Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Sunday 15th January, 2023
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Message from Canon Kristian
Dear brothers and sisters
Due to coming down Covid I was unable to take part in last Sunday’s Parish Epiphany Concert. Sadly, I missed something which was really special and a great success. Not only did it showcase the amazing breadth of talent that we have in our community from the children of our parish school to the instrumentalists of all ages and from all parts of our parish, but it was also a fitting way to end the Christmas Season together as a parish community. In addition, more than £319 was raised, which will be divided between CHAT and the local Charity Unite – Carers in Mid Devon which supports unpaid carers in our area. Thank you to all those who had a part in organising the concert and all those who took part either as performers or audience!
We have two big focus points for our prayer and reflection this week – peace and Christian unity. The Newsletter gives links to the Holy Father’s Message for this year’s World Day of Peace, linking our work for peace to the learnings which we have gained from the experience of the Covid pandemic, and to the Pax Christi website. Pax Christi is our national Catholic organisation that promotes reflection and action for peace in our own country and further afield. Do take some time to explore its website and to look at the resources it provides.
Although there are strong ecumenical relationships within our parish between individuals – and, of course, we have CHAT, which is supported by all the Churches in our area and the Street/School Pastors in both Tiverton and Cullompton, we sadly do relatively little together as Churches, especially in the area of common prayer. This is perhaps something we need to give more thought to going forwards. Prayer and action for the unity of Christians is not an option for Catholics or something that can be left to the interested few. The visible unity of the Body of Christ is the will of Christ its Head and is necessary for the effectiveness and truth of our Christian witness and mission. So, although we won’t be gathering together formally during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which starts this coming Wednesday, I have included a link in the Newsletter to the booklet containing the prayer resources for each day and added an attachment with the printable text for each day so that we can unite ourselves in our personal prayer with the sisters and brothers of the Christian family within the area of our parish and beyond. This year, the prayer and search for Christian unity is linked to the reality of racism in our country and across the world and reflects on the connections between our divisions as Christians and those divisions which are the result of a racist mentality. It’s a challenging subject, but one which speaks to the real lived experience of many in our world today.
A reminder to the members of the Parish Pastoral Council that there is a meeting this coming Wednesday at 7.00pm in the Hall.
Along with the Newsletter, I also attach the weekly guide to prayerful contemplation on this Sunday’s Gospel and the most recent Newsletter from St John’s School.
A bit “thank you” to Fr Paul, who has willingly and generously covered the Masses for me in Tiverton this past week and who will be celebrating this weekend’s Masses in order to enable me to recover fully from Covid and the remnants of the nasty bug that has been going around recently. Thank you too to all those who sent me greetings and gifts for my birthday last Tuesday. They were much appreciated.
Please do keep in prayer all those who are sick in the parish, a few of whom are in hospital at this time, and pray for the repose of the soul of Elizabeth Smith, another “matriarch” of our parish community who died recently and whose Requiem Mass takes place this coming Friday.
Canon Kristian Paver
Parish of St James & St Boniface
40 Old Road
Tiverton EX16 4HJ
This Sunday is Peace Sunday for the Catholic Church in England and Wales and this year the Message from Pope Francis is entitled: ‘No one can be saved alone. Combatting Covid-19 together, embarking together on paths of peace’. He asks us: ‘What did we learn from the pandemic? What new paths should we follow to cast off the shackles of our old habits, to be better prepared, to dare new things? What signs of life and hope can we see, to help us move forward and try to make our world a better place?’ A vaccine has been found for Covid-19, says the Holy Father, but we still need to tackle the virus of war and of inequality, and this can only be done together. In this country we have an active Catholic peace movement in Pax Christi, which aims at working together to promote peace through parishes, schools and social media. Their website suggests ways we can all become better peacemakers. There are activities for families to do at home, including a peace liturgy for young children. https://paxchristi.org.uk/peace-sunday-2023.
