“May there never again be wars, but always the desire and commitment to peace and fraternity among peoples,” the Pope said in his traditional noontime Angelus address on New Year’s Day, delivered before a crowd of more than 100,000 gathered in St. Peter’s Square. He added: “Prayer is at the root of peace.” He also asked Catholics to remain loyal to their Church and honour Mary, the Mother of God.
Fr Frankie and I wish you a happy New Year as we also thank you for the cards and other gifts we received: I have never eaten so many mince pies as this year! Also our thanks go to all who decorated the church and prepared and helped with the ceremonies. I’m sure none will begrudge a special mention of Jane and her team who descended on the church even before Bishop John had left and worked solidly for the following five hours to so splendidly decorate the church and sanctuary. (Perhaps this is the moment to mention that they would welcome new members – no previous experience required!)
Bishop John enjoyed his visit to our outpost of Salford diocese and although time constraints prevented him meeting with the many parishioners who filled St M & J’s he was able to join in the hall after Mass with the many who had packed St Marys and enjoy tea and delicious cakes, some of which went home with him in a doggy bag. He now intends to whizz swiftly round the other 157 parishes in similar fashion! He was as impressed with us as we were by him.
Last Sunday evening Mark Paver, while visiting his family over Christmas joined us for a meal and wishes to be remembered to you all.
This year’s marriage preparation course begins next Sunday, 11th January at 1.30pm in the Presbytery. This is compulsory for all who wish to marry here. So, if you know anyone who is thinking of marrying before March 2016 please invite them to contact me or Fr Frankie as soon as possible.
RCIA resumes on Thursday in the Presbytery.
Please also note that the next Parish Forum will be in Sabden on Wednesday, 14th January. Peter White completed his three year (non-renewable) term as Chairman in November and Mike Bradley was elected to succeed him. We thank Peter for the commitment and enthusiasm that he brought. The secretary may be renewed and Margaret Donnelly was voted for a second term.