Author Archives: St Patricks Church

14th Sunday of the Year (A) 2017

We are always being urged to pray. The following are my ideas on prayer.

If I were to follow the regime of prayer which I was required to follow in the seminary and which was expected of me for the rest of my life as a priest I would spend four hours each day in prayer.

If I were living a monastic life where prayer was the only focus of my day then that is ok.

As a parish priest working with and among people it is totally unrealistic.

Naturally, I and most other secular priests, had to abandon many, if not all, of these spiritual exercises.

We were taught that there were spiritual things or activities and profane things or activities. (Here, profane means secular, not religious, not related to God.)

Anything which was not prayer in the strict understanding of the word (for example being on your knees in church or reciting the rosary or the psalms etc.) was profane.

Even preparing people for the Sacraments and administering them could be regarded as profane and draining on our spiritual resources.

This had, and still has, a profound effect on our relationship with our God.

To keep in contact with God one had to stop doing profane things and get on ones knees to top up ones spiritual batteries with ‘real’ prayer.

This way of thinking and acting was unrealistic for secular priests (that is Diocesan Priests) but far more so for lay people.

I would even say that it had, and still has disastrous consequences for our relationship with our God. We end up thinking that there are parts of our life which involve God and most of our daily life has nothing to do with God.

The truth is that God is involver in every aspect of our lives. The truth is that evertyhing we do and say and think can be as much a prayer and involve our God as when we are celebrating Mass or praying on our knees.

Gen. ‘God saw all he had made and indeed it was very good.’

Rom. ; ‘I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself.’

It is my attitude or intention which makes something profane.

Nothing is objectively unclean. It is I who make something unclean.

I am not saying that I should not spend some time in traditional prayer. On the contrary I am saying that I can spend all my day in prayer with a little effort and forethought.

For most of us, life is an adventure of discovery. An adventure of discovery in the company of my marriage partner, my children and my grandchildren. Throughout the day my thoughts keep returning to them in one way or another, irrespective of how busy or preoccupied I am.

What I am trying to say is that if I can include my God in this family bundle; Then, I and my God worry about them. I and my God hope they are ok. I and my God look forward to meeting them in the evenings or after school or during supper together. I and my God getting them bedded down for the night. I and my God up and about to prepare breakfast and get them all off to school or to work. I and my God planning our family holiday together etc. etc. With a little effort and practise this togetherness with my God can easily extend to those I work with and meet casually during my day. In this way my whole day is a prayer. In this way my whole day or most of it is spent in the company of my God.

Formal prayer has its place in my life but only as part of my everyday life and work, which is my real prayer.

If I confine my contact with my God to the times of formal prayer then I will not be spending much time with my God.

 

Celebrate 2017

With the theme: “Seek First His Kingdom” (Matt 6:33), this year will be the 10th Celebrate weekend in Bristol and the team are very much looking forward to meeting you all – whether you’re new, returning from last year or a seasoned veteran, we’re confident you’ll all find something to refresh you at this year’s Conference.

The conference is suitable for all ages and is open to individuals and families alike – a number of families regularly attend from St Patrick’s, St Anthony’s and St Mary’s, so why not join them.

For younger audiences, activities are split into age appropriate groups that we call streams. These are led by experienced leaders, who will help develop your children’s relationship with the Lord through fun faith based activities – including thought provoking mime from Steve Murray (he’s excellent if you’ve never seen him before!).

Don’t worry if you can’t join the younger members, throughout the weekend there are various speakers, workshops and activities that you can attend. We’re sure you will find these thought provoking and rewarding. Mass is offered twice over the weekend and there’s also adoration and reconciliation.

We hope that the weekend will help you find inspiration and renewal in your faith in a relaxed and friendly environment.

 

When:

Sat 21st Oct 2017, 09.00 – 21.00
Sun 22nd Oct 2017, 09.00 17.00

Location:

St Bede’s Catholic College, Lawrence Weston, Bristol, BS11 0SU
View on Google Maps

Pricing:

  • £40 – Adults
  • £22 – Young adults – 18 to 21 yrs old
  • £12 – Children – 3 to 17 yrs old
  • Free – Crèche- Under 3*

*Under 3s must be accompanied at all times.

Notes:

  • All under 18s must have a designated adult present throughout the weekend.
  • Your fee includes a hot evening meal on Saturday. Tea and coffee will be available at break and lunch times on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Early booking is advised, especially if you have children—the streams fill up quickly. Child places will not be available after October 14th 2017.

Book online:

Online booking is now live; click the button below to book your place and pay online!

BOOK AND PAY ONLINE

Get in touch:

Tony & Katherine Wadley
Telephone: 01452 547754 or 07891 194853
Email Tony & Katherine

Traidcraft Sales

Last weekend’s sales totalled £90.

Many thanks to all who bought and helped. If you didn’t make a purchase this time, please condsider buying at the next sale after Mass on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August.

13th Sunday of the Year (A) 2017

‘Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.’

Here we are talking about ‘amoral familism.’ That is the extreme type of family bond which existed in Palestine and still exists, even today, in some cultures. For example ‘honour killing’ of a member of a family to preserve ‘the honour of the family.’ Willingness to do extreme hurt to any outsider who threatened the family in any way.

