5 September o ‘Ephphatha’
This Sunday is the First Sunday of the Season of Creation, a global ecumenical season which runs from 1 September until the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, 4 October. All Christians are invited to embrace this season in prayer, especially in our liturgies, in deep reflection, in living more sustainably and in raising our voices in the public sphere. We are invited to think more deeply about what is happening at present to the earth, the environmental destruction which now threatens our world and the call to ‘eco-conversion’. The theme for this year’s Season is ‘Restoring Our Common Home’. It offers all of us a unique opportunity to renew our vocation to care more deeply God’s creation.
In today’s Gospel Jesus heals a man who was deaf and who had a speech impediment. Jesus says to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ which means Be Opened. Immediately this man was healed. There are many issues in our world to which we might be deaf or are ‘closed’ to, sometimes because they overwhelm us. The environmental crises are an example. Pope Francis invites us in Laudato Si’, his letter on the environment, to really hear and listen to the earth, which is crying out to us, to the scientific community who are sounding the alarm bells, to young people who are deeply concerned. Ephphatha! May we be open to hearing these cries, to praying for our world and to take action where we can. We begin with the small actions and encourage others to do the same. Ephphatha! Let us all be open to this call to care more deeply and ‘Restore Our Common Home’.
Restrictions and Guidelines for attending Mass in Agnes’
• Face Coverings are mandatory when entering and exiting the church and should be worn throughout services.
• The seating capacity of the Church is 120-150
• Observe social distancing and use the sanitizer at the Church Entrance;
• When leaving the Church follow the instructions and leave according to the indicated “One-way” system;
• Anyone with cold-like symptoms must not enter the Church;
• Those with under lying health issues are advised to remain at home.
DIOCESAN APPEAL FOR THE DOWN AND CONNOR PRIESTS’ WELFARE FUND
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Over the past 18 months the normal rhythm of our lives has been affected in so many ways. Many things we took for granted were no longer readily available to us, and , as families, workers and communities, we sought out new ways to live life. Our life as a praying and worshiping community was ruptured too. We all felt the absence of gathering as the family of God, but we adapted to new ways of uniting in prayer. We are most grateful for your generosity to your parish and to the diocese at a time when many people faced and continue to face their own financial struggles. In the diocese of Down and Connor, the Priests Welfare fund exists to provide the stipend for each priest in active ministry. Your generosity over many years has ensured that the Fund had sufficient reserves to continue to provide a stipend for each Priest, even where the parish stipend offerings decreased significantly. On Sunday 19th September 2021 we are asking for your financial support towards the annual autumn voluntary collection for our priests. We make this appeal to ensure that the Fund can continue to sustain that support. We make this appeal in the light of the fact that during 2020 the level of giving across our parishes dropped on average by 35% to 50%. This decrease was experienced across all aspects of financial support for the many services provided by our parishes and the diocese e.g. Pastoral Care and Services and Sacramental Ministries in our parishes; the Living Church initiative, Family Ministry, Vocations Commission, Diocesan Youth Commission, Safeguarding and Vetting, Chaplaincies to Hospitals, Prisons, Universities, Living Youth, ACCORD, Family Care Society and the Diocesan Curia. Together with the priests of the diocese I thank you for your kindness and ongoing support and for your generous response to this appeal in support of your priests. I offer my prayerful good wishes to you and to all those who are dear to you. Yours in Christ, +Noel Treanor Bishop of Down and Connor
COLLECTION The collection for 29th August amounted to £1635.00 Thank you for your contribution. You can also make your envelope contribution via the donate button on the Parish website home page
FUNERALS & WEDDINGS can increase to the current capacity of the Church (120-150 persons) BAPTISMS Continue to be limited to 10 people every second and fourth Sunday of the month
PARISH WEBCAM Live streaming of all Masses takes place in a St. Agnes’ Church. Please click on the webcam tile on the Home Page of the Parish website www.stagnesbelfast.com.
RECORDINGS Please note, all funerals will be recorded. Please tell us if you do not want your loved one’s funeral recorded.
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.
Sat 4th sept: 1pm: Samuel Cavanagh, Leonard Vernon
Sat 4th Sept : 6.30pm: Priest’s intention
Sun 5th Sept: 9.30am: Priest’s intention
12.30pm: Priest’s intention
Mon 6th Sept: 10am: Priest’s intention
Tue 7th Sept: 10am: No Mass
Wed 8th Sept: 10am: Priest’s intention
Thurs 9th Sept:10am: Funeral Mass of Daniel Mc Caughley RIP
Fri 10th Sept: 10am: Priest’s intention
Sat 11th Sept : 1pm: Priest’s intention
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: Tommy & Doris Robinson & Mary King, Billy Wright & Andy Mc Callin, Johnny Thompson, John Gillespie, Rose Macklin
Eternal rest grant unto them , O Lord!
SEASON OF CREATION: RESTORING OUR COMMON HOME “The Lord was able to invite others to be attentive to the beauty that there is in the world because he himself was in constant touch with nature, lending it an attention full of fondness and wonder.” (LS’, 97) As a diocese we are blessed with so many areas of natural beauty and we are encouraged this week to take time to contemplate, with wonder and awe, the world in which we are blessed to live.
Forthcoming Events commencing in September hosted by Drumalis via Zoom
v “Earth Matters” with Sr Anne Harnett CP and Sr Margaret Rose McSparran CP. A creation time opportunity to engage with the ecological issues of our day and to explore a way forward for all over three Zoom sessions in September – 7, 14 and 21 Sept from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.
v “All My Children: Genesis and Exodus. Who said family was easy?” with Sr Pam Thimmes OSC. An eight part Zoom series exploring the theme of family in the Books of Genesis and Exodus. The course will take place from 7:00 pm – 9:15 pm on 9 Sept, 30 Sept, 14 Oct, 28 Oct, 11 Nov, 25 Nov, 13 Jan and 27 Jan.
For further information, please contact 028 28276455/28272196 during office hours (Mon-Fri, 9 am – 5 pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org Details are also available on the Drumalis website - http://www.drumalis.co.uk