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Message From The Parish Priest

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Sunday 14th October 2007



My Dear people,

On Thursday a group of parishioners along with others and under the spiritual leadership of Father john Flynn went off to Medjugorie in Croatia where our Blessed Lady is said to be appearing still after many years. I was there myself in the early times of the claimed apparitions. I say "claimed" because the Church has not yet given its final judgement on the authenticity of these apparitions of the Blessed Virgin since the appearances have not yet been concluded as far as I know.

This month is the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary therefore I want to tell you about my visit to Medjugorie all those years ago especially now some of our own parish are there as pilgrims led by Fr Flynn.

The Communists were still in charge at that time and the country was Yugoslavia. They needed the foreign currency of pilgrims but not their Faith. There were no hotels in the place and I was shunted to two different farmhouses during the seven days and all I had was a horse hair couch and as a bed and a rusty nail on the back of the door for a wardrobe and one ate with the family - mainly dishes of pork and brawn and pickled veg. So - no home comforts but they had the faith indeed and welcomed us as Christ Himself. I was able to gain access to the library in the Franciscan Friary where the visions then took place since the local Bishop had forbidden them in the parish church!! There were four visionaries - two girls and two boys. The youngest was 12 and the eldest 21. I was with a GP friend and an English Jesuit who know the place well got us into the Library. The people and pilgrims gathered outside by the thousand praying the Rosary whilst the visionaries slipped in before the crowd could gobble them up as crowds do. (They tried to do it to St Bernadette). So - I was there with my GP friend who was a convert. The children or youngsters lined up in front and the priest started to lead the Rosary. Half way through the second decade the young visionaries just dropped simultaneously to their knes and their eyes concentrated on a sport just where the ceiling met the wall. They were speaking sometimes and their lips moved. This continued for may be 20 minutes. One knew the Mother of God was there. The air was electric. Their eyes looked into an eternal and timeless dimension.

We continued praying the Rosary. At the end and just as speedily the young visionaries stood up and were escorted to another room in the Friary to write down what our Lady had said to them. One thing she often said was how sad here heart was about the conflict that was going to happen between the Muslims and the Christians (and this before it happened!).

Everyday confessions took place outside for hours on end. The number of young pilgrims was amazing. The integrity of the visionaries was impressive. I actually visited Jacovs house and he was stypical 12 year old and normal as could be. His dad worked in Germany but did not send too much cash home cos he drank a lot!! He was interested in Manchester United and he was more embarrassed by all the fuss the visions had started. His life was totally disrupted and yet he went to school every day and played football for the school.

I believe in the Visions personally. Our Lady has the same message there as she did in Lourdes and Fatima - prayer (friendship with God) and conversion (penance and reconciliation). I met the US Ambassador to the Holy See: a guy called Bill Shakespeare. He had asked Pope John Paul if he should go as a Pilgrim and the Pope said if you do "You will be blessed".

May Father Flynn's pilgrimage be a fruitful one. They will be praying for their home parishes communities at some point this week and we pray that they will find the Mother of God present to them in that holy place.

God Bless.

Father Tom Connolly

RED MISSION BOXES APF. The Latest Collection for the Missions was 581. Many, many thanks to everyone and welcome to the people who have volunteered to join us. There will be a short meeting in the Presbytery for new collectors and helpers on 5th December at 8.30pm. Check the Newsletter. Raymond Cawley (Treasurer)

Father Klaver recruited 22 new Box Holders , 3 new annual members, 5 new Promoters. I call that successful appeals don't you? Father Jan was very happy with his visit and thank you.

NEW ORGANIST IS MR TIM FERGUSON WHO IS A STUDENT AT MANCHESTER GRAMMAR. BEN LEACH HAS BEEN FAITHFULLY PLAYING EACH WEEK FOR 5 YEARS AND I WOULD LIKE TO THANK HIM FOR THAT LONG STINT AND HIS FIDELITY. CONSIDERING HIS DAY JOB IS A LAWYER - WE WERE VERY LUCKY. Can I add that if any young person in the parish of St Kentigerns or St Edwards wishes to learn to play the organ I will pay for the lessons and Mr Simon Leach who teaches the organ will be glad to teach you. See me or Fr. Flynn. Church music is an absolute need to give glory to God.

CATHOLIC FELLOWSHIP FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ARE HOLDING A FAMILY NIGHT AT ST BERNADETTES PARISH CENTRE ON SAT 27TH OCTOBER AT 8PM. TICKETS ARE 5 OR AT THE DOOR. I have put the programme up on the notice board and some of you might wish to join in these activities provided.

CHILDREN OF THE FIRST COMMUNION CLASS WILL BE PRESENT AT ST KENTIGERNS THIS WEEK BY THEIR PARENTS FOR THE SACRAMENTS OF first communion, confession and confirmation. The will be given lighted candles to remind us of the Baptism and be sprinkled with Holy Water. May God Keep them and bless them as they are so close to his Divine Heart.

CHRISTMAS CARDS catalogue for the sale for the funds of the Catholic Children's Rescue Society. See back of Church. Most boxes of 10 are 3.50 and they are all religious cards. Believers should send religious Christmas cards you know.

St Bede's College Open days Tuesday 16th October 6pm - 8.30pm. Open Morning Sat 3 November 9.30am - 12.30pm Entrance Exam will be on Saturday 12 January 2008

Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers for 28th Sunday C

Priest: Oh Heavenly Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you come to us in your Son bringing solace and healing. Hear now the prayers your faithful people make in the name of your Son.

Reader: We pray for a resolution to the problems in Iraq and especially for all who serve in our Forces that they may finally restored to their families and enjoy the freedom of God's Children. Give us peace in our time O Lord and protect us from all who hate us. Lord hear us.

For the work of the church in healing lepers that its work may never fail for lack of funds from us. Lord hear us.

For the children of our Parish who begin today their journey of faith with us and their families towards their Confirmation, First Confession and Holy Communion. Make them strong in faith and in Love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. Lord hear us.

For all our efforts to reach out to the developing world in their need; May our family fast gifts, help our needy brothers and sisters and teach us the meaning of true justice and fraternal living. Lord hear us.

For all who are sick and in need of our prayers and for those who care for the sick: We pray for Kitty Higgins, Kitty Mahoney , Patrick McGovern , Kitty Trayner, Elizabeth Wallace, Sheila Delaney, Peggy Walsh, Pat Kelly, Ellen Farren. Lord hear us.

Blessed are those who have died in the Lord. We pray for those who have died recentnly: Angela Duffy, Robert Joseph Fitzpatrick, Evelyn Watson, Tom Horeen Connolly, Afream Zair and Marjorie Whithey and for all those whose anniversaries occur about this time: Betty Kennedy, Mary Sheehan, Maria Concagh, Paddy Regan, Ciss Connolly, Beatie Regan-Blackburn, John Dixon, Matt Clinton, John White, Maureen Byrne, Brian McCluskey and Mario Mini-Archie.

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

The Mother of God is the one light of our salvation which shines out forever in a heart free from sin. Her Magnificat is the prayer of gratitude unsurpassed. We honour her now: Hail Mary...

Priest: Listen to our humble and heartfelt pray O Lord which we make in the name of your Son who healed the ten and received the thanks of One. Through Jesus Christ who lives for ever and ever. Amen.