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Message From The Parish Priest

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Sunday 28th January 2007

FOURTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE C

My dear people,

Strange isn't it that in my editorial message to you last week I anticipated the first class bust up with the present Government about the rights of Catholic Children Societies being allowed to practise their religious beliefs by not being forced by Law to give children to gay couples. The only minority who do not seem to have their rights taken into consideration is us Catholics - what ? But there again what do we matter? This new "test" is like the Oath of Supremacy instituted by Henry VIII in 1532 to flush out all true Catholics loyal to the Pope. You had to make an oath declaring publicly that the King was the Head of the Church. You were not allowed to say nothing and keep your own council.

The Cardinal told the Cabinet in his letter that this conflict was a case of freedom of religion.

So it is today. They say we must celebrate DIVERSITY but what they mean does not include us in that diverse group but only the PC groups they recognise or the Islamic groups they are afraid of. They are pagans you know. Peter Hain is already bringing these new laws into N. Ireland cos he can cos there is no Assembly - so much for devolved Government. If there is one issue Ian Paisley and the Nationalists can agree upon and that is that kids should be given to heterosexual couples or single people for adoption. But is Mr Hain taking any notice? No - for he was a law breaker as a student, digging up the pitch of the Oval to prevent S. Africa playing a Test. Taking the law into his own hands then but he will lock the N Ireland folk up if they dare say they won't give orphans to gay couples! Hopefully the prisons will be too full to take the prisoners of conscience which will be produced.

Seriously though how they will kill us off is by withdrawing the Grants we get for doing Fostering and Adoption Services for our children in need, because we will be guilty of following our Church's teaching and therefore are discriminating. So you have freedom of religion as a human right but not the freedom to actually practise its morals teaching in the way you live the life.

Manchester knows as a city the excellent service our Rescue Society does in placing children for fostering and adoption and especially in keeping family units together. They are admired by the Social Services Dept for the work they do through our Diocese and all this will be closed down by these anti Catholic bigots. I hope you ring or write to Sir Gerald Kaufmann and tell him just how grieved you are at the contempt shown by the Cabinet for our Faith and way of life. The Cardinal rarely writes to each member of the Cabinet and he has done so. Let us hope that Mr Blair and Ruth Kelly can pull it off for us to carry on with our work in peace in fostering the Catholic life and faith of the children who come into our care.

Our Lord was about to be thrown of a cliff in the Gospel today for daring to point out in the Scriptures that Almighty God had actually in the past favoured non Israelites at times and done them favours when he could have reserved his favours exclusively to the Jewish people. They did not like to hear this and so they rose up and hustled him. I feel hustled at the moment by the powers that be and that never stop snapping at my heels - don't you?

God bless you,

Father Tom Connolly



MARRIAGE PREPARATION BEGINS ON THIS SUNDAY AT 2.30 AND WILL GO ON FOR THE FOUR SUNDAYS OF FEBRUARY IN THE MARIAN ROOM. ALL THE PARISHES OF OUR AREA ARE SENDING THEIR COUPLES TO THIS ONE COMMON COURSE SO I RECKON THERE MAYBE THIRTY FIVE COUPLES SO PRAY FOR THEM. THEY ARE MARRYING IN A SOCIETY THAT SHOWS LACK OF SUPPORT IN MANY WAY FOR THE WAY OF MARRIAGE AND THEY NEED ALL THE SUPPORT WE CAN GIVE THEM AS THEY ENTER THEIR DIVINE CALLING TO BE MARRIED IN THE LORD IN THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY.

FIRST COMMUNION CHILDREN gather at the 11am Mass today for "Listening to God's Word". Their families are so welcome.




Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers: 4th Sunday of Year C

Priest: "They all marvelled at his gracious words". Listening to your word we are filled with confidence Lord as we approach the throne of grace and mercy in all our needs.

Reader: The liberating words of our Lord and Saviour will be spread throughout the world by trustworthy and effective messengers of the gospel in our own day. Help all catechists and teachers and priests to be eloquent in their words explaining the Catholic faith. Lord hear us.

For all those undergoing instruction in the faith at this time that they will find in the world made flesh abundance of new life and love. Lord hear us

For the welfare of our children and orphans looked after by our Catholic Children's rescue society - that this society be safeguarded in its work and find a way to continue its work despite the new legal ban on Catholic societies. Lord hear us.

For deliverance from the evil forces of Secularism moving now against the Church in our country on every front in welfare and education - that this new enemy be vanquished by the power of Christ. Lord hear us.

Our Lord slipped through the mob. We pray for all the victims of mobs and violent conspiracies that they be comforted and healed. Lord Hear us.

For all our dear sick and those who care for them we pray for - Sally Gallagher, Madge Mahoney, Ged Mannion, Ester White, Jim Murphy, Tommy Lynch, Agnes Hallighan. Lord hear us.

For all those who have died recently: Cath McElroy, Nancy Murray, Theresa Lyons, Thomas Tagian AND For all those whole anniversaries occur about this time: Mary King, Beryl Kennedy , William McLaughlin.

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

Mary - you are the mother of the Saviour and felt his hurt as the crowd turned on him - look to us now and protect your Faithful ones. Hail Mary...

Priest: Lord, hear and answer these heartfelt needs of your People who gather around the altar as your family. Through Christ our Lord.. Amen.