15 March 2020
3rd Sunday of Lent (A)
Today we have the account of the Samaritan woman at the well who meets Jesus who asks her for a drink of water. This was the start of an encounter which resulted in Jesus showing her that there was a deeper meaning to water, a fuller understanding of the meaning of worship and ultimately a conversion Gradually the woman realised that Jesus was no ordinary Jew. He was the Messiah. The conversion of the Samaritan woman culminated in her telling other Samaritans of her finding of the Messiah. Despite being a woman who had been rejected by her fellow Samaritans because of her marital situation, she had become an instrument in the conversion of many of them. They had discovered the Saviour of the world.
Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal
Our Lenten Alms this year will go the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal, which like last year includes a focus on food poverty. Sadly, more people are turning to foodbanks for help and one new initiative you can support is the opening of school holiday clubs when children can come to prepare and eat a healthy meal. If you have not done so already, please pick up a Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal donation leaflet at the back of the Church for more information. Please read and pray for its aims, and if you can, please give generously. Thank you. Envelopes and other donations can be put in the Lenten Alms box near Our Lady’s altar. You may like to put aside what you save from your Lenten self-denial into this appeal. As a frequent user of my Freedom Pass, I am putting what I save towards the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal.
The Re-dedication of England as Mary’s Dowry
In 1381, in a world of political turmoil, King Richard II, having sought the assistance of Mary, Mother of God, dedicated England to Mary as a gift or ‘dowry’. This year, the Christians of England are invited to offer themselves as a personal gift to her, in one great Re-dedication of England as Mary’s Dowry..…………………The Re-dedication, agreed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in November 2017, is the culmination of a National Dowry Tour undertaken by the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham. The Tour will have taken the Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham to every Catholic English Cathedral promoting prayer through Mary, the message of Walsingham and an understanding of the ancient title of Mary’s Dowry. The final stop of the Dowry Tour will be at Westminster Cathedral from 19th to 22nd March, with a further visit to the Cathedral from 26th to 28th March in preparation for the National Day of Re-dedication on the 29th March 2020.
As a Parish, we are invited to take part in the Re-Dedication in two ways:
1). On the Feast of the Annunciation , our Patronal Feast, Wednesday 25th March, we will make the Angelus Promise together at the 9.00 and at the 7.30PM Masses. The Reception we were going to have will no longer take place.
2). On Sunday 29th March we will make a Communal Entrustment at all Masses. As a community we renew the vows of dedication made to Mary by King Richard II.
There will be a session this afternoon (Sunday) for parents who wish to have their baby baptised at 4.PM in the Dominic Room.
New Planned Giving Envelopes
The new boxes of planned giving envelopes will be available next weekend. Due to Data Protection regulations, we cannot leave the boxes in the church, so please ask one of the helpers at the connecting door into the presbytery after Masses. If you would like to start using envelopes, please put your name and address on a sheet of paper on the table at the back of the church, put it in an envelope and hand it to Fr. Colin or put it through the presbytery letter box. Also on the table will be Standing Order forms and Git Aid forms. Thank you.
Prayer and Life Workshops
These continue Friday evenings at 7.30PM in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre.
Day of Exposition
There will be a day of Exposition on Friday, starting at 9.30AM and concluding with Benediction at 6.30PM. Please sign up for a half hour watching period on the sheet at the back of the church.
Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross takes place here at the Annunciation on Friday at 7PM.
Arrangements for Holy Week
Next weekend a card will be available giving arrangements for Holy Week and Easter services.
First Communion Programme
There will be a meeting for the parents of 1st Communion children on Tuesday at 7.45PM in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre. All parents are asked to attend this meeting. The children have their final session next Sunday at 9.15AM.
Confirmation candidates meet on Wednesday at7.PM in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre.
Year of the Word Scripture Quotes
“The appointed time has been fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has drawn near. Repent, and have faith in the good news.” Mark 1:15
The Lenten Journey to Easter
The Dominican Sisters invite you to a day of prayer and reflection led by Fr Nicholas King SJ at the Niland Centre on Wednesday 18th March. It begins at 10 am and ends with the celebration of Holy Mass at 2.30 pm. Please bring a packed lunch; refreshments provided. Suggested donation £15.
Thanksgiving for Matrimony
The Cardinal invites couples who are celebrating this year their 5th, 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th 60th (and every year over 60) wedding anniversary of Catholic marriage to a Mass of thanksgiving in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 30th May at 3PM. If you are celebrating such an anniversary in 2020 please give Fr. Colin the following details: husband and wife’s names, wedding date, full postal address and email or telephone number. Please submit this information by today.
CAFOD Lent Fast Day Collection
Many thanks for last Sundays Lent Fast Day Collection which amounted to £806.90. If you would still like to make a donation, there are envelopes on the table at the back of the church.
St Patrick’s day items available in the Repository.
Latest Advice Regarding Coronavirus
We have now reached the 2nd stage of the Coronavirus and the Bishops Conference has issued further guidelines which will be implemented with immediate effect. The changes which will affect our parish are as follows:
1. Communion from the chalice is suspended. Hence just one Eucharistic Minister should come forward to assist the priest with the hosts. I suggest the first name on the rota.
2. The host is to be given on the hand only (Not on the tongue). The Eucharistic Minister should put the host in the hand of the recipient in such a way that you do not touch their hands.
3. The Offertory Procession and the Sign of Peace are suspended.
4. The Holy Water has been removed from the entrances to the church.
5. If you are vulnerable (elderly, weak immune systems or long term conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease) please refrain from large parish gatherings and stay at home. You will not be required to fulfil the Sunday obligation.
6. Hymn books and other sheets can help transmit the virus. So hymn books have been withdrawn. Hymn sheets will be available each weekend.. Please take them home with you. Please do not leave at the back of the church or in the pew. Takehomenews means what it says!
7. Please sanitise your hands when you come into church. We have sanitised gel on order.
8. Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.
9. Don’t come to church if you have cold or flu symptoms.
10. The collection boxes will no longer be passed around. Two boxes will be left near the altar, for you to put your weekly envelope or donation. You can do this before Mass, when you come up to Communion or at the end of Mass, Better still would be to contribute by Standing Order. More about that next week.
Many thanks for your co-operation.