Highlights of the Week

Below are a few interesting news items from the Bulletins for the next 4 weeks.  To download the full version of our latest Bulletins,  please go to our Bulletin pageThank you.


Brother Roger, the founder of the Taizé Community coined this phrase some years ago to express the call we all have to both ‘stand ready and watchful’ – awakened to the presence of God, the sound of His Word and promptings of His Spirit; and to act for justice and truth, peace and freedom wherever there is discrimination, oppression and war.
The Christian is called and anointed in baptism to be a Prophet! To be on fire with love’s courage that will be faithful to the radical Gospel and challenge both the Church and the World to transformation in a love that liberates. We are to be equally at home in the silence of contemplation and the din of action, for both serve the Kingdom. Our action needs to be shaped by our contemplation – our prayer to flow from our action! Let God’s Fire burn in our bones!

JOURNEY OF FAITH    We will begin this 2019/2020 Journey of Faith on Friday 6th September at 6.00pm.  This is for all who want to discover more about the Catholic Faith we share, or who may be thinking of becoming Catholic Christians. It is also suitable for those who want to deepen and renew their faith, whether they come every Sunday or have been away from Mass for some years, as well as those adults who have never been Confirmed. Who will you encourage to come and discover more about Christ Jesus?

OUR PARISH COVENANT WITH THE POOR    In the Jubilee Year 2000 we committed ourselves as a parish to be ‘in covenant with the poor’. This has led to many projects, but very especially the Borderlands Charity and our Caritas Fund and Food Bank helping those being punished by government decreed destitution, and impoverished by benefit cuts and Universal Credit. Our Monthly Covenant with the Poor on the First Sunday of the month (and other Sundays too!) is vital to our Mission to be ‘Good News to the Poor’. Thank you for your support. Please continue to support both by gifts of money (Caritas Fund) and by gifts of non-perishable food stuffs and appropriate toiletries (Food Bank). At the moment we are in need to tins of meat, tins of vegetables and chopped tomatoes, jars of coffee and hot chocolate, tea bags, tins of fruit and packets of biscuits. MANY THANKS!

PATRONAL FEAST OF ST NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINO ENDING YEAR 170 We will draw our Year of Celebrations of 170 years of Presence and Mission to a close at our Parish Feast of St Nicholas of Tolentino on Sunday 8th September, with a special Mass of Rededication at 10am. It will be followed by a multi-cultural meal and much singing and dancing in thanksgiving for both our history and our future as a parish of Mission. PLEASE KEEP THIS VERY SPECIAL DAY FREE AND BOOK IT INTO YOUR DIARY.

PARISH PILGRIMAGE TO HARVINGTON HALL – Saturday 12th October As part of our 170th Year celebrations it was planned that there would be a day pilgrimage. So on October 12th we plan to go to Harvington Hall in Worcestershire (about 90 minutes drive by car). This house is over 500 years old and where for 200 years of persecution Mass was secretly celebrated. Two of our martyrs – St John Wall (priest) and St Nicholas Owen (carpenter) are closely associated with this place – the latter constructing a least six “priests’ hiding holes” – where a priest would hide when the building was being searched for evidence of Catholic practices, which for those years were illegal and punishable by death. It is a beautiful place that played an important part in the survival of the Catholic Faith in England and Wales during those dark times. We wish to honour not only the martyrs of our land but also the martyrs of all our countries of origin – eg The Uganda Martyrs, the El Salvador Martyrs, the Congolese martyrs – and to pray for our persecuted sisters and brothers today. If we were to go by coach it would cost £25 per person – we are proposing to organise cars which would keep the cut down to £10 per person. Ten cars could take 40 people. Any thoughts? Any volunteers?

SVP TRIP TO WESTON-SUPER-MARE – Date Thursday 19 September 2019
The Annual Free Trip to Weston has been organised and a 35 seater coach has been booked. Please see Minette or one of the SVP members (or the list in the porch) to book your place. 1st pick up is on Muller road at 10:00am; 2nd pick up at Sevier Street at 10:15 am; 3rd pick up 10:30am at St Nicholas of Tolentine.  Return from Corpus Christi Church at 6:00pm. Please bring a packed lunch.

