Highlights of the Week

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK!
Below are a few interesting news items from the weekly Bulletin.  To download the full version of our latest Bulletin,  please go to our Bulletin pageThank you.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK            
Jesus’ Dream - the Kingdom!

One person’s wheat is another person’s weed! After all the Pharisees looked so good, keeping all the rules, never missing their prayers or Temple or synagogue services - yet Jesus says, I do not know you! But of the prostitute who weeps and wails over his feet, washing them with her tears and hair to everyone’s embarrassment (except Jesus of course!), He says ‘She must have loved much!’
So like He says in the parable do not rush to pull up the weeds, to cast out the sinful ones - do not be too quick to judge, because love has many disguises, and some forms of ‘goodness’ and ‘righteousness’ are counterfeit - shallow imitations of the real thing. But God is never fooled, for He sees to the heart of the matter - the heart of the person, the heart of the Church. There can be found traces of His radical and universal loving, His endless forgiveness - the signs of the the Kingdom! The Dream!


JOURNEY OF FAITH 
  We have concluded this year’s Journey of Faith meetings but will have our ‘Come and See’ meeting for the new 2017-2018 Journey of Faith on Friday 1st September at 6.30pm. Who will you encourage to come and see what being a Catholic Christian means? Or come for a renewal of faith? Or seek Baptism and/or Confirmation

CONFIRMATION 2018 - A CALL TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE    We will gather a group of young people (over 13 years) wishing to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation (provisionally to be celebrated around April/May 2018). All names to Mary Hopper or Fr Richard as soon as possible, please. A first meeting (prior to the course) in September. 

‘A FUTURE OF HOPE’ - THREE PROGRAMME FOR THE DIOCESE    Our Bishop working with others has developed a three programme of formation and inspiration so that we as a diocese and as parishes can respond to the challenges that lie ahead of us. We are called to learn to share responsibility, clergy, religious and laity, for decision-making, pastoral care and leadership, spiritual growth and mission, so that our parishes will thrive and grow as the number of priests serving us declines further. This programme will begin in Advent 2017, and linked with the Gospels of our Sunday Mass - Year One Mark’s Gospel (Mission); Year Two Luke’s Gospel (Prayer); Year Three Matthew’s Gospel (Community). There will be a special Diocesan meeting in October and the launch of the Programme in November. We as a parish have already begun to explore many f these issues and have much to learn from as well as much to share with our diocesan family. 

BORDERLANDS WELCOMES A NEW DIRECTOR    As Chair of our Borderlands Charity, I am delighted to announce that a new Director has been appointed. He is Simon Tyler who has held very responsible positions in the organisation ‘Medecins sans Frontiere’ - which brings medical care into the most acute situations in our world - famine, war zones, refugee camps etc. He has worked in Sudan, Syria, Myanmar (formerly Burma) among other places. He has such a wealth of experience and it is a privilege to welcome him among us to help us develop Borderlands in a new phase of growth. He begins his work with us on Monday 1st August.

CENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF BL OSCAR ROMERO - MARTYR & BISHOP    One hundred years ago this year, Oscar Romero was born on 15th August (the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady). In 1982, after three years of courageous ministry as Archbishop of San Salvador, defending the poor and seeking peace in war-torn and oppressed El Salvador, he was murdered while offering Mass by the dictatorship that ruled the country at that time. None of those who ordered the killing have been brought to justice, though the Supreme Court of El Salvador has just this year overturned the Amnesty that the corrupt government of that time declared to protect itself. There will be a special Diocesan Mass of celebration to mark the Centenary of Bl Oscar Romero’s birth (and pray that his canonisation will be soon) on Friday 18th August at 7.30pm here at St Nicks. Come and be inspired by the life, death and resurrection of this remarkable and courageous Bishop, Pastor and Prophet.

‘THE ART OF DYING WELL’ - LAUNCH OF CATHOLIC WEBSITE    This is a new website set up by our bishops that offers help to those grappling with issues around death and dying. Based on the Catholic tradition but open to all, it features real-life stories about dealing with the journey through death to eternal life. It was launched last November - the traditional month of remembering and praying for the dead. www.artofdyingwell.org

PRAY FOR THE HEALING OF THE PLANET

Now that President Trump is attempting to wreck the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, leading US to ignore the security of future generations - we very much need to continue to pray that the nations that committed themselves oppose Trump, remain true to their word and bring about the changes needed to be 'merciful' to 'our common home':

 “O God of love, teach us to care for this world our common home. 

Inspire all political leaders and the peoples of all the nations to listen to and heed the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. 

Let us be united in heart and mind in responding and acting courageously.

May we seek the common good and protect the beautiful earthly garden you have created for us, for all our brothers and sisters, for all generations to come. Amen!"


PRAY FOR THE CHRISTIANS OF IRAQ, SYRIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

Lord, the plight of our country
is deep and the suffering of the Christians
is heavy and frightening us,
therefore we ask you Lord
to assure our lives, grant us patience and courage
to continue to witness our Christian values with trust and hope.
Lord, peace is the base of any life; give us peace and stability
to live with each other without fear, anxiety,
with dignity and joy, glory to you forever.

Archbishop Louis Raphael I Sako,  Chaldean Catholic Patriarch

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Watch over the people of Iraq who have been forced to flee their homes
and face violence and fear.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Lead them to a place of safety, comfort those who grieve
and bring healing to those in pain.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Convert the hearts of those who commit violence and wage war.
Turn them away from persecution towards peace.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Turn hatred to understanding, and anger to compassion.
Through your love, transform horror into hope.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

And fill us all with your Spirit so that with one voice, throughout the world,
we may cry out:

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us…              Catherine Gorman/CAFOD