Sunday, 31 March 2013

Ninety Years Young

Happy ninetieth Birthday, Des, and thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our community at St Wilfrid's.
God bless you.

Happy Easter

Tell us, Mary: say what thou didst see upon the way.
The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ's glory as He rose!
The angels there attesting; shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen:
He goes before you into Galilee.
That Christ is truly risen from the dead we know.
Victorious King, Thy mercy show!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

With Christ in death and resurrection

"If in union with Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection... But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him."

I know that many of the people who crowded into St Wilfrid's yesterday afternoon had a profound sense of being with Christ in his death. As we move into Easter may we have a strong sense of being with him in his resurrection.

As the world goes dark this evening, St Wilfrid's will be filled with light and life.

See you at 7.15!

Reflection for Holy Saturday

His cross stands empty in a world grown silent
Through hours of anguish and of dread;
In stillness, earth awaits the resurrection,
While Christ goes down to wake the dead

He summons Adam and his generations,
Brings light where darkness endless seemed;
He frees and claims His own, so long held captive,
Who, with the living, are redeemed.

With God the Father and the Holy Spirit,
Give praise to Christ the crucified,
Who, through the ages, seeks to save his lost ones:
The sinful men for whom he died.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Empty Tabernacle, Empty Fonts

I have just emptied the tabernacle and holy water fonts in preparation for the Triddum. If Jesus had not died and risen again there would be no sacraments, no hope, no eternal life. This Lent I have been reading a book by Pope Benedict XVI. It is called "Journey to Easter" and consists of Lent retreat addresses he gave long before he was Pope himself to Blessed John Paul II and his household. As I emptied the fonts, and moved the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle I thought of these words from the book:
The Supper without the Cross, the Cross without the Supper, would be void, but the two without the Resurrection would be the wreck of hope. The image of the pierced side, fount of water and blood, is also the image of the Resurrection, of love stronger than death. In the Eucharist, we receive this love – we receive the medicine of immortality. The Eucharist guides us to the fount of true life, of invincible life, and shows us where and how true life is to be found – not in riches and possessions, not in having. Only if we follow Jesus on the way of his Cross, do we find ourselves on the road to life.

Something to think about

I came across this post on a Catholic blog. It struck me that it might be worth posting a link here in case someone who reads this finds themselves in the sort of place that the writer did some twenty years ago.
If you have somehow lost your way, lost your faith, or simply fallen away from the practice of it, a warm welcome always awaits you at St Wilfrid's. You are especially welcome at any of the special services over the next three or four days. You will find all the details as well as confession times in last weekend's newsletter.

Newsletter for Easter Sunday and Easter 2

Click here to read the double edition of the Newsletter.

May we all keep these days holy, and rejoice in the resurrection of the Lord.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Palm Sunday and Holy Week

It was strange to celebrate Palm Sunday with so much snow outside. One parishioner said that if our Lord was entering Jerusalem in those conditions, it would have been more useful to spread salt than palm branches! Although the Saturday evening congregation was much reduced, I was amazed by the number of people who managed to fight their way through the snow to get to Mass on Sunday morning. We had a procession, though inside the Church rather than outside and the liturgy of the day was celebrated with love and devotion. Thank you all  who braved the elements to enter Jerusalem with the Lord.

If you were unable to make it through the snow to Mass yesterday, you will find the newsletter with details of the Holy Week Services here. I look forward to welcoming you to the lovely liturgies on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Lastly this made me laugh - it would never happen at St Wilfrid's of course!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Two Popes send greetings to new Archbishop of Canterbury

Today the new Archbishop of Canterbury will be enthroned in Canterbury Cathedral. Before his retirement, Pope Benedict sent greetings to him, and Pope Francis has also sent him a message for the occasion. You can read both messages here. On the eve of his passion, our Lord prayed that all his followers might be one. May that be our prayer today.

Newsletter for Holy Week

Click here to read the Newsletter for Holy Week.
Let's keep the Great Week well, staying with Jesus on his journey through suffering and death, to resurrection and new life.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Pope Francis on the Eucharist and the Priesthood

Our new Holy Father, as Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, reflects on the Eucharist and the Priesthood.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Homily of Pope Francis.

In his homily Pope Francis has spoken of tenderness and hope. He has told that power, including the power the Pope exercises as successor of Peter, must be exercised through service. He spoke of Joseph protecting Jesus and Mary, and now protecting the Church. We in our turn must protect the poor, the most vulnerable and the whole of creation. Read the whole text here.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Inaugural Mass of the Pontificate of Pope Francis

The Mass to inaugurate the Pontificate of our new Pope, will take place on Tuesday, 19th March, in St Peter's Square. It will be broadcast on BBC 1 with the transmission starting at 8.15am, and the Mass itself at 8.30am our time. You can  find the transmission from Vatican Radio/TV on this website which I have found the most convenient way to follow live events in Rome over the last week or so. EWTN will also carry the transmission from Vatican Radio/TV from Rome live on that morning.

You can find the Mass Leaflet here. It has an English translation of the text of the Mass on the pages opposite the Latin text.

Bishop Malcolm's Pastoral Message on the Election of Pope Francis

Click here to read the message from the Bishop read at Mass this weekend.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Newsletter and Supplement for 16/17 March - Lent 5(C)

Click here to read this week's newsletter, and here for a supplement which gives a basic biography of Pope Francis, and some prayers for him. Above all, please use the prayers.

