Takehomenews Sunday 11th July 2021
Fr Colin writes:
As I write this, we are still uncertain on when and how the COVID restrictions will be eased. We are uncertain where we can take a summer break. As far as the church is concerned, we will presumably get guidance from the bishops as to what we can and cannot do. It would be good if we were able to accommodate everybody in the church rather than have some standing outside. The stewards continue to do a great job guiding everyone and sanitising everywhere after Mass. There will still be a role for stewards to principally welcome parishioners, if they are not required in other capacities. We would hope to open up the Parish Centre sometime in September, but we will have to wait and see what is recommended. It may be that there will be restrictions on numbers and equipment we will need to purchase. As soon as we receive instructions we will let you know once we have worked out how we need to adapt our own situation. We need to be patient.
Normally we would have applications for next year’s First Holy Communion programme by now. We have decided to wait until autumn before we work out the programme and have applications available. This would apply for children in Year 2, moving to Year 3 in September.
It is intended that applications for Confirmation will be available towards the end of the year, ready to start the programme in the New Year. Fr Colin.
Today is Sea Sunday, when the Church prays for all those who live and work at sea. Today’s second collection is for Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea), the Catholic Church’s official maritime welfare agency. It supports seafarers both practically and spiritually.
As a global maritime charity, Stella Maris has been playing a crucial role in supporting seafarers and fishers during the COVID_19 pandemic, and is continuing to offer spiritual and practical help to those most in need. It has been well-documented how India has been struggling with a devastating second wave of coronavirus. Thousands have been dying on the streets as hospitals there find themselves running out of oxygen.
Now, though, more than 1,000 Indian seafarers’ families affected by COVID-19 pandemic will benefit from support in the port of Cochin.
Through Stella Maris’s involvement, 10 oxygenators are being purchased. This will prevent an estimated 60 lives a month being lost to the virus, amid a drastic shortage of oxygen tanks in hospitals.
With the charity and its donors’ support, 1,100 food parcels are also being purchased and distributed to seafarers’ families in Cochin devastated by COVID-19. Each parcel is sufficient to feed a family of five for one month.
15th Sunday of Year B
In the homily last Sunday, I talked about the transformative prayer of St. Ignatius: The Examin Prayer – where we reflect on the day just gone through 5 steps: 1) Gratitude; 2) Petition; 3) Review; 4) Forgiveness and 5) Renewal.
Where in the last step having reviewed the day giving thanks to God for the day (1), asking for his help (2) for light and strength, we discern where our path and God’s path ran side by side or when we moved away and did out own thing (3), we then ask for the forgives of anything that went wrong and was sinful (4) we then arrive at the last step which gives us a purpose – a set of positive achievements to work towards in the following day. We are renewed through this prayer.
Today in our readings we meet with Amos who shows hesitation and surprise that he is chosen by God as a prophet – after all, he belongs to the lowest of all professions – a shepherd – which his other skill as a tree dresser being a very precarious seasonal farm worker job.
In our second reading St. Paul tells us that we should feel affirmed because we have been given “all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ” because every Christian is called to sanctity from eternity - i.e. before the creation of the world. These verses in our second reading strike at the heart of the Christian vocation – the Christian calling by God, to be invited to a contemplative life in Christ and to love others with the very love of Christ. The Examin prayer promotes this very contemplative prayer life. As we are first given this gift of the Holy Spirit at Baptism and are fully initiated into the Faith at Confirmation – Christ is there in our lives guiding us with every truth from the Cross.
In the Gospel today we are told of the Twelve being sent out in pairs – they are given the authority to continue the work of Christ in the world. Christ, through his love of them has transformed them. They two were people of little or no education and yet Christ called them to work in the vineyard of the Lord. He called them to leave behind the things of this world and to move forward in the knowledge of this love and care. Today we are being called to be more than we might have been. For it is only with the gift of the Holy Spirit – the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we are able to be transformed into the disciples that are needed for today and to become the saints of tomorrow – the pledge of our inheritance as St. Paul puts it. When we are given the total freedom in heaven to make his glory praised.
There are all sorts of pieces of work that we do for the Lord which we might today think of as being out of reach or that we can not do. I know that there were parts of priestly ministry which I thought I would struggle with, but with prayer, God provides me with the grace to achieve and to fulfill his ministry. You might think that being a parent is daunting – but with gift of the child’s Christ like smile, you are hooked and take to parenthood with more confidence and a reference for the love of God in our lives. You might think that education is daunting, but with the grace of God’s will to help you in your studies and the courage to ask for his help through others – you will find that you will achieve more than you had hoped.
So, from small amounts of prayer and praise, which we find in The Examin, comes great things leaps in life which all lead us towards the mystery of Christ’s love for all of us and our ultimate calling to be with the Lord in heaven as his adopted Children.
Amen. Fr David
First Communion Masses
The children in group B will be making their First Holy Communion on Saturday at 2.pm and 3.30pm. There will be a rehearsal on Friday evening at 6.00pm
Foodbank for the community
Non – perishable food is required for the foodbank, please leave your donations in one of the marked boxes in the church porch. This will run for the next 2 weeks and then resume again in September. Many thanks for your contributions to help families in need
There will be a session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised on Sunday 5th September at 4pm in the church.
This Week’s Saint
Thursday -15 July St Bonaventure, Patron Saint of Bowel Disorders, born in Bagnorea in 1221, Saint Bonaventure was baptised John, but received the name Bonaventure when he became a Franciscan at the age of 22. Little is known about his childhood, but we do know that his parents were Giovanni di Fidanza and Maria Ritell. It seems that his father was a physician and a man of means. While Saint Francis died about five years after the saint’s birth, he is credited with healing Bonaventure as a boy of a serious illness.
Saint Bonaventure’s teaching career came to a halt when the Friars elected him to serve as their General Minister. His 17 years of service were not easy as the Order was embroiled in conflicts over the interpretation of poverty. Some friars even ended up in heresy saying that Saint Francis and his community were inaugurating the era of the Holy Spirit which was to replace Jesus, the Church, and Scripture. But because he was a man of prayer and a good administrator, Saint Bonaventure managed to structure the Order through effective legislation. But more importantly, he offered the Friars an organized spirituality based on the vision and insights of Saint Francis. Always a Franciscan at heart and a mystical writer, Bonaventure managed to unite the pastoral, practical aspects of life with the doctrines of the Church. Thus, there is a noticeable warmth to his teachings and writings that make him very appealing.
Shortly before he ended his service as General Minister, Pope Gregory X created him a Cardinal and appointed him bishop of Albano. But a little over a year later, while participating in the Second Council of Lyon, Saint Bonaventure suddenly died on July 15, 1274. There is a theory that he was poisoned.