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 FIFTH Sunday of the Year      

Jesus knows where the fish are even more than the experts! That is why our mission must always be guided by His Holy Spirit, not only empowering but also directing and leading. After all – it is His Mission, which he entrusts to us. Experts will give us schemes and programmes promising the world! Jesus will give us hearts and minds sensitive the Spirit’s presence and promptings, and lead us to a humility in our mission that will live with a grateful heart. 

And Jesus is in Simon Peter’s boat – Jesus entrusts Himself, His Word, His Mission to us, His Church. While we and the Church have many failings (let us be humble and honest!), we have the rich treasure of His presence and His Gospel that He sends us to proclaim!

HEALING MASS FOR WORLD DAY OF THE SICK – FRIDAY FEBRUARY 15th   Come to this special Healing Mass for the World Day of the Sick in this Diocesan Year of Prayer here at St Nicks on Friday 15th February at 7.30pm. To offer or receive Healing Prayer is a very special experience, as Jesus touches another with healing love through you (or to you through another). Jesus’ Word of Healing is an event of transformation as we pray with and care for the sick and housebound, the troubled and anguished. We become the Father’s Mercy reaching into the wounds of humanity with wine of compassion & peace. Come yourself and bring others to Healing Prayer in the name of Jesus and let Him change you!

BISHOP COMES TO CELEBRATE 170 YEARS OF MISSION HERE   I am delighted to announce that Bishop Declan will preside at a Mass of Thanksgiving and Recommitment on the occasion of our 170th Anniversary Year on Tuesday 26th February 2019 at 7.00pm. We will be inviting many from around the diocese to join us for this important celebration. We are asking for help with catering after the Mass – finger food (with different cultural flavours!). Also participation from children and from our various cultural communities during the mass and after. CAN WE ALL MAKE A VERY SPECIAL EFFORT to keep this evening free and come, welcoming our guests (especially our Bishop) and recommit ourselves as a parish community to future years of presence and mission here in Bristol.  

More than a year ago our Parish Pastoral Council wrote to Bishop Declan suggesting that somewhere in the diocese there should be a regular Mass celebrated at which the Gay community (LGBT+ means ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Trans-sexual’) can experience welcome rather than rejection, acceptance rather than judgement. A number of bishops in England have authorised such Masses, taking a lead from Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster (who has supported such a Mass in London for some years). After some prayer, reflection and discussion, Bishop Declan has agreed to this proposal and asked St Nicks (because of our reputation as a welcoming community) to host such Masses and develop a ministry among the Gay community. As your Parish Pastoral Council we realise that for some, perhaps many, in our community this is a very challenging development and perhaps hard to understand. So many of us have been brought up to judge and condemn those whose sexual orientation is different from most of us. So before we begin celebrating such Masses (the first will be on Sunday 17th March at 3.00pm) we want to give everyone the opportunity to discuss this development, ask their questions, speak their voice and be heard in a mutually respectful way. So there will be an open meeting after Mass on Sunday 10th February beginning around 12.45pm. Do come to both speak and to listen.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND MODERN SLAVERY – A NEW MISSION!   A very big thank you to all who worked so hard in the planning and arranging of this very special Day or our parish and for the diocese. There is a report of the Day on our parish website. But what became so clear both on the day and in the reflections at our weekday Masses afterwards, that the plight of 40 MILLION enslaved people world-wide and possible 140,000 in UK – this is the call of Jesus Christ (who died a slave’s death on the Cross) – a call to us to open our eyes and see, open our ears and hear, open our hearts and love! AND ACT DECISIVELY to combat this trade in human misery and ‘set free the captives’ among us. This is part of our mission as a Church and as a parish. I will be inviting people to come together to discuss how we can develop this Mission of freedom, this ‘Jubilee Mission’.

JOURNEY OF FAITH    We continue the Journey of Faith meetings each Friday 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?

 FROM COMMITTEE 170The Committee has cancelled the proposed Pancake Day event due to lack of support. We are seeking to organise a number of events – but we do need more support from the parish community. Too much is being asked of too few people! PLEASE COME FORWARD AND OFFER TO HELP, ESPECIALLY WITH ORGANISING SOCIAL EVENTS, OR WITH CATERING AFTER SOME OF OUR LITURGICAL EVENTS. So there will be a short meeting for all willing to help in some way on Sunday 24th February after Mass at about 12.30pm – please give some time and energy this 170th year! 

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

WE NEED MORE volunteers from our parish to support this important part of our Mission We are hosting our homeless sisters and brothers each Wednesday from 20th Feb to 27th March. Three shifts each night: Evening 5.30-10pm / Overnight 9.30pm – 7.00am / Morning 6.30-9.30am. For all volunteers, it is very important that you attend training – cannot volunteer without this training – for your good and our guests! CONTACT ASHLEY TARDIVO (07584375049) or ashleytardivo@gmail.com

COME & LEARN MORE ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING & MODERN SLAVERY A special 170 training event on 6th January in Parish Hall 6.30pm (refreshments) for 7.00-9.00pm – an issue for us all to become aware of and to act!

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.


HELP NEEDED FOR MONTHLY ‘DEEP CLEAN’ OF THE WILD GOOSE CAFE With Marie Kondo mania sweeping the nation, we thought now would be a good time to ask: Do you feel inspired to deep clean the Wild Goose on a Tuesday morning? We’re looking for two church teams of six to eight people who’d be happy to give up their Tuesday morning once a month for a spot of deep cleaning. If you’d like to help, please contact Steve Smith at steve.smith@crisis-centre.org.uk  The question Marie would ask is, of course, ‘Does it spark joy?’ Well, we think that helping provide a clean and welcoming place for homeless people in our community might do just that. Contact Steve.