THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT A.12TH DECEMBER 2010.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
The blessed presence of the Mother of God has been very much with us this week. Last Saturday our Lady's statue of the Immaculate Conception was all ready to come out into our streets and be borne aloft from St Edwards to St Kentigerns. However, the cops warned it was dangerous underfoot so we had a para-Liturgy in St Edwards with the small procession around the church and then we had the Litany of Our Lady and many lovely Hymns dedicated to her and some meditations by the Marian Community called The Fraternas on her role in the history of mankind's salvation.
Then on the Saturday I had a phone call to say that the Image of our Lady of Guadalupe which has been doing a visitation around our nation was free for a day and a half so I booked it for St Kentgerns and it arrived from Blackley just after the children had completed their First Confessions last Sunday and left on Tuesday at 4pm for Stockport. As you read this it will be in Westminster Cathedral welcomed by Archbishop Nichols.
The Mexican bishops have sent only a certain number of certified copies around the world as a help to evangelisation of the peoples. Mexico was converted within 10 years of our Lady appearing to St Juan in 1591. It is this image - the way she appeared to him that we see in this picture. In it our Lady is pregnant and it has become the symbol - ikon of the unborn life in the womb. Only recently with the invention of minute magnification with the camera lenses it has been discovered that in our Lady's eyes you can see the reflection of St Juan seeing her and the roses which fell forth from the miraculous picture as it unfolded in his arms.
I simply left the church open. Straightaway folk were praying the rosary in front of the holy Image and people never stopped coming. Monday the church remained open after Mass and again by the time we closed many, many had called to venerate the image and to pray. I am sure some adult confessions on the occasion of the children's first Confessions were due to the arrival her image.
I have been to Mexico City where Guadalupe is and the shrine is massive and there is a moving pavement in front of the image otherwise people would never move along. Hundreds of confessionals line the walls of the Basilica and they are non stop in use and Mass is on the Hour and sung too. The Popemobile used by the Servant of God John Paul II is parked permanently outside the Basilica in memory of the historic visits he made to this shrine. He was the Pope who told the Mexican Bishops that the new evangelisation would emanate from that place - hence the images touring the Western World.
It has to begin somewhere you know. The pig atheism of the West is not working and there is social breakdown in many stratas of society as we all know. Our civilization is not doing very well and God will not be suppressed for so called RIGHTS of so many minority groups. Political Correctness in language is driving away freedom of expression and religious RIGHTS are marginalised. St John the Baptist arrived at just the right time and as part of God's Plan. Some people did not see him as a prophet at all but the good people did and he fulfilled God's Plan. So be assured that the Plan of God for our Salvation is being achieved believe it or not. "Courage; do not be afraid. Look your God is coming to save you...sorrow and lament is ended and everlasting joy is on their faces." Go on - believe it. Christ will soon be here.
I love the build up to Christmas. The schools will be have their Infant Carol Concerts and Nativity Plays and the Big ones will have theirs and the high School their Carol Concerts and many a mum and dad and PP will have a little weep!!
Father Tom Connolly
BIDDING PRAYERS 3RD OF ADVENT YEAR A
PRIEST. The Lord our God is coming: let us put aside fear, and look forward to the future with courage.
Reader: Christ is the one longed for by the nations - Lord, come this Christmas and fill the emptiness of men's hearts and fill them with the hope of redemption. Lord hear us.
Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and End of all things and all human History - may his coming bless these times of ours to bring forth the shoots of justice and goodness in mankind. Lord hear us.
We pray for the Armed services of our country and their families as they serve abroad and in in places of armed conflict. Protect their young lives and bring them home safe and well. May justice follow in the path of conflict Lord hear us.
For expectant Mothers today that they will be able to look forward with great hope in Christ for the future of their unborn child. Bless all the mothers of our community. Lord hear us.
For all our dear Sick and their carers, that the Lord in his tender mercy may be with them in their suffering and they, in union with him: .Cathy Andrews, Maureen Waring, Mary Cummings, Martin Hoysted, Mary Colbert, Betty Wallace, John Burn, Rose O'Sullivan. Lord hear us.
For all those who have died recently, Bridget Walsh, Eva Christie, Edward O'Conner, Robert McLoughlin, Margaret Kenny, Bernard Joseph , Jackoks
For all those whose anniversaries occur about this time: Patrick Joseph Hyland, John Hosey, Jim Kinsella, Liz O'Neill, Stanley and Stuart Dale, Michael Gallagher, Michael McDonagh, Edward Cassidy, Mary Mullen, Michael McHugh.
May their souls and the souls of all...
Mary is the one who was with our Saviour from Bethlehem to Calvary - may she pray for us now - O Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary...
Priest: Lord, hear our prayer and grant that we who await in faith the coming of your Son may be rewarded by being part of his company in heaven. Where he lives forever and ever. Amen.