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Sermon for 4 May 2014
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THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER + 4TH MAY 2014. YEAR OF EVANGELISATION.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.

My Dear People,

What can I say? You will have seen some of the Ceremony surrounding the making of the two new saints, St John XXIII and St John Paul II on the TV. I was a witness. I was present in the front row of the priests who were not designated to give Holy Communion. I was with another Salford priest - Fr Simon Firthe.

The Fraternas at St Edwards had managed to get us the unobtainable (Pilar) - two tickets to get into the priest's enclosure. We met Cardinal Nichols on the street who was astounded that we had managed it!

Even with a ticket we had to be by the Bronze gate of the Piazza of St Peter (your right) at 3.30 am. Even then along with a Texan Bishop we waited until 5am to be let in. That meant though that we were on the front row chair and we guarded it with our life.

The vast crowds of pilgrims arriving from all over the globe filled me with pride to be part of the Universal Church founded on the Rock of Peter's Faith. Here we were so near his bones under the dome of St Peter's to celebrate two mores aintly Succesors "Thou art Peter and on this Rock I will build my Church".

On our way from the hotel which was very near the Vatican we passed whole streetfuls of sleeping bodies who had no hotel but sleeping gear and flasks etc. Many came from Poland as you can imagine. Their devotion was so moving. They had untold hardship to get here and the weather that night was not the best. They were filled with joy - OAP's, youth, mums and dads with kids, nuns in habit - all roughing it. Farming families too from Pope John's area of Bergamo in their Sunday best.

We kept looking behind us - we had five hours to wait before Mass of Canonisation began at 10am. We could see the tens of thousands filling up as you did even better I suspect on the TV - filling up every space of the Piazza of St Peter and the Via Conciliazione going all the way down to the River Tiber.

The Divine Mercy Prayers began over the sound system - sung and said and all 800,000 joined in for it was Divine Mercy Sunday. We knew we were about to begin when the 1000 bishops gradually took their places and then the Litany of the Saints was sung and at the end the Holy Father emerged with 150 Cardinals before him. Great applause greeted him and "Long live the Pope!" Pope Benedict was greeted too with applause as he slipped in to the front row with the cardinals - and the Mass began. The sight of those who had been cured by miracles at the intercession Blessed John Paul and Blessed John XXIII carrying the relics was so moving - a phial of Pope John Paul's blood and some tissue of Pope John's body when it was exhumed composed the relics. The Costa Rican mother who had been cured of a brain clot was with her husband kids and the French nun who had Advanced Parkinsons I think and cured by John 23rd read one of the Bidding Prayers. Who says the age of miracles is over?

The dialogue began at the beginning of the Mass of Canonisation with the Pope and the Postulator of the Saint's causes who requested the Pope to insert the names of the two Popes into the List of Saints by infallible decree and that is exactly what Pope Francis did and everybody applauded - two new "stars" of the Faith in Heaven to intercede for us. Some wept and were moved by the Holy Spirit. Two new Saints, and I had concelebrated Mass with St John Paul many years ago in his private chapel in the Vatican. That is a long story. We knew we had taken part in an event which was history in the making. I can tell you now that the proportion of youth in Rome for this great event was huge and from every nation on earth.

My dear people I prayed for you all there. I prayed for you and our schools. Later in the same evening we were able to go and visit the tombs of the two new Saints and pray there for their help. St Peters' Basilica remained open until 10pm and though pouring with rain we queued to enter to pray at tombs. Thus the end of a long long day-one I will never forget till the day I die!!

God Bless,

Fr Tom Connolly


FATHER SEAN O'BRIEN'S COLLECTION WILL BE TAKEN UP TODAY. HE TAKES UP HIS NEW DUTIES AT BLACKBURN HOSPITALS NEXT WEEK AND WE WISH HIM WELL AND TELL HIM HOW MUCH WE HAVE APPRECIATED HIS PRESENCE, HIS PREACHING THE FAITH, HIS MINISTRY TO THE YOUTH AND CARE OF THE SICK AND BEING SUCH A GOOD COMPANION . THANK YOU FATHER SEAN.

ST KENTS SOCIAL CLUB' SUNDAY NIGHT FUNCTION IS CANCELLED.

11 May - This the date of Good Shepherd Sunday = Day of Prayer for vocations to the Priesthood and the consecrated life. A second Collection is taken for the Seminaries of our diocese at the Masses that day. Fr Tom.

THE CHALICE USED BY ST JOHN PAUL II IN THE HEATON PARK MASS I WILL USE IN OFFERING MASS THIS WEEKEND AND ON DISPLAY WILL BE THE PURIFICATOR, THE CORPORAL AND THE FINGER TOWEL THE SAINT USED TO PURIFY THE CHALICE AND HIS HANDS AT THE MASS IN HEATON PARK. THE CHALICE IS CALLED "THE DE TRAFFORD" CHALICE BECAUSE IT WAS USED IN TIMES OF PERSECUTION IN THEIR HOUSE NEAR WHAT IS NOW KNOWN AS Eccles. Fr Ian Kelly has made this possible.






Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers 3rd Sunday of Easter Cycle A

Priest: O Heavenly Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the holy wounds are our source of hope for a world standing in need of hope for the future. Hear our humble prayer for your favour in the name of the newly risen Redeemer.

Reader: We commend to God all those hurts brought about to others by people’s sins. We pray for forgiveness and reconciliation, for healing of memories and closure on past hurts and injustices. Lord in your mercy.

For who suffer and are wounded by the direct faults and offences of individuals in their lives. Lord be their pardon and their peace. We pray for Christians of Iraq, of the Sudan and Egypt that there will be no war. Lord in your mercy.

For all those who need to touch and see in order to believe. We pray that the light of faith may shine on them like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and all those souls who suffer from profound doubt or lack of faith. Lord in your mercy.

We pray for the intercession and protection from the new saints of God, Pope St John 23rd and Pope St John Paul the Second that they may bless the church with their constant intercession and love as they did when they walked the earth. Lord in your mercy.

We pray for all our youth who are in education and being examined and al our youth in our families so beloved of God that they may reaise this love to the full and so find fullness of life and Joy in the Holy Spirit. Lord in your mercy.

We commend to God those who are ill in our parish: Bee Anne O'Grady, Ann Dolan, Maura McBrien, Kirsty Rafferty, Marie Hopkins, Brenda Brady, Mary Gallagher, Denis McLoughlin, Thanks for successful operation: Luke Connolly.

We commend to God those who have died recently – Mrs Maguire the slain teacher and Rosa Zodorozny and Lawrence Dale.

AND For all those whose anniversaries fall about this time:Nancy Rowe, Patricia Byrne, Jim Kane (VIGIL) Triciia Byrne, Patrick Sweeney, (11 am ) Michael and Marjorie Griffin (6.30 Sunday), Maureen Callaghan (9am), Sarah Lindley.

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

O Mary Most Holy, Mary most you have experienced in your flesh the glorification of your Body into Heaven, pray for us your children on our pilgrimage journey. O Mary, conceived without sin. R/Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary...

Priest: Listen Lord to the ardent prayer of your sons and daughters who are gathered around the altar to offer this perfect sacrifice of praise - which is forever ,utterly pleasing in your sight. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.