Sunday 31 December 2017

Happy New Year

I pray that 2018 may bring good things to our community.

New Year's Day is the 51st World Day of Peace. Here is the message of Pope Francis for the occasion.  This year the Holy Father takes as his subject "Migrants and refugees: men and women in search of peace".

The first day of the year is also a feast of Our Lady under her most ancient title, "Mother of God". Let us commend all our intentions for the year to her prayers. You might like to use the oldest known prayer to Mary to start the year:

We fly to thy protection, O holy Mother of God,
despise not our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Friday 29 December 2017

Sunday 24 December 2017

Adeste fideles - O come, all ye faithful

O come, let us adore him! Come and worship the new born Christ with our brothers and sisters all over the world.

Thursday 21 December 2017

Newsletter for Advent 4 & Christmas

Click here to read the latest newsletter with details of weekend and Christmas Masses. Also there are a few remaining opportunities for confession before Christmas.

For reflection here is the opening section of Bach's Magnificat, an exuberant setting of Mary's song of joy.

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Advent 4 & Christmas Masses

Full newsletter will be published here on Thursday. Until then....

Sunday 17 December 2017

Confessions before Christmas

Part of a good spiritual preparation for Christmas is to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Here is a list of available times. I particularly recommend Monday evening. Feel free to pop into Church anytime between 6.30 and 8pm, Spend some quiet time adoring the Lord who comes to bring us forgiveness. Two priests will be available to celebrate the Sacrament with you. Come when you can - leave when you must. Mince pies and mulled wine in presbytery at 8pm after Benediction.

Thursday 14 December 2017

Newsletter for 16/17 December - Advent 3(B) Gaudete

Click here to read the latest newsletter.
Please bring the figure of the Christ-Child from your crib to be blessed at the 10am Mass this Sunday.

This Sunday we welcome St Charles School to take a major part in our Mass. “Let all that you do, be done in love.” (St Charles Borromeo). Love is made possible by respect. St. Charles School offers a friendly, family atmosphere based on Catholic principles backed by good teaching and high expectations. The school continuously strives toward excellence with Christ at the Centre of everything we do. For more information please see the school website,, phone 01530 270572, or email

For reflection you might like to listen to this lovely setting of the very familiar "O come, Emmanuel."

Monday 11 December 2017

Atherstone Choral Society Christmas Concert with St Charles School Choir

Concert rescheduled to  Monday 18th December 7.00 pm at Holy Trinity Church, Hartshill, CV10 0LY

Rehearsal for the St Charles Choir will start at 6.00 pm at the church on the day.  Refreshments will be provided for parents between the rehearsal and the performance.

Please re-use the tickets already purchased for this concert

Saturday 9 December 2017

How are you at snow shifting?

The local weather forecast for the early hours of Sunday is looking rather snowy. If this turns out to be accurate, any members of our community who own shovels and are willing and able to wield them would receive a warm (?) welcome at OLOL earlyish on Sunday morning so that we can ensure safe access to our Church for the 10am Mass.

Father Colin will have the kettle on from 8.30am.

Thursday 7 December 2017

Newsletter for 9/10 December - Advent 2

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

Handel's "Comfort ye, my people" provides a lovely reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent. The words are taken from the first reading at Mass.

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Video Resource on Our Lady

St Paul Center for Biblical Theology has again made an excellent video resource on Mary available freely online during Advent. More here.

Monday 4 December 2017

From St Charles School

Three Vacancies: at Crich, Measham& Derby

Director of Youth Service.  The Diocese seeks to appoint a professionally qualified Director of Youth Service who combines a deep personal commitment to their Catholic faith with a vibrant and enthusiastic passion for Catholic youth ministry and retreat provision among young people.
This full-time post will be based at The Briars Youth Retreat Centre in Crich. For further information contact Teresa Clark on 01773 852044 or
Closing date for all applications 3rd January.

Sunday 3 December 2017

Advent starts

In my homily this weekend I quoted a homily by St Bernard. You can read more of St Bernard's words here.

