This is for the whole Parish to read and use. Please let me know if you'd like to be a contributor.


The Lord – Blessed John Henry Newman

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"May the Lord support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and our work is done.

"Then in his mercy may he give us safe lodging, and holy rest, and rest at the last. Amen"

Blessed John Henry Newman
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Reflection and Prayer Group - The Gift (session1)

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As indicated previously the Gift course is aimed at building our faith and developing a life in the Holy Spirit....
In this session David Payne - director of CaFE - considered and introduced the Father's loving plan, and how great it is to know we are loved so dearly by God the Father. We learned amongst other things that our faith can be summed up in two words.....  not to be reveal here. We also learnt that St Catherine of Siena - a doctor of the Catholic Church - reveled after spending three years in solatory pray that "God is intoxicated with love for us"....  If His love's so great for us then we should have no dificulty basking in that great love. We learned that St Terese of Lisiex - another great Doctor of the Church - revelaed that we don't need to climb the mountain of perfection we can burst in to the Father's presence right now and jump on his knee and embrace His great love for us or at any time and love Him.
We reflected upon how the Holy Spirit of Christ is with us and how He reveals that great love of God the Father. We considered how knowing more of Gods's love can help us in our every day life. WE finished the session in prayer for ourselves and those who need our help at this time.
All who attened really enjoyed this session and went home with five daily reflections to consider are looking forward to next Wednedsay when we consider "The Joy of the Gospel",

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Reflection and Prayer Group - The Gift

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The Gift 

A six-week course entitled "The Gift" is commencing on Wednesday 18th Jan – 7.30-9:30 pm and is taking place at St Peter's Church meeting room.

Pope Francis’s challenge to us as practicing Catholics is to be ‘spirit filled evangelisers’.

Catholics are called to unpack and explore the greatest gift we have been given – the gift of our faith. The six session Gift course has been produced to help us to do just that.

It has been developed as a response to Pope Francis’s exhortation ‘The Joy of the Gospel’.

If you’d like to know more check out the introductory video below and if you're interested in attending a future session call 07751 625942:

 
The Gift: A Life in the Spirit Course - A New Resource From CaFE from CaFE on Vimeo.
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Journey towards Jesus in Advent

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On Wednesday evening (28th December) a group of six parishioners completed their most enjoyable prayer, scripture and reflection "Journey towards in Jesus Advent". Those taking part were: Paul & Gill Hosker, Valerie Hughes, Gabriela Impey​, Peter White and Alban Macdonald​ (who lead the sessions) which followed the book produced by Reverend Fr Denis McBride.

There were five sessions in all addressing the four Sundays of Advent and Christmas Day Gospel readings from Maththew, Mark and Luke. The book we used considers and contrasts each of their choices of introducing Jesus to us to that of John the Evangelist and what that means for us:

  • Week one we reflected on Jesus' teaching on the last judgement, which kindly coaches his followers to prepare for the end of time; 
  • Week two we looked at the figure of John the Baptist and how important he is to the Ministry of Christ;
  • Week three we journeyed with the "gentleman" Joseph as he faced six interruptions in his life that caused him to turn away from his dreams to follow God's will; 
  • Week four we celebrated Mary of Nazareth story as she welcomes the unforeseen and becomes the human tabernacle of God; 
  • And finally in week five we concluded our adventure reflecting on the birth of Christ and its significance for us today. 


We all found greater value in studying this book which offered us a chance to reflect, to look back, to look forward and consider the greatest gift to humanity - and each and every one of us - God's only begotten Son. The book is a mix text and works of art that help us to see and appreciate more the relevance of Jesus in our lives today. We all commend this book to others to read as a group as we did or on your own and are confident you will be enriched by its messages.
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Bishop's Conference Statement on the EU Referendum – 23 June 2016

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Reflecting on the forthcoming vote, we recognise the historic nature of this referendum and its implications for future generations. The outcome will have consequences for the future not only of the United Kingdom, but for Europe and for the world.

In our view, three things are essential:

• that we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit;

• that we all inform ourselves of the arguments on both sides of the debate;

• that we each exercise our vote with a view to the common good of all.

The coming together of European countries in the aftermath of a catastrophic war was designed to bind together former combatants and the contribution of the European project to peace in Western Europe should be recognised. Pope Francis reminds us, in his address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 25 November 2014, that the ideals which shaped this European project from the beginning were peace, subsidiarity and solidarity. In the Treaty of Rome, trade was harnessed to peace. The peace achieved in Western Europe shows indeed how “our problems can become powerful forces for unity” (par 5). Our decision in the referendum should thus be taken in the context of how best we can promote justice and peace.