EMMAUS GROUP – A NEW INITIATIVE IN ST NICKS Our new support group every Tuesday at 7pm in the New Room of the Assisi Centre. The group is at the same time every Tuesday of the year and offers a safe place for people to come and talk about the issues which are affecting them and listen to others. The group supports those with low mood, lack of self-esteem and anxiety as well as those struggling with, for example, bereavement, isolation, guilt, serious illness and relationship issues. Confidentiality is assured. For more information contact Robert on 07767 706 163 or robertvh@hotmail.co.uk. Or, just come along.

MONTHLY DAY OF ADORATION    It is a very special grace for our parish community, empowering our mission, that we can hold ON THE FIRST MODAY OF THE MONTH (except for Bank Holidays when Second Monday) these ‘Days of Adoration’. Thank you to all who have been able to commit themselves ‘to watch one hour’ with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. It is vital that we know that two people will be there for each hour of Adoration through the day. And of course all are invited to come for a while for the quiet prayer of Adoration at any time from 10am to 4.00pm – just drop in … to the silence of God’s loving! It is certainly our hope eventually to extend this to a weekly Day of Adoration.

A NEW DIOCESAN INITIATIVE – ‘CURIAL CONFERENCE’ Sept 7th This is a day of workshops for those who volunteer in the parish or the diocese in areas of Parish Administration and Catechesis – and for those interested in supporting the parish in these ways. Why is it called ‘Curial Conference’ – the ‘Diocesan Curia’ is made of all those Departments in the diocese that support the work of mission, education and finance (and other areas!) in our parishes and our diocese as a whole. The Curial Offices are in our parish – at Alexander House in Pennywell Road. The day will be at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College on Saturday September 7th – times to be confirmed. If you are unsure whether this day is for you or not – please consult Richard, or Robert (in Parish Office).

SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION WITH OUR YOUNG PEOPLE We are calling all young people the age of 13 years and over who have not yet been Confirmed to a first ‘Come and See’ Meeting on Friday 13th September at 5.30pm at the Assisi Centre. While we encourage our young people to take this step of deeper commitment to Christ we want to remind their parents that it must be the young person’s own decision, not that of his or her parents. I am delighted also to announce that Bishop Declan has agreed to come to St Nicks to celebrate Confirmation with us on Sunday 23rd February at 10am Mass. I and our catechists look forward to meeting with and working with our young people towards this very important step in their lives.

BORDERLANDS NEWS      A number of things to report:
[1] The Trustees of the Charity decided to ‘redefine’ the Charity as formally a Christian Charity, and wished a formal link with the parish into the future – two trustees from the parish community with membership of the Parish Pastoral Council. This was agreed by the Parish Pastoral Council. In fact four current members of the PPC are Trustees – Richard, Margaret Ulloa, Mary Hopper, Andrew Bent – and additionally John Patrick Njau also sits on the Borderlands Board.
[2] Staff changes:  Congratulations to our Mentoring Manager (on maternity leave) who has just given birth to her first child. A gifted person will soon take up her pst for one year (maternity leave cover). Two Assistant Drop-in managers have been appointed. April, our director for the past two years, is leaving us to do very important research work in the inter-connection of climate change, migration and the hardening of national borders against refugees. We will miss April and value the great work she has done, but also recognise the very specialist work she is commissioned to do, so timely for our age.

