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Sermon for 27 January 2013



My Dear People,

On Thursday 31st of January I will Preside at the Induction of the new Parish Priest at St Bernadette's, the Reverend Father Colin Wright. We welcome him most warmly to our Deanery dedicated to St Ambrose Barlow.

Today we also welcome Father Sean O'Brien who has come to be an Assistant Priest here and to assist Fr Egan with the Hospitals. I know you will give him a warm welcome.

National Holocaust Remembrance Day falls about this time when we are asked to remember the terrible events which took place in the Nazi era when the Third Reich organised the murder of up to six million people of Jewish origin along with millions of others. The Slavs were destined to become the slave race and indeed the Holy Father had begun this when he was sent to a stone quarry. He only escaped when he was named to be removed to a Labour (read death) Camp and he began his studies for the priesthood in the cellar of his Bishop. We must not forget the millions who died in Cambodia through Pol Pot and the millions who were killed in the Gulags of the Soviets either. These Godless ideologies all brought upon poor Humanity the most enormous suffering, death and injustices. Man cannot live without reference to God his Maker and Redeemer. If he tries his own programme of "salvation" (as these ideologies all claim) then Mankind suffers terribly. "Man does not live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God".

Since the late Pope, Blessed John Paul II, went on Pilgrimage to Jerusalem on 26 March 2000 there has been a special relationship with the Catholic Church. Blessed John Paul II did more than any other to increase the good relations between the Christians and the Jews. In his home town of Krakow there was a large community of Jews before the war and many were his friends. After the war they had nearly all been exterminated. Pope Benedict confirmed these ties more recently.

Our Lord's admonition today makes us all reflect for a moment. He is at the formal beginning of his Teaching Ministry and he has planned this moment for a long time. He is in the synagogue of his home town where everybody knew him since he was a boy. He solemnly and religiously unrolled the scripture and found the text concerning himself and read it out to them and told them that this prophesy of Isaiah was being fulfilled in him as he was reading it out.

Some claim this was and what a place to claim it - in front of the people who knew him so well. Well some of them thought he was blaspheming and yet our Lord had backed up what he was saying by his deeds. There was no looking back. Our Lord has "set his face" to the Divine Mission the Father has given him at the Incarnation - this path would lead to the Cross and the Resurrection.

The Church moves in the same power and the same Spirit and is empowered by Christ, animating the soul of the Church with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which sustains us and still causes the blind to see and the lame to walk.

One sad thing in our era is the cultural desert we live in which refusing to yield to God his proper place. St Luke tells us that Jesus "went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day as he usually did..." Sadly so few of the baptised Catholics in our parish ever attend Holy Mass to give honour and glory to Almighty God in the way laid down by the Divine Teaching and Commandment. Our Lord commanded us at the last Supper : "DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME". He did not say - "if you feel like it" did he?

This is a very bad state of affairs especially if these adults are parents for that means that their children have no possibility of learning about the sublime Mystery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I tell the parents it is like getting your lad interested in football by showing videos but not actually ever letting him kick a ball! The Catholic schools do their job in teaching the children the Catholic Faith and then many of the ones who brought them for Baptism never, ever take them to Mass. God forgive us for this state of affairs but the whole culture is Godless and you are a deviant if you love Christ and follow his Divine Teaching. God will not be mocked and our society is not a happy one and people live in anxiety and fear whilst the Government shouts at you at what you can and can't do and strains the gnat and swallows the camel. You can abort your young but you mustn’t smoke!

My parishioner was interviewed for a Public Service job and did not get it because when asked about her opinion about gay marriage she said she did not think it was a thing compatible with her Christian beliefs about how God intends Marriage. From then on she knew she did not have the job. It is not "live and let live" anymore - the believer is discriminated against by the very people who claim to be free from prejudice.

Our Lord was accused too and was the innocent One so you are in good company.

Keep smiling,

Fr Tom Connolly

FIRST COMMUNION CHILDREN. At 11am Mass today we have the two classes who will be making their Confirmation and Communion this year. The theme is "We are People who celebrate God's Word". The parents came together on Tuesday last to be catechised about this theme and to enable them to share it with their young ones. They are very welcome.

Caritas Diocese of Salford is advertising for the following vacancy:
Residential Care Workers – full time or part time, SCP14-20 £15,725 - £18,453 (pro rata for part time).
For more information and to download an application pack please visit the website: www.caritassalford.org.uk/jobs

Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers 3rd Sun C

Priest: “In the scroll of the book it stands written – HERE I AM LORD, I COME TO DO YOUR WILL”. We pray now to the Father in our Lord's most Holy Name for the ability to do God's will in all our needs.

Reader. The prophesy was fulfilled in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Nazareth synagogue – may we live in his presence and help to be signs of unity in an often fragmented society. Lord in your mercy.

For all our dear children receiving a copy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ today in preparation for receiving Him in First Holy Communion – that their parents may help them and support them with their priests and their class teachers. Lord in your mercy.

For the cause of Christian Unity as we are in Unity Week that God in his goodness will bring all who call themselves Christians into the unity for which Christ prayed at the last Supper. Lord in your mercy.

For all couples in marriage that their unity and love will help build our society and that the Engaged couples beginning the Marriage Course today may make successful marriages and bring each other joy and completion. Help them to be fruitful and multiply. Lord in your mercy.

We commend to the Divine mercy our dear sick and all who care for them: Agnes Halligan, Mary Molloy, Ronnie Molloy, Kathleen Burke,, Chris Lydon, Ann Brady, Ann Cronin, Mr Azicate . Lord in your mercy.

We pray for those who have died recently that they may see God’s face in heaven: Margaret Walters, Brian Gordan, Stella Weaver, Danny Naylor, Edith Moore.


For all those souls whose anniversaries occur at this time: Mary Colbert (9am Sunday), Phyllis Hannah, William McLoughlin, Hannah D. Costa, Julie Dooney, Michael McDonagh, Kathleen McSweeney, Michael Foy. Johnny Morris Senior, Beryl Kennedy, Sheila Delaney, Elizabeth Toner. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace Amen.

Mother of the Saviour – lead us to the Divine Word all the days of our lives. O Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee.Hail Mary.

Priest : O merciful God - Holy One, hear and answer our prayers which we make in the name of your Son through the same Christ our Lord.