When we pray, we are entering into that great stream of love which flows between Jesus and our Abba. We don’t need many words (Matthew 6, v.7) because our Abba knows us from within, and what we need, before we ask. Such intimacy, knowledge and love!
The invitation is to an ever deeper union with God through love and unceasing prayer, which transforms us to become ever more like Christ, and to reflect his love and presence in our lives and our world.

THE HOLY FATHER’S PRAYER INTENTIONS ENTRUSTED TO HIS WORLDWIDE PRAYER NETWORK FOR THE YEAR 2020

NOVEMBER

Universal prayer intention ‐ Artificial Intelligence

We pray that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind.

[Click HERE for more information]

The Season of Creation 2020

An Invitation to participate

During this season we are encouraged to pray and engage in community events in order to deepen our relationship with our God, our neighbour and the earth we share.

The Season of Creation is an annual celebration uniting Christians in prayer and action for the protection of our common home. The idea of celebrating 1 September as a day of prayer for creation began at the wish of the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios in 1989, and was endorsed by Pope Francis in 2015. The season runs from September 1 to October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

During this season we are encouraged to pray and engage in community events in order to deepen our relationship with our God, our neighbour and the earth we share, being ever more attentive to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

In addition to the resources offered here we will also provide weekly reflections starting on August 30th which can be used by individuals or perhaps on-line with your different parish groups.

Season of Creation Resources available from Clifton Diocese – click here

Catholic prayers fall into four types:
  • Adoration: Praising God.
  • Contrition: Asking for God’s forgiveness.
  • Petition: Asking God for a favor.
  • Thanksgiving: Showing God gratitude.

Throughout the bible, we are given many examples of people who prayed. Even Jesus, the Son of God, prayed. Being able to pray is an amazing privilege.

As a child I was always told ‘the fewer the words, the better the prayer’.

Remember:

  • try to touch base with God at least in the morning and the evening.
  • talk to God just like you would talk to a friend.
  • you don’t have to pray for a long period of time.
  • God delights in a simple word or mantras like “Lord, I love you.” or “My Lord and my God – help me today”

If you can’t find the words to pray try reading a verse from scripture:

  • Let David’s words in the Psalms enliven your prayers.
  • Try pondering over a verse in the Gospels that strikes you, ask God to work that truth into your heart.
  • Let the words of Paul’s letters give you specific prayer requests for yourself and the people you love.

Parents – when was the last time you prayed for your children?

Children – when was the last time you prayed for your parents?

 

Try to make prayer an integral part of your day – look for prayer moments in your day!

Remember

  • Jesus invites us to expect God to work. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7).
  • In the Our Father prayer we are reminded ‘let thy will be done’.

 

There are a number of prayer groups in the parish which you are always welcome to attend

Reading Scripture is a form of prayer 

When we pray, we are entering into that great stream of love which flows between Jesus and our Abba. We don’t need many words (Matthew 6, v.7) because our Abba knows us from within, and what we need, before we ask. Such intimacy, knowledge and love!
The invitation is to an ever deeper union with God through love and unceasing prayer, which transforms us to become ever more like Christ, and to reflect his love and presence in our lives and our world.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Jesus waits for us in this Sacrament of Love
“In the sacred Host, He is present, the true treasure, always waiting for us.
Only by adoring this Presence do we learn how to receive Him properly.”

During Eucharistic Adoration, we “watch and wait”, we remain “silent” in His Presence and open ourselves to His Graces which flow from the Eucharist … By worshiping the Eucharistic Jesus, we become what God wants us to be! Like a magnet, The Lord draws us to Himself and gently transforms us.

Each moment that you spend in His Eucharistic Presence will increase his divine life within you and deepen your personal relationship and friendship with him.

When you look upon the Sacred Host, you look upon Jesus, the Son of God.

