UNIVERSAL PRAYER – 25th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

We turn to the Father of all good gifts, who is close to all who call on Him from their hearts.
For Pope Francis, that, empowered by God’s Spirit of Wisdom, his vision for the renewal of the whole created world will be an inspiration to all peoples: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
For the leaders of the developed nations, that they may share their knowledge, research ad resources with the poorer nations to suppress and overcome the coronavirus all over the world: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
For those subjected to renewed restrictions of lockdown, that they may show their love for, and generosity to their neighbours by doing all they can to prevent any further spread of the virus: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
For all who provide us with God’s gift of food – farmers and fishermen, here and overseas, that they receive a just reward for their labour and may we, in our turn, do all we can to preserve the resources of our planet: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
For our young people beginning college courses and especially those leaving home for the first time,  that, despite the unusual circumstances, they may enjoy the new opportunities offered to them and the possibilities of making new friendships: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
For every member of our parish community, that, recognizing the boundless generosity of God, we may all strive to imitate Him and share all that we have been given: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us ask the help and the guidance of Mary, our Queen and Mother: Hail Mary . . .
Let us pray in our hearts for all those we know to be in need of God’s healing love this day.
Father, whose ways and thoughts are as high as the heavens above our ways and thoughts, please hear our prayers and answer them in the way that is best. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

WEDNESDAY PRAYER

16th September, 2020

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Stigmata of Saint Francis)

Psalm 39
I waited, I waited for the Lord and he stooped down to me, he heard my cry.
He drew me from the deadly pit, from the miry clay.
He set my feet upon a rock and made my footsteps firm.
He put a new song into my mouth, praise of our God.
Many shall see and fear and shall trust in the Lord.
Happy the one who has placed his trust in the Lord
and has not gone over to the rebels who follow false gods.
O let there be rejoicing and gladness for all who seek you!

LITANY OF PRAISE:
Our response to our prayers of praise and thanks is:
Lord of my life, let me live in your presence!

SCRIPTURE READING:  Galatians:6:14-17
As for me, the only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. It does not matter if a person is circumcised or not; what matters is for him to become an altogether new creature. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God.
The word of the Lord.

REFLECTION:

It was in 1224, two years before his death, that Francis went with his companions to La Verna, a mountain retreat. Round about the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, September 14th, he had a vision in which he saw a man like a seraph – he had six wings and was standing above him with his hands outstretched and his feet joined together and was fixed to a cross. Francis was amazed and wondered what this vision might mean. He was filled with joy at the way the seraph was looking at him but the sight of his cruel suffering terrified him – joy and grief alternated in him – and as the strangeness of the vision continued to haunt him, the marks of the nails began to appear on his hands and feet, just like those he had seen on the crucified figure above him.
Francis had always sung the praises of the Almighty God throughout his life, but, in fact, when he arrived at la Verna, the song that had been flowing seemed to have died out. He was facing a terrible crisis. The movement he had founded was becoming institutionalized and was losing its evangelical intensity and some of his brothers questioned whether such a lifestyle was totally viable.
All this had repercussions for Francis’s own faith. He had begun to question the authenticity of everything that he had experienced so deeply. He doubted the divine origin of the plan he had for his life. These questions and doubts resounded amid an oppressive silence on God’s part. God no longer seemed to speak to him, despite his persistence in seeking God. Francis felt abandoned by God. He withdrew from his brothers. He did not want them to see him, since his countenance lacked its customary serenity. Thus God’s gift to Francis of a new song did not come during a time of personal peace and consolation. Rather God gave him the song at a time when – as the psalmist says – ‘foundations were being destroyed’ and everything seemed uncertain.
Through the Stigmata, God gave Francis a new depth of communion with him and conformed him to His death in a way that Francis had never experienced before. When Francis came down from the mountain, he looked at the world from the Lord’s Cross. He came down singing the new song that the Lord had put on his lips. Now Francis knew that he was not called to resolve everyone’s problems. Rather, he was to be a sign to everyone by freely giving himself to others in faithfulness, power, patience, diligence, mercy and joy!

INTERCESSIONS:  Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

CLOSING PRAYER:  (Hermann Shalluck OFM)

May the Lord bless us. May he fill our feet with dancing and our arms with strength. May he fill our hearts with tenderness and our eyes with laughter. May he fill our ears with music, our mouth with jubilation and our hearts with joy. May he give us all ever anew the strength to give hope a new face. May the Lord bless us. Amen.

