OCTAVE OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY:
During these eight days leading up to the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul next Saturday we are once again invited to pray for the healing of all the divisions in the Christian community down through the centuries.(A booklet with readings and refelctions for each day is available from the CTBI website Click here to read it)
It is a tragedy that we remain unable to offer a united front to the wider world in the face of all the divisions and tensions that beset the human family as a whole.
Christ’s Prayer was that “we all be one” so that everyone would know that the Father had sent him. I rejoice that relations with our brothers and sisters in other Christian traditions are generally so much better than they were when I was younger, but I remind myself and you that there is never any room for complacency
. We need to be vigilant and guard against new divisions. We sense the tension in the Catholic community especially in relation to the direction Pope Francis is striving to give us. It reminds me of St Paul writing: “I hear there are factions among you and I half believe it.” Likewise, let us be on our guard against any divisions in our own parish communities, striving to heal any hurts and ensuring that we support one another in every possible way.
I would like to thank everyone who made last Friday evening another blessed occasion and a good example of this unity among the many different groups and societies in the parish. It was less well attended than in previous years, so I do hope people are not agonising over whether they do enough to feel justified in coming.
Perhaps we should offer an added word of encouragement before next year’s event.
Comings and Goings
The meeting in Perth was a positive experience and those of us who were able to attend returned, determined to try and ensure that we do all we can to support one another in our own Redemptorist family. We also vowed to try and ensure that we give you good example at all times. So, if we don’t, please tell us! Fr Charles seems to be flourishing north of the border and sends his love to one and all.
THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
We cannot keep Jesus in the crib. With the feasts of the Epiphany and the Baptism of Jesus, we are reminded of the reason why Jesus came: sent by the Father to redeem the world. For us, baptism marks our incorporation into the mission of Christ.
I suggest that today we reflect seriously about what this should mean in practice. At the baptismal ceremony, parents and godparents are entrusted with the responsibility of bringing their children up in the practice of the faith. I leave you to think through how best we can help one another to live our faith to the full.
While the secular clergy of the Pastoral Area were having some ‘away days’ last week, the Redemptorists were in Perth, assessing our situation and looking for ways to manage the present commitments while at the same time not losing sight of the ongoing mission of Christ: the very reason for our baptism and our religious vows.
I am writing this before leaving for Perth. Highly organised to leave at 10.00am, our plans have been confounded by the hire van, which has simply refused to start. In many ways, it strikes me that we have here a parable for our times
No matter how hard we prepare and plan, something may occur which means that we have to reassess and adapt accordingly.
Perhaps the first grace we should always pray for is PATIENCE.
A photo from this week's gatthering in Kinnoull
THE SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY:
The Magi – the Kings - the Wise Men: these mysterious visitors from the East reveal the paradox of where true power and authority lie. They are to be found in a little child. Like them we are invited to go down on our knees and offer our gifts: the gift above all of ourselves and our lives.
May this New Year provide us with the opportunity to renew our faith in the wonder of what has been revealed to us in Jesus of Nazareth!
He is the King of Peace, the one who brings us a wisdom that can sustain us through all the ups and downs of our lived experience.
Once again, I wish you every blessing for 2020.
TIMETABLE FOR THE COMING WEEK:
Many of the Redemptorist Community will be in Perth this week for our Province Meeting. However, I have managed to arrange a noon Mass for each day this week.
Fr Pat O’Brien will celebrate on Monday; Fr Jimmy Smale on Tuesday and Thursday; and Archbishop Patrick Kelly on Wednesday and Friday: on your behalf, my sincere thanks to each of them.
PARISH HELPERS’ SOCIAL: THIS FRIDAY 7.00pm-10.00pm:
All being well we will have returned in good time from Perth. So I look forward to being with you for what is always a happy and relaxed evening. Our chance to say ‘thank you’ to one another for all the good work that goes on, much of it in quiet and undemonstrative ways
We hope you like the new larger bulletin.
When it was introduced at St Mary’s it was well received.
It provides us with more space for providing you with all the information about what is happening in the parish. At the same time we have cut down on the number we are producing and sincerely hope that you will now take them home as a valuable support and not leave them littering the church. Sadly, that has been happening all too often in recent times.
A NEW YEAR GREETING FROM FR TIM
Firstly, my sincere thanks for the wonderful atmosphere over Christmas. Once again there were heartening congregations and you were your usual generous selves.
Thank you for the excellent Christmas Collection, but also for all the kind messages, cards and presents which came to me and the Redemptorist Community. I would love to be able to reply to each one individually, but it would probably be mid-summer before I managed to do that, so I hope this will suffice.
As usual we will have our Parish Reception on Friday 10 January to say ‘thank you’ for all the unsung heroes who keep every aspect of parish life ticking over so well. Please come and enjoy one another’s company in the relaxed atmosphere which always pervades that evening.
As we look back on 2019, we have much to be grateful for; please God, 2020 will bring many more blessings not just on our community but on the whole Archdiocese as we prepare for and enact the Synod in the autumn.
FR ANDREW (OUR RECTOR) AND ALL THE REDEMPTORIST COMMUNITY JOIN ME IN WISHING YOU ALL
A VERY HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR
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- Pope's prayer intention for January
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- SYNOD 2020 an update July 2019
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