A three day Vocations Discernment Retreat organised by Clifton Diocese and Downside Abbey for Catholics aged 18 to 35 years old, will be held at Downside from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th October, 2019. The talks during the Retreat will consider all vocations; the consecrated life; priesthood; and lay life. Speakers include Sr. Elizabeth Mary Mann, Fr. Nicholas Crowe OP, Prof. Gavin D’Costa and Fr. Colin Mason, the newly appointed Director of Vocations for Clifton Diocese. The residential cost with all meals included is £50 in shared accommodation in a Retreat House or £70 in an en-suite twin room in the Monastery Guest Wing. The non-residential cost with all meals included is £40. No one should feel unwelcome if they cannot meet these costs, so please discuss this with the organiser.  For more information and to book please contact the organiser rinabird@outlook.com Your Parish Priest has the full programme should you wish to see it. The last Discernment Retreat attracted nearly 40 young Catholics who found the weekend hugely beneficial, so do please join us!

SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST IMMIGRATION DETENTION   I shared at the Catholic Migrant Forum meeting recently our & Borderlands’ concerns and experience in supporting parishioners who have been detained. Bishop Paul McAleenan, Bishop with Responsibility for Migrants has been taking action on this, including writing to a number of MPs asking them to support the introduction of a time limit on immigration detention, and following up on this he has created an e-action which helps people write to their MPs on this issue, which you can access at http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/immigration-detention – you can also see the accompanying press release at http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/Home/News/Immigration-Detention . This follows a number of visits to centres made by Bishop Paul as well as public interventions on this issue, and conversations with the different chaplains to centres & other organisations who support people in detention. Please everyone, write to your MPs – at this time 85 MPs have backed an amendment to the Immigration and Social Security Bill (you can see the list of MPs who have supported it here). It would also be really useful to hear about the experiences you are seeing so they can inform the interventions Bishop Paul makes.

The teenager Greta Thunberg said: “It is still not too late to act. It will take a far-reaching vision, it will take courage, it will take fierce, fierce determination to act now, to lay the foundations where we may not know all the details about how to shape the ceiling. In other words, it will take cathedral thinking. I ask you to please wake up and make change possible.”
David Attenborough said “ We need to fall in love again with the earth”
Pope Francis said “ God of Love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth” and “teach us to care for our common home.”
Our children and young people took to the streets of Bristol to demonstrate and challenge our generation to not just speak, BUT ALSO TO ACT – DECISIVELY – NOW!

CALLING ALL EU (European Union) CITIZENS – ALL WHO HAVE EU PASSPORTS    At a meeting in London this past week of Catholic Migrant Officers (and European national chaplains) from around England and Wales (sponsored by the Bishops’ Conference), we examined the arrangements for all EU citizens (those holding EU passports, including their children born in UK) after ‘Brexit’. Although clearly there is now doubt about ‘Brexit’, nevertheless it is vitally important that those concerned (which includes for instance people from Latin America holding Spanish passport and from Angola, East Timor etc holding Portuguese passports) understand the steps they need to take if they wish to remain in UK after 31st December 2020. It is relatively simple in most cases, but you must apply to the ‘EU Settlement Scheme’ from April 2019 and before end of June 2021. We are going to explore how our parish community can support our sisters and brothers in applying for Permanent Settled Status. Meanwhile, for more information visit:  www.gov.uk/eu-settled-status

ARE YOU STRUGGLING AFTER AN ABORTION EXPERIENCE?  Do you know where to turn – who could help you? I hope as a parish community we are open and caring and healing in a way that you could entrust your pain to us. But also (and very importantly) there is an organisation that could help you – British Victims of Abortion. Call them on their helpline 0845-603-8501 between 7pm and 10pm seven evenings a week.

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. If this affects you in any way, please see the posters and leaflets in the church porch from ‘carerstrust’ – helpline: 01179652200; email carersline@carerssupportcentre.org.uk  or visit their website www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk – and also let us know how we as a parish community can help.

SCRIPTURE SHARING GROUP I would like to encourage regular participation in this group so that we can deepen our love for and understanding of the Sacred Scriptures. It would be ideal for all Lay Readers and Lay Ministers of the Eucharist, as well as Children’s Liturgy leaders. In this Year 170 this would be an excellent way of sharing together and deepening our faith, rooted in the Bible. In the Diocesan Year of Prayer – come and discover the Bible as our first and greatest ‘prayer book’! Every Tuesday after 6.00pm Mass.