6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) (11th February)
Leprosy was a frightening disease. In modern times it has become a disease that can be cured medically. In Jesus’ time, this was not the case. Anyone with leprosy had to be separated from everybody else as it was so contagious. There were leper colonies where all those with the disease would suffer and try to survive together. So for Jesus to be approached by a leper seeking healing was a significant moment. To touch somebody with leprosy normally meant you would catch the disease yourself, but Jesus did not hesitate to touch him and then cure him. This episode is a lesson to us about trying to approach the outcasts of today, not necessarily those who are suffering with a disease.
Ash Wednesday (14th February)
As we start Lent when we are encouraged to pray, to fast and to give alms, the Gospel encourages us to do so cheerfully, without making a fuss or putting on gloomy looks. In fact we should be joyful as we have been given this opportunity to remind ourselves of our role as ambassadors of Christ. Jesus has offered up his life for us on the Cross. We can show our gratitude during this season of Lent, a time to get closer to the Lord and encourage others to do the same. Masses on Ash Wednesday are at 9am and 7.30pm. It is a day of fasting and abstinence.
First Sunday of Lent (18th February)
We recall how Jesus was tempted by the devil in the 40 days he spent in the wilderness before starting his public ministry. We too will face temptations during our Lenten journey. Jesus emerged from the wilderness to start his preaching with the message ‘Repent and believe the Good News.’ This is a message we should have on our mind during the season of Lent.
There is a Pastoral Letter from Cardinal Vincent Nichols which will be read at Masses on the weekend of 10/11th February.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Josephine D’Cunha whose funeral Mass will be on Thursday 15th February at 11am. This will be in addition to the 9am Mass. Also please pray for Michael John Ivory of Cressingham Rd. There will be a Memorial Mass on Tuesday 20th February at 3.30pm following his cremation.
Shared Lunch & Parish A.G.M.
Today (11th Feb) we are having a shared lunch at 1.15pm in the Parish Centre on this final Sunday before Lent. The Parish Annual General Meeting will follow at about 2pm.. Everyone is welcome to either or both events.
This newsletter covers two weeks. The next Takehomenews will be on 25th February.
We need to plan our Lenten activities. Here are a few suggestions:
Attending a daily Mass gives us an excellent way to come closer to Christ. Mass is at 9am here on Tuesdays to Fridays and on Mondays at 7.30am, enabling you to be on the tube by 8am if you are going to work.
Making the Stations of the Cross brings us a closer reminder of what Jesus endured to bring us the forgiveness of our sins. The church is open all day to make the stations individually. We make the Stations together on Friday evenings at 7pm. On 16th February, they take place here at the Annunciation, on 23rd February, they will be at St Alphage in Montrose Ave.
The prayer and discussion booklet for this Lent is entitled ‘We Adore You O Christ and We Praise You.’ It explores the Gifts of the Holy Eucharist over six sessions. You can use the booklet individually or join one of the discussion groups:
Sheelagh Benson’s Group
Vince Randall’s group
0208 952 6994
Copies of ‘Walk With Me’ are also available in the porch. They give daily meditations throughout Lent.
There will be a Lenten Alms Box by Our Lady’s Altar. Money raised supports innovative programmes in Family Life, Youth and Civic Society. The funds allow the Church to have a renewed impact in these areas. There will be donation envelopes and leaflets available which explains more about the appeal.
The Confirmation candidates will be enrolled into the Confirmation Programme during the 12 Noon Mass (11th Feb). The next session for candidates will be on Wednesday 21st February at 7pm in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre.
First Communion Programme
The First Communion children take part in a Celebration Mass at 10.30 today, 11th February.
The next session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised will be on Sunday 18th March at 4pm in the Dominic Room.
Planned Giving Campaign
On the weekend of 24th/25th February, we start a 3-week Planned Giving Campaign. On that weekend we will be issuing a leaflet and Fr Colin will be speaking at all Masses about the campaign. On the following weekend, a member of the Finance Committee will speak and on the weekend of 10/11th March we will invite you to complete a form, either requesting planned giving envelopes or making a standing order. Please bear with us as we get this under way. New boxes of envelopes will be available on the weekend of 17th/18th March.
The Spring edition of Four:12's Family Quiz Night will be on Friday 16th of February 2018 in the Parish Hall. Doors open at 7pm. £6/adult & £3/child (under16).Book your places after weekend masses or email Four12.firstname.lastname@example.org. Fish and chips will be served.
CAFOD Family Fast Day
Family Fast Day is on Friday 23rd February. Envelopes will be available on 18th February to be returned on 25th February:
‘With malnutrition still killing almost three million children a year, your fasting, prayers and donations will ensure more of God’s children have enough good food to eat. And this Lent, your donation will make double the difference. For every pound you donate to CAFOD, the UK Government will also donate a pound, up to a total of £5 million, meaning twice the number of lives can be transformed. Twice the number of children can have the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong.’
Cardinal’s Mass of Thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Matrimony
The Cardinal will be inviting to Westminster Cathedral, Saturday 19th May at 3pm, 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 2018. 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). Closing date is Sunday 18th March.
WATCH THIS SPACE—J.D.S
A young man went into a department store and asked the sales assistant, “Do you sell potato clocks?” “I’m sorry sir,” she replied “I’ve near heard of such a thing. We sell digital clocks, alarm clocks, cuckoo clocks even grandfather clocks, but what exactly is a potato clock?” “I don’t know either,” replied the young man, “but I start my new job at nine tomorrow, and my wife said to me “You’d better get a potato clock.”