THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT + YEAR C + 16TH DECEMBER 2012. YEAR OF FAITH.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
"A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people." St Luke the Evangelist records in the Gospel today. They would wouldn't they because the "fullness of time" had arrived and God was visiting his people. The world would soon be measured for its time from the year of the Holy Birth of Christ in Bethlehem. Time would begin again for such an important intervention in humanity's history needed Time to begin again and all TIMES be measured as from The Year of the Lord.
If only our people had that expectancy. People now expect the worst or expect only on the level of the individual like a promotion in the job or winning the Lottery! One only has to have a life threatening illness to have one's expectancy focus totally changed and all things put into perspective. The Mass says that "We await in joy the glorious coming of our Saviour". Oh how we must long for his coming. We must thirst for the reign of justice in our world. We must long for the poor and the deprived to be raised up and to be heeded. We must long for the unborn babes to be secure in their motherís womb. We must pray that we will not be overcome with the evil which threatens our way of life. We must certainly LONG for the right things. We must long for holiness of Life and blessed at the end with the Saints in Heaven.
The Carol Service on Thursday night was held in St Kentigern's for the parents and members of the Parish. It was most uplifting with the Reflections and Mediation on theme of Christmas and the surrounding of our Blessed Lord's Birth. The Nativity plays put on in the schools have been truly uplifting and the children so pure and simple in telling the Christmas Story in a genius way for young people with lots of very good and swinging songs and carols.
The students of the various Universities in Manchester came to their Carols and Lessons by Candlelight. The Catholic Chaplaincy organised it at the Holy Name and it was full of students all religions and none and they were profoundly respectful. It is wonderful to see the Holy Name and everybody with the candle singing to carols and listening to the Christmas story. What great hope I can see in the desire for these students to come for one and a half hours and listen and sing. God is calling each of them to be set on fire with the Divine Love. The Pope told the Austrian Bishops recently in Rome that we must move away from the Mediaís agenda for the Church on "morals" and begin to talk about God and his Love and the prayer and contemplation - spiritual freedom and growth... the Virtues, the Beatitudes. We must put forth Christ in all his beauty, who will "draw all to Himself".
In a week where the parody of gay Marriage has never left the News and the last Census showing that Christian Faith is on the decline in our nation we must always be a people of Hope. Hope springs eternal. Our Lord has promised and he will not let us down. We belong to Jesus whose reign will last forever and who will raise up even our mortal bodies to be like his in Glory. The babe in Bethlehem came to restore Mankind and we are part of Him who restores all things. Do not be deflected by the Media. It sets the agenda for you. Ignore it and concentrate on our Blessed Lord's coming. Focus on the heart of Mary as she came near to the birth on the road for the Census of those days and Expecting. Focus on Joseph - Spouse most holy and the one who guarded the Holy Family. Be attentive to the babe as he reaches out to you with those little arms which thirty three years later would be stretched out on the cruel cross and remember who won in this battle!
Getting retting ready for Christmas...
Fr Tom Connolly.
DRIVING. WITH ME HAVING THOSE BLANK OUT (BUT NONE SINCE I STARTED THE PILLS) I HAVE TO STOP DRIVING FOR A TIME AS MY LICENCE IS WITHDRAWN BY THE DVLA. I WILL BE A BIT CURTAILED EH? THE BIKE IS THERE AND IíLL TAKE TO IT BUT I WILL BE ASKING YOU FOR LIFTS TOO. Fr Connolly.
ST JOSEPH'S PENNY. THE DIOCSE IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS WHO WILL BE TRAINED TO SPEAK TO OUR SCHOOLS ABOUT THE PURPOSE OF ST JOSEPH'S PENNY. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO SCHOOL CHILDREN email or bell Alison after jan 7th on 817 2251 see poster.
Christmas is so near my dear People. Do take the CHRISTMAS CARD wonít you with all the times of the various Masses and celebrations and confessions etc?
Next Sunday afternoon at St Kentigerns, we have the 4pm Benediction with the Holy Infant Christmas Novena (begins TODAY). Come and enjoy that 30 minutes of peace and calm with our Lord before his Birthday begins in earnest! Without that card you will be lost so take one and take one for others who might like to read my Christmas Message. You might bring a soul back from being astray.
Father Tom Connolly
CHRISTMAS PARCELS. The children of St Kentigern's school had an Own Clothes Day and collected enough money to buy a lovely fancy carrier bag containing Christmas luxury eats and drinks for each some of the old folk. Thanks you to the Head, Mr Jackson and his staff for organising this lovely way of showing our unity as a parish family of Christ. The housebound will be delighted. They are still being delivered by the way.
CHRISTMAS PRESSIES FOR NEEDY KIDS. Please wrap smart a modest present and label it to A SPECIAL BOY or a SPECIAL GIRL. GIVE THE AGE RANGE TOO AND PLACE IT UNDER THE TREE OR BEHIND THE BAR AT THE CLUB. DO IT VERY SOON OR IT WILL BE TOO LATE TO DELIVER.
BIDDING PRAYERS 3RD OF ADVENT YEAR B.
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 menís hearts and fill them with the hope of redemption. Lord in your mercy.
Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and End of all thing 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 those who hold political power over us - that they uphold the integrity of Marriage as between a male and a female as the Creator intended it and designed for the mutual comforting and the continuation of the race. Lord in your mercy.
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 in your mercy.
For all whose faith has suffered damage through scandal or sin or for whatever reason Ė that the feast of Christmas may bring them back to their fatherís house. Lord in your mercy.
For all our dear Sick that the Lord in his tender mercy may be with them in their suffering and they, in union with him, Rosella Devlin, Mary Molloy, Anthony Dwyer, Peter Ramsbottom, Ronnie Malloy, Walter Grady, Gloria Gabriel. Lord in your mercy.
For all those who have died recently,James Kearney, Madge Burke MONTHíS MIND 11AM) Austin Joseph Reid, Freda and Dorothy and Ita McParkland AND For all those whose anniversaries occur about this time: Maureen Loftus, Kevin Devanney, Tommy Mimnagh, Peter and Bridgid Mimnagh, James and Rose McKenna, James Crawford. May their souls and the souls of all...
Mary is the one who was with our Saviour from Bethlehem to Calvary - Oh Mary Conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. May she pray for us now- 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.