Author Archives: St Patricks Church

Preloved Clothes Sale

On 16 June, in the Church Hall, for our Parish Projects.

Further details and time TBA.

Sign up if you can volunteer your help on Friday 15th and/or Saturday 16th, or talk to Jane.

Please do not bring your donations until nearer the date (date will be announced)  Donations will be welcome of good and saleable ladies clothes, shoes and bags, plus children’s school unifom. No jumble please.

6th Sunday of Easter (B) 2018

‘I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.’
Jesus of Nazareth was sent to us by God, our Father and Creator, so that the love and joy which resides within the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – be shared with you and I, and reside in us always.
This is what true religion means.
So any religion or religious teaching that deliberately fosters or promotes fear or unhappiness is false religion.
So also any interpretation of the Bible which promotes fear of God ( that is fear as in fear of violence, fear of deliberate punishment, fear of imposed pain etc.) is a wrong interpretation of the Bible and needs to be restudied and reinterpreted.
As an aside it is important to note that our understanding of the Bible is an ongoing process. Scripture scholars are continually having new or fuller insights into our present understanding of the Scriptures. This will, and should continue to be welcomed by us and not treated with automatic suspicion or rejection.
It is important to note that many of us, consciously or unconsciously, harbour a residual fear of our God and an inherited doubt regarding the totality of God’s goodness, mercy and love for us.
It is good for me to recognise this condition in which I find myself and continually ask my God to free me from it, as it is a subtle ploy of the ‘Evil One.’
This joy about which we read in today’s gospel reading, which comes from God and is a gift of God, is not dependent on the earthly condition in which I find myself at any particular time. It must go much deeper than everyday events be they joys or sufferings. It must be based on the total trustworthiness, veracity, mercy and love of my God and a looking forward in great hope to resurrection from death and a sharing in the Eternal life of my God.
This is something that the first followers of Jesus of Nazareth understood well.
We are told of the apostles; ‘So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonour for the sake of the name.”
And again of St Paul; “This man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites, and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.”
There are no promises of a comfortable ride here !!!

Instruction

For adults wishing to join the Catholic Church or for members of the
church who want ongoing formation.
Please add your name & contact details to the list in the Lady Chapel or contact Fr John personally.

Traidcraft Sales

Traidcraft sales last weekend raised £90, thank you.
Please consider buying things for the local Foodbank. It would help the third world and local people.
We are very grateful for your support.

5th Sunday of Easter (B) 2018

I remember well when I was seven or eight years old, having heard somewhere that one should not damage the bark of a tree, especially that one should not cut the bark of a tree all around; this was called ringing a tree. Curious to see what would happen, I ringed anice ash tree which was about a foot in diameter. This tree did not belong to us. Some time later my father noticed it. I haven’t ringed any trees ever since.

For some time the tree showed no signs of damage in the branches and leaves but gradually the foliage began to wilt and die. By the following spring the tree was well and truly dead and was cut down and burned as firewood. I have always regretted this act of vandalism for a number of reasons.

Today’s Gospel uses this as a simile of what happens when I lose contact with Jesus of Nazareth. I am cut off from the sap of the Spirit. I begin to wilt. I begin to drift away from the church community. I begin to not pray. I begin to attend the Mass less frequently and then not at all. I seldom think of God and then only when disaster strikes.

Spiritually I die and can only be used as ‘firewood.’ From time to time some of you have asked me about someone who was once part of our parish community. Have they moved house you ask? Are they unwell you ask? Have they died you ask? The answer of course is yes – they have been ringed and died spiritually.

This is nothing strange. A once strong friendship will, through neglect, slowly wither and die. A once single figure golf handicap will, for lack of practise, become a double figure handicap.

A once familiarity with my God will, through neglect, become a mere nodding acquaintance.

We all know how to fix this situation – the very same way you fix your golf handicap or your neglected friendship.

 

 

4th Sunday of Easter (B) 2018

There are two sorts of prayer. One is a private conversation, or communion or communication between you and your God. It is private, personal and intimate.

The second is an official, community or family function with a set form and intent.

The Mass is this second form of prayer.

