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Sermon for 17 April 2011



And so we begin Holy Week and I hope that it will be truly a holy Week in your life. This week we will be listening each day in the Holy Mass and the Divine Office to the threatening clouds of hatred and ill-will which threaten to overcome the Saviour.

Forces of great evil were arraigned against the Holy One of God and they are now arraigned against his Holy Church. In the Western world of the democracies marriage is being reduced to a stump so that few even bother with it. The Divine Law is set aside for an experiment in which human genetic material will be reproduced and destroyed and where some babies will not even have a biological father but two persons called "mother" or "father" officially on the Birth Certificate. What a formal lie for the State to tell a child. Strange times we are living through.

God is noting their activities and they will not pass from this world without true judgement. Christ will be vindicated as he was and is in the Resurrection and will not be mocked.

He will not be mocked either as long as the Church has a Pope like Pope Benedict. His State visit to our country reminded many of our true origins and roots in the Christian Faith.

This week we will see our Lord enter the Holy City on the back of a young colt and with the people going wild with joy - waving palm branches and throwing their cloaks on the ground for the Holy One to walk on. Other voices by Good Friday will be shouting with great hatred – "crucify him!" We will experience on Spy Wednesday the devil entering Judas's soul and his plotting with the authorities to betray Jesus for 30 silver pieces and with a kiss as a sign.

We will follow Christ on Maundy Thursday Instituting the Priesthood and your clergy will renew their vows of service to the Bishop in the Mass of Chrism when the three Holy Oils will be consecrated by Bishop Brain for use in the whole diocese. On Thursday night we will gather for the Commemoration of the First Mass - and the washing of the Feet and the Stripping of the Altars and the watching with Christ in His Agony before the Altar of Repose.

On Good Friday, at 11, we will see the children of our School put on devotional children's Stations of the Cross. At 3pm we will all gather to Kiss the feet of the Crucified and hear his Passion and make the Great Prayer of Intercession and receive Him in Holy Communion.

At sun down on Saturday - Holy Saturday the altar will appear glorious again and the Easter bells with peal and the announcing that Christ is Risen will be sung forth in the whole Church. The Easter bonfire will be lit and the Easter Candle and the Easter Baptismal Water will be blessed and we will renew Baptismal vows. The new converts will be Baptised and Confirmed and make their First Holy Communion : Emma Smalley, John Joseph Shaughnessy and Emma Langshaw and all this will mark the Holy Week of 2011 and will continue to consecrate the time each year it passes for as long as God gives us life on this earthly pilgrimage.

So - do try to join in these Sacred Actions as much as you are able particularly the Holy Triduum of Maundy Thursday evening, Good Friday at 3pm and Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil. Make time for prayer and reflection. Take the Easter leaflet and see the many times you can be helped to pray in the spirit of the holy season and so imbibe deeply at Christ’s breast and be nourished in the depths of one’s being.

Father Tom Connolly


WALSINGHAM PILGRIMAGE 2011 IS THE 950th Anniversary of the Vision of the Holy House of Loreto and the Pilgrimage from our Diocese will be Sunday 7th May price £20. Phone Mrs Pat Jones on 431 0759 for details.

Bidding Prayers


Bidding Prayers for Palm Sunday

Priest: This is the Day when our Lord entered in triumph into the Holy City. Let us walk with him now on the way of the Cross - asking the Father for all our needs in His Name.

For the Universal Church on this Passion Sunday - that our joyful celebration of our Lord's entry into Jerusalem as the Messiah may encourage all who follow His way and the way of all Christians. Lord hear us.

For all who walk the way of the cross and especially the persecuted Church in China and Pakistan, and we commend all God’s people who stand up against the spirit of the world with its anti life and anti child mentality and its atheistic secularism. Lord, hear us.

For our First Communion children and their families who play a special part in today's celebration - that their young hearts may receive with great Joy Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrament of the altar. Lord, hear us.

We pray for all who are called to suffer in the way of the Cross that they may have the confidence to trust in Christ in the midst of illness and disability: Irene Farrelly, Marie Gibson, Martin Hoysted, Kathleen Higgins, Michael Connolly, Mary Molloy, Patricia McGrotty, Agnes Ryan, Betty Wallace, Maureen Waring and Mary Tivnan. Lord, hear us.

For all who have been called by God to eternal life in these last few days: John Byrne, Anthony Roper, Eileen Brady, Leo Morgan, Mar Varsky Cardinal Vith-ay-thil, Matthew Kottar- a-thil, John Joe Reilly, John McGowan


For all those souls whose anniversaries occur about this time: Mary Kerrigan (VIGIL) K.M.George (9am), Afram Zaer, Stanley Dale, Margaret McDonagh, Joseph Nolan, John Joe Coghlan, Peggy Bourke, Tommy Coyne, Paddy Lyden and family.

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

Our Lady stood by her Son from Bethlehem to Calvary and so experienced the joy of Easter Morn. May her faithful example warm our hearts as we move into these days of Holy Week. O Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary, full of grace...

Priest: Lord, the children of Jerusalem welcomed you as Christ the King – may we welcome you as our Saviour and Lord as we make these prayers to you who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Palm Sunday