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 https://cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/Family-Fast-Day

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 www.westminstercathedral.org.uk


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 C├ęzanne
  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! www.cliftondiocese.com

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 www.cliftondiocese.com

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.