Christmas Newsletter 2021

 Have a look at our Christmas Newsletter with

festive messages from Fr Jim, Deacon John 
and Parish Groups from 2021!

Wishing you all a very happy and holy Christmas!

Christmas Mass Times 2021


Christmas Eve
3.30pm Children's Carol Service 
followed by Mass at 4.00pm

Christmas Day
10.00am Mass

LGBT+ Mass


CAFOD World Gifts for Christmas

World Gifts are a wonderful way to share the peace and joy of Christmas with our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

Get your Christmas shopping done early with ethical gifts that save lives.  Click on the link below to see all the available gifts.

Clifton Climate Liturgy, 23rd October 2021

You are invited to join Bishop Declan to celebrate the glory of God’s creation and to bring us all together in supporting and encouraging each other in the campaign to save our earth, Our Common Home.

Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Bishop Declan is set to lead the Holy Land pilgrimage in 2022 
(26 Sept to 4 Oct) staying two nights in Bethlehem, three nights in Jerusalem and three nights in Galilee.

ESTIMATED PRICE: £1,879 per person based on 2 people sharing (price based on minimum 40 passengers). Price includes half board accommodation with ensuite, lunches provided, entrance fees, porterage and tips to driver and courier. Full services of English speaking guide. Headsets and bottles of water supplied daily. 

Extra charges: Single Rooms £445.00 Travel Insurance TBC 

Gill Didino, 
Tangney Tours t: 01732 886666 

BOOKING FORM: t: 0117 9025595


or download Booking Form/Terms & Conditions below:

Booking Form

Terms & Conditions 

Daughters of Divine Love - Mission Appeal Collection 3rd October

On 3rd October we will be holding an appeal collection for the Daughters of Divine Love Congregation who are putting Divine Love into Action.  From feeding the hungry, educating the needy, visiting the lonely, healing the sick, sheltering the homeless; committed to corporal and spiritual work around the world.  Collection baskets will be available in the porch.  You can also donate online by going to



CAFOD FAMILY FAST DAY - Climate Crisis Appeal

CAFOD's local experts are helping people all over the world to adapt to climate change and protect our common home.  By donating to CAFOD this Family Fast Day, you can help communities affected by the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

Donate online through CAFOD website or by using a CAFOD envelope (available in church).  You can also easily give via text.  Text CAFOD10 to 70580 to donate £10* or choose to give any whole amount betwwen £1 and £20 by texting CAFOD, followed by the amount you would like to donate, to 70580.

Applications for Places in Primary School

Time to Start School? If you have a child born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018, then now is the time to apply for a place at a Catholic primary school in the Diocese. You must complete an application form (either online or on paper) that is available from the school admissions team of the South Gloucester Council, for admission during the 2022-23 school year. If your child has been baptised, you must also provide a copy of the baptism certificate to your preferred school. Please ensure you apply by the closing date of 15 January 2022.

Bishop's Video for School Governors

Governors video.mp4 from Clifton Diocese on Vimeo.

There are 62 maintained schools in Clifton Diocese, educating 21,673 pupils. They are supported by a ‘volunteer army’ of school governors, including 350 Foundation Governors appointed by Bishop Declan. The Bishop wishes to recruit new candidates to join the governing bodies, to help grow and sustain Catholic education in the Diocese for current and future generations, and so has produced a new promotional video where the Bishop and current governors and Headteachers, talk about the importance and value of school governors. If you would like to support catholic education and so would like to apply to be a governor, please complete the online application form or contact Bill McEntee, Governance Officer via or call 07710094976 for more information – he would love to hear from you!

LOV Verbum Dei Ministry - Explore the Gospel of John and Matthew

The LOV Verbum Dei Ministry ( is very excited to explore the Gospel of John and Matthew with a 4-Part Series on the Word of God starting on Tuesday 31st August. 1 episode will be released on their YouTube channel on Tuesdays and Fridays over two weeks for all of us to immerse in a unique way into particular passages of the gospel. Please use the below link to watch the episodes and to slowly and attentively sink into the Word of God that lies behind the 'words' of the Scriptures. You can also listen each episode on the followings audio platforms (Spotify, Anchor, Google Podcast-simply search for "LOV Verbum Dei" where you can access all their audio resources). Please share it with whoever you think might benefit from it.

