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Thank you Deacon Vincent for your Reflections for 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

1st Reading from the Prophet Isaiah 66: 10-14.
This is the final chapter of the third Isaiah (Trito-Isaiah). These writings are from several disciples of Isaiah, relating the return of the people of Israel from exile in Babylon. It deals with whether to rebuild the Temple. This writing is proclaiming Jerusalem as the mother of the nation; when the people return to the practice of the Law, then peace will flow like a river throughout the nation, and God is running to greet the returning exiles. There was always a tension between those who worshipped God in the Temple and those who thought that God should not or could not be confined in a single place but was always present to the people. Christians experience the same tension between God present in a “gathering of one or two in my name and I am in their midst”, and those who feel he can only be encountered in a Church. God is always present in the people; he is always running towards us to greet us whenever we turn our minds and hearts to him; however he loves his people to gather in union with him so we can be nourished by his presence in Word and Sacrifice. This is a powerful proof of our oneness with him, when we worship him together. This section is a prelude to the declaration that, “All are welcome in the People of God.”

Psalm 65: 1-7, 16, 20.
A song of thanksgiving, God is always faithful, he never rejects our prayers, nor withholds his love from us. This is a very important prayer to prevent us slipping into despair. Great and awesome as God is, he loves us and wants us to be with him, so his heart is always open to forgive us our failings.

2nd Reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Galatians 6: 14-18.
The phrase, “New Creation”, is an important concept for Paul. It surfaces in 2 Corinthians, Ephesians chapters 2 and 4, and Colossians, chapter 3. There is also an allusion to it underlying his letter to the Romans. In Christ there is no division in the world anymore between the circumcised and the gentiles. What matters now is the new universe without the old national identities. Christ by his crucifixion and resurrection has formed a new universe where we are all united in Him, for the worship of the Father at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He signs off this rule with a wonderful exhortation for us, “Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule”, by this we form the “Israel of God”. “The marks on my body are those of Jesus”. This could allude to the scars from his scourging, or that like Christ, he is crucified to the world, for the sake of the Gospel. Whatever he is saying we know that, for him, Christ is the whole of his life, he is totally wrapped up in proclaiming Christ to the world. What a marvellous example for us to follow.

The Holy Gospel according to Luke 10: 1-12, 17-20.
The sending out by Jesus of 72 ahead of where he is to visit illustrates that preparation for the Lord is important. They are to trust entirely upon God’s providence, to provide for them. The instructions are very severe and insisting upon their single mindedness upon the message. We are privy to their triumphal return, and we hear the Lord rejoicing with them, “I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” This is what happens when we follow the Lord’s way of proclaiming his coming. No interest in worldly things. If we concentrate upon Him and His message, then everything we need will be given us. Our present Pope is trying to return the church to this idea by taking the name of Francis, following that radical preacher, St. Francis who followed this instruction completely and reformed the whole of the Middle Ages and re-introduced the world to the idea of relying upon God’s providence, rather that trying to push God into our human thinking. We need to remember that God’s ways are very radical and challenging. Whenever we soften his instructions, we lose sight of the message. We must be single minded in the transmitting of the Gospel life. “Love of God first and foremost, then loving our neighbour, as ourselves, for God’s sake.” Love and care for each other, uniting ourselves with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, and we can produce the same results as those 72 who set off to prepare the way for the Lord.

God Bless us all in our new endeavour.
Deacon Vincent

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We congratulate our own Fr Frank today on his 41st Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood.

It was lovely to share a modest cake after Mass yesterday (with hastily fashioned 41 on the top as Amazon let me down on the proper cake topper!)

Canon-ly Congratulations to you!

Fr Frank’s Retirement Mass and Celebration. Read on for info...

On Sunday 21st August, at 3pm, Bishop Declan will be joining us in celebrating Fr Frank’s 41 years of service to the Priesthood, on the occasion of his retirement.

This will be a special Thanksgiving Mass and then afterwards we will celebrate his retirement further with food, refreshments, and cake (of course!) in the school hall.

You are all very welcome to join us in wishing him well - please book a place using this Eventbright link (below) so that we can successfully organise the afternoon based on the numbers attending.

Many people have asked about making a contribution to a retirement gift for him, so here is the plan if you wish to do so:

-there will be small brown envelopes available at the back of church which you can put into the normal collection basket or through the presbytery door and these will be automatically separated out for his collection.

