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5TH Sunday of Lent (A)

As we approach the Feast of the Resurrection, Our Gospel today is the account of the Raising of Lazarus. Jesus was close to the family of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. He had visited them on various occasions but when Jesus received a ‘sick call’ from the family, he did not respond immediately. He did not arrive until after the death of Lazarus. Many would have thought that this was too late. Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days when Jesus arrived. This gave Jesus the opportunity to bring somebody back from the dead. Before Jesus performed this sign, the sisters expressed their faith in Jesus. Martha had said ’I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’ So often when a profound profession of faith is made in the Gospels such as this, something important follows. Lazarus came out of the tomb. This was a great moment for Martha and Mary, and indeed for Lazarus himself, but many others came to believe in Jesus because of this.


We are now entering the most solemn period in the Church’s year - the season of Passiontide. We focus even more intently on the love that Jesus showed for us by offering his life and suffering pain, humiliation and rejection. So that we may focus more on Jesus, the statues are covered and there are no votive candles. The candles are not lit again until we celebrate Jesus’ rising from the dead at Easter. A time of light and new life.


There will be a session for candidates on Wednesday at 7:00pm in the Parish Centre.


The new Parish Council meet on Thursday at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre.


Next Sunday is Palm Sunday and the Sunday Masses will start in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre with the blessing of Palms followed by a procession to the church. At the Saturday evening Mass palms will be blessed in the church. For the recitation of the Passion according to St Matthew, you are invited to take the part of the crowd, marked ‘C’ in the booklets.


If you did not do so last week, please take a card giving the times of services for Holy Week and Easter.

Please note that confessions will be heard after Masses on Monday to Wednesday and between 10:30 and 11am on Maundy, Thursday and Holy Saturday.

Please note that there is no 6.30pm Mass on Holy Saturday, 8th April. The Easter Vigil starts at 8:30am and will include adult baptisms. We will be renewing our baptismal promises at this Mass and on Easter Sunday morning.


This Friday Stations of the Cross takes place here at the Annunciation at 7pm


If you did not collect your box of offertory envelopes last week, please do so after Mass today. If you would prefer to pay by standing order, use one of the leaflets on the table at the back of the church. Similarly, if you are able to Gift Aid your donation, please use this form. Thank you.

Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal

There is a box near Our Lady’s altar for contributions to this appeal as well as envelopes on which you can Gift Aid your contribution. Funds raised this year will be shared between Marriage and Family Life, Youth and Evangelisation, The Education Service and Caritas Westminster. If you prefer you can use the QR code to make your donation on line. Thank you for your generosity.


Caritas Social Action Network, in partnership with St John of God Hospitaller Services, an international Catholic charity with many services for the vulnerable in the UK and Ireland, are matching Ukrainian people displaced by the brutal war in their country with people in the Catholic community willing to host them in their homes for six months. If you have room in your home and in your heart to consider welcoming a stranger displaced by war, then we’d love to hear from you. Please visit for more information.


This takes place from 21st to 28th July. Please see the Tangney Tours poster in the church for details and ask one of the priests for an application form if you are interested in going.


Altar Servers’ rehearsals for the Easter Triduum are as follows:

MAUNDY THURSDAY Rehearsal on Wednesday 5th April at 4.30pm

GOOD FRIDAY Rehearsal on Friday 7th April at 12.15pm

HOLY SATURDAY Rehearsal on Saturday 8th April at


On Wednesday, 17th May. there will be an Open Evening at St James, Spanish Place, for any men interested in learning about or discerning a vocation to the priesthood. The regular evening Mass at 6pm will be followed by a gathering in the social centre for a short presentation, informal conversations and refreshments. Do come and join us if you can. The nearest tube stations are Bond Street and Baker Street.


The Defibrillator has now been installed at the back of the church on the wall to the left of the Sacred Heart Statue (now covered).

Flower Arranging

We are very grateful to those who arrange the flowers in the church. However, we do need more flower arrangers to join the rota. No experience is required. If you would like to help, please speak to Emilia or one of the priests.


There will be a preparation session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised this afternoon (Sunday) at 4pm in the church.


Annual Mass of Thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Matrimony Westminster Cathedral, Saturday 13th May 2023 at 2:30pm.

The Cardinal is inviting to this Mass all couples in the Diocese, who are celebrating their 5th 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th (and every year over 60) wedding anniversary of Catholic marriage in 2023. If you are celebrating an anniversary, please give your parish clergy the following details: husband and wife’s names, wedding date, full postal address and email (or telephone number, if no email).

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. Thank you

Lenten Taizé Prayers

In Notre Dame de France (French Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX) at 19:30 25th March 2023. A time of prayer with Taizé chants, scripture and silence in the heart of London. All are welcome!


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