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Takehomenews Sunday 27 June 2021

Fr Colin writes:

On Tuesday we celebrate the Feast of St Peter and St Paul. It is one of the few Holy Days left when we were obliged to attend Mass. Some of the other Holy Days are now always celebrated on Sundays. The Masses at the Annunciation Church will be at 9am and 7.30pm and there will a Mass for the Annunciation school at, but this will be livestreamed for anybody to watch.

The Feast of St Peter and St Paul is a day to celebrate our belonging to the Church as we reflect on its beginnings and two saints who provided the foundation. Their faith was inspirational and yet we know that they had their weaknesses. Paul was a one-time persecutor of the Church but he more than made up for this by becoming its greatest missionary. The weaknesses of Peter are highlighted in the Gospel yet he became the Rock on which the church was built. We are well aware of our weakness but this should not prevent us from being builders of God’s kingdom. An apostle is one who is sent on a particular mission. Although Paul was not one of the 12 Apostles, he certainly called himself an apostle. My first parish as a priest was dedicated to the Holy Apostles where we had an altar frontal claiming 'We are the Apostles of Today’. And so, we are. We don’t need to leave our locality to fulfil that apostolic role. Each of us in a big or small way can be apostles as we build up God’s kingdom by our example, our encouragement, our advice and faith.

Fr Colin.

Josephine Howard RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of JOSEPHINE HOWARD of Colchester Road, whose Funeral Mass will take place on Wednesday at 12 noon. Attendance at the Mass is at the invitation of the family but it is being livestreamed.

Parish Council

The Parish Council meet at 7.45pm on Thursday in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre.

Our Lady’s Grotto

Some lead has fallen from the roof of the confessionals in our Lady’s Grotto area. We have cordoned off the area, awaiting repair work to be done. However, it is still possible to pray immediately in front of Our Lady’s statue.

It is here that we plan to replace the long benches which are not safe with shorter benches which can be dedicated to parishioners. If you would like to contribute to a bench in memory of someone, please let us know. It will obviously take a month or two to get this in place.

Peter’s Pence

The annual collection for Peter’s Pence takes place next weekend. This is a world-wide collection to assist charities supported by the Vatican.

First Communion Programme

There will be a session for children in group A and B both today (27th June) and next Sunday (4th July) at 9.15 in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre.

13th Sunday of Year (B)

In our Gospel today, Jesus teaches us how to use the three Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. Virtues are good – positive attributes that we should cultivate in our lives. They provide for us a platform in our behaviour that forms us into the good people of God.

Jesus, is always showing us how we should cultivate our lives in the service of the Gospel. Jesus offers for our faith today in the healing of Jairus’ daughter a sign and prefigurement of the resurrection of the dead as well as his own Resurrection which we call Hope. Hope in the life to come when we can give total praise to God by being in his presence.

In today’s Gospel Jesus also teaches us about Charity: when he tells Jairus to have faith and believe; and when he instructs the people, who witnessed the miracle of the girl’s restoration to life, to provide her with some food.

Our Faith in God is also augmented by today’s Gospel through Jesus’ teaching and actions – that great things beyond our human abilities can happen in the shape of miracles when we have faith in God – faith in Jesus and faith in the Holy Spirit.

With Faith, we believe in the One Triune God, by putting all our trust in Him, the one who loves each of us the most. With faith we try to do what God tells us to do. By believing in God we feel secure in him because we know God loves us. We do not need to be afraid. Together with him the best in us can be brought out.

Our Hope in God is our knowledge of his love which has no end. (1 Cor 13:8). God has no end and we too are made for eternity – the eternity of our Salvation – our existence when all earthly things pass away and we enter into God’s great glory. Our hope is of what is to come and Jesus shows us this in the resurrection of the daughter of Jairus as a sign of life after death.

The virtue of Charity comes in many different ways through our actions. Jesus, in the gospel today teaches us about the acts of charity – which we call the Acts of Mercy. As Catholics we split these acts of mercy into two categories: Corporal Works of Mercy and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy are - 1) to feed the hungry; 2) to give water to the thirsty; 3) to clothe the naked; 4) to shelter the homeless; 5) to visit the sick; 6) to visit the imprisoned; and 7) to bury the dead.

The 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy are – 1) to instruct the ignorant; 2) to counsel the doubtful; 3) to admonish sinners; 4) to bear patiently with those who wrong us; 5) to forgive offenses; 6) to comfort the afflicted and 7) to pray for the living and the dead.

Some of these works of Mercy we presently are not able to action because of the covid19 pandemic restrictions, but that does not mean we should ignore them and or forget about them, as there is always a way of being charitable. One of the ways we can be supportive of others is of course by supporting food banks – where the hungry are fed. Take some time this week to pray through these acts of mercy and see if there are any that you are able to add to your existing charitable works. Fr David

Meeting for New Altar Servers

We are blessed with excellent servers in our parish who give faithful service throughout the year, but we are always on the lookout for other parishioners who would like to join our ‘team’. The ministry of Altar Server is open to all who have received their First Holy Communion and demonstrate a wish to uphold the aims and objectives of the Guild of St Stephen.

If anyone who meets the requirements is interested in becoming an Altar Server, they are invited to attend a meeting in the church on Saturday 3rd July at 11.00am. All under 16s must be accompanied to the meeting by a parent/carer.

Feast Days This Week

Monday - St Irenaeus, the writings of St. Irenaeus entitle him to a high place among the fathers of the Church, for they not only laid the foundations of Christian theology but, by exposing and refuting the errors of the Gnostics, they delivered the Catholic Faith from the real danger of the doctrines of those heretics.

He was probably born about the year 125, in one of those maritime provinces of Asia Minor where the memory of the apostles was still cherished and where Christians were numerous. He was most influenced by St. Polycarp who had known the apostles or their immediate disciples

Tuesday - St Peter & St Paul (see ‘Fr Colin writes’)

Thursday - Dedication of Westminster Cathedral—With the laying of the foundation stone in June 1895, the Cathedral was dedicated to The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to his Blessed Mother, his Foster Father St Joseph and St Peter, his Vicar. There are secondary patrons, also: St Augustine and all British saints, St Patrick and all saints of Ireland. These dedications provide a meditation in themselves and are reflected in features of the Cathedral such as the pelican feeding her young with the blood of her own body (an ancient symbol of Christ selflessly nourishing redeemed humanity), the great crucifix that hangs between the nave and the sanctuary, and the side chapels, many of which honour patron saints.

Saturday– St. Thomas, was born a Jew and was called to be one of the twelve Apostles. His birth and death dates are unknown, but his feast day is celebrated July 3. He lived before the formal establishment of the Catholic Church but is recognized as the patron saint of architects. He was a dedicated but impetuous follower of Christ. When Jesus said He was returning to Judea to visit His sick friend Lazarus, Thomas immediately exhorted the other Apostles to accompany Him on the trip which involved certain danger and possible death because of the mounting hostility of the authorities.

Food Bank for the Community

Non—perishable food is required for the foodbank, please leave your donations in the marked box in the church porch. This will run for 4 weeks and resume in September.


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