Thank you to everyone who joined in our day of prayer for the parish last Friday. It was a lovely way to celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am also grateful to those who joined in from home and who prayed for us even if they are not able to come to church. Thank you to Fr Josh for his homily at the Mass on Friday. Finally, Bishop John Sherrington has written to say thank you for the warm welcome he received in the parish two weeks ago. He says it was a joy to celebrate the school’s anniversary and Confirmation Masses, and he sends his thanks and best wishes to all involved. He asks that we continue to pray for the Christian people in Nigeria after the recent attacks they have suffered.

This coming Friday we have our special day of prayer for the parish. This is in view of the forthcoming centenary next year. Centenaries are rightly marked in many ways: socially and in practical ways. But the most important element must be spiritual. Great events are best celebrated when they have been prepared for. I warmly invite the whole parish to use this Friday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, as a day to prepare personally for the 100th year of our parish. The Heart of Jesus, broken for us, is the fountain of all we are and do! We have invited Fr Josh to preach at the special Mass at 7pm, especially given that his secondment to the Apostolic Nuncio is coming to an end. Finally, there is a list in the porch to sign to say you will be praying here on Friday. I hope that there will be more than one person at a time! Please join us, especially at 7pm Mass and afterwards.
NB There is no Friday abstinence on the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

Many congratulations to the school and whole parish community who have celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the school. A wonderful celebration was led by Bishop Sherrington. Many thanks to everyone who helped arrange the day. It was a joy to receive the apostolic blessing from Pope Francis to the people of the parish and school. A special thank you to all the staff and governors of our school for the wonderful work they continue to do in our parish!

Happy Pentecost Sunday! Today is the climax of the Easter season and the great feast of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. Next Sunday will be the solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and the following Sunday will be Corpus Christi. I hope everyone has enjoyed the Jubilee weekend so far. Please join us in the hall this morning (Sunday) for a little celebration after the 10am and 11.15am Masses. Also today at the 11.15 Mass, we will bless the new flags for our Scouts groups. This Bishop will be here on Friday for the school 50th anniversary—please note that there is no 10am Mass on Friday as it will be replaced by the parish Mass at 2.30pm. Please join us. Have a wonderful feast and a great week.

Today is the Sixth Sunday of Easter, and we are heading into the time of Ascension and, later, Pentecost. Thank you and well done to everyone was part of the First Communion thanksgiving Mass and party last Sunday. It was a lovely occasion!

Today is the Fifth Sunday of Easter. Jesus gave his followers the new commandment of love: that they should love one another as God loves us. Let us remember this wonderful commandment in the work of the parish and in our daily lives. Welcome to the children and families who recently First Holy Communion. Today, the 11.15am Mass will be the celebration of thanksgiving and going forth. Please note that there is no early exposition on Monday this week before the 8am Mass. Fr Johnson will be back from Rome after this.

On this Good Shepherd Sunday (the Fourth Sunday of Easter) we celebrate that Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is risen from the dead and leads us from death to life. Today we are also asked to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. We also pray for all priests, that they like Jesus, may be good shepherds in their way of life and their ministry. Please pray for Ashley from our parish who will begin his formation for the priesthood in September. If anyone else would like to speak to me about a vocation, please let me know. Finally, next Sunday at 11.15am Mass we will celebrate the Going Forth Mass in thanksgiving for the recent First Holy Communions.

Today is the Third Sunday of Easter. In the Gospel we hear about the encounter between the fishermen disciples and the Risen Jesus. Even today, the power of the Risen Lord and the joy of the Gospel make possible such a huge catch of fish! The Good News continues to reach to the very ends of the earth. Well done to everyone for the First Communion celebrations yesterday. I was so sad to miss the Masses due to my being unwell. Thank you also to Frs. Jerome and Johnson who have had to cover for me both during my trip and now again as I am unwell—I owe them! And thank you to Bishop John and Fr Mark who are also visiting today to help me out. I send you all renewed Easter greetings.

Happy Easter! This past week has been the Octave of Easter, and today we celebrate the Octave Day itself. This Second Sunday of Easter is like another Easter Sunday. This great day is rich with meaning and has held a wonderful place in the liturgy from the earliest times. It is known from antiquity as Dominica in Albis (Depositis) meaning ‘the Sunday in white’ and ‘in which the white is put away’. This refers to the white baptismal garments of the newly baptised from the Easter water. In the Gospel we hear how Jesus appeared again a week later to the apostles, on the eighth or octave day. Today is also known as Quasimodo from the first Latin words of the Entrance Antiphon. Whether we have just been baptised or were baptised many years ago, we are called to be like new-born infants who are able to rise again with Christ our Risen Lord. We send many thanks and best wishes again, and thanks for the lovely Easter cards and gifts we have received. The wider Season of Easter lasts until Pentecost Sunday.

Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to live the days of this sacred time with faith and devotion. We hope many of you will be able to participate in the great celebrations of this week in person, and look forward to seeing many of you during the Triduum and next weekend at Easter. If you haven’t done so already, please take a Holy Week poster to display in your window at home.

Palm Sunday 9/10 April
Saturday Vigil Masses 4pm & 6pm
Sunday 8.45am, 10am, 11.15am, 12.30pm

Monday 11 April
8am Mass
10am Mass (followed by Confessions)