Message From The Parish Priest
Sunday 2nd December
FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT + 2ND DECEMBER 2007. ADVENT SEASON BEGINS. THE ANNOUNCEMENT.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST
My Dear People,
You will have all heard by now that poor Father Francis Wadsworth after saying the evening Mass for us here at St Kentigern's last Sunday night was, on Monday attacked by four men at his back door as he opened to them. They set about him and beat him so that they could steal the contents of the safe with all the Holy Souls Mass money etc. and his phone and his wallet. They could have taken his life but did not thank God. He fought back but what is one man and a gentle man at that and a Priest of God, what is one against four thuggish brutes? No doubt it was to feed the habit of heroin.
Our society is blighted by the poppies of Afghanistan and what failed at the gates of Vienna and the battle of Lepanto may now beat societies which have all but abandoned the Christian Faith. You might have seen him on the TV with the black eye. He seemed cheerful enough to me when I spoke to him the other day but who knows what kind of effect this has on the constitution. Pray that he will not have flashbacks. His presbytery is very isolated and his nearest neighbour is IKEA. He had his front door kicked in twice in the last few months and has been twice robbed whilst saying the Holy Mass. His front door was replaced only last week with a very strong one hence they came to the back door knocking at 7pm! Poor Father - he is so gentle. What a world and it has happened in Ireland too because relatives have told me - all related to drug habits. The DNA samples might yet catch the thugs. Father said that all he could think of was the Bishop telling us at a clergy meeting to "Give em the keys and don't resist Fathers" if they break in.
Advent brings a strong beam of hope into this darkened world. "Stay Awake" our Lord declares- you do not know when the Son of man will come. In the days of Noah people carried on as though there was no tomorrow and the symbol of the Great Flood is still with us as the consequences of not keeping the Covenant with the Living God who made us. So it is now and the words written on the walls of the city of Jerusalem: "The law will go out from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:5) is still true for the new Jerusalem is Christ's Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and the word of the Lord goes out from it to the whole world.
I was reading a book on Hitler recently and so many of the witnesses of those times who were anything but Catholics said that the only body which taught systematically and with great logical argument against the annihilation of the Jews and the handicapped adults and children was the Catholic Church. No one else gave systematic argument to the evil doing in the midst of the Nazi all enveloping ideology which all the Police Chiefs and University officials and Judges and Medics went along with. Just like now isn't it? And our Lord speaks to us and to the whole world through the lips of our Mother the Church - through the Vicars of Christ - the many amazing Popes we have had over the last one hundred and fifty years The Church is used to being a lone voice in the wilderness like John the Baptist but it does not stop it proclaiming Christ and his divine Rule and His ultimate victory.
Now - there is something to be thinking about for you all. Thanks you for reading this.
Happy Advent - nearly Christmas already!
Father Tom Connolly
PENANCE SERVICE FOR ADENT AND FIRST CONFESSIONS FOR OUR CHIDLREN THIS AFTERNOON AT 4PM SUNDAY 2ND DEC.
NEWS FROM THE BISHOP
1. A priest of our Diocese has been appointed by Pope Benedict as the new Bishop of Middlesbrough and he is Mgr. Terry Drainey - Rector of the Ushaw Seminary. He spent many years in Kenya and is a very good choice for the diocese in Yorkshire for he is a Lancashire man.
2. FATHER FRANCIS BARBER has been appointed to Afghanistan as Army Chaplain. He was a curate at St Kentigerns many years ago.
NEW DEAN of Stretford is Fr John Hitchen
3. BISHOP BRAIN asks us all to write to the MP against the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill which is in the Committee stage. The Catholic voice must be heard. Bad, bad things come out of this Bill.
4. REFUGEE AND MIGRANTS SUNDAY 2RD DECEMBER - PRAY FOR THEM.
5. WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY 18TH - 25TH JANUARY.
6. "THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A CHRISTIAN SOCIETY" is the essay title for young people put up by the Catholic Writer's Guild in the NW. Not to exceed 3000 words and must be typed. £100, £50 and £25 prizes and a celebration meal for the Award Winning Ceremony You must be t between 16 - 18 years of age. Closing date is 11th may 2008. Essays with Name, address, date of birth to be posted to NW Catholic Writers Guild, 1, Lower Park Rd, Manchester M14 5RS
LETTERS FROM THE POPE, THE CARDINAL AND THE ARCHBISHOP OF BIRMINGHAM AND BISHOP OF PORTMOUTH WILL BE FOUND IN THE PORCH. These concern the Pope's concern about Migrants, the Cardinal's concern for the Embryology etc Bill and the question of Amnesty International adopting Abortion as an approved Policy it will actively pursue in its campaign on the Rights of Women and the effect this has on us Catholics especially where Amnesty Groups have been established in our parishes and schools. Please take and READ.
ST KENTIGERN'S SCHOOL ADVENT CAROL SERVICE . "CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT" THURSDAY 20TH DECEMBER AT 7PM.
CATHOLIC FELLOWSHIP FOR THE HANDICAPPED ORGANISATION are doing many things for Advent and Christmas such as Panto trip 5th Jan and Christmas party at St Cuthbert's Hall on 8th Dec and New Year party 27th Jan at Irish Centre, Cheetham Hill. See the posters and stuff at the porch of the Church today.
BIDDING PRAYERS FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT A
PRIEST: Our Lord tells us to "stay awake and be ready" for he will come to save this world in all his glory, accompanied by the Angels. In our Advent prayer we re-echo that confident hope that Christ the Lord is on his way to complete his mission and gather us all into the kingdom of his Beloved and Eternal father.
Reader: In this time of Advent may we realise more and more our Lord's presence in this world as its history unfolds to wards the Second Coming and the Last Judgement when Christ will be all in All. Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer.
For those, who, as in Noah's time never think of God and his kingdom or the Truth that their hearts and minds be enlightened and that they may walk in His Light. Lord in your mercy.
For family life in our community that it will be blessed in this holy time of preparation for the Lord's birth - by a great surge of love and unity. We pray especially for all preparing for marriage and for all whose marriages have broken down. Lord in your mercy.
Isaiah talks about swords being turned in to ploughs - we pray that those involved in abolishing weapons of mass destruction will succeed on the path of peace. Lord in your mercy.
For the sick who at his time feel their isolation when everyone is bustling around - we pray for: Robert Clayton, Mary Colbert, Paddy McGovern, Kitty Higgins, Peggy Walsh, Maureen McGough, Elizabeth Wallace, Donna Quinn, Rosaleen Condon, Mrs Keegan and Paddy Boyle. Lord in your mercy.
For all the dead and those who mourn them: Cathal Sands and John O'Brien
For all the souls whose anniversaries fall now: Doreen Cahill, Martin Murray, Marta Mini-Archie, Wasil Roczniak, Mary Forry, Sarah Gallagher, Tony Walsh, and Mary O'Grady.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed...
Mary is the Gateway to Man's Heaven - the Immaculate one who bore the Light of Light into the darkened word - we pray for her motherly assistance. Hail Mary...
Priest: Lord our God - in you there is no shadow of change - help us to pass through this world with our eyes fixed on Jesus our safe Harbour and our Lasting Peace. Listen to our prayers through Christ our Lord. Amen.