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Mosaic First Panel: The Annunciation


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 17/03/2013

Mosaic Panel One AnnuciationAs a ‘political prisoner’ in Dachau, Father Kentenich composed prayers and was the author of many books which were smuggled out from the camp and passed on to the members of the Schoenstatt Family. Among other things he wrote short meditations to help, in particular, the priests who were in the Concentration Camp with him who had no prayer book of their own. The first of these is the Annunciation and Paul Cooper has completed this first panel of the mosaic with this prayer.”Your shrine is our Nazareth, concealed in the night of our times.  Immaculate Virgin, you struggle there in prayer, filled with longing for the dawn of salvation. There Gabriel speaks God’s request and your Fiat illumines the world.” Anticipating the Solemnity of the Annunciation we ask that Christ may be born again in our hearts. Looking forward to the celebration of Easter we ask that Christ born of the Virgin Mary may bring the light of redemption to many. Our Mosaic Prayer Garden slowly will become a place of prayer and peace.

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A Pope who wants to Serve


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 14/03/2013

This is a photo taken of Cardinal Jorge – now Pope Francis I – with the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Pilgrimage. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is already well known for his simplicity: for being a pastor among the people, a cardinal who takes the bus and cooks for himself, for example, and a great defender of the poor. Now as Pope, he has begun with simplicity. “To pray the simplest prayers with the people is the greatest sign of simplicity,” observed his fellow Jesuit, Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, in reference to Pope Francis’ leading the people in the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be during his first appearance on St. Peter’s central balcony. Fr. Lombardi acknowledged his surprise at the election, and declared this is a “moment of joy for the Church.” He went on to speak of Cardinal Bergoglio-Pope Francis’ style of “evangelical testimony” and stressed his humility, evidenced in how he bowed down before the people, asking them to pray for God’s blessing upon him, prior to giving his first apostolic blessing as the Successor of St. Peter. Fr. Lombardi also noted his pastoral style, immediately applied to his new diocese, the Diocese of Rome. The Vatican spokesman said it was an act of courage for the cardinals to “go across the ocean and choose a Pope.” Pope Francis is the first pope from the Americas. In fact, he was immediately acclaimed as a pope of many firsts: the first Jesuit pope, the first pope of the Americas, and also the first to choose the name Francis. Father Thomas Rosica of Canada’s Salt and Light Television, who has been assisting Father Lombardi during the time of the interregnum, spoke of his choosing the name Francis as a sign of humility. He recounted that Cardinal Bergoglio had asked him for prayers prior to the conclave, explaining that he was a little nervous. Fr. Lombardi went on to speak about the Pope’s vocation as a Jesuit. The spokesman referred to their order as one “known for serving.” The role of the Successor of St. Peter is also one of service, he said, reflecting that Cardinal Bergoglio has probably accepted his new mission in that vein, with the simplicity of a servant. “St. ignatius has formed us to have a view of the world, attentive to answer to necessities in the world we live in,” Father Lombardi said, highlighting especially faith and justice as “the greatest gift for our fellow man.” “I see it [the papacy] as a call to service from the part of [Cardinal] Bergoglio, that results from a strong call and not in the search of the power of authority,” Father Lombardi added. “In this sense I am absolutely convinced we have a Pope who wants to serve.” [from Zenit International News]

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Habemus Papam!


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 14/03/2013

Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina is the 267th Successor of St. Peter, 1st South American, 1st Jesuit, and 1st to Take Name Francis in the history of the Church.The bells of St. Peter’s started ringing and the crowds began cheering just moments after 7 p.m. local time, as white smoke from the Sistine Chapel indicated “Habemus Papam.” We have a Pope! Just over an hour later, the 267th Successor of St. Peter has been announced by the senior cardinal deacon: It is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, who had been serving as the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He takes the name Francis. Two weeks ago the Argentinian Schoenstatt Fathers met with Cardinal Bergloglio and celebrated Holy Mass with him. One of our new Candidates for the Schoenstatt Fathers Dennis Risse was also photographed with him.

