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Sermon for 29th December 2013
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The Holy Family + a 29th December 2013.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST

My Dear People,

The feast of the Holy Family always come straight after Christmas just when most of us have been fortunate enough to have celebrated the Christmas feast of our Lord's birth with my own "family". Many of you asked me "what are you doing for Christmas Father?" and of course I knew what they meant. They were asking me with whom would I be spending my Christmas. All those poor people stuck in Gatwick on Christmas Eve because of the flood which took the electricity supply down were heading home for Christmas.

The Church teaches with great force the place of the Human family in the formation of humanity. All of us go by the way of the family. The family forms us so deeply and it is sacred to God. It is his will that Man and Woman, given that they are given the gift of fecundity, be good parents. The Nuptial Blessing at a Marriage refers to the parents being made good and holy. Children really prosper and develop well when they have a mother and father -married. If they do not – like is very precarious. Under half of couples living together now in our country have the married state of any type. That is why 300.000 children are without fathers present to them. What a loss! If the State undervalues marriage and reduces it then people take the hint don't they?

Jesus, Mary and Joseph are the model for the Christian family. This is the first family unit where Jesus Christ is loved and adored. The prayers of this Mass in the old translation say this: "Father, you ordered the earth to bring forth life and crowned its goodness by creating the family of man. In history's moment you sent your Son to dwell in time. Teach us the sanctity of human love, show us the value of family life and help us to live in peace...May this communion strengthen us in the troubles of life."

The Synod the Pope has called for next year is on The Christian Family. Blessed John Paul II wrote widely on the Family. The family needs to be defended from the attack of the politicos who would reduce "Family" to anything you want. Even Elton John tells us that he feels sorry for his child who will never know a mother's love. How about that then?

But think now those of us who can, of the formation we got from our dear parents from our relations- our brothers and sisters or cousins and kin – of neighbours and friends of our family.

We thank God on this feast for all those good people, living and dead who, on our pilgrimage of life have enriched us. Our Lord could have done the same. Joseph and Mary thought he was with friends and acquaintances in the caravan returning from Jerusalem to Nazareth. It was only when they had asked around searched do they realise he, the Eternal Son of the Father - The Chosen One was lost from them at the age of Twelve. Such is the family of our Lord and the rest is history. May Joseph and Mary watch over our families. May our young believe in the divine calling of the sacrament of marriage and enjoy it wonderful graces. May our married people be faithful to the holy Sacrament God has given them and enjoy its graces.

God bless all of you on this Feast,

Father Tom Connolly

TOYS FOR CHILDREN APPEAL

THANKS HAVE COME IN FROM THE Caritas of our diocese from the Homeless Families units and so many more I cannot tell you. Carole Whitely alone in the RSB offices where she works in town collected nearly £1000 for this purpose. These were all bought and wrapped and labelled so they were clearly for a boy or a girl (oooh gender stereotyping!!!) and the age. Then you dear parishioners were so generous in all your wrapped gifts. They all brought a little joy into the life of some child in need this Christmas.

CRIB OFFERING GO TO CARITAS THIS YEAR. IT IS THE CHARITY RUN FOR THE NEEDY IN OUR SALFORD DIOCESE. IT RUNS UNITS FOR SINGLE MUMS, FOSTERING, EMERGENCY HELP ETC.

CARDS AND GIFTS TO THE CLERGY: YOU ARE A VERY GENEROUS LOT SO THANK YOU…WE PRAY FOR ALL OUR BENEFACTORS.

Society for the protection of the unborn child will be making a retiring collection on the weekend of 11/12 January. We are up against a great evil - 180.000 pregnancies a year end with termination. The money interests are great. We must be informed and argue well with the powers that be. Did you know that the Republic of Ireland is introducing abortion on 1st of Jan 2014 - the Solemnity of the Mother of God? Devils are they not?





Bidding Prayers

Bidding for Holy Family

Let us adore the Son of the Living God who became a Son in a human family and who intercedes for us with the Eternal Father.

Reader : Jesus , Eternal Word of the Father, you lived under the authority of Mary and Joseph, teach us all to walk that path of humility marked out by you. Lord in your mercy.

Mary kept in her heart all that you said and did; may we learn in her example the spirit of contemplation. Lord in your mercy.

Christ, yours was the strength that shaped the universe, yet you came to learn to be a carpener. Help us to see our work as a sharing in yours. Lord in your mercy You advanced in wisdom and in favour with God and men., may we live to the full in you and build up your body in faith and love.

Hallow our family life and bring back those who have strayed and unite us all in yor body oh babe of Bethlehem.

For the sick we pray and commend to the Child who reaches out to us all: Kirsty Rafferty, BeeAnne Grady, Denis McLoughlin, Armando Herrere, Virginia Perochena, , Rosa Motta, Sharon Collins. Lord in your mercy.

We pray for those souls who have died recently: Rita Crewe, Linda Goldberg, Michael McKeown, Catherine Moyles, Francis Murphy, Jo McGrath AND Those who we remember on their anniversary: The Molloy and Grennan Family Members (11am), Afram Zaer, Ann Hopkins (1st Jan) Austin Hopkins, Teresa Hamilton (30th Dec) Cecil and Gladys Jones, Danny Colbert, Harry Duggan Snr and Harry Duggan Jnr. May their souls and the souls of…

Mary is the bearer of life for our redemption as she brought forth the Saviour - O Mary conceived with out sin..Pray for us.. Hail Mary..

Priest: On this feast of the Holy Family may we offer these heartfelt prayer for all family life. Thru Christ our Lord.