- Should you wish to contribute but cannot make it to church, please use any envelope for your gift noting that it is for Fr Frank's retirement gift and pop through the presbytery door when passing OR email me for the parish bank account details to pay by transfer if easier for you, but PLEASE reference your donation as ‘RETIREMENT GIFT’ online so we can separate it out for that purpose (email

* All the money used will buy him a shiny, new, and easy-to-use laptop for him to stay connected when he moves into his new flat in the St Patrick’s Retirement community at Dillon Court in September.
* And any additional money will be for Fr Frank to use as he wishes (possibly snooker tickets or Mars bars?! 😁)

If anyone wants to help with the organising or running of the celebrations, please let me know - we'd love to have you on the team!

Many thanks.
From Bernadette, on behalf of the planning committee

Our Charity Cream Tea was a fantastic success!
Here is what one of the organisers, Jo Nash, had to say...
"It was a glorious sunny afternoon on Sunday 12th June.
The parish hall was decorated with flowers and bunting as the local community gathered for a relaxed afternoon of delicious fresh cream tea, home-baked cakes, a jubilee-themed quiz & games as well as a fantastic raffle too.
Thank you, to everyone who made the afternoon a huge success, those who baked, and those who came to support the event and helped us raise an incredible £744 for the two parish projects. This money will make a difference to many people.
It was great to see the local community together again after such a long time. We have had such great feedback from those who were there, commenting on what a lovely atmosphere it was.
Everyone loved the visit from a very special guest too!
Thank you to the cottage bakery for gifting some scones and Mokka who donated a voucher for the raffle."

Thank you to Deacon Vincent for your reflections for 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

1st Reading from the first book of Kings 19: 16, 19-21.
Elijah has just had a meeting with God following his hiding from Jezebel, who is seeking his life for killing her Pagan worshipping priests. God Has instructed him to anoint Jehu as King of Israel, then go and anoint Elisha as his own successor. This episode illustrates the urgency of God’s call, when Elisha wants to say farewell to his father before following Elijah, but Elijah will have none of it. Elisha is now anointed, and he has been changed completely for God’s service, that must be his priority from now onwards. Elisha obeys Elijah and follows him. He now belongs to God and will be his servant until death. God’s call is always immediate and imminent, this will be the theme for this week’s meditations.

Psalm 15: 1-2, 5, 7-11.
This is a quiet song of faith in the face of death. It illustrates a total trust, and acceptance in whatever God will do. A psalm to seek in the event of death stalking us.

2nd Reading
Once again Paul is exhorting the Galatians, and indeed we, need to be guided by the Spirit and not yield to the flesh (self-indulgence). The two are opposed. We are naturally pulled by our fallen nature, so we must always remember that Christ freed us and not allow ourselves to fall back to the urgings of the flesh. If we remember to serve one another in works of love, since the whole law is summarised in the command to “Love your neighbour as yourself.” All will be well; all things will be well. So, don’t let us tear one another apart with snapping at each other harshly or we will destroy the whole community. Let us be led by the Spirit, who is always kindly and forgiving. If we live by the Spirit, no Law can ever reproach us.

The Holy Gospel according to Luke 9: 51-62.
This passage has Luke preparing this final journey of Jesus to Jerusalem, where Jesus will be taken up to heaven, obviously pointing to the death and resurrection of Jesus. We get a glimpse into why the Apostles James and John were called the “Sons of Thunder.” By their calling for fire and brimstone to be hurtled on those who will not receive the Lord. We are reminded of our first reading in the stories of the three young men who wished to follow Jesus, but each had ulterior and other more important things to do before starting out. They get stark replies for the call of God is always imminent and total, excluding all other considerations. That is still true for today and might explain why we are struggling with vocations in an age where so many other philosophies and desires are proclaimed as the most important elements of our lives. Just like Elisha and the young men in our Gospel we need to examine whether God is the most important thing in our lives? Our answers will tell us why things are as they are today with our local communities and our Church. We need to really examine our consciences.
God bless, Deacon Vincent.

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Emergency Stewards:
Please note that we would be delighted to hear from anyone else who is willing to be a steward in case of any emergency.
Please contact the parish office if happy to help.
We are meeting after Mass on Sunday 26th to go through the evacuation plan. (There will be no teas and coffees after Mass that day as we will use the main hall for our meeting.) Or a mop up meeting on Monday evening on 27th if you cannot attend on the Sunday.
Many thanks, Fr Frank

Thank you, as ever, to Deacon Vincent for his Reflections for the Feast of the Body & Blood of Christ Year C ~ Corpus Christi ~

1st Reading from the Book of Genesis 14:18-20.
The appearance of this priestly King, who brought out gifts of bread and wine, as an offering to Abraham for rescuing Lot and all his possessions from the Elamites a Gentile tribe. He blesses Abraham and the God of all creation. It is a strange episode within the saga of Abraham, yet this fleeting appearance of Melchizedek, leaves a lasting image within scripture, and will be highlighted by the offering Jesus will give us, to celebrate his victory over death and evil.

