This year the Fast Day takes place on Friday 23rd February. Fast, if you are able, or give up a meal in solidarity with the poor. The money you save can be donated to CAFOD’s appeal. Gift envelopes will be available at the church today and the collection will be taken up on the following Sunday, the 25th. Help is desperately needed; for example, over 600,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar to escape persecution and death. They face infectious diseases such as diphtheria and starvation. CAFOD and Caritas Bangladesh are providing as much aid as they can. Your efforts can help them do more.
All donations to CAFOD will be match funded/doubled by the Government up to £5 million from 13th February to 12th May this year. Please give what you can and please fill in the Gift Aid section on the envelope if you are a UK tax payer.
WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER Friday 2nd March. The women of Suriname have prepared an excellent service, “All Gods Creation Is Very Good”, for 2018. There are a number of services around town. Details are on the poster on the noticeboard in the church entrance. St Mary of the Angels is represented at the service in Christ Church at 2.30pm. Men and women are very welcome to join in the celebration. We hope to see you there.
POPE REQUESTS DAY OF FASTING AND PRAYER for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in South Sudan and in all the world. The designated date for this is Friday 23rd
February. Please make a personal note and do your best to offer your fasting and prayer, that day, for this most important intention.
In order to try and reduce productions costs and to open a route to more immediate communication, the weekly newsletter will, from 4th March, be additionally available as an email subscription, for those who would like it. In order to receive your copy, which will be in a PDF format (for which a free reader is available), please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Thank you.
On 20th December last year, the Government announced a public consultation to formulate new proposals for ‘Relationships Education’ in primary schools, and ‘Sex and Relationships Education’ in secondary schools. The results of the consultation will probably be enshrined in law and will affect our Catholic schools. You have a chance to tell the Department of Education to halt the over-sexualisation of our children. At present, the Government’s proposals include compulsory (i.e., without parental agreement) lessons for children between five and eleven, covering homosexual relationships, same-sex ‘marriage’, and transgenderism.
To make your views known before 12 February, go to: http://www.consult.education.gov.uk/life-skills/pshe-rsecall-for-evidence. Visit Coalition for Marriage website here: https://www.c4m.org.uk/ and see their ‘Guide on Responding’.
we thank you for gathering us together
and for calling us to serve as your disciples.
You have charged us through your Son Jesus
with the great mission of evangelising and of witnessing your love to the world.
Send your Holy Spirit to guide us as we discern your will
for the spiritual renewal of our parish.
Give us strength, courage, and clear vision as we use our gifts to serve you.
We entrust our parish family to the care of St Mary of the Angels, our Mother,
and ask for her intercession as we strive to bear witness to the Gospel
and build an AMAZING parish.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS The Government is making a critical decision on whether to overturn the admissions cap which prevents Catholic schools from allowing all Catholic pupils to attend. They have acknowledged that this policy discriminates against Catholics, and promised to abandon it. Now we need you to tell them not to U-turn on their promise. Please urge them to drop their policy by visiting: catholicnews.org.uk/education-cap
During the autumn, and then in early 2018, Bishop Richard will visit all thirteen deaneries in our diocese as he begins, with us all, a review of how the diocese will look and work in the future.
This will be an active, honest, realistic, and far-reaching assessment of how to provide for the parishes of the deanery. We know, according to our present numbers, that on 1st January 2030 we shall hope to have just 50 priests under the age of 65 (Fr Terry will be
66 just a few days later that same year!). It is clear that not every parish will have a resident priest by 2030. We all need to prepare for major changes to the shape and structure of diocesan and parish life … Generosity and a willingness to change will be asked of us all (and many of us find change very difficult!).
Please pray for the bishop and his advisers at this exciting (and challenging) time of renewal.
On Thursday 27th April, the 49th anniversary of the legalisation of abortion, please pray and fast for the end of abortion and euthanasia. Your prayer and fasting is urgently needed. For information on the day of Prayer and Fasting contact: The Good Counsel Network on 020 7723 1740.
It’s really important, especially if your family are not practising Catholics, that you make your wishes known for funeral arrangements following your death. Nothing can be presumed! It’s very sad indeed when a regular, committed Catholic has a simple funeral service at the Crematorium, rather than a Mass, because family members (with the best will in the world) don’t know any better. There are, from today, available in the Parish Shop, leaflets (‘Instructions for my Funeral Mass’), produced by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and endorsed By H.E. Vincent Cardinal Nichols. Kindly make a donation of £2 per copy. We can order more if necessary.