I really don’t know where the time is going. There is a big feast not far away… A lot needs to happen between now and then. Keep an eye on the newsletter over the next weeks – there is a lot going on. We are remembering – not nostalgically looking back – but contemplating the foundations on which our church and our faith are built.
This month we have our Adult Formation sessions on Thursday evening. Believe and Belong is the theme. In a Church after the pandemic – how can we reach out and grow? How can we become more and more a community open to the needs of those around us?
In the build up to Christmas, we will be asking for gifts for our Christmas Raffle. This helps us help others as this money is for our charitable causes. As last year we won’t be having a “Christmas Fayre” where we are crammed into the hall – but will have Advent Sunday – with bacon butties and something a little more than tea and coffee…
During Advent, we will be contemplating the theme of the open door – and will be collecting food and toiletries for Red Door in Bury – one of our Caritas projects….
For the first time in a while, we were able to meet face to face as a Parish Pastoral Council this week. For me, it was one of those moments where you really have to step back and look at the magnitude and shift that has taken place in our lives and our work. It was also a moment where the importance of the community we have shines out as a key to everything we are and do
The gathering was not primarily about looking back but looking forward. Time passes. We really need to listen to the pulse of the times, but the uncertainty that this brings cannot cause us to simply standstill.
There is a lot going on around us. COP26 will be with us shortly (watch out for ways to be involved – CAFOD are inviting to a petition for example – we will be praying during mass for this event too). In the Church the Pope is inviting to a Synodal process, discerning on a wider scale the promptings of the Holy Spirit who is constantly at work. In the Diocese here we have just entered Stage 4 of Hope in the future where we focus on our outreach and Evangelisation.
Interestingly, over the pandemic, we have grown. We have more people in offices and roles than before. There are still many challenges that we need help with – but progress is real.
Challenging is the continued uncertainty that we face. We talked a lot yesterday about our relationship with Church, the Eucharist, Parish. The challenges of busy-ness – all the other institutions are opening up too – parents being full employed taxi drivers to the multitude of programs they are involved in. More important than ever to make conscious choices – and Fatih and Community should belong high up on the list of priorities as you make decisions as to what to actually invest in.
We continue to discern our way. I hope you are doing well as you make the important decisions moving forward.
Keep an eye on the newsletter – there is lots to look forward to in November – our Adult Formation program looks at what this intro is pondering….
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…
We are living through uncertain times. I am certainly feeling it right through to my bones. The difficulty with this is that a lot of things we would like to be “normal” to offer us a sense of control, are also not achievable…. This run up to Christmas will be very different. We are planning as best we can – but we will need to wait for Government guidance on what is possible or not. We continue to stream live – and we will add lots of stuff for Advent and Christmas… We can’t have our Fair – a real shame. But we can continue to help others through our actions…..
Advent and Christmas Action We are collecting in Church and in the Presbytery for three things:
1) Christmas Raffle We are asking for donations for the Christmas Raffle. 5 prizes will be put together from what we gather… 1 A TV…. 2 A food hamper 3 A drinks hamper 4 A smellies hamper 5 Some high street vouchers. Anything we don’t use for prizes will be used for Caritas – locally and on a Diocesan level.
2) Our Caritas Collection We are collecting to support the Diocese of Salford Caritas They need the following items…. • Cereals • Tinned Soups and Stew • Pasta, rice and pasta sauce. • Tinned meat or fish, beans and frozen vegetables and fruit. • Long life milk or natural fruit juices. • Liquid hand soaps, sanitisers and personal hygiene products. We will make sure we make provision for local families before passing on the goods to Caritas.
3) Our Crib Collection We are collecting money donations for three Charities we support every year at this time. Frances House, Derian House and the Mother and Baby Unit close by. This will be a crib collection. You can donate in the collection bucket at the crib, we have envelopes you can use – or you can donate online on our website.
Please give what you can – we will do the rest…… Just dump it on our doorstep…
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