Thursday, 24 February 2011

Mass for all at St Ann's . . .

I thought you might like to see a copy of our timetable for the retreat. Sometimes, people who have never been on a retreat ask me, 'what do you actually do on a retreat?'

Here you can see how our retreat is arranged. No two retreat experiences will be identical but I think all will/should contain common elements such as some sort of spiritual talk and an opportunity for spiritual direction; plenty of opportunity for private prayer and reflection and naturally also time for Confession. Hopefully there will be daily Mass and if you are staying with a religious community, retreatants are often invited to join the community for some of the Divine Office.

I do recommend that if possible, we all find time for a retreat at some time. It needn't be very long, just a quiet day away from the hurly-burly of our daily lives can still give us the time and space to draw closer to God and return to pick up our usual routines refreshed and renewed.

I offered Mass today for all at St Ann's.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

On Retreat . . .

Well, I've arrived! I was met with the usual, warm Opus Dei hospitality.

I know I've posted photos of the oratory here before but it is such a beautiful, peaceful and prayerful place, it is worth another airing.

In recent years I've made my retreat a little later in the year when the weather has been a little kinder but the sun is trying to shine today and the lovely grounds here at Lismullin encourage one to take a stroll even if it is a little damp.

Even after less than 24 hours here, I am beginning to 'hear' the silence. That really helps to get on 'God's wavelength'.

Monday, 21 February 2011

40 Days for Life . . .

You will see that I've added a new blog to the list of suggested blogs to follow. '4O Days for Life, London'

I've been asked to advertise this Pro-Life effort which of course I'm happy to do.

March 9th - April 17th 2011

40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life effort that consists of:

  • 40 days of prayer and fasting
  • 40 days of peaceful vigil
  • 40 days of community outreach

We are praying that, with God's help, this groundbreaking effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in our city -- and throughout the UK.

Do check out their website here

Friday, 18 February 2011

The New Translation of the Missal . . .

We at St Ann's are beginning to get quite excited about using the new translation of the Missal.

As we know, the new translation will be used in all parishes in England and Wales from September of this year.

Here at St Ann's we are beginning to look at some of the texts already, concentrating on the people's responses at the moment so that it won't be a big shock to us when we begin using the new translation.

Most of the changes are quite minor but it's surprising what a wealth of meaning can be added to the familiar texts by just a few changes and how much it will enhance our liturgy.

Today, I was looking at an interesting article on the new CTS blog 'Catholic Compass'. (This is definitely a site worth adding to your bookmarks). The item I refer to is a description of the proposed cover for the new Missal and an explanation of the reasons why this particular design has been chosen.

"The cross which is the centrepiece of the design has been designed to communicate the continuity but also the differences with the 1970 translation of the Mass. The cross is the same shape as that used on the previous Liturgical Books but is more complex, laden with symbolism and hopefully more beautiful, encapsulating some of the aims of the new text. The cross also aims to represents something of the ancient character of the texts contained and the liturgy celebrated using the Missal."

You can read about it here.

It certainly is a beautiful Missal and will look very fitting on our altar. I think you could say that we are now eagerly awaiting it's arrival.

Looking at the main CTS website it appears that the new Missal will become available in progressive stages.

Firstly, in June of this year, the Order of Mass will be available in several forms including pew cards so that we can all become familiar with the revised texts.

Then the Altar Missal will be available in two stages. The initial version will contain the texts necessary for the priest to celebrate Mass from September to Advent 2011.

Finally, from Advent 2011 the rest of the texts will be in use and available to all, including people's Missals.

I hope many of you will be including a new Missal on your Christmas list this year!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Helpers' Lunch . . .

Every year at about this time we invite everyone who helps in the parish in any way whatsoever to a 'Thank You' lunch in the parish hall. I was delighted that so many could attend. If you were to make a list of everyone who helps in some way in our parish, I think you would be surprised at the length of that list.

Inevitably, there will be some people who unfortunately can't make the date allocated but we had a good number of parishioners in our hall at lunchtime today. Actually, if everyone in the parish were to be available on the same day, I don't know how we would cope!

I am very grateful to everyone who assists in the running of the parish. As all parish priests know, we simply couldn't manage without you!

In the photo above you can see some of our social committee in the kitchen and here is a slide show which has hopefully captured everyone else who was present.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Our Lady of Lourdes . . .

Our Lady is always Health of the Sick and Comfort of the Afflicted.

As we pray today especially for the sick, let us bring to Her our every need.

Our Lady had a clear message in mind when she appeared in Lourdes; she wanted to remind the world of the need for conversion and penance. She wished also to remind us that all have been redeemed by Christ's sacrifice on Calvary.

Today once again we ask Our Blessed Lady's help in all the circumstances of life.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.