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Father’s Love Letter


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 30/09/2013

My child, You may not know me, but I know everything about you (Psalm 139:1). I know when you sit down and when you rise up (Psalm 139:2). I am familiar with your ways (Psalm 139:3). Even the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matt 10:29-31) for you were made in my image (Genesis 1:27). In me you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:28) for you are my offspring (Acts 17:28). I knew you even before you were conceived (Jeremiah 1:4-5). I chose you even before I planned creation (Ephesians 1:11-12). You were not a mistake; all your days are written in my book (Psalm 139:15-16). I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live (Acts 17:26). You were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I knit you together in you mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13) and brought you forth on the day you were born (Psalm 71:6). I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me (John 8:41-44). I am not distant and angry, but I am the complete expression of love (1 John 4:16), and it is my desire to lavish my love on you (1 John 3:1). I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Matthew 7:11) for I am the perfect father (Matthew 5:48). Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand (James 1:17) for I am your provider, and I meet all your needs (Matthew 6:31-33) My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Because I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), my thoughts toward you are as countless as the sand on the seashore (Psalm 139:17-18) and I rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). I will never stop doing good to you (Jeremiah 32:40) for you are my treasured possession (Exodus 19:5). I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul (Jeremiah 32:41). I want to show you great and marvelous things (Jeremiah 33:3). If you seek me with all you heart, you will find me (Deuteronomy 4:29). Delight in me, and I will give you the desires of you heart (Psalm 37:4) for it is I who gave you those desires (Philippians 2:13). I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine (Ephesians 3:20) for I am your greatest encourager (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). I am also the father who comforts you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you (Psalm 34:18). As a Shepard carries a lamb, I have carried you close you my heart (Isaiah 40:11). One day, I will wipe away every tear from your eyes (Revelation 21:3-4), and I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth (Revelation 21:3-4). I am your father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus (John 17:26). He is the exact representation of my being (Hebrews 1:3). He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Romans 8:31) and to tell you that I am not counting your sins (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Jesus died so that you could be reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you (1 John 4:10). I gave up everything I loved so that I might gain your love (Romans 8:31-32). If you receive the gift of my son, Jesus, you receive me (1 John 2:23), and nothing will ever separate you from my love again (Romans 8:38-39). Come home, and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen (Luke 15:7). I have always been your father and will always be your father (Ephesians 3:14-15). My question is, will you be my child (John 1:1-13)? I am waiting for you (Luke 15:11-32). Love, Your Dad, Almighty God

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October Day 2013 Start of Schoenstatt’s Jubilee Year


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 29/09/2013

Centenary FlagWelcome to our annual October Day at the Shrine  on Sunday 13th October 2013 starting at 12.30pm with Holy Mass at 3.30pm. The day is organised by the Taste and See Team. On this day we want to join with out Holy Father Pope Francis and consecrate the world to Mary, the Mother of God. This day marks in England and Wales the beginning of the year of celebration of Schoenstatt’s Centenary (18th October 2014). Here are the details of the Day 12.30pm Tea & Scones and time to catch up. 1.00pm a short time for praise and worship. Our children will then have their own programme. Adults will hear a mediation on the call to be an apostle. 2.00pm Encounter Time in the Shrine and at 2.45 we join Pope Francis in the consecration of the world to Our Lady. We then have a short break and holy Mass will be at 3.30pm followed by a shared meal. 5.30pm we have Farewell in the Shrine. We look forward to seeing you on the day. (To download the poster with programme details click here.) (more…)

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Meeting of the Movements in UK


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 27/09/2013

You are invited to the first gathering of the Ecclesial Movements and Communities taking place in Westminster Central Hall, Westminster, SW1H 9NH, on Saturday, 9th November, 10.30am to 5pm. More than twenty Movements and Communities are already committed to this important event, the first time we have all come together to celebrate our remarkable contributions to the life of the Church.The tickets are £12 and can also purchased by going on to the website www.manystreamsoneriver.org and clicking  ‘How To Book’.  This will take you to the process of ordering and paying for tickets. These will then be sent to you. Alternatively please contact Gerry Markland < gmarkland101@yahoo.co.uk> Tel 01613717661. To download the poster click here (more…)

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Children’s Liturgy Day at the Shrine


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 26/09/2013

“Come to the water – dip your heart in the stream f life”. Welcome to a training day for those who are involved in Children’s Liturgy: A day of refreshment, affirmation and inspiration for anyone involved in children’s faith groups…catechists, liturgists and all those interested. There will be refreshments provided. The day will be on Sunday Oct 20th 2013 at the St John Fisher Schoenstatt Centre .Time 12.30 -4.30.  We invite you to make a donation to help cover the costs.   Contact Liz Markland 07988803169 or  0161 371 7661  e.mail <lizmarkland @yahoo.co.uk If you would like to download the invite poster click here

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A Thousand Marbles


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 23/09/2013

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it. I turned on the radio and listened to a man talking about “a thousand marbles.” I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.  “Let me tell you something, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.” “You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, people live about seventy-five years. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.” “No, stick with me, I’m getting to the important part.” “It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”; he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.” “So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focus more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight. Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.”  This man gave me a lot to think about. I had planned to work go shopping that morning, and then I was going to watch football. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “Lets go, I’m taking you and the children to breakfast.” “What brought this on?” she asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles…. “

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Kentenich Talk – the Last Talk of the Year


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 22/09/2013

The Young JKlast of the Kentenich Talks is next Wednesday 25th September at 7.30pm. The final sign of a Dynamic Catholic is to become an apostle. Bringing the joy of God’s Word to the hearts of those whom we care about and leading them to find the God of their lives and to share in God’s life by fulfilling the will of God in their lives. find out more at this final talk on Wednesday at the Shrine, St John Fisher’s Kearsley. To download the invitation click here.

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An Untitled Story


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 16/09/2013

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the Parish Priest slowly stood up, walked over to the lectern and, before he gave the homily, briefly introduced a guest visitor who was at Mass that evening.  In the introduction, the priest told the congregation that the guest visitor was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the congregation and say a few words. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the lectern and began to speak.  “A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast,” he began, “when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore.  The waves were so high that, even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.” The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the Mass began, looking somewhat interested in the story.  The man continued with his story.  “Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life:  to which boy he would throw the other end of the life line.  He only had seconds to make the decision.  The father knew that his son was a Christian, and he also knew that his son’s friend was not.  The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of the waves.  As the father yelled out, ‘I love you, son!’, he threw out the life line to the son’s friend.  By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night.  His body was never recovered.” By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old man’s mouth.  “The father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus.  Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son’s friend.  How great is the love of God that He could do the same for us.  Our heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son so that we could be saved.  I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take hold of the life line.” With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the Church.  The Parish Priest again walked slowly to the lectern and delivered a brief homily and afterwards celebrated Mass. Within minutes after the Mass, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side.  “That was a nice story,” politely said one of the boys, “but I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son’s life in the hope that the other boy would become a Christian.” “Well, you’ve got a point there,” the old man replied, glancing down at the crucifix held in his hands. Sorrow began to overtake the old man’s smiling face as he once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it?  But I’m here today to tell you that I understand more than most the pain God must have felt to give up His only Son.  For you see, I’m the man who lost  his son to the ocean that day, and my son’s friend that I chose to save is your priest.”

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