newsletter st stephen - st bridget covering the districts of: winwick, longford,orford, houghton green,cinnamon brow, fearnhead,poulton, risley and birchwood. parish priest: fr john mcloughlin 101, sandy lane, orford, warrington wa2 9hs tel 632849 www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org archdiocese of liverpool liverpool roman catholic archdiocesan trust: registered charity no. 232709 seventh sunday in ordinary time (a) sunday 23 february 2020 saturday 22 february st bridget’s 5.00 pm confessions 5.30pm mass: people of the parish sunday 23 february st stephen’s st bridget’s 9.45am mass: jean holden 11.15am mass: margaret bailey monday 24 february tuesday 25 february wednesday 19 february thursday 20 february friday 21 february saturday 22 february st bridget’s 10am mass: ben & martin foley st stephen’s st stephen’s st bridget’s schools st stephen’s st bridget’s st stephen’s 9.00am mass: terry sargeant & mona mannion ash wednesday 9.00am mass: people of the parish 10.00am mass: lawrence kinny 11.15am st bridget school assembly and ashes 2.15pm st stephen school assembly and ashes 9.00am eucharistic service 5.20pm stations of the cross 6.00pm eucharistic service 9:20am stations of the cross led by the church carers 9.30am no confessions today 10.00am eucharistic service first sunday of lent (a) saturday 22 february sunday 23 february st bridget’s st stephen’s st bridget’s 5.00 pm confessions 5.30pm mass: peter leatham 9.45am mass: val lomas 11.15am mass: margaret owens unwanted gifts & afternoon tea st bridget’s : saturday 29 february 2pm all welcome! vianey mission for priests one hour holy hour every second wednesday of the month 7pm –8pm st stephen’s church synod 2020: local meetings details of the last of the four synod 2020 meetings for our deanery is below theme: building community, nuturing belonging date & time: tuesday 3 march: 1pm and repeated at 7pm venue: st joseph’s church, meeting lane, wa5 2bb sunday gift aid envelopes tax year 2020-2021 if you pay tax and would like to help your parish then please sign onto our gift aid scheme. you can help the church claim a further 25p for every pound donated and it costs you no more than your chosen donation please call us on 01925 632 849 thank you. bidding prayers reader/. we pray to the lord all/. r/. ...lord make us holy, as you are holy.
from fr john’s desk… continue the third theme of the forthcoming synod 2020. below is the second part of pope benedict’s address which focuses on praying the words ‘abba, father.’ given on wednesday, 23 may 2012: “...perhaps people today fail to perceive the beauty, greatness and profound consolation contained in the word “father” with which we can turn to god in prayer because today the father figure is often not sufficiently present, and all too often is not sufficiently positive in daily life. the father’s absence, the problem of a father who is not present in a child’s life, is a serious problem of our time. it therefore becomes difficult to understand what it means to say that god is really our father. from jesus himself, from his relationship with god as ‘son’, we can learn what “father” really means and what is the true nature of the father who is in heaven. critics of religion have said that speaking of the “father”, of god, is a projection of our ancestors in heaven. but the opposite is true: in the gospel christ shows us who is the father and because he is a ‘true father’ we can understand true fatherhood and even learn true fatherhood. let us think of jesus’ words in the sermon on the mount where he says: “but i say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven” (mt 5:44-45). it is the very love of jesus, the only-begotten son — who goes even to the point of giving himself on the cross — that reveals to us the true nature of the father: he is love and in our prayers as children we too enter this circuit of love, the love of god that purifies our desires, our attitudes marked by closure, self-sufficiency, and the typical selfishness of the former man. we could therefore say that god in being father has two dimensions. first of all, god is our father because he is our creator. each one of us, each man and each woman, is a miracle of god, is wanted by him and is personally known by him. when it says in the book of genesis that the human being is created in the image of god (cf. 1:27), it tries to express this precise reality: god is our father, for him we are not anonymous, impersonal beings but have a name. and a phrase in the psalms always moves me when i pray. “your hands have made and fashioned me,” says the psalmist (ps 119:73). in this beautiful image each one of us can express his personal relationship with god. “your hands have fashioned me. you thought of me and created and wanted me”. nonetheless this is still not enough. the spirit of christ opens us to a second dimension of god’s fatherhood, beyond creation, since jesus is the “son” in the full sense of “one in being with the father”, as we profess in the creed. becoming a human being like us, with his incarnation, death and resurrection, jesus in his turn accepts us in his humanity and even in his being son, so that we too may enter into his specific belonging to god. of course, our being children of god does not have the fullness of jesus. we must increasingly become so throughout the journey of our christian existence, developing in the following of christ and in communion with him so as to enter ever more intimately into the relationship of love with god the father which sustains our life. it is this fundamental reality that is disclosed to us when we open ourselves to the holy spirit and he makes us turn to god saying “abba!”, father. we have truly preceded creation, entering into adoption with jesus; united, we are really in god and are his children in a new way, in a new dimension. “you can’t expect a person to see eye-to-eye with you when you are looking down on them.” anon prayers for the sick lord may the sick know your healing and comfort them with patience and strength. please remember in your prayers: lee wall, maria mahon, joan kelly amelia mcquilan, baby betty joan, pat charlton, theresa dickenson, gary, clare, jonah canavan, ellie higgins, james fitzpatrick, nicola gray, amy gorman, kate robinson, ming cheong au, mark bennett, anne bland, rose corry. online fundraising: want your parish to receive charitable donations from the shops you use? log on: https:// www.easyfundraising.org.uk “parish development fund st stephens” register! choose your shop! you can raise even more for your parish when you use: #easyfundraising to book your holidays, breaks and getaways! raise increased donations and get up to 20% off your trip when you book before 23rd february! this is an easy and free way to raise big donations from your chosen shops! current fundraising total is £344.30 -thank you! saint oliver’s tote 2020 £98 c/f proceeds to nest of hope bonus ball february 2020 £25 each wednesday 19th jane withers st bridget’s margaret pidgeon st stephen’s 10