On the day government figures recorded 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, Cardinal Vincent said:
On Holocaust memorial Day 2021 the theme is 'Be the Light in the Darkness'.
"It is for all people, all generations."
"We can each in our own way, be the light that ensures that the darkness can never return."
We are invited to light a candle in our windows at 8pm tonight to reflect on this memorial day.
Prayer for the deceased as the death toll passes 100,000
On the day government figures recorded 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, Cardinal Vincent said:
On the day government figures recorded 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, Cardinal Vincent said:
'A day of great sadness all over the land. So many people, families, communities, remembering those who have died in these terrible months of the pandemic. Each one is mourned. Each one is to be prayed for.
'This is our instinct, our faith, our practice. Our prayer is rooted in the faith that, in death, life is changed, not ended, for the promise of eternal life opens the door of hope even in our darkest moments.
'I pray for each and everyone, those who have died, those who mourn, those who serve. Please, please, join me in prayer.'
Join Cardinal Vincent in prayer this evening at the 5.30pm Mass, livestreamed from Westminster Cathedral. Watch the livestream at www.westminstercathedral.org.uk
Bishop Declan talks about the Holy Land – Podcast
Bishop Declan spoke with James Abbott from the Bishop’s Conference about the online co-ordination meeting this week. He speaks about the current situation in Gaza how the Christian community is supporting the whole community. They also discuss how we, and the co-ordination group, can support the Christian communities in the Holy Land.
Thank you Martin for sharing your musical talents with us all.
Reflections from Deacon Vincent for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
1st Reading from the Prophet Jonah 3: 1-5, 10.
This prophetic book is an enchanting and unusual book in that there is more narrative than is customary, and very little of the prophetic utterances of Jonah. It is a bit of a mysterious book and has many different dates ranging from the 2nd century to 8th century BC. Some view it as a satire on the self-righteousness of religious people. Jewish scholars view the book as teaching fellow-Jews that Gentiles can receive God’s loving forgiveness. Hat is exactly where we begin with Nineveh the capital city of Assyria, a Gentile city. His preaching of the coming destruction to the city was believed in by the Assyrians, as they trusted God’s message and his message even reached the King of Assyria, and he went into penance putting sackcloth and ashes, as a sign. The whole city commenced to repent, and God was moved by their repentance and relented from destroying the city. It is a salutary lesson for all of us that it is never too late to repent and believe the Good News. God really does love us all and seeks our salvation, not our destruction. The thing that strikes me, as well, is that Jonah must have been a very powerful and convincing preacher, it is a shame that we do not have more of his utterances to ponder.
Responsorial Psalm 24: 4-9.
A beautiful song seeking forgiveness and help, following the theme of Jonah’s message to the people of Nineveh. “In your love remember me, because of your goodness, O Lord.” Is a cry we can all make, from time to time during the day, especially at times of temptation.
2nd Reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 7: 29-31.
We have to read this passage with some care, as Paul is addressing the Corinthians who had a reputation, throughout the known world of the time, for sexual misbehaviour, and Paul may see celibacy as a sign of contradiction, but more likely look at his reference to the sense that time was coming to an end and so he most probably did not think that they would have to stay celibate for long. He sees the existing world order as coming to an imminent end and the reign of God to supersede. We would misread the apostle if we considered him an old, grumpy Puritan, decrying sex as evil. Paul was a very popular man amongst the people, with a very practical approach to living the Gospel life. It is always important to study all his writings and the interpreters, before drawing conclusions about the man.
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 1: 14-20.
There is a starkness about the sudden urgency of the mission, the Precursor has been arrested, so now Jesus must be about his mission. The same momentum is maintained in the call to the first disciples. There is no room for hesitation, as soon as the call comes, we must respond. It also illustrates Jesus’ sense of humour in making them “fishers of men.” A thing to note in Mark’s Gospel is that where we see “by the sea of Galilee”, then something momentous is about to happen. They follow immediately, leaving everything behind. The message is so urgent there is no time to look back, only forward into this new era of the “Good News”, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, has now dawned, nothing else matters. Mark considers that this the only way to respond to God’s call, “Repent and believe in the good news.” Mark is hoping those of us who take up this Gospel will respond with the same enthusiasm as his first
God bless you all.
