Providing a permanent night shelter for homeless people in Birmingham

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Tabor House, Birmingham’s only permanent night shelter for homeless people, is opening in September. Could you volunteer as a host or mentor?

Please come along to an open evening on Thursday 13 July, 6-9pm, at St Anne’s Catholic Church, 96 Bradford Street, Birmingham B12 0PY. Contact Christy Acton on 01675 434064 to find out more.

Father Hudson’s Care is working with partners to open a year-round night shelter for homeless people in Birmingham. Tabor House is due to open on 27 September.

A building in Digbeth is in the process of being converted to provide suitable accommodation, and Father Hudson’s Care has  recruited two new members of staff for the project.

Tabor House, however, will rely on a large number of volunteers to act as hosts and mentors to our guests. Come to the open evening to learn more – and see more information about various volunteer roles below:

A reminder of Mission Brazil

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A group of 25 young adults from the Archdiocese of Birmingham are travelling to the mountains of Brazil this Summer to spend two weeks serving children and families living in the poor settlement of Meio da Serra
They are desperately looking for donations listed below to take with them in their luggage.
Please support this incredible opportunity, perhaps encourage your youth group/school to get involved.
Donations to the project
can be made at St Nicholas church
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
 

Speak Lord: Our safety and hope

Living Eucharist

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Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Do not be afraid. For everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops.

‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.

‘So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. But the one…

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Taste and See: The true Bread

Living Eucharist

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The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that, though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17

The Second reading at Mass on Sunday, Corpus Christi, was a very brief one. However it is a very important reading, perhaps the Church’s earliest (written) theology of the Eucharist.

Paul stresses that the Eucharist draw us into communion with Christ and into communion with each other. He has learnt this, and certainly teaches is, relying on the authentic symbol of the One Bread shared.

The point is regularly made that this teaching could not be so easily argued from our liturgical practice today. Too often we celebrate not…

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Praying today…

N Kensington

At Mass today we remembered in prayer again those who died in the fire in North Kensington last week, and we prayed also for the Muslims targeted in the attack in Finsbury Park last night.

Finsbury Park

During the Mass we used a Eucharistic Prayer that asks God to help the Church in times of trial to be ready to serve those in need, after the example of Christ.

Bring your Church, O Lord,
to perfect faith and charity,
together with Francis. our Pope and Bernard. our Bishop,
with all Bishops, Priests and Deacons,
and the entire people you have made your own.

Open our eyes
to the needs of our brothers and sisters;
inspire in us words and actions
to comfort those who labour and are burdened.
Make us serve them truly,
after the example of Christ and at his command.
And may your Church stand as a living witness
to truth and freedom,
to peace and justice,
that all people may be raised up to a new hope.

Our world is too often marred by injustice, by prejudice and hate. Its peoples are also regularly hampered by fear. In Christ may we find freedom to love our brothers and sisters as he did…

  • Text from ‘Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs and Occasions’, in The Roman Missal
  • Pictures from here and here  

Taste and see: Praise the Lord

Living Eucharist

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On Corpus Christi a Sequence is set to be sung as part of the Liturgy of the Word. A setting of the Latin text can be heard here.

Sing forth, O Zion, sweetly sing
The praises of thy Shepherd-King,
In hymns and canticles divine;
Dare all thou canst, thou hast no song
Worthy his praises to prolong,
So far surpassing powers like thine.

Today no theme of common praise
Forms the sweet burden of thy lays –
The living, life-dispensing food –
That food which at the sacred board
Unto the brethren twelve our Lord
His parting legacy bestowed.

Then be the anthem clear and strong,
Thy fullest note, thy sweetest song,
The very music of the breast:
For now shines forth the day sublime
That brings remembrance of the time
When Jesus first his table blessed.

Within our new King’s banquet-hall
They meet to keep the festival
That closed the…

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Taize catch-up

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Follow this link to the Taizé page which offers a short account of the Hidden Treasure Birmingham weekend with links to photos, a transcript of Dr. Rowan Williams’ talk at the Sunday night service, as well as the reflections written by several other participants made after they got home.

The BBC recorded during various of the services and extracts will be broadcast on Radio 4 next Sunday, 25 June, as Sunday Worship 8:15am UK time (09:15 European time). The programme will be available afterwards on playback and here 

Prayer at St Martin’s in the Bullring. (c) 2017, Allen Morris

Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Bernard

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Eucharistic window

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This weekend we celebrate the joyful feast of Corpus Christi – the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is one of the beautiful summer feasts that follow Pentecost and that open up for us a deeper understanding of Our Lord’s gift of the Holy Spirit and of the Spirit’s influence on our lives.

