Homily Notes - Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

This isn't a homily I am preaching this weekend but more of a reflection on the readings, based on my preparation for mass this weekend, as well as a personal reflection on life, death and my Dad. [Patrick Joseph Scanlon, rest in peace. No Matter how life changes, No matter what we do, A special place within our hearts, Is always kept for you.]

You can listen to or download the podcast by clicking here.

Wisdom 1:13-15
Psalm 29
2 Corinthians 8:7-9, 13-15
Mark 5:21-43
[For the next 30 days you will find these reading at http://www.universalis.com/20120701/mass.htm]

This week was the third anniversary of the death of my Dad. The 27th June will always be an odd day for me and those close to my Dad. Filled with sadness that he is no longer with us, but also with joy remembering who he was and what he did for us. Today's readings are very reassuring for me, and I hope also for everyone who has lost someone close to them.

We start in the book of Wisdom, with a small answer to the question we all ask when we lose someone, the question “Why?”.

“Death was not God's doing” - God didn't intend us to die. Our sinful nature is our own doing and that result's in death. God takes no pleasure in that. It saddens him greatly. In fact so much so that he has done something about it. He came to us and through the cross forgave us our sinfulness. He offers us life and it's now our choice to accept this gift or reject it and turn towards deaths creator the devil.

These big themes of life and death, sin and forgiveness, God and the devil become very personal to us when we face personal grief and bereavement. And it's at these point's when we most need to understand them, that we are probably least able to read scripture and connect in prayer with God. The Gospel story today shows us the compassion Jesus showed to a grieving family and how he was compelled to bring their daughter back for them. It shows us the love of the living God.

It also gives us a direction, a way to connect again in times of sadness. That way is faith. Faith isn't always strong, sure or unshakable. It's often full of human questions and misunderstanding. But faith is different from proof, it's a belief and a hope in something we can't ever truly know in this life. The challenge for us at sad times or for that matter happy times is to dare to believe, that small act of faith is the way to God, a way to love, a way to life.

Thought - My Journey in Faith

Click here to listen to the audio podcast of this thought.

We often refer to our development in faith or in any sphere as a journey. The analogy is supposed to reflect the learning over time, the changes in yourself as you understand more and as you grow in trust and faith.

What I find really interesting in the journey analogy is I have never been on a journey that has lasted more than 36 hours, and that journey took me to the other side of the world. We are privileged to live at a time when journeys are not normally difficult, long or dangerous. If I want to travel from Bristol to London I can do so in a couple of hours, and do so in reasonable comfort in my car or on the train. I understand little of the uncertainty of a journey, I understand little of the risk, I understand almost nothing of the hardship. So in many ways I am unprepared to undertake my journey in faith, I am expecting a quick drive up the M4, when in fact God expects me to pick up my backpack and walk.

We get to know our friends and ourselves most when we are challenged, when we attempt something we have never done before or when troubles and problems need to be overcome. We learn most when we have to work things out for ourselves, when we can make mistakes, feel the pain, then correct them and enjoy the success. We can't get the best from ourselves or learn and develop when we are comfortable. It's a real shame because I like being comfortable.

But Comfortable is not what's required to know God. If I want an idea of the journey in faith I am on I should look to more adventurous, more perilous, more difficult journeys. Like Paul's journey from Jerusalem to Rome, Frodo's journey from the Shire to Mount Doom, Moses' journey across the wilderness or the Dawn Treader's voyage to the edge of the world. Maybe I shouldn't settle for a journey but be looking for an adventure in Faith.

Podcasts Available via iTunes

The simple recordings of some of my homilies have now been upgraded a little. I have added a short introduction and the Gospel reading the Homily is based on. I have also set them up as Podcasts, that can be   subscribed to within iTunes as well as listened to directly on this blog. If you would like to follow the homilies via iTunes then just go to the iTunes Store and do a search for John Scanlon, you should be able to find them and subscribe.

You can also find the Clifton Diocese "Let us Pod" award winning Podcasts there, again just search for Clifton Diocese and you should be able to find them.

Homily Notes - The Nativity of John the Baptist

I am not preaching a Homily this weekend but after reading through the readings I had a few thoughts that might make listening to the readings and Homily at your Mass tonight or tomorrow more fulfilling.

First: Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm: 70
Second: 1 Peter 1:8-12
Gospel: Luke 1:5-17

John the Baptist, a descendant of Aaron, was born to a hard life. A life of few luxuries and much hard work. A life that would see him, while still in the womb as the first to recognise Christ. John's life was to be lived as a prophet, bringing the people of Israel back to God, preparing them to be read for Christ's ministry and message.

