Saturday 27 September 2014

CAFOD Harvest Fast Day

At Mass this weekend we receive our Fast Day envelopes. We deny ourselves something on the Fast Day, Friday, October 3rd. We return the envelopes with what we have save (and perhaps a little more....) when we come to Mass next weekend. Please include the Gift Aid form if you are a taxpayer. More here. Please be generous.

You may be interested to know that CAFOD have published a cookbook called 'Friday Suppers.' It is written for CAFOD by Pauline Curran with a foreword by Delia Smith, and is packed with 40 delicious meat-free recipes. It is ideal for people looking for fresh inspiration for simple and tasty family meals, and for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint by eating less meat. If Delia says it's OK it must be good! Friday abstinence is good for the soul - and the environment. Win win!

Thursday 25 September 2014

Yet more on the Family Synod

After I posted yesterday,  More on the Family  Synod, a video of the rest of the press conference given by Cardinal Nichols and the Marriage and Family Life Project Officer, Elizabeth Davies, was made available by the Bishops' Conference. In it the Cardinal answers searching questions from journalists about the Synod, and Elizabeth Davies talks about some of the ways the Church in this country is trying to support family life:

Journalists ask questions at the Family Synod press conference from Catholic Church (England/Wales) on Vimeo.

Double Newsletter - 27/28 September & 4/5 October

The latest newsletter covering the next two weekends, Sundays 26 & 27(A) of the Church's Year can be viewed here.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

More on the Family Synod

After I posted about the Synod of Bishops on the Family earlier today, I came across this video where Cardinal Nichols talks about the Synod. It is very thoughtful and reflective. Some parts are very beautiful. One or two sections are perhaps a bit more difficult to grasp. It is worth listening to what the Cardinal says, and particularly to his call to pray for the Synod, and to ask the prayers of St John XXIII and St John Paul II.

Foundation Governors in Catholic Schools

Foundation Governors are entrusted by the Bishop with the ministry of school governance and will always act in recognition of the love of Christ for all members of the school community and one another.
The role of the Governing Body is to provide support, guidance and legal responsibility for the strategic direction of the school.  Governors should be a 'critical friend'.  The Governing body makes decisions, reviews, supports and encourages the school and its management direction.
Governors also have very important statutory duties to the school and the role the Governing Body plays in the school is a vital one.
Governors  are the strategic leaders of our schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education.

Many of our Catholic Schools are seeking Foundation Governors, including Blessed Robert Sutton Catholic Sports College at Burton.

If you want to know more about being a Foundation Governor in a Catholic School, please read the Being a Governor Factsheet

If you would like to think more seriously about being a Governor, talk to Fr Colin,
or contact Neil Weightman Tel: 01332 293 833 ext 233.
Alternatively, you could complete and submit an Expression of Interest Form. On receipt of your completed form, the Diocesan Governor Support Team will contact you to discuss your expression of interest. 

Synod of Bishops on the Family 2014

Family life will be the focus of an extraordinary general session of the Synod of Bishops that will meet at the Vatican between 5-19 October 2014. Around 150 Synod fathers will take part in the meeting to discuss the "pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation." It is expected to last two weeks.

Pope Francis has asked that the Church sets aside a Day of Prayer on Sunday 28 September to pray for this important international meeting.

You can also look back on the last Synod of Bishops meeting on the family held in 1980 that resulted in the document Familiaris Consortio.

You will find a number of links with interesting background and preparatory material about the Synod here.

Above all please respond to the call of Pope Francis to pray for the Synod. Here is a prayer he himself wrote:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendour of true love,
to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again 
experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may the approaching Synod of Bishops
make us once more mindful 
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.


Our Lady of Walsingham

The Collect for today's feast of Our Lady of Walsingham is particularly beautiful. You may like to pause and pray it now.

Grant we pray, almighty God,
that as in the mystery of the Incarnation
the Blessed and ever Virgin Mary
conceived your Son in her heart
before she conceived Him in the womb,
so we, your pilgrim people, 
rejoicing in her motherly care,
may welcome him into our hearts
and become a holy house fit for his eternal dwelling.
Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Saturday 20 September 2014

Harvest Thanksgiving

This Sunday we welcome children from St Charles Catholic Primary School to participate in our 10am Mass, as we thank God for the Harvest.