Link to the episodes -

CAFOD Faith in Action Day - 11th September 2021

Join CAFOD for an online day of talk and prayer to learn more about this year’s climate talks, Pope Francis’s call to action and how people in the Amazon region are leading the fight to care for our common home.  The countdown is on. In a few months, the UK will host the largest gathering of world leaders ever to take place on British soil: the ‘COP26’ climate talks. Our government has a vital role to play in leading global efforts to tackle the climate crisis. But as citizens of the host nation and as people of faith, we have an important role to play too.This is the time to come together, build a community and act.

Do not miss our Faith in Action Day 2021 on Saturday 11 September, 11am-4pm.

On this Faith in Action Day you will:
Find out more about the UK government’s vision for COP26.
Connect with other Catholics in interactive sessions and find out how we can organise ourselves to build momentum for the climate talks in Glasgow this year.
Hear from environmental defenders in the Amazon about their struggle to protect our common home.
Explore Pope Francis’s Synod on the Amazon and his call for justice.
Get inspired by young Catholic campaigners and their fight for the climate crisis.
Stand in solidarity and pray together for our brothers and sisters who are suffering the most as a result of the climate crisis.

Speakers  Confirmed speakers include Camilla Born (Deputy Director of Strategy for COP26), Josianne Gauthier (CIDSE Secretary General), Claudelice Silva dos Santos (Amazon and human rights defender), young Catholic activists and many more.
This event is part of the Great Big Green Week, a series of events happening in September to bring together communities across the country for climate and nature.
Register here:
Agenda for the day can be found here:


Virtual Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2021 & Prayer Requests

Our virtual pilgrimage to Lourdes starts from Friday 20th August, when there will be daily Mass livestreamed from around the Catholic Association on the diocesan website, along with other events such as daily night prayers including our own Fr Michael Thomas on Wednesday evening.

On Sunday morning 22nd August, please join Bishop Declan at 9:30 am when he will be celebrating Mass from the Cathedral, this Mass will also be livestreamed on the diocesan website.

We shall also be joining the Lourdes Chaplains in the Grotto, as they pray the Rosary in English on Tuesday 24th August 2021 at 2.00 pm. There will be a special candle lit for the Clifton Diocese and the pilgrims at this time. If anyone would like their intentions to be prayed for during this Rosary, please send your petitions and I will pass them to the Grotto for inclusion on the altar. Please send any prayer requests to

For full details, schedule and a welcome message from Fr. Nick King SJ please go to

Virtual Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Lourdes

Unfortunately, we are unable to travel to Lourdes once again this year, but we shall all be at the Sanctuary spiritually. During the week from 20th August to 27th August we shall be joined together virtually on our website with various events.
The Grotto of the apparitions is the heart of the Sanctuary and is a place of prayer, hope, peace, respect, unity and silence. The spring and the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes within it are the centre of prayer for all pilgrims.

Prayer Petitions
Amongst other events, we shall be joining the Lourdes Chaplains in the Grotto, as they pray the Rosary in English on Tuesday 24th August 2021 at 3:00 pm. There will be a special candle lit for the Clifton Diocese and the pilgrims at this time. If anyone would like their intentions to be prayed for during this Rosary, please send your petitions and I will pass them to the Grotto for inclusion on the altar. Please send any prayer requests to .

Covid-19 Update - Lifting of Restrictions

As you all know the Covid-19 restrictions have in the main been lifted. However, The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have advised caution in  areas where the cases of Covid-19 are above the national average. This applies to us in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, so we are keeping some restrictions in place. The wearing of masks is strongly advised. The one-way system after receiving Holy Communion will still operate. The restriction on the number sitting on a bench is lifted, but unless you are sitting within an already formed bubble, we politely ask you to leave some space between you and the person next to you.  If you have any concerns regarding sitting close to someone, please let one of the stewards know and you can be moved to somewhere where you feel more comfortable.  There will be entry and exit music but no singing for the time being.