John must have been a hugely capable and humble man. Ready and able to do what was required, to say what needed to be said. But humble enough to do what was asked of him and not what must have been tempting to do. As Christ came forward so John stepped back, directing his own disciples towards Christ. The date of this Solemnity is 6 month from Christmas and the Nativity of Jesus. It is also the summer solstice in the Northern hemisphere so daylight will mirror spiritual light, from now on John's light will grow less until Christmas, when Christ's light will then grow.

The Gospel today is about Zechariah. A priest because he was descended from Aaron. A fortunate priest because he has been chosen to burn incense in the Lords Sanctuary. This was rare, incense was burned every day but that meant that only 365 priests could be given that honour each year and there could have been about 20,000 priests throughout Israel at that time. This was a real privilege and Zechariah knew that.

Zechariah was a good man, worthy in the sight of God, he and his wife followed all the commandments. So you have to believe he went into the Sanctuary prayerfully. Maybe even bringing his own heartache and troubles before the Lord, the lack of children in his marriage.

Messages for us today:
- When we bring our worries to the Lord, do so prayerfully, listen for an answer, be aware of the difference a holy building or space can make to your prayers, to your ability to focus, to listen, to be ready to meet the Lord.
- John was undoubtedly a talented man. He didn't envy Christ, he didn't compete with Christ. He stepped back doing what God asked him to do, and not what he was tempted to do.
- John lead by example, his life was hard, prayerful, taking nothing for himself but given to God. Do we lead others by our example, and if we do what is our example and where are we leading others. Is it towards God?

Homily - Memorial of The Immaculate Heart of Blessed Virgin Mary

Gospel Luke 2:41-51
Every year his parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, they boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere.

Three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they say him, and his mother said to him, “My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.” “Why were you looking for me?” he replied. “Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?” But they did not understand what he meant.

He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart.

My Mum used to be a school teacher, and I remember one evening  a few years ago. We were chatting while she was doing some marking. With a smile on her face she passed me an exercise book from a young boy. They had been talking about today's gospel at school and the children had been asked write it in their own words. What I read went something like this.

“When they left Jerusalem, Jesus ran away and hide in the temple, when Mary and Joseph couldn't find him they looked everywhere. When they found him in the temple they were very angry. They told him he was very naughty, then Jesus said he was very sorry and promised never to do it again”
I am not sure that, that young boy really understood the message of the gospel, which is a very nice introduction for me to explain that this gospel is all about how God prepares us for our future even if we don't understand immediately.

I don't know about you, but there are two questions I find myself asking:

What was Jesus doing in the temple?, and
Why didn't he tell Mary & Joseph where he was going?

So lets start by looking at what happened in the temple. We are told Jesus was listening and asking questions, so was he taking time to learn about his faith?, we know that as an adult he had expert knowledge of the Jewish teachings, is this where he learnt it? That may make some sense, but if we dig a little deeper it's not the whole answer. Jesus was sitting among the doctors, here the important word is sitting, as it was only the elders, the teachers & doctors who were allowed to sit. The students would have stood to ask their questions. So even at twelve years old he was at least their equal in knowledge. We are also told they were astounded at his intelligence and his replies.

So now we start to see him not as bright student able to answer their questions, but a gifted teacher with insights that are new to those who are listening. Unlike other stories in the bible we are not told the message Jesus was teaching or who he was teaching it to. As I pondered this my imagination started racing, maybe Joseph of Arimathaea was there, or Stephen the first martyr. What might they have heard, that day, would it have inspired their actions 21 years later. Putting my imagination to one side, all we can know, was what Jesus told his mum and dad when they found him, “That he was busy with the affairs of his father”, and like them we may find it difficult to know what he meant.

Which brings me to my second question, why didn't he tell his parents where he was going? This really puzzled me for a while. At first glance Jesus was being naughty, but that can't be right, so a read it again, and this time I read it from Mary's perspective, thinking about what she would have stored up in her heart.