These few words give us a flavour:
In his first coming our Lord came in our flesh and in our weakness; in this middle coming he comes in spirit and in power; in the final coming he will be seen in glory and majesty.
In case someone should think that what we say about this middle coming is sheer invention, listen to what our Lord himself ways: If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him.

Thursday 30 November 2017

Newsletter for 2/3 December - Advent 1(B)

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

As I did last year, during Advent, I shall post a piece of music each week to help us reflect on the season. The first is a very familiar chant from TaizĂ©.

If your usual route to Church is via Market Street, you will need to allow a little more time on Saturday and Sunday....

Monday 27 November 2017

Act in support of Catholic Education

Do you support Catholic schools and the right of Catholics to send their children to them?
Then we need you to make your voice heard. The Government is making a critical decision on whether to overturn the admissions cap which prevents new Catholic schools from allowing all Catholic pupils to attend.
The Prime Minister has acknowledged that this policy discriminates against Catholics and had promised previously to abandon it. Now the Government may decide to keep this discriminatory policy in place instead of removing it. We need you to tell the Government not to discriminate against Catholics and to remove the admissions cap on new faith-based schools.
Visit to write to the Government and urge them to drop their policy which bans new Catholic schools.

Sunday 26 November 2017

Christ the King - Deacon Andrew's Homily

Click here to read Deacon Andrew's homily for the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Mother Teresa used to say that when we die and meet the Lord face to face we will be asked how have we loved. The more time we spend before the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration; the more time we meet him in Holy Communion; the more we receive his mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the more we will see him in others.
When we truly see Christ in our neighbour; when we love our neighbour as Christ loves us - then we need not fear our judgement. When we love as Christ loves we will certainly hear him say “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you.”

Saturday 25 November 2017

Our Bishop's Catechesis on Adoration

Here is the message from Bishop Patrick seen by all the Catholic Schools in the Diocese on Friday last.

Our Bishop presents a simple and profound catechesis, based on his own daily experience of Adoration. Indeed, he gives us a deep and honest insight into his own spirituality. So much of what he says resonates very deeply with my own experience.

Although this was produced for our schools, there is so much here that can help any Catholic who wants to pray better, who sometimes finds it difficult to pray, and yet who knows that prayer is the lifeblood of any authentic Christian life. Isn't that all of us!

Whatever your age, please do watch this video. It takes less than ten minutes.

Please remember the forthcoming opportunities for adoration in our own parishes:

  • Every Saturday evening, OLOL, 4.45 - 5.15pm (with Sacrament of Reconciliation)
  • Tuesday, 28 November, St Charles Church, 1.10 - 2.15pm (with children from St Charles School)
  • Monday, 18 December, OLOL, 6.30 - 8pm (with two priests available for Sacrament of Reconciliation, and with Prayers for Vocations)

Friday 24 November 2017

Nottingham Diocese - Day of the Eucharist for Schools

Today our Bishop is speaking to all the Catholic school in the Diocese about Eucharistic Adoration. The chaplaincy team from St Charles will be going to De Lisle College in Loughborough to join in this day with other local schools. On Tuesday afternoon at St Charles Church, Measham, our children will be participating in a Holy Hour of Adoration, starting at 1.10pm - not 2.10 as I mistakenly put in the print version of the newsletter. Please join our children for all or part of this special time.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Wednesday 22 November 2017

More about Adoremus

I have already drawn your attention to Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool in September 2018. Here is a brief talk about it from Fr Chris Thomas, a priest of our diocese, currently working in London as General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference.

Please take every opportunity you can to participate in Eucharistic Adoration. Every Saturday evening at OLOL, we have Exposition from 4.45 - 5.15pm. Next Tuesday, 28th November, starting at 1.10pm there is a Holy Hour at St Charles Church, in which our school will be participating. On Monday, 19th December there will be one and half hours of Adoration at OLOL starting at 6.30pm, with prayers for vocations and with two priests available for confession.

This is something we are called to by all the Bishops of England and Wales. Let us respond gladly and with generous hearts.

