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Sermon for 11 December 2011
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THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT B. GAUDETE SUNDAY. ROSE VESTMENTS. 11TH DECEMBER 2011.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.

My Dear People,

We celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception last Thursday. What a wonderful and dazzling Feast it is, the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The Church throughout the world rejoiced in the great dogma being proclaimed by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1854. Many places built new statues to our Lady crowned with the stars and standing on the moon with the image of Satan crushed and our Lady in the pose of prayer.

It is very fitting that the Immaculate Conception is celebrated in the winter and just before Christmas because this was the first sign of the thaw in mankind's winter, from Adam to John the Baptist.

In the Immaculate Conception of our Mary, THE Mother of God is prepared for her unique role and mission to bear the Son of the Living God. In Mary then we have a new beginning. She is the one and only human being exempt from the Original Sin. She is therefore the perfect bodily and spiritual environment for Godís Only Begotten Son.

We now know don't we how the environment of a mother's womb makes a difference to the gestating babe? There was a woman I read about in the Press who had been aborted by her mother at 8 months but survived the saline solution meant to bring about her death. She survived and was adopted but she was handicapped and always knew her handicap was a hostile act and not just an accident of nature. She spends her life now promoting the rights of the handicapped child in the womb to have life. Mothers who listen to Corrie or Emmerdale find the child in the womb responds to the theme tune and children get exited in the womb and kick. It stands to reason that if you are a longed for a loved child in the womb you will be safer and happier than one who is not. Pregnant women experience this I am told. Is it as fact?

Now - think of our Lady. Imagine the perfect harmony between her unique babe and her very self. It requires us to be on our knees to enter into this great reality and Godís powerful grace in the human person. In Mary we have the perfect reflection of He who is the Light of the World. She tells us all at Cana to "Do whatever He tells you." Those words are inscribed in the stone of the Ambo from where God's Word is proclaimed.

This is a great feast. Blessed Pope Pius IX proclaimed this as a Dogma of the Church and four years later in 1858 our Lady appeared to Saint Bernadette in Lourdes and said to Bernadette "I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION." Bernadette was asked by our Lady to go and tell the priests to build her a church there on the spot at the side of the River Gave and to come in Procession and to pray for sinners and to wash in the spring she pointed to. Bernadette did all these things and died as a young nun of TB some years later. By the way, the People of God built THREE churches one on top of the other!!!! Such is the love of the Pope for their heavenly Mother.

I am hoping to go on Pilgrimage with a group from our parish / area to Lourdes in 2012 and with the Bishop and the Diocese of Salford. Pilgrimages are back in a big way you know and I hope many of you will book on. It is usually the last week of July - Friday to Friday by air.

Mary's very existence then showed that the way was prepared for the Lord. When Mary's voice greeted Elizabeth at the Visitation after the Annunciation - John leapt for joy in Elizabeth's womb. So the preparer of the way was himself prepared for the arrival of Christ by Mary's greeting. Such an honour for the Second Eve is an honour for us all. What she gained through Christ's merits before Christ's decent to this earth we gained through Baptism. Mary is truly the first believer and the first Christian and therefore Mother of us all.. It is no wonder that the first words of the Mass are REJOICE". He is so near.

Please take a ST. KENTIGERN'S CHRISTMAS CARD with you. It contains all the times of the Liturgy before and for Christmas and after and pass one to a friend or a person who no longer goes to Mass.

God bless,

Father Tom Connolly.


TAKE A CHRISTMAS CARD FROM THE PARISH WITH ALL THE TIMES OF THE CHRISTMAS MASSES AND MY MESSAGE. PASS IT ON. NO EVENING MASSES ON CHRISTMAS DAY.

WEDDING BELLS FOR EDWARD FLETCHER AND SIOBHAN BANAGHAN WHO MARRIED HERE IN THE LORD ON SATURDAY 10TH DECEMBER. MAY THEY HAVE ALONG AND HAPPY LIFE IN THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE AND BE BLEST WITH CHILDREN.





Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers for 3rd of Advent B

Priest: John came proclaiming the light as the witness so all could believe in Christ - turning to him who is Light from Light we address our prayers to the Eternal Father in our Lordís most Holy Name.

Reader: Rejoice in the Lord the prophet proclaims - may we be a people of joy in a world which so often lacks hope and joy - let our confidence in the good ness of God permeate our being. Lord hear us.

For all those who seek the light of truth and who are searching f or it- that they may find in Jesus the Way and the Truth through the Ministry of the Church. Lord hear us.

For all in our parish in the armed Forces of our country, -that they may return safe and sound. Lord hear us.

May we have the spirit of prayer always making our whole lives a constant dialogue with the living Lord who cares for us in every detail of our lives. Lord hear us.

For all those who have suffered loss of joy this year either through betrayal or bereavement - that they may find a reason to hope again in the Lordís presence in life.

Lord hear us.

For all those who are sick and who have need of our support and our prayers and we pray for those who care for the sick at home and in our hospitals- we pray for the chaplain's apostolate that it be fruitful: Mary Gallagher, Maureen Waring, Agnes Benson, Ann Dolan, Mary Wynne, Sam O'Keefe, Eddie Kenny , Molly McGoldrick, Jean Corrigan, Mary Tivnan and Infant Ava Barker.

Lord hear us

For all who have died recently that God will raise them up an that they may see the glory of the face of Christ in Heaven: we pray for Una Gay-ghin, Bernard Mahoney, Sister Elizabeth , Joe Ryder, Everisto Ramos, Jane Rutter. Noreen Power. AND For those whose anniversaries occur about this time: Maureen Loftus (VIGIL MASS), Mary Christine Geraghty, , Veronica Lawson, Margaret Nutthall

May their souls and the souls of all...

O Mary Conceived without sin. R/ Pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Hail Mary...

Priest. Listen Lord to our heartfelt prayers on this day you have called your own and as we await the coming of your Son - fill us with confidence in his power to save. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.