Newsletter- 3rd Week of Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners

The Gospel for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B introduces us to the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. Following John’s arrest, Jesus proclaims the good news of God’s kingdom, calling people to repentance and belief in the Gospel. The immediacy with which Simon, Andrew, James, and John respond to Jesus’ call is striking. They leave their nets, their father, and their livelihoods to follow Him. This scene captures the compelling nature of Jesus’ invitation, an invitation extended to each of us today.

Jesus’ call to become “fishers of men” is not just an invitation to discipleship but a radical reorientation of our life’s purpose. For the disciples, it meant abandoning their careers and family ties to embark on an uncertain journey. For us, it might mean different sacrifices or changes – perhaps a change in lifestyle, priorities, or attitudes. A reorientation of our lives towards Christ and his Church and away from self and our own selfish desires, looking outwards towards the needs of others especially the most vulnerable and needy within our society, or closer to home those we encounter each day of our lives who maybe feel lonely or afraid and helping them to become part our friendship groups. The call to follow Jesus is both personal and transformative, demanding a response on our part that is as immediate and decisive as that of the first disciples.

This Gospel passage also speaks to us about the nature of Christian vocation. Each call is unique and tailored to the individual’s life and circumstances. The immediacy of the disciples’ response underscores the urgency and relevance of the Gospel in our lives. It invites us to discern how Jesus is calling us in our current situations and to respond with an openness and trust. 

Deborah White: It was with great sadness that I was given the news last Wednesday evening, 17th January, that Deborah (Debbie) White had died earlier that day. She and her family will be known to many of you within the parish. Sadly, Debbie suffered a cardiac arrest last Wednesday morning and despite all the efforts by the paramedics she was unresponsive and never regained consciousness. Debbie was a long-time parishioner of St Marys, and this year she was to have helped as a Catechist with our First Holy Communion group. She was a vital and joyful person and involved in so many different activities within the wider community too. Her daughter Rebecca Arnold attends St Marys Primary school and received her First Holy Communion here last year. It has as you might imagine been an enormous shock to Debbie’s partner Nathaniel Arnold, to their family and especially to her young daughter Rebecca. Please Keep Nathaniel, Rebecca, and all their family in your prayers at this very sad time as we pray now for the gentle repose of the soul of Debbie. 

Canon Anthony Dolan: Last week Fr Anthony was in touch with me by email to let me know that for a variety of reasons connected with his age and increasing frailty he is moving from his bungalow in Bulwell, Nottingham to take up residence in one of the apartments in Derby owned by the Mercy Sisters. Several of our retired priests from this diocese are living there now. Please keep Fr Anthony in your prayers as he prepares for this move later in the week and let us pray that he will be very happy in his new home for many years to come. His new address will be from 19th January: Apartment 9, Kinsale Court, 310, Highfields Park Drive, DE22 1JX

Next weekend 27th/28th January we will have a retiring collection for the work of SPUC and the White Flower Appeal 2024. The Society for the Protection of Unborn children (SPUC) are currently campaigning to protect Pro-Life speech. Pro-Life witness is being restricted now more than ever before in our society; please be as generous as you can to help SPUC defend unborn babies and their mothers. 

With prayer for you and your families during the coming week ahead,

Your Parish Priest and friend,

Fr Jonathan


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