Saturday 18 November 2017

New Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

Today at the Cathedral Bishop Patrick commissioned ninety-five new Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for our Diocese. Among them was Patricia Clews from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. Our parish was also represented by four of our musicians who sang with the Diocesan choir at the Mass.

Bishop Patrick told us in his homily that, when people are asked to take on this ministry, they often respond that they don't feel worthy. The Bishop said that none of us are worthy, but the Lord gives the necessary graces to those he calls and commissions.

He encouraged those to be commissioned to spend regular time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He also reminded them to be careful of the language they use when speaking of the wonderful Sacrament they administer. What is brought to the altar at the offertory is bread and wine. Once consecrated it is no longer bread and wine: it has become the true Body and precious Blood of the Lord. The way we speak of this Sacrament should always reflect our faith in the real presence.

Thank you, Patricia, for embracing this wonderful ministry. May you be a blessing to our parishioners at Holy Mass, and to our sick and housebound brothers and sisters who receive Holy Communion at Home.

Thursday 16 November 2017

Wednesday 15 November 2017

St Charles School becoming an Academy

As previously mentioned, it is planned that all Catholic schools in Nottingham Diocese will become academies from autumn 2018. Our own St Charles School will become part of the St Thomas Aquinas multi-academy trust. There is now an information/consultation period, and we need to make the two documents below as widely available as possible.

Consultation letter (from St Charles School)
Frequently Asked Questions (from the Diocesan Education Service)

Thursday 9 November 2017

Tuesday 7 November 2017

More from Youth Retreat in Derby

I have already posted about the recent Young Adults' Retreat in our diocese. Today I came upon this account from a participant at the retreat. Well worth reading.

Saturday 4 November 2017

Planning ahead

November, the month of the Holy Souls, confronts us, sometimes uncomfortably, with our own mortality. Like most priests, I have occasionally been saddened when non-practising relatives of faithful Catholics have arranged funeral rites for their loved ones which do not reflect the faith of the one who has died. This is rarely, if ever done, from any bad will. Rather it is a result of not knowing what is appropriate, or being uncertain what their loved one would have wanted.

We can help those who are left by leaving clear written instructions which reflect our Christian faith and hope. Cardinal Vincent Nichols has provided this simple but comprehensive pro forma to help us do this. I commend this important, if challenging, exercise to you at this appropriate time of year.

Friday 3 November 2017

New academies in Nottingham Diocese

From autumn 2018 all the Catholic schools in Nottingham Diocese will become academies. Each will be part of one of four multi-academy trusts. Leicestershire schools, including our own St Charles and De Lisle at Loughborough will become part of the St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Multi-Academy Trust. Blessed Robert Sutton will become part of the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi-Academy Trust.

There will be much more about this in the coming months. Meanwhile, Blessed Robert Sutton have asked for these documents to be made available to parishioners:

Thursday 2 November 2017

Sunday 29 October 2017

Recent Event in our Diocese

Recently Nottingham Diocese hosted a lovely retreat for young adults (16 - 35) in Derby. The retreat was organised by an organisation called Youth 2000. I have met a number of young people who have attended their events and have been impressed by what they have told me and how their faith has been enriched. Their retreats are very much centred around Eucharistic Adoration which has a profound effect on many young people. I would encourage our young adults to attend anything organised by Youth 2000 and will advertise any events I hear of.

Here are some pictures from Derby this last weekend.

Friday 27 October 2017

Well worth watching/listening

I have been enjoying the BBC 4 series, Retreat: Meditations from a Monastery. If you missed the series you can catch up at these links:
Downside Abbey
Pluscarden Abbey
Belmont Abbey

BBC Radio 3 has produced a series to go alongside the TV programmes. Each programme is around 15 minutes. You can find episodes here.

These programmes are refreshingly different from the usual run of TV and radio. You will find long periods with few if any words. There is time, for once, to look, think, even pray..

Thursday 26 October 2017

Newsletter for 28/29 October - Sunday 30(A)

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

Please note the arrangements for All Saints (Holyday of Obligation when we must all be at Mass) and All Souls (when we will all want to pray for our departed loved ones):

Monday 23 October 2017

Bishops' Statement on Abortion

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act, the Bishops of England and Wales, together with the Bishops of Scotland have issued a statement upholding Catholic teach on the sanctity of human life. You can read it here.