Nationwide help with lifts for vaccinations
We are spreading the word about this interesting offer from Uber, offering £15 towards lifts to 7 major vaccination centres for those who cannot drive there, including our own Ashton Gate centre...
Article shared by Dept of Health and Social Care:
Uber is offering free trips to seven large scale vaccination centres across England, making it easier for the most vulnerable people to receive the #COVID19 vaccine.
See the Daily Mail article by clicking here.
A New President for the USA
Pope Francis sends a message to President Joe Biden, urging him to be a bringer of peace and reconciliation to the United States and to the whole world.
See the Vatican News article by clicking here
Please pray for the soul of Fr John Gbakaan, for his family, friends and parishioners following the shocking news of his kidnap and death in Nigeria. Please pray also for the safe return of his brother, kidnapped with him and for peace.
May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God Rest In Peace.
Vaccine roll out
|Archbishop of Canterbury receives his vaccination|
"As a volunteer member of the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust chaplaincy team, I was given the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine this weekend. I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine when they are invited. Staff across the NHS, and health workers across the world, are under immense pressure on the front lines of this pandemic. They deserve not just our admiration but our support - and getting the vaccine when we have the opportunity is something we can all do to help relieve the burden on them. It has been a privilege to volunteer at St Thomas’ over the past year. Chaplains here and across the country are doing a vital job of providing spiritual and pastoral care to patients, staff and relatives at this acutely painful and difficult time. The rapid development of the vaccine is an answer to prayer – and it is central to the recovery from this terrible pandemic. Jesus Christ calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves. Getting the vaccine is part of that commandment: we can show our love for each other by keeping each other safe from this terrible disease. To everyone in this country and across the world, I want to say please, please accept the invitation to get the jab when it comes - and encourage everyone around you to do the same."
Fr Frank is now booked in to get his first vaccination at Ashton Gate this weekend.
We pray that the vaccine roll out is fast, efficient, and reaches far & wide to help end this devastating virus.
Feast of St Fabian ~ 20th January 2021
grant, we pray,
that, helped by the intercession of your Martyr Saint Fabian,
we may make progress by communion in the faith
and by worthy service.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Annual RSPB Garden Birdwatching event
This is a lovely event each year to help the RSPB with the national statistics of our country's garden bird numbers.
Have you taken part in the Big Garden Birdwatch before?
In this time of lockdown it is a perfect time to join... a perfect time to sit, safe inside in the warm with a cuppa, watch the garden, take some time to be still and peaceful in these strange times.
Blue Monday', we urge anyone who is struggling, on ANY day of the year, to ask for help, to talk to someone, to seek support. Please don't suffer alone...
There are many places to contact who have wonderful people there to help and who can listen to you.
We ask our parish community to pray for God's strength for those who need it right now and God's strength for those who support those in crisis.
Research and visit online resources and helpline... such as; The NHS's "One You" and "Every Mind Matters" campaigns. Samaritans.
Grassroots Suicide Prevention.
PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide.
SANE Mental Health Charity.
Supportline. The CALMzone.
The Silver Line
Thank you to Deacon Vincent for his Reflections on Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
1st Reading from 1st Book of Samuel 3: 3-10, 19.
This is the first book of four dealing with the history of how the tribes of Israel transform into a single nation under one king. They are 1 & 2 Samuel, and 1 & 2 Kings. This book covers the period commencing approximately 1050 B.C. It deals with Samuel anointing Saul as king and David’s advancement. This passage enables us to share Samuel’s first experience of encountering the person of God. There are some key points for all of us from this extract. God approaches Samuel in the stillness and quietness of the night. It is good for us to be still and quiet from time to time; and listen for the Lord. We do not always recognise God’s calling to us. Samuel consults his master Eli about it. We, also, should consult our priest or our spiritual director for guidance, so we can go with confidence to the Lord and say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”. It might seem strange, but we often forget that we are vessels of the Holy Spirit and he is always drawing us closer and closer to the Lord. We need to give time to the Lord in the still moments of our lives so we also, like Samuel, can grow up in the Lord and not let any word of God fall to the ground.
Responsorial Psalm 39:2, 4, 7-10.