Covid-19 Update

Following the Government announcement on Monday we look forward to the hope that the easing of further restrictions will bring to so many people and businesses, but recognise that we still need to proceed with caution.

For now, we await news from the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales on what measures it is deemed sensible to keep and those we can dispense of within the Church. So, until we hear otherwise, our public Masses will continue in the same way, with all restrictions and safety measures in place.

Part-time Vacancy at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School - Lead Caretaker/Handy Person


Spiritual Direction

If you are looking for a safe, secure and confidential relationship in which to explore God's work in your life and have questions about the journey of Christian faith.  Discover how helpful it can be to share our faith journey with someone who has experienced the ups and downs, the struggles, the challenges and the joys of life and faith.

The Diocese has a panel of directors who can offer this very important ministry to people. A dedicated webpage for them can be found under ‘Faith and Formation’ on the diocesan website  

Click on this link for more information

Inclusion for All - LBGT+ Mass on 11th July 2021


CONFIRMATION - Thursday 9th June 2022


Confirmation will be celebrated at by Bishop Declan at St Augustine’s on 9th June 2022 at 7.00pm.  Dates and times for preparation classes have not been finalised yet but sessions usually begin in January. Candidates must be of secondary school age and above.  If you would like to receive the sacrament of confirmation in June next year, please download and complete the Registration Form or email the Parish Office at or pick a paper copy from church (on the table in the porch) when church is open on Sundays/Tuesdays/Thursdays. Completed forms can be returned to the Parish Office - please remember to include and email address which will be used for all communications. More details of the preparation sessions will be sent to you in due course. Many thanks, Fr Jim and Fr Frank.


#CandleofJustice: a moment of action on 25th May

Join Churches Together in England on 25 May 2021 for 
Candle of Justice: a moment of action – commemorating the first anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.  The Candle of Justice will be a moment to light a candle, pray for racial justice and commit to taking personal and institutional action to tackle racial injustice in our society and our churches.

Join in

Follow these five simple steps for how you and your church can get involved in the national #CandleOfJustice campaign on 25 May:

1. At noon, pause for one minute to remember George Floyd and all those who experience racism

2. Light your candle* (or alternatively shine a light from your phone)

3. Pray using the Candle of Justice prayer

4. Pause, reflect and make a personal commitment to tackling racial injustice

5. Share on social media – upload your candle photo or share the Candle of Justice prayer graphic. Remember to use the hashtag #CandleOfJustice and tag in @ChurchesEngland

Healthy Planet, Healthy People

The Bishops' Conference Pastoral letter for this Pentecost refers to a time of remarkable challenge and opportunity, referring to G7 and COP26 and poses the question 'Are we really demonstrating love, care and respect for our common home?' 2021 is a very significant year, not just because we are gradually emerging in UK from the pandemic, but because of some very important international meetings which could determine the future of our planet and its inhabitants. There is the G7 summit in June and COP26 on the climate crisis in November, both of which are held in the UK; also, China will be hosting international negotiations on protecting biodiversity. Now is our opportunity to join with voices from Catholics (and others of faith) around the planet asking the leaders of these global gatherings to urgently align national and global commitments with limiting warming to 1.5ºC at most. Alongside this we are asking that the wonderful diversity of creatures living in our common home be protected.  Please sign the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition and ask family and friends to join with you.

Bishops' Pastoral Letter for Pentecost Sunday 2021

 Read the letter by clicking on this link Pastoral Letter

Prayer for Peace in the Middle East

God of mercy and compassion,
of grace and reconciliation,
pour your power upon all your children in the Middle East:
Jews, Muslims and Christians,
Palestinians and Israelis.
Let hatred be turned into love, fear to trust, despair to hope,
oppression to freedom, occupation to liberation,
that violent encounters may be replaced by loving embraces,
and peace and justice could be experienced by all.

- Reverend Said Ailabouni,

May Marathon of Prayer

Join the daily live broadcast of the recitation of the Holy Rosary at 5pm in link-ups with Marian shrines around the world, as part of the May marathon of prayer called by Pope Francis, by clicking on the link below:

Kingswood Foodbank

 An updated list of the items they need are printed in the parish newsletter every week or can be found on their Facebook page.