Thursday 18 September 2014

Joyce Foster RIP

The newsletter refers to a card from Beaumont House thanking us for the donations in memory of Joyce. It was good to see some of the wonderful staff from Beaumont House at Joyce's funeral. May she rest in peace. Amen.

Home Mission Sunday

This weekend is Home Mission Sunday.

Here is a prayer you might like to use:
Loving and merciful Father, we know and believe that you are near and are attentive to our every need.
We bring before you now all those we hold dear, who are distant from the family of faith, the Body of Christ.
Silently bring to mind the people that you know to whom this applies
We ask in the name of Jesus, Your Son, that you bless them abundantly. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, use us to reach out to them in a way that they feel free to respond.
May we all seek and discover afresh the joy of faith and life in Christ, and always remember that your ways are not our ways, that the last will be first, and the first last.
You can donate to the evangelistic work of the Church in England and Wales here.

Newsletter for 20/21 September - Sunday 25(A)

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

Monday 15 September 2014

Vacancies in Local Catholic Schools

There is a vacancy at St Charles', Measham, our own lovely school, for a Classroom Teacher (fixed term contract to cover maternity leave). Details here.

St Winefride's  at Shepshed are seeking to appoint a headteacher. Details here.

De Lisle are seeking to appoint a Lay Chaplain. Details here.

Thursday 11 September 2014

Newsletter for 13/14 September - Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

What are these Christians about, exalting an instrument of torture?

  •     First, we rejoice that something so terrible should have been transformed into a means of redemption for the whole human race.
  •     Second, we remind ourselves of the fact that Christianity is not an abstract and spiritual religion. It springs from God’s direct intervention in the affairs of the world, a real historical event involving real people and, in the end, a real execution on a real cross.
We may theorise and theologise all we like; but all our theorisings and theologisings are nothing without the history on which they are based. Take away that history – take away the Cross – and Christianity is nonsense.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

The Triumph of the Cross

Next Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation (or Triumph) of the Holy Cross. I am reminded of this story, which I heard years ago, as I start to prepare for next weekend's Masses:

The Archbishop of Paris once stood in the pulpit of Notre Dame Cathedral. He was there to preach a sermon, and his sermon was built around a single story. Thirty years earlier, he told, there were three young tourists who had come into this very cathedral. All of the young men were rough, rude, and cynical persons, who thought that all religion was a racket. Two of these men dared a third to go into the confessional box and make a made-up confession to the priest. The two bet that the third young man did not have the nerve to do as they dared.
The third young man went into the confessional box and tried to fool the priest. But the priest knew that what the young man was saying was a lie. There was a tone of arrogance in the young man’s voice - which could not go without notice. After hearing the confession, the priest told the young man his penance. The priest said, "Very well, my son. Every confession requires a penance, and this is yours. I ask you to go into the chapel, stand before the crucifix, look into the face of the crucified Christ and say, ‘All this you did for me, and I don’t give a damn!’ "
The young man staggered out of the confessional to his friends, bragging that he had done as they dared. The other two young men insisted that he finish the performance by doing the penance. This young man made his way into the chapel, stood before the crucifix, looked up into the face of Christ and began, "All this you did for me and I ... I ... I don’t ... I don’t give a ...."
I have deliberately omitted the end of the story. If I tell you:
1. the story is true.
2. the Archbishop was not breaking the seal of the Confessional
what conclusion can you draw?

Friday 5 September 2014

Sunday's First Reading - and St Gregory

As I have reflected on the First Reading for the coming weekend I have kept going back to a reading I, like ever other priest, read on Wednesday, the Feast of St Gregory the Great.

To help you prepare for Sunday, you might like to take a look at them both, and see if the connections ring any bells for you.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Newsletter for 6/7 September - Sunday 23(A)

Click here to read the latest edition of the newsletter.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Vacancies at St Charles' School, Measham

There are vacancies at our lovely school for:

More details at  from the school — 01530 270572 or

Tuesday 2 September 2014

New Parish Facebook Group

You can now keep in touch with parish life through Ashby and Measham Catholic Parishes Facebook Group. At present there is little on the page, but I will ensure that there are links to this blog whenever is updated. I will also post items which may be of interest and strengthen our faith and prayer life.

Please join the group.