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Ash Wednesday
Fr Frank is going to record a short
Ash Wednesday liturgy for us all to watch (which we plan to upload at approx 11am on Ash Wednesday) in which we can experience Ash Wednesday 'together', virtually, from the safety of our homes.
Please check here on our website (or on our facebook page) from 11am Wednesday to watch, meaning that we will be able to mark this special day as a parish community.

Interestingly, a report was published in the Tablet today in which Cardinal Vincent talks about the new way so many people will have to celebrate the start of Lent due to the pandemic: (although Fr Frank isn't suggesting that Cardinal Nichols stole his idea!)

Here is a section of the article:
"The Church in England and Wales is preparing to celebrate Ash Wednesday under unprecedented circumstances, with Catholics in some parts of the country being urged to stay at home and bless one another with the sign of the cross to mark the beginning of Lent.
While churches in England are still open for public worship, Cardinal Vincent Nichols told parishioners in his Diocese of Westminster this week: “Receiving ashes is an outward sign of an inner step, a movement of the heart towards our beloved Lord. This year I invite you to concentrate much more on this inner, spiritual movement than on its outward manifestation in the imposition of ashes.”
Speaking to churchgoers in London, where the South African variant of the coronavirus has been detected in several boroughs, Cardinal Nichols said: “My suggestion is this: celebrate Ash Wednesday at home, with your family, in the household or ‘support bubble’ of which you are a part.”
In a pastoral letter due to be read out in diocesan churches this weekend, Cardinal Nichols outlines a form for marking the beginning of Lent in the home, starting with a time of prayer: “Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each other’s forehead. Spend some time praying in a way that you know. But please, make this a prayer of your heart for God’s mercy upon this world struggling to cope with the terrible pandemic and the devastation it is bringing.”



Here is Bishop Declan's Pastoral Letter to us all to read for the start of Lent.


Please visit the Diocesan Website for all the "Dare to Dream" Lent resources - with films, reflections and prayers it is going to be a fantastic resource for us all to be able to use during Lent.

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Our Lady of Lourdes
Congratulations to our Sister Church in Kingswood and to all involved with HCPT The Pilgrimage Trust on this special Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
We ask Mary, our Mother, to pray for us and for the world at this troubling time, as we say together, Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

HCPT - 1st apparition of Lourdes - 11th February 1858
163 years ago today the 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous was out gathering firewood and bones with her sister Toinette and a friend at the Grotto of Massabielle outside Lourdes.
Removing her socks in order to cross the stream, Bernadette heard a noise like a gust of wind. She looked up towards the Grotto. She later said, “I saw a lady dressed in white, she wore a white dress, and equally white veils, a blue belt and a yellow rose on each foot.”
Bernadette made the Sign of the Cross and said the Rosary with the lady. When the prayer ended the Lady suddenly vanished.
On realising that she alone had seen the lady, Soubirous asked her sister not to tell anyone what had happened. Toinette, however, was unable to keep silent, and told their mother, Louise Soubirous. Because their mother had suspected the children were lying, both girls received a beating, and Bernadette was forbidden to return to the Grotto again.
A few days passed and Bernadette asked for permission to go again with her siblings. It was granted.

Christian Climate Action Bristol.
Sharing
these events, organised by the local Bristol branch of Christian Climate Action, taking place on Ash Wednesday.
1. A day of prayer – From 7.30am to 6.30pm we are encouraging people to pray in their homes, or wherever they are. People can sign up for a one-hour slot on the prayer rota, if you would like to do that please email: christianclimateactionbristol@gmail.com
2. An evening service – 6.30-7.30 pm, on Zoom. An opportunity to come together for an hour to share prayers, readings and silence as we reflect on the Earth, our common home. Acknowledging the climate and ecological crisis, giving space for repentance and climate grief. Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, is a good time to consider our failings and pray for the future.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the service.


CELEBRATE Lent Pack
With Lent approaching and starting during the half-term break, why not visit the CELEBRATE site and download the family pack of resources for use during the 40 days and 40 nights of preparation for Easter....

Thank you Celebrate!



Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)
A bishop in northern Brazil has spoken about the Church’s struggle tackling a fatal oxygen shortage – which has led to more than 50 additional deaths among Amazonas State’s coronavirus patients over the last week.
With Brazil’s COVID-19 deaths exceeding 225,000, the Church has provided logistical and other support in the state, where rivers are the main means of transportation between towns, as there have been problems getting essential supplies such as oxygen to hospitals.
Read more at the website of
Aid to the Church in Need UK
and if you can, please consider supporting them with their vital work to help those who are in such dire need...

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