Welcome to Our Parish Community of St Joseph & St Margaret Clitherow Bracknell
THE YEAR OF MATTHEW:
On Earth As It Is In Heaven.
Sat Vigil: 6:00pm
Weekdays: Times in the newsletter
Office Hours: Mon - Fri: 9.30am-2.30pm.
Tel: 01344 425729
New to our Parish? Welcome!
Register online here.
Disappearing Into The Fullness Of Joy: The Woman At The Well
Good teachers and good spiritual teachers highly value the experience of their disciples. They will often return to these experiences as they journey together, as a way of making things clearer. Good spiritual teachers often invite their disciples to begin to recognise patterns in their experience. Or, to put it another way, to map the sequence of their growth in understanding.
For example, St Paul, in his letter to the infant church in Rome (Romans 5,3-5) proposes a sequence that begins with suffering. Suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope and hope does not disappoint us because the Love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. Mother Theresa of Albania often handed out a business card with this information: The fruit of SILENCE is prayer. The fruit of PRAYER is faith. The fruit of FAITH is love. The fruit of LOVE is Service. The fruit of SERVICE is Peace.
Sometimes the patterns of our experience and what these have taught us can be easily grasped. When this happens, their wisdom is clear. At other times, the patterns of our experience and what these have taught us is less clear. It is harder to 'get it' or to put Wisdom into action.
This week’s Parable of the Woman at The Well is one of these patterns. It might go like this:
- the one who hears the voice of the bridegroom greatly rejoices
- bringing the bridegroom children
- that one disappears into the fullness of joy.
Notice this great woman's journey as she develops her
understanding of Jesus which takes her past his Jewishness, past his prophetic status, past his role as messiah, finally arriving at the realisation that He is the 'l Am' or God made visible. When she grasps this, she is filled with the love she has always been looking for. Her joy is complete. She has found the Bridegroom.
The first joy is found in hearing the voice of the bridegroom, the wedding and the wedding night. Now it matures into a fuller joy when the marriage becomes fruitful with children. The first joy becomes the impetus for mission. She moves out, attracting people to the voice she has heard. She presents these 'children' to her true husband, so that they too might experience the gift of God.
Now she moves into deep waters. If the experience is true, she must not claim permanent status as a messenger. Her 'children' tell her that she is no longer needed. Now that they have seen for themselves, no other intermediary is required. If she is mature enough, she will be happy that, like the Baptist, He must increase while they decrease. But they aren't having to be dragged from centre stage. Their leaving is gracious and, as they decrease, their joy increases!
So, what is going on here? When we see clearly the gift of God, there is a 'knowing' that enables us to grasp more fully the work of the Holy Spirit. Strangely the gift arrives as 'living water' which can never be grasped. Nor can we ever use it to promote ourselves or our ego. Whoever tries to seize the Spirit watches it move elsewhere. By disappearing, we have permanent access to the fountain. I think this is what the woman at the well realised. I hope that one day we will too.
Let Us Pray Together
Loving Father, you so loved the world that you sent us your only Son, that we might believe in him and have eternal life. May we encounter Jesus Christ anew this day and live the Good News with joy. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to “go out to the whole world and proclaim” our faith with confidence. Give us the courage to witness to the Joy of the Gospel by our words and actions. Help our parish to become more welcoming and missionary, so that you may be known and loved by all people. We make this prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever, Amen.
Our Lady, Star of the New Evangelisation. Pray for us.
Blessed John Henry Newman, Pray for us.
St Thérèse of Lisieux. Pray for us
God of compassion, You sent Jesus to proclaim a time of mercy reaching out to those who had no voice, releasing those trapped by their own shame, and welcoming those scorned by society.
Make us ambassadors of peace and reconciliation.
Open our ears that we may listen with respect and understanding.
Touch our lips that we may speak your words of peace and forgiveness. Warm our hearts that we may bring wholeness to
the broken-hearted and dissolve the barriers of division.
Guide the work of your Church and renew us with the Spirit of your love. Help us and all people shape a world where all will have a place, where the flames of hatred are quenched, and where all can grow together as one.
Forgive, restore and strengthen us through our Lord
Jesus Christ. Amen
STATIONS OF THE CROSS:
Every Friday morning during Lent at 11:00am
4th March 2017's RITE OF ELECTION
EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS AND READERS LENTEN RETREAT at Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Reading, RG7 5TQ. There are four dates available to choose from: Saturday 11 March, Sunday 12 March, Sunday 19 March, Saturday 8 April. Approximate timings are start 9.30am and finish 4.30pm. Lunch is included. Places for each day are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. To sign-up online please follow this link. Alternatively, contact the parish office.
DEMENTIA PRAYER WEEK – 12th to 19th March 2017. The national Dementia Prayer Week organised by the Pastoral
Care Project is an invitation to everyone to pray for and with those who live among us with dementia. “During this week
we remember especially the often forgotten pain of those suffering with dementia and those who care for them." Dementia
Awareness Week follows 15th – 21st May 2017.