Saturday 21 October 2017

Newsletter for 21/22 October - Sunday 29(A)

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

World Mission Sunday, this weekend, is our chance to show love and solidarity to our brothers and sisters overseas who share our faith. In offering our prayers, we join with missionaries everywhere in communion and compassion to support them in spreading the Good News, and by giving a donation we respond to Christ's call to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Missio is responsible for coordinating World Mission Sunday and provides new, young or poor dioceses with the essential support they need on their journey to becoming self-sufficient. Missio works through local bishops, churches and missionary congregations to ensure that resources are distributed equitably and justly — on the basis of need. The money goes directly from England and Wales to the bishops in the mission territories — local church directly helping local church!

Monday 16 October 2017

Vacancy for Project Lead - Leicester and Leicestershire Catholic Schools Multi-Academy Trust

The Steering Group working on the new multi-academy trust for Catholic schools in Leicester and Leicestershire is seeking to appoint a project manager. This is 0.4FTE position, starting as soon as possible until 1 September 2018, with the possibility of extension if it is required. Applications are welcome from current or former school leaders or business managers, particularly those with experience of academy conversion and/or high level project management.  A secondment with agreement of the present employer would be welcomed. The Steering Group welcomes expressions of interest by CV (including suitable references) and covering letter detailing relevant skills and experience, by this Thursday 26 October 2017 at 12.00 noon to

Job description here. Person specification here.

Thursday 12 October 2017

Event cancelled - Busy Times, Busy Families

Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled. I was notified of this after this week's newsletter was printed.

Newsletter for 14/15 October - Sunday 28(A)

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

Monday 9 October 2017

Saturday 7 October 2017

Newsletter and University

Just a reminder that the newsletter published last weekend covered two weeks. Here it is again.

We have been asked to draw this site to the attention of those starting at university or returning. It gives contact information for Catholic Chaplaincies in our universities.

Friday 29 September 2017

Parish boundaries

Have you ever wondered about the extent of our parishes? Here is a map of each. I have put this as a permanent feature on the sidebar of this site. 

You can view a map of all the parishes in our diocese here.

Thursday 28 September 2017

Double issue Newsletter for Sundays 26(A) and 27(A)

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

We welcome children and staff from St Charles Catholic School to participate in a special way in the 10am Mass at OLOL on Sunday, 1st October.

Also on the weekend of 30 September/1 October we shall hear about the CAFOD Harvest Fast Day (Friday, 6th October). The envelopes for this will be distributed this weekend and should be returned at Mass on 7/8 October.

You will find in the newsletter some basic details of Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress in Liverpool, 7 – 9 September 2018. This is a major event in our national Catholic life, and it is hoped that every parish in the country will be represented. You can read much more about it here. It is possible for people to attend for the whole three days, or just for one or two. We have to submit approximate numbers (though not names yet) of those who are keen to attend within the next fortnight, so please think about this now and contact Fr Colin as soon as possible if you are interested.

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Teaching Vacancies at Blessed Robert Sutton Catholic Sports College For January 2018

There  are vacancies in English, Art and Textiles/or Design, Design and Technology (Resistant Materials) and Geography. Please see the school website at for further details and how to apply.

Thursday 21 September 2017

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Thursday 14 September 2017

Newsletter for 16/17 September - Sunday 24(A)

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

This Sunday is Home Mission Sunday. You can read more here.

