Ordinary time – 26th August 2018

Prayer from the World Meeting of Families

God, our Father,
We are brothers and sisters in Jesus your Son,
One family, in the Spirit of your love.
Bless us with the joy of love

Make us patient and kind,
gentle and generous,
welcoming to those in need.
Help us to live your forgiveness and peace.

Protect all families with your loving care,
Especially those for whom we now pray:

(Pause and remember family members and others)

Increase our faith,
Strengthen our hope,
Keep us safe in your love,
Make us always grateful for the gift of life that we share.

This we ask, through Christ our Lord,

Amen

Mary, mother and guide, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, father and protector, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, pray for us.

20th Sunday in Ordinary time – 19th August 2018

Dear Parishioners,

An interesting comment from Pope Francis speaking to young people last week.

The dreams of young people scare adults a bit. But do not let yourselves be robbed of your dreams.
There was a boy, here in Italy, twenty, twenty-two years of age, who started to dream and to dream big. And his father, an important businessman, tried to convince him otherwise but he said, “No, I want to dream. I dream what I feel inside”. And in the end, he went away, to dream. And his father followed him.

And that boy sought refuge in the bishop’s house, he took off his robes and gave them to his father: “Let me go on my path”.
This young man, an Italian of the thirteenth century, was called Francis and he changed the history of Italy. Francis risked so he could dream big; he knew no boundaries and ended his life dreaming. Let us think: he was young like you. But how he dreamed! They said that he was mad because he dreamed in this way. And he did so much good, and continues to do so. The young scare adults a bit because adults have stopped dreaming, they have stopped risking, and they have organised themselves well. But as I said before, do not let yourselves be robbed of your dreams.
“And how can I make sure, Father, that no-one robs me of my dreams?”
Look for good teachers capable of helping you to understand them and to make them real, gradually and with serenity. Be good teachers in turn, teachers of hope and trust towards the new generations who will follow you.
“But how, I can become a teacher too?”
Yes, a young person who is capable of dreaming becomes a teacher, through his or her witness. Because it is witness that shakes and moves hearts, and shows the ideals that everyday life covers up. The dream is a great strength.
“Father, where can I buy the pills that make me dream?”
No, those no! Those will not make you dream, they will send your heart to sleep. They will burn out your neurons. Dreams cannot be bought. Dreams are a gift, a gift from God, a gift that God sows in your hearts. Dreams are given to us freely, but so that we give them away freely to others too. Offer your dreams: no-one, taking them, will impoverish you. Offer them to others freely.

Fr John

19th Sunday in Ordinary time – 12th August 2018

Refugees

They have no need of our help

So do not tell me

These haggard faces could belong to you or l

Should life have dealt a different hand

We need to see them for who they really are

Chancers and scroungers

Layabouts and loungers

With bombs up their sleeves

Cut-throats and thieves

They are not

Welcome here

We should make them

Go back to where they came from

They cannot

Share our food

Share our homes

Share our countries

Instead let us

Build a wall to keep them out

It is not okay to say

These are people just like us

A place should only belong to those who are born there

Do not be so stupid to think that

The world can be looked at another way

Now read from the end to the beginning

Brian Bilston

18th Sunday in Ordinary time – 5th August 2018

 Prayer of St Augustine

Hear my prayer, Lord.

Let my soul not wilt under your discipline.

Let it not tire of remembering your kindness

in rescuing me from my careless ways.

I long for you to be my delight

more than the honeyed pleasures.

I chased in the past.

You have enabled me to love you,

love you strongly, deeply.

You have brought me to hold your hand

with every ounce of strength I have,

that you may keep me from all danger

till my dying day.

See, Lord, you are my King and my God.

Whatever of value I learnt as a boy

I now place at your service.

Whatever I read, or write,

whatever I speak or compute,

let these skills serve you.

 

From Confessions of St Augustine

(Reflecting on his misspent youth)