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.

THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK            
JESUS - LIGHT OF THE WORLD!

We journey to the Pool of Baptism throughout Lent - journey to cleansing waters, to healing waters, to life-giving waters, to waters that bring us ‘enlightenment’. Many of the Churches of Eastern Tradition still call Baptism ‘the Enlightenment’. That is why the baptised person is given a baptismal candle lit from the Easter Candle of the Resurrection Light! For by living deeply our Baptism (‘living deeply our new life’) we are bearers of Jesus’ light into a world darkened by inhumanity, brutality, war and poverty.
Lent is a journey into the Light of Easter: and this Light of the Gospel Light of the Spirit, Light of Christ will challenge all the dark places that lurk in our hearts. To be ‘enlightened’ is to challenged to change, to be honest, to allow self-reality to dawn: for only the ‘truth sets us free’. Light will always convert us not only into more self-awareness and self-honesty, the only path to holiness, but also will convert us into more ‘otherness’: our lives will become a gift to others, a light that will guide another to the Waters of New Life and Hope of Freedom. Let us too go to the Pool this Easter.

WHAT AND WHY IS LENT?     We have entered this privileged time of personal and community renewal which we call Lent. We join with Christ Jesus’ 40 Days in the desert to journey with Him through the desert of silence and prayer, of deprivation and hunger, of thirst and yearning. Why? To grow to become more like Jesus in generosity of spirit, openness of heart, deeper communion with God, a readiness to give of ourselves to the Mission of the Gospel. These 40 Days express our communion with all catechumens of the Church journeying to the great moment of Baptism (or reception into Full Communion with the Church; these 40 Days are our journey to the renewal of our Baptism at Easter when we say again our ‘YES’ to being plunged into the Mystery of Christ and become truly Christ People, filled with His Spirit and knowing ourselves to be ‘Beloved of the Father’. Let us embrace these most precious days of renewal.

THE HEALING TOUCH OF GOD       The Church is called by the Healing Jesus to be a community of Healing at the heart of the brokenness of our world. Jesus brought the Kingdom of the Father, the reign of Love’s Wholeness and Freedom, breaking into people’s lives through His extensive Ministry of Healing and Liberation. We are a healing community by the quality of our welcome, by the gentleness of our loving, by the courage of our standing alongside each other, by the receptivity of our listening to the pain that struggles to be heard, by the depth of faith and compassion that we bring to our praying with others in their need. The Church’s Healing Ministry is not just about the Sacrament of Healing administered by priests - it is about all of us, the baptised, our faith to expect God to heal, our love in holding the hurting, and the courage of our struggling for peace and for justice in our broken world.

YOUNG PEOPLE - YOUR VOICE MATTERS! – Mega Youth Poll   In 2018, Pope Francis will invite Bishops and others to Rome to talk about Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment. They will discuss how the Catholic Church can accompany young people in their faith and help them to hear God’s call. If you are aged between 13-29 years, the Catholic Church in England and Wales would like wants to hear from you, we want to hear what life is like, your thoughts on faith and how you connect with the Catholic Church. To help you tell us we have created a Youth Poll that you can access using this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/parish-youth-poll or by scanning this QR code with your phone. If you’re not in this age group but would like to help, please encourage the young people you know to respond to this poll by giving them the link or QR code. For queries about the Youth Poll please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

GOD IS CALLING YOU! TO WHAT? THE PRIESTHOOD?   If you want to explore the possibility that God might be calling you to serve him and the world as an ordained priest then why not come along to the Vianney Group that meets monthly on a Tuesday 7.15-9.15pm at St Bernadette’s Church, 731 Wells Road, BS14 9HU. For further information contact Fr Matt Anscombe email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Sadly give the Church’s current position, this meeting is for men only - my prayer is that one day soon the Church will recognise God’s call of women to the ordained priesthood.

FRIDAY LENTEN FAST LUNCHES    Many, many thanks to Una Sorhaindo and Betty Wear who have for years organised our Lenten Friday Fast Lunches. Now we have new volunteers to take over - Danita Williams and Rebecca Ngegba supported by Peter Sorhaindo. SO PLEASE SUPPORT THESE LUNCHES EACH FRIDAY IN LENT FROM 12 noon to 1.30pm IN THE PARISH HALL (nb not the Romero Room, Assisi Centre as in previous years). Money raised will be divided equally between Borderlands Destitution Fund and One World Schools. This is a great way of making Fridays inLent a special time to act of justice and care for the poor.  

YOUNG PEOPLE AND LENT   Born for This - the Greatest Story Ever Told  Come and enjoy a powerful Lenten musical, telling the Easter story, performed by young people from our Catholic Secondary schools. Thursday 30th March at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Julian Road, Bath, BA1 2SF. Free admission - collection in support of the Diocesan Youth Ministry.
for further information on these events:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CCS ADOPTION - CLIFTON CHILDREN’S SOCIETY is keen to speak to anyone considering adoption.  There has been an unprecedented rise in the number of children taken into care over the past 12 months, with the proportion of babies the highest that has been seen in 50 years.  There are many myths about who can or cannot adopt so don't discount yourself.  CCS are Ofsted Outstanding so why not give them a call on 0117 935 0005 for an informal discussion and free information pack or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Please spread the news to family and friends and, if you use social media, please follow 'CCS Adoption' on Facebook and @ccsadoption on Twitter.  Together we can transform the lives of vulnerable children who need the love and stability of adoptive families.
 
TAIZE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN  BIRMINGHAM - 2017     ‘Hidden Treasure’ - Taizé Community comes to Birmingham!  This is a wonderful opportunity for our young people to experience the prayer, sharing and community of the Taizé Meetings without travelling far! They will be in Birmingham for the Bank Holiday weekend of 28th April to 1st May. A group from the diocese is being organised for the Saturday (cost £20) and young people 16-30 years can book a place through the diocesan website. I can guarantee you a very special experience - and you will want to go to Taizé in France to visit the community there! See Richard or Caroline for more details.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES 2017     
All who wish to part of the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes between 18th to 25th August (Coach & Jumbulance leaving St Theresa’s, Filton on 17th August) are asked to contact Deacon David Wakefield on 07711834800 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. You can also arrange to fly by Easyjet to Toulouse.

PRAY FOR THE HEALING OF THE PLANET

Now that the Parish Summit on Climate Change has ended with all the nations of the world agreeing to work for the healing of the Planet for future generation - we much continues to pray that they and we will be true to our 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