CHILDREN'S LITURGY: We are in need of volunteers to help with Children's Liturgy to satisfy Safeguarding adult/children ratios in the hall during Sunday Masses. If we cannot get enough helpers we will be unable to run Children's Liturgy in the future. If you feel able to help with this important ministry, please contact the parish office 01344 425729 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
BAPTISM PREPARATION FOR PARENTS - We are looking for volunteers to join our Baptism Preparation team. If you have a heart for this most beautiful and rewarding ministry and would like to find out more about what is involved, please contact the parish
office 01344 425729 or email email@example.com .
Justice, Peace and Social Responsibility. This is a group that meets to discuss a whole range of issues that are effecting people in Bracknell from homelessness and poverty to disability, abuse, dementia, autism and the challenges of being a single parent. The mission of the group is to stimulate a real passion for social justice within the parish and the town. Passion, energy and commitment was certainly present. Over the coming months we hope to share more of our plans and aspirations with you. If you would like to know more or maybe even get involved please contact the parish office.
NEW YEAR RESOLUTION - Volunteer For Our Parish– We need volunteers to become involved in the life of our Parish by joining some of our ministries, groups and activities: Children’s Liturgy, Youth Group, Hospitality/Welcoming, Ministers of the Word, Ministers of the Altar (Sacristans), Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation teams, Offering Counters and Verifiers, Pastoral Care, Ministers of the Eucharist, Altar Servers, Fairtrade Teas & Coffees, Brass Polishing, Church gardens and grounds, etc. Please contact the parish office to volunteer or to discuss any of these important ministries.
RCIA, An Invitation : We welcomed this week 7 new Candidates/Catechumens into our weekly RCIA sessions every Thursday 7.30pm to 9.00pm in the Hall. Please keep them in your prayers. Urgent. Please could you offer to become a Godparent/Sponsor for one of our new RCIA group? Please give your details to the Parish Office.
Taize Prayer Group : We will be inaugurating this style of beautiful prayerfulness for the whole community. I would like to invite all singers and musicians who are drawn to this new venture to let me know of their availability so that we can wisely choose the right time to come together. This new Ministry of Prayer needs a leader and, if you feel ‘called and gifted’ to this task, please contact the Parish Office.
Some of the Community Pictures.
Car Park Registrations : Updating of the car park entry system will take place between 1st & 3rd April 2016. Only those vehicles registered for April 2016 to March 2017 will then be able to gain entry. Registration forms are available from the Parish Office.
Salvation Geography, the Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Holy Land led by Bishop Philip,on the theme of the Sacraments, was a wonderful unforgettable experience. Here is the link to an account together with the pictures from there.
PEW PACKs FOR CHILDREN:
Fantastic news! Children will have their own material to read during mass thanks to Sarah and Theresa. Please remember to return them after mass.
Mercy and commitment
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
The Jubilee of Mercy is a true opportunity to enter deeply into the mystery of the goodness and love of God. In this Season of Lent, the Church invites us to learn to know the Lord Jesus ever better, and to live the faith in a consistent way with a lifestyle that expresses the mercy of the Father. It is a commitment that we are called to take on in order to offer to those we meet the concrete sign of God’s closeness. My life, my attitude, the way of going through life, must really be a concrete sign of the fact that God is close to us. Small gestures of love, of tenderness, of care, that make people feel that the Lord is with us, is close to us. This is how the door of mercy opens.
Today I would like to pause briefly to reflect with you on the theme of this expression I used: the theme of commitment. What is a commitment? What does it mean to be committed? When I commit myself, it means that I assume a responsibility, a task, for someone; it also means the way, the attitude of faithfulness and dedication, the particular care with which I carry out this task. Each day we are asked to put our heart and soul into what we do: prayer, work, study, but also in sport and recreation.... Committing ourselves, in other words, means making every effort to do our best in order to improve life....
to read further....
COMMUNITY GALLERY - A DETAILED GUIDE TO ALL THE INSPIRERS along the railings is now on-line at www.bracknellcommunitygallery.org/guide Also, Bracknell News for 8 April has a lovely photo report and editorial Comment.
Fr Danny's Blog: Did you know this existed? There is a new article. Find it here.
SICK AND HOUSEBOUND – If you would like prayers for anyone who is sick, housebound or in hospital and those who care for them, please contact the Parish Office on 01344 425729 or speak to Fr. Danny.
Here is the amazing video that Chris White has produced following the recent Diocesan trip to Bamenda where Chris kindly represented our parish. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in our twinned diocese in Bamenda, Cameroon; and for the many parishes, schools, health establishments and social projects.
Almighty, ever-living Father,
You are the Eternal Shepherd who never leaves his flock untended.
We thank you immensely for the bond of love and friendship that exists between the Archdiocese of Bamenda and the Diocese of Portsmouth.
We are deeply grateful to you for the spiritual benefits this union has yielded, through which many have come to experience inner conversion and the unfathomable warmth of your love.
Through the guidcance of your Holy Spirit, may we continue to receive the grace to grow continuously in partnership and understanding.