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COMMUNION 2021/22 REGISTRATION
If you wish your child to make his/her First Communion next year, please sign the sheet in the church porch.  You have until Sunday 5th September to sign up.  Please make a note of the date of the first session on 30th November.  Please clearly provide your email address.

APOSTLESHIP OF THE SEA
Thank you all very much for your kind donations last weekend, which amounted to £338.87.  Envelopes are available at the back of the church if you would still like to make a donation, and you can look at the work of the AotS online at www.stellamaris.org.uk/SeaSunday

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FR DAVID WRITES
Welcome to Fr Samuel Homiah who is helping us during the month of July. As I will be away this week and next, Fr Johnson and Fr Samuel will be responsible for the day to day running of the parish, together with the parish office. We had a lovely school Mass on Thursday for children, staff and parents of Year 6. We wish them all well in their new schools in September. However, wherever we might go to school, we are all part of the parish family of Our Lady of Lourdes. I look forward to seeing lots of children, parents and families back in September. Have a lovely summer and I will see you all again at the start of August.

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FR DAVID WRITES
We now know that many restrictions are coming to an end on July 19th. We are awaiting some further guidance from the diocese about what this will mean for life in the parish. As it is almost the start of the summer holidays, and to avoid confusion when many people will be coming and going, it seems sensible to hold off beginning the new schedule here until September. In terms of the liturgy, we will also wait for September for the return of church music at Masses, when we will also create new rotas for readers, Eucharistic Ministers, counters etc. We will let you know what other restrictions and procedures can be lifted at church as soon as we hear. Thank for your patience and cooperation throughout this time.

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FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
The whole parish joins in sending prayerful best wishes and congratulations to the children who celebrated their First Holy Communion here on Saturday. We also send thanks to their families who have supported them in their journey. In any parish, the grace of First Holy Communion day reminds the whole community of the beauty and spiritual significance of receiving the Holy Eucharist for the first time and throughout our lives. Jesus is the Living Bread who sustains and guides us through life. May we never lose our sense of amazement at the wonder of this gift that Christ brings to us as a pledge of future glory. Many thanks also to the team of catechists who have helped lead the children and their families, and to all who helped prepare for and celebrate these special Masses.

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FR DAVID WRITES
Congratulations and well done again to the children who made their First Confessions last Saturday. Next Saturday will be the celebration of the First Holy Communions. Please pray for the children and their families. Please also pray for those who are to be ordained to the priesthood this weekend at the cathedral: Timothy Mangatal, William Johnstone, Jakub Joszko, and Marco Salvagnini. Best wishes to you all.

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FR DAVID WRITES
Congratulations and best wishes to the children who celebrated their First Confessions here on Saturday morning. As you know, their programme of preparation for First Confession and First Holy Communion was very delayed by the restrictions and lockdowns. Their formal time of preparation has also been slightly condensed. However, they have done so well and we are all very proud of them. We also send best wishes and thanks to their parents and families who have supported them with so much love and prayers on their special journey. Many thanks to the catechists who have helped to prepare and support them. I am also grateful for the understanding of our parishioners who have stepped aside from 11am Mass to make room for our young candidates. This will only last for one more week now (see below)! On a personal note, I will have the great pleasure today (Sunday) of baptising my little nephew Leo James Phillips. Please pray for him on his special day, and for his parents Katy and Ben. Thank you for all your prayers.

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FR DAVID WRITES
Recently, as always after Easter, we have had a run of beautiful feasts: Pentecost, the Holy Trinity, Corpus Christi. Friday was Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the middle of June which is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Let us renew our devotion to the wounded heart of Christ, which is broken on the cross out of love for all humanity. Christ our Lord loves us with a love which goes right to the very end, and which ultimately triumphs over sin and death. Today is the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, the first Sunday 'in green' since February. These weeks of Ordinary Time will carry us through the summer. They are a time of spiritual growth for the followers of Christ our Saviour.

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FR DAVID WRITES
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) when we celebrate the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. We are reminded by two beautiful phrases of what this means for us. First: 'We become what we receive'. When we receive the Body of Christ, the Lord comes to us in the most special way. The Eucharist builds up the Church every day to become more and more the Body of Christ. The Church, Christ's Body, is alive because Christ is risen from the dead. Second: 'Adore what you receive'. The lasting presence of Christ in the Eucharist means we have the opportunity to adore the Eucharistic Lord who feeds us and builds us up. Today (Sunday) there will be exposition of the Holy Eucharist after the 12pm Mass until 2pm. Please do join in this special time of prayer if you are able to. It is also an opportunity to join in our worldwide moment of prayer, united with Catholics everywhere, in lieu of the much-postponed International Eucharistic Congress which is now due to take place in Budapest in September.

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FR DAVID WRITES
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, also known as Trinity Sunday. Today we celebrate the revelation of the one God as three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is a Trinity of love, and we are made in this same image and likeness. May the bonds of love we see in God be reflected in our own lives, binding us together as one.

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PENTECOST SUNDAY
Today is the great solemnity of Pentecost, when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit who brings life and gifts to the whole Church. We give thanks for the gift of belonging to the living Body of Christ, the Risen Lord. Today is the formal end of the Easter season. Monday is the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church. Next Sunday is Trinity Sunday.

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FR DAVID WRITES
Today we find ourselves in a beautiful time of prayer to the Holy Spirit which lies between the feasts of Ascension and Pentecost. In a spiritual way, we are united with the apostles and their companions in the Upper Room of Jerusalem. They were afraid, lacking direction and motivation. But when the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost they were filled with God’s grace and power, which enabled them to go out without fear and preach the Gospel to everyone. Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. During this coming week, let each of us pray for the same gifts of the Holy Spirit. We too want to be ‘unlocked’. We too have much to do as we go out into the world to resume our mission to be the presence of God’s merciful love in our communities.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth. Amen.