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Message From The Parish Priest

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Sunday 4th February 2007

FIFTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR IN ORDINARY TIME Cycle C. EDUCATION SUNDAY.

My dear people,

Today is EDUCATION SUNDAY and there is a 2nd collection for the work of the Catholic Education Council. You can imagine in this present age the work they have to do safeguarding our interests in the face of the onslaught of Secularist ideology pouring forth from all sources against the Catholic Faith. Our Teacher Contract of Employment you know is one drawn up by the Catholic Education Council because a teacher in a Catholic School community has a far higher moral standard to uphold than a secular school with no religious test. The Catholic Education Council examine all new legislation going through the Commons to see how it might or will effect us as a Catholic community of education.

Education has been the work of the Church from the earliest of times. As soon as we got civil freedom, schools and universities were set up everywhere the Church spread.

In many countries in the Catholic Tradition the State left it to the Church to nurse and tend the sick and the handicapped and the orphans and to educate the youth. They got it on the free too because none of the Brothers, Priests and Nuns ever took a wage for what they did. The whole world has been taught by the Church and still is. We have far more pupils on our rolls than any single nation - even the USA . Did you ever see the film "The Mission" ? That was an example of how education was part of evangelisation in the New World as it was called.

Treasure our Catholic schools. I have been involved in them since I was ordained and even before for I trained as a Teacher at Christ's College in Liverpool after graduating from University - all them years ago (I get my Bus Pass on the 6th Feb!!) Our schools are fighting the battle of remaining Catholic in reality. The attempts to impose immoral teaching on us come from those who govern us everyday of the week. We have to struggle to keep the swell of the tide outside the school community. I cannot tell you what the authorities would want our Catholic children to know which would distort not only their thinking but their eternal destinies. So GIVE WHAT YOU CAN. Our life depends on such bodies going through the Legislation with a fine tooth comb to see if it effects the Catholic school system.

The Gospel of the call of Peter, James and John and the miraculous draught of fishes teaches us that we cannot work well apart from Jesus Christ.

We can work all night "and catch nothing" but with our Lord in charge and us obeying him - then the catch will be so large, help will be needed to bring the fish in. This is the case when the apostles went out after Pentecost and spread the new Faith. So many were added to their number and we became known as "The Way" because we followed the Way of Jesus Christ. What a trawl the apostles took that day and leaving everything they followed Jesus and he made them "Fishers of Men". The Pope is called "The Fisherman" and his Papal ring "The Fisherman's ring" which is smashed when he dies. Pray for all those called to follow Christ as "fishers of souls". All of us are called to bring others into Christ's great dragnet (His Church). Priests are given Sacramental powers by the Lord to bring others into the Church. Our Catholic schools exist because previous generations thought that our children's eternal souls would be safeguarded if they were held in the arms of Mother Church through a good Catholic education. Now - something else to think about. (Our MP by the way is Sir Gerald Kaufman, M.P. House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA (If you are writing, address him as "Dear Sir Gerald...")

God Bless,

Father Tom Connolly

IKONS Remember those from Palestine who sold Icons in the Spring one Sunday? They have written to thank you and to tell you that they took 485 on that one Sunday they were here. They thank you.

XAVERIAN COLLEGE The Annual Dinner Dance of the Manchester Old Xaverians will take place on Saturday 3rd March at the G.M.P Club House, Mauldeth Rd, Hough Ed, Chorlton. All ex staff and students are invited. The cost is 20 from Bill Clarke on 01625 500713.

AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED is a charity I and we as a parish support. They have written to say thank you for some contribution I made from the Poor Box. They write "THIS YEAR IS THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED. AT TIMES PEOPLE MAY HAVE HOPED THAT THE REQUIREMENT OF A CHARITY LIKE OURS WOULD DISAPPEAR WITH THE FALL OF COMMUNISM - THINKING THE PERSECUTION AND SUPPRESION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND CHRISTIANS WAS JUST HISTORY. YET THE REALITY IS THAT THE FAITHFUL CONTINUE TO SUFFER AND THE WORK OF AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED SEEMS TO BE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT IN TODAY'S POLORIZED WORLD. THE CHALLENGES FOR THE CHURCH INCLUDE, FUNDAMENTALIST ISLAMIC REGIMES AND FACTIONS, SECULARISM, EXTREMIST SECTS AND STATE CONTROLS. AS THROUGHOUT HISTORY, MANY GOVERNMENTS FEEL THREATENED BECAUSE FREEDOM OF FAITH CHALLENGES THE STATE'S DESIRE FOR ABSOLUTE LOYALTY AND CONTROL OVER ITS CITIZENS. Thank you for helping dry the tears of the abandoned Jesus on the crosses of this century."

SPECIAL CHILDREN St John Vianney Upper School. Ryebank Rd, Chorlton. Specialist Teacher assistant needed for this school which educates young people with moderate learning difficulties. 32 and Half hours per week over 5 days. Term time only and family friendly hours. 8.33 per hour point 10. Application forms on 881 7843, Closing date February 21st 2007 at 12.00pm. Interviews On Monday February 26th 2007 from 5.00pm. Subject to CRB check.

ST KENTS ONLY !!!! INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE SICK. 11th February Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Those who come in the minibus may be Sacramentally anointed at this 11am Mass next Sunday. Anyone who suffers from a life threatening illness or is on a medication for the rest of their lives may be anointed. Don't come cos you have a sniffle - you have to be suffering from an actual illness. This is the SACRAMENT OF THE SICK. YOU HOLD OUT THE PALMS OF YOUR HANDS AND THE PREIST WILL ANOINT YOU ON THE FOREHEAD AND ON THE PALMS OF YOUR HANDS WITH THE OIL OF THE SICK AND WITH THE FORM OF WORDS "Through this Holy anointing may the Lord in His love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen . May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up. Amen."




Bidding Prayers

BIDDING PRAYERS FOR 5TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C

Priest: We know that that the Father is with us because of the Spirit he has given to us. With confidence we turn to you in Prayer.

Reader: Let us to God, the Father of all, to bless the work of the Church in its pastoral task of bringing the young to Christ through Catholic schools, colleges and universities and Institutes. Bless all our teachers and professors. Lord hear us.

For all those who are called by Christ to give their lives in the service of the people of God and especially in Education - that they be true to their vocation and be filled with zeal to be fishers of men. Lord hear us.

For an increase in priestly and consecrated life vocations so that the world will not lack the signs of Christ's power and his presence as the great barque of Peter brings in new peoples and cultures into Christ loving arms. Lord hear us.

For all our sick and those who look after them to give them courage to face the suffering of bad health: John Lynch, Sally Gallagher, Jack Grady, Dorothy Tracy, Madge O'Mohoney, Patrick O'Boyle, Tommy Lynch, Ester White, Elaine Farrelly, Ed Williams. Lord hear us.

We commend to the Divine Mercy those who have been called by God from this life to Himself : Jim Murphy, Tom Fadian, David A. Baker, Joan Herring AND For all whose anniversaries fall about this time: Michael Dunne, (11am) William Nuthall, Agata Turco, Iris Jaconianni, Marta Mini-archie, Mary and Edward O'Hanlon, Augustine Quinn, Patrick O'Brien, Michael O'Mohony, Martin Connolly and Sister Francis Teresa Cawley.

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in Peace. Amen

Mary our Mother and strength of the Apostles - help us to remain in the shoal of your Divine Son and be part of his harvest. Hail Mary, full of grace...

Priest: Almighty God, you build your Church on the rock of Peter's faith - grant our prayers and may we hold fast in every storm and come at last to the harbour of Jesus, the Anchor of our souls. Through the same Christ our Lord.