A lovely hymn of praise and asking for the Lord’s help. It picks up on Samuel’s experience. Our prayers to the Lord do not fall on deaf ears, the Lord hears us, all he asks is for us to have an open ear to hear him. Never forget to praise and thank Him for all that we are and have.
2nd Reading from 1st Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20.
If we read this correctly we can discover that the early Church did not grow up in a pure and holy era. It grew up in a very coarse and barbarous period. Corinth was renowned for its loose morals, it was a port where many nations came to do business and brought all types of vices with it for entertainment. Paul is encouraging the Corinthians and indeed, us also, to be careful not to slip into the ways of those around us. We need to remember that we are not our own property; we have been bought and paid for by the Lord’s great sacrifice of Himself on the cross. As we have been baptised into God’s family, we have become vessels of the Holy Spirit, so let us keep our bodies pure and holy so that we are not a faulty part of the Body of Christ, his church. This is not easy for us and it was not easy for the Corinthian Christians either. There will always be a struggle against our inclinations, which is why we need to cultivate a regime of prayer and study of the scriptures. Always be careful of the company we keep, so that we are constantly being encouraged to stay close to the Lord. We are on a journey to the Lord, so there will be trials and failures, but never despair. Pick yourselves up and go the Lord; he is always waiting to forgive and rebuild us. He did not come to condemn but to show us the way!
The Holy Gospel according to John 1: 35-42.
The first thing we notice in John’s Gospel is that Jesus is not baptised by John, but is recognised by him, as what he calls the Lamb of God. Now was John referring to the Passover Lamb, or the desert sacrificial lamb who was driven out into the wilderness with all the sins of the people heaped on it? The one thing that is for sure John sees the Holy Spirit come down upon Jesus and is told by God that Jesus is the one that will save the people, by taking their sins upon himself. The other thing we note is that John is speaking to two of his disciples, and when they go off to follow Jesus, he does not call them back, his job was to prepare the people to recognise Jesus, so he has accomplished his mission. Jesus asks the disciples “What do you want? That is a call to us also, as we start to follow him. The disciples are obviously embarrassed and stammer out “Where do you live?” They want to be able to encounter him in the future. Jesus immediately invites them to come and see. That is a call to each, and every one of us. Come and see. It is an invitation to read the rest of this Gospel and come to encounter Jesus the Saviour of the World. Peter is brought to the Lord by his brother, and Jesus immediately recognises his deep toughness and honesty. He will be Cephas the Rock.
Let us stay close to that Rock.
God Bless. Deacon Vincent
Worldwide Marriage Encounter online program
For the past 50 years, Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering marriage enrichment programs all around the world. Focused on couples who want to enrich their relationship and gain a deeper understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage, it offers a unique experience to explore your relationship at a deeper, more intimate level, regardless of how long you have been together.
The next Marriage Encounter Online Experience is scheduled on 30 & 31 January 2021 and there are many other dates over the year – you can find out more and book your place at www.wwme.org.uk or contact us on 0845 260 2016.
John Fitzgerald RIP
The Funeral of John Fitzgerald will take place on Monday 18th Jan at 1.30pm. Due to COVID restrictions on numbers, the family invites you to join them in saying goodbye to John online from the safety of your home, via Zoom live stream.
– The Zoom link is: Meeting ID: 843 6044 5198 Passcode: 820150
Should anyone wish to make a donation (in lieu of flowers) in John’s memory the family have set up the following ‘Just Giving’ links to make this process easier for everyone:
We ask our Parish Community to surround Jane and the girls with loving prayers and to please pray for John's family and friends at this difficult time.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest In Peace. Amen
Rainbows... a symbol of hope
www.tolentino.org then click on 'St Nick’s live-streamed Mass’ page).
Many of our Catholic deaf sisters and brothers can feel isolated at the best of times and these are not the best of times! Most are not aware of the Catholic Deaf Association or the monthly Signed Mass, so please try to contact them with this information.
If you can, please either email Fr Richard McKay (email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) with their contact details or ask them to do so.
We want to make this Diocesan Ministry among the Deaf community as available as possible - please help us to do so. Thank you!
CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK TO THE EVENT DETAILS
Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia RIP
"It is with the greatest sorrow that we announce the death of our Archbishop.
The Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia, has died suddenly at his home in Glasgow. He was 70 years old.
Archbishop Tartaglia, who had served as Archbishop of Glasgow since 2012, had tested positive for COVID 19 shortly after Christmas and was self-isolating at home. The cause of death is not yet clear.
The Archbishop had served as leader of Scotland’s largest Catholic community since 2012.
The Pope’s Ambassador to Great Britain, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti has been informed.
It will be for Pope Francis to appoint a new Archbishop to succeed Archbishop Tartaglia, but until then the Archdiocese will be overseen by an administrator.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Archbishop Philip, for his family and friends and people of the Archdiocese.
Philip Tartaglia was born at Glasgow on 11th January 1951. He is the eldest son of Guido and Annita Tartaglia and had three brothers and five sisters. After his primary schooling at St. Thomas’, Riddrie, he began his secondary education at St. Mungo’s Academy, Glasgow, before moving to the national junior seminary at St. Vincent’s College, Langbank and, later, St. Mary’s College, Blairs, Aberdeen. His ecclesiastical studies were completed at the Pontifical Scots College, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
He was ordained Priest by then-Archbishop Thomas Winning in the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Dennistoun on 30th June 1975. He then returned to Rome to study for his Doctorate in Sacred Theology.
On completing his Doctorate in 1980, he was appointed assistant priest at Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardonald, while at the same time becoming visiting lecturer at St. Peter’s College, Newlands, Glasgow.
A year later, he was appointed Lecturer at St. Peter’s College, Newlands, becoming Director of Studies in 1983. When Chesters College, Bearsden, opened in 1985 he was made Vice-Rector. In 1987 he was appointed Rector.
He served as Rector until 1993 when he was appointed to St. Patrick’s, Dumbarton, as Assistant Priest before being appointed Parish Priest of St. Mary’s, Duntocher in 1995. In 2004, the Bishops’ Conference appointed him Rector of the Pontifical Scots College, Rome.
On 13th September 2005, Pope Benedict XVI nominated him Bishop of Paisley. On 20 November 2005, he was ordained Bishop in St Mirin's Cathedral by Archbishop Mario Conti who he was to succeed as Archbishop of Glasgow.
On 24th July 2012, Bishop Tartaglia was appointed Archbishop of Glasgow and was installed at St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow, on Saturday 8th September 2012, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
He died on January 13 2021, the Feast of St Mungo, the Patron Saint of Glasgow.
Archbishop os St Andrews and Edinburgh, Leo Cushley, said: "I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Archbishop Philip. He was a dear friend whom I’ve known most of my life and his learning, wisdom and experience benefited so many people, in Paisley, Glasgow and beyond.
"He will be sorely missed by everyone in the Catholic Church in Scotland. My affection and prayers go to his family, who are also dear friends, and to all the clergy and people of the Archdiocese. May the Lord welcome him into paradise.”
Bishop John Keenan, on behalf of the clergy and people of the Diocese of Paisley, expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, and the clergy and people of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
He said: "Archbishop Tartaglia throughout his life was a faithful servant of the Lord and a caring shepherd of the Diocese of Paisley between 2005 and 2012. He was a much loved Bishop of Paisley and will be remembered fondly by many. May he rest in peace."
Bishop Toal of Motherwell said: "On behalf of everyone in the Diocese of Motherwell I express our shock and sadness on the sudden death of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia. We offer the support of our prayers to his family and the community of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, and join with them in commending his soul to the tender mercy of our Loving Father through the saving power of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
"In the years I have shared with him in the episcopal ministry I have heard him repeatedly express his steadfast belief in Christ and the need for Him to be at the heart of all we say and do in the Church, his Body. His faith was straight-forward and re-assuring, and from that came the wise counsel which he offered in the deliberations about and the decisions taken in so many areas of the Church’s Mission in Glasgow Archdiocese and In the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.
"As his brother bishops we will miss him greatly, and that sense of loss is shared with so many others.
"It is good to remember with gratitude his priestly minister before he became a Bishop – in the parishes he served in and in the seminaries he taught and rectored in. Those who attended his classes remember him as a gifted lecturer, and in later years he looked back with some nostalgia to these times of theological investigation and teaching as a time of much fulfilment and contentment.
