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Sermon for 25 August 2013



My Dear People,

There is a lovely passage in the Ritual Book for the Prayers for the Dying when the Priest prays: "May Christ, who was crucified for you, admit you into his garden of paradise. May Christ acknowledge you as one of his flock…and set you among those he has chosen. May you see your Redeemer, face to face and enjoy the vision of God forever." Elsewhere - "May Christ who has called you, take you to himself, may the angels lead you..."

How many times have I prayed these powerful prayers of Mother Church over dying souls? Too many to even contemplate.

Now, why am I writing about such things in the depths of August barmy weather and empty streets and holiday mode (except for the A Level candidates!!). Well the words of our Lord in the Gospel assigned to this Sunday are a bit scary don’t you think? Our Lord, in answer to the question: "Will many get to Heaven?" answers in a way which is not totally clear. He indicates that not as many as we imagine are going to make it. It is a narrow, not a broad door that you have to seek out. He said many try to the broad door and get shut out and the Master of the House does not let them in because he does not know them "as one of his flock". "Go away from me you wicked men. I do not know where you come from" the Master of the house says.

Now, the House in the parable is no doubt, the Communion of the Church which is he House of God. If you are really in it and “one of his flock” then the door will be opened and you will hear those words..."Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord!"

Our Lord's words were addressed most directly as the contempories who were listening to him and who would be part of that crowd who would eventually be shouting "Crucify him". Our Lord could see this. He also could see us. We (the non Jews) were the great unwashed at that time - not belonging to the race of Abraham. Our Lord could sadly see his own people being left outside the Kingdom of God by not recognising "the hour". The good part was that he could see us – from the east and west, north and south actually entering the Kingdom to join Abraham and Isaac and Jacob etc.

Now that still applies to every generation. You don’t get to heaven simply by saying “but I am a Catholic” - you have to believe and practise it to be on the safe side eh? Are you really on our Lord’s team and one his loyal and devout followers – really belonging to him and your life only making sense in reference to his Church – his Body?

As St Augustine of Hippo said in 430AD: "In the long run there will be but two kinds of men: those who love God and those who love something else."

Well the answer to that only you can answer for yourself. Dante reserved one of the deepest places in The Inferno to the clergy!! So being a priest alone is not going to save you. It is the “KNOWING” WHERE THE CLUE IS. Does the Master know YOU and you HIM? Our Lady is our advocate and the Nine First Fridays Promises of the Sacred Heart are still valid and there is hope for the gravest sinner.

God Bless,

Father Tom Connolly

REQUIEM MASS in the open air AT 11AM in Southern and Moston and Wardley Cemeteries at 11am on Bank Holiday Monday. Bring a chair and – if wet - an umbrella. Your Holy Souls will appreciate it. Even if you do not have anyone buried there – pretend you have and pray for your own buried elsewhere. My mother and father and two uncles and stepmother are buried in Southern. Fr Connolly.

PLANNED GIVING ENVELOPE SYSTEM WHERE THE PARISH GETS THE TAX BACK THAT YOU HAVE PAID ON YOUR COLLECTION IF YOU DECLARE YOU ARE A TAXPAYER, BROUGHT IN £5370 FOR THE YEAR. NOW – THAT IS GREAT IS IT NOT? If you pay tax and give to the church – do it my standing order or Special Envelope and – hey presto – Mr Osborne gives us the tax money back. New Boxes will be available soon.


Red boxes – see note.

Bidding Prayers

Bidding prayers for 21 Sunday year c

Priest: Let us pray to the God of Compassion for light to know his will and the grace to obey it as we bring our petitions before his throne of mercy.

Reader: For the whole Church of God – that she may always discern for the people the road less trodden, the narrower way but nevertheless the true way of human living. Lord in your mercy.

For the many in our society who see a life of sin and rejection of God as a way of freedom to march and celebrate to – that they mend their ways and listen to the truth and find the grace of salvation. Lord in your mercy.

Give peace to our troubled world and give your children security of mind and freedom from anxiety- we pray for our brethren in Egypt and Syria whose church are being attacked. Lord in your mercy.

Lord, help us to bring your compassion to the poor, the sick, those alone and unloved: lead us to find you in the coming week.. Lord in your mercy.

For all of our sick who have asked us for prayers that the Lord’s healing hand may touch them: Kathleen Fisher, Sean Walsh, Denis McLoughlin, Lucy Hutchinson, Margareta Teresa Crewe and Mary Molloy Lord, in your mercy.

Awaken the dead to glorious resurrection: may we be re-united with them at the end of time. For those who have died that they may see the face of the Living God: Sean Howard, Kathleen Anderson and Alda Holuj-Bottari. AND For all those whose anniversaries fall about this time: Joe Sweeney, Seamus O'Hara, (11am) John Smith (9am) ,Tom and Mary Geraghty.

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

Our Lady was assumed, body and soul into heaven from where she prays for us her children – we commend ourselves to her prayer—Hail Mary...