Highlights of the Week

Below are a few interesting news items from this week’s Bulletin.  To download the full version of our latest Bulletin,  please go to our Bulletin pageThank you.



                              Boast in the Cross of Jesus Christ

Disciples are called – then sent to raise high the Cross of Christ before the gaze of the world. For the Cross is Love’s Victory of hatred, Forgiveness for all brutality, Life overwhelming all that is death.
Like Paul, we have no other message, for the Cross of Christ is our Life, our Way and our Truth. It is healing for the broken, mercy for the sinner, hope for the dying, love for the despairing, meaning for the searching.
The Cross is heaven stooping down to earth, humanity being raised to the Divine, all peoples being gathered into a remarkable unity as we gaze upon Him, the One we have pierced, the One who is all merciful and forgiving, all healing and loving.
The Cross is not to be an ornament round our necks, but the power of love in our hearts and the Gospel of Peace on our lips.  So lift high the Cross and boast only of the sacrificial love of Jesus we find upon It!

JOSEPH MEIGH’S ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD Bishop Declan will ordain Joe to the priesthood in our Cathedral at 11.00am on Saturday 9th July. Many of you may remember that about three years ago Joe on a month’s placement in St Nicks as part of his training. If you would like to share in his Ordination, know that you are invited! I will be attending the Mass.

NEW PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL MEETS FOR THE FIRST TIME     The twelve people you nominated now form our PPC and meet on Tuesday 5th July at 7.15pm – I hope all the councillors will make every effort (work and families permitting) to attend the Mass of the Holy Spirit at 6.30pm prior to the meeting. Can I remind everyone that there is a ‘ideas and suggestions’ box in the porch so that everyone’s voices can be heard b y your PPC – please do use it. It is one small part of committing ourselves to being a ‘Synodal’ Parish, listening to one another, walking together so that we can hear what the Spirit is saying to our parish through each one among us.
The Twelve are as follows: Debo Ademuyewo, Marta Bolognani, Jacqueline Chenier, Christopher Chipato, Reagan D’Mello, David Maggs, Jennine Oldis, Eneyi Pemu, Mairead Samuel, Eustace Tameh, Ashley Tardivo, Margaret Ulloa. Ex-Officio members are Richard McKay (parish priest), Mary Hopper (pastoral assistant/catechesis co-ordinator), Andrew Bent (trainee deacon).

CHRISTIAN RAINBOW SERVICE FOR BRISTOL PRIDE    There will be an ecumenical service to celebrate and support the LGBT+ community at John Wesley’s New Room on Saturday 9th July at 10am. After the service people can stand outside and give witness to the march to the Downs as it goes past, or join the march behind the Christians at Bristol Pride banner.

DIOCESAN GLASTONBURY PILGRIMAGE – Sunday July 10th All are invited to participate in the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Glastonbury. This year’s theme is: Mary, Queen of Peace, asking Mary’s intercession to bring and end to war and conflict, especially (but not exclusively) in Ukraine. There will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the Shrine (parish) church from 12noon to 3.00pm; also the Sacrament of Reconciliation and private Healing Prayer  are offered in two separate tents also 12noon-3.00pm; the Rosary procession at 2.15pm and Mass at 3.30pm. I am, sure our parish will be represented. HOWEVER, BECAUSE THIS IS ALSO OUR PARISH FIRST EUCHARIST SUNDAY THERE WILL NOT BE A COACH ORGANISED, SO PLEASE MAKE YOUR OWN WAY THERE AND BACK – THANK YOU.

Bernadette was this poor sick child to whom Mary appeared at the Grotto in Lourdes and who brought to the Church the message of Repentance, Prayer and Healing. Since then millions go on pilgrimage to Lourdes and find peace and joy. On Saturday 10th September, her relics will be brought to Clifton Cathedral this one day – a one day Lourdes Pilgrimage will take place here in our Cathedral, with Mass, Rosary, Anointing for Healing, a Torchlight procession etc. More details of the timetable of events will be published later.

ST CHARLES DE FOUCAULD was canonised in May. He was French and lived in Africa for many years seeking to be a Christian presence and brother to the Moslems among whom he lived. He was killed in 1916. His prayer of abandonment is now well-known. A number of priests of our diocese belong to a Jesus Caritas group which is inspired by him. Please visit http://www.jesuscaritas.info/jcd/fr/node/755 for a timeline of his life. There will be a Mass at the Immaculate Conception, Stroud celebrating the canonisation on Wednesday 13th July at 2:00pm when many of the priests from the group hope to be present, along with some from other groups around the country. All are welcome to this Mass.

