Letter from Father Bennie

Thank you all who are helping: me to settle into life at St Peter’s. Thank you especially for the welcome you gave me at the weekend. It was wonderful to be able to meet you, if only in passing.

Now that you no longer have a Resident Priest it is obvious that I will need much help so that essential routine tasks and jobs are carried out. I thank especially Alban Macdonald who has filled in so many gaps in my first week.

Hopefully more of you will be able to give God some of your time in helping the Mission of our Parish


Fr. Bennie
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The Holy Spirit

"Although the Spirit never changes, the effects of his action, but the will of God and in the name of Christ, are both many and marvellous. The Spirit makes one person a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret Holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one person's self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches another to fast and lead a life of asceticism, makes another oblivious to the needs of the body, trains another for martyrdom. His action is different in different people, but the Spirit is always the same."

St Cyril of Jerusalem
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Letter from Father Bennie

Come let us adore Him: I hope you had a lovely Christmas and that the loveliness of your Christmas continues right through 2018.

Let us very much pray for each other at this time and throughout 2018.

For the life in our Parish at this most Holy time I thank:

• All who helped at the Liturgies (Deacon John, the Musicians, Special Ministers, Readers, the Servers), the Linen, the Tree, the Crib, the Flowers.

• Last - and most importantly - our Children - Christmas is all about YOU.

Thank you all who are responsible for contributing to the Christmas Season that the Parish is having. May God reward you, throughout the New Year ahead, for the time you give to Him and to His Church.

Weekday Masses

Please God I will offer Mass here on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On the other weekdays (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) I hope to say Mass at Shefford.

Fr. Bennie
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Letter from Father Richard

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The New Year brings new challenges and new experiences. It will be difficult for all concerned to accommodate themselves to the changes. It will be difficult for Canon Bennie, difficult for you, and in a lesser way difficult for me.

St Pauls says “Make way for one another in the Lord,” and “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ.” So never assume an authority you don’t have and never give in to those who presume to have authority over you, but don’t. For ease of operations, always refer decisions pertaining to the church and liturgy to the Parish Priest or those he delegates. Authority over noticeboards, newsletter contents etc. resides with the Parish Priest.

Use of the car park is primarily for the use of those on church business or visitors to the Presbytery. The church and its grounds are a sacred space. Without being too pernickety try to keep it tidy. There has been a tendency in the past to use the various spaces as dumping grounds: meeting room, kitchen, garage, shed.

Please remember in your prayers the Diocese of Northampton, its clergy, bishop, priests and deacons, and all parishioners. May all be a beacon of light in the world in which we live.

Fr. Richard
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Letter from Father Richard

Christmas 2017

Christmas is always a magical time.

I don’t mind the commercialisation; it is part of what makes it magical. People say that we are in danger of leaving Christ out of Christmas. Commercialisation or not, we are always in danger of leaving Christ out of Christmas.

He has come not only to seek a home, a welcome among His own (humankind), but also a welcome into our hearts.

Let us not forget to entertain Him in prayer, in response to those less well off than ourselves, and in those around us.

If we have nothing else to give one another, let it be a kind word, an acknowledgement of the other’s existence. Even today, it is a season of goodwill.

Happy Christmas.


Fr. Richard
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Silence

"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence . . . We need silence to be able to touch souls." St Mother Teresa of Kolkata
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(Final?) Letter from Father Richard

Last week of the Year 2017

On Friday evening the Social Committee have arranged a “Farewell” for me as Parish Priest. It begins at 7:30 pm and ends whenever you want. I hope you’ll be able to pop in (29th Dec. 2017).

My final Masses as Parish Priest will be the weekend of 30th /31st of December 2017.

The following weekend Saturday 6th January Mass will be at 6:30 pm and Sunday 7th January at 11.00 am.

I do hope you will not be too phased by these changes.


OREMUS PRO INVICEM
“Let us pray for one another”.

Father Richard

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The Holy Father

"This is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze. And this is what I said when they asked me if I would accept my election as pontiff. I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I accept in a spirit of penance." Pope Francis
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Letter from Father Richard

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Periods of waiting can be really distressing. Waiting for results of a medical examination, waiting for exam results, waiting for buses, train connections. Waiting to see a relative or friend whom we have not seen for sometime, will we recognise them?

Waiting for the Messiah! Isaiah proclaimed last week, “Oh that the heavens would be torn apart and rain the just one down.”

You know the feeling. The trouble is we don’t know whether what we are waiting for is that worthwhile. It is in these situations that we need faith that God will be there to help us accept whatever comes. He is our rock, the ground of our being.

In these days of Advent, of waiting, let us not lose heart. Always be AWAKE to the possibility of the coming of God into our lives.

Let us all hope for a new dawn, a new day, a new expectation of a Lord who will be WITH US “EMMANUEL.”


Father Richard
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Letter from Father Richard

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are used to Nature providing us with a cycle of seasons, year in and year out. As the church developed as the nurturer and educator of those who were its members, it developed a way of linking liturgical celebrations with the current season. (This is true only of that church in the Northern Hemisphere).

So, as we approach the darkest part of our year in December, and the dawn of a new year, the Church celebrates the dawn of a new creation in the coming of Christ into our world.

She prepares us for the feast of Christmas with a season: the season of Advent. It looks back on the history of salvation, itself looking forward to the birth of a Messiah, and projects us forward to the end of time when we expect the second coming of Christ, at the end of time.

The church focuses us on three people during this season: Isaiah, John the Baptist and Mary the mother of Jesus. These become our teachers in how to wait profitably, while getting on with the necessities of life.

The hustle and bustle of our commercial world is a wonderful reminder of the importance of the religious feast we celebrate.


Enjoy

Father Richard
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