Introducing Alpha to St Joseph's. Do you have questions about life, about why we exist, how we make sense of suffering, where God is in all of this, and who is God anyway? The Alpha course provides a setting where life's questions can be explored, beginning with a meal (free food!!), watching a short video together and some time for discussion.
This September we have two opportunities to cater for people with different work/family commitments: A Friday morning one, beginning at 9.30am on 13 September, and a Thursday evening one beginning on 19 September at 7pm.
There is no pressure and the beautiful thing about the Alpha course is that people of all backgrounds can fit into it at whatever level they are at, so no one need to feel awkward or wonder whether this might suit them or not. Everyone is welcome - in fact you may know others who just want to come along or are interested. Please bring them along too.
Please could you let us know if you can come or if you are interested by emailing, email@example.com
A new prayer group is being run by some parishioners (Molly, Zoe and Rachel), beginning again on Sunday 30 September. This will run fortnightly in the Presbytery from 7pm-8pm, and will be an opportunity to come together and to pray in a relaxed atmosphere (praise and worship songs, a time to go deeper into the Scriptures, and a time of intercession). All welcome
This is an opportunity for all parishioners to escape the routine and business of life to find some tranquility and peace within the sanctuary of Our Lady of Hyning Monastery. The day will include some talks from the Sisters, time for reflection and prayer in the grounds and in the chapel, and time together over meal times and recreation. The cost per person is £15 which includes lunch. All welcome.
The return of the Fr Manny Gribben and other pianists, playing a range of classical music from Chopin, Beethoven, Brahms & Mozart. You are invited to come to the University of Lancaster Chaplaincy Centre. There will be wine and refreshments, with donations to Mary’s Meals. All welcome.
March for Life UK is the biggest pro-life festival in Britain. The March for Life attracts thousands of pro-lifers from all over the country, and with this year marking 50 years since abortion was legalised in England, we want to ensure our presence at the March is bigger and better than ever before.
The event itself will take place in London on Saturday, 11th of May. It is much more than just a march, with stuff happening throughout the day including live music, educational stalls, face painting, hot food (and ice cream!), and opportunities for prayer and Confession. We also have a number of world-class speakers.
A week before Father's Day we will organise an art&craft session which is open for everybody. The main theme will be Father's Day but you can use the given materials creatively and design your special cards for other occasions, too. Nibbles and refreshments will be available. Everybody welcome!
Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, taking in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galilee and Jerusalem, next year 22-29 April 2019. . You can see the full itinerary and book now here or phone 0800 689 4792. The price is £895, not including flights which will be an additional £300-£400. This pilgrimage will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it is being advertised in good time so that pilgrims can manage their payments.
Messy Church is a 2,5 hour programme designed for families. Children, parents and grandparents can explore faith together in a playful and accessible way. Creativity and a lot of fun pave the way and help the learning process. We will do art&craft, play and sing together. Be messy and be part of your children's or grandchildren's learning adventure and enjoy the creative journey with them. Refreshments and a light lunch will be available at the beginning of the programme. All generations welcome! The event is free but donations for the church restoration are welcome.
We would like to invite our older and housebound parishioners for an afternoon tea. The parish room will become a busy café for a few hours where you can enjoy the lovely food and company. A good chat and laugh will make your afternoon perfect. Please, come along! The event is free but donations for the church restoration are welcome.
In this centenary year of the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima to three peasant children in 1917, some parishioners have asked to pray the ‘First Saturday Devotion’ which was recommended to us by Our Lady at Fatima and who promised us that those who pray this Devotion, I will “assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation.” Sounds helpful? Read on…
Appearing with the Queen of Heaven in one apparition was the Infant Jesus, who said to Lucia, one of the visionaries: “Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother. It is covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.” Our Lady then spoke: “See my Heart encircled by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you, at least, strive to console me? Tell them that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, in order to make reparation to me, on the First Saturday of five successive months, go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour of prayer and meditation.”
Beginning the first Saturday of August, next Saturday, at 9.45am, you are invited to pray the Rosary, celebrate Mass, and Confessions will be available afterwards with a time of Adoration and prayer. We will pray this Devotion each first Saturday till December.