MISSION MASSES Blessed Pauline Jericot was declared ‘Blessed‘ a few weeks ago. She was the foundress of the Association for the Propagation of the Faith, which is part of Missio. Please visit https://missio.org.uk/pauline/ for more information about her. There will be a Mass to celebrate the beatification and the ongoing work of Missio, on Tuesday 12th July at 7:00pm at Sacred Heart, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, when Bishop Declan will preside.


IS GOD CALLING YOU TO FOSTER OR ADOPT A CHILD? 109 children are taken ‘into Care’ each day in this country! 109 children everyday looking for security, for a home where they can belong and thrive. Also there is an increase in the number of unaccompanied child refugees arriving in this country (which will increase with the Afghan Exodus). I know from my own personal experience how important adoption is to give a child a new start in life. Many children are from the BAME community and there is a great need for more fostering and adoptive families from these diverse ethnicities. Could God be calling you, your family, to this healing vocation for a child in care? Contact CCS Adoption (tel: 0117 935 0005 or email info@ccsadoption.org) or ‘Home for Good’

(clare.walker@homeforgood.org.uk )

CAFOD – The paradox of abundance    Over 800 million people go hungry each day. Yet the world produces over 4 billion tons of food and we only need 3.7 billion tons to feed everyone. From all this food produced, a third is wasted. St John Paul II called this ‘the paradox of abundance.’ Clearly the currently global food system is not working. But as Pope Francis said, “Each of us has a role to play in transforming food systems for the benefit of people and the planet.” Let’s respond to his call! CAFOD’s new campaign is called Fix the Food System. See www.cafod.org.uk/food for more information, including an invitation for parish groups to learn about the impact of our food with our Fix the Food System: a 7-station journey resource.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:   [1] To help Carol Strainge with re-opening and running our ‘Repository Shop’ in the Parish Hall during refreshments after Mass on Sundays. It will involve setting up, ordering items, occasional stock-taking etc. For information please contact Richard and Carol as soon as possible

CALLING YOUNG PEOPLE 18+ – WORLD DAY OF YOUTH WITH POPE FRANCIS   Special Youth Pilgrimage to Lisbon 31 July to 8 August 2023
World Youth Day will next take place in Lisbon in 2023. The Diocesan Department for Adult Education and Evangelisation is organising an eight-day pilgrimage from July 31 to August 8, 2023 for young adults [18-35] in our diocese. The provisional plan is to spend six nights in Lisbon and two nights in Fatima. There will be formation sessions for the group before the pilgrimage to build community and support one another in our faith journey. If you are interested in learning more about the Clifton Diocese World Youth Day 2023 Pilgrimage, and will be at least 18 years old on 1st April 2023, please register your interest at World Youth Day 2023 | Clifton Diocese. Simon and Jason will hold three information sessions about the Department for Adult Education and Evangelisation World Youth Day 2023 Pilgrimage in Lisbon. These information sessions will provide information about both the pilgrimage itself and the formation series leading up to the pilgrimage. We invite any young adults to join, even if you are unsure of whether you want to go on the WYD Pilgrimage. The dates for the sessions are: Tuesday June 7th, Thursday June 9th, Wednesday  June 15th  all at 7:00pm
To sign up for one of the sessions, please email wyd2023@cliftondiocese.com and let us know which session you would like to attend. If you will be 18 by April 2023 but are not yet, please let us know so we can send a simple consent form.
Richard writes – I hope some of our young people will want to take up this remarkable opportunity. The estimated cost is for the 8 day pilgrimage is £1200. As a parish we will support fundraising efforts towards the cost as we do not want any young person who wants to go to be stopped because of the cost.

CALLING YOUNG PEOPLE TO FLAME 2023 As youth ministry “rebuilds” after the pandemic we hope this is an exciting prospect – something to aim for, and give hope, as young people (and all of us) get used to socialising again.
The theme of Flame 2023 – which is exactly 150 days before World Youth Day in Lisbon – takes the WYD Scripture (“Mary arose and went in haste”) and crystallises it into the theme, “Rise Up!” Rise up after the pandemic, Rise up as young Catholics, Rise up – as Mary did – for the surprising and beautiful adventure that is our Catholic faith.  Learn more about Flame 2023 at FLAME – CYMFed
This year, Clifton Diocese has booked tickets and a coach for 50 people.  If you’re interested in booking a ticket through and traveling with the diocese, please send an email to youth@cliftondiocese.com.