UNIVERSAL PRAYER – 22nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Let us turn to the Father, whose love is better than life and from whom all good things come.
Let us pray for the Church all over the world; under the wise leadership of Pope Francis, may she be a beacon of hope to all peoples, proclaiming the truth and showing the path of life to which God calls each one of us.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us pray for world governments; in all their deliberations and decision-making, may they give priority to the welfare of their people, ensuring a just distribution of resources and opportunities, no matter what their creed, their colour or their race.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us pray for teachers, parents and children as they prepare for the new school year; in this time of uncertainty and fear, may rules be clearly laid down and adhered to, so that the children may, once again, enjoy their life in school and grow in confidence and knowledge.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us pray for the victims of the recent natural disasters throughout the world – hurricanes, floods and fires; may help be given to restore their homes and livelihoods and to rebuild their communities and neighbourhoods.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us pray for our parish community, especially the sick and those still self-isolating; may we all accept the crosses we have to bear in this life with generous hearts and may the Lord lighten our load and bless us with patience and peace.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us ask the help of Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted, as we pray: Hail Mary . . .
In silence, let us make our own petitions to the Father of all mercies.
Father, listen to our prayers and grant us the wisdom to discover Your will for us and may we strive each day to carry it out. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

WEDNESDAY PRAYER -26th August, 2020

PSALM 148

Alleluia! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights. Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens and the waters above the heavens.
All earth’s kings and peoples, earth’s princes and rulers;
young men and maidens, old men together with children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord for he alone is exalted.
The splendour of his name reaches beyond heaven and earth.
He exults the strength of his people. He is the praise of all his saints,
of the sons of Israel, of the people to whom he comes close. Alleluia!

LITANY OF PRAISE:
The response to our prayers of praise and thanks is:

We praise the splendour of your name!

SCRIPTURE READING:  Luke 12:22-32
Jesus said to his disciples: I am telling you now not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Think of the ravens. They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouses and no barns; yet God feeds them. And how much more you are worth than the birds! Can any of you, however much you worry, add a single cubit to your span of life?  If a very small thing is beyond your powers, why worry about the rest? Think how the flowers grow; they never have to spin or weave; yet, I assure you, not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of them. Now if that is how God clothes a flower which is growing wild today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will he look after you, who have so little faith! But you must not set your hearts on things to eat and things to drink; nor must you worry. It is the gentiles of this world who set their hearts on all these things. Your Father well knows you need them. No, set your hearts on his kingdom, and these other things will be given you as well. There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom.  The Gospel of the Lord.

REFLECTION:  (Fr.John Dalrymple)

Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom, and all else will be given unto you.” He does not ask us to cultivate an impassive indifference in life. He knows we are human beings as he was, and therefore needing to be passionately concerned and anxious about things. To be concerned, anxious and passionate is to be human. It is not something to be ashamed of, but something to rejoice in. To be without desires, a passionless pudding, is inhuman. Jesus was human, so he does not ask his followers to deny their desires. What he does is to re-direct those desires. Jesus directs our anxieties towards the true object of human aspirations; the only one which will fulfil them. This he called the Father’s Will, or the Kingdom of God.
Jesus’ gospel says: Strive fully after that; be thoroughly anxious about that; exercise all your human endeavour towards that. When you do so, you will find that you have little anxiety left for the things most people are anxious about in our consumer-oriented world. You will become less bothered about material comfort, spiritual gifts, social acceptance. Your strivings in that direction will diminish and fade. You will discover a pure beauty in Christ’s Kingdom which at first was not visible to you. Then you will discover that same beauty in the world, a beauty which you can fully enjoy because you are not now striving anxiously to possess it. It is there simply to enjoy for its own sake, and to give glory to God.
No wonder Jesus called his message Good News. It is good news to be told how to live in this beautiful world and love it properly.

INTERCESSIONS:   Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

CLOSING PRAYER:
O Lord, we know that we very often worry
about the things that may never happen.
Help us to live one day at a time,
and to live it for YOU, for your name’s sake.
Amen.

UNIVERSAL PRAYER – 21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

With deep gratitude for His faithfulness and His love for all His children, let us ask the Father to increase his gifts of faith and hope, that we might all draw closer to Him.
For Pope Francis, successor of Peter, that God will continue to give him the strength and the wisdom to be our rock of faith in the Church: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

For world leaders, that they will act as peacemakers, not aggressors, and will strive to achieve harmony and trust within and between nations: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

For our young people facing an uncertain future because of the examination fiasco, that the injustices revealed will be rectified and schools and colleges be given the help they need to restore the confidence and the prospects of their students: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

For the migrants risking their lives in their efforts to find a safe haven, that they will be treated with respect and that governments will work together to promote peace and prosperity in their homelands, thus enabling them to return home with hope in their hearts: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

For those still self-isolating because of the coronavirus, that the Lord Himself will be their companion and their hope in times of loneliness and anxiety: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

For every member of our parish community, that, blessed by God with the gift of faith, we may do all we can to nurture it through prayer and practice and be moved to thank God for it with endless praise: we pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

Let us turn to Mary, our model of faith, and ask her to intercede for us with the Father:  Hail Mary . . .

