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Sermon for 24 January 2016



My Dear People,

Tuesday was National Holocaust Remembrance Day when we are asked to remember the terrible events which took place in the Nazi era when the Third Reich organised the murder of up to six million people of mainly Jewish origin along with millions of others. 5000 Polish Priests perished in the Nazi camps you know. The Slavs were destined to become the slave race and indeed St John Paul II had begun this enslavement when he was sent to a stone quarry. He only escaped when he was named to be removed to a Labour (read Death) Camp and he escaped and began his studies for the priesthood in the cellar of his Bishop.

Since the Saint Pope John Paul went on Pilgrimage to Jerusalem on 26 March 2000 there has been a special relationship with the Catholic Church and Pope St John Paul has done more than any other to increase the good relations between the Christians and the Jews. Indeed the present Pope - Francis visited the Rome Synagogue to mark the day this last week as you might have seen on the News.


Our Lord's admonition today makes us all reflect for a moment. He is at the formal beginning of his Teaching Ministry and he has planned this moment for a long time. He is in the synagogue of his home town where everybody knew him since he was a boy. He solemnly and religiously unrolled the scripture and found the text concerning himself and read it out to them and told them that this prophesy of Isaiah was being fulfilled in him as he was reading it out. Some claim this was and what a place to claim it – in front of the people who knew him so well. Well some of them thought he was blaspheming and yet our Lord had backed up what he was saying by his deeds. There was no looking back. Our Lord has "set his face" to the Divine Mission the Father has given him at the Incarnation – this path would lead to the Cross and the Resurrection.

The Church moves in the same power and the same Spirit and is empowered by Christ, animating the soul of the Church with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which sustains us and still causes the blind to see and the lame to walk.

One sad thing in our era is the cultural desert we live in which refusing to yield to God his proper place.

St Luke tells us that Jesus "went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day as he usually did..." Sadly so few of the baptised Catholics in our parish ever attend Holy Mass to give honour and glory to Almighty God in the way laid down by the Divine Teaching and Commandment.

This is a very bad state of affairs especially if these adults are parents for that means that their children have no possibility of learning about the sublime Mystery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

I tell the parents it is like getting your lad interested in football by showing videos but not actually ever letting him kick a ball! God forgive us for this state of affairs but the whole culture is Godless and you a deviant if you love Christ and follow his Divine Teaching. God will not be mocked and our society is not a happy one and people live in anxiety and fear whilst the Government shouts at you at what you can and can't do and strains the gnat and swallows the camel. You can abort your young but you mustn't smoke or take sugar!

Keep smiling,

Fr Tom Connolly

AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED is the appeal at St KENTIGERN'S Masses this weekend and St Edwards the following weekend. This is a charity I personally am a member of and I know its work. It really does work well and very economically through contact with the local bishop or missionaries or religious in the places of great need. Very active with the Persecuted Church in Syria.

STATION MASSES FOR LENT. Evening Mass at 7.30pm will be offered on each Wednesday of Lent in our Deanery.
19th February St Winifreds,
25th February St Catherines,
3 March St Cuthberts,
10th March St Mary's Elbow St,
17th March Our Lady’s , Raby Street.

IN THIS HOLY YEAR OF MERCY LET US LOOK AT THE SEVEN CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY. . To feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty; to clothe the naked; to harbour the harbourless; to visit the sick,, to visit the imprisoned; to bury the dead AND THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY: To counsel the doubtful; to instruct the ignorant; to admonish sinners; to comfort the afflicted; to forgive offences; to bear wrongs patiently; to pray for the living and the dead.


Bidding Prayers


Priest: Let us thank the Saviour, for calling the first DECLARATION of his presence in proclaiming the Kingdom of God's arrival and for coming into this world that God might be with us. We bring to the Father all our needs in his Holy Name.

Reader: For Vocations to the Sacred Priesthood, the Consecrated life and the life of Matrimony so that the church may find its apostolic summons fulfilled. We pray for the engaged couples beginning their Marriage Course soon. Lord in your mercy.

For all our fellow Christians who are deprived of receiving the Lamb of God at the Holy Mass because they are imprisoned unjustly or oppressed and persecuted and threatened in Islamic states that they do not lose heart. Lord in your mercy.

Lord you consoled especially the poor and the troubled: look with mercy on those in every kind of need. Lord in your mercy.

Look with Lord, Fisher of men's souls on all those whose sins have separated them from you: reconcile them to yourself through the Ministry of your Church. Lord in your mercy.

For all our sick and those who care for them and for our local hospitals and all who work to relieve the sick and we pray for: Brendan Byrne, Julie Brady, Elizabeth Leyden, Pat Snype, Agnes Benson, Aiden Kennedy. Lord, in your mercy.

We pray for the faithful departed who suffered the loss of human life: give them the fullness of life and joy in Heaven that through God's mercy they may rest in peace: James Bernard Mahon, Denis McLoughlin, Marie Whitley, Margaret Dickenson and Issac Ngome Ebah AND For all whose anniversaries fall about this time: Michael Foy, Mary Colbert (9AM), Kathleen McSweeny. May their souls and the souls of...

Our Lady is the Queen of Apostles: O Mary Conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy.

Priest: God our Saviour, through the grace of our Baptism you have made us children of the light. Hear our prayers in your mercy and may we always walk as children of the Light. Keep us faithful as your disciples to the end of our days. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.