Habemus Papam!

I announce to you a great joy:
We have a Pope!
The most eminent and most reverend Lord,
Lord Jorge Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church Bergoglio,
Who takes for himself the name of Francis.Brothers and sisters good evening.
You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.

First of all I would like to say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord will bless him and that our Lady will protect him.

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory to the Father…

And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and the people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood. My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with the help of my Cardinal Vicar, may be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.

And now I would like to give the blessing. But first I want to ask you a favour. Before the Bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.

Immediately afterwards Pope Francis gave his first blessing Urbi et Orbi – To the City and to the World.

Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon... We will see one another soon.

Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.

Good night and sleep well!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

When to look for smoke signals!

Beginning Wednesday morning and for each subsequent day of the conclave, the Cardinal electors will be expected to vote in two morning and two afternoon ballots each day. The two morning or the two afternoon ballots are burned together so there will only be two smoke signals per day: one sometime around noon, the other at about 7 p.m. local time.Of course, if a pope is elected in the morning’s first ballot, people can expect to see white smoke billow forth between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. The same holds true for the first afternoon ballot: should a pontiff be elected then, white smoke should be visible between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m.Then, the real suspense begins: who has been elected Pope? Typically, it takes about forty minutes between the time the new Pope must accept the office, change into white vestments and hear the Cardinals pledge their obedience to him before we finally hear the words, “Habemus Papam” from the central loggia of St. Peter’s basilica.

NB UK time is an hour earlier than the Rome time referred to in this article and times are only approximate. Today's "noon smoke" appeared at 11.38am Rome time, 10.38am Coalville time! 

Places to follow events:
Year of Faith has a live feed from Vatican TV
Vatican Radio website - English

Sunday, 10 March 2013

A helpful article

I have found this article on the Vatican Radio website, one of the most helpful things I have read in connection with the Conclave. I especially like the final paragraph:

By his extraordinary renunciation, Pope Benedict has led the Cardinals to cross once more the threshold of the Sistine Chapel, to discern the one who will be entrusted with the keys. Now, silently, but with profound understanding, he is with all of us in prayer: “Spirit of God, who sees all things – point him out."

Praying for the Conclave

There will be opportunities to pray together for the Conclave to elect a new Pope as follows:

Tuesday, 12th March:

12 Noon: Angelus, followed by Exposition until 1pm (House Oratory)

5.30pm: Exposition until...
7.00pm: Mass (Church)

Please come for as long or as short a time as you are able during the periods of Exposition.

You might like to use the times of  Exposition - 30 minutes before each weekday Mass - to pray for the Conclave for as long as it lasts.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

It had to happen!

There is now an app to follow the Conclave on your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet!

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Conclave to elect a new Pope...

...starts next Tuesday, March 12th. More details here.

Let us all pray for the Cardinal electors.  More details of special opportunities for prayer will be announced at weekend Masses.

O God, eternal shepherd,
who govern your flock with unfailing care,
grant in your boundless fatherly love
a pastor for your Church
who will please you by his holiness
and to us show watchful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
St Peter, pray for us
St Paul, pray for us
St Benedict, pray for us
All holy men and women, pray for us

A Word of Encouragement

I know that many faithful Catholics have been deeply disturbed and distressed by the events surrounding the resignation of Cardinal O'Brien. I have found the whole story deeply upsetting. I always admired the Cardinal for his willingness to speak out fearlessly for Catholic teaching both on personal morals and on matters of justice and peace. Today I came across this article. It is addressed to seminarians by the vocations director of Southwark Archdiocese. I found it helpful, and I publish it here in the hope that others might do so.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Latest Year of Faith Video from Bishop Malcolm - the Our Father

Bishop Malcolm talks about the Our Father. I know a lot of you are using the Year of Faith Booklets about this great prayer of our Lord. You might like to take another look at the Bishop's Pastoral Letter about the Our Father which we heard at Mass a couple of weeks ago.

Newsletter for 9/10 March Lent 4(C)

Click here to read this week's newsletter.

If you would like to join those who receive an advance copy of the newsletter by email each week, please click  here, and simply send the resulting email. 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

An Online Souvenir

You can find a lovely online "picture book" celebrating  the pontificate of Benedict XVI here. Click to the right of the pages to turn forwards.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

You are Living Stones - a big weekend!

This weekend we heard the Bishop's Pastoral Message. As we left, we were given an Update on the You are Living Stones Consultation, and a Questionnaire to complete and bring back to Mass next weekend.

Other documentation which was mentioned in the Message and the Update can be found here:

Bishop's Presentation to Priests' Meeting on 18 February (Slideshow)
Bishop's Presentation to Priests' Meeting on 18 February (Script)
Parish Statistics
Proposed Parochial Structures
The original Consultation Document from November 2011

The Bishop made it clear that the consultation is an ongoing process, and no final decisions have been made. He is very concerned that every parishioner of every parish in the diocese can contribute to the consultation. As well as completing and returning our questionnaires, we are invited to a meeting for the whole Deanery at De Lisle College, Loughborough, on Wednesday, 13th March at 7.00pm.