Happy Easter! Today is the greatest of all solemnities: the Resurrection of the Lord from the dead. The Lenten journey is now concluded, and we have lived the days of Passiontide and Holy Week with real faith and devotion. We send you all every good wish for the days of Easter and hope you all have a good Easter holiday. Many thanks go to all our parishioners and volunteers who have helped with, prepared, led or participated in our great celebrations and in preparing the church - thank you all! Christ is Risen. Alleluia!

This week is Holy Week, the greatest week in the Church’s year. This week, in the liturgy, we celebrate the greatest mystery at the heart of our faith: the Paschal Mystery of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. Let us live these days with faith and devotion. We look forward to seeing you all at church in the coming days.

We had a lovely Mothers Day last weekend and hope all our mothers had a special day. Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent (the beginning of Passiontide) and next week we will celebrate Palm Sunday which is the start of Holy Week. I hope that we will all be able to live these special days with faith, devotion and participation at church.

Today is Mothering Sunday. We hope all our mums and families have a lovely day.  Let us remember to pray for all the mothers who have gone to God. In the liturgy, today is Laetare Sunday - the Fourth in Lent. Today we are reminded of the joyful destination of our journey that leads towards Easter. Next Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Lent, is the beginning of Passiontide. This week Lemmy has her first birthday! However, she was 8 weeks old when she came to live in the presbytery and take her up new appointments as ‘chief evangeliser’ and ‘centre of attention’. She says she loves her life in the parish and says hello to you all. Thank you to all who have helped me by looking after her during Mass and other times too! God bless.

Today is already the Third Sunday of Lent. In the liturgy we hear about how the Law and worship are connected - for Christians these two realities exist in Christ who is the true and real presence of God among us. The more we worship him, the more we become his living Body. The first Christians understood this when they said, ‘We become what we receive’. Next Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Lent, known as ‘Laetare Sunday’. Next Sunday is also Mothering Sunday. Next weekend you will be able to take a sheet with the times of celebrations here during Holy Week. Last week I had a wonderful time at the celebrations for the Feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck in Malta. I prayed for you all and the whole parish at the statue and also during the liturgies. May God bless you all and your Lenten journeys.

The next session will take place on Monday 4th March at 7.30pm.

There will be Stations of the Cross every Friday morning after the 10 am Mass during Lent.

Would you like a daily prayer reflection for every day in Lent? ‘Walk with Me’ Lent booklets are available in the paper shop, price £1 each.

The Rosary is said everyday before the 10am Mass.  Why not join in as part of your Lenten observances?

On Wednesday we began our Lenten journey, and today is the First Sunday in Lent when we hear about Jesus who is victorious in the wilderness. Let us pray for each other in this Lenten journey, relying solely on God’s grace in our own time of need. Lent orientates us towards the coming celebration of Christ’s victory over sin and death at Holy Week and Easter. We hope you all had a good half-term holiday.

As well as being the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, today is also the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Patroness of the Parish. A very happy feast to you all in this 101st year of our parish. The Feast will be marked this weekend at the 9.45 am Mass. Please don’t forget that this Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. There will be more information about Lent next weekend. There are ‘Walk with Me’ Lent booklets available to buy in the shop, which begin on Ash Wednesday. We send best wishes to everyone on half-term holidays this week.

Masses here, with distribution of ashes, will be at 8 am, 10 am, and 7 pm. Please note that ashes will not be given outside of Mass. Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence. The car park will be open for all Masses on Wednesday.

This year, our Patronal Feast in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes on 11th February falls next Sunday. That day, the 9.45am Mass will be the Mass of the Feast; other Masses next weekend will be Mass of the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. However, the full Primary School will join us in church this Friday morning for a children’s celebration of Our Lady of Lourdes, to which everyone is also welcome.

Please see the message below about Candlemas Day this Friday, a day which marks the end of the Christmas mystery in the liturgy. Today (Sunday) at the 11.15 am Mass we welcome our children, families and catechists involved in the First Holy Communion programme. We send all parishioners best wishes from here at church.

This Friday, 2nd February, is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as the Purification of Mary or Candlemas Day. This feast marks the fortieth day since Christmas, when the child Jesus was presented to the Lord in the Temple. It is customary on this day to bless candles. If you have any candles from home that you would like blessed, please bring them to Mass at either 8 am or 10 am.

Today, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, is also known as the Sunday of the Word of God. This year, the lectionary gives us Gospel readings from St Mark. Have you ever read Mark’s Gospel? Can I suggest a challenge? Why not make time to read Mark in one go? Choose a modern translation. His Gospel is short (only 16 short chapters); he writes in a direct and snappy way. We only hear sections (pericopae) at Mass - you will be amazed at how different it is to read it all in one go! The word of God is alive and active - why not let the Gospel speak to you now and see how it goes!