St Agnes Parish Bulletin 14th Feb 2021

Parish News…

PARISH NOVENA Thank you to all who assisted in the preparation for this year’s Novena in honour of our Lady of Lourdes, and for all who followed it online and on our Parish Radio, and to all who submitted prayers of petition  and thanksgiving. We continue to ask Our Lady’s intercession and protection to keep everyone safe and healthy during these times.

 

WEBCAM  We would like to acknowledge the donations that have assisted for the costs of installing our new webcam

 

MASS TIMES DURING LENT Daily Parish Mass (Via Webcam & Parish Radio only at present) will continue as normal:- 

MIDWEEK + WEEKEND  MASSES : Monday – Saturday @10am  &   Sunday @ 9.30am

THE SEASON OF LENT The Season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on 17th February. Day of fast and abstinence. Masses  will be streamed at 10am & 7pm. And in place of distribution of Ashes people will be able to make a Lenten pledge during the Mass. For health and safety reasons it is not possible to distribute ashes this year.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS  Each Friday in Lent Fr Thomas will conduct the Stations of the Cross @ 7pm ( Via our Webcam )

 

TROCAIRE Trocaire boxes can now be collected from Church Porch 

THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE WAS RECEIVED FROM TROCAIRE ON 09/02/2021

Dear Fr Mc Glynn

I am writing to gratefully acknowledge the generous donation of £2,451 sent to Trocaire on behalf of the parishioners of St Agnes’ Parish. These funds were raised from sales of Trocaire’s Gifts of Love and donations made at Christmas. This contribution will help to make a life-changing difference for families throughout the developing world, helping them to improve their lives, meet their basic needs and receive their basic human dignity and rights. Please convey our sincere thanks to your parishioners for thsie thoughtful generosity.

With this help, we will continue to create long-term change in countries throughout the developing world, ensuring people have access to food, shelter, and education and that they can support their own families.

Trocaire works with partners in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Somalia, which are burdened by protracted conflicts and in Jordan and Lebanon, countries which are hosting 1.75 million Syrian refugees. We are helping to bring vital aid such as food, water, shelter and medical supplies to people who have lost everything, but continue to be hopeful that peace will come.

This donation will help sustain our life-changing projects overseas, and it is the sum of each and every contribution, no matter what size, that makes a powerful difference. Thank you and everyone in St Agnes’ once again, for your loyal and generous support.

Yours sincerely

Mark Mc Mahon

Fundraising & Outreach Officer

 

TRÓCAIRE CAMPAIGN Every year Trócaire asks for your help during Lent to fund lifesaving programmes around the world. Trócaire are appealing to you to continue your support this Lent. Resources, prayers and videos are available on www.trocaire.org and donations can be made to the Lent campaign in the following ways:

1. Online at www.trocaire.org/donations/now/

2. By phone: 0800 912 1200 (Northern Ireland) The contents of each and every Trócaire donation, no matter how small, come together to make a significant difference. This virus knows no borders, but neither does our compassion.

 

 

LENTEN PIONEER PLEDGE Many people choose to abstain from alcohol during Lent. Why not take this opportunity to perhaps help yourself or someone you know with an alcohol or drug problem, by offering your sacrifice for freedom from addiction? Please consider taking the short- term Lenten Pledge and make a difference to someone’s life, and say the following daily prayer. “I promise in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to abstain from all alcoholic drink during Lent.”

 

Prayer for Ash Wednesday and General Intercessions.

God our Father,

on the day of Baptism

we were claimed for Christ our Saviour

by the sign of his Cross.

On this Ash Wednesday, and in this time of pandemic,

we come before you,

desiring to fulfil our baptismal promises,

by dying to selfishness and by living for Christ.

And so, we pledge ourselves, in this Lenten season,

to pray, to fast, and to give alms.

 

Father,

in your kindness, pour out your blessing upon us,

as we make this threefold pledge:

 

The faithful are invited to repeat the following after the priest; while making the pledge the forehead is signed with the Cross, three times with the thumb.

