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Sermon for 13 March 2016
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FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT IN YEAR C. + 13TH MARCH 2016. YEAR OF MERCY.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.

My Dear People,

There is a very good scene in Mel Gibson's Film, THE PASSION OF THE CHIRST. Just As our Lord begins his suffering - after his Arrest - you see Our Lady, in great travail kneeling down in the Temple and kissing the sacred floor and saying "Let it begin". Only a Catholic could put that phrase on Mary’s lips for it is surely true, though not in the Scriptures, that she was always preparing for "this hour" - the "hour" that our Lord referred to at the Marriage Feast at Cana in Galilee, three years beforehand "My hour has not yet come." Our Lord refers to this "hour" when he pray "Father, save me from this hour - and yet it is for this hour that I have come."

The Temple of Jerusalem was a sacred place for the People of Israel. Our Lord loved it and often visited it as we hear in today’s Gospel Reading:- "At Day break he appeared in the Temple again." It was the same Temple our Lord was Presented in when the holy man Simeon prophesied the rejection of the "Light of Israel". This prediction that he would cause the "falling and the rising of many in Israel" was always surely laid up in Mary's heart? Did not St Luke tell us that "As for Mary, she stored up all these things in her heart."? The Church you know has the heart of Mary and so she too stores these things in her collective heart. Throughout the world "it now begins".

Next Sunday – Palm Sunday you will see the stark and visual reminder with the purple covering those things which make our Church adorned and lovely, the statues and the Crucifix. The Church will be changing gear and ditching in order to concentrate the mind. Cross like palms will be blest with Holy Water for you to adorn your homes.

The great stream of Divine Mercy which is released and poured on the world through His Passion and Death is anticipated in the story today of the woman caught in the very act of adultery. They bring her to the Temple. Our Lord saves the woman from the two-faced judgement of the men – the usual suspects, the Scribes and the Pharisees.

Our Blessed Lord refuses to engage on their terms but says after their persistent goading "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

Now that silenced them. Some say our Lord was drawing some of their sins in the dust!! Those words of Jesus "Go away and do not sin any more" will console many a sinner and draw them back to the merciful Saviour… whose blood is poured out and offered "for the forgiveness of sin" (the words of consecration of the chalice at every Mass offered).

So let us take heed and make a good Confession for Easter and so fulfil also our Easter Duties – Confession, Communion between Ash Wednesday and Trinity Sunday. Let us allow our Lord to show us His Divine Mercy. May we all experience the death to sin which brings us to Easter Joy.

God Bless,

Father Tom Connolly

FUTURE OF THE PARISHES OF OUR DIOCESE MEETING. 7th April 2016 at 7.30 pm in Marian Room. The Bishop wants to hear your opinion. PLEASE COME.

CHRISM MASS AT SALFORD CATHEDRAL ON WED 23RD MARCH AT 11AM. THIS IS THE MASS OFFERED BY THE BISHOP IN WHICH THE THREE OILS USED IN THE SACRAMENTS OF BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION, HOLY ORDERS AND THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK ARE CONSECRATED BY HIM. I HAVE THREE TICKETS TO GIVE TO PARISHIONERS. FIRST TO ASK FIRST TO GET IN ST KENTIGERN'S AND ST EDWARD’S PARISHES. FR CONNOLLY

COLLECTION – FOLKS – BE SERIOUS- THE COLLECTION THESE DAYS CAN DIFFER BY £200 BUT THE BILLS STILL COME IN. WE NEED TO BE SERIOUS ABOUT WHAT WE GIVE TO GOD’S HOLY CHURCH FOR THE UPKEEP OF THE APOSTOLIC LIFE, THE CLERGY AND THE BUILDING WE OFFER THE HOLY MASS IN. TOO MUCH SMALL CHANGE IS IN THE COLLECTION AND DON’T MENTION THE "WIDOW’S MITE" - IT IS THE WIDOWS WHO GIVE MORE. VERY FEW GIFT-AID THEIR OFFERING AND ANYONE WHO PAYS TAX ON THEIR EARNINGS AND GIVES COLLECTION EACH WEEK WHICH CAN BE RECORDED BY ENVELOPE OR STANDING ORDER FROM THE BANK CAN SIGN A GIFT AID FORM AND THE PARISH GETS THE TAX YOU HAVE PAID BACK. WE LOSE THOUSANDS A YEAR BECAUSE TAX PAYERS JUST REFUSE TO FILL IN A FORM AND USE A BOX OF PLANNED GIVING ENVELOPES OR BANKER'S ORDER.






Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers 5th Lent C

Priest: Let us give thanks to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,. Let us thanks our Saviour and pray with confidence to the one who takes away our sins.

Reader: Lord, make us keep our bodies free from sin- grant us the spirit of purity, may the Hoy Spirit dwell within us always. May our Lord's tender forgiveness to the one found in adultery be an encouragement to all to seek Confession this Lent. Lord in your mercy.

For our Holy Father Pope Francis - that he who you set over us as the Chief Shepherd of the flock on earth will be upheld by our prayers and our love for him. Lord in your mercy.

Teach us to offer ourselves this day for the serving of our fellow men and strengthen us in the works of mercy. May our Lenten Alms giving come to the help of the hungry and needy in the war torn regions of our world through Mary's Meals. Lord in your mercy.

Grant that we may hunger for the food of eternal life and give us the Bread of your Word and of your Body in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Lord in your mercy.

For the people of Ireland on the feast of the Apostle of that nation this week – Saint Patrick - that they who brought the Faith to every continent on earth may now be faithful to Christ and his Church in their homeland. Lord in your mercy.

For all who lie sick and frail and know their need for Christ's healing touch- we commend to God: May Riley, Eileen Ramsbottom, Chris Lydon, Christine Booth, Barbara Nolan, Canon Kevin O'Connor, Father William Fallon, Canon Mort Stanley, Michael Nolan, Pat Snype. Lord in your mercy.

For those who have gone to God in this last week that they may be granted the Vision of the Glory of God: The Mother Teresa nuns murdered in Yemen, Sisters Anselm, Margarita, Reginette and Judith, Agnes Benson, Rosaline Issa, Norah Hardy and James Leech AND all those whose anniversaries occur about this time: Kathleen Stokes – Month’s Mind (11am), Dan McCormack (VIGIL), Brendan Forkan, Tom Forkan, Ivan Bilyk, Bilocka Family members, Kathleen Lally, Afram Zaer, Harold Williams, Edward Williams, Michael and Mary Connolly, May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Mary is the refuge of sinners- may she pray for us now: O Mary Conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee.. Hail Holy Queen...

Priest: In your mercy Lord, guide our wayward hearts and hear our prayers made in faith. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen