Newsletter- 25th Week of Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners

The Church celebrates each year the World Day of Migrants and Refugees – this is always on the last Sunday of September and this year it falls on the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees since 1914. It’s an occasion for us all to express our concern for different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for them as they face many challenges; and to increase our own awareness about the opportunities that migration offers. The Holy Father has chosen for this year (109th celebration) the theme: ‘Free to choose whether to migrate or stay.’ 

You may like to use the special prayer written for this year’s celebration:

Prayer 

God, Father Almighty,

grant us the grace to work tirelessly

for justice, solidarity and peace,

so that all your children may enjoy

the freedom to choose whether to migrate or to stay.

Grant us the courage to denounce

all the horrors of our world,

and to combat every injustice

that mars the beauty of your children

and the harmony of our common home.

Sustain us by the power of your Spirit,

so that we can reflect your tender love

to every migrant whom you place in our path,

and to spread in hearts and in every situation

the culture of encounter and of care.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The readings for this Sunday 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – remind us that when we seek the Lord, we can be confident of receiving a warm, forgiving welcome – no matter who we are. The prophet Isaiah (First Reading) invites us to seek and find the Lord who is near to us. When we do this, God will embrace us with a rich forgiveness. The Responsorial Psalm is a blessing song of wonder and awe to the Lord who is close to us, full of compassion, abounding in love and kindness. St Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Second Reading) is written by one who is confident of the closeness of Christ. We, too, are encouraged to focus our lives on the Gospel values of Christ. The parable of the workers in the vineyard (Gospel) presents an encouraging, if challenging, image of the generosity of God. We are invited to accept this generosity for ourselves and express it towards others. If this seems too hard for us to comprehend, let us take heart that the ways of the Lord are very different from our own ways. 

The words of Scripture this weekend reassure us that we need not worry, for the Lord is near to us, ever present. God is full of compassion and forgiveness, willing us to seek him out. Let us pray this coming week that the whole Christian community will be inspired always to seek the Lord and that together as the body of Christ, we can transform the world in which we live with the justice and generosity of God.

Andrew Wakley – Ministry of Acolyte: Andrew will receive the ministry of Acolyte from Bishop Patrick at the evening Mass at St Barnabas Cathedral this Sunday, 24th September. This is the next important ministry he will receive as he continues to discern his vocation to the Permanent Diaconate. The ministry of Acolyte is linked to service at the Altar, as a reminder that Deacons are ordained to assist and to lead worship, including some of the sacraments, to preach and proclaim the Gospel and to exercise the ministry of charity. Please keep Andrew in your prayers weekend as he prepares to receive this next important ministry and as he continues his vocation journey.

CAFOD FAMILY FAST DAY APPEAL – Friday 6th October 2023 – Envelopes are now available for you to put your contributions in, (on the table as you come into church) these can be returned in the Sunday collection plate over the next few weekends. All monies received will be sent directly to CAFOD after 8th October. Imagine if our homes were flooded, and our families were getting sick. This harvest, we are learning about Dr Nasha’s amazing mobile medical clinic, and how she got life-saving help to where it was most needed after the Pakistan floods. The support we as a parish give to CAFOD this year on this Family Fast Day will ensure many more families and communities can continue to get expert help when they need it most.

Parish Confirmation Course 2024 – You will find an advert in this week’s Bulletin about our next Confirmation course. We are limiting places to 30 candidates and applications will be taken on a “first come first served basis.” I am very grateful to those parishioners who have already volunteered as catechists; however, it would be good to have a few more volunteers to help support our young people. If you would like to assist, please come, and speak with me informally and I will put you in touch with Mary Peeling who is heading up our Parish Confirmation Catechist Team.

With my prayers for you and for your families during the coming week,

Your parish priest and friend,

Fr Jonathan

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2023 24th September 2023– Newsletter – Download