"He loved his native city, and the family and community he grew up in. It was hard to leave his parents and younger brothers and sisters to go to Junior Seminary to train for the priesthood, but it must have been a great joy for the family that both he and his brother Gerry were ordained as priests. We offer our sympathy now to all of them as they grieve the loss of their brother Philip, and pray with them that he will be united with their beloved parents and their recently deceased sister in Paradise, in the blessed company of Our Lady, St Mungo, and all the Saints.
"May his soul , and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen."
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert has issued the following statement: “It is with the deepest sadness that we have learned today on the Feast of St. Kentigern (Mungo) of the death of our brother bishop and friend Philip Tartaglia. His loss to his family, his clergy and the people of the Archdiocese of Glasgow will be immeasurable but for the entire Church in Scotland this is a day of immense loss and sadness. "He was a gentle, caring and warm-hearted pastor who combined compassion with a piercing intellect. His contribution to the work of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland over the past sixteen years was significant and we will miss his wisdom, wit and robust Catholic spirit very much.
"On behalf of the Bishops of Scotland, we commend his soul into the hands of God and pray that he may enjoy eternal rest.”
Bella Harding's latest reflection on the planet and our parish:
We could get even more ideas to implement once our parish is up and running more normally. (Link below)
Meantime keep praying and thanking God for all the wonders we take for granted. "
Prayer for health workers.
Please pray for the vaccination programme to reach all within the care community as fast as possible to protect those who are the most vulnerable and those who selflessly care for them.
"Wondrous God, author of life, you fashioned us in your likeness and breathed into us the life which is your own. Be with those whose special care is the health of mind and body.
Fill their hearts with awe for the life which is your gift and sustain them daily in your service, that their hands may bring to others the comfort of your healing touch.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen."
Helping with Emotional Fitness in these troubling times
Well done to Clare (one of our parishioners) who has started a programme online to help our emotional fitness, to stay strong and positive - very important in these difficult times.
Why not have a look at her 21 day HINT programme on her YouTube channel to see if it helps you?
The phrase that is used a lot with this pandemic is that "we are all in the same boat".... it is more realistic to say that we are all in the same storm but not in the same boats...
Please pray for the mental health of those who are struggling through this situation, that they can find the right help and support.
CLICK HERE to go to the YouTube channel.
Resound Foodbank update:
Thank you all so much for your amazing support both during 2020 and also in the recent Christmas period. We were once again overwhelmed by your generosity.
As you will be aware from previous updates, the demand for our services has greatly increased since the start of the first lockdown in March last year. Since then, we have received 73% more referrals and provided food parcels for 56% more adults and children than in the corresponding period in 2019. Thankfully, due to your generosity and others like you, the donations received have risen over the same period by 77%. In weight, we have received almost 20 tonnes of food and distributed over 15 tonnes. This has meant that we were also able to pass on 3 tonnes of our excess food to support other local organisations and to ensure nothing was wasted!
We have just got ourselves a new mobile phone and one of the wonderful things we are experiencing is the feedback via text we are getting from our customers.
As always, your support for Resound Foodbank is greatly appreciated."
Such touching feedback from Resound foodbank.
If you would like to offer donations of food to them, they are next open for safe drop off on Friday 15th January and, at the moment, they really need tinned minced beef or tinned ham, UHT milk, potted meat spreads, 100g jars of coffee or small bottles of squash.
Fr Frank has been lifted greatly by the positive messages and comments received by so many people about the difficult decision to close the church. He is sad that he will not be saying Mass with his parishioners present, but keeping everyone (& himself) safe is his highest priority. It is for this reason also that he is not planning to open the church for private prayer either for the time being.
Please see the amended Newsletter for this week showing the Mass intentions that Fr Frank will pray for at his private Masses, as well as any other Parish news or information.
We will continue to keep connected with you all in as many ways as possible. Watch this space.
The Christmas Carols on Zoom
For those who were unable to join us for our Christmas online Zoom event in December, we can now share a few moments from that afternoon.
In this short clip, Fr Frank gave us all a Christmas blessing at the end of our time together.
And here are our talented musicians wishing us all a Merry Christmas.
Look out for more zoom events soon