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Sermon for 27 December 2015
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The Holy Family + 27th December 2015. YEAR OF MERCY.

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 our own "family" or close friends. Many of you asked me "what are you doing for Christmas Father?"" and of course I knew what they meant. You were asking me with whom would I be spending my Christmas. So many of those people in Airports on week before Christmas, all heading home for Christmas. Wonderful.

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 – known to them. If they do not – like can be more difficult can’t it? I encourage everyone to marry once they have met the one they love. Our Marriage course begins for the parishes of our deanery here at St Kentigern's Social Club Marian Room on all the Sundays of February at 3pm. Don't be put off by money. The church does not charge for weddings you know. You can make an offering but there is no set "fee" - you only have to pay the Registrar to issue the legal Certificates etc.

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 this year was on The Christian Family. Saint 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. We forgive also those who gave us a bad time (if any!)

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 and searched do they realise he, the Eternal Son of the Father - The Chosen One was lost from them at the age of Twelve. It was one of "the Sorrows" of Mary but "The finding..."" is one of our Lady's Joys isn’t it in the Rosary Prayer.

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. May the Engaged couples soon to begin their marriage preparation Course have a wonderful grace given them.

God bless all of you on this Feast,

Father Tom Connolly


TOYS FOR NEEDY CHILDREN APPEAL at St Kentigerns: THANKS HAVE COME from our diocese from the Homeless Families units and so many more I cannot tell you. These were all bought and wrapped and labelled so they were clearly for a boy or a girl (oooh gender stereotyping!!!) and the age. 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. The huge number of smartly wrapped gifts were taken up to Collyhurst to the Lally Centre where the diocese runs a homeless families unit and needs toys to distribute. So, after sharing some of the wrapped gifts with local families, the remainder went there in good time for Christmas Feast.

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 YOU KNOW SO THANK YOU...FROM FR CONNOLLY and FR GEORGE. WE PRAY FOR ALL OUR BENEFACTORS.

CHRISTMAS FAYRE: THANKS TO ALL WHO GAVE CONTRIBTUTIONS AND CAME TO HELP WITH SUCH ENERGY FOR THE CHRISTMAS FAYRE. FATHER CHRISTMAS NEVER STOPPED AND THE FACE PAINTING WAS TRULY CUNNING AND AMUSING. NEXT YEAR WE WILL HAVE TO ORGANISE A MORE EFFICIENT WAY OF GETTING ITEMS IN FOR SALE BUT OVER ALL WE MADE OVER £1000 WHICH IS GOOD EH?






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 carpenter. 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. Lord in your mercy.

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

For the sick we pray and commend to the Child who reaches out to us all: Denis McLoughlin, Barbara Nolan, Patrick Grimes, Michael Nolan, Christine Booth. Mary Moran. Lord in your mercy.

We pray for those souls who have died recently : Margaret Carney, Steefan Allen, Father Peter Birmingham, Father Anthony Sudlow AND FOR Those who we remember on their anniversary or Christmastide Remembrances: Afram Zaer, Ann Hopkins (1st Jan) Austin and Anne Hopkins, Teresa Hamilton (2ND Jan), Danny Colbert, Mary and Tom Colbert, Margaret McErlane (31st), Robert Burke, Maureen Burke, Father Charles Mulholland, Arthur and Brenda Strafford, (6.30 SUNDAY), Grennan and Molloy families, James Burke, James O'Rourke and Florence Ackroyd 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 without sin..Pray for us..

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy..

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