Fourth Sunday of Lent (Year A)
Sunday 19th March, 2023
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Message from Canon Kristian
Dear sisters and brothers
We are already halfway through the Holy Season of Lent. To mark this waypoint, we take this opportunity to remind ourselves of the essentially joyful nature of the Gospel message of conversion and repentance. As we also commemorate this Sunday the Inauguration of the Pontificate of Pope Francis ten years ago, it is good to recall that one of his first writings to the Church was entitled “Evangelii Gaudium” – the Joy of the Gospel. In the first paragraph of this Apostolic Exhortation on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World, in moving words which are important for us to hear on this Laetare Sunday or “Rejoice Sunday”, he writes: “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelisation marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come”. I would strongly encourage you all to read – or re-read – this Exhortation (https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.pdf) which was issued by Pope Francis almost 10 years ago and which has underpinned everything his life has witnessed to and the teaching he has given the Church since then.
This Sunday is also Mothering Sunday, so our thoughts, prayers and gratitude are with our mothers, all mothers and all mother-figures, both natural and spiritual.
A new and important document from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales concerning migrants and refugees, “Love the Stranger”, is also attached to the Newsletter this weekend. It provides a very helpful summary of Catholic Social Teaching in this pressing area of human need.
The parish was also contacted on Friday by the Project Manager of Devon Communities Together, asking to promote their upcoming Covid vaccination outreach event this coming Monday in Willand Village Hall. The goal of the project is to build confidence in areas of low uptake of the vaccine and increase engagement with vulnerable groups. I attach their flyer and would encourage all those who have concerns about having the Covid vaccine and who would like more information to register for the event. Further information about upcoming events and more information about Devon Communities Together and this project can be found at https://www.devoncommunities.org.uk/projects/devon-vaccine-outreach-programme.
As their CAFOD Big Walk commitment, the staff and children of St John’s School are “walking to Bangladesh”, which is approximately 5000 miles or 8000 kms! Rather to do a separate parish Big Walk event, it has been decided to join up with St John’s and add our “steps” to theirs and walk together to Bangladesh. See this week’s Newsletter for our Parish CAFOD Group for more details.
Along with the Newsletter this week, you will find:
- Monika Manser’s weekly guide to a contemplative reading of the Sunday Gospel
- the latest number of Inspire from Deacon Peter#
- Newsletter no.3 from the CAFOD Parish Group
- “Love the Stranger” from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
- the latest Newsletter from St John’s School
- a flyer from Devon Communities Together concerning Covid Vaccination
As ever, please remember in a special way all those members of our parish family who are sick at this time.
May God bless you and surround you all with love.
Canon Kristian Paver
Parish of St James & St Boniface
40 Old Road
Tiverton EX16 4HJ
Laetare Sunday – Mothering Sunday
T his weekend marks the midway point in Lent and is traditionally known as Laetare Sunday, which takes its name from the first word in Latin of the Entrance Antiphon for the Mass from the Prophecy of Isaiah: “REJOICE, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all you were in mourning; exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast” (Is 66:10-11). It reminds us that the journey of conversion and of return to the Lord is a joyous one since, like the younger son in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, God is on the lookout, just waiting to rush towards us with an embrace of love as we take our own faltering steps homewards.
Our joy this Sunday also overflows as we honour and pray for our mothers and mother-figures, who have given us life, both natural and spiritual, and have nurtured us with love and sacrifice.
Formation Day for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
A formation day for those who acted as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion prior to the Covid pandemic and would like to continue to do so, as well as for those who are interested in becoming an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, will be held next Saturday 25 March, 10.00am-2.00pm in the Hall at St James. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assist with the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass and some also take the Eucharist to the sick and housebound. Please put your name on the sheet at the entrance to church if you would like to take part in the day.
