Newsletter 10th October 2021
This Sunday is Prisoner’s Sunday. The day in which the Church marks the start of the Ecumenical Prisons Week, a week of prayer which has been raising awareness for some years now of the issues faced by those affected by the criminal justice system. We pray for the needs of all who have been affected by prisons: prisoners and their families, victims of crime and their communities, those working in the criminal justice system and the many people who have been involved with caring for those affected by crime, inside and outside of our prisons.
October is the month of Our Lady and each day during the week before Mass, parishioners will be leading the Rosary. Do come to pray together from 9.10 am in church, as each day we seek Our Lady’ gracious intercession for our parish and for the wider communities’ special intentions.
Looking ahead, and as I mentioned previously a few weeks ago, Andrew Wakley will receive Candidacy this month. Due to a clash between his wife Victoria’s 40th Birthday celebrations that day and the proposed date of Andrews admission to candidacy at Oscott on 16th October, Bishop Patrick has kindly agreed to come back to St. Mary’s on Sunday 24th October to admit Andrew to candidacy himself. This will be a part of the regular Sunday Parish Mass at 9.30 am. Candidacy is the official moment from the Church’s perspective when She accepts a candidate for Holy Orders. From this point on Andrew is making a very important commitment to continue his journey of discernment towards ordination as a deacon, which God willing, will take place within the next couple of years. Andrew’s ordination as a deacon will be the time for a big celebration, when I hope we shall be able to offer a special Mass with a parish lunch afterwards. This will also be the time when we shall welcome guests, ordained, and lay alike, who have helped Andrew on his journey of vocation. Sunday 24th October will be a simpler and low-key celebration, but I would like to mark this occasion by offering refreshments after Mass in the Parish Hall. I am looking for four volunteers to come forward to help serve cake, tea and coffee and juice that day. The cake will be provided and so no need to bake! But it would be good to offer hospitality to all attending Mass that morning. If you feel you would be able to help serve refreshments in the hall after Mass, I would be grateful if you could contact me as soon as possible. Please continue to keep Andrew in your prayers each day as he prepares now to receive candidacy from Bishop Patrick.
As I mentioned last week in the Introduction to this Bulletin, our Holy Father, Pope Francis plans to launch the world-wide Synodal process in Saint Peter’s in Rome on Sunday 10th October, and it is to be launched within the dioceses of England and Wales, on Sunday 17th October. Synodality is a way of being by which the Church lives out her mission in the world; it requires the entire People of God to be on a journey together, with each member playing his or her own crucial role. A synodal Church walks forward in communion to pursue a common mission through the participation of each one of her members. Pope Francis is inviting us, the People of God in this diocese, to dream about the Church we are being called to become; we are to stimulate trust, to bind up wounds, to learn from each other, to enlighten minds, warm hearts and restore strength for our common good. It is first and foremost a spiritual process, not primarily a data gathering exercise. More than simply responding to some questions posed by Rome, the diocesan phase is meant to offer as many people as possible, especially the poor, marginalised and lapsed members of our Church, a truly synodal experience of a Church that desires to listen to and walk alongside people, and guided by the Holy Spirit.
As part of the launch of the Synodal process there will be a Pastoral Letter from Bishop Patrick to the diocese of Nottingham, to be read out at all Sunday Masses over the weekend of 16th and 17th October. In addition, we shall celebrate a Parish Opening Liturgy to include a time of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and the celebration of Vespers together on Sunday 17th October at 4 pm. I will also be distributing Synod Prayer cards that weekend so that we can join in prayer as a parish and as individuals, with the diocese and the wider Church. Next weekend I will outline more about the process of how each of us can help to prepare for the Synod, and how we may be able collectively and individually to use this wonderful opportunity to pray and listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and find new ways to engage with each other and the community and world in which we live.
A reminder that this week on Wednesday 13th October at 10.30 am, a Requiem Mass will be celebrated in church, in place of the normal Parish Mass, and as part of the Funeral Rites for Chris Leonard, a long-time parishioner, who died recently at home. I hope many of you will come to support his wife Chris and their family at the Requiem Mass that day. In addition, on Thursday 14th October in place of the normal Mass at 11 am there will be a Service of the Word and Holy Communion, due to the fact that Andrew and myself must be elsewhere that morning within the deanery.
And a final big Thank you to everyone who was involved with the Confirmation Mass last night and donated cakes and bakes. It was a joyous evening that couldn’t happen without everyone’s help and support.
With my prayers for you and for your families during the coming week ahead,
Your friend and Parish Priest,
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2021 10th October – Newsletter – Download
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