Now Accepting Contactless Donations
You will find our new DIGITAL COLLECTION PLATE, contactless terminal in the church. Just use your contactless debit/credit card or smart phone/ device to make a donation.
Simply choose the amount you wish to donate andhold your card onto the reader.
You can also opt-in for Gift Aid to increase your donation by 25%. If you are a UK taxpayer then donating with Gift Aid means that we can claim an extra 25p for every £1 received.
Contactless donations are simple to administer, secure and convenient.

LGBT+ MINISTRY John Flannery writes: It is clear from the parish Synod Report that the Clifton diocese LGBT+ ministry hosted by St Nick’s has many friends and allies within the parish. If you would like to be kept informed about our activities, and news and events from the wider LGBT+ Catholic world, please consider subscribing to our monthly e-mail news and update. Simply send a message with ‘subscribe’ as the subject to: inclusionforall@cliftondiocese.com Your data will not be shared & you can unsubscribe at any time

We have an urgent need for people (young adults and parents?) to offer to help with our Catechetical Programmes – preparing our children for First Eucharist and First Reconciliation, our young people for Confirmation and parents for the baptism of their children. There is also a grave need for help on a rota basis with our Children’s Liturgy of the Word (during Sunday Mass) that we would like to restart, but do not have enough people to do so.  These ministries are a vital part of forming our children and young people to grow as People of Faith and Love – essential to the future of the Church and our parish. If you feel you can help with these programmes please contact Mary Hopper as soon as possible.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE IN HOSPITAL:    Can I remind everyone that when a Catholic goes into hospital, the patient or their family MUST request a visit from the Catholic Chaplain – data protection and confidentiality rules in hospitals prohibit the passing on of information to chaplaincies otherwise. The Chaplain will not know of your presence in hospital and cannot visit a patient without the patient’s prior request and permission.

RETURNING TO SUNDAY MASS The Bishops of England and Wales have issued a statement reminding us all that we need to come together as a community of love around the Table of the Word and the Table of the Eucharist in our churches. While watching live-streamed Mass helps us when we are truly unable to come to mass (because of essential work or caring for the sick or our vulnerability to illness or because of age and frailty), it must not become an easy alternative to coming together and sharing together as a community of Mission the Living Word and the Body and Blood of Christ in the Mass. Now is the time to return to Mass in church unless serious issues prevent us.  

SCRIPTURE SHARING GROUP    We meet on Fridays at 5.30-6.30pm: come & share reflections, questions, insights on the Scripture Readings used at Mass on the following Sunday: ideal for all of us, but especially for Lay Readers Ministers of the Eucharist, and Catechists. Contact John Flannery (email: j.flannery@btinternet.com) for the Zoom link. 

POPE FRANCIS ON HEALING THE PLANET  ‘Laudato si’, o mi Signore’ (Praise be to you, my Lord). In the words of this beautiful canticle, St Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us : ‘Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruits with coloured flowers and herbs’. This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of all with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most maltreated of our poor; she ‘groans in travail’


Loving God, we praise Your name with all you have created.
You are present in the whole universe, and in the smallest of creatures.
We acknowledge the responsibilities you have placed upon us
as loving stewards of Your creation.                                                                                   We know we are called to live in a communion of love and justice
with all the creatures of the Earth, with the forests, seas and land.
We are called to purify and protect the air we breathe, the water we drink.

May the Holy Spirit inspire us all
to embrace the changes needed to heal our Common Home, the Earth.
Give courage and wisdom to political leaders to fulfil their promises
and take decisive action to care for the Earth                                                                     and bring true justice and equality to the poorest and most vulnerable.                                                                                  Guide us to commit our and all nations to the care of our Common Home.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son…AMEN!

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!

                      PARISH PRAYER FOR THE SYNOD

We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name.

You are the wisdom that guides us,
You, are the love that unites us
You are the divine energy that empowers us.

Come, lead us into all Truth liberating us
to become Your Church, the sacrament of God’s Loving for our 21st Century world.

Come speak to your Church through the voices of the silenced, the hurting, the wounded.
Come so that we may listen with love to unfamiliar voices for through them You speak
healing and hope to the People of God, renewing and reforming us in love.

Teach us the way we must go, what we must change
Show us new ways to be Your Church
and make this Journey of Synod Your own!

All this we ask of You,
who are at work in every place, person and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen. 