· I pledge myself to a time of prayer each day –

as I do so, I sign my forehead + with the sign of the Cross.

 

· I pledge myself to fast by denying myself some luxury –

as I do so, I sign my forehead + with the sign of the Cross.

 

· I pledge myself to give alms this Lent,

by supporting Trocaire, or some other charity –

as I do so, I sign my forehead + with the sign of the Cross.

 

By your grace, may we keep this Lenten pledge,

in preparation for the joy of Easter.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

General Intercessions

Brothers and sisters,

as we begin this Lenten season, let us pray, not only for ourselves and our needs, but also for all peoples and nations:

 

· That our Lenten pledge to pray, to fast, and to give alms, may be a source of growth and energy for us as we seek to be of service in our society;

Let us pray to the Lord. R/. Lord, hear our prayer.

 

· That those in authority may seek the ways of justice so that the peoples of the world may be united in peace and harmony;

Let us pray to the Lord. R/. Lord, hear our prayer.

 

· That the cry of this wounded earth, our common home, would touch our hearts, and moves us to greater care and gratitude;

Let us pray to the Lord. R/. Lord, hear our prayer.

 

· That the sick, and those who have grown weak under the burden of years, may know, through our prayers and concern, the presence of Christ;

Let us pray to the Lord. R/. Lord, hear our prayer.

 

· That doctors, nurses, and all who work in our hospitals, and all those who look after the sick and the elderly, may be blessed for the quality and dignity of life which they bring to those in their care;

Let us pray to the Lord. R/. Lord, hear our prayer.

 

· That those saddened by the death of family or friends may find comfort in Christ, and that those who have gone before us in faith now rest in Christ;

Let us pray to the Lord. R/. Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Lord, we, who desire to serve you with all our heart,

confidently ask your help; may we now know your mercy and love in our lives. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

Reflection and Prayer for the season of Lent.

Sunday: Peace in the World.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

“Conflicts and wars continue uninterrupted. Tragically, many regions and communities can no longer remember a time when they dwelt in security and peace. Numerous cities have become epicentres of insecurity: citizens struggle to maintain their normal routine in the face of indiscriminate attacks by explosives, artillery and small arms. Children are unable to study. Men and women cannot support their families.” (Pope Francis)

Our Father………

Monday: Migrants.

“The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up, and taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt.” (Matthew 2:13-14)

 

“People are being forced to take flight, leaving behind not only their homes but also their family history and their cultural roots…….May we never yield to the temptation to disregard others, especially those in greatest need, and to look the other way; instead, may we strive daily, in concrete and practical ways to form a community composed of brothers and sisters who accept and care for one another.” (Pope Francis)

Our Father……

Tuesday: The Sick.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew,11:28-29)

“I renew my appeal to political leaders and the private sector to spare no effort to ensure access to Covid-19 vaccines and to the essential technologies needed to care for the sick, the poor and those who are most vulnerable. The pandemic and other events that marked humanity’s path this past year have taught us how important it is to care for one another……In the face of the pandemic we have

realized that we are in the same boat, all of us fragile and disorientated, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together. (Pope Francis)

Our Father……

Wednesday: The Carers.

“Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and all kinds of illness. And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labours are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers to his harvest.’” (Matthew9:35-37)

“I think too of physicians and nurses, pharmacists, researchers, volunteers, chaplains and the personnel of hospitals and healthcare centres. They have made, and are continuing to make, great sacrifices to be present to the sick, to alleviate their sufferings and to save their lives; indeed, many of them have died in the process.” (Pope Francis)

Our Father…..

Thursday: Trócaire.

Then they will say to him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you? “And the King will answer, ‘I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:37-41)

“The first generation of Christians shared what they had, so that no one among them would be in need. They strove to make their community a welcoming home, concerned for every human need and ready to care for those most in need. It became customary to make voluntary offerings in order to feed the poor, bury the dead and care for orphans, the elderly and victims of disasters.” (Pope Francis)

Our Father……

Friday: The Forgiveness of Sins.

