Highlights of the Week

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK!
Below are a few interesting news items from the weekly Bulletins for next four weeks.  To download the full version of our latest Bulletin,  please go to our Bulletin pageThank you.

THOUGHT FOR THE 11TH WEEK              Be Seeds of  the Dynamic Kingdom!

So often Jesus speaks of the Reign of God, the Kingdom of God in the images of dynamic growth. From the tiniest seed, hidden int he cold earth comes the great shrub of salvation and hope! From the smallest seeds of love and faith that we sow into the field of the world, the Holy Spirit, Who renews the face of the Earth, waters them and gives growth and they become a great harvest of compassion, justice and freedom!
Let us be such a Church, dynamic in compassionate love, prophetic in courageous witness so that the broken and wounded can find shelter, humanity, hope among us - like the birds coming and sheltering in our branches.  
Let us be Christians, who like Jesus, sow the seed of our own lives as gift to the world and its poor, so that justice can grow, peace can flourish, healing can liberate. We are His seeds ready to become His Saving shrub, His harvest of Hope! What a privilege!

THOUGHT FOR THE 12TH WEEK and Feast of  the Birth of John the Baptist - 

                                         Prophet and Servant of the New!

John is the hinge uniting the Old and New Testaments - an Old Testament Prophet with fire in his bones and belly and the power of the Word of the Lord in his mouth! But the gatekeeper who opens up for the New to enter. Everything about him is Prophecy. His Annunciation (by the same angel!) and conception herald and mirror Jesus’ Annunciation and conception; he leaps in his mother’s womb like King David as Mary the Ark of the Covenant brings The Word made Flesh home to God’s People. Destined to be a martyr himself, he points to Jesus as the Lamb of Sacrifice to end all sacrifices; having gathered disciples he ‘sends’ them to Jesus to follow him and so like Jesus humbles himself. And his baptism for repentance foreshadows Baptism in the Spirit that liberates the Life of God within us.
Are we Prophets and Servants of this New Kingdom - a New World beginning? Do we live the Word we proclaim and point our world with love and hope to Jesus who is Life & Love?

 

THOUGHT FOR THE 13TH WEEK         Touching the Hem of His Garment!

An important man - a leader of the community - comes and speaks to Jesus, heart-broken because of his dying daughter. Of course I will come! Then lost in the crowd an excluded, powerless woman with no status does not dare to address Jesus but creeps us hidden and touches the the hem of his garment. I will be healed and He will not know anything about it! I can slip away in my guilt and no-one will know!
Jesus, in love with the little ones, the excluded ones, interrupts His urgent journey to enter into dialogue with ‘a worthless woman’. Does the important man think ‘I am important and I was first in line - and my daughter is dying. Why waste time on this woman?’.
But My thoughts are not your thoughts - My ways are not your ways! The powerless come first before the privileged in the Kingdom … but both are healed! In God’s heart a place for all, but poor first!

Thought for Fourteenth Sunday of the Year -       Jesus shakes their foundations!

 Should have been a great homecoming - one of their own, local boy made good, coming to bring the beauty of His Word, the immensity of His Vision and the tenderness of His Healing to His own community. ‘Who do you think you - getting above your station! - Why, you are the odd-job man’s son - how dare you preach to us!!’ Homecoming turns to rejection, scorn and ‘despising’! How sad that we cannot find the wonder of God in those most familiar to us. But then His Word is radical: embrace as brothers and sisters the very ones you have been taught to shun - the Gentiles. See God no longer as the punishing Law giver, but as the tender Father. Do not be obsessed by Law but learn compassion and mercy. Do not put your faith in sacrifices and rituals - but in the love you bear one another! He opens a new vista of experience of God and faith, but they could not take it - and despised HIM!

 

DIOCESAN DAY FOR YEAR OF MISSION    On Saturday 30th June, beginning at 10am and concluding by 4.00pm, we are all invited to share together a Diocesan Day on the them of Mission. It is for all the family with activities for children. There will be a keynote speaker and a number of great workshops on various aspects of mission and the parish to choose from. Margaret Ulloa will be leading one of them. My hope is that many of our community will attend - as we have much to learn and also much to share about being a parish in communion for mission in a very diverse setting. Lists will begin to appear in the porch to sing up to attend as more information comes through, Please reserve the date and come! 

SUMMER FETE AND GRAND DRAW     Saturday 14th July 12 noon to 3.30pm. We need new ideas, and volunteers to provide games and sports for children to make it a real fun fundraiser. So volunteers urgently needed. Please see Terry and/or Sam (Masenyama) as soon as possible. We are very late organising this event this year so please everyone help!

THIRTY DAYS OF PRAYER FOR OUR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS   Pope Francis is shortly to meet with leaders of the Churches of the Middle East (both Orthodox and Catholic) to pray for peace in the Middle East and for an end to the vicious persecution of sisters and brothers. They will meet and pray in the Basilica of St Nicholas of Bari - where the childless couple to pray for a child - whom they named Nicholas - our Patron Saint! We have been asked to pray for 30 days for peace and freedom in the Middle East, especially for our sisters and brothers in the faith. You were given prayer sheets last week - please remember to use them to pray for all threatened with martyrdom in the land of Christianity’s birth!