Let us make our own petitions for those who have asked for our prayers and for those who have no-one to pray for them.

Father of all, listen to our prayers for all your children and help us to be true servants of You by the service we give to our brothers and sisters. We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

NEWSLETTER 21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME-23/08/2020

It’s wonderful to see so many parishioners coming back to Mass in our safe and beautiful Church! (if you haven’t already done so why not give it a try)    The Saturday evening Mass is a typical drive in Mass and does not required much work stewarding but, the Sunday and Wednesday Masses at 9.30 am require stewarding. The stewards are always on hand to guide us in Church to ensure the best of hygiene practice and safety of everyone. They also clean the church after every Mass and the cleaners do an excellent job fortnightly.
We are appealing to anyone who can assist and become one of our excellent team of volunteer Stewards to come forward. As you can imagine, those that are currently helping need to have a break sometime, so a few more willing hands would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know if you can help. Contact:  patriddell31@aol.com  or phone 01244 675688

FACE COVERING /MASKS                                                                                                                                                                            The wearing of face masks is now obligatory and we will be asking for everyone to wear a face covering/mask in Church to comply with the Government guidelines. Please bring your own with you – we do have a small supply of single use masks but, as you can appreciate, they are very expensive, so we would prefer everyone to come prepared. 

WEEKLY  MASS
Saturday 22nd Aug       6.00 pm
Sunday   23rd Aug        9.30 am
Wednesday 26th Aug   9.30 am

MASS INTENTIONS FOR THE WEEK
Sunday: Private Intention
Monday: Sue Casey
Tuesday: Paul and Joanne Pelington
Wednesday: Michael O’Donnel
Thursday: Arnold Timmins
Friday: Stephen Chukwudi
Saturday: Peter Charles Byrne
If you wish for a Mass to be offered contact Fr. Emeka or the parish office

SUNDAY GOSPEL REFLECTION

THE CHURCH’S KEYS ARE IN PETER’S HANDS ( Matt 16:13-20)                                                                                                
I get so used to your Church. I take so many of your gifts for granted. Help me to live less superficially. Enlighten my mind. I want to appreciate the teaching and guidance you offer me through the pope and the bishops, through your saints, and through the rich doctrine of the Church. Lord,  I want to be able to defend the truths of your doctrine, to be able to explain them.
You are the one Lord, the one Saviour. And so many people just don’t know you! So many lies, so much misinformation and misunderstanding deceive them. Instruct me, teach me –  help me do my homework, so that I can bear the torch of your transforming truth with elegance, respect, and gusto…Fr. John Bartunek, LC

CONFESSION
Saturdays 11.00 am – 11.40 am, or call the parish to book at any time.

BAPTISM
If you want to have your child baptised please contact Fr. Emeka or call the parish office to book. Those booked before the lockdown  kindly get in touch with the parish office. Note that there will not be more than 30 in attendance.

ST CLARE’S SVP CONFERENCE  
The Union of opposites was the spiritual reading at this week’s conference “Zoom” meeting. Our present life is one of lots of opposites. We have the need to be close to those we love and those we wish to help but need to keep our distance (Social Distance indeed!) and so we may seem reserved and stand offish. If we do get close then we risk breaching the guidelines placed for our and others safety. 
I have visited a couple of beneficiaries because it would have been distressing to stay distant but probably crossed the line (that advised by SVP NO). The final prayer was “Lord may I understand how to bring all the opposites of my life into harmony”. Keep safe and well this week. God bless. Steve

ROSARY CORNER
 “In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal.”        ~Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Father and Doctor of the

EUTHANASIA  AGAINST PATIENTS EXPLICIT 
Doctors in the Netherlands will now be permitted to euthanise vulnerable dementia patients, even if the patient explicitly expresses a wish not to die, a Dutch Supreme Court has ruled. Michael Robinson, SPUC Director of Communications said: “Vulnerable patients who deserve care and compassion are now to be put down like animals. This is a system open to abuse and exploitation.”

The parish of St. Clare’s sometimes collects personal information about parishioners. All personal information is collected, processed and stored in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations. This is retained only as necessary and used by the parish/Diocese for the benefit of the parish and for legitimate reasons such as administrative and religious purposes. You can read our full privacy notice at www.dioceseofshrewsbury.org/about-us/privacy-notice.