Saturday, 24 April 2010

Regina Caeli - Reflections on Our Lady . . .

This beautiful book contains extracts from the speeches and writings of Pope Benedict XVI. The texts have been specially chosen by Fr Gerard Skinner, a priest of the Archdiocese of Westminster.

The book looks at the period from 2005 to 2010. The themes of the book consist of the many titles by which Our Blessed Lady is honoured; Mother of God, The Immaculate Conception. It reminds us of special events in her life, for example, the Annunciation and Assumption and contains the words of Marian prayers, the Hail Mary and Regina Caeli.

Pope Benedict encourages each of us to model and imitate Our Blessed Lady's positive response to the call of God.

As we approach the month of May, the month in which the Church gives special honour to Our Lady, this is an ideal gift for your priest or family.

Regina Caeli - Reflections on Our Lady
is available from Family Publications at £11.95

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Mass for your intentions . . .

Here is a photo of the beautiful chapel at Lismullin - the Holy Family Oratory. I offered Mass today for all at St Ann's.

Below is an aerial view of Lismullin. As you can see it is ideally situated for a retreat centre. Surrounded by farmland, it really is possible to 'retreat' from the world for a few days and spend time in prayer and reflection which is so important, not just for clergy but for all of us.

If you've never thought of making a retreat, I do encourage you to seriously consider doing so. It needn't be for a week, just a day or so away from our usual busy every-day lives spent in prayer is so very beneficial to our spiritual growth. There are several retreat centres not too far away and they often offer a day's retreat or 'Quiet Day' for those unable to stay overnight.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

On retreat . . .

Hello everyone! I just wanted to let you see my location. I arrived at The Lismullin Centre yesterday afternoon to begin my retreat.

Our retreat director is Fr Tom McGovern, a priest of the Opus Dei Prelature.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Gone fishing . . .

I was struck by today's Gospel . . .

Leaving Jerusalem for Galilee as Jesus had told them, they arrive near or at the same place where He had found them and invited them to follow Him. They had returned to their work . . . they had gone fishing, 'but that night they caught nothing.'

In the morning Jesus stood on the shore, the disciples did not know it was Jesus . . . they still didn't recognise Him. Then He speaks, 'Friends, have you caught anything?' They reply, ' No' and at His instruction they cast their net and haul in a huge catch of fish.

During the night, on their own, they laboured in vain; in the light when it was morning and at the word of God their nets were completely filled.

It is exactly the same for ourselves; in the absence of Christ there is emptiness. Through His word and in His light we bear fruit in abundance.

A great disappointment for any of us is when we cannot hear or see Christ because we are in the dark in our sins.

When we regularly receive the Sacrament of Confession we will always be in the light of Christ and bear much fruit.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Regina Coeli . . .

From Easter until the resumption of Ordinary Time we pray the Regina Coeli in place of the Angelus. Like the Angelus, this prayer is said in the morning, at midday and in the evening.

Here is a simple, prayerful rendition of this beautiful prayer.

Queen of Heaven, Rejoice!

Queen of heaven, rejoice! Alleluia!
For the Son thou was privileged to bear, Alleluia!
Is risen as He said. Alleluia!
Pray for us to God. Alleluia!
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia!
For the Lord is truly risen. Alleluia.

Let us pray:

O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, his Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life: Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Urbi et Orbi . . .

For those of you who missed it . . .

Surrexit Christus, alleluia!

Here are some photos from last night's Easter Vigil.

The liturgy of the Easter Vigil is always very special but it takes on another dimension when we are blessed to have Baptisms and Receptions in the parish. Last night we welcomed Thomas and Jordan who were baptised and made their First Holy Communion.

Congratulations too to Jenny and Ted and who were received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church after making their public Profession of Faith and receiving the sacrament of Confirmation.

I was delighted to see that we had record crowds on all three days of the Triduum despite all the 'goings on' in the media recently.

Naturally, we finished our celebrations in the parish hall with a glass of wine and an opportunity to chat to the newest members of our parish family.

So much work goes on 'behind the scenes' to make the Easter Triduum run as smoothly as it always does. I would like to thank everyone involved and finally to wish you all a joyful Easter and may the blessings of the Risen Lord be with you and your families and remain with you.

'The Lord has indeed risen, alleluia!'

Saturday, 3 April 2010

A Saint Joseph Prayer Book . . .

Family Publications have sent me 'A Saint Joseph Prayer Book' to review.

This beautifully illustrated prayer book has been produced to honour St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church and foster-father of Jesus.

The book contains sacred texts together with prayers old and new which increase our devotion and nourish our spiritual lives. There are also extracts from St Francis de Sales, St Therese of Lisieux and others; there are quotes from Pope John XXIII and Pope Benedict XVI.

I recommend this book for private devotion or in family or school settings.
You may buy this prayer book from Family Publications. Price £4.50