It has never been easier to find out the times of masses and the locations of churches. Your reliable friend is Google! (Other search engines are, of course, available!)
Just type in ‘Catholic churches in X‘, (ie the place you are visiting.)
You will probably be provided with a list of churches and a map. If you are lucky the website of each church will come up too, and that is where you will be able to check Mass times quickly and easily.
Many churches will provide you with the Sunday readings in English, but if they don’t then why not get the Universalis App. for your phone. It gives you the readings of the Mass for each day in English, and also the Order of Mass in English and in the major European languages as well as in some African and Indian languages. It is also, of course, a helpful spiritual resource for all year round.
I was going to put this into today’s homily, but I think it needs to be read directly from a page or a screen for maximum effect.
They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way
(now read again from bottom to top)
Poem by Brian Bilston
Photograph of broken Jewish tombstones now built into a memorial wall. Cracow. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.
A Walsall community contine their fundraising efforts in a bid to send a schoolgirl to America for pioneering therapy.
Isabella Lyttle, from Walsall, has fought neuroblastoma – a rare childhood cancer – since the age of three-and-a-half.
The 11-year-old, who attends St Francis Catholic Primary School and St Francis of Assisi church, is now on her third relapse and sadly options on the NHS are limited.
However, there is a hope that if she can access pioneering therapy in New York the trial treatment could potentially be life-saving – but it’s down to fundraising to make that happen.
A minimum of £150,000 needs to be raised, but this is likely to stretch beyond £200,000.
Isabella’s mum, Jen, said: “Isabella is being put forward for a clinical trial in Southampton which is phase 1, meaning there are no results yet available to show if the treatment is successful.
“Relapsed neuroblastoma is hard to treat. The vaccine in America is a treatment that is showing good results for children with neuroblastoma, but unfortunately it isn’t yet available here.”
Family, friends and volunteers of the fundraising campaign (known as Team Isabella) have already raised a whopping £96,000 through a variety of fundraising events, but there’s still a long way to go.
And Isabella is no stranger to fundraising herself, having written a short story called The Secret Adventure of the Fantasy Friends and having it published.
Isabella attends St Francis Catholic Primary School and recently made her Confirmation at St Francis of Assisi, which she attends when her health allows.
Archbishop Bernard Longley, of the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, said:
Isabella’s bravery, and her continued positive attitude, is to be admired. She is an inspiration to us all. I am encouraging parishioners across the Archdiocese to pray for Isabella and her family.
Fr Malcolm Glaze, of St Francis of Assisi, echoed this sentiment: “The tenacity and courage of both Isabella and her parents and wider family and friends is an inspiration to all.”
Despite her condition Isabella remains positive and is determined to overcome her cancer.
To date she has taken part in 10 clinical trials for the NHS and Cancer Research, and she was one of several ‘faces’ of Acorn Hospice’s recent 30th anniversary celebrations.
And together with her godmother, Isabella helped to create The ‘C Word’ video, to raise awareness of her fight. This has now gone viral and can be viewed here
If you can help Isabella please donate here
Photos: Isabella makes a guest appearance at a recent fun run event.
You will remember Archbishop Bernard’s Pastoral Letter on Sunday which urged us to pray for priests during the coming year, and to respond generously to the invitation to deepen our devotion to the Lord’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament.
Our parish already offers a range of opportunities to gather together for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. However for the foreseeable future there will also be exposition and prayer for priests immediately following the Friday 7pm Mass.
All are welcome – but those attending the 7pm Mass should not feel obliged to remain for the exposition also!