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.

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!

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 is the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. In these days after Christmas and the Epiphany, the light of the Christmas message continues to shine brightly through the liturgy. We continue to hear about the revelation of who Jesus really is and about what God has marvellously accomplished in the mystery of Christ. St John declares, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ Jesus gives the invitation to his followers, ‘Come and see!’ Like the shepherds and the Magi, we too are invited to come and see the Christ, and to behold his glory as the Word-Made-Flesh and the Lamb of God. On Friday 2 February, the Church will celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas) which marks the final end of the Christmas mystery in terms of the liturgy. May God bless you all the week ahead.


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