“Jesus said, “Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the

stray? In truth I tell you, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.” (Matthew 18:12-14)

 

Jesus’ life and ministry represent the supreme revelation of the Father’s love for humanity. In the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus showed himself to be the one consecrated by the Lord and ‘sent to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.’ These messianic actions bear eloquent witness to the mission he received from the Father……At the culmination of his mission, Jesus gave the ultimate proof of his care for us by offering himself on the cross to set us free from the slavery of sin and death. By the sacrificial gift of his life, he opened for us the path to love. To each of us he says, ‘‘Follow me; go and do likewise.’ (Pope Francis)

 Our Father……

Saturday: The Earth

Jesus said, “Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them…….Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the wild flowers growing in the field, will he not much more look after you?” (Matthew 6:26-30)

 

This past year has taught us how important it is to care for one another and for creation in our efforts to build a more fraternal society……. In the Bible, the book of Genesis shows from its very first pages the importance of care or protection in God’s plan for humanity. It highlights the relationship between mankind and the earth, and among ourselves as brothers and sisters. In the biblical account of creation, God entrusts the garden ‘planted in Eden’ to Adam’s care, to “till it” and “keep it”. This entails making the earth productive, while at the same time protecting it and preserving its capacity to support life.” (Pope Francis)

 Our Father……

 

COVID UPDATE In light of the extension to the current lockdown, until 5th March 2021, Mass will be broadcast online via the webcam and  Parish Radioas follows:-

MIDWEEK + WEEKEND  MASSES : Monday – Saturday @10am,   Sunday @ 9.30am

CONFESSION Has been suspended.

PERSONAL PRAYER:Monday – Sunday, 10.30am – 2pm. NB Adoration has been suspended for this current period.

FUNERALS: Are currently limited to 25 people, with no pre- or postfuneral gatherings.

WEDDINGS: Are currently limited to 25 people.

BAPTISMS: Are currently limited to Parents and Godparents every second and fourth Sunday of the month. 

PARISH OFFICE To reduce the risk of infection, the Parish Office can be contacted by email or telephone only, and not in person. Please continue to drop any Mass offerings, SVP envelopes etc into the letterbox outside the Parish Office. Thank you.

 

NB The wearing of masks is mandatory in our church

 

PRAYER INTENTIONS: We extend our sympathies to the families of those who died recently and those whose month’s mind and anniversary occur at this time.

Recently Deceased: Teresa Spence, Anne Maguire- nee Bradley ( Australia), Canon Brendan McGee PE, Dean Emeritus of the Diocesan Chapter

Sun: 9.30am: Maura Mc Cartan ( Months Mind )

Marie Fogarty & Anthony Fogarty

Mon: 10am: Priest’s intention

Tue: 10am: Priest’s intention

Ash Wed: 10am: Priest’s intention

7pm: Preist’s  intention

Thurs:10am: Gerry Kayes ( Months  mind )

Fri: 10am: Priest’s Intention

Sat: 10am: Margaret Pollock 

In the event of a funeral, the assigned intention will be offered privately by the priest at his first available mass.

Those whose anniversaries occur at this time: Harry & Mary Bradley, James Higginson, Rosaleen & Frank O’ Prey, Maria Mc Comish, John Clayton, Joseph Hughes, Brian Fitzsimons, Patrick Herald, John Paul Griffin, Cathal Mc Garrigle, Hugh O’ Neill, Joe Mohan

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

14 February 2021 • Day of Prayer for Temperance

 

‘Stretched out his hand…’

Jesus, in today’s Gospel, cures a leper by the healing touch of his hand. A leper was completely outcasted from society due to the huge stigma surrounding the disease, which was highly contagious but was also seen as a punishment from God in Jesus’ time. Jesus is moved with pity for this man and reaches out to him. Jesus sends the man to the priests, as a testimony to them. Jesus’ ‘pity’ also conveys anger at the leper’s situation. It is the religious hierarchy of Jesus’ time who have alienated this man. What they are incapable of doing (healing him), Jesus has done by ‘stretching out his hand’ in love. 

