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A Tandem Ride With God


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 31/01/2012

I used to think of God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like a distant ruler. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn’t really know Him. But later on, when I met Jesus, it seemed as though life was rather like being on a bicycle, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Jesus was in the back helping me pedal. I didn’t know just when it was He suggested we change, but life has not been the same since I took the back-seat to Jesus, my Lord. He makes life exciting. When I had control, I thought I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places and at break-through speeds; it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it often looked like madness, He said, “Pedal!” I was worried and anxious and asked, “Where are you taking me?” He laughed and didn’t answer and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into adventure. And when I’d say, “I’m scared”, He’d lean back and touch my hand. He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me their gifts to take on my journey, our journey, my Lord’s and mine. And we were off again. He said, “Give the gifts away; they’re extra baggage, too much weight.” So I did, to the people we met, and I found in giving I received, and still our burden was light. I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it, but He knows all the “bike secrets”, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, jump to clear high rocks, fly to shorten scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ. And when I’m sure I just can’t do any more, He just smiles and says… “Pedal.”

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Footprints in the Sand


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 23/01/2012

This is the true story behind the famous poem. Margaret’s boyfriend Paul proposed. While happy, she was hesitant. She and her boyfriend seemed so different. They decided to take a little walk along the beach to discuss marriage and its importance. When they reached the far end of the beach and were about to begin their return journey, Margaret glanced down and noticed that their footprints had washed out to the sea. Turning to Paul she said, ” Well, if our married life is to be like this, we don’t stand much of a chance.” Paul replied, “When things are tough for me, you will help me – and when things are tough for you, I’ll help you.” They continued walking, until Margaret glanced down again and saw that only one set of footprints had washed out to sea. Again, Margaret suggested that their life together didn’t appear to have much of a future. This time Paul responded by gently lifting her up in his arms and carrying her along the beach. Finally, he set her down and said, “Margaret, I want to impress upon you that when life is so bad that we can’t seem to help each other, God will carry us.” Then, pointing to the single set of footprints the two of them had just created, Paul added, “If you just looked at the set of tracks we just made, you couldn’t tell that I carried you – but I did.” Margaret found his words and the thoughts behind them very beautiful. that night she couldn’t sleep, so she got up and wrote these words; (more…)

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The Prayers of a Mum


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 16/01/2012

Sometimes I sit and look back on my life, I remember the pain and remember the strife, I didn’t know what I was looking for, until I heard Jesus knock at my door. He asked to come in, but I kept saying no, I closed the door to my heart and he said “I’ll never go, I’ll keep on knocking until you ask me in.” But I chose to stay in my life of sin. I thought that I had the game of life already won! I had money in my pockets and carried a gun. The life of a gangster is what I had chose, Selling drugs to buy new clothes, driving new cars and going to shows. This is what I thought life was about, never had a worry, never a doubt, but mum kept on saying that I was missing the truth. She said “I always pray for you and the youth, material things in the world are not all bad, but without God in your life, your heart will remain sad!” I listened really close and I knew deep inside she was right, my happiness was a front, cause I felt lonely and sad at night. My mum said, “God can take  all your pain away,” but I again chose an alternative way. Alcohol and drugs were my choice this time, all my pain and thoughts were gone for good, out of my mind, but then again, that was just for a season, the day came when I really had nothing, no money, no cars, no home, and for what reason? The drugs and the alcohol took over my life and when I didn’t have them, again, came pain and strife. All this time my mother did pray, and life got harder for me  each and every day! I was tired of life at that moment in time, I had nothing except, pain in my heart  and a very lost mind. The time had come when I wanted to die, but all I could do was just sit there and cry. All I remember was what my mum kept on saying that, Jesus loved me, and she’ll continue praying. I looked at the door to my heart, and started debating, could Jesus still be there, could he really be waiting. I started to cry and fell to my knees, I shouted out loud, “God! Help me please!” I opened the door and Jesus was still standing there, with fire in his eyes and a bright blinding glow to his hair. Then he spoke one more time and said to me again, “I love you my son, will you please let me in?” I asked him into my heart that day, and at that moment, he took all the pain in my life away. I fell at his feet and started to cry.  ”Thank you Lord,” I gave him my gun and he gave me a sword, He said, “These are the words I have spoken to you, go forward in life and may your life be a new!” From that day forward I sang a new song. “Thank you my Lord for the Prayers of a Mum!”

 [A true life Testimony]

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The Special Tablecloth


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 09/01/2012

This makes you understand that things happen for a reason. The newly-ordained pries arrived in early October. When he saw his new church, it was very run down and needed a lot of work. He set a goal to have everything done in time to have the first Mass on Christmas Eve.  On December 19th, a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit. He cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve Mass, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he went in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory coloured, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colours and a Cross embroidered right in the centre. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus… She missed it. The priest invited her to wait in church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the priest while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The priest could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area. Then he noticed the woman walking down the centre aisle. Her face was like a sheet. (more…)

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It’s Only Fifty Pence


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 04/01/2012

Several years ago a priest moved to Bolton to a new Parish. Some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the bus from his home to the city area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him fifty pence too much in change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, you better give the fifty pence back. It would be wrong to keep it. Then he thought, “Oh, forget it, it’s only fifty pence after all. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company already gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from God and keep quiet.” When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the fifty pence piece to the driver and said, “Here, you gave me too much change.” The driver with a smile, replied, “Aren’t you the new Parish Priest that arrived recently? I have been thinking lately about going to Mass at your Church. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change.” When the priest stepped off the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest lamp pole, and held on tightly, and said to himself, “O God, I almost sold your Son for fifty pence!”

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Taste & See Family Mass January 2012


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 02/01/2012


Welcome to the first  Taste and See Mass of the New Year which falls on the Solemnity of the Epiphany. We have Mass at 3.30 as usual followed by a shared meal and then input. This year is the “Year of the Shrine” and we will look at the meaning of the Shrine for us and the possibility of having our own Shrine for the family at home. Look forward to seeing you. To download the poster Click here.