Sunday 30 March 2014

Pope Francis - teaching by deed and word

I find this picture very moving and telling. Pope Francis goes to confession during a reconciliation service in St Peter's...
And what wonderful words from the Pope:
How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders.
Evangelii Gaudium
- The Joy of the Gospel

I like to think that Pope Francis would be pleased with our programme for this week of Lent:

  • This Tuesday at 7.00pm our children receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time, and a guest priest will be here so that members of their family can make their Confession too.
  • This Wednesday, during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, myself and a guest priest will be available from 6.30–8.00pm to hear Confessions. Come and go as you will. Spend time in silence and adoration. Know the Lord’s mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
  • This Thursday, before the 7.30pm Deanery Station Mass at St Wilfrid’s, Coalville, numerous priests will be available from 6.30pm to hear confessions. A lovely opportunity to meet our merciful Lord — and our brothers and sisters from around the Deanery.

Thursday 27 March 2014

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Celebrate today's feast... listening to this wonderful piece of music as you remember the story of Mary's "Yes" to God. You can find the Gospel reading and the other readings for today's Mass here.

Today would be a good day to start to say the Angelus prayer regularly at midday.

Saturday 22 March 2014

Bishop Malcolm

Many of us will be sad this weekend to learn that our beloved bishop is to leave us on his appointment as Archbishop of Liverpool. We know, however, that the Holy Father has made a good and wise choice, that our loss will be Liverpool's gain, and we offer Bishop Malcolm our congratulations.
Bishop Malcolm's talks about his appointment, and encourages us in our faith journey in his Pastoral Letter, read at Mass this weekend.

Let us respond to Bishop Malcolm's request in the Pastoral Letter:
Please remember me in your prayers, as I will remember you each day in mine. Please pray for all those who will have a role to play in choosing a new Bishop of Nottingham, and for the College of Consulters, who will look after the Diocese until your new Bishop is appointed. Whoever the new Bishop will be, he will be richly blessed; our Diocese has a well-deserved reputation for being a warm, friendly and welcoming Diocese, as I found out for myself when I came here in 2000.

Lots more on our diocesan website.

Thursday 20 March 2014

Newsletter for 22/23 March - Lent 3

Click here to read this weekend's newsletter.

You will find details of the main Holy Week Services in the newsletter and below. Please put them in your diary now. The best way to enter into the joy of Easter, is to be with the Lord in the upper room and in the garden on Holy Thursday evening, at the Cross on Good Friday afternoon, and at the great Easter vigil - the most important service of the whole year - on Holy Saturday evening. These are a must for anyone who is taking their faith seriously.

Click on the image below to see the times more clearly:

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Do you use the gym - or train in other ways?

Fr Robert Barron challenges us on this day of Lent:
All of this punishment is in service of a healthier body. Why can't we apply similar techniques to produce healthier minds and spirits? 
Read the rest of his short but challenging article here.

Sunday 16 March 2014

New auxiliary bishop in our neighbouring diocese

I was very interested to hear that Pope Francis has chosen Fr Robert Byrne of the Oxford Oratory to be an auxiliary bishop in the archdiocese of Birmingham. The Oxford Oratory has a wonderful ministry among students and other young people.

I found this interview particularly fascinating. Fr Robert, like myself, has spent a lot of time in prison ministry. I found myself agreeing with everything he said about the work of the prison chaplain. I also loved his words about Blessed John Henry Newman, one of my great heroes.

Friday 14 March 2014

Newsletter for 15/16 March - Lent 2

Click here to read this week's newsletter.

Click here for the Lent programme.

  • What are you doing for Lent
  • What is Lent doing for you?

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Teaching vacancies in Measham and Nottingham

Click here to see this week's vacancies for teaching posts in Catholic schools.

Monday 10 March 2014

Hope to see you....

The Why? Course starts this Wednesday 12th March

Our Lady of Lourdes (crypt): After 9.30am Mass 

St Charles Borromeo: 7.00pm 

Deepen Your Prayer Life

Click here for some simple and practical advice from Fr Robert Barron on deepening our prayer life.

Saturday 8 March 2014

Forty Days

An interesting video reflection on 'Forty Days' in Sacred Scripture. This is well worth listening to as we reflect on this Sunday's Gospel.

Friday 7 March 2014

St Charles Catholic Primary School

The advertisement for the post of Headteacher to replace Mrs Fran Smith who is retiring at the end of the summer term can be found here. Please make this as widely known as you can to ensure that we attract excellent candidates. Please pray for the governors as they seek to appoint the right person.

Thursday 6 March 2014

Prepare for Sunday with Blessed John Henry Newman

If you want a reflection on the readings for the First Sunday of Lent why not take a look at Cardinal Newman's wonderful hymn, Praise to the Holiest? Read the readings, read the hymn - slowly. Let your heart and mind go from one to the other. Can you see the connections especially in the second and third verses of the hymn? Can you see how both tell the same wonderful story of how God makes a triumph from the disaster of our disobedience?

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all His words most wonderful,
Most sure in all His ways.

O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
A second Adam to the fight
And to the rescue came.

O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
Which did in Adam fail,
Should strive afresh against the foe,
Should strive and should prevail.

And that a higher gift than grace
Should flesh and blood refine,
God’s Presence and His very Self,
And Essence all divine.

O generous love! that He, who smote,
In Man for man the foe,
The double agony in Man
For man should undergo.

And in the garden secretly,
And on the Cross on high,
Should teach His brethren, and inspire
To suffer and to die.

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all His words most wonderful,
Most sure in all His ways.

You might even like to finish by singing along....

Catenian Public Speaking Contest

Our newsletter advertised last Sunday's Catholic Secondary Schools Public Speaking Contest sponsored by the Catenians. You may be interested to read this account of the highly successful event.

Newsletter for 8/9 March - Lent 1(A)

Click here to read this week's newsletter.

You can download a printable version of the Lent programme here.

The Why? Course starts Wednesday 12th March
Our Lady of Lourdes (crypt): After 9.30am Mass 
St Charles Borromeo: 7.00pm 

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Another Lent Resource

You may like to follow this blog during Lent. It is been organised by people connected with the Catholic Chaplaincy at Nottingham University. Bishop Malcolm has written the first post which appears today.

You can get daily alerts by using the email box, as in our own parish site, or by following the facebook or twitter links.

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Quick guide to Fasting and Abstinence

Please note that this is from a US site. It applies in this country in what it says about Lent. However, since September  2011 in England and Wales, every Friday through the year (except for Solemnities) is to be observed by abstinence from meat.

Sunday 2 March 2014

More Lent Resources

Lent is almost here. Have you checked out these Lent Resources yet?

You can find a lot more at this Guide to a Catholic Lent. The guide gives some useful background and includes many links to other resources.

None of us can follow up all the suggestions. Not everyone will be able to get to all the special events on our parish Lent programme. However, we can all do something to make Lent special. Now is the time to think and pray about what I will do to make Lent 2014 a time of spiritual growth for myself and for our parish community.

Let's all be at Mass on Ash Wednesday. That would be a good time to offer our Lent resolutions to the Lord.