POPE FRANCIS BEGINS THE TWO YEAR GLOBAL ‘SYNOD’ This weekend marks one of the most important moments in the history of the Modern Church, as Pope Francis inaugurates the Two Year Global Synod to serve the renewal and the reform of the church in our time. For the first time since the early Church, all God’s People are called to speak their voice and help shape decisions that will affect the whole Church and its future development. That this takes place on the Feast of St John Henry Newman is significant, for with prophetic vision and open mind and heart he wrote famously ‘On Consulting the Laity on Matters of Doctrine’.  WE ARE ALL CALLED TO BE INVOLVED AND HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO SPEAK OUR VOICES. 

POPE FRANCIS WRITES: “Breakthrough comes about as a gift of dialogue, when people trust each other and humbly seek the good together, and are willing to learn from each another in a mutual exchange of gifts. This is an ‘overflow’ of love, breaking the banks that confined our thinking and causes to p[our forth answers that formerly we could not see. As Pope I want to encourage such ‘overflows’ by reinvigorating the ancient practice of ‘Synod’. The term comes from Greek and means ‘walking together’ and its goal is to recognise, honour, and reconcile differences on a higher plane where the best of each can be retained: differences are expressed and polished until you reach, if not consensus, a harmony that holds all together. Therein lies its beauty: the harmony that results can be complex, rich and unexpected. In the Church the One who brings about harmony is the Holy Spirit.”

POPE FRANCIS ON NUCLER WEAPONS Pope Francis stated the following last November: ‘Now is the time to affirm not only the immorality of the use of nuclear weapons, but the immorality of their possession…  genuinely concerned by the catastrophic humanitarian effects of any employment of nuclear devices and the risk of accidental detonation as a result of any kind of error, the threat of their use, as well as their very possession, is to be firmly condemned. They exist in the service of a mentality of fear.’

URGENT APPEAL FOR BAME BLOOD DONORS The NHS has issued an urgent call for more Black people to give blood to meet increasing demand for Black African, Black Caribbean or mixed ethnicity donors. Some 16,000 new donors from these ethnic groups must be recruited this year as demand rises for life-saving transfusions for people with sickle cell disease, according to the health service. Sickle cell is the fastest growing genetic disorder in the UK, affecting 15,000 people with around 300 babies born with the blood disorder each year; the illness can cause organ failure, stroke or loss of vision, sometimes even leading to death. The disorder is more common in Black people and, as such, people from this ethnic group are more likely to have the rare blood sub-group Ro that many Black sickle cell patients need. The Church strongly encourages blood donation as a life-saving gift to others. PLEASE CONSIDER BECOMING A BLOOD DONOR – ONE PINT OF BLOOD CAN SAFE UP TO THREE LIVES! To become a blood donor today, register today and book and appointment by visiting www.blood.co.uk, downloading the GiveBloodNHS app or calling 0300 123 23 23.


‘The Bible says that whoever finds a friend has found a treasure. I would like to invite everyone to go beyond their groups of friends and build social friendship, which is so necessary for living together well.
We especially need to have a renewed encounter with the most impoverished and vulnerable, those on the peripheries. And we need to distance ourselves from populisms that exploit the anguish of the people without providing solutions, proposing a mystique that solves nothing.
We must flee from social enmity which only destroys, and leave “polarization” behind.
And this isn’t always easy, especially today when part of our politics, society and media are bent on creating enemies so as to defeat them in a game of power.
Dialogue is the path to seeing reality in a new way, so we can live with passion the challenges we face in constructing the common good.
Let us pray that, in social, economic, and political situations of conflict, we may be courageous and passionate architects of dialogue and friendship, men and women who always hold out a helping hand, and may no spaces of enmity and war remain.’ Pope Francis

MEN AND WOMEN EQUAL IN MINISTRY   There are many charisms and ministries in the Body of Christ – each one of us, young and old, male and female, lay and clergy, and whatever our gender identity – all of us are ‘beloved children of the Father’, each of us is gifted by the Holy Spirit to serve, to proclaim, to build the missionary Body of the Christ and to transform the world. In our parish we are moving towards a parish community led and served by predominantly lay ministry, served and supported by the ordained ministry of deacons and a part-time (non-resident) priest. We are committed as a parish to promote, empower and train many different forms of ministry. The ministry of women and men are equally valued, the ministry of lay people and ordained deacons and priest are equally valued. All of us over 40 years old have almost certainly grown up in a church that has neglected and minimised the ministries of lay people. We are still in a clergy (and therefore male) dominated church and this has caused major problems while being unfaithful to the New Testament. Some ministries are denied to women (and not just ordained ministries) … therefore there is an urgent need to enable voices of women to be heard, their gifts to be recognised and their ministries to be released, for the good of the whole Church and its Mission and witness.  This is to correct the imbalance and injustice that has been the norm for centuries. Please do not interpret this as diminishing or demeaning the ministries of our brothers. We are all called to work together for the Kingdom as equal partners in the Lord’s work.

