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.

THOUGHT FOR THE FEAST OF ST NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINO

                          LOVER OF GOD, LOVER OF THE POOR

St Nicholas, lover of children, born like Samuel, Samson and John the Baptist of barren parents, the gift of God and his parents gift to God.
St Nicholas, who learnt to break bread with the poor long before he learnt to break the Bread of the Eucharist – risking his future in obedience to the God of the Poor and disobeying the voices of those who knew not the poor man of Nazareth.
St Nicholas, man of prayer who entered Love’s silence in order the proclaim Love’s Saving Word.
St Nicholas, vessel of God’s healing love, from whom healing and life flowed in all abundance, raising the dead, healing the wounds, setting free.
St Nicholas, God’s compassion to the prisoner, God’s protector and rescuer of the prostitute, listening with an gentle heart and open mind.
St Nicholas, reaching in praying love beyond the bridge of death, holding the Departed in the purifying love of God.
St Nicholas, inspirer of our mission, healer of our wounds pray for us!

THOUGHT FOR THE TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

                           Forgive as you re forgiven; forgive as God forgives! The
secret of inner freedom and peace

Jesus comes looking for the strayed, the wounded, the outcast, the rejected – to bring them home to the Father’s love and mercy which is inexhaustible. In bringing us home to God He brings us home to our real selves. The Church is called to be that home of unconditional love and endless mercy that flings wide open its heart to all the Earth’s children. The question remains: am I that kind of person, are we that kind of Church?

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!”

LIVE-STREAMING OF MASS FROM THE CHURCH The cameras, internet links and other infrastructure to enable live-streaming of Mass and other events in the Church have been installed and training of volunteers to operate the system has been achieved (more volunteers welcome as we can train them). All live-streaming of Mass and other events from the church will be through the Parish Website on the page entitled ‘St Nick’s live-streamed Mass’. Just click onto the link you will find there. We anticipate live-streaming each Sunday Mass and any other all parish services in Church and one weekday Mass. In addition, other prayer and reflections, talks etc will normally continue to be live-streamed from the Presbytery Prayer Room on the Parish Face Book Page.

THE SEASON OF CREATION BEGINS 1st SEPTEMBER to 4th OCTOBER   It is five years since Pope Francis published his ground-breaking development of Catholic Social Teaching – his Encyclical Letter ‘Laudato Si’ on Global warming and its links to justice for the poor of the world. As a parish we have expressed our support by erecting our ‘Stations of Creation’ and composing our Service ‘the Way of Creation’ based on St Francis of Assisi’s ‘Canticle of the Creatures’ and Pope Francis Encyclical. But prayer in our church is not enough! We need to put this teaching into practice in our individual, family and parish lives. Some parishioners are training to be ‘Laudato Si Animators’ and we need to explore with them in the coming weeks and months how we can develop real solid responses to ‘care for our common home’.  The Covid Pandemic is an immediate global crisis, but Global Warming is long-term crisis of far greater proportions threatening millions of lives which demand immediate action or future generations will suffer mercilessly. WE MUST ACT TOGETHER AS WELL AS PRAY TOGETHER!

‘ST NICHOLAS BREAD’ FOODBANK OPENS Many thanks indeed to all who are supporting in any way the food bank and the 500 people a week who receive food. We re-open on Monday 14th Sept, operate from 10am to 1.00pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, to ensure long term sustainability, and to enable the FoodBank to continue serving impoverished families and individuals. This is part of our parish’s ‘Covenant with the Poor’, inspired by the Gospel & St Nicholas of Tolentino. Volunteers please note: each shift begins at 9.00am prompt to accept deliveries etc.

STARTING SCHOOL?   If you have a child born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017, then now is the time to apply for a place at a primary school for admission from September 2021 onwards. You must complete an application form that is available from the school admissions team of Bristol City Council (unless you are living in parts of North Bristol covered by S Gloucestershire Council or the Kingswood area covered by Bath and North East Somerset Council). If your child has been baptised and you are applying for a Catholic school, you must also provide a copy of the baptism certificate to the school. Please ensure you apply by the closing date of 15 January 2021.

COULD YOU BE A SCHOOL GOVERNOR? The Diocese is seeking to recruit people to serve on school governing bodies. If you believe in Catholic education, have enthusiasm and commitment, then you can make a valuable contribution to the governing body of a Catholic school. It also provides the opportunity to use your life/work skills and experience, for the benefit of the children in our schools. If you think you could serve as a Foundation Governor then please contact bill.mcentee@cliftondiocese.com or  07710094976 for more information – he would be delighted to hear from you.

WORLD-WIDE MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER: online experience for marriage enrichment!
Marriage Encounter are excited to announce a new online experience for marriage enrichment. For the past 50 years Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering marriage enrichment retreats all around the world. Focused on couples who want to enrich their relationship and gain a deeper understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage, it offers a unique experience to explore your relationship at a deeper, more intimate level, regardless of how long you have been together. During the Coronavirus pandemic our residential retreats have had to be cancelled so we are reaching out to couples who want to deepen their relationship by offering a newly energised video conferenced retreat. The next Marriage Encounter Online Experience is 26 & 27 September 2020, why not find out more at www.wwme.org.uk or contact us on 0845 260 2016.

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.’

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.

PRAYER FOR THE CHRISTIANS OF THE MIDDLE EAST, THE HORN OF AFRICA AND INDIAN SUBCONTINENT 

 “Heavenly Father, we pray today for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East.
By your heavenly grace, strengthen the faith and hope of Eastern Christians.
May they be blessed with peace and prosperity in their lands.
And may we be inspired by their devotion and witness to the Gospel,
by their love and compassion for all in their communities,
and by their courage, their endurance and self-sacrifice against oppression.
Through their charity, tolerance and friendship, bring peace and reconciliation
to those troubled lands, where Christianity was born and first spread.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC – A CALL TO PRAYER AND CARE Please take a copy of the prayers issues by our Bishops and use it daily in your own homes – support the sick, all medical staff caring for them, those caring in our nursing and elderly people’s homes and countries without our sophisticated health service. Let us all care for the vulnerable in our neighbourhoods, especially those who are self-isolating? Prayer and Care.

CALL TO ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
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!

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.