A couple of things today which might improve, enliven, enhance, our Masses for ourselves and for God our Father.

What is all important is the attitude we have, our approach to, our understanding of, what our Mass is about.

Mass is a family, a community gathering, a get together, a celebration of, our bond as one family – Gods family.

We come together as one united family – God’s family here in Corsham. We come together in response to our Father’s invitation to his children to join Him at table and to rejoice in our unity as one family. We, brothers and sisters, God’s beloved children, gather together in mutual respect and love, to rejoice together and with God, as God’s family, and express, as one family, our gratitude and respect to God our Father.

Imagine grandparents throwing a party on the occasion of their golden wedding anniversary. They invite all their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren as well as some long standing relatives and friends. Imagine the greetings, laughter, hand shakes, hugs, chatter etc. as they meet, exchange news, coo over the latest crop of babies and generally catch up with family news and events. Of course each one greets the grandparents first but then mix freely with all others.

Of course at the proper time, all are called to order and to give their undivided attention to the official programme, speeches, and presentation of gifts.

That is my understanding of the celebration of Mass. That is why I encourage you to get to know each other especially those sitting near to you. That is why I encourage you to sit in different locations from time to time. That is why I try to greet you as you enter rather that as you leave. That is why we have hospitality in the hall after 9.30 mass on Sunday’s. That is why I am happy to see you getting to know each other and chatting together before Mass. It goes without saying that all the clergy do not share this understanding and attitude.

Of course the time comes when all the above ceases and we give our undivided attention to the official celebration.

How I join in the responses of the Mass is a very good indication of the degree of my understanding of, and participation in, this family celebration. Synchronised responses with a pleasing volume will help me to appreciate my part in this community celebration in honour of God our Father and in gratitude for God’s many gifts.

I always maintain that if I participate well in the Mass; If I participate mentally, emotionally and verbally, then I will, and should, feel tired at the end of Mass but also content and happy.

A Mass where the responses are given in unity of voice, with enthusiastic volume, is a joy to the ear and uplifting to the mind and soul for all present.

This does not just happen; it must be worked on and brought about.

 

3rd Sunday of Easter (B) 2018

“Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.
And he said to them. Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
Our capacity for self – deception is bottomless.
I can assiduously comply with all the external demands of religion; Attend church, contribute money, receive Sacraments, pray, help those in need from time to time, give of my time and energy etc. and at the same time avoid forgiving actual or perceived hurts.
I can happily cherish vengeful inclinations in my heart and expect forgiveness for my own trespasses.
I can run to my God for mercy and forgiveness while planning the downfall of my perceived enemies.
My God must be very tolerant, have a very highly developed sense of humour, when He doesn’t respond to my oft repeated prayer “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” with a nearby lightening strike !!!
Let us sit for a few minutes and ponder what “repentance, for the forgiveness of sins” means.

Confirmation

Confirmation is celebrated every two years, and young people are invited to participate fully in their own preparation for this special Sacrament.

If you are in Year 9 or above, and have been baptised but not yet confirmed, then please think about joining our programme, leading to Confirmation by Bishop Declan on Thursday 11th July 2019 at 7.30pm.

Led by a small team of catechists, you’ll be prepared for this important step in your journey of faith. More information about the programme will be advertised in due course.

2nd Sunday of Easter (B) 2018

Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
We are people of the Resurrection.
Resurrection infuses our total outlook, our total existence, our whole attitude, to things, to people, to ourselves, to our God.
Our every experience, everything that happens to us, our every thought and desire, floats on, is buoyed up by, our total belief in and joyful acceptance of Resurrection from death and Eternal Life in and with our Creator.
John 6: “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”
Without belief in Resurrection each of our lives consists of just so many rolls of the dice. Each roll brings it’s gain or it’s loss. But the last one is always the one where we lose everything.
It is firm belief in Resurrection from death and Eternal life with our Creator that brings to our lives fulfilment of the words of Scripture; “Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth.”
It is this faith that brings equanimity to my life. That enables me to receive the joys with gratitude and accept the sorrows and pains with understanding and patient endurance.
We sit for a while as we let our gratitude to our God for the gift of Resurrection, flow freely from our heart and spirit.