Psalm 109: 1-4.
This strange priestly king is again recalled in this passage, that Jesus will quote to the Pharisees, when he is disputing about the Messiah being a descendant of David. It addresses the Messiah as David’s Lord, and therefore of more importance, and the recollection of this priest with his gifts of bread and wine is once more lauded within scripture, as we await the real meaning to be fulfilled in Jesus.

2nd Reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 11: 23-26.
This passage is announced to remind the Corinthians that this is a Holy Eucharist, not for sordid squabbles and divisions or feasting and drunkenness. Paul recalls the solemnity and full importance of the offering we are enacting, the death of our Lord Jesus, until he comes again. So, he calls to unity, reverence and peace within our communities, for those approaching the sacred species.

The Holy Gospel according to Luke 9: 11-17.
We are taken back to the feeding of the People of Israel in the desert in Exodus. Luke also mentions how Jesus welcomed the crowds, for Luke, “Hospitality” is very important. It is a very powerful story, and of course prefigures the Eucharist where he will feed us all with Himself in the form of Bread and Wine, his own Body and Blood.
This is one of the most beautiful feasts in the Church’s calendar. It is a time to actually contemplate the gift of himself to us. Don’t try to understand it just experience it with the eyes of Faith, and it will reignite the coldest of hearts, for in believing in Christ, the Father accepts us as His Children, brothers and sisters of Christ.

God Bless us all now and always.
Deacon Vincent

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All night vigil for Peace and Healing in the World

LOV Verbum Dei Ministry are organising an all-night vigil on 24th -25th June in collaboration with the cathedral development group.

Bishop Declan will close the vigil with Mass @ 7:30am on 25 June.

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Confirmation 2022
Please join us in congratulating the candidates who are receiving the sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Declan this evening.

The young people from our parishes in Communion of St Augustine, St John Fisher, St Paul's, St Lawrence and Our Lady of Lourdes will be showing their commitment to their faith and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit tonight.

We thank the leaders of the programme who gave their time to work with our young people to get them to this day. We also thank the clergy and the families who supported the candidates along the way.

Please pray for them.
"Lord, You send out Your Spirit to touch the hearts of all people,
so that they may believe in You and in Jesus whom You sent.
Look kindly on all candidates for Confirmation
as they listen to Your voice.
Open their hearts to Your Spirit
and bring to fulfillment the good work
that You have begun in them.

Mass for LGBTQ+ Catholics

St. Nicholas of Tolentino RC Church, Bristol
invites us all to join them for their monthly Mass for members of the LGBTQ+ community, families, friends, and allies.

Sunday 19th June at 3pm or by livestream.
See details in the poster.

Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless.” ~ Sherry Anderson

... we are incredibly lucky here at St Augustine's ~ this quote sums it up beautifully!
There are SO many people who give their time and their energy for the good of this community - mostly behind the scenes, just getting on with very helpful and important jobs.
(Plus, we 'pay' as many as we can using the "God Bless You System"!) 😆

Thanks to Deacon Vincent for your Reflections for Trinity Sunday Year C
1st Reading from the book of Proverbs 8: 22-31.
This is a poem that has greatly influenced Christian thinking about how to understand and talk about the relationship of Jesus to God. It comes in two parts and each has it’s beginning with “The Lord created me”, and the second part, “When he fixed the heavens firm, I was there.”. The first is about the creation of Wisdom and the second presents Wisdom as God’s joyful agent in creation. The first section is marked using the word “Before”, and the second by the word “When”. There has been a great deal of difficulty in translating from the Hebrew to the Greek, but this is the product of the Greek Septuagint translation, which mirrors the way we view Jesus’ relationship with God. When Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I am”, in John’s Gospel it almost aligns with the sentiments of this poem. It is beautiful imagery and worth reading over several times during the week.
Psalm 8: 4-9.
This song continues the theme of creation and gives glory to God, and then glorifies the special place he has given to his beloved creation, mankind. It sings about how blessed we are to have such a God, who loves us so much. This really is something to dwell upon.
2nd Reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 5: 1-5.
This reading concentrates on God’s unbelievable generosity in Christ. Here Paul is trying to give us grounds for hope. His arguments are laid out as; we are granted peace with God, and this peace comes for free, and the various difficulties we encounter do not disrupt this peace, because we have been made righteous by our belief in Christ, and through this belief God has poured the Holy Spirit into our lives, and the Spirit brings the love of God into our hearts. Difficulties are not punishment but a means for us to cultivate patience and perseverance.

