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Sermon for 17 February 2013
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SIXTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C + YEAR OF FAITH + 17TH FEBRUARY 2013.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.

In the age of twenty four hours news, emails and Twitter, few announcements of state are kept secret before they are made, and even fewer have the power to make the world stop in disbelief. But Monday morning saw our most revered and loved Holy Father, Pope Benedict 16th in a faltering voice and speaking in Latin, announce to the Cardinals present in Rome that he was going to retire.

Millions of people were stopped in their stride as Pope Benedict XVI became the first Pontiff in 600 years to resign.

I was burying the dead at the time and got an urgent message from a priest friend to phone him when I was free for he wanted to tell me the news. I have printed here the full text of the Holy Father's resignation so read it. It is brief but he explains totally everything we need to know as to why.

One of the obvious things is his "weakenss of body and mind." The Pope is due to travel to Rio this summer to meet the youth of the Catholic Church - over a million for we are over one and half Billion you know, and Pope Benedict knew he would not be up to it, the doctors having told him - no more international travel after his return from Mexico and Cuba last year. What a way to begin Lent. Listen to the Bishop's Pastoral letter and take a copy of it from the back of Church to take home and read. I reckon we will have a new Pope by the middle of March. Pray for Pope Benedict. After the 28th of this month he will take to a life of prayer and study to prepare for his end. Let us spend Lent in a way which will lead us to Heaven and avoid Hell!!

Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said he plans on resigning the papal office on February 28th. Below please find his announcement.

Full text of Pope's declaration

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

BENEDICTUS PP XVI


LENTEN DEVOTIONS

THERE WILL BE THE SHORT STATIONS OF THE CROSS TO REPLACE THE ROSARY EACH WEEKDAY AFTER THE 9.30 MASS. ON SUNDAY AT 4 P.M. WE WILL HAVE THE LONGER STATIONS OF THE CROSS ENDING WITH BENEDICTION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT.

Marriage course

The Marriage Course for the Deanery goes on - with two more weeks to go. It has been held in the Marian Room where Kevin and his staff have to put out so many chairs for which I thank them. 61 couples have attended so far which is great news and they have been prepared for the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Church. Pray for them.




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