Prayer for John Garvey: III

John Garvey is to be ordained deacon at St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham on Sunday November 1st.

Please support him by praying for him in the days leading up to the ordination.

From an Address of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to the Permanent Deacons of Rome (18th February 2006)

“In a famous passage from his Letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul says that Christ “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant”. He, Christ, is the example at which to look.  In the Gospel, he told his disciples he had come “not to be served but to serve”.  In particular, during the Last Supper, after having once again explained to the Apostles that he was among them “as one who serves”, he made the humble gesture of washing the feet of the Twelve, a duty of slaves, setting an example so that his disciples might imitate him in service and in mutual love.”

Reflection

Before the laying on of hands and the prayer of consecration is said, John will lie on the floor face down whilst the congregation implores God for his mercy and invokes the intercession of the saints.  This gesture of prostration imitates the humility of Christ and expresses John’s total dependence on the Holy Trinity.  For only through the power of Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit can John say, as our Lord did, “Father, your will, not mine, be done.”

Concluding Prayer

Almighty Ever-Living God,
Hear our humble petitions,
we pray that John, our brother,
may hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience
as the aApostle urges,
maintain and deepen a spirit of prayer appropriate to his way of life,
and shape his life always according to the example of Christ
whose body and blood he will give to the People of God.

Through Christ our Lord.

Copyright information

Picture: The diaconal ordination of 15 men by Archbishop Chaput  at the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Philadelphia on 1st June 2013 and published on CatholicPhilly.com https://catholicphilly.com/2013/06/news/local-news/15-men-ordained-deacons-at-cathedral in a post by Lou Baldwin, a freelance writer and a member of St. Leo Parish, Philadelphia.

Address of Pope Emeritus Benedict: Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2006

Reflection and Concluding Prayer: GJO

Acknowledgement: Excerpts from the Rite of Ordination of a Deacon taken from the Roman Pontifical © 1978 International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

Praying the Rosary with the parish

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Every Monday at 7pm …

The joining details (same each week!)
https://zoom.us/j/92780004050
Meeting ID: 927 8000 4050

To join in it is best to have a smart phone, or a tablet or a PC.

Once you are set up it really is just a matter of pressing a button. But if you would like help setting up please ring Fr Allen and help can be provided.

You can also simply phone in from any phone — again more details available from Fr Allen.

It’s a problem!

It ‘s a problem that its nice to have in some ways

But for those most directly involved, it’s not so nice.

The nice thing is that regularly our 9am Mass is now regularly full to capacity. And teh sad thing is that regularly we now have to turn one or two families away.

There are other Sunday Masses that are not regularly full – the 4pm and 6pm on Saturday and the 11am on Sunday. So families might like to think instead of coming to those.

However sometimes people are limited by circumstances to only being able to attend Mass at one of the times available in this parish.

A request has been made at the 9am Mass for those who could go instead to another Mass to think about making a change, as an act of charity for others who can only attend the 9am. However, it is recognised that not everyone is free to change, even if they could.

It would be possible to follow some other parishes where you have to book in on-line to come to Sunday Mass. However recent parish experience with a funeral where a certain number of places were bookable showed that some booked and didn’t come, and others who wanted to come and could have come if others had not already book (following me, still?) showed that system is far from foolproof, let alone better than first come first served.

So, the best advice that can be given is

  1. If you can come to one of the less well-attended Masses – Saturday 4pm or 6pm, or Sunday 11am – please do.
  2. If you want to come to the 9am Mass – or indeed any of the others masses, and especially if you are coming as a family – please arrive early to be most certain of finding there is space for you.

Prayer for John Garvey: II

John Garvey is to be ordained deacon at St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham on Sunday November 1st.

Please support him by praying for him in the days leading up to the ordination.

From the address of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to the Permanent Deacons of Rome

“Dear Deacons, accept with joy and gratitude the love the Lord feels for you and pours out into your lives, and generously give to people what you have received as a free gift. May Mary, the humble handmaid of the Lord who gave the Saviour to the world, and the Deacon Lawrence who loved the Lord to point of giving up his life for him, always accompany you with their intercession.”

Reflection

At the beginning of his Ordination Mass, a priest of the diocese will present John to the Bishop. The Bishop will ask the priest: “Do you judge [John] to be worthy?”  The priest will say “yes”.  This does not mean that John has been canonised in his own lifetime.  As our Pope Emeritus makes clear, it’s the call from God, God’s grace and the love which God pours into John’s heart which makes John worthy. What has John contributed? He has said a heartfelt “yes” to the apostolic mission which God has entrusted to him just as our Lady and St Lawrence said “yes” to theirs.

Concluding Prayer

O God,
Who gave your Holy Spirit to your Apostles
as they prayed with Mary the Mother of Jesus
Grant that through her intercession
John, our brother, may faithfully serve your majesty
And extend, by word and example,
The glory of your name.

Through Christ our Lord.