YEAR OF ST JOSEPH         150 years ago Pope Pius IX declared St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church (St Nicholas of Tolentino was regarded in this role for many centuries before). Pope Francis, to celebrate the anniversary, has appointed 2021 as the Year of St Joseph. Francis highlights Joseph as a role model as ‘a beloved, tender father … one who welcomes the will of God … a creatively, courageous father, example of love … a father who teaches the value, dignity and joy of work .. a father “in the shadows” centred on Mary and Jesus … a man of prayer.’ Highlights of Pope Francis’s teaching on St Joseph (together with the Litany of St Joseph and Pope Francis’s prayer) are available after Mass with the Newsletter or can be downloaded from the parish Website (Home Page).

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE IN HOSPITAL:     Can I remind everyone that when a Catholic goes into hospital, the patient or their family MUST request a visit from the Catholic Chaplain – data protection and confidentiality rules in hospitals prohibit the passing on of information to chaplaincies otherwise. The Chaplain will not know of your presence in hospital and cannot visit a patient without the patient’s prior request and permission.

TALKING AND LISTENING GROUP – the group now runs every Thursday from 4pm to 5.30pm and offers a safe place for people to come and talk about the issues which are effecting 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. One to one sessions over the phone or social media are available. Confidentiality is assured. For more information contact Robert on 07767 706 163 or robertvh@hotmail.co.uk. Or, just come along.

CLIFTON DIOCESAN NEWSLETTER   Sign-up for this useful round-up of news, views, events and other information from around our diocese.  It is easy to do, just go to our website www.cliftondiocese.com, click on the newsletter icon and register your email address.

WHAT IS THE COVENANT WITH THE POOR?    In preparation for the great Millenium of year 2000 the Bishops of England and Wales asked every parish to draw up and make a ‘Covenant with the Poor’. As part of our parish’s Covenant we pledged to pray regularly for Justice & Peace, to serve the homeless and poor who come in increasing numbers to  our extensive Food Bank and the Wild Goose Café and to encourage parishioners to volunteer time and energy to work in the Food Bank and the Wild Goose Café; and also to give non-perishable food (especially rice, pasta, tinned fruit and tomatoes, tinned fish and meat etc) and/or money (in special envelopes) to be used for the poor. This food and money goes to support our ministry among the poor of our area. During Lockdown this as greatly expanded and very many people inn Bristol are supporting us, in addition to our parishioners. We also founded and developed our Borderlands Charity (‘from exclusion to belonging’) to serve our asylum & refugee community that has remained serving throughout the periods of Lockdown. In normal times, the Offertory Procession at Mass regularly sees gifts to be shared with the poor and vulnerable, carried to the Altar (restoring the ancient meaning of the Offertory Procession). So the Covenant with the Poor that we renew solemnly at each Patronal Feast of St Nicholas of Tolentino (early September) has continued to grow and develop and as such has shaped the life, mission and witness of our parish community. The development of the ministry of the Parish Office has enabled us to develop our ‘Option for the Poor’ in obedience to the Gospel Let us praise God for such rich grace and love poured out upon our community, and though our community to many in their need.

LOVE THE CHRIST OF THE POOR – WORDS OF ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM   “Would you honour the Body of Christ? Do not despise His nakedness; do not honour him here in church clothed in silk vestments and then pass him by unclothed and frozen outside. Remember that He who said ‘This is my Body’ also said ‘You saw me hungry and gave me no food’. I am insisting that nothing can take the place of care for the poor. What use is it to adorn the altar with gold cloths and deny Christ a coat for his back? He would be outraged!”

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE GRATEFUL TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY MADE STANDING ORDERS IN FAVOUR OF THE PARISH – WE ARE NOT ABLE YET TO NOTIFY YOU IN OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER OF THE SUM GIVEN AS OFFERTORY BUT WILL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Please find ways of continuing to support our parish with your offerings (perhaps by making a Standing Order, GiftAided if possible – details from Robert at the Parish Office) – we are supporting so many people as those unemployment are increasing in at this time. THANK TO ALL WHO HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING OUR FOOD BANK WITH DONATIONS OF FOOD OR MONEY.

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.