Celebrating St Vincent and St Vincent’s

Don’t know about you – but I do have the feeling we are moving toward more normality. There is still some uncertainty in the air as to how things will progress – but on the whole – we seem to be getting there…

The month of September is the month we celebrate the feast of St Vincent – the month to celebrate our Parish life. Traditionally, we have also held our AGM in this month. As we get back to doing more things together I would like to hold our AGM as we did 2 years ago, after Mass on the weekend before the feast of St Vincent on the 27th September…. It will take about 15 minutes…

The AGM will be after Mass on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September – we will give you a brief report on what has gone on over the last year and a half. We will need to take time to share and catch up with one another after so much has happened, and we have not had the opportunities we have had now… The AGM will be the start of that process…

We are in a fantastic position. We are still here after a long absence, our community strengthened with the experiences that have shaped us the past 18 months. 

We have the chance to start again with a blank slate. Not only that, but we have made new and different experiences over the pandemic that can stand us in good stead moving forward. 

What do we want to get back to? 

What would we like to be different? 

What are new ways can we be community from now on?

With the reports, we will be letting you know about a couple of projects that are coming up on the horizon….

You are welcome to share your thoughts and impressions looking forward and looking back. Let’s see where God is guiding us…

You can contact me:

fr.andrew@stvincentsbolton.org

01204 436702

Let’s talk….

God Bless

Fr Andrew

To download our newsletter – CLICK HERE

Back to School

Don’t think this is just for the kids…

That time has come. School is back!

These have been very different summer holidays.  Even though I, as well as many of you, are not in school any more, a lot of our lives are moulded by the rhythm of the school year. That is always a pointer for me. I don’t remember ever having to live with such prolonged uncertainty on a day to day basis. Good that we have our faith to guide and comfort, to encourage and challenge us. 

It is important for me at the moment to use every milestone – like schools starting up – to orientate myself. Through the pandemic time has stood still and accelerated at the same time. Being overwhelmed is an experience that is never too far from the surface.

It is a time where we are not just ploughing forward, but need to come together and listen to one another. Help each other heal and so be healthy for the journey ahead. This is not just true of our schools but for our places of work, our homes, our places of worship and in our dealings with one another in our town.

When the traffic builds in the next week – remember to not only slow down in the car – but in your life too.

God Bless

Fr Andrew

To download our newsletter – CLICK HERE

Transition

Looking ahead to the next two months…

It has been a strange few weeks. We have been moving out of the restrictions slowly at Church and I think things have gone reasonably well. There is still some space for those who wish to social distance, but the body of the Church is now back to normal use. Durning the week, numbers have gone down as people become busier with other things. Sundays we are seeing new faces – but still have plenty of space…

It is going to take a while for us to get used to being around one another again – let’s give it some time – and some effort. Will try another experiment next week. We will be celebrating the Requiem for Joan Thomas, and we are going to try singing (with masks) and see if this is an improvement on humming (I love the humming).

September and October will see some more developments. We will have all our weekday Masses both live and online. When I am not around I am re-introducing Eucharistic Services led by our Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. 

As many of you are aware, in October there are two key moments for me. Firstly, I will be celebrating my Silver Jubilee of Ordination. Celebrating in the Parish on Sunday 3rd October, also with a Mass on the day of the Jubilee in the Church I was ordained, Mount Carmel, Blackley. To round things up, there is a celebration at the Shrine on the 16th October. Details will be circulated in due course. Thanks for all the well-wishes and greetings.

Secondly, I am heading back to University. I begin a course in Clinical Counselling in October. It is a part-time course that does not mean I will be leaving St Vincent’s. It does, however, mean I will need to make a few adjustments, one of which is that there will be no services from October on a Wednesday. Keep your eye on the Newsletter and on our Website.

As we move forward, we do so in faith. Let’s keep on asking for guidance from God. I am sure you have got many ideas moving forward – but let’s make sure we take time to stop and listen…

God Bless

Fr Andrew

To download our newsletter – CLICK HERE

Drama

Its easy to know what others must do. The questioon is what is asked of me.

This week has been an important week in the history of our Amateur Dramatics Society. Like many organisations they find themselves in difficult circumstances after 25 great years of entertaining audiences twice a year. As with many other societies, and many parts of our Church, there is a challenge, not to find actors for the stage, but to find people to put out the chairs. This, of course, is a caricature, but it is also a challenge for us as we attempt to define a new normal.

We do live in a culture that provides services. This is a fantastic thing – especially if you are hungry for a Big Mac at three o’clock in the morning. But it does bring with it a culture of passivity and high expectation. As well as catching myself doing it, I attend many gatherings where I am informed in no uncertain terms what I “should” be doing. We love having an opinion on what others ought to be doing.

How will things go with Dramatics?… Well, I am pleased to say that a production is in the pipeline. Beyond that, time will tell. Be on the look-out for info and think whether you would want to get involved.

As we move to a new normal, please consider two things. 

Firstly, it is more important than ever that we have to learn to work together. In my experience, people want to know what they are meant to do and then get on with it without any bother. If we don’t learn to work together and spend time not just on the task, but on the community that that task is to serve, we have missed a trick. 

Secondly, even if you can only do something small here in the community – that thing is important!

What will the new normal be? Will it be the old repeated or something new and inspired, coming from the many new experiences and lessons of these past months?

I am hopeful for us, and for our Dramatics Society.

Fr Andrew

To download our latest Newsletter – Click Here