Welcome (back) to Monsignor Tom Egan and Fr Mark Walker who are helping Fr David this weekend. We also welcome Deacon David Knight and Deacon Ian Coleman.

Today is the feast of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, patron saints of the city and church of Rome.  Known as the 'columns of the Church', they have been venerated since the earliest times as the greatest of the Lord's apostles.  An apostle is someone who is sent out.  Both these individuals, Simon and Saul, overcame their own pasts and experienced the grace of conversion in their lives - symbolised by their new names - and allowed themselves to be sent by the Holy Spirit to announce the Gospel to the  ends of the earth.  Today we wear red vestments as a reminder that they stained the ground of Rome with the witness of their own blood.  Peter died by crucifixion and Paul was beheaded.

At the Saturday Vigil Mass we will celebrate the Going Forth Mass for our teenagers who were recently confirmed. Thank you to everyone who joined in the wonderful celebration for the First Holy Communion Going Forth Mass last weekend. We would also like to thank our wonderful team of catechists for helping to prepare the young people and the great celebrations. May God bless you all.

We are in a season of great feasts. Today is the feast of Corpus Christi, and Friday is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Please keep the priests of the diocese in your prayers that day as they will gather for a special celebration for diocesan priests at Westminster Cathedral. Unfortunately I will not be able to join them as I am involved in the annual retreat for the Education Service staff.  There was a wonderful celebration for school children from all over the diocese last Tuesday at the cathedral as we celebrated our ‘Eucharistic Journey’—a fitting theme for Corpus Christi. Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School were represented, as were many of our local Catholic primary and secondary schools.

Today is the solemnity of Pentecost, the final day of the Easter season. Today we recall the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the first disciples and the beginning of the age of the Church.  At the 11.15 am Mass we will celebrate 'Going Forth' with the children and their families who recently celebrated First Holy Communion - may the Holy Spirit give them the same wonderful gifts that he bestowed on the original friends of Jesus. May God bless you all on this special feast day. Fr David.


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