PARENTS BAPTISM PREPARATION COURSES FOR 2018   Parents seeking the baptism of their children this year are asked to inform Eustace Tameh or Christopher and Epiphania Chipato or Fr Richard as soon as possible. Below are details of the two preparation sessions for parents and the Rite of Catechumen associated with each Baptismal Sunday.
[1]     BAPTISMAL SUNDAY 26th AUGUST at 10am Mass 
Preparation Sessions: Friday10th and 17th August at 6.30pm (Assisi Centre)
Rite of Child Catechumen Sunday 12th August at 10am Mass

[2]   BAPTISMAL SUNDAY 18th NOVEMBER at 10am Mass 
Preparation Sessions: Friday 2nd & 9th November at 6.30pm (Assisi Centre)
Rite of Child Catechumen Sunday 4th November at 10am Mass

PLANNING OUR PARISH’S 170th BIRTHDAY!    The various events being planned are grouped under four headings: Educational, Social, Spiritual & Liturgical, Fundraising. Co-ordinators for each ‘group’ has or is being recruited and soon we will invite people to volunteer to be part of one of the four organising teams (for each of the groups). A Calendar of events is being formed. Committee 170 is now the overall co-ordinating group. We look for everyone’s support for this very important year in the long history of our parish.

NEW PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL IN FORMATION    We have now confirmed the following who have agreed to serve as co-opted members of our PPC: Marta Bolognani, Tosin Fadahunsi, Julie Chi, Susan Wanjohi, Azeem Wazir, Rebecca Sonsiana, Elsa Goncalves. They join those elected: Andrew Bent, Samantha Masenyama, Paula Murphy, Brice Ndorere, John Patrick Njau, Caroline Price, Eustace Tameh and Margaret Ulloa, as well as the two ex-officio members Fr Richard (parish priest) and Mary Hopper (Co-ordinator of catechesis and Safeguarding Rep). Our first meeting is Tuesday 12th June after the 6.00pm Mass - I hope many can come to the Mass (offered for God’s Blessing on the work of our Parish Pastoral Council at this crucial time in our parish’s development)


DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO GLASTONBURY  Bishop Declan will be leading our annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Glastonbury on Sunday 8th July. We will leave by coach after our 10am Mass (ie 12 noon). We will invite donations to cover the cost of the coach.

GLOBAL HEALING - a national faith response to Pope Francis Letter ‘Laudato Si’  Being launched on ‘Creation Day’ (1st September), resources will be released by our Bishops to encourage us to reflect upon the urgency of changing direction and life-style in order to heal our planet of the damage we have done through the careless exploitation of our environment. How do we live in communion with creation? Watch this space for opportunities to discuss together what we can do as individuals and as a parish to contribute to ‘Global Healing’.

ARCHIVE MATERIALS FOR HISTORY OF ST NICKS AND EXHIBITION     John Flannery is preparing an updated History of St Nick’s Parish as part of our 170th birthday celebrations. Thank you, John. Also Tosin, Francis and Margaret are working on preparing an exhibition about the parish, its history and its present mission, also part of our 170 celebrations. Thank you Tosin, Francis and Margaret. Both would be grateful for any photos, stories, experiences that could contribute to either or both the written History and the exhibition. Please contact them.

REFUGEE FESTIVAL MONTH     On Tuesday 12th June refugee artists from our Borderland Members are launching “Reunion Art Residency” in the Vestibule of City Hall at 5.00pm. Come and see the skill and artistry of our asylum/refugee brothers and sisters - All welcome! Please see Refugee Festival leaflet for full programme of events.

 

 

Now that President Trump is attempting to wreck the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, leading US to ignore the security of future generations - we very much need to continue to pray that the nations that committed themselves oppose Trump, remain true to their word and bring about the changes needed to be 'merciful' to 'our common home':

 “O God of love, teach us to care for this world our common home. 

Inspire all political leaders and the peoples of all the nations to listen to and heed the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. 

Let us be united in heart and mind in responding and acting courageously.

May we seek the common good and protect the beautiful earthly garden you have created for us, for all our brothers and sisters, for all generations to come. Amen!"


PRAY FOR THE CHRISTIANS AND ALL THE SUFFERING PEOPLE OF IRAQ, SYRIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

Lord, the plight of our country
is deep and the suffering of the Christians
is heavy and frightening us,
therefore we ask you Lord
to assure our lives, grant us patience and courage
to continue to witness our Christian values with trust and hope.
Lord, peace is the base of any life; give us peace and stability
to live with each other without fear, anxiety,
with dignity and joy, glory to you forever.

Archbishop Louis Raphael I Sako,  Chaldean Catholic Patriarch

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Watch over the people of Iraq who have been forced to flee their homes
and face violence and fear.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Lead them to a place of safety, comfort those who grieve
and bring healing to those in pain.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Convert the hearts of those who commit violence and wage war.
Turn them away from persecution towards peace.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Turn hatred to understanding, and anger to compassion.
Through your love, transform horror into hope.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

And fill us all with your Spirit so that with one voice, throughout the world,
we may cry out:

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us…              Catherine Gorman/CAFOD