“Indeed, this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day.” (Jn 6:40)

Twelve Reasons From The Teachings Of The Church For Wanting To Spend One Hour With Jesus In The Blessed Sacrament

1. You are greatly needed!
“The Church and the world have a great need of eucharistic adoration.” (Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae)

2. This is a personal invitation to you from Jesus.
“Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love.” (Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Canae)

3. Jesus is counting on you because the Eucharist is the center of life.
“Every member of the Church must be vigilant in seeing that the sacrament of love shall be at the center of the life of the people of God so that through all the manifestations of worship due him shall be given back ‘love for love’ and truly become the life of our souls.” (Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man)

4. Your hour with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament will repair for evils of the world and bring about peace on earth.
“Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Jesus and ready to make reparation for the great evils of the world. Let your adoration never cease.” (Pope John Paul II, Dominicai Cenae)

5. Day and night Jesus dwells in the Blessed Sacrament because you are the most important person in the world to him!
“Christ is reserved in our churches as the spiritual center of the heart of the community, the universal Church and all humanity, since within the veil of the species, Christ is contained, the invisible heart of the Church, the Redeemer of the world, the center of all hearts, by him all things are and of whom we exist.” (Pope Paul IV, Mysterium Fidei)

6. Jesus wants you to do more than to go to mass on Sunday.
“Our communal worship at mass must go together with our personal worship of Jesus in Eucharistic adoration in order that our love may be complete.” (Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man)

7. You grow spiritually with each moment you spend with Jesus!
“Our essential commitment in life is to preserve and advance constantly in Eucharistic life and Eucharistic piety and to grow spiritually in the climate of the Holy Eucharist.” (Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man)

8. The best time you spend on earth is with Jesus, your Best Friend, in the Blessed Sacrament!
“How great is the value of conversation with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, for there is nothing more consoling on earth, nothing more efficacious for advancing along the road of holiness!” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)

9. Just as you can’t be exposed to the sun without receiving its rays, neither can you come to Jesus exposed in the Blessed Sacrament without receiving the divine rays of his grace, his love, his peace.
“Christ is truly the Emmanuel, that is, God with us, day and night, he is in our midst. He dwells with us full of grace and truth. He restores morality, nourishes virtue, consoles the afflicted, strengthens the weak.” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)

10. If Jesus were actually visible in church, everyone would run to welcome him, but he remains hidden in the Sacred Host under the appearance of bread, because he is calling us to faith, that we many come to him in humility.
“The Blessed Sacrament is the ‘Living Heart’ of each of our churches and it is our very sweet duty to honor and adore the Blessed Host, which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word, whom they cannot see.” (Pope Paul VI, Credo of the People of God)

11. With transforming mercy, Jesus makes our heart one with his.
“He proposes his own example to those who come to him, that all may learn to be like himself, gentle and humble of heart, and to seek not their own interest but those of God.” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)

12. If the Pope himself would give you a special invitation to visit him in the Vatican, this honour would be nothing in comparison to the honour and dignity that Jesus himself bestows upon you with the invitation of spending one hour with him in the Blessed Sacrament.
“The divine Eucharist bestows upon the Christian people the incomparable dignity.” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)

Available before weekday mass and on Saturday mornings during the Sacrament of Reconciliation

There are a number of prayer groups in the parish which you are always welcome to attend

Healing prayers

This small prayer group meets monthly to pray together for the sick in the parish and for those for whom healing prayers have been requested, and to give thanks.

Meetings last for about an hour; they start with a reading from the Bible, followed by silent prayer or a guided meditation.

Then each sick person is prayed for individually.

This is a small group, and you are most welcome to come and pray with us at any of our meetings.

Meetings are held monthly at 7.30 pm, in the William Lampley Room.  Please see the weekly parish newsletter for the date the meeting will be held.

Contacts:

Jane Kane, 01242 583019
Margaret King, 07973 195655

 

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina – The Five Stages

Lectio (reading/listening),

The first step is reverential listening; listening both in a spirit of silence and of awe. You are listening for the voice of God speaking to you intimately. In lectio, read slowly and attentively, listening for a word or phrase that is God’s Word for you.

Meditatio (meditation),

Once you have heard your word or phrase that is speaking to you in a personal way, take it in and ponder it. Memorize it – and while gently repeating it to yourself, allow it to interact with your thoughts, your memories, your hopes, your desires. This is the second step or stage. In this step, allow God’s Word to become His Word for you, a word that touches you and affects you at your deepest levels.

