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.
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
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.
A new prayer group is being set up by Molly, Zoe and Rachel, beginning Wednesday 2nd May. This will run fortnightly in 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
All parishioners are invited to join Bishop Paul for this celebration of the work and education and formation in the Diocese in the Cathedral on Friday 12 October at 7pm. A special invitation is extended to teachers, catechists, and those involved in youth ministry and children’s liturgy. Refreshments available afterwards.
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.
Our bi-annual Parish Council Meeting is this coming Thursday. 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.
Each year every parish of the Diocese has the opportunity to celebrate the Quarant' Ore, or Forty Hours, Devotion - a time of extended prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Throughout the year, in one church or another across the Diocese, you will be able to find Adoration going on, offering a continuous prayer of praise from the People of God before the Father.
Our turn is coming up. Please make time over the weekend of 14-16 September to come and adore the Lord. In the silence of His Presence and in prayer and contemplation, we are able to lift all the needs of our world, country, community, parish, families and ourselves before God. The doors of the church will be open, candles will be lit, and whether you want to pop in for 5 minutes or spend a whole hour before the Lord, you are all most welcome.
There will be prayer resources available, but perhaps the greatest prayer is that of the French peasant who spoke to Fr Jean-Marie Vianney, Cure d'Ars, and explained to his parish priest what he did in all his time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament: 'He looks at me and I look at him'. Let us, too, enter into this encounter, face to face, heart to heart.
FRIDAY 14 SEPTEMBER.
7pm onwards: Adoration. 9pm: Compline & Close of Exposition
SATURDAY 15 SEPTEMBER
9.35am : Rosary for Vocations. 10am: Mass & Confessions. 10.30am onwards: Adoration. 5.45 Confessions. 6.30pm Vigil Mass. 7.15pm Adoration with Benediction & Close of Exposition at 8pm.
SUNDAY 18 SEPTEMBER
8am onwards: Exposition. 10am: Mass followed by Adoration. 12noon: Angelus & Benediction
Talent Auction on Friday 13 July: The idea is that you sell your talent and help the parish to raise some funds for our Heritage Lottery Funding bid. Whether you are a budding confectioner, cook, artist, cleaner, gardener, writer, child-minder, painter and decorator, carer, why not auction your time to someone else in the parish and help the parish to raise some money for the church’s restoration?
In preparation for the National Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool in September, each Deanery in the Diocese is hosting a talk on a Eucharistic Theme. Fr Philip will be speaking on Tuesday 26 June at 7pm at the Catholic Chapel at the University of Lancaster on the theme: 'The Eucharist: a new heavens and a new earth'. Everyone welcome.
Let it be done unto me according to your Word. 5 sessions through May exploring how Our Lady helps us to be filled with God, beginning on Thursday 10 May 7-8pm in the Presbytery. We will be watching a DVD, having a bit of discussion and learning how Our Lady takes us deeper into the mystery of God. Everyone welcome.
•Family Fun Day on Saturday 16 June, 12-3pm (or 23 June if weather is bad) on the sports field in St Joseph’s school field (nursery block). There will be various stalls, facepainting, bouncy castle, variety of games (egg & spoon, welly wanging, etc), and refreshments. Prizes for tombola or raffle prizes gratefully received, as would donations for the sweet and cake stalls. If you have a craft-type venture/ business, you’re welcome to rent a stall and sell your wears. We also need volunteers to help on the day for stalls and drinks. Otherwise, come along, join in the fun, and bring your family and friends.
•At 2pm next Sunday, St Joseph’s is hosting the Deanery Corpus Christi Procession. Those who are making their First Communion next weekend and those who have been recently Confirmed are especially welcome. We will need help too with marshalling, banner-bearing, singing, etc. 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, 5th 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.
Parish Treasure Hunt, fun for the family. Riddles, clues, adventure. A treasure hunt has been arranged for around the church and Ryelands Park on Saturday 28 April, beginning at 1.30pm and finishing at 3pm in the Presbytery with refreshments and cakes. Proceeds to Church Restoration Fund.
Pre-Pilgrimage Meeting at St Joseph's Presbytery at 7pm on Thursday 1 March.
Following the success of the Krakow pilgrimage, plans are now afoot for a pilgrimage to Fatima in Portugal on this, the centenary anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady. The dates are 2-6 April 2018 with return flights from Manchester to Lisbon, 4 nights half board (B&B + evening meal) at the Hotel Anjo de Portugal (a stone’s throw away from the sanctuary) and a trip to the ancient and beautiful city of Braga, the ‘Rome of Portugal’. The total cost is £495. Please sign up on the sheet at the back of church, and details of how to book will be sent.
Please let Fr Philip know if you want to come. You can then book online via link and click 'Book Now', www.aglowpilgrimages.com/pilgrimagetofatima2april or call Aglow on 0800 6894792 and book over the phone with credit or debit card.
Just before the Holy Week celebrations, there is the 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.
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
An opportunity to prepare a way for the Lord this Lent. 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!