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Sermon for 10 October 2010
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TWENTY EIGHTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR IN CYCLE c. 10TH OCTOBER 2010 . MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY OF THE BVM.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PREIST

My Dear people,

On Sunday before last a group of parishioners along with others and under the spiritual leadership of Father George and Anne Molloy 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 yet.

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 Father George.

The Communists were still in charge at that time and the country was Yugoslavia. The 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 knew 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 Franciscan priest started to lead the Rosary. Half way through the second decade the young visionaries just dropped simultaneously to their knees and their eyes concentrated on a spot 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 her 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 a typical 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 United States Ambassador to the Holy See a guy called Bill Shakespeare. He had asked Pope John Paul II if he should go as a Pilgrim and the Pope said that if you do "You will be blessed".

They will have prayed for their home parishes communities at some point in the pilgrimage and I know Fr George has prayed for us and the sick. and we pray that the Mother of God will always be present to us her Beloved Children.

The rosary is prayed in our school during the Month of the Rosary. The Rosary being prayed by the order of Pope Saint Pius V saved Europe at the Naval Battle of Lepanto (1571) from be surrendered to the Muslim invaders. You girls would all be in Burkas now and halal would be on the table (no fried bacon or bacon and cabbage) and you would be one of a few wives if it wasn't for the Holy Rosary!!

God Bless.

Father Tom Connolly

RED MISSION BOXES APF. MISSION The Latest Collection for the Missions was £581. Many, many thanks to everyone and welcome to the people who have volunteered to join us. Raymond Cawley (Treasurer)

FORTY HOURS DEVOTION BEGINS THIS YEAR ON THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4TH AND ENDS ON SUNDAY NOVEMBER 7TH. CANDLES ARE ON SALE AT £1.25 AT THE BACK OF THE CHURCH. THE 20 SHOULD COVER THE RISE IN COST FROM LAST YEARS WHEN THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ONLY ONE POUND - SORRY ABOUT THAT.

CATHOLIC FELLOWSHIP FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ARE HOLDING AN A.G.M. ON TUES 5TH NOVEMBER AT 8PM. AT ST CUTHBERTS PARISH HALL . I have put the programme up on the notice board and some of you might wish to join in these activities provided.

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 Collegewww.stbedescollege.co.uk Open days Tuesday 12th October 6pm - 8.30pm. Open Morning Sat 6th November 9.30am - 12.30pm Entrance Exam will be on Saturday 8th January 2011.





Bidding Prayers

BIDDING PRAYERS

Bidding Prayers 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 Israel and especially for all who serve in our Armed 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 and all weighed down with disease; that its work may never fail for lack of funds from us. Lord hear us.

For us as a Christian people that we will be a people who give thanks to God each day for the gift of Life, the gifts of creation and the Gift of His Only Son. Lord hear us.

For all our efforts for CAFOD 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 Elizabeth Wallace, Paul Sweeny, Mary Little, Mary Tivnan, Brenda Lynch, Dominic Stenson, Martin Hoysted, Mary Cobert, John Burn, Martin Fisher, Iain Emberson. Lord hear us.

Blessed are those who have died in the Lord. We pray for those who have died recently: Pat McCormack

AND

for all those whose anniversaries occur about this time: Thomas Nolan, Betty Kennedy, Matt Clinton, John Toner. 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: O Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. 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.