Oratio (prayer)

The third step is the prayer step…

Prayer understood both as dialogue with God and as consecration, or prayer as an offering to God of parts of ourselves that we have not previously believed God wants. Allow the word that we have taken in and on which we are meditating to touch and change your deepest self. Just as a priest consecrates the bread and wine at the Eucharist, God invites us to hold up our most difficult and pain-filled experiences to Him, and to gently recite over them the healing word or phrase He has given us in our lectio and meditatio. Finally, allow yourself to be touched and changed by the Word of God.

Contemplatio (contemplation).

In the fourth step, simply rest in the presence of God and accept His transforming embrace. No one who has ever been in love needs to be reminded that there are moments in loving relationships when words are not even necessary. It is the same in our relationship with God. Contemplation during the Lectio Divina is a wordless, quiet rest in the presence of God. In silence, let go of your own words and simply enjoy the experience of being in the presence of God.

Actio (Living out the Lectio Divina)

 
The process of lectio divina is not concluded until it arrives at action (actio), which moves the believer to make his or her life a gift for others in charity.
The Lectio Divina can be done as an individual prayer as described above or as a group exercise. 

If you are interested in setting up a Lectio Divina prayer group in the parish, please contact the parish office by phone: 01242 524932 or click link to Email

Charismatic Prayer Group

Meets most Fridays at 8pm, at the home of Dominic and Mary Meigh.

The group seek to be led by the Holy Spirit with praise and worship, through song and spontaneous prayer.

The group pray to be open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as they are led, which includes sharing the Word of God, intercessory prayer and prayer for healing.

 

If you are interesting in finding out more or attending the group please contact the parish office for contact details 

Mothers Prayer

Over 12 years ago, a few of us Mums started meeting every week to thank God for the gift of our children, grandchildren and Godchildren. We unite in prayer with all the other Mother’s Prayer groups in over 100 countries as we follow the half hour format to include a song of praise, next Sunday’s gospel and commentary then place their names in a basket at the foot of the cross surrendering them into Jesus’ care and letting go of our worries. Many prayers are answered. We have formed special friendships and enriched our Faith as we share our joys, sorrows and celebrations over coffee.

To find out more please talk to Jane Kane after 5.30pm (Saturday Vigil) mass or Mary Willett who often welcomes at the 10.30am mass on Sunday or serves coffee after.

If you want to make contact please email the parish office with your details and we can forward your details on.

 

Teams of Our Lady

 

Equipes Notre Dame (Teams of Our Lady) is an international Catholic lay movement for Christian married couples, with a Decree of Recognition from the Pontifical Council for the Laity, now present in over 80 countries and with a membership approaching 150,000 worldwide, including couples, widows/widowers, priests and religious. Teams started in France in 1938 and the first English team was started here in Cheltenham more than 50 years ago by Harry and Clotilde Meigh. There are currently three teams in Cheltenham.

Teams of Our Lady is designed to enrich marriage spirituality and make good marriages better. Teams provide a proven method of increasing and improving prayer life, which will help couples grow closer to God and each other.  At the same time, their family will reap the benefits as well.

A team is comprised of five to seven couples whose marriage is recognized in the eyes of the Catholic Church. The team meets one time per month, rotating from one home to another. If a couple’s home cannot accommodate the entire team, the group can meet in a church meeting room or outside, if possible. Some teams might have a spiritual counselor or Priest Spiritual Counselor as part of their team. The Priest Spiritual Counselor comes to the meeting to provide his theological knowledge and expertise. The team shares a simple meal, prayer, sharing on the endeavors, and a study topic. The endeavors are the heart of the spirit of Teams. The team becomes a close community that can inspire one another through their living examples of faith, and share with one another their struggles and successes on their way to holiness.