Novena to the Holy Spirit

Bishop Declan invites us all to participate in praying a Novena to the Holy Spirit beginning this week on Thursday 13 May (Feast of the Ascension). Each of the nine days will focus on a different fruit of the Spirit. You can access the prayer resource for the Novena on the diocesan website: We hope as many people will join us in praying the Novena as we continue to ‘Dare to Dream’ and invite the Holy Spirit to bless our diocese as we move forward.

Laudato Si' Week 2021

Beginning on 16th May a week of free online events is taking place world-wide leading up to Pentecost.

Designated Laudato Si' Week, Pope Francis invites us to 'prepare the future' celebrating the progress the church has made on its journey to ecological conversion and reflecting on what the COVID19 pandemic has taught us.
To learn more about the week's events go to

World Day of Prayer for Vocations, 25th April 2021

Sunday 25th April 2021 is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.  

In the midst of all the noise of this world, which calls us and attracts us, we pray for the ability to hear the call of Jesus and for the courage to follow him.  We pray for ongoing commitment to the vocation in life we have received, and for all the graces we need to face the challenges this brings.  We pray for young people as they face the future: that they may recognise the contribution they can make to the well-being of our world.  We pray that we may be such a community of faith that many of our young people may hear the invitation of Jesus to share in his mission as priests and religious.

Prayer for Vocations

Diocesal Virtual Lourdes Pilgrimage, Friday 16th April

Friday 16th April is the Feast Day of St Bernadette Soubirous, so as part of our own ongoing virtual pilgrimage Monseigneur Liam Slattery will be celebrating a livestream Mass at 7:00 pm, please join us through the Clifton diocese website at . 

Sunday Mass on Zoom

Join the celebration of Mass on Sunday at Our Lady of Lourdes church at 8.45am by clicking on the link below

Meeting ID: 928 4863 7633
Passcode: amen

Easter Services on Zoom

The following services will be livestreamed over Zoom for those who are unable to join us in church for mass/services over the Easter period.

Maundy Thursday
Time: Apr 1, 2021 06:45 PM  

Join the celebration of mass for Maundy Thursday by clicking on the link below:

Meeting ID: 994 4776 6293
Passcode: amen


Good Friday
Time: Apr 2, 2021 02:45 PM

Join the service of the Passion of the Lord by clicking on the link below:

Meeting ID: 936 8695 9640
Passcode: amen


Easter Vigil

Time: Apr 3, 2021 05:45 PM

Join the Easter Vigil Service by clicking on the link below:

Meeting ID: 922 4222 3278
Passcode: amen


Easter Sunday

Time: Apr 4, 2021 08:45 AM

Join the celebration for mass on Easter Sunday by clicking on the link below:

Meeting ID: 980 5904 0860
Passcode: amen

Holy Places Collection on Good Friday

We will have a basket as you enter/exit in the Church porch on Good Friday for the annual collection for "Holy Places", supporting the work of the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land who have the unique responsibility of maintaining the Holy Places and preserving the Christian presence in the Holy Land.  Click the link below for more information.

Easter Mass / Service Times 2021

As we prepare for this holiest time of the year we wish to offer as much opportunity as possible for people to attend Mass, if they are able to, whilst keeping all our safety measures in place.  All services will be shorter, simpler versions of the traditional Masses to limit time inside the church and you can attend any mass during the 8 days of Easter to fulfil your Easter Obligation (they are all Solemnities).  With social distancing measures in place in church, we still cannot accommodate large numbers for Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday.  Please note that due to safety limits on numbers, there will be no public invitation to the Chrism Mass at the cathedral this year.  Our mass/service times over the Easter Triduum and the Octave of Easter are as follows

  • Maundy Thursday, 1st April at 7.00pm
  • Good Friday, 2nd April at 3.00pm
  • Easter Vigil, 3rd April at 6.00pm
  • Easter Sunday, 4th April at 9.00am
  • Monday in the Octave of Easter, 5th April at 10.00am
  • Tuesday in the Octave of Easter, 6th April at 9.30am
  • Wednesday in the Octave of Easter, 7th April at 10.00am
  • Thursday in the Octave of Easter at, 8th April at 9.30am
  • Friday in the Octave of Easter at, 9th April at 10.00am
  • Saturday in the Octave of Easter at, 10th April at 10.00am

Palm Sunday Mass on Zoom, Sunday 28th March at 8.45am

Fr Jim will be celebrating Mass and streaming it live on Zoom.  
To participate click on the link for Zoom below.

