Today we are invited to ‘Rejoice in the Lord always…’ The Third Sunday in Advent sounds the bell of devoted joy – undivided in heart we turn to God in the great expectation of the gift of the Child Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem andon our Advent journey we await in hope the fullness of time. In the octave before Christmas we celebrate Covenant Mass tomorrow, Monday 18th December 2017 and we would like to invite you to Mass at the Shrine at 7.30pm followed by our Advent Christmas celebration. You are welcome to bring a donation for our food and clothes bank. We look forward to seeing you at this Mass prepared by the Mount Carmel group and led by the St Edmund’s music group.
by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 09/12/2017
Welcome to our Advent Taste and See Mass tomorrow. We look forward to seeing you and enjoying our Advent Christmas Celebration. Mass starts at 3.30pm and will be followed by a shared festive meal. Please bring some festive food to share and if you would like to wear a Christmas dress or a hat please feel free. We want to share our devout and joyful preparation for the coming of the baby Jesus in the stable of Bethlehem. Please also bring a donation for our food and clothes bank. Bring the whole family and invite a friend to come along. It comes but once a year.
The Fourth Sunday of Advent this year is our Covenant Day. You are invited to our Advent Covenant Mass on Sunday 18th December 2016 at 7.30pm at the Shrine. Let us gather together as family and prepare for the fulfilment of the Covenant Promise. “God is with us” Emmanuel. Our prayer is that our homes offer shelter to the God who is seeking us and our hearts become the manger where Christ may be born again. We look forward to seeing you. This will be the relaunch of the new MTA Magazine so please come along and join in our Advent Spirit. Please bring donations for our Food and Clothes Bank.
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In the days and weeks before Christmas, many people worry about what they are going to give their relations and friends as a gift. They search through catalogues and magazines, they trek wearily through the shops and stores until they find the right present. Most of the time we are looking for things that cost money, some expensive, some cheaper. What would it be like if we could also give each other a gift for Christmas, that you cannot buy with money? Something special, something truly original – something that brings us hope, joy and peace! I hope and pray that this Christmas story can be a little like such an “unbuyable” gift. It is called “The King with the Empty Hands”. “It happened in large city. A few young people had got together and planned to put on a Nativity Play. Very soon lots of people became involved: Someone wrote the script, others practiced eagerly, scenes and backdrops were made and painted, and a few mothers made the costumes. However, the evening before the first performance, something quite unusual and unfortunate happened – they had all forgotten about the parts of the Three Kings. They couldn’t just leave them out altogether. The Kings simply belong to the Nativity Story. The Director of the play had an idea. He would telephone three people from the neighbourhood and ask them if they wouldn’t mind standing in as one of the Three Kings. They should just bring a personal gift with them for the Child in the Manger – a gift, that means something special to them. (more…)
You are invited to the Advent Covenant Mass on Friday, 18th December at 7.30pm, followed by festive refreshments. The Mass has the Theme of “Hope” and will be lead by the Tiberias Schoenstatt Group. This will be the first Covenant Mass at the Shrine in the Jubilee Year of Mercy and we will have the opportunity to walk through one of the five official “Doors of Mercy”, designated by the Diocese of Salford. Father Duncan will be the main celebrant at this Mass. The Nativity scene was put up and decorated yesterday in the Shrine by Patricia and her efficient team of helpers and is looking beautiful as always. Please come along and bring friends and family! We look forward to celebrating with you the Hope that the Christ Child brings again into our world, our homes and our hearts!
You are invited to our Taste and See Mass falls on 3rd Sunday in Advent , 13th December at 3.30pm at the Shrine, St John Fisher’s Kearsley. This is the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The Shrine is one of the five Doors of Mercy in the Diocese of Salford and will be blessed on that day. Pilgrimage to the Shrine during this Holy Year gives each one passing through the Holy Door of Mercy the graces of the Jubilee Year. In a special way we pray for families that they may experience at home the steadfast love of caring compassion which brings healing to lost and wounded dignity and restores the grace of being a child of God. In this Season of Hope we entrust ourselves and all those dear to us into the heart of Mary, the Mother of Mercy and her Son, the Face of the Father’s Mercy. After Mass we will have a family celebration for Advent and Christmas. Please bring your donations for our food bank of winter woolies and food.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it…He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-14)
Together with the shepherds we go to the stable in Bethlehem. There we are able to encounter God himself – God who became a defenceless little baby – a baby in swaddling clothes – in modern terminology, a baby in a nappy. Is this not an incredible miracle? Is this not a wonderful mystery of the creative love of God? The Father sends us his Son, to be born of a Virgin, and they wrapped him in a nappy. The One who is God from God, and light from light eternal, the One who is the focal point of human history – past, present and future – lies before us in a nappy! God in a nappy shows us the true nature of who God is. God is love. His love is full of compassion, full of mercy and wisdom. He loves us so much that the Son of God takes on our human condition and becomes like us. He grows like us, he is in need of love and affection like us, he is vulnerable like us. He will also suffer like us: God in a nappy, and one day God on a cross. God comes as a child to ensure that between him and us there are no barriers, no fears. Who would be afraid of a little child? He wants us to love him with all our hearts and with our own souls. The God of love only wants love. He wants to be hugged and cared for like a little child. God who becomes a child so that we can love him, invites us to come closer. Christmas is a time to allow that deep and personal encounter with the Lord to finally happen in our own lives. We long for intimacy with God. Is there a better moment to take this all-compassionate love seriously? It invites us to a never-ending union with him. Every newborn child awakens love. The Christ Child also awakens the power of love in the human heart. He conquers us completely with his love. This personal encounter with God changes our lives. We are forever changed. If we want to love the Saviour as he wants to be loved, if we want to let him enter our lives with no “buts” or “maybes”, if we want to truly become like him, we will always find him in the arms of his Mother Mary. In the covenant of love with her we may bow our heads in adoration before the miracle of Christmas – God in a nappy! It’s amazing!