Mary was in Jerusalem with her family for the passover feast. They had a great time with all their friends around them. The day after the feast they left, Jesus was off playing with his friends, or so she thought. Mary's day went very wrong when she couldn't find Jesus. She was frantic, her son was missing, she searched everywhere.
For three days she search and he was no where to be found. Then on the third day she found him, he was safe, thanks be to the Lord. “Where have you been?   Why did you do this to us?” she demanded, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. Her sons answer was not what she expected, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be busy with my fathers affairs.” This made no sense to Mary, but her son was safe, and she knew his father was the Lord, and if there was one thing Mary had, it was faith in the Lord, so she gave her son a big hug and held his hand tight all the way back home to Nazareth.

This isn't the only time in the bible we hear of Mary losing her son the day after passover. 21 years later she stands at the foot of a cross, looking up at the tortured face of her son. I'm wondering if those same words “Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father's affairs” didn't suddenly make sense. How many times over the next three days did she remember them and draw courage from them, then on Sunday morning, on finding the tomb empty, did she fully understand what Jesus had meant and that he had been preparing her, all those years ago, for the worst three days of her life.

Our lives are full of joy and sorrow.
Our lives are full of opportunities to learn, there are teachers all around us.
Sometimes we recognise the teacher, and sometimes we don't.
Sometimes we enjoy the lessons, and sometimes we don't. Sometimes we understand the lessons and sometimes we don't.
Sometimes we store these things in our hearts, and sometimes we don't.

Mary's heart was a wonderful store of wisdom.
If you look into your heart, what have you stored there?
Do you store in your heart the difficult things, the ones you don't understand?
Do you have faith to trust, that one day you may need to be prepared, and that God, because he loves you, will make sure that you are?

Let us take a couple of minutes now in silence to look into our hearts and see what we have stored there.

Emmaus Reading & Homily during Veneration of the Blessed Sacrament

Below you can read the homily from last night during our Holy Hour in front of the blessed Sacrament. The 50th International Eucharistic Conference is currently being held in Dublin and we have been encouraged to spend time with the Blessed Sacrament. Father Frank put together a beautiful liturgy including plenty of time spent in silence.

I have also been playing with Podcasting technology and have, I hope, done a much better job of putting the audio version together. This link will allow you to listen to the Gospel reading and the homily, please let me know what you think. Over the next week I will try and get the podcasts available via iTunes as well. I'll let you know when or if I manage that.


First  Acts 2:42-47
Psalm Psalm 33
Gospel Luke 24:13-35

He broke the bread and handed it to them and they recognised Him.

How do we recognise God?
How do we know God when we see Him?

The two men we meet on the Emmaus road are walking away from Jerusalem, filled with sadness, doubt and despair. Their hopes dashed, their expectations come to nothing.

They are joined by Christ but fail to recognise him. Something stopped them. Something got in the way. We are not told in the passage what got in the way. Maybe we are not told because the story needs to speak to each one of us, today. We need to ask, What gets in our way? Why might we fail to recognise Christ when we see him?

Christ didn't get upset when they failed to recognise Him. He didn't force himself upon them and tell them who He was. He just spent time with them, or gave them the chance to spend time with Him. He listened to them, and when they had poured out the despair and heartache, He spoke to them, He taught them, showed them where they were wrong and why their despair was wrong.

Not yet recognising Him the two men invited Him in for a meal, because it was getting dark. I think there is a strong message for us all here, before we can truly recognise God we need to invite him in. And before we recognise Him things may seem as if it's getting dark.

They recognised Him at the breaking of bread. For us the strong link to the Eucharist is clear, at the breaking of Bread each Mass we have the opportunity to recognise Christ. The question maybe is do we? Have we spent time walking with Him, have we poured out our sorrows and troubles to Him, have we really listened to what He tells us, do we learn from Him, and finally do we invite Him in.

I am often told that I smile a lot when deaconing a Mass. Standing behind the alter, watching the miracle happen, it's difficult not to smile, not to get a little lost in the moment. But there are also times when I am distracted, maybe my worries are my own and I haven't shared them, maybe I haven't wanted to listen to the teaching. Sometimes I fail to recognise my God at the breaking of bread, and that saddens me. Often that sadness is  the spark of recognition it takes to again meet my Lord and my God, and feel my heart burn within me.

When we do recognise Christ, we are capable of so many miracles. We take Christ out of the building inside us, we take him out into the world. When I look at the wonderful things this Church does, the Soup Run, the CWL, the Legion of Mary, the Prayer Group, the choir, the social action, the ministries in schools, hospitals, prisons, homes and the workplace, I have to smile. I have to be joyful. We do wonderful things when we walk with Christ, when we recognise Him.