St. Joseph, you are a model of obedience in fulfilling the commands of God! The Lord revealed the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God to you through an angel. Intercede for us so that the Holy Spirit can enlighten us with His grace, and teach us to co-operate with Him faithfully on the way leading to salvation. May He guide our will and strengthen it particularly when we have to take important decisions that they may be in accordance with the will of God. Amen
Let us pray:
O God, You were pleased to choose Saint Joseph as the husband of Mary and the guardian of your Son. Grant that, as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
St. Joseph, you suffered in Bethlehem when you were unable to find any room at the inn for the birth of the awaited Saviour. Yet you bore your pain in silence, surrendering yourself to God’s Providence. Teach us to bear in silence and in tranquillity all our difficulties and sufferings. You who rejoiced in the homage paid to Jesus by the simple shepherds, and in the humble faith of the Magi who brought Him royal gifts, obtain for our hearts living faith in the mystery of the Saviour, so that we may profess it not only with our lips but with our entire lives. Amen
St. Joseph, support us with your example and your help that we may always practice sacrifice and magnanimity. May we protect and defend the life of each of our children, every person, especially those who are sick, weak and those with special needs. Amen
St. Joseph, it was to you that God commended the priceless gifts of heaven and earth as the foster father of the One who feeds all the creatures in the world. Of all the saints you, after Mary, are the one who is worthy of our greatest love and honour, because you were elected to the highest dignity of bringing up, feeding and caring for the Son of God. At a time when fatherhood is in crisis, intercede before God for all fathers, especially for those who for various reasons are not fulfilling their vocation to fatherhood. Obtain for them the grace to return to their families and their children; may they receive the grace to fulfil their duty to their families in a spirit of sacrifice, responsibility and love. Amen
St. Joseph, intercede for us before God that we may understand and fully appreciate the meaning of our work, that through it we may come closer to God, the Creator and Redeemer, and that we might participate in His redemptive plans for mankind and for the world. Obtain for us zeal in performing our daily duties and teach us to work honestly and diligently. Amen
St. Joseph, Spouse of the Mother of God and Foster Father of the Redeemer, obtain for all families the kind of love that will enable married couples to give themselves to each other unconditionally because of the sacramental presence of Christ and their freely-made vows. Thanks to a love like that, a family is formed, develops, matures and is a source of peace, unity and happiness for children as well as for parents. Amen
St. Joseph, you ended your life in the presence of the Blessed Virgin and of Christ. Obtain for us the grace of persevering in the grace of God to the end, and together with Jesus and Mary come to us in the last moment of our earthly life so that we can enter the kingdom of Light. Amen
St. Joseph, you deserved to hold in your hands with reverence the only Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary. We pray through your intercession for all priests that they may have the grace of serving at the altar of God in purity of heart. Amen
St. Joseph, your mission was to care for, defend, watch over and support Jesus and Mary. Today, the Church of Christ needs your care. We ask for your intercession so that we may not be harmed and can act within the world. Your mission is our mission: we are to protect Christ, allowing Him to grow within us and around us. Amen
Lent begins on Wednesday 6 March, opening up a period of 40 Days, remembering the time that Jesus spent in the Desert, and giving us the opportunity to prepare to celebrate His Passion and Resurrection fittingly. It is a time marked out by more intense prayer, fasting and works of charity (almsgiving). Ash Wednesday itself is a day of abstinence and fasting, where the Church invites us to deny ourselves in a spirit of sacrifice and penance. There is a Mass with the school in the church at 10am with the distribution of ashes. For those who are working, there will be a brief service of ashes at 7.30am (15 minutes).
Our Parish Council Meeting is this coming Wednesday. Please let Fr Philip have any suggestions or contributions beforehand so that they can be included in the agenda. In addition representatives from the different parish committees will present what they have been up to, and the Council will be exploring the path ahead for the parish.
On Monday 11 February at 7pm we'll be offering Mass in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes, patronness of the Diocese. During the Mass, there will be an opportunity for the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, a time when we come before the Lord with all of our sicknesses, mental, physical and spiritual, and ask for healing, and also a candlelit procession, bringing something of Lourdes to Skerton.
In the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, St Joseph’s are hosting an evening of praise & worship music, bringing together musicians and fellow Christians from all the surrounding area together with Bishop Paul Swarbrick, on Friday 25 January at 7.30pm. Event free of charge with donations accepted for Mary’s Meals. Tickets available on eventbrite or on the door.
The Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us. The first Mass of Christmas will be at 10pm. Carols will begin a little earlier at 9.40pm. After the Mass there will be mince pies and mulled wine. The Family Mass will be on Christmas Day at 10am. Everyone is most welcome to celebrate the birth of Our Saviour.
In the manic preparations for Christmas, Advent Meditation by Candlelight will provide a quiet interlude, enabling you to gather thoughts and find peace, and to prepare for the coming of Our Saviour. Solo artists will be joined by the church choir and St Joseph's Primary School choir, providing a beautiful range of music performed by candlelight. Refreshments provided afterwards.
Tickets at £5, and available at the back of church or on the Eventbrite website.
An opportunity to prepare a way for the Lord this Advent. There will be some visiting priests to help Fr Philip to hear Confessions and to give everyone the opportunity to experience God's mercy. Pope Francis writes, 'God never fails to give us his mercy, but we tire of asking for it'. This Lent, take courage!
During the time of Reconciliation, there will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and some praise and worship music.