Monday 28 April 2014

Bishop Malcolm's Farewell Mass

It was good to see our school and parishes represented at Bishop Malcolm's farewell Mass in the Cathedral this morning.

Sunday 27 April 2014

Today's canonisations

Read an account of today's canonisation ceremony including the full text of Pope Francis' homily here.

They were priests, bishops and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful; faith was more powerful – faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man and the Lord of history; the mercy of God, shown by those five wounds, was more powerful; and more powerful too was the closeness of Mary our Mother......
May both of them teach us not to be scandalized by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves.

Saturday 26 April 2014

Why Popes John XXIII & John Paul II are Saints

Father Robert Barron explains why Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II are being declared Saints this weekend.

Friday 25 April 2014

Bishop's Certificate in Catechesis

You will see in this week's newsletter a reference to the Bishop's Certificate in Catechesis. This course, being run at Shepshed starting in the autumn, is designed for all involved in Children's Liturgy of the Word, First Holy Communion and Confirmation preparation, leading RCIA sessions, and so on.

There is more about the course here, and an application form can be downloaded here. If you would like to attend, please fill in a form and approach Fr Colin. The parish will subsidise the cost.

This Sunday... the Feast of the Divine Mercy. Read more about the feast and devotion here.

Sunday also sees the canonisation of two great Popes of recent times, John XXIII and John Paul II. I found this article about their influence on the Church and society very helpful. You will find much more on the internet. As always, tread with care. Not everything is helpful!

Newsletter for Easter 2 - Divine Mercy - 26/27 April

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

Apologies that when this was first posted the link led to an administrative page. This has now been corrected. If you still have problems, please click your browser's refresh button.

Monday 21 April 2014

Thank you... all who prepared for and participated in our Holy Week and Easter Liturgies. In these beautiful ceremonies we encounter the mystery of God's love very deeply. I always find this encounter both challenging and consoling. This year was no exception, and I was deeply grateful for your prayerful companionship on this journey of sorrow and joy. I found the week very moving, and, from the comments I have received, so did many others.

As we celebrate the great fifty days of Easter joy, may we encounter the risen Lord more deeply. May we find his pierced hands a source of comfort and healing. And may we share the good news of his resurrection with those who have yet to receive it.

Victory remains with love.

Sunday 20 April 2014

Easter Sunday - Why Easter Matters

Easter is significant because it reveals that love is more powerful than death. Death is what frightens us most. It hems us in and it sets the ultimate limit to everything. If death has the final word, then all the evil in the world wins and there's no hope because there's nothing after death. That's the end.

But Easter is the declaration that God's love, the love that made the world and sustains it, is more powerful than death. That's a moment of liberation. It means death no longer enslaves us. The first Christians saw that the bursting forth of Christ from the tomb is the shattering of death's bonds.

Even more, the Resurrection is God's great salvation of the world he has made. The God of the Bible doesn't despise matter--just the opposite. God makes everything good. And through the Resurrection, God ratifies, sums up, and valorizes his material creation. Therefore, Jesus' resurrection from the dead is not just about him. It's about all those who will participate in his Mystical Body, the Church, and it's about all of matter. In raising Jesus bodily from the dead, the Father is raising all of matter to new life.

We see this as the Bible comes to its climax in the Book of Revelation. There we discover a New Heaven and a New Earth. Heaven is not just some purely spiritual space that our souls go to after we die. It's a new creation, God ratifying and elevating his whole work. That's the climax of the biblical revelation.

The God who made the world good has now, out of a passion to set it right, saved that world by raising it up to a higher pitch.

The Christian Church gives witness to that great fact. And that's what Easter is about.

Fr Robert Barron

The Lord is risen.

Tell us, Mary: say what thou didst see upon the way. 
The tomb the Living did enclose; 
I saw Christ's glory as he rose! 
The angels there attesting; 
shroud with grave-clothes resting. 
Christ, my hope, has risen: he goes before you into Galilee. 
That Christ is truly risen from the dead we know. 
Victorious king, thy mercy show!

Saturday 19 April 2014

A reflection for today

It's a bit of a gap day after the fast moving events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Today we await for the celebration of the Resurrection.

You may be helped, as I was, by this reflection from the blog of a Catholic student.

Blessing Easter Food

It was good to welcome members of our Polish community, and other communities from Eastern Europe this morning and to bless the food for their first Easter meal.

Newsletter for Easter Day of the Lord's Resurrection

Click here to read this weekend's newsletter.

The Holy Week Ceremonies so far have gone beautifully. Thank you to all who have worked so hard. The greatest Liturgy of the year is this evening as it gets dark. I look forward to seeing you all at the Easter Vigil Mass at 8.30pm.
This is the night
when Christ broke the prison-bars of death
and rose victorious from the underworld.
Happy Easter to you all.

Friday 18 April 2014

Question for Good Friday - is our faith Polyannish?

It’s somewhat Pollyannish to say, “Christianity is just about the Resurrection, and not the Cross.” To say that is to deny the gritty evil in the world. But once you get past childhood and start reading serious books and watching more sophisticated films, you find people desperately wrestling with evil. That’s what any serious novel, film, or play is about. Just look at any of Shakespeare’s plays–there’s always someone engaging profound evil. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to say, “Let’s not focus on the Cross; it’s too sad, too dark, too evil.”

Pressing the issue theologically, what is the Cross? It’s God journey into God-forsakenness. God enters into human dysfunction in all of its forms. In the Passion narratives you have cruelty, violence, hatred, injustice, stupidity–all of human dysfunction is on display. And Jesus enters into that, thereby redeeming it.