One small bit of imagery that is easy to miss in the Emmaus story, is that the two men before they recognised Chris were walking towards the sunset. After they recognised him they turned around and walked towards the sunrise.

I don't know where you are on your Emmaus journey, if you’re walking alone in darkness, if you're walking with a stranger and telling Him your story, if you are listen to the good teaching, if you're inviting your teacher in, or if you have recognised Christ at the breaking of Bread.

As we spend time now in the presence of Christ, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, think where you are on your Emmaus journey and who is with you, and know that we are called to walk towards the light, the light of Christ, the light we are bathed in  right now.

Homily from June 10th 2012 - The Most Holy Body & Blood of the Lord (Corpus Christi) Year B

A homily for for Corpus Christi.
(Available via iTunes as a Podcast, just search in iTunes Store for John Scanlon.)

First: Exodus 24:3-8
Psalm: Psalm 115
Second: Hebrews 9:11-15
Gospel: Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

If you prefer to listen to the homily please click here.

The Most Holy Body & Blood of the Lord (Corpus Christi) Year B

Bread is one of our most basic foods. You take some grain seeds, like wheat, you grind them up so that the goodness that is food for the next wheat plant becomes a powder called flour. You add some water, salt, fat, sugar and if you have time yeast. Mix it up and bake the resulting dough. It smells wonderful, tastes wonderful and is one of the main reasons I am a little rounder than I should be.

Wine, is a party drink, a drink of weddings and celebrations. It's the juice of grapes, left to ferment. Most grapes have enough yeast naturally on their skins so they naturally ferment. Just crush the grapes and leave the juice for a few days, strain it and seal it in air tight bottles or wine skins and over time it develops into a wonderful intoxicating drink. Yes, another reason for my roundness.

So why do we place such importance on simple bread and wine?

The importance is not the bread and wine we offer at Mass, but what they become. After we make present on this Alter the last supper, Christ's passion and the heavenly banquet that awaits us all, we no longer have our simple bread and wine, but our Lord and God present, right here with us, present in the form of bread and wine.

The Second Vatican Council refereed to the Eucharist, the part of the Mass where we get to take our Lord into ourselves, as the source and summit of the Christian life. The highest point of our worship, where we get to gaze in silent awe at the body of our Lord. The source of our Christian strength, the energy needed to fuel our Christian lives.

Today in these very small passages from the old and new testaments we heard about the history of the Eucharist. It's a wonderfully rich story, that is woven into four thousand years of holy writing.

Please try and picture the scene, two and a half million people have just walked into a desert and are camped at the base of a mountain. At the top of the mountain their leader is talking to God. You can only tell this from the smoke, cloud, lightning and thunder covering the mountain top and the trembling ground beneath your feet. Your leader, a man named Moses, walks down and tells you how God wants you to live. How God wants to be part of your life and the promise he is making to you.

A few years later, you are deep in the desert, it is a special day, the day of atonement, when the high priest, Moses' brother a man called Aaron, will make the sacrifices needed to purify you from the sins you have committed.  A tent stands in the centre of the camp, surrounded by a wall of cloth 150ft long and 75ft wide. Within this tent, or tabernacle as it's called, behind a curtain in the Holy of Holies, is the Arch of the Covenant, the gold box holding the promise God made on that day on the mountain.

Aaron, only on this day may enter the Holy of Holies, he takes blood from sacrificed bulls, and sprinkles the Arch, a washing away, an atonement, for the nations sins. Every year the priests would need to do this, every year the nation, every member of the nation, would turn their back on Gods law. Every year new sacrifices would be needed to make things right with God again.

Years later, when we were ready, God choose to visit us. He sent his own Son, Jesus. He came as a man fully human and as God fully Divine. Jesus spent more than thirty years with us, living with us, teaching us, loving us. Then he did something unique, he replaced the lives and blood of the bulls with his own life, his own blood.

As Aaron sacrificed the lives of the bulls, Jesus sacrificed his own life. As Aaron walked alone into the Holy of Holies, Jesus opened the doors of heaven to us. As Aaron sprinkled blood over a nation to wash away their sins, Jesus washes not our outsides but our insides, fills our souls and hearts with his blood. Unlike Aaron's sacrifice, Jesus' will last. One sacrifice for all time. One gift for everyone.

In a few minutes, you are going to witness a miracle. On this alter we will see made present, the last supper, we will see Christ die on the cross, we will see him open heaven and forgive us our sins through the gift of his precious blood. He will offer us his perfect and divine body and blood, to purify us heart and soul, to empower us to do his work, to fuel of our Christian journey, the highest point in our Christian life.

