From the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord the Church now prepares to celebrate the coming of the Paraclete, the Advocate who came down upon the disciples of the Church at Pentecost. The Bishop's Conference has produced these resources to assist us in the days ahead as we approach the Birth of the Church and the end of the Easter Season on 23rd May.
In the parish we are praying each day to receive the Spirit anew:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
Today we are asked to pray for our brothers and sisters of the churches in the east, remembering that from these ancient churches, our Catholic faith first came. Many of these church communities are now small and suffer from hardship and persecution, living under the threat of war and oppression.
Please pray for them today and perhaps use this prayer:
Heavenly Father, we pray today for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East. By your heavenly grace, strengthen the faith and hope of Eastern Christians. May they be blessed with peace and prosperity in their countries. May we be inspired by their devotion and witness to the Gospel, by their love and compassion for all in their communities, and by their courage, their endurance and self-sacrifice. Through their charity, tolerance and friendship, bring peace and reconciliation to those troubled lands, where Christianity was born and first spread. This we ask of you through Christ our Lord. Amen.
For more information about prayer for and supporting the Eastern Christian Churches see www.facecharity.org
The great gift of Jesus is that he calls us friends. He is the one who offers the invitation to friendship with him which is real and founded upon love. So often we can think we are the ones who choose friendship with God, but it's the other way around. Once we discover this truth it can be easier to respond. Today let us consider the signs of this friendship in our lives. We can ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen this friendship and help us to reveal it by the way in which we live out the Lord's commandment of friendship. "Love one another as I have loved you."
As Pope Francis invites us to take part in a prayer marathon this May by reciting the Rosary each day or part of the prayer of the Rosary for the intention of an end to the Pandemic, we have invited you to create a May Altar at home and to share your photos with us. Here are the first two photos we have received. Thank you Margo and Jeanne. Please email your photo to the parish email@example.com
Pope Francis has asked for the month of May to be devoted to prayer for an end to the Pandemic through the intercession of Our Lady and the Prayer of the Holy Rosary. the Holy Father has invited 30 Marian shrines across the world to lead this prayer each day. Today, May 1st the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham will begin this prayer at 6pm united with Pope Francis and Catholics across the world. The particular intention this evening will be for the faithful departed. You can join in the recitation of the rosary from Walsingham this evening via the Shrine's YouTube live stream.
Journey in Faith - Sadly, for the second year running, we have been unable to baptise or receive adult members into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. With restrictions beginning to lift we intend to begin a programme of enquiry and preparation for any one interested in the Catholic Faith and those who may be seeking Baptism or reception into full communion with the Catholic Church. This programme will take us on a journey of faith until next Easter.
We hope we can begin on Monday 7th June. Do you know anyone who has expressed such an interest? Are you interested yourself? Might there be somebody you could approach and welcome? Start thinking and praying!
Get in touch by phone, email or after Mass to find out more.