The Catechumenate begins on Tuesday 21 May at Stella Maris at 730pm. It is a course that prepares interested persons to enter the Catholic Church. It continues throughout the year until next Easter when those thus prepared will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church, confirmed and make their First Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil Mass.
The Catechumenate (the ancient name for this course) is very informal, with attendees enjoying it, making new and lasting friends and missing it when it is finished. No one is put under any kind of pressure and never put on the spot. The weekly session begins at 730pm with a thorough examination of the teachings of the Catholic Faith and breaks at 815 for tea; the session resumes at 830pm and concludes at 9pm sharp.
If you have ever considered becoming a Catholic, now is your chance. There will be no obligation or pressure applied to join the Church at the end of the course. You can leave the Catechumenate if and whenever you please.
If you are already a Catholic but find that your knowledge of the Faith is inadequate, then here is your chance too. Come along and gain a deep understanding of it. You will be surprised at the things you didn’t know! And you will be delighted to learn them.
19 May 2013 Pentecost
Today is the Feast of Pentecost, the Feast of the Holy Spirit, the day the Spirit came down on Our Lady and the Apostles and gave birth to the Church. So let us spend a moment or two thinking about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the life of the Church
The Creed calls the Spirit the Giver of Life. He is the Giver of Life because He Himself is the very Life of God. So, by Him, Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God, was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
Through Him, the Church was born, when the Risen Christ sent the Spirit upon the Apostles and Our Lady on that first Pentecost. Like the sap in the Vine of which Our Lord speaks, like the soul of the Body of which St Paul speaks, the Spirit is the life of the Church.
The Holy Spirit is the Power that came down upon Jesus at his Baptism and worked through Him in parable and miracle throughout his life. He enlivens us through the Sacraments. All the Sacraments operate through this Power of the Spirit and exist to give us life and make us holy.
The same Spirit changes the bread and wine of the Eucharist and is forgiveness of sin in the Sacrament of Reconciliation; the same Spirit is Consecration in Priesthood, and Divine Love in the binding of the marriage bond. The Holy Spirit is the Power that preaches the Gospel to this very day, who still speaks through the prophets. He is the Power of Christ constantly at work in the Church and in the world.
The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Christ, making Christ the Character he was, the perfect Man, as described by the Beatitudes in St Matthew’s Gospel. As we strive for Christ-likeness in our own lives, let us recognize that it is the Holy Spirit’s grace alone that can achieve it. So let us pray earnestly every day for the Spirit to come upon us and rest upon us as He did upon Christ, empowering us to love and serve as Christ loved and served us:
Maybe you could earn by heart this lovely ancient prayer (which I have adapted slightly):
Come Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful
And kindle within us
The fire of your Love.
Send forth your Spirit,
O Lord Jesus Christ,
And all things will be created afresh,
And you will renew the face of the earth.
O God, Our Father,
You instructed the hearts of the Faithful
By the light of the Holy Spirit.
By the gift of the same Spirit,
We may be always truly wise
And ever rejoice
In his empowering.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord
God bless you, Fr Antony.
PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PAGE WHICH DETAILS THE CURRENT FINANCIAL SITUATION OF THE PARISH. THE COLLECTIONS ARE CURRENTLY FALLING FAR SHORT OF WHAT WE NEED TO RUN THE PARISH FROM WEEK TO WEEK, LET ALONE SAVE FOR THE INEVITABLE REPAIRS OF THE PROPERTIES.
NEXT POLISH MASSES: Sundays 26 May and 23 June at 530pm.