Pax Christi needs our support to keep going. If you’d like to make a donation, small or large, here is the link: https://tinyurl.com/yxfcw67x. Or send a cheque made payable to ‘Pax Christi’ to: Pax Christi, St Joseph’s, Watford Way, London NW4 4TY.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January
On 22 April 1993 a teenager was murdered on the streets of London while waiting for a bus. Stephen Lawrence was a promising young man looking forward to fulfilling his dream of becoming an architect. He was murdered simply because he was black. This year we mark the 30th Anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s murder and this will be a major focus for many who work for a society that is free from racism. As long as racism exists, we live in a divided society and a divided world, so during this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity we reflect upon how these divisions impact our shared life as we pray together for the unity for which Christ prayed. But we also acknowledge how much churches have contributed to division and prejudice within our institutions and also society. As long as there is racism there will be no Christian unity!
This year’s daily prayer resources– “Be-Longing: Praying for Unity amidst Injustice” – are inspired by the experience of our Christian sisters and brothers in another part of the world who are wrestling with this very issue. For the Churches of the US State of Minnesota, the murder of George Floyd and the institutional racism it embodied provide the focus for their prayer for unity and justice. They place before us the prophet Isaiah’s challenge to do good and seek justice (Isaiah 1:17).
Praying together during this week allows us to reflect on what unites us and enables us to commit ourselves to confront all instances of oppression and injustice. Undertaking this commitment requires churches to acknowledge their own complicity in racial injustice. We must confess how our silence has allowed other voices to sound out without challenge. As Christians we must be willing to disrupt systems of oppression and advocate for justice. Our commitment to each other requires us to engage in restorative justice. We must speak out, dismantle unjust structures and create a society in which people can live with freedom and dignity. Together we must engage in the struggle for justice in society – because we all belong to Christ.
Flame 2023 – Special Invitation to our Young People
Anyone 14-21 years of age is invited to join our parish trip to Flame at Wembley Stadium, London, on Saturday 4 March 2023. Flame is the largest Catholic gathering in England and Wales. Transport is from Cullompton on a coach so almost door to door! If parents want to know a bit more, please talk to Elaine Kelly, Siobhan Gilroy or Eduarda Santos as they have all been before. It’s such a great day out that the parish would like to treat our youngsters to this experience, so there is no cost to the individual. To get on the coach we need to book tickets now with the diocesan coordinator as there is a limited number on the group transport, so please give your name to the Parish Office as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Siobhan Gilroy will be leading our parish group.
LOUDfence in the Diocese of Plymouth – Advance Notice
The Diocese will be holding a LOUDfence at Christ the King Church in Plymouth from Wednesday 15 February to Friday 17 February. A LOUDfence is a visible display of support and solidarity with those who have been affected by abuse. Attendees are encouraged to tie ribbons around a fence which could also include a message of support. We want survivors to know that we hear you, we believe you and that we are here to support you. We hope you can join us. More details to follow soon.
Unwanted Gifts Stall
In the hall after Mass at St James this Sunday, there will be a stall selling “unwanted gifts” that have been received at Christmas.
Annual Collection for the Society of St Vincent de Paul
Next weekend we will hold our annual retiring collection to support the work of our parish Conference of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) in its mission of supporting the sick, elderly and marginalised in our local community. If you would like to know more about the work of the SVP and consider becoming a member, please have a word with Simon Coombs.
Burns Night Celebration
On Friday 27 January, starting at 7.00pm, we will be holding our first ever Burns Night Celebration in the Hall at St James! Come and enjoy Cullen Skink, a Piper to greet guests and to pipe in the Haggis for the main course of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, followed by Cranachan, with the odd whiskey to taste. Due to limited numbers, this will be a ticketed event and for adults only. Tickets cost £10 and are fast running out! Please advise of any special dietary needs at the time of purchase of ticket.
Masses and Events this week
Sunday 15th January – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Saturday 14 January – Weekday
- Vigil Mass at 6.00pm
Sunday 15 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
Monday 16 January – Weekday
- Singing to Remember at 2.00pm in the Hall
Tuesday 17 January – St Anthony, Abbot
- Holy Mass at 10.00am
Wednesday 18 January – Weekday – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity starts
- Holy Mass at 12noon (at St Boniface)
- Parish Pastoral Council at 7.00pm in the Hall
Thursday 19 January – St Wulstan, Bishop
- Reception of the Body of Elizabeth Smith RIP at 4.30pm
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm
Friday 20 January – Weekday
- Requiem Mass for Elizabeth Smith RIP at 12noon
Saturday 21 January – St Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
- Vigil Mass at 6.00pm
Sunday 22 January – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)