What Jesus of Nazareth is telling his disciples is that even if your family disapprove of your being a Christian or do not want you to live as a Christian, this must not deter you from following Jesus of Nazareth.

Situations like this are common today when only one member of a family is Christian or when a son or daughter might wish to enter the religious life.

‘Whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink, amen, I say to you, they will surely not lose their reward.’

What about the ones who install and maintain a water supply for a whole town?

What about those who build and maintain roads and transport systems?

What about those who build and maintain property?

What about those who educate and guide our children?

Those who look after our mental and physical health?

The ones who keep our money safe and administer it wisely and honestly?

Those who keep the peace so that we can live safely in our homes?

Those who remove our rubbish and waste? Etc Etc.

In all these things it is the motivation and the dedication that matters.

I can give a cup of cold water to a thirsty person just to get rid of them or because I really want to help them, as a person; as a brother or sister.

I can repair a person’s car as fast as possible and as cheaply as possible just so that I get my money, or I can do it conscientiously and carefully so that the owner can travel safely and dependably.

In everything I do the personal element must be involved. What I am doing is for somebody, will help somebody, is important to somebody and that somebody is a very valuable, a very important person because he/she is a child of God and my brother or sister.

If one is looking after a home; washing, cleaning, ironing, cooking etc. getting the motivation right is much easier as it is for people you love and respect.

That is why Jesus did not just say ‘Whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink, amen, I say to you, they will surely not lose their reward.’

What He said was; ‘whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, truly I tell you they will not lose their reward.’

Here understand ‘in the name of a disciple’ or ‘because they are a disciple,’ to mean, because they are God’s children and your brothers and sisters.

This is the motivation which can give the most repetitive and boring tasks meaning, at least some of the time.

This is what can sanctify the work I do. This is how I can ‘pray always without becoming weary,’ and fulfil St. Paul’s exhortation to ‘pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.’

My work; Everything I do and say can evolve into a prayer. In this way there will be no distinction, no separation, between work, prayer and leisure.

Parish Project

Letters of thanks have been received from Medecins sans Frontieres and Borderlands for our recent donations. Copies of both letters can be seen on the notice board.

Silence. Stillness. Simplicity

The old tradition of Christian Meditation and Contemplative Prayer is being re-discovered today. Contrary to belief, the focus is not on ourselves, but on God’s mysterious and silent presence within us, giving time and space for it to grow.

If you are interested in joining a group, please contact Camilla (07921 847624 or 01225 891283). The group meets near Marshfield on alternate Mondays at 7.30pm.

 

“The Church we want to be”

Please pick up your copy of “The Church we want to be”, an edited version of the report from the Call to Action Group, working to identify the issues raised from the recent feedback received from parishes in January.

What is it to be a Church for our day and our culture?

What do we need to do to make our imaginings come true?

Parishioners are invited to comment on the document.  Comments can be sent before 11th July to hope@cliftondiocese.com

12th Sunday of the Year (A) 2017

In today’s Gospel reading Jesus of Nazareth tells his Apostles that they are to proclaim his message openly and completely. The instructions he gave them privately as his closest group and the explanations he gave them on many occasions are not just for them but to be proclaimed to the whole world – ‘what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.’

They must not be afraid. Even if you are threatened with torture and even death because you are Christians – fear not. God, whom you serve, is more powerful that any and all who threaten you.

Trust in your God at all times and in all situations, for your total wellbeing is your God’s main concern. After all the sparrows are counted and cared for as are the hairs on your head (few or many as they may be!). I must not try to conceal my belief in God or what I believe to be right and wrong, especially in a world that ridicules morality and belief in God.

Corpus Christi (A) 2017

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means God is with us.’

‘Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.’

The great desire of my God is that I believe and recognise that God is with me.

This is the message of the Bible.

This is why God the Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity, became a human being and lived and died among us.

God made Man; Jesus of Nazareth, demonstrated to me, by word and example, that his sole concern is my total welfare. My God wants me to have a long, happy and healthy life here on earth before joining Him in Eternal Life.

The world will try and convince me that happiness is getting plastered drunk on Friday night and making a total ass of myself.

The Eucharist; Holy Communion, is the great symbol of Emmanuel. The visible and tangible sign of my God’s presence with me and in me.

Holy Communion – the Eucharist, the Mass – is not given to me so that I can spend time in adoration. It is to remind me that Jesus of Nazareth is with me and in me so that I may go forth and live as he did in Galilee, showing compassion, tolerance and forgiveness, sharing my good fortune with, and helping my fellow human beings,  as and when I can.

A big problem with me is my ability to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament and then go forth as intolerant, unforgiving, selfish, nasty and mean as when I came in.

The latter is comedy; it is a big joke.

So receiving Holy Communion is not about spending a short time in prayer and adoration but about going forth and living as Jesus of Nazareth lived.

‘For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.’

A second aspect of Holy Communion, of the Eucharist, is remembering.

Remembering that on Holy Thursday evening just before his arrest, he celebrated the Last Supper with his Apostles and instructed them to do this in memory of him. This is the Mass, the Eucharist.

So when I receive Holy Communion I remember. I remember not only the Last Supper but also the Passion, execution, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

I look on the Crucifix and ask myself, can I trust one who is willing to undergo such an ordeal on my behalf?