Copyright Information:

Picture: https://www.monasteryicons.com/product/virgin-mary-directress-icon-615/icons-of-the-virgin-mary

Address of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: Libreria Editrice Vaticana (2006)

Reflection and Concluding Prayer: GJO (2020)

Acknowledgement: Excerpts from the Rite of Ordination of a Deacon taken from the Roman Pontifical © 1978 International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

Praying with Scripture

Our parish gatherings for lectio divina continue this Sunday afternoon.

Some may well ask, ‘what is lectio divina?’ It is simply a quiet prayerful engagement with the Lord through holy scripture.

  • We begin by listening -to the reading read to us, and then listening to it in the quiet of our hearts.
  • We then – if moved to do so – share a word or sentence that has particularly struck us – but not discussing it, just noting it.
  • We then listen to the scripture a second time, once more read aloud and then, again, pondered in the quiet of our hearts.
  • The final stage is for those taking part – if they wish – sharing something more about what they have heard the Lord say to them in the scriptures.

The reading we will use is taken from the Liturgy of the Word for this Sunday.

The sessions will begin at 4pm, and after 15 minutes for sharing virtual coffee and cake and chat, we will begin the lectio at 4.15, and continue until 5pm.

To join you will need the Zoom App on a smart phone /Tablet / or PC, and then simply click on the link below.

https://zoom.us/j/94107228901
Meeting ID: 941 0722 8901

If you would like help getting Zoom set up please ring Fr Allen. All are welcome!

The Gospel for today’s Mass

Living Eucharist

An old joke, told by Jews (against themselves? or in their own defense?) goes:

A Jew is stranded on a desert island. When he is finally discovered after many years, his rescuers find that he has constructed two synagogues. “One, I go to. The other? The other I would never set foot in.”

A similar joke could be told about Christians. We are just as experienced at ‘splitting’ and anathematizing others of our tradition.

Over the centuries separation has been so great between Jews and Christians that we can forget how much we actually have in common. And in particular we forget how much more Jesus and his co-religionists had in common.

In the Gospel we hear debate and discussion between Jews of different traditions. Sadly the debate seems to get into making petty points, seeking to win the argument but at the cost of losting sight of what is…

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Commonwealth Games

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Full Text Logo

Covid permitting, 2022 will see the Commonwealth Games taking place in Birmingham: 28 July to 8 August.

More particularly, the Triathalon competitions will be held from here in Sutton Park and in Bodmere from 28-31 July.

The full competition schedule is available here.

There are likely to be opportunities for people to help with stewarding events and just being generally helpful. You can register your interest in assisting in such ways here.

There may also be ways in which, as a parish, we can support the Games, not only from 28-31 July when attention will be focussed on Boldmere, but throughout the time of build-up to the Games and throughout the time the fortnight that they are taking place.

Any thoughts? Please share with Fr Allen…

Prayer for John Garvey

John Garvey is to be ordained deacon at St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham on Sunday November 1st.

Please support him by praying for him in the days leading up to the ordination.

From Pope St Paul VI’s Apostolic Letter: The Sacred Order of the Diaconate (18th June 1967):

“Beginning already in the early days of the Apostles, the Catholic Church has held in great veneration the sacred order of the diaconate, as St Paul himself bears witness.  He expressly sends his greeting to the deacons together with the bishops and instructs Timothy which virtues and qualities are to be sought in them in order that they might be regarded as worthy of their ministry.”

Reflection

The origins of the permanent diaconate go back to the Acts of the Apostles and  the appointment of 7 men of whom St Stephen was one.  The picture shows him being stoned.  He is wearing vestments identical to those John will wear at Mass.  Stephen witnessed to his self-offering by his martyrdom. John will witness to his by his threefold service: to the Word of God, to the sacraments and to spreading of God’s love.   Their circumstances are very different but both Stephen and John are Heralds of the Gospel.

Concluding Prayer

Lord God,
you inspired your deacons Stephen, Laurence, Ephraem and Vincent
with so ardent a love
that their lives were renowned for the service of your people. 
Give John, our brother,
the grace and strength to love what they loved
 and to live as they showed us. 
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

Acknowledgements:
Picture: Annibale Carraci – The Stoning of St Stephen
Apostolic Letter: Libreria Editrice Vaticana (1967)
Reflection and Concluding Prayer: (c) 2020, Gary O’Brien
Excerpts from the Rite of Ordination of a Deacon taken from the Roman Pontifical © 1978 International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

The second reading for Mass tomorrow

Living Eucharist

St Paul commends the Thessalonians for allowing their lives to be refashioned in Christ, for their service and for their readiness to entrust their future to Christ’s second coming.

  • For what might he commend you?
  • Or your church community?
  • And where might he focus his challenge?

1 Thessalonians 1:5-10
Second reading for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

(NB the text set for Sunday is given below in bold and in ‘quote sections’ below; the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

Greeting
1.1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example
2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of…

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