A question for us from this Gospel today might be, who are those our society outcast? Who is alienated in our communities? What moves you with pity? Who is it that we need to reach out to at this time? 

Jesus, in Mark’s Gospel, is forever asking people to keep quiet and not tell anyone about what he does. Yet, after such a radical encounter with God which frees this man from all that keeps him trapped, of course he wants to shout from the roof tops. Why would Jesus want his miracles to be kept a secret? Jesus wants to be able to fulfil his mission without attracting the wrong kind of attention. Eventually those who are against him will use encounters like this one to compile evidence against him. For now, the less they know the better. We might think today of those who bravely speak out, even if it means they are punished in some way. May all of us have the courage, like the man who is healed in the Gospel today, to proclaim the truth, even if it costs us.

‘There is a need for paths of peace to heal open wounds. There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter.’ (Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, 225)

 

 

FROM COVID TO LIGHT

2021 Lenten Talks Beginning Tuesday 23rd February on Zoom This year we invite you to TAKE ON a Lenten discipline and join us each Tuesday evening during lent as we gather as a Christian community in prayer and reflection based on different themes each week. The goal of these spiritual disciplines is to strengthen our faith as a faith filled community and to develop a closer relationship with God. Each of our Talks are themed, based on the Gospel of the previous Sunday, in light of Covid. The Guest speaker will reflect on the theme from their own context in light of their vocation and faith, but also in light of the Hope of this Easter and our journey through Covid, now that we have a vaccine to aid the control of this virus. There will also be an opportunity for some prayer and questions during the evening. During this question time we, as a Christian community, can reflect on either the Talk or the Scripture of the previous week. We begin our Lenten reflections on Tuesday 23rd February at 8pm. To take part please email: lententalks@downandconnor.org The Zoom link and password will be emailed to you to access the talks

 

 

The annual Day of Prayer for Survivors and Victims of Abuse will take place on Friday 19 February 2021.  The diocese will mark this day with a Mass in St Peter’s Cathedral, St Peter’s Square, Belfast, at 10 am on Friday 19 February.

Resources will be available on catholicbishops.ie early this week. 

CANDLE OF ATONEMENT

Lord, forgive us our many sins. We grieve and repent with all our hearts for having offended you, for our great failings and neglect of the young and vulnerable. We place all of those who have been hurt by the Church in any way into your loving hands and under the protection of Our Blessed Mother. Lord, bring peace to their broken lives and show us all the way out of darkness and into the light of your Word. May we as the people of God be more fully human, more fully Christ-like and more fully your people, that we may see the errors of the past and go forward with renewed hope and faith in Christ and in our Church.

Amen. 

DOWN AND CONNOR LOURDES PILGRIMAGE

Dear Friends,

I am sad to confirm, as you may have guessed, there will be no Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes in July 2021. The committee reached this decision having carefully considered all options, the risks involved, and taking on board the advice of our medical team.
We hope that circumstances will permit us to arrange some events a little closer to home in July to keep the spirit of Lourdes alive in our hearts and Diocese.
Let us all pray, through the intercession of our lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette, that we may safely and with joy and thanksgiving make our pilgrimage in 2022.
Fr Gerard

Living Youth are hosting weekly Lenten Challenges for young people aged 11-18 and their families. We will be exploring different themes throughout Lent and will have a host of engaging activities to get involved with. www.livingyouth.co.uk/lent-2021 for more information and to register.

30th DIVINE MERCY CONFERENCE (virtual) On 19, 20, and 21 February, broadcast free of charge via www.divinemercyconference.com, also at www.RadioMaria.ie and also via your TV on Saorview 210 (audio only) and dial up listening service 01-4373277. The theme is: For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory (Mt. 6:13).

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