Highlights of the Week

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

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK            
The Cry that changes the Heart

Statistics and reports are important if we are to understand our world. But they can deafen us to the cry of the human heart. They can substitute for compassion. They can be our hiding place from human suffering.
Our asylum-seeking sisters and brothers experience this. The numbers game becomes the manipulative tool of the media and the weapon of political rhetoric. Yet when the cry off pain is heard, when people can gaze into the eyes of the suffering, a change of attitude comes and compassion is born.
Jesus hears the cry of the pagan woman and He comes to understand His mission in new and universal terms. His Church needs to place before the world a heart that listens, eyes of compassion that gaze, a community who places the poor and broken, the wounded and hurting first before all the statistics and political rhetoric. The Church - the place of the heart!


JOURNEY OF FAITH 
  We have concluded this year’s Journey of Faith meetings but will have our ‘Come and See’ meeting for the new 2017-2018 Journey of Faith on Friday 1st September at 6.30pm. Who will you encourage to come and see what being a Catholic Christian means? Or come for a renewal of faith? Or seek Baptism and/or Confirmation

CONFIRMATION 2018 - A CALL TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE   We will gather a group of young people (over 13 years) wishing to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation (provisionally to be celebrated around April/May 2018). All names to Mary Hopper or Fr Richard as soon as possible, please. A first ‘let’s explore’ meeting (prior to the course) will take place on Friday 8th September at 5.00pm in the Assisi Centre.

LAUNCHING ‘CALLED TO MINISTRY’ PROGRAMME   Thank you for your great and generous response to the ‘Called to Ministry’ Questionnaire. The Parish Pastoral Council decided to hold two ‘Called to Ministry’ Days asking everyone who signed up to come to one of the two days, so that we can begin together to reflect upon the nature of service and ministry, what the various ministries are, what they involve and what will be asked of those who take up the Call. If family or work commitments make it impossible to attend either day, please let us know! Realistic and reliable availability is one of the factors that some of the ministries demand. Each person need attend only one of the days. The first ‘Called to Ministry’ Day is Saturday 2nd September 10am to 4.00pm (concluding with Mass at 3.00pm). The second ‘Called to Ministry’ Day is Saturday 16th September 10am to 4.00pm (concluding with Mass at 3.00pm). PLEASE MAKE ATTENDANCE AT ONE OR OTHER OF THESE DAYS A TOP PRIORITY.

SAYING GOODBYE’ SERVICE - for all who have experience the loss of a baby     This Service is for all parents and family members who have experienced the loss of a baby in the womb or in early years - they are for all of any faith or none. They are organised by ‘Mariposa Trust’. There is such a service on Saturday 9th September at Malmesbury Abbey, Malmesbury. For further details see www.sayinggoodbye.org

DO YOU LOOK AFTER SOMEONE? Help from ‘Carers Support Centre’     More and more people are looking after someone - because of ageing, dementia, disability of one kind or another. They can feel very isolated and unsupported. As a parish community we want to do all we can to support. If this affects you in any way, please see the posters and leaflets in the church porch from ‘carerstrust’ - helpline: 01179652200; email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or visit their website www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk - and also let us know how we as a parish community can help.

ACTA (‘A CALL TO ACTION’) NATIONAL CONFERENCE      Seeking to develop the reform of the Church on the basis of the inspiration of the Second Vatican Council, this national and diocesan gathering of lay people, religious and clergy are holding our National Conference on the theme: ‘Locally Ordained Community Leaders - an ancient solution to a contemporary problem’ This certainly speaks to the challenges we in our parish are trying to meet (eg with our ‘Called to Ministry’ Project). I hope at least some from our community will attend (I am unable unfortunately). Saturday 21st October 10.30 am start at Priory Rooms, Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham City Centre B4 6AF. 6 minutes walk from New Street Station Cost £20 (includes light lunch). Booking essential at www.acalltoaction.org.uk


PRAYING FOR THE PLANET     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