The Church fathers liked to say, “What has not been assumed has not been saved.” Jesus assumes the human condition in all of its dysfunction, going all the way down, so to say. And it’s only for that reason he can bring us all the way up.

The Resurrection without the Cross is superficial, just as the Cross without the Resurrection is despair. It’s the play between the two that matters.

Thursday 17 April 2014

Chrism Mass

Yesterday was Bishop Malcolm's last Chrism Mass with us before he goes to Liverpool as Archbishop. His homily is well worth reading.

I was particularly moved by the end of the homily:

When I leave the Diocese at the end of this month, I will take with me all those spiritual gifts that have helped me be a Bishop; I take the sorrow and regret of the mistakes I have made, and hopefully the forgiveness of those I have hurt; and I take many happy memories of this beautiful Diocese.
But I leave you something special too: I leave you the Holy Chrism, the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens, so that your ministry can continue – that rich golden oil blessed and consecrated will enable you to endow our young people with the Holy Spirit at Confirmation, bring comfort and healing to the sick in the Anointing of the Sick, and prepare and strengthen next year’s catechumens to be baptised and brought into the full communion of the Catholic Church, taking their place at the table of the Lord’s Supper, receiving him in Holy Communion.
I will remember you, thank God for you and pray for you and your families every day. In return, please pray that my separation from you will eased by God’s grace, your love and the welcome which I will receive in Liverpool, and that I will be given the strength to rise to the challenges presented by this new mission given me by our Lord. Amen.

The Sacred Triduum....


Holy Thursday — 17 April:
Confessions on call: 9.00am - 12 noon
7.30pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Come and go as you will  during the Watch until….
10.00pm Compline

Good Friday — 18 April:
12noon Passion for Ashby: United Act of Witness - Meet at Holy Trinity
3.00pm The Passion of the Lord
Confessions after afternoon Liturgy

Holy Saturday — 19 April:
10.00am Blessing of Easter Food
Confessions on call: 10.30am - 12 noon and 4.45 - 5.15pm
No Mass at 5.30pm
8.30pm Easter Vigil Mass

Easter Day of the Lord's Resurrection — 20 April:
10.00am Mass


Good Friday — 18 April:
9.30am Stations of the Cross
Confessions after Stations

Holy Saturday - 19 April
No Mass at 6.45pm
8.30pm Easter Vigil Mass

Thursday 10 April 2014

Newsletter for 12/13 April - Palm Sunday

Click here to read the newsletter with full details of everything for Holy Week.

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Vacancy for Classroom Teacher at St Charles' Measham

Click here for details of a vacancy at our lovely Parish School.

Monday 7 April 2014

Job opportunity - Justice and Peace Fieldworker

Justice and Peace Fieldworker
24 hours per week [including some evening and weekend working]
Salary: £14,500pa : Five weeks holiday pa
The Justice and Peace Commission works  to promote Catholic Social Teaching and action for social and economic justice, and for peace, throughout the Diocese.
The Fieldworker is employed by the Diocese of Nottingham to support and develop the work of the Justice and Peace Commission in parishes, schools, and with other organisations.
The Fieldworker is based at Willson House, Derby Road, Nottingham.
Closing date for applications: 12 noon on Monday 28th April 2014.
If you would like an informal discussion about the post please contact the Chair of the Commission, Patricia Stoat, on 0115 950 9773 or
Interviews for the post will be held at Willson House on Thursday 8th May.
Application pack available from the Diocese of Nottingham website at:

Dig Deep this Lent to transform land and lives

Dig Deep with CAFOD this Lent to transform land and lives.

Thursday 3 April 2014

So obvious that I often miss it.

The principles that Fr Barron talks about are very much part of the church's spiritual tradition. If we acted on them our lives and the lives of those we meet every day would be very different. When I begin to think about the heart of what Fr Barron is saying, it all seems blindingly obvious. Why then, do I so often forget it?

Here is a transcript of the talk:

At the heart of St. Ignatius' "Spiritual Exercises" is what he calls the agere contra principle--to "act against" those things that trouble us. Let's say I have a tendency toward overindulging in food, sex, or alcohol. I must find a way to actively battle against that tendency, to actively fast from food, for example. Let's say I'm tempted to badmouth people or be too critical. I need to act against that by, for example, praising people throughout Lent. I might alternatively choose to write a thank-you note, or a note of praise, each day during Lent. In Ignatius' view, sin is like a bent stick that we need to bend back in the other direction--that's the agere contra principle. We see this same idea in Dante's writings, especially in his Purgatorio, which I mentioned yesterday. As the seven deadly sins are being purged, the people on the mountain of Purgatory are forced to oppose the sins they previously indulged in. For instance, the envious are turned outward toward others but their eyelids are sewn shut, forcing them to look inward. The slothful, those who indulge in laziness, are made to run around Purgatory without end. These examples illustrate agere contra. Once we reflect on our attachments, we can begin working in the other direction against them. A second powerful strategy against sin is to perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Venerable Fulton Sheen noted the expulsive power of the good. When wickedness bubbles up within us, we can brood about it and try to manage it directly, or we can expel it by performing good works, by flooding out the bad with the good. Dorothy Day had it right: "Everything a baptized person does each day should be directly or indirectly related to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy." Make sure your life is filled up with those works and it will generate an expulsive power that helps defeat your sin.

Newsletter for 5/6 April - Lent 5

Click here to read this weekend's newsletter.

See also our Lent programme and our Holy Week and Easter times.

Wednesday 2 April 2014

More wisdom, and a real challenge from Fr Barron

I found this very challenging. Well worth reading slowly and prayerfully.

In this second half of Lent, ask yourself: are you on the right course? Do you need to adjust your direction?