Greetings to you all, as we plunge into this special season, preparing to celebrate the Lord’s suffering and Resurrection at Easter. On Ash Wednesday there were almost as many people at church as on the previous Sunday. Please God, this year will see the whole parish ‘put on sackcloth and ashes’ (making a determined effort) to let the Almighty take over our lives, and use us in his service for the spread of his kingdom; encouraging to return to worship those people who have had to hibernate because of Covid, and inviting others to take the place of those who walk with us no more. Jesus in the desert ‘consecrated through his fast the pattern of our Lenten observance’ (preface to today’s Eucharistic Prayer). It has ever been the most powerful and effective way of finding favour with God.
During the six weeks of Lent it might be unreal to look for negative ‘giving up’ things, after all the restrictions and deprivation of the last two years. Instead, make sure that we repent of any slackness in our service of Almighty God. We could devote more time to prayer: there will be a return of the half-hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on Saturday mornings between 10 and 10.30am – what a magnificent gesture of commitment that would be. During that time there will be the availability of Confession. After the last two years, that could be used at the beginning of Lent as a help to examine where we need to do better, and to humbly apologise for our shortcomings.
This weekend Bishop Mark again writes to us, to unite the Diocese in prayer and penance.
We can all of course be more generous. This Friday is Family Fast day, and next weekend there will be the chance to give alms to the neediest people in the world through a CAFOD collection.
The Diocese of Shrewsbury has committed itself thoroughly to safeguarding. The time has come round again for checking the background of all our parishioners who have volunteered to act in any capacity which brings them into contact with children or vulnerable adults. This requires all such people to fill in a tiresome number of forms. Your cooperation and patience are necessary, so when you are asked, please comply as quickly as possible. Mrs Rowena Ford is our Safeguarding Liaison Officer and we thank her for undertaking this essential role. Everyone must feel safe in our church and parish.
There is a meeting of the Churches Together Council (LDCT) on Wednesday in the Sanctuary Cafe at 7.00pm.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Wendy Connelly of Lymmington Ave who died last weekend. Her funeral is not until 18 March. May she rest in peace. Also remember in your prayers the eight children who make their first Confession on Thursday, and their families.
Mass will be offered this week for the repose of the souls of Fr David Craig, Jasmine Turner, Wendy Connelly, William Young, John Dodd, Fr Felix McAllister, and on Thursday for Mike and Marje Caine, whom we congratulate as they celebrate 60 (yes 60!) years of marriage.
Please phone me if you need a visit. I don’t look for tasks but I will respond.