Meeting ID: 929 1227 2738
Passcode: amen

You can also download the Zoom video conferencing app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer and create a free account.

Our Church Re-Opens for Celebration of Mass, Sunday 7th March at 9am

We look forward the the public celebration of mass which will resume from Sunday 7th March at 9.00am.  Thereafter, mass will be celebrated as usual on Tuesday and Thursday at 9.30am unless otherwise noted in the weekly newsletter.  Please be mindful that all the safety measures we had in place before the closing are still in place.  Remember that during this time there is still no Sunday obligation so you can attend Mass at any of the time in the week. Please only attend mass if you are well and free of Covid-19 symptoms.

CAFOD Family Fast Day 26th Feb 2021

We may not be having a mass or a collection for CAFOD this lent but you are still able to donate online or by text.  For further information and to donate please go to

Please watch the video below about Abdella in Ethiopia and his long journey everyday to to get water.


Masses for the Victims of Covid-19

This Lent, Bishops from all over Europe will join together to celebrate a series of Masses and pray for the 770,000 deaths that the continent has suffered due to Covid-19.

This initiative aims to offer a sign of communion and hope for the entire continent.

On Tuesday 2nd March, Cardinal Vincent will celebrate a special Mass at 5.30pm in Westminster Cathedral as part of this Eucharistic chain, and invites us all to join him via livestream at


Redemptorist Publications Free Online Retreat: Reflecting with Paintings with Fr Denis McBride

Father Denis McBride will be leading a FREE online retreat this Lent, based on his two books Reflecting with Paintings Vol 1 and Vol 2 from Wednesday 24th February 2021

Each video will be uploaded on the dates given below. You can choose to watch each video at a day/time that suits you.  You can access the retreat from the Redemptorist Publications website by clicking on this link Reflecting with Paintings | Retreat with Denis McBride | RP Books

Reflecting with paintings
One of the things that has always intrigued me about Jesus is how so much of his teaching he chose to do through the medium of fiction.  All his parables are fiction: each could begin ‘Once upon a time.’ Jesus asked his hearers to leave their own world and come with him into an imaginary world, and then return to their world to have an inner conversation of how they see things in the light of the parable. Jesus’ parable world is a world of great variety.  You meet all sorts of people: difficult judges, committed burglars, broken families, wounded beggars, awkward neighbours, selfish priests, eccentric employers, desperate hosts, surprised guests, wise and foolish virgins.

Paintings, too, have their own language, from pictorial to representative, to coded, to abstract, to you-name-it – communicating another world to the onlooker, another slant on looking at people and things, or simply to provoke unspoken communication between the artist’s emotions and the viewer’s. For this Lenten retreat I invite you to look at selected paintings, to imagine another world, and then to return to your own story in the hope that some inner conversation might be provoked through the strange encounters.

- Denis McBride, CSsR -

  1. First week in Lent - Wed 24 Feb
    Praying the Rosary – Old Woman Praying the Rosary by Paul Cézanne
  2. Second week in Lent - Wed 3 Mar
    Growing up hyphenated – Jojo by J W Miller
  3. Third week in Lent - Wed 10 Mar
    Food for thought – The Promenade by Fernando Botero
  4. Fourth week in Lent - Wed 17 Mar
    Facing the truth – Logo for Frankfurt Book Fair, 1998
  5. Fifth week in Lent -  Wed 24 Mar
    Bearing up – Peasant Woman with Buckets and a Child by Kasimir Malevich
  6. Palm Sunday - Sun 28 Mar
    Hat trick – Pilate’s Wife by Sebastien Champion
  7. Good Friday - Wed 31 Mar
    Letting go – Pieta by Vincent Van Gogh
Easter - Sun 4 April
When words are not enough – The Reconciliation of Peter by Iain McKillop

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11th February

Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.  Our Parish is known as Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette so here is a brief review on why our parish is so named.