Wish you were here - a Reflection for Home Mission Sunday
In that first moment, when you settle into your seat, waiting for Mass to begin, who is it that you think of? Who is it that you wish were sitting beside you?
After my mother died, it was difficult to come to Church without welling up in tears as I wished she were there. Then one day I asked God to show me that she was with Him, and experienced a sense of peace.
Now my heart aches for those I care about who have stopped coming to Church. Perhaps they have drifted away or something has turned them away. Whatever the situation, I miss them and wish they were here.
In today’s readings we are taken straight to the heart of the matter as we are asked to forgive those who have hurt us and to show mercy if we hope to receive it. This sentiment is as powerful as it is challenging. Whether thinking of an individual or a group of people who have offended us in some way, if we are able to show loving mercy rather than judgement, we open the door for them to turn towards Jesus. How? It all begins with a smile, a welcome, and prayer that we be released from the pain within. Then in going beyond ourselves, we step into Christ and do what may have seemed impossible – we forgive and are forgiven.
Teresa Carvalho, Home Mission Development Officer
Home Mission Office - Department of Evangelisation and Catechesis

Monday 11 September 2017

Follow up to Pastoral Letter on Education

Yesterday I posted the Bishop's Pastoral Letter on Education.

Here are some links which may be useful to anyone wanting to follow up some of the points in the pastoral letter:

Nottingham Diocesan Education Service.

St Charles Catholic Primary School - which serves our two parishes.

Blessed Robert Sutton Catholic Sports College, Burton - our parishes are in the catchment area of this Catholic Secondary School.

De Lisle College, Loughborough - a number of our parishioners attend this Catholic Secondary School.

Sunday 10 September 2017

Pastoral Letter on Education

This weekend we heard a Pastoral Letter on Catholic Education from Bishop Patrick. You can read it here.

Thursday 7 September 2017

Newsletter for 9/10 September - Sunday 23(A)

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

This weekend is Education Sunday and we pray especially for our schools. We will hear a pastoral letter from Bishop Patrick on the subject of Catholic Education.

Saturday 2 September 2017

Epiphany and Ascension

From Advent 2017 the Solemnities of the Epiphany and the Ascension will be restored to their traditional days, rather than being transferred to Sunday. However, if Epiphany (Jan 6th) falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday, (as it will do for the next three years) it will still be observed on Sunday. Ascension Day is always on a Thursday, forty days after Easter. These feasts are Holydays of Obligation.

More details here.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, who died on Friday. You can read more here.

A few days before his death, the Cardinal sent a message to his successor, Cardinal Vincent Nichols. This is what he said:
My dear Cardinal Vincent,
I would be very grateful if you would convey this short message to the priests, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese, of which I as well as you have been privileged to serve as their Bishop.
At this time, the words I pray every night are never far from my thoughts: “Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit”. Please tell them that I am at peace and have no fear of what is to come. I have received many blessings in my life, especially from my family and friends. I thank God for the many priests, religious and lay faithful who have helped and sustained me in my Episcopal life. Nor should I forget the many Anglican and Free Church colleagues whose friendship I have valued very much. Above all, as I now commend myself to the loving mercy of God, I ask them all to pray for me as I remember and pray for them.
Fraternally in the Lord,
A prayer for the departed Cardinal:
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that the soul of your departed servant Cardinal Cormac,
to whom you committed the care of your family,
may, with the manifold fruit of his labours,
enter into the eternal gladness of his Lord.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever. 
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.
May his soul
and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Thursday 31 August 2017

Newsletter for 2/3 September - Sunday 22(A)

Click here to read the latest newsletter.

Jesus came among us not primarily to establish easy-going human fellowship, the sort that produces warm feelings of acceptance and belonging; he came among us to redeem us from sin, an operation that cannot avoid inflicting pain. Friendship in the truth means never forgetting the ultimate goal of our life by basking in the enjoyable illusion of present security and mutual human support. Jesus can support us as our friend only insofar as his help moves our life toward his Father. The Son cannot collude with us in anything even vaguely approaching a conspiracy against the Father’s deepest will to save; if he did, he would stop being faithful Son, which is exactly what the actual Satan would have had him do during the temptations in the desert: “All these [kingdoms] I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
This quote, inspired by today’s gospel reading, is from a wonderful three volume work entitled Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word, Meditations on St Matthew’s Gospel, by Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, an American Cistercian monk. On my recent retreat, a nun of Minster Abbey introduced me to the work: after hearing my homilies, she thought his approach to scripture was similar to mine.  If only I could rise to his level!

Thursday 24 August 2017