Third Sunday of Lent
The message from today’s Gospel is to use the opportunities given to us to produce fruit. Like the fig tree which failed to produce fruit, it was given one more chance. Our opportunity is this Lent, when we can respond to the encouragement from Pope Francis to spread the Gospel with joy and show mercy to one another in response to God’s great mercy for us.
Lenten Alms Appeal-Caritas Westminster
Lent is a time for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Prayer draws us closer to the Lord. Fasting helps us to remember those who are forced to fast because of their poverty. Our almsgiving is both a sign of our care for those in need, and an expression of our gratitude to God for his gifts to us. What better way to tie in the meaning of Lent than to put oneself in the shoes of the poor and to give alms to help them?
Our 2016 Lenten Alms appeal will be in support of Caritas Westminster, the official social outreach arm of the Diocese of Westminster. Caritas Westminster works across our Diocese, throughout London and Hertfordshire, enabling and co-ordinating parish communities to find practical solutions that address a variety of local social needs, including rough sleeping, food poverty, human trafficking, youth employability and loneliness.
Over the next three weeks our parish will take up a second collection in support of Caritas Westminster. As you leave Mass today please take a Caritas Donation Leaflet, which contains a donation envelope. You can also get more information about Caritas Westminster (and make a donation online) at www.rcdow.org.uk/caritas.
Bishop John Sherrington
Next Sunday we welcome to the parish Bishop John Sherrington, now Bishop in North London. He will celebrate the three morning Masses.
Thanks From S.P.U.C
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has written to thank us for our White Flower Appeal Collection held on 10th January. A total of £328.44 was raised.
Feast of the Annunciation
Our Parish Feast Day, the Annunciation, has been transferred this year to Monday 4th April. At the 7.30 Mass that evening we would like to celebrate the international composition of our parish with readings and hymns in different languages. This will be followed by a reception in the Parish Centre to which we invite you to bring along an international dish. We invite you to come along to a planning meeting on Thursday 3rd March at 7.30pm in the Dominic Room in the Parish Centre. In the meantime, any ideas or offers of participation would be welcome. Thank you.
There will be a preparation session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised on Sunday 13th March at 4pm in the Dominic Room. Application forms can be collected from the sacristy.
The Confirmation candidates have their next session on Wednesday 2nd March at 7pm in the Parish Centre.
First Communion Programme
There will be a meeting for First Communion parents on Tuesday at 7.45pm in the Parish Centre. Next Sunday the children will have a session at 9.15am in the Parish Centre.
As part of the Year of Mercy, the Diocese is arranging a Pilgrimage to Walsingham on Saturday 9th July. At this early stage, we would like to know numbers of people interested. We will then decide whether to book a coach for the parish or share with another parish. We don’t know the cost yet, but could be in the region of £20-£25. If you are interested, please put your name and phone number on the sheet at the back of the church.
Year of Mercy Pilgrimage - To the Holy Land
Cardinal Vincent will lead the 6th Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. 4-12th November. Price £1495 per person sharing: £320single supplement. Full board. Contact Gil Didino at Tangney Tours for a booking form. Gill@tangney-tours.com; 01732886666.
Lift Up Your Hearts
Copies of this Lenten meditation are available in the porch. They can be used individually or in groups. The groups which will be meeting are:
Wednesdays 11am Dominic Room, Parish Centre
Sheelagh Benson’s Group Contact 0208 952 0016
Vince Randall’s Group Contact 0208 952 6994
A Day with the Lord
On Friday we are having Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 9.30am until 6.30pm. This is in response to Pope Francis’ request that we should spend a day in prayer during Lent. Please do come along for a time during the day.
Thank you to those who have signed up for half-hour watching periods. Exposition will conclude with Benediction at 6.30pm and Stations of the Cross will follow at 7pm.
Thank You From Fr Henry
Fr Henry has written to us from his parish in Kiwoko, Uganda, to thank us for our response to his mission appeals. He says that the project for the pit latrines is now complete and has sent us also a photograph of the now completed Priests House. The photographs can be seen on the notice board at the back of the church.
Deborah Lodge Mass
The monthly Mass at Deborah Lodge is on Friday at 3pm.
Sacrament of Matrimony Thanksgiving Mass
This takes place in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 14th May at 3pm. Cardinal Vincent Nichols invites to this Mass all couples in the diocese who are celebrating their 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th (and every year over 60) wedding anniversary of Catholic Marriage in 2016. If you are celebrating an anniversary, please give Fr Colin the following details:- husband and wife’s names, wedding date, full postal address and either a telephone number or e-mail.
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy:
Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope;
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
To thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy towards us;
And after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary
WATCH THIS SPACE-J.D.S
Joe staggered home very late after another evening with his drinking pals. He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife Betty. He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs but misjudged the bottom step. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump. A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing very painful. Managing not to yell, Joe sprung up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his butt cheeks were cut and bleeding. He managed to find a full box of sticky plasters and began putting a plaster on each place he saw blood. He hid the empty plaster box and stumbled his way to bed. More next week………………...