Fr Barrie O'Toole C.Ss.R RIP
FR BARRIE O’TOOLE died peacefully in the early hours of last Tuesday morning. May he rest in peace…
I am happy to say that I was able to get across to Ripon on Monday afternoon and give him the final anointing and the Papal Blessing with Pat, his sister, and other members of the family gathered. He was ready to go but the final parting is always painful and we and the family are grateful for all the messages of sympathy and good will that have already been flowing in. We thank God for his 53 years of priestly ministry and particularly for all he contributed to the life of our two parishes in recent years.
His funeral will be on Tuesday 21 May at noon and his body will be received into the church the previous evening at 7.00pm.
Next weekend we have our First Communion Masses at 10.30am and 3.00pm on Saturday and again on Sunday at 3.00pm. Please note that there will be no noon Mass next Saturday. And please do pray for the children and their families that this will be the beginning of a wonderful new relationship with the Lord and his people, the Church.
THE SYNOD AND THE FUTURE:
Please look out for opportunities to join in the Synod experience: we hope to have dates for meetings by next weekend and remember you can always go online and fill in the Synod Questionnaire https://synod2020.co.uk/resources/survey Furthermore, in the next few weeks, after I have had the opportunity to talk with the newly formed Redemptorist community, I will look for an opportunity to outline how we might support each other more and more in building up our parish communities.
The SYNOD2020 team has produced a series of Easter Reflections that introduce the Synod questions. For this week's reflection click on the link below.
The Redemptorist community joins me in thanking you for the exceptionally generous Easter collection and for the other gifts and greetings for the Feast
For the most part the arrangements here at Bishop Eton will remain much the same, with the odd notable exception.
Fr Andrew and I have been asked to continue in our present roles, although Andrew is also to be Superior of the small Birmingham community!
Fr Charles will leave for Perth in Scotland, where his new responsibilities will be in the Pastoral Centre and preaching missions.
We will welcome to the community Fr Gabriel Maguire and Fr Martin Gay. Many of you will remember Fr Gabriel; he has been parish priest in Birmingham for a very long time, but his health has seriously deteriorated in recent times. Fr Martin, like Fr Andrew, spent much of his life in South Africa, but more recently has been working in Rome and Perth, from where he is moving. The changes will take effect over the next few weeks
I wish to use this Sunday to thank you all for the wonderful celebrations during the Sacred Triduum and over Easter. I was more conscious than ever of the enormous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes as well as at the services themselves: the hours spent planning and practising, as well as the meticulous care that ensures the churches are fittingly cleaned and decorated. On behalf of the whole community a special thanks to all our deacons and servers, musicians and singers, as well as those who arrange the flowers and the resurrection gardens. Enjoy the rest of the Easter Season and sing out your Alleluias.
THE OCTAVE OF EASTER:
For eight days we celebrate Easter as if each day were Easter Day. Low Sunday is perhaps not the best description of today, but it does suggest that nothing can quite compare to the day itself.
Traditionally, this day was also known as Dominica in Albis or Sunday in White, signifying that the newly baptised (dressed in white robes) could now discard their white and become fully integrated into the community. More recently today also focuses on the Mercy of God.
AN EASTER GREETING
The dramatic image of Notre Dame de Paris going up in flames will be one of the abiding memories of this Holy Week. It is difficult to process something like this as we search for meaning and understanding, yet some of the images will remain etched on our memories forever. Among the most compelling for me was the sight of the tower crashing to the ground, followed by the stunning image of the white cross shining through the debris the day afterwards. The amount of media coverage suggests that deep down in the hearts of all men and women is a sense that a sacred place like this is not just a monument to the past, but carries a living message.
Now, as we learn that the building was saved and will be restored, could we thank God for this reminder of all that we are celebrating in these days: death and RESURRECTION. The crowning moment for me came when a young woman was interviewed and reminded the interviewer that what made Notre Dame was not just the beautiful building, but the community of people who pray and worship there: a timely reminder of all that we are about.
FROM ALL THE REDEMPTORISTS;
A VERY HAPPY EASTER
Let us pray for one another that this will indeed be a holy week for each and every one of us.
I remind you that from the middle of the week the timetable changes radically.
We enter into the Sacred Triduum and in our liturgies accompany Jesus through his Passion and death. Then on Holy Saturday night we erupt with joy and celebrate the Resurrection.
Please do all you can to play your prayerful part with the community during these special days.
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