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 WEEK        In the Wild Place  Jesus challenges evil

The Spirit ‘drives’ Jesus into the wild places - compelled with urgency to win the victory of truth over lies, generosity over selfishness, service over domination, humility over manipulation, holiness and love over evil and death.
No escapism here! No restful solitude, just the pain and struggle of a lone battle with the inner demons of power and self-delusion. Somethings we have to battle alone no matter how many friends try to support us.
Where is our ‘wild place’? The place where we encounter God in our aloneness and challenge the illusions of God that tempt us to live for self rather than in otherness. The spiritual temptations are the the most subtle and most devastating, making into God the things of God. That is the perversion of faith for it becomes unhinged from humanity, the dwelling place of God. Real faith is never an escape, but a struggle!

WHY LENT?     We enter this privileged time of personal and community renewal which we call Lent. We join with Christ Jesus’ 40 Days in the desert to journey with Him through the desert of silence and prayer, of deprivation and hunger, of thirst and yearning. Why? To grow to become more like Jesus in generosity of spirit, openness of heart, deeper communion with God, a readiness to give of ourselves to the Mission of the Gospel. These 40 Days express our communion with all catechumens of the Church journeying to the great moment of Baptism (or reception into Full Communion with the Church; these 40 Days are our journey to the renewal of our Baptism at Easter when we say again our ‘YES’ to being plunged into the Mystery of Christ and become truly Christ People, filled with His Spirit and knowing ourselves to be ‘Beloved of the Father’. Let us embrace these most precious days of renewal.

WHAT AND WHY IS THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION?     The Church encourages us to celebrate with particular depth and openness this sacrament of God’s Mercy and Healing (formerly called ‘Confession’)  during these weeks of Lent. Why? Because Lent is a time to let God’s Word of Love call to recognise the ways we have wandered apart from closeness to God. And to ‘come back home’ to the Father’s love, where we will find ourselves again and experience the joy of being true disciples of Jesus His Son, our Brother. Lent is a time to dare to be honest with ourselves - and we can because that honesty is met with the purest love and tenderness. The Church has changed the name of this Sacrament because ‘confession’ speaks of what we do, but ‘Reconciliation’ speaks of God’s action in Christ, reconciling us to God, to each other, to our deepest and real self. Then we are ready to renew our Baptismal commitment at easter, and make 2018 a deeper Year of Discipleship and Mission. If you have been away from this life-giving and healing sacrament for a long time - perhaps many years - then God says to you ‘Do not be afraid - come back to me with all your heart! For Love alone awaits you.

‘HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL SERVICE'     St John XXIII was committed that our Church should recognise and seek to heal the centuries of anti-semitism that was the poisonously fertile soil that allowed the emergence of the Nazi Holocaust of 7 million Jews (and one million others). True to Vatican II, this unique Jewish-Christian Joint Service will give us an opportunity to pray alongside those whom Pope Francis describes as ‘our elder brothers’. Please come and remember the power of words to create - and to destroy! Come and remember and commit ourselves to building a future without anti-semitism and all forms of discrimination. St Nicholas of Tolentino Church on SUNDAY 18th FEBRUARY at 4.00pm.

Preparing for Mission - LIFE IN THE SPIRIT SEMINARS Tuesday evenings in Lent
Clifton Cathedral is hosting Life in the Spirit seminars for 5 Tuesday evenings in Lent starting on
Tuesday 20th February at 7.30pm. This is a great way to help us all prepare for mission. The speakers are Mgr David Oakley of Oscott Seminary, David Payne and  Jenny Baker of Café, Fr Richard McKay from our diocese and Fr Chris Thomas from the Archdiocese of Liverpool. For more information, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07815 751 556.

CAFOD LENTEN FAST DAY - Friday 23rd February    This year our Lenten gifts to CAFOD will be matched £1 for £1 by the UK government as part of their Overseas Aid & Development. Every £1 you give is worth £2 (and that does not include GiftAid which would add more!). So this Lent let us fast in solidarity with the poorest of the earth and enable twice the amount of good and justice to be restored to the poor! Envelopes available in the porch today. The matching funding from the UK government will fund a 3-year project to improve nutrition in Zimbabwe, Eritrea and Zambia. Can we make each Friday in Lent a CAFOD Fast Day and bring the proceeds each week in the CAFOD envelopes and p[lace them in the normal offertory in addition to parish offertory envelope. THANK YOU! 

THE POWERFUL ABUSING THE VULNERABLE     It is with shock and sorry that we have heard the news about relief workers exploiting the vulnerable people and communities that they were sent to serve. Our prayer goes to all who have been so exploited and wounded by those called to heal and raise up. We must have confidence that Relief organisations are doing all they can to root out such behaviour. But we must not use this crisis as an excuse not to give, not to support the poorest of our world. PLEASE SUPPORT CAFOD!


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 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