The Holy Gospel according to John 16: 12-15.
This is the end of a very long address given by Jesus just before his arrest. He is trying to assure them that they will not be left as orphans, because God will send them the Spirit, who will tell them everything they need to know and so be enabled to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. Jesus is linking himself intrinsically with the Father and the Spirit is the Word of God, through Jesus, because the Father and Jesus are One, they are in union and their Spirit is their voice speaking to our hearts. The Spirit brings us into an intimate relationship with the Father through the Son. This is a wondrous gift that we have received, and one to really “Thank God”, and “Glorify Him”, for giving us such a wonderful gift, as themselves to us.
God Bless us All and enlighten our Hearts and Minds.
Deacon Vincent.

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Following the easing of restrictions, we are now re-starting our emergency evacuation plans including holding ‘drills’ at both
weekend Masses (coming soon!)
Some time has passed since we conducted one and we need to check that our past emergency stewards are still willing to continue and to ask for new volunteers to add to our team.
Please contact us at the parish office or see Neville Wooding / Bernadette Thomson after Mass this weekend (the ones with a clipboard!) to discuss the role and to sign up to the team.
We will then have our first meeting of the emergency stewards to go over our revised plan, after Mass on Sunday 26th June with a mop up session for those who can’t make that meeting on the Monday night (27th).
Stewards are a real blessing to our community as they are working together to help to keep everyone safe and we thank you all in advance. Fr Frank.

Glastonbury Pilgrimage 2022

This year’s Annual Pilgrimage to Glastonbury takes place on Sunday 10 July.
The Pilgrimage theme is ‘Mary, Queen of Peace’ and will have four main focal points:
*St Mary’s Church will be a Chapel of Exposition and Silent Adoration until 3pm.
*Immediately opposite the Church, just inside the Abbey Gate, you will find two tented Chapels: one for the Sacrament of
Reconciliation and one for private Healing Prayer.
*The traditional Pilgrimage Procession will start in the Abbey grounds at 2.15pm
*and the Pilgrimage Mass will be celebrated in the Abbey Grounds, as usual, at 3.30pm.

More information is shown on the info sheet.

Reflections for Pentecost Sunday Year C

1st Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-11.

Here we have the Spirit in Action with imagery and sound (mighty wind, tongues of fire). This takes us back to Jesus’ baptism in the Jordon, when the heavens opened, and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove and a voice was heard from heaven. This is the fulfilment; the work of God is being accomplished. The fire and mighty wind are symbols of what will be revealed in the rest of the Acts, the violent wind is blowing throughout the Acts, driving the story onwards, powerfully changing the lives of Saul and Peter, and the others pushing them to the ends of the earth, any opposition is overcome by the signs and wonders of healing that accompany the Gospel. The “Tongues of Fire”, represent the speeches that make up one third of the Acts. On this first Pentecost see how the gospel is preached to “all the world”, and how Stephen and Peter and Paul cannot be prevented from speaking of Jesus to those whom they meet. If you look at the map of the Middle East of that period, you will see how the places mentioned make a complete circle around it. So, it all began and continues to this day. We are celebrating the birth of the Missionary Church, which continues to spread the Good News of Jesus; it cannot be stopped, just like the wind that blows where it will, touching everything that it passes over.

Psalm 103: 1, 24, 29-31, 34.

A beautiful song in praise of God’s creation and the action of His Spirit in this great task. A reminder to us of the power of the Holy Spirit in the world.

2nd Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 8: 8-17.

Paul gives us the choice between living by the desires of the body or taking on the Spirit and lifting ourselves out of a life leading to death, and taking on the Spirit of God, given to us at our Baptism, and that same Spirit will follow Christ where he has already gone, to eternal life with the Father. Paul also uses the Roman tradition of adoption, which enabled a person without natural heirs to adopt friend’s children or even slaves, so that his name and goods could be handed on, to illustrate just how we become adopted by the Father and thereby become brothers and sisters of Jesus and join with him in inheriting eternal life with the Father. So, Paul’s central theme of the Resurrection is thereby enabled, by the Spirit, to be extended to us, by adoption. Paul’s knowledge of the world in which he is moving enables him to communicate with those whom he meets on their own level. A real lesson for us in how we can also spread the good news to those we meet.

The Holy Gospel according to John 14: 15-16, 23-26.

This section brings together a beautiful collection of sayings of Jesus, and only occur in John’s Gospel. Love is central to Jesus’ new Gospel, disciples must love each other and so be loved by the Father, and we achieve this by keeping his commandments, or following his Way.  Then this beautiful phrase “If anyone loves me, he(she) will keep my word, and my Father will love him(her), and we shall come to him(her) and make our home with him(her).” What a wonderful prospect for us to ponder at this great feast. Father and Son making their home with us, if we obey the Spirit and keep His Word. What a glorious way to end Eastertide.

God Bless us all & bring us to everlasting life. Amen, Alleluia.     Deacon Vincent.

Image by Kiều Trường from Pixabay