New Chapter

New Chapter.

At four I heard jubilant hymns of praise,
A joyful celebration before dawn,
Blackbird; robin; thrush welcoming
Morn’s first eloquent beads of sunlight,
The coming of new opportunity; horizons
beckoning; a time now to worship anew,
Grateful for assurance of Dad’s love,
Sure in the knowledge of His path for you,
The call to leave now the haply familiar,
Step forth in faith as new challenges call
Draw you to a deeper love; fellowship,
To experience a joy ne’er known before
As faithful to His word; called
To serve Him and live in pastures new,
Without fear of the unknown
Walking confidently in His great love,
In this new chapter of your life
With nature you joyful; gratefully proclaim
the goodness; great mercy of our Lord!

This is the time of year when so many folk are thinking about moving on - new schools, university or perhaps (hopefully for you) new jobs. I pray that these thoughts will be an encouragement, inspiration and perhaps a comfort to all those who find themselves in that situation.

Patrick R
June 2012.

All Learning

All Learning.

All learning is a gift from God.

Learning without the love of God is dead.

The true purpose of true learning, God’s gift, is to equip us to: -
  • Learn:
  • Live and grow in faith:
  • Give all of ourselves freely; without condition to serve:

And above all else: -
  • Living reveal the love of God to all men:

And in our earthly death: -
  • Praise and worship our Lord; our Redeemer; the one true God.

Not intended to be doctrinally "completely" sound but more of an invitation to debate and to discuss. These thoughts were the words the shared with Dominic, the young ordinand who has been with Father Richard for the last year, yesterday lunchtime and before he returns to theological college in a fortnight's time.

Patrick Rigg
June 2012.

Lord, I am Listening

Lord, I am Listening.

Lord, I am here, listening,
But do I really hear?
Lord, I am waiting,
But am I truly ready?
Lord, I will follow you,
But am I wholly obedient?
Lord, you are my all in all,
Yet is this writ on my heart?
Lord, may my heart be still,
My ears open to hear; receive,
The loving counsel you give,
Your will not mine for my life,
Lord, may I be alert; vigilant,
Watchful for the bridegroom,
Always open to the Holy Spirit,
Obedient in all things; always,
Lord, may I not hesitate; murmur,
Hold back even in smallest way,
Thank you; you gave your all,
May I freely give my all for you,
Lord, thank you for unfailing love,
Love freely given to set me free,
Write that love deep in my heart,
So I know; confess Jesus all in all.

Patrick R
September 2010

Unequal Equality

Unequal Equality.

British justice always proud; true and fair,
Once the envy of the civilised world,
Our laws made to ensure dignity of all,
Preserve freedoms,
The rights of every man and woman,
Their right to live without fear; unshackled
Unafraid to speak; treat all as their peers,
How have you been so cruelly ambushed?
What price your determination to be fair?
How have we created our own albatross?
Today minorities control the majority,
A few so deliberately ignorant bully many,
Ungrateful for opportunity and privilege,
Make it folly to speak for right and truth,
To simply ask that we are equals; respected,
Entitled to speak; to live our lives in peace,
So sadly all dignity is lost,
Where is the pride in this unrivalled power?
We humiliate those we seek to serve,
If we deny them the right to be our equal,
Not our masters simply by rule of law.

Patrick Rigg
April 2012.



This is our England in all her glory,
Glad; wakened from her slumber,
Casting aside winter’s cloak,
As spring sun kisses our princess,
Bids her be glad; revel in new life,
The joy as twin cherry trees blossom,
Branches clamouring heavenwards,
Despite weight of a million blooms,
Each a candle soft blown in breeze,
The vision that delighted Wordsworth,
A vibrant city not built of brick or stone,
Green leaves thrust from dewy lawns,
As if oaken trees no longer welcomed,
Leaving yellow cups to catch the dew,
And refreshed dance in mock solemnity,
So too hidden from mad bustling throng,
A carpet of white and yellow and blue,
As crocus snowdrop; woodland flowers
Welcome approach of gentlest spring,
From their sanctuary in yon shaded dell,
Then should we not look up to praise,
With hymn of joy and hope upon our lips
As we see green leaf upon the bough,
Hear first far distant call of many a bird,
Singing; telling all of their flights of fancy,
Under a clear blue sky; cloudless pure,
A tapestry of hope and expectation,
On which an invisible hand soon paints,
The joyous perfection of new born spring!

