Message From The Parish Priest
SIXTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR IN ORDINARY TIME. + Year C 14TH FEBRUARY 2010. Year of the Priests.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
Thursday 11th of February was the World day of Prayer for the sick; the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. Our Lady never said to St Bernadette that she would heal people at Lourdes but from the very beginning of the Apparitions on this day in 1858, folk were cured. In fact one of the first was a woodsman who was blinded by a chip of wood flying out of the saw he was using to cut a tree. He bathed his eye in the little pool which Bernadette had created when Our Lady told her to wash her face. His eye was restored.
The story of Lourdes is an ongoing one and many consolations and communications from God are given at that holy place and others like Medjugorje and Fatima. The one thing all these holy places have in common is that the Mother of God has visited there and blessed the place with her holy and motherly presence for the consolation of God's humble people in painful and difficult times.
Freemasonry and Rational Liberalism ruled in France and in Portugal in 1858 and 1917. The rulers were all atheists and saw the Church as standing in the way of Progress - progress been judged only through the ruler's eyes of course. (Does it remind of our rulers now?)
Famine was not far away for the seers both in Lourdes and in Fatima. Ireland had just emptied two thirds of its population in the face of the Great Potato Blight Famine and the sufferings were so great, the story will never be fully told for the victims are dead or drowned on the way to the New World. Strangely enough in Britain freedom of religion was genuine and except for anti-Catholic Bigotry which was widespread, there was genuine improvement of religious freedom and the Catholic Bishops had just been restored to England in 1850 by the Pope.
Bernadette was illiterate and in poor health and the family was bankrupt. It was the need for fuel in a harsh mountain winter that caused her to go to the Rock of Masiebelle to look for drift wood that the River Gave might have carried down from the Pyrenees.
Then with a movement of wind and the bushes not moving she saw a light emerge from the cave on the rock above her little frame out of which emerged her beautiful lady who bowed to her and greeted her with such exquisite graciousness and kindness. "Would you be so kind to return here for (so many days)..."etc. she said to the 14 year old. The rest is history. Eighteen times our Lady came. Millions come to Lourdes every year still bringing their sick and handicapped, their dying and their deep personal intentions and there they find God's comfort. Outsiders see us as only going to Lourdes for "A CURE" and think us as superstitious. How wrong they are. I do not know one who has gone to Lourdes for a Cure and only a CURE. Our Lord has told us to ask for everything "in his name" and in Lourdes that's what we do. We know God can work miracles and we pray for a miracle if that is God's will but we want God's will. The Mother of God teaches you there to accept God's will. How many family troubles are cured there and they are not to do with illnesses but past hurts and grudges and injustices.
In the Gospel today it says "Jesus came down with the Twelve ...where there was a large gathering of his disciples WITH A GREAT CROWD who had come to hear Him ."
NOW - that is exactly what you find in these holy places where Our Lady has appeared. There in Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje, Knock, Guadalupe etc - you first find the great crowds and then you find the successors of The Twelve Apostles - the Bishops of diocese with their disciples and all listening to the message of Jesus and celebrating his holy Mysteries which he gave to us the night before he died when He said "Do this in Memory of Me." They carry on the redeeming work of Christ. You find the thousands going to Confess their sins and receive our Lord's forgiveness at the hands of the Priests. Jesus breathed on them and said "Whose sins you forgive they are forgiven." The sick are anointed and have hands laid on them in the name of the Lord and many find healing and strength and the courage to face life.
There is so much to say and too little space. Believe me - the hand of God touches you there. So that is why the late Pope appointed this day as a Day of Prayer for the Sick. He showed with his own example how to be really sick and full of the Spirit did he not. His last visit to Lourdes he told the pilgrim sick: "I come to you as one of you now.." What a saint we have in John Paul . So you sick - cheer up. God has chosen you and given you a great mission. Human life does not consist only in health and strength.
ASH WEDNESDAY THIS WEEK SO LOOK UP THE TIMES OF MASS AND COME IS YOU CAN TO RECEIVE THE ASHES.
Father Tom Connolly.
The Irish Festival begins soon in Manchester - check out the site: www.manchesteririshfestival.co.uk YOUNG GIFTED AND GREEN PERFORMANCE IN MANCHESTER TOWN HALL FOR CHRISTIE HOSPITAL, 6TH MARCH TICKETS £15 £10 DOORS OPEN 6.45 - COMPERED BY JOE CASSERLY AND KEEGAN-KENNEDY DANCE SCHOOL.
ASH WED MASSES 9.30 AM AND 7.30PM
Father Pat Greasley's mother, Betty died and was buried on Thursday in Leicester his home place. May she rest in peace. I went to the funeral with a good number from the Roscommon and other Associations and Kevin Fitz and Ann Tagian
HALF TERM THIS WEEK FOR OUR SCHOOLS
Bidding Prayers for the Sixth Sunday of Year C
Priest: In the Beatitudes we have the description of the new humanity made in the image of the Saviour. Let us pray as a community for these spiritual qualities and be open to our Lord's holy promptings as we come with all our needs.
Reader: Blessed are those who realise their poverty and hunger in the sight of the Living God. May our society open itself to the Beatitudes by opening to God in public life. Lord hear us.
For those who struggle for justice and peace in areas of great poverty and conflict that they will not give up the fight. In the season of Lent - Bless the work of CAFOD and Aid to the Church in Need and Mary's Meals and all the pro life movements. Lord hear us.
We pray for Father George on this the weekend of his 25 years of priestly service that the Lord may grant him many more years of service in the Sacred Ministry. Lord hear us.
We commend our dear Engaged Couples preparing for Marriage - make them joyful and faithful in their preparation. Lord hear us.
We commend to God all our sick: Cameron Pride, Brenda Grimes, Stephen Tivnan, Bridget McLoughlin, Juliana Lustre, Rose Dunbar, Martin Hoysted, Mary Colbert AND all those who received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick at Mass on the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. We pray that they will be given the strength and spiritual courage to face their illnesses. Lord hear us.
Blessed are those who mourn, they shall be comforted - bless all those who mourn for those who they love who have died and we pray for those who have died this week - Kevin Bent, Maureen Galvin, Nina Queenan, Nellie Collins, Philip Loftus, Betty Greasley, Joe Norris, John McLoughlin, Patrick Farrell, Richard Molloy, Michael Johnston, Roman Kanjuk
For all those whose anniversaries fall about this time: Martin Bownes(Vigil Mass) Mr B. Mulvehill, P.Serredge Junior, J.L. Grimes, Afram Zaer, Elizabeth and Edward Cassidy, Thomas and Mary Cummings,, Beryl Kennedy May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace Amen.
Mary is the woman of the Beatitudes and her life reflects them in every detail - may Our Lady of Lourdes help us her children to live them in daily life as we pray O Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary...
Priest: O merciful and loving God - listen to the prayers of your children as we prepare for the Ashes of Lenten Season. May the Beatitudes be our rule of living. Through our Lord. Amen