Author Archives: St Patricks Church

Furniture, Please!

The following letter has been recieved from Corsham SponsorsRefugees :

Dear Volunteers and Supporters

We have just learned that the house is likely to be ready for us by mid October, although the family will not arrive until quite a number of weeks later.  We really need to get on with furnishing it, and I know that lots of you are keen to help.

We want to furnish it to as high a standard as possible, so if we get more than one offer for items we need, please don’t be offended if we don’t choose what you have offered.  We think that some items, such as household goods, China, cutlery, bedding and mattresses, towels etc, should be new, and plan a big trip to IKEA in due course.  What we need from the community is furniture! Lots of it!

Attached* is a list of the things we need. If you can help, please fill in details on the spreadsheet, including your name, contact details, the size and colour of the piece, and if possible a photograph.  Administering all of this won’t be an easy task, so if you can give any picture you send your name as its title, that will help. 

Please email your completed form and picture(s) to Amber Bewley – amberine@hotmail.com.  If you can keep the stuff for the time being, that’s great. If you really can’t, let us know and we will endeavour to store it, but it would be really helpful if it only needs to be moved once.  If you have any questions, please ask Amber.

Many thanks for your help.

Best wishes

Chris Reid, Chair

Pope Francis: Letter to the People of God

Pope Francis has responded to new reports of clerical sexual abuse and the ecclesial cover-up of abuse. In an impassioned letter addressed to the whole People of God, he calls on the Church to be close to victims in solidarity, and to join in acts of prayer and fasting in penance for such “atrocities”.

The full text of the Pope’s letter can be found at: https://cliftondiocese.com/news/pope-francis-letter-to-the-people-of-god/

21st Sunday of the Year (B) 2018

Todays second reading must be understood in the context and for the time in which it was written. With the latter in mind it is quite revolutionary.
This context and time was totally patriarchal. Women were the property of their fathers or husbands.
For Paul to say ‘Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her.’ is unbelievable for the time and context.
For Paul to say ‘So husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.’ is unbelievable for the time and context.
Even today in our ‘advanced’ western society it is often something more hoped for than achieved.

Today’s first reading and Gospel reading are about faith in and commitment to the One True God.
If asked why I have faith in and why I am committed to the One True God I would find it difficult to explain. I would flounder and say this and that and at the end feel that it was somehow inadequate. If I asked you why you married your marriage partner could you give a clear, and succinct answer?
When referring to the followers; ‘many of whom ‘returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him’ Jesus said ‘it is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.’
In other words hard concrete proofs, explanations in words, are unavailable and inadequate when it comes to faith in, trust in and commitment to God. ie ‘the flesh is of no avail.’ So also proofs, explanations, words, are totally inadequate to explain why you love, trust and are committed to your marriage partner.
Then Jesus puts it in another way which only deepens the mystery; ‘For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.’
So, as ‘they’ say; ‘put that in your pipe and smoke it.’

20th Sunday of the Year (B) 2018

‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them.’
Todays Gospel reading is obviously about the Eucharist.
One can easily just think about receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, on this occasion, and miss the broader, the fuller meaning of Jesus’ words.
Jesus goes on to say; ‘Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.’
I can receive the Eucharist on numerous occasions and still not be a good person.
So here Jesus is not just promoting reception of the Eucharist but promoting a way of life – a life in union with Jesus of Nazareth whose life is lived in union with God the Father.
So today’s reading must be understood in the context of all the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. As for example; ‘Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.’
The message of Christianity is ‘Immanuel’ – God with me.
Everything to do with religion must point towards, promote, bring about, accomplish, life in union with our God and Creator.
This is the message of the Bible. This is the message of every authentic religion.
How good I am at cherry picking for my own selfish ends, to promote my own political ambitions, to secure more control!
In the verses following todays Gospel reading we read; ‘Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, Does this shock you? …. It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.’
So everything concerning the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth must be understood in the context of spirit and life – the Spirit and the Life of God.
So religion is not just about doing but about being.
Doing stuff in religion is important; just as a means of transport is important so as to get to where you want to go. You utilise it to achieve an end.
The end is Immanuel. Living every day in the presence of and in union with God my Creator.

Prayers for the sick

If you wish to have your name added to the list, please submit your request in writing or email to Fr John. If the person being prayed for is unable to make this request themselves, a close relative may do it for them.

Please understand that the need for these written requests is as a result of GDPR compliancy.

Climate Change Conference

30 campaigners are being invited to join CAFOD’s delegation to the UN climate summit in 2018, where world leaders will meet to agree how we can push forward the goals of the Paris Agreement and limit emissions to 1.5 degrees.

As a CAFOD delegate, you will be travelling by coach 5-11 December to Katowice and Krakow Poland, where the climate talks will be held. This will be an opportunity to learn about the decision-making process, hear from other campaigners across Europe on living sustainably and campaigning on climate change, reflect on partner stories and bear witness with others for change.

When you return, we’ll ask you to share your experience with your parish or community through talks, blogs and local media. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert, we will provide training before you go. And most importantly we’ll ask you to be a leader in taking action in your communities, so that we can protect communities overseas from climate change.

To apply, download and fill in this application. Please send completed forms to labbott@cafod.org.uk or post them to Campaigns team, CAFOD, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7JB. If you have any questions, please contact Libby Abbott.

19th Sunday of the Year (B) 2018

Todays Gospel reading from John begins at verse 41.
But if we go back to verse 40 we read ; ‘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.’
This statement of Jesus is very direct and very clear. I, and all of you, who believe in Jesus of Nazareth will be raised up into Eternal Life on the last day, be that the day of our death or at some later date.
By Eternal Life is meant here not life as we know it going on for ever and ever (how boring that would be) but a sharing in the very life and existence of the Holy Trinity. What this is like is totally beyond our ken just as our life on earth is totally beyond the ken of a child in the womb.
Then we read; ‘The Jews murmured about him because he said, I am the bread that came down from heaven.’
Was Jesus not the son of Joseph from Nazareth? How could he say I am the bread that came down from heaven?
But he reiterated. ’I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.’
The Eucharist, which we are gathered here now to celebrate, is what Jesus was talking about.
The Eucharist; the bread that come down from heaven, is our guarantee of, out title deed to, Resurrection from death and sharing in the Eternal life of God.
Surely this Good News is worthy of rejoicing. Surely it demands an outpouring of gratitude from us.
Let us sit for a few moments and contemplate this great gift.

Vacancies

St Vincent de Paul Society has the following vacancies to fill: Young Vincentians Prog. Manager £30K pa and a Mini Vinnies Officer £23k pro rata.
For more details & application pack, go to https@//www.svp.org.uk/
Closing date for applications 23rd August and 20th August respectively.