Corpus Christi is the second of three feasts that lead us into the mystery of God’s love for the world and in particular His personal love for each one of us. Once we have reflected on the paschal mystery of Our Lord’s passion, death and resurrection and its completion with the Pentecost gift of the Holy Spirit all that is left for our contemplation is love.

St John assures us that God is love. God’s nature, revealed to us in the humanity of his beloved Son Jesus Christ, is love – and its perfect expression is the interior life of the Blessed Trinity, which we celebrated last Sunday. We believe that there is a continual outpouring of love between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our own creation and the beauty of creation around us are the outcome of that divine love.

We are drawn deeper into that love by our baptism into Christ’s dying and rising and we savour God’s love through the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament of God’s loving presence among us. This is what we celebrate in today’s feast – and we continue to contemplate it with real wonder and devotion on the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday.

God is love. It is such a sublime aspect of our faith and yet one that we can so easily take for granted. The Book of Deuteronomy urges us: Do not forget the Lord your God. Only prayer can bring this truth before us in all its astonishing clarity and simplicity and it is the prayer of the Eucharist that makes this truth a reality in our own lives.

In the Eucharist we feed on the love of God and as we feed so we grow in love, until it has to overflow into the conduct of our lives and influence the choices that we make. It also overflows into our prayers of intercession, as we remember especially this weekend those who died or were injured in the fire in London, praying for their grieving or anxious relatives and for those now supporting them in the local community.

During Evening Prayer today we reflect on the mystery of the Blessed Sacrament in some treasured words attributed to St Thomas Aquinas. O sacrum convivium! speaks of the sacred banquet in which Christ is received, the memory of His Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace and a pledge of future glory is given to us. Past, present and future are held together for us whenever we eat His flesh and drink His blood for anyone who eats this bread will live forever.

There is a sense in which the Eucharist takes us out of ourselves so that we can truly find ourselves in the Lord. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. We only find our true identity and our calling in life through Christ and we need the food of the Eucharist to become the person that God has created us to be.

So the feast of Corpus Christi is also about how our lives are destined by God to unfold if we will allow our Lord to live in us through His presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Only His Real Presence in the Eucharist can achieve this in us and for us and on Corpus Christi we affirm our faith in the Lord’s true and abiding presence in the Eucharist until time comes to an end and we enter into eternal life with Him.

Our Eucharistic faith makes us see the world around us differently- with reverence for God’s creation and especially with love for God’s image in every man and woman. The Eucharist opens our eyes so that we see one another with love and we treat all God’s creatures with love. And this always begins in prayer, especially the prayer of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, when looking at Our Lord makes us look with greater compassion and understanding at others.

Because the Blessed Sacrament is so central to the lives of Catholics we need, every so often, to stop and think more carefully about this tremendous gift that has been entrusted to us. It is for this reason that we shall be celebrating next year a Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool under the title Adoremus – Let us worship. For three days, between 7th and 9th September 2018, the Catholic community of England and Wales will be invited to come together to reflect on the Lord’s presence in this great Sacrament and to adore Him in the Eucharist.

Bishop Robert Byrne is leading our national planning for the Eucharistic Congress of 2018 and much more information will become available over the coming months. But today we can look forward to the Congress and receive Our Lord in the Eucharist with renewed gratitude and praise, so that we never forget the wonderful gift we have received or take the Blessed Sacrament for granted.

The presence of the Blessed Sacrament in our churches is a call to prayer – a silent echo of the message of Deuteronomy: Do not forget the Lord your God – and prayer is natural to human beings in the presence of God. In one of his thoughtful poems Tennyson gives voice to this through the words of the dying King Arthur: …..

More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice Rise like a fountain for me night and day. For what are men better than sheep or goats…
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend. For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.

Let us honour Christ in the Blessed Sacrament today – let us pray for one another in His presence. Adoremus!

Yours devotedly in Christ

+ Bernard Longley
Archbishop of Birmingham

Speak Lord: Bread of Life

Living Eucharist

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Moses said to the people: ‘Remember how the Lord your God led you for forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, to test you and know your inmost heart – whether you would keep his commandments or not. He humbled you, he made you feel hunger, he fed you with manna which neither you nor your fathers had known, to make you understand that man does not live on bread alone but that man lives on everything that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

‘Do not become proud of heart. Do not forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery: who guided you through this vast and dreadful wilderness, a land of fiery serpents, scorpions, thirst; who in this waterless place brought you water from the hardest rock; who in this wilderness fed you with manna that…

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