28th Sunday in Ordinary time – 14th October 2018

My hand, Your hand, Our hands

As you know, Bishop John, inspired by Pope Francis in “Evangelli Gaudium” has launched the Hope in the Future programme in the Salford Diocese. He encourages all parishes to take up the challenge to develop Missionary parishes.

We have followed the programme here and held three meetings during Lent in each church of our parish to reflect on and plan how we could move forward. Meeting 2 looked at how we might harvest the many gifts and talents in our large parish. Only through working together and looking outward can we become a Missionary Parish.

As you leave church today you will be offered a pack consisting of a parish information booklet, a leaflet for you to complete indicating any interest you may have and an envelope in which to return the leaflet to Fr. John. Please return to the presbytery or in the collection plate by Sunday 18th November.

We hope that every adult will find at least one group that interests them so that all can take up the challenge of the Gospel.

Your information will be treated in line with the Data protection Act.

The Missionary Steering Team

27th Sunday in Ordinary time – 7th October 2018

Our Lady of the Valley Parish piloted Refugee Dine With Me some two years ago as a simple response to the world refugee crisis and Pope Frances’s plea to the world to “Welcome the stranger”.This is something simple that anyone can do – invite a refugee family for a meal.

The results were very positive, for both ‘hosts’ and ‘guests’. Since then, with the support of Caritas Salford, a “Toolkit” has been devised and published on line and in booklet form, so that any Parish or community group can make the idea work in their community. The Toolkit includes lots of tips and advice for families looking to take part. You can find it online at https://www.caritassalford.org.uk/service-view/refugee-dine-with-me

It has now been taken up by other Parishes and indeed schools in the Salford Diocese.

In the introduction to the booklet, Bishop John Arnold himself says: “It is a very simple but effective way of welcoming people into our parishes who have left their homes and families to seek refuge and safety amongst us. When people sit together to share a meal, especially people from different cultures and life experiences, there is an opportunity to share more than just food. They create what Pope Francis has called a ‘culture of encounter.’ In accepting to share a meal together, both host and guest are opening themselves to a very human encounter that breaks down barriers and builds new friendships.”

We are now bringing the idea back to our Parish. As well as the small number of refugees and asylum seekers living in our Parish who come to the Clitheroe English Club classes to learn English, we have teamed up with New Neighbours in Burnley, a charity run by volunteers and the refugees themselves, which supports refugees and asylum seekers, and which is based in St. John the Baptist RC Church Hall. They will help identify guests interested in taking part.

If you are interested in participating, please take the leaflet and fill in the form, copies of which are at the back of Church, or download it from the OLOV website. If you have any queries on how it works, contact Tom Clay on 07962136749.

As individuals, we can do so little, but we can at least make people who have been through so much feel welcome to our country, and what better way to do this than invite them to our homes for a meal!

Refugee Dine With Me

We are looking for willing hosts for Refugee Dine with Me which is our Parish initiative and now Diocese wide.  Forms are available at the back of each church or you click on the image and save a copy to print.

25th Sunday in Ordinary time – 23rd September 2018

Dear Parishioners,
An extract from Pope Francis speaking with recently married couples in Dublin.

Nowadays we are not used to anything that really lasts for the whole of our lives. If I feel hungry or thirsty, I can eat; but my feeling of being full does not last even a day. If I have a job, I know that I might lose it or I may have to choose a different career. It is even hard to keep track of the world as it changes all around us, as people come and go in our lives, as promises are made but often broken or left unfulfilled. Perhaps what you are really asking me is something even more basic: Is there anything precious that endures at all? Even love itself? We know how easy it is today to find ourselves caught up in “the culture of the provisional”, the ephemeral. That culture strikes at the very roots of our growth in hope and love. How can we experience “the truly lasting” in this culture of the ephemeral?

Here is what I would say to you. Of all the kinds of human fruitfulness, marriage is unique. It is about a love that gives rise to new life. It involves mutual responsibility for the transmission of God’s gift of life, and it provides a stable environment in which that new life can grow and flourish. Marriage in the Church, that is, the sacrament of matrimony, shares in a special way in the mystery of God’s eternal love. When a Christian man and a woman enter into the bond of marriage, the Lord’s grace enables them freely to promise one another an exclusive and enduring love. Their union thus becomes a sacramental sign of the new and eternal covenant between the Lord and his bride, the Church. Jesus is ever present in their midst. He sustains them throughout life in their mutual gift of self, in fidelity and in indissoluble unity. His love is a rock and a refuge in times of trial, but more importantly, a source of constant growth in pure and lasting love.

We know that love is God’s dream for us and for the whole human family. Please, never forget this! God has a dream for us and he asks us to make it our own. So do not be afraid of that dream! Cherish it and dream it together each day anew. In this way, you will be able to support one another with hope, strength, and forgiveness at those moments when the path grows rocky and it becomes hard to see the road ahead. God binds himself to remain faithful to his covenant, even when we grieve him or grow weak in our love. He tells us: “I will never fail you nor forsake you!” (Heb 13:5). As husband and wife, anoint one another with those words of promise, every day for the rest of your lives. And never stop dreaming!

Fr John

 

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.

Clitheroe English Club…

CLITHEROE ENGLISH CLUB  has proved to be very popular However the number of students has increased the workload beyond one volunteer.  We are preparing to register the English Club as a small charity to attract grant funding. So we are looking for volunteers to help.  See notice in porch

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

Poetry Competition – “Joy: the surprise of the Gospel”

To accompany the Northern Scripture Festival (Salford Cathedral 6th October) parishioners over 16 are invited to submit a poem (no more than 20 lines) on the theme “Joy: the surprise of the Gospel”.  The poem can be any style, must be in English, not have been published previously and can’t be a translation of another author’s work.  Entry forms available in porch or go to www.scripturefestival.org

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.