PENTECOST SUNDAY 19TH MAY 2013.
My Dear People,
It is Pentecost and the Birthday of the Holy Catholic Church. It was this day in 33 AD (according to the new calendar brought in by Constantine the Roman Emperor) that Saint Peter stood up in front of thousands and made the original missionary sermon and converted thousands. The birthday of the Church as a public institution is today. The Holy Spirit caused it to happen and was with the apostles and the disciples to animate them and transform them into active and adventurous apostles of the faith. "As the Father sent me, so I send you" said Jesus to them. They are the ones who are sent by God. Today also the apostles are sent by God - that is the origin of the teaching of the Church that the Bishops with the Pope are the apostle's successors in the Apostolic Office. It is to them to fulfil the Divine Mandate - "Go forth to all the nations...". How much we need to do just that today don't we?
You see the bell in the hand of our Patron St Kentigern. It is in the Coast of Arms of the City of Glasgow. He rang that bell and called the people to listen to what he was saying - the Message of Jesus Christ. Assisted by the Holy Spirit he brought the heathen tribes out of their worship of the constellations and the earth and the Sun. He announced the Only Son of God. He and the fellow apostles established the Church of God. Rather like school - you are only as good as the last top class. Every year has to bring the knowledge and skills to the new pupils coming up. So it is with the Faith. The Church in the West stands in great need of renewal. The Pope recently speaking to visiting Bishops and told them that the renewal of the Church would begin with a re-conversion of the Bishops themselves! I am sure the Irish and English Bishops feel the same. St Augustine was the Apostle of the English and he did the same with his fellow monks sent by Pope Gregory the Great. So began the Christianization of our nations. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will renew again "the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in them the fire of that love."
We are coming to the end of the Month of May. We will crown our Lady's statue in St. Kentigern’s school on Wednesday and every child will bring in flowers and present them to the image of our Blessed Mother singing every Marian hymn ever written I think. We all will pray the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We end with the blessing of the crown and the flowers, with the sun shining through the windows with huge beams of light we hope. The smoke of the incense really will signify our prayers rising.
Tonight at the Vigil Mass we will belatedly honour the Crowned statue of Our Lady - just made it for the Month dedicated to the Mother of God.
Devotion to our Lady is essential for a balance in our faith. God has done great things in her and we have to acknowledge that otherwise we would be neglecting a great gift. Our Lady is not the icing on the cake - optional. She is an essential part of the Church. Her role was decreed by God himself and his Only Son gave us the mothering of Mary from his cross when he said to John the Apostle "Behold, your mother". Jesus looked and saw her and the beloved disciple standing by her and spoke those words. Every word spoken from the cross cost our Lord a lot of pain so each of the seven sentences were very short and to the point and carefully recorded like precious jewels falling to the ground. So the power of Mary's prayers for us and her protection is an essential experience for us all. We dedicate every newly baptised child to the protection of the Mother of God in front of Our Lady’s Altar after the Baptism in our parish. St Bernard said that it was never known that any turned to her and was left unaided. She is also the woman of Pentecost for she was present with the apostles at prayer when the Holy Spirit descended with great power from on High. She is with the church at its very start and is with us now as we read this – fully alive and already sharing the glory won by her Son in her risen and glorified body – the one which bore the Immaculate and Sinless One, Jesus Christ our Lord and God.
Father Tom Connolly.
NEW CLEANERS PLEASE, please will you volunteer to clean our Church. Age and infirmity has decreased the number of cleaners by half so we need to get new people. It will only take one hour every few weeks if enough people volunteer. It is our Church and we must show we care for it. We are losing one of our younger cleaners too so please - don't leave it to someone else.
ALTAR SERVERS. WE STAND IN NEED OF MORE ALTAR SERVERS. PLEASE ASK THE PRIESTS OR TEACHERS FOR A FORM FOR YOUR PARENTS TO FILL IN WITH THEIR APPROVAL AND WE WILL TRAIN YOU TO SERVE THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS. YOU MUST HAVE MADE YOUR FIRST COMMUNION.
CONFIRMATION BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, 45 CHILDREN OF OUR SCHOOL WILL HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED (SATURDAY AT 10AM) ALONG WITH MICHELLE HUGHES, AN ADULT CONVERT FROM THE C OF E. IN JUNE THE CHILDREN WILL MAKE THEIR FIRST HOLY COMMUNION. PRAY FOR THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES. CONGRATULATIONS TO MICHELLE ON HER RECEPTION INTO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND HER RECEIVING HER FIRST COMMUNION AT THE SUNDAY EVENING MASS THIS WEEKEND.
FATHER PAT CLARKE'S MISSION TO THE STREET CHILDREN - the fund raiser last Friday in our Club was a great Fundraiser and I thank Kevin Fitzpatrick for hosting it so well and maximising the aid given and made.
Pentecost Bidding Prayers
Priest: Let us bless the Eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has poured out on the nations the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Reader: The Father gave his Beloved Son as a light for all peoples - open the eyes of a blind world to see Christ as the future of Humanity. Lord in your mercy.
Send your Holy Spirit to give rest to the weary, and to comfort the dying - strengthen our faith - give life and joy to the broken hearted. Lord in your mercy.
Today is the Birthday of the Church - renew her in the Holy Spirit - drive far from her those would plot for her downfall - strengthen all those who have the pastoral care of the People of God and especially we pray for our clergy that they may be true shepherds of the flock of Christ. Lord in your mercy.
The Father anointed Christ with the Power of the Holy Spirit for his ministry of salvation - may he pass once more among us, healing the sick and doing good for everyone as we pray for our sick: Eileen Dillon, Peter Halfpenny, Geof Gaynord, Celia Maguire, Helen Walsh, Frances Howarth, Mary Everret, Mary Tivnan, Peggy Forkan, Pat Aldcroft, Mrs Keegan. Lord in your mercy...
Fulfil the hope of the faithful departed – Marjorie Walsh, Agnes Gillhooley, Peggy Clarke, Desmond White AND for all who anniversaries fall now :Michael Devanny, Elaine Farrelly, John Stockes (11am), William and Anastasia Kinsella, Edith Selby, Edith Sharples, Stephen Sharples - raise them up in glory when Christ comes again.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
O Mary, conceived with sin. R/ Pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit and bore that most excellent of all fruits - Jesus Christ the Word made flesh - may she pray for the Spirit to come to us on this great feast of Pentecost. Hail Mary...
Priest: O God who dwells in the hearts of the faithful by the presence of the Holy Spirit - we pray that this divine indwelling may ever console us and hear and answer our prayers. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.