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Sermon for 18 January 2015
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SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME. Year B cycle. + 18th January 2015 . THE YEAR OF RELIGIOUS LIFE.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.

My Dear People,

The Church is alive and the Church is young. She holds within herself the future of the world and therefore shows each of us the way towards the future. These are the words from the Inauguration of the Pope Benedict which he spoke in his homily that day. The Cracow (Poland) Papal Youth - Gather this summer with Pope Francis will witness to the youthfulness of he Church and the fecundity of its womb in Baptism. Lorraine Leonard, our Salford Diocese Youth Officer is organising for 100 of our Youth to attend this International Gathering of the youth with Pope Francis. Did you see the pictures of the Pope’s visit to Sri Lanka and Philippines from Thursday? Talk about millions and how youthful!

In the call of the Apostles we hear our Lord's voice attracting the youthful future apostles to his side to work with him for the salvation of souls. Two sets of brothers - James and John and then, today Andrew and Simon Peter are called. They have that enthusiasm which only young people have for they are not jaundiced by failure or fear of failure. Neither are they cynical and worldly wise. They accept our Lord's call to the Apostolic Ministry without a care in the world. Off they go and follow him with simple faith and confidence. They don't ask about the outcome nor do they seek assurances. They have found the Messiah and they are going to follow him. Jesus knows who he is calling. The Chief Apostle - the first to exercise the Office of the Papacy was Simon and straightaway the Lord gave him the new name "Peter". Jesus looked hard at him, Saint John tells us. He was a witness to this. Three years later John and Peter would be running together from the Upper Room to witness the Empty Tomb on the first Easter Morn. Little did they know what was going to happen to them.

It is still true is it not that young people have no fear? They get on with it and forge ahead. Couples getting married have no idea what married life might bring but they are buoyed up by their love and optimism and face all things together with each other - then they can handle the whole world.

Young priests are the same and young consecrated people - they too know no bounds and communicate the joy of the Lord and the wonderful gift of knowing him and being his priest or consecrated to him in the vows of religion.

What power there is when these elements operate! I feel again and again our youth lack the leadership they need from others just a few years older than themselves. Even to organise them into a football team is something they long for but few adults are around to offer.

The GAA in our area is so good that like and Irish Dancing Classes and the City Football Academy, for they lead youngsters out of themselves to join with others in the pursuit of excellence. Father Flynn was very good with his Pastoral Assistant - Ada of the Fraternas at leading the youth as can be seen in his great chaplaincy work he did at Loreto Catholic High School, Chorlton. Father Sean O'Brien filled everyone with delight at his priestly youthful enthusiasm in his preaching and relating to folk.

So Pray for the youth. God loves them with a special love for their youth. Pray that the Church will be enabled by young apostles of our time, to show Her love and concern for them and that they will not lack leadership which will galvanise them as Catholic Youth so that they can play their part to play in the process.

Pray for vocations that young men like Peter and Andrew may experience the calling the Lord to the Sacred Ministry. St John Bosco loved the youth and founded the Salesians. He never lacked fun and Humour to attract them.

God Bless you all,

Father Tom Connolly.


The CRIB OFFERING raised £300 for the Catholic Caritas of our Diocese. I have sent the cheque off now. Deeply appreciated so the homeless families unit wrote a lovely letter thanking you for the wrapped gifts for the children at Christmas.

Young ,Gifted and Green St Bede’s College: the award winning "Young , gifted and Green" Irish Troupe from St Bede's College will be staging its annual Irish Charity Concert (19th March) as part of the 2015. Manchester Irish Festival. www.stbedescollege.co.uk.Tickets are limited and priced at £20 Adults/ £15 Concessions. Buy in advance from St Bede’s 226 3323

XAVERIAN COLLEGE Mrs Mary Hunter is retiring as Principal of the College. She has done a tremendous task at Xaverian College - pray for her work to be continued through a good new appointment. We wish her a long and healthy retirement with her husband.

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