Patrick R
March 2012.



Our lives are so complex now,
Many problems gather pace,
Difficulties; decisions demand,
Yet the challenges do inspire,
Empower our inner strengths,
Make us, who we are today,
As in weakness we reach out,
Cry in darkness to our Father,
Hope; trust in God alone,
Receive His many blessings.

Patrick R
April 2012.



You and me; together,
United in simple faith,
Given to God in prayer,
We will know His power,
Celebrate His Holy Name,
Yet God and I united,
My heart attune with His,
In all things Spirit led,
How wondrous it will be,
As His mighty works surpass
Imagination of human hearts,
And all His creation proclaims,
The awesome majesty
The love and grace of our God!

Patrick R
December 2011



A Hymn for Easter day.

Christ my Lord is risen; hallelujah!
Everlasting King; Redeemer of my soul,
Life and liberty; pure and undefiled,
Eternal life for all the free gift He brings,
Blessed is this great resurrection day,
Rejoicing; praise our celebration hymn,
Adoring now the Lamb that was slain,
Triumphal risen from His earthly tomb,
Inspiring hearts for all of our eternity
Only begotten son of God; Redeemer,
Now everlasting life for all he’s won!


Patrick R
March 2012.

Child Chuggers

Child Chuggers.

Every child deserves a chugger,
A sweet good hearted mugger,
A winning smile their only tool,
Trying their best to be so cool,
As our hearts they so surely melt,
Stirring emotions we’ve all felt,
Till gladly we our hearts all follow,
Generously all doubts we swallow,
When pen to paper we now place,
Giving pennies with such good grace!

Patrick R
May 2012.

Before The Day

Before The Day.

Mummy; this is the special secret we share,
You feel me move; know I am a fighter,
I am so determined; my mind’s made up,
I want to see; to live; to share your world,
To make my grand entrance into your arms,
Know your smile; gentleness of your touch,
The golden bond that’s our alone,
To grow strong; true; loved; your little man,
So very wanted; treasured ‘cos I’m yours,
The son who’ll grow to make you proud,
As together we celebrate the life you gave,
So now mummy set aside your fear,
Together we are strong; our love conquers,
There is no mountain we cannot climb,
No battle that hand in hand we cannot win.

Patrick R
April 2012.

Thank You

Thank You.

Father, there are no words,
No words that celebrate,
Begin to praise your majesty,
You are my God; my Lord,
To you everything is possible,
Your power; wisdom is awesome,
I stand amazed in your presence,
You make the impossible happen,
You heal the broken hearted,
Reconcile the irreconcilable,
Bring home the sinner rejoicing,
I worship you in my frailty,
In words I do not comprehend,
Words which your Holy Spirit gives,
To delight your heart with praise,
And celebrate my Lord; my God.

Patrick R
November 2011

First Communion & Corpus Christi

It's going to be a wonderful and busy weekend. I am preaching tonight in Chipping Sodbury, and tomorrow morning at Kingswood and Yate. We also have first communion Masses in St Augustine's and Our Lady of Lourdes.

The focus of this weekend for us all should be the Eucharist. The source and summit of our Christian life.

For the children and parents who are taking their first communion this is the start of something very special as a member of Gods Church. It's also the end of 6 months of lessons and formation. This is no small undertaking and they have been praying and studying hard.

Good luck to everyone this weekend.

CWL - Catholic Women's League AGM

I had a great day last Saturday. I was warmly welcome into the Catholic Women's League as chaplain to the Clifton Branch. It's a real privilege for me to serve them and our Church in this way.

The CWL across the globe has a reputation for kindness, charity and good works. They have a proud history in Clifton, one I am only just beginning to learn and fully appreciate.

My role is to provide support and spiritual guidance to the branch particularly the new President of Clifton Branch Jean Coombs. Where I can I will be attending Branch meetings and maybe even some of the Section meeting if I can get an invite or two. Faith and good works good hand in hand for the CWL so where I can deacon a Mass or provide a service of the word for them, I will.

In the Photo above you can see, I hope, how proud I was to receive a CWL badge and Prayer card from Elizabeth Macnamara, the previous President, at the start of the meeting.

The day was split, first the Branch meeting, then Mass celebrated with Bishop Declan, then Lunch followed by the actual AGM and a very interesting talk by Margaret Richards the National President.

Jean took some good photo's and you can see them below, or Find them here.