“The Teams of our Lady, a gift of the Holy Spirit, is offered to couples throughout the world in order to help them live out their married spirituality.” (The Guide of the Teams of Our Lady). Couples from all stages of life (newly married, child rearing and empty nesters) can be part of Teams. It is not parish based, but it is advisable for couples to live in the same geographic vicinity. Since this is a lay association, lay couples hold all positions of responsibility.

The Blessed Mother

The Blessed Mother is the Patroness of the Movement. We strive to follow and imitate Mary’s “yes” to God through prayer, scripture and the sacraments. Mary is the perfect disciple and follower of Christ. She takes everything and everyone to her Son. The Magnificat prayer is Mary’s proclamation of God’s greatness. Teams couples say the Magnificat prayer daily in communion with fellow Team members worldwide.

What Teams of Our Lady is Not

  1. It is not a Marian Movement, but Mary is our patroness.
  2. It is not a Bible study, but we read Scripture and learn about God.
  3. It is not a therapy group, but we share and support each other on our life journey toward Christ.
  4. It is not for counseling. Everything is held in strict confidence and all sharing is voluntary. We offer advice only if it is requested (usually done in private).
  5. It is not for troubled marriages. The Church offers other programs to help with serious marital issues. One such recommended program is Retrouvaille.
  6. It is not a supper club.

Local contacts

Paul and Helena McCloskey

01242 516330

paulandhelena@hotmail.com

Websites:

Worldwide: equipes-notre-dame.com/en

International: http://teams-transatlantic.net/

Great Britain: http://teamsgb.org.uk/

Poland: http://www.end.org.pl/

 

Pastoral Resource for hard times (Click on image for link)

Redemptorist Publications have decided to keep Fr Denis McBride's one-hour video, The Stations of the Cross Then and Now, as a permanent free resource for streaming, for everyone. We believe that The Stations of the Cross will continue to be a pastoral resource for reflection and prayer during this prolonged time of Coronavirus where so many individuals and families are walking their own Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows. The way of the cross passes through every village, town and city and is not limited to the season of Lent. In this one hour video the voice and visuals open up new ways of thinking about Jesus’ journey and demonstrate how the passion story, in all its savagery, continues in our own time. The Gospel best comes alive when the story of Jesus resonates deeply within our heart and our personal experience.

Glorious Mysteries

Sundays and Wednesdays

Joyful Mysteries

Mondays and Saturdays

Sorrowful Mysteries

Tuesdays and Fridays

Luminous Mysteries

Thursday

Marian prayer 1

O Mary,

You shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who, at the foot of the cross, were united with Jesus’ suffering, and persevered in your faith.

“Protectress of the Roman people”, you know our needs, and we know that you will provide, so that, as at Cana in Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering, and burdened himself with our sorrows to bring us, through the cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.

We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from every danger, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

Marian Prayer 2

“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.

In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.

Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.

Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.

Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.

Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.

Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.

Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.

Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Beloved Mother, help us realise that we are all members of one great family and to recognise the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need. Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.

Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.

To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary.

Amen.

Alone Together:

This is a collection of online resources which are offered to help people live through the coronavirus pandemic. Their special quality is that they don’t come from theories; they all come from those with experience of social distancing or isolation, people who have lived this reality either intentionally like monks and nuns or against their will like hostages or the housebound. This is a new and difficult journey for most people but experienced guides give us hope along the way. As the pandemic unfolds, more resources will be added. If you have any thoughts about what resources would be helpful you can email ‘Alone Together’ by clicking on the link on the foot of the main web page.

Website: www.alonetogether.org.uk

 

FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

Prayer Resources and More

Making (more) room for Jesus in your own home

Make time for each other, never let work at home become more important than spending time together.

Laugh often, tell jokes; Alexa tell us a joke…

Share a funny family story that you remember.

Support one another and be thankful for each other.

Think back over the day at the things you are thankful for, then say thanks to God. 

Download this booklet to help you communicate about Covid-19 to the children and teens in your life. Download

Passing on the faith;  An engaging, illustrated resource to help parents pass on the faith to their children.

Making (more) room for Jesus in your own home

Prayer for the world

Click the text above, to be taken to that particular page, or the images on either side for resources to use with your children