In Lourdes, France, in 1844 a baby girl named Bernadette Soubirous was born.  Bernadette’s family was very poor, and Bernadette was responsible for looking after and caring for her brothers and sisters. The only education Bernadette received was the Catholic teachings which she studied faithfully in the evenings. 

At the age of thirteen, Bernadette was preparing for her First Holy Communion.  One of Bernadette’s chores was to collect wood for the fire.  One day in February 1858, Bernadette and two companions headed for the River Gave to collect pieces of wood.
  Bernadette looked up towards the grotto and the caves on the riverbank.  Near the opening of the grotto, Bernadette glanced and noticed the cave was suddenly filled with golden light.  Lifting her eyes, she saw a lady of great beauty, dressed in a pure white robe with a blue sash, a veil over her head, a rosary clasped in her hands and yellow roses at her feet.  Bernadette rubbed her eyes.   What a beautiful lady!  But where did she come from?  And what was she doing here?

The beautiful lady smiled at Bernadette and asked her to say her rosary.  Bernadette said her prayers and when she was finished, she looked up, the lady had vanished. The third time Bernadette went to the grotto, the lady spoke to her.  The beautiful lady asked Bernadette to come here every day for fifteen days.  She said that she wanted Bernadette to tell the priests to build a chapel there.  She told her to drink water from the stream.  The lady also told Bernadette to pray for the conversion of sinners.  Bernadette followed the requests.      

On March 25, the Lady finally told Bernadette that she was Mary, the mother of Jesus, and that her purpose in appearing to Bernadette was to warn her to pray and make sacrifices for sinners.  The miracles of body and soul performed at Lourdes are the proof that this message was a true warning from the Queen of Heaven to her children and that she was deeply interested in their welfare.

Eventually everyone did believe Bernadette and the grotto at Lourdes became a place of worship and the Lourdes holy water was sacred for performing miracles.

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
Oh ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, 
Refuge of Sinners, Comfortess of the Afflicted, 
you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. 
Look upon me with mercy. 
When you appeared in the grotto of Lourdes, 
you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favours, 
and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, 
both spiritual and corporal. 
I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence 
to implore your maternal intercession. 
My loving Mother, obtain my request. 
I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share
your company and bless you in eternity.

Latest News

Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage 2021

It is with regret that we announce that the Diocesan and Catholic Association Pilgrimage to Lourdes this year has been cancelled. The Pilgrimage, which was scheduled for 21-27 August 2021 has been cancelled in light of the on-going effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, a schedule for special virtual events throughout 2021 and the virtual Pilgrimage programme will be announced very soon.

This will be a disappointing decision for many past pilgrims and those hoping to travel to Lourdes this year. Over the last number of years, an ‘online presence’ and ‘Virtual Pilgrimage’ experience whilst in Lourdes has been offered, where everyone is able to follow the Pilgrimage daily and experience the Homilies and reflections with those in Lourdes, at home.

This year special moments for 2021 are being planned that will enable us to still celebrate the miracle of Lourdes. The Diocese looks forward to welcoming all to their ‘virtual Pilgrimage’ once again and to their events programme throughout the year.

More details will be available on the Clifton Diocese website soon!

World day of Prayer

Fr Liam Slattery at St Peter’s in Gloucester will celebrate a Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and also mark World Day of Prayer for the Sick at 7.00pm on *Thursday February 11th*. This Mass will be live streamed on the homepage of the Diocesan website. The Catholic Association will follow the mass with a Rosary live streamed on their website at 7.45pm. The details of this will be available soon on the Diocesan website

Sister Michael, RIP

Sister Michael, who was part of our parish and used to teach in Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School passed away last week.

Please remember her in your prayers, as well as her family and friends.

May she rest in peace.