Communion under Both Kinds and the Sign of Peace
The Bishops of England and Wales have decided that the re-introduction of Holy Communion under both kinds, ie under the form of bread and under the form of wine, will take place from the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on 6 April 2023. However, the reception of Holy Communion under both kinds is not obligatory, as our Catholic faith teaches that the totality of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord is received in either or both kinds. Therefore, it will be for each person to choose whether she or he wishes to receive Holy Communion from the chalice. Please note that it is NEVER permitted for anyone in the congregation to “intinct” or dip their Host into the chalice when they come to receive Holy Communion. The Precious Blood must be drunk directly from the chalice or Communion received in one kind only. Likewise, whilst respecting the wishes of those around you who may still now feel comfortable physically touching another person, we are now being encouraged to once again to extend our hand to those nearest to us when we offer the Sign of Peace.
Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Confession
After Mass on Thursdays at St James during Lent, from 6.30-7.30pm, there will be a time of silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as well as another opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession in addition to 11.30am-12noon on Fridays.
Youth Residential Event at Heatree
Young people aged 11- 16 from across the diocese are invited to join together at Heatree Activity Centre from 26-28 May to explore John 20:21 “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you”. The weekend will comprise of activities that encourage our young people to explore their faith and understanding of Church teaching. There will be the opportunity to join in outdoor activities on site such as high ropes and raft building (activities may vary). Cost: £120, which can be paid in instalments. To book, please follow the link: https://forms.office.com/e/Bhd7xDUksE For further information, please contact Saskia: email@example.com.
“Love the Stranger”
A t the launch this week of a new document from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Bishop Paul McAleenan, the Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees, reminded us that migrants and refugees are human beings, not statistics. People making dangerous journeys across the Channel to reach the UK are called by various names: ‘refugees’, ‘asylum seekers’, ‘migrants’, and often by more derogatory terms. “Love the Stranger” articulates our Christian duty to look beyond such labels and see the person who has left their homeland in search of a better life.
The document has been endorsed by the Vatican. Father Fabio Baggio, the Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, praising its rich review of, and reflection on, Catholic social teaching, said: “As we live in times in which the defence of the dignity of each human person may seem under threat, Love the Stranger invites us not to give up on the opportunity to live our catholicity ever more fully, to build more just and equal societies for the benefit of each and every person, and to be open to the contribution that strangers can offer as we care for their integral human development and ours.” A copy of the document is attached to the newsletter.
Easter Draw and “Name the Bunny”
Easter Draw tickets are on sale, £1 a ticket. Donations of chocolate, bottles and other goodies would be very welcome. Please leave them at the entrance to church. Canon Kristian has chosen a name at random from a list of 234 names for a 1000g Lindt chocolate bunny. Pick a name from the list for £1 and perhaps be the lucky winner of this magnificent Easter Bunny! Winners for the draw and the bunny will be announced on Thursday 6 April.
Great Big Diocesan Quiz
Our parish will be taking part in the Great Big Diocesan Quiz on Friday 28 April at 7.30pm. You are invited to form teams of four people to take part in the Quiz which we will hold in the hall at St James. Please give your team a name and let Rosie know the details of your team at the Parish Office. This event really does help raise much needed funds for the Catholic Children’s Society.
Masses and Events this week
Sunday 19th March – 4th Sunday in Lent A
Saturday 18 March – Lenten Weekday
- Vigil Mass at 6.00pm Pro Populo
Sunday 19 March – Fourth Sunday of Lent – Laetare Sunday (A)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Jozef Gorlo, Jozef, Teresa and Janusz Michalowscy RIP (annivs)
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
- Stations of the Cross at 4.00pm
Monday 20 March – St Joseph, Spouse of the BVM
- Singing to Remember at 2.00pm in the Hall
Tuesday 21 March – Lenten Weekday
- Holy Mass at 10.00am
Wednesday 22 March – Lenten Weekday
- Service of the Word and Holy Communion at 12noon (at St Boniface)
Thursday 23 March – Lenten Weekday
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions 6.30-7.30pm
Friday 24 March – Lenten Weekday
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions at 11.30am
- Holy Mass at 12noon
- Formation Day for Eucharistic Ministers, 10.00am-2.00pm in the Hall
- Vigil Mass at 6.00pm Pro Populo
***Clocks go forward one hour***
Sunday 26 March – Fifth Sunday of Lent (A)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Zosia Szpara (birthday ints)
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
- Stations of the Cross at 4.00pm