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It’s Time to Start Praying!


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 29/08/2014

It’s Time to Start Praying for Autumn Synod! As the summer winds down and we move into autumn, we need to turn our prayers and reflection to the meeting of the world’s bishops that Pope Francis has called for October 5-19 in Rome. The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will discuss the theme of “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization.” Strengthening families and restoring the family as the natural center of society is a top priority of our Holy Father. Family is the essential foundation for each of our lives. Family is where we learn our name and where our personalities and values are formed. It is where we learn how to pray and how to share our thoughts and emotions. It is where we learn how to give love and receive love and how to make sacrifices and live with our differences. Family is where the young and the old know their dignity and worth and where they share their lives and take care of each other, especially in times of weakness and vulnerability. The family is also the foundation that every society is made from and the natural bond that holds every society together. And family is the natural form of the Church, in which we discover our identity as children of God and brothers and sisters to one another. Yet we know that families face many challenges today. Many are struggling. Many are burdened by poverty, violence, sickness and other difficulties. Many families are hurting and broken.

As Pope Francis has said, in our times, “the family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis.” There is widespread confusion over the meaning of marriage and family and our obligations to children in our society. Our society’s growing secularism and emphasis on individualism and a consumer lifestyle are making it harder for people to make commitments and form lasting relationships. More and more in our culture, family is not valued or is taken for granted. So this Synod is important. We need to pray for the bishops and our Holy Father as they prepare to consider the great question of the family in our time. We need to think not only about the challenges we face. Those challenges are real and we must confront them. But the key to true renewal is for us to rediscover the natural beauty and joyful simplicity of marriage and family in God’s plan for our lives and our society. (more…)

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Dream of Heaven


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 25/08/2014

I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, “This is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received.” I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous  paper sheets and scraps from people all over the  world. Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section. The angel then said to me, “This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them.” I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth. Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. “This is the Acknowledgement Section,” my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed. ”How is it that there is no work going on here?” I asked. “So sad,” the angel sighed. “After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgements.” “How does one acknowledge God’s blessings? “I asked. “Simple,” the angel answered. Just say, “Thank you, Lord.” “What blessings should they acknow-ledge?” I asked. “If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep  you are richer than 75% of this  world. If  you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and  spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8%  of the world’s wealthy. If  you woke up this morning with more health than  illness. You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day. If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the  agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation…  you are ahead of 700 million people in the  world. If  you can attend a church without the fear of  harassment, arrest, torture or death you are  envied by, and more blessed than, three billion  people in the world. If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you’re unique to all  those in doubt and despair…” “Ok,” I said. “What now? How can I start?”

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The “U” in Jesus


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 18/08/2014

Before U were thought of or time had begun, God stuck U in the name of His Son.

And each time U pray, you’ll see it’s true, You can’t spell out JesUs and not include U.

You’re a pretty big part of His wonderful name, For U, He was born; that’s why He came.

And His great love for U is the reason He died.  It even takes U to spell crUcified..

Isn’t it thrilling and splendidly grand, He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?

The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew, And this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His Upward ascension, He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.

“Go into the world and tell them it’s true That I love them all – Just like I love U.”

So many great people need him just like U, Don’t they have a right to know JesUs too?

It all depends now on what U will do, He’d like them to know, But it all starts with U.

Will U pass it on. When Jesus died on the cross he was thinking of you!

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A Gift of Love to Mary


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 14/08/2014

Gary Russell writes to us with an update on our Gift of Love to Mary:

A GIFT OF LOVE TO MARY – Refurbishment of the Shrine –  UPDATE
So far the donations to help with the painting and new carpets for our Shrine have reached £485. Thank you for this tremendous effort. The painting is due to start in the next  few weeks and will cost around £800 and the new carpet will be fitted shortly after. We expect the carpet and fitting to be another £800.
It’s not to late to make a donation
Any amount is welcome no matter how small or large, please just ensure it’s in an envelope marked GIFT TO MARY. Any cheques should be made to Schoenstatt and placed in an envelope marked GIFT TO MARY and handed to any of the priest
Thank you for supporting Our Shrine Your Home

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Grandfather’s Table


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 11/08/2014

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law and four year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table, but the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about grandfather,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.” So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in grandfather’s direction, he sometimes had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four year old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?” Just as sweetly the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and mummy to eat your food from when I grow up.” The four year old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no words were spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days, he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

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Blessing of the Mosaic


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 10/08/2014

You are invited to

Blessing of the Mosaic on Sunday 21 September 2014 Schoenstatt Centre, Kearsley by Rt Rev. Bishop Brain, Bishop of Salford.

With great delight we would like to welcome you to the blessing of the Mosaic, the gift of the Schoenstatt Family, in thanksgiving for 100 years of the Covenant of Love.

2.00 pm Gathering with refreshments

3.00 pm Blessing, beginning with prayer in the Shrine

4.00 pm Family Celebration with buffet supper We look forward to seeing you …

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To Whom It May Concern


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 10/08/2014

I heard you were considering a new manager for your life. I would like to apply for the job. I believe I am the most qualified candidate applying. I am the only one that has ever done this job successfully. I was the first manager of life. In fact, I made all lives, so naturally I know how humanity works, and what is best to get people back into proper working condition. Hiring me will be exactly like having the manufacturer as your personal mechanic. If this is your first time considering me, I would just like to point out that my salary has already been paid by my Son, Jesus on the cross of Calvary. This salary covers the time prior to my hiring as well as my present and future employment. If you decide to hire me I will need to receive from you an acknowledg-ment that you erred in not hiring me sooner. I understand this is a strange requirement, but since you violated the manufacturer’s warrantee by placing your being under inferior management, this is a necessary prerequisite to my engagement. Lastly, I will require a carte blanche (a blank check) to reorganizing and managing your life. I intend to make some major changes and revisions. They are not for you to worry about. I need your permission to execute these changes, My way and in My time. I will establish new goals and objectives and restructure your life to meet these requirements. Please keep your hands out of the way. Don’t try to help me and don’t resist me and we will get along fine. I really do need your full commitment and cooperation in this. If you give me those, the process of getting your life back to manufacturer’s intentions can go smoothly, without delays. I assure you: you will be pleased with the outcome. I will require a verbal contract to all these stipulations in the presence of witnesses.

Yours Sincerely, GOD