Here is a translation of the brief greeting Pope Francis gave from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Square following his election as the Successor of St. Peter.

Brothers and sisters, good evening!

You know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as though my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are. I thank you for your welcome. The diocesan community of Rome has a bishop. Thank you! 

Before all else, I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may watch over him …

[Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be]

And now let us begin this journey, [together] as bishop and people. This journey of the Church of Rome, which is to preside over all the Churches in charity. It is a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust between us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the world, so that a great brotherhood may be created. I hope that this journey of the Church, which we begin today and in which my Cardinal Vicar who is present here will assist me, will be fruitful for the Evangelization of this beautiful city. 

And now I would like to give you my blessing. But before I do, I would like to ask you a favor: before the bishop blesses the people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that He bless me…. the prayer of the people for a blessing upon their bishop. Let us take a moment of silence for you to offer your prayer for me.”

[Silence … the Holy Father bows]

[Cardinal N. says … “The Holy Father, Francesco …”]

“Now I will give you my blessing and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.”

[Pope’s blessing]

Brothers and Sisters,

I leave you now. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me. And we’ll see one another again soon. Tomorrow I want to go and pray to Our Lady, asking her to watch over Rome. Good night and have a good rest.

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Covenant Mass in Lent


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 07/03/2013

Welcome to our Covenant Mass during Lent, Monday, March 18th at 7.30pm at the Shrine:  We want to strengthen our Faith by prioritising time in prayer. St Gertrud the Great says:

The prayer that a person prays to the best of his ability has great power. It makes a bitter heart sweet, a sad heart glad, a poor heart rich, a foolish heart wise, a timid heart bold, a weak heart heart strong; it makes a blind heart see and a cold heart burn. It draws the great God into a little heart; it carries the hungry soul upward to God, the living source, and brings two lovers together: God and the soul.  (Youcat Youth Prayer  Book) (To download the poster click here)

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Tree Planting at the Shrine


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 07/03/2013

We have been awarded 105 trees by the Woodland Trust so we propose having a tree planting day on the 16th March and also a fund raising event whereby people can sponsor their planting and have its location recorded against their name.The trees will be small hedgerow trees to be sparsely planted along the boundary fence so they will not unduly restrict the view. Trees should include cherry, rowan, silver birch blackthorn and hazel. Donations will cover cost of rabbit and mower protection for the trees.   Suggested donation £1-£3 per participant. Meet after noon mass on the 16th prepared to dig small holes. Thanks Denis Shevlan.

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Taste and See Family Mass at the Shrine in Lent


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 06/03/2013

What: Taste and See Family Mass

When: Sunday 10th March 2013

Where: at the Shrine, St John Fisher’s Kearsley

Time: Holy Mass at 3.30pm followed by a shared meal. We finish at 5.30pm

Welcome to our Taste and See Mass in March. All are welcome. So much has happened in the Church and the world since we last met. It might be the case that the Cardinals gather in Conclave to decide on the new Pope at the time we celebrate our Holy Mass as a family. The Church is greatly challenged at this time and because of recent events many are deeply disappointed in the leadership of the Church. We are challenged in this Year of Faith to pray for the Church and for those who are called to be our shepherds. We find deep security in our prayer to ask God to show us his will and give us the courage to follow it. Also for our ‘Faith in Action” project you are invited to bring non-perishable goods for those in need. (To download the poster please click here)

 

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Explaining God…


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 04/03/2013

One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn’t make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn’t have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers. God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like priests and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off. God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting his time by going over your mum and dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have. Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there are any in Bolton. At least there aren’t any who come to our church. Jesus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn’t want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his Father, and he told his father that they didn’t know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said OK. His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn’t have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important. You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time. You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God! If you don’t believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like on school trips, but God can. It is good to know He’s around you when you’re scared, in the dark or when you can’t swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids. But… you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases. And…that’s why I believe in God.

[Written by an 8-year-old called Danny Dutton. He wrote it for a homework assignment, to 'Explain God.' - thanks to Terry Crowther]


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