Our focus needs to be above all on the human person. We need to build a Europe “which revolves not around the economy but around the sacredness of the human person, around inalienable values” (par 37). We all have a responsibility to keep the dignity of the human person at the forefront of the debate. We must ask ourselves, in the face of every issue, what will best serve the dignity of all people both within Europe and beyond.

This referendum therefore is about much more than economics.

We must not forget the profoundly religious roots of European nations; that Europe has a two thousand year-old Christian culture that has shaped the continent and is a dynamic spiritual, moral and intellectual resource as we address the future. As Pope Francis reminds us, we need continually to ask ourselves: who is my neighbour? In response to grave challenges, we are called to be generous and welcoming to all others, especially the most vulnerable.

Each person will have their own views about the best political framework in which to realise these ideals. We acknowledge the justifiable concerns that many people have in relation to the European Union, its institutions and the implications of increasing integration.

This referendum is an opportunity to reflect on those values we cherish as a nation and as Catholics. High among these values are mutual respect and civility, vital in this national conversation about the very future of our nation within the world.

Prepare and Act

Before voting, ask yourself the following question:

How in the light of the Gospel, can my vote best serve the common good?

As you vote, you may wish to use this prayer:

“Lord, grant us wisdom that we may walk with integrity, guarding the path of justice, and knowing the protection of your loving care for all”.
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Womens World Day of Prayer - Sandy Churches

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Click here to see a little slideshow from Irena who asked me to pass this set of photo’s on to people. It’s a nice little memento for those who attended and possibly for those who missed it too.
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Tertullian on marriage

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In Bible Alive today, after discussing to day's gospel reading (Mark 10:1-12) in which Jesus rebuts the Pharisees' views of marriage, the following passage from Tertullian is quoted; I think it rather beautiful . . .

Chris

"How beautiful the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in hope, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practise. They are as brother and sister, both servants of the same Master. Nothing divides them, either in the flesh or the spirit. They pray together, they worship together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God’s church and partake of God’s banquet; side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another; they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts. Unembarrassed they visit the sick and assist the needy. They give alms without anxiety; they attend the Sacrifice without hindrance. They need not be furtive about making the sign of the cross, nor timorous in greeting the brethren, nor silent in asking a blessing of God. Psalms and hymns they sing to one another…Hearing and seeing this, Christ rejoices. To such as these he gives his peace. Where there are two together, there he is present; and where he is, evil is not."
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CAFOD special day of reflection

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If you're looking for a wonderful opportunity for some spiritual input and reflection during lent this year then  read the following.......
Note: if you're from St. Peters and need a lift then contact Alban on 01767 681537.
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Day of Prayer for peace in Syria

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Join us in praying and fasting for Syria.

Pope Francis has called on all the faithful worldwide to join in a day of prayer and fasting on the 7th September, for peace in Syria and the Middle East. However the information came out too late for St Peter's Parish, Biggleswade, to respond so we've deferred it to Saturday 14th where Mass will be celebrated at 11:00am followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Come and join us and show your solidarity with those suffering from this awful conflict.


Prayer for peace in Syria

O God of peace, who are peace itself
and whom a spirit of discord cannot grasp,
nor a violent mind receive,
grant that those who are one in heart
may persevere in what is good
and that those in conflict
may forget evil and so be healed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

St John Damascene, pray for us.
The Pope said:
From the bottom of my heart, I would like to express my closeness in prayer and solidarity with all the victims of this conflict, with all those who suffer, especially children, and I invite you to keep alive the hope of peace.”

If you can't make it then please join us at home and be in solidarity with the people of Syria. Say this prayer and share with family, friends and your local community.
Download our intercessions for Syria >
Explore CAFOD prayer resources >

Prayer text from Roman Missal © 2010 ICEL
Used with permission from the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

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From Father Richard's Desk

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My Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Over a lifetime we accumulate so many things. People’s attics are full of goods that may come in useful one day.

As the goods accumulate and start taking up space needlessly the ‘goods’ that we kept for the rainy day become the ‘bads’. The ‘bads’ take ownership of space that ought not to be occupied or could be used more usefully.

It is not a bad test of renunciation to go through your goods and get rid of those ‘goods’ that have become ‘bads’.

Our spiritual lives are often reflected in our more visible daily lives. Hanging on to things that are no longer useful, or to grudges, or ways of doing things simply because we’ve always done them, is not a sign of renunciation, of traveling light, of letting the Lord dispose of us as He will.

Renunciation takes many forms. Clear out the material rubbish and then get started on the emotional and spiritual - the sacrament of reconciliation awaits.

Have a good week.
Fr. Richard
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