Adults Wanting to become a Catholic

Would you like to be received into the Catholic Church? Would you like to find out more about what it means to be a Catholic? Are you an adult who has missed out on the Sacrament of Confirmation? Do you know someone who might be interested in becoming a Catholic?

The parish will be holding an “Enquirers’ Evening” this week on Wednesday, February 19th at 7.30pm at St. Teilo’s. The “Enquirers’ Evening” will be open to all who are interested, so why not come along if you are interested, or bring a friend who you think may be interested in the Church?

There will be tea, coffee and biscuits followed by a short presentation on the faith by Canon Isaac and a chance to speak to members of the parish who treasure and love the faith. All are most welcome to attend – there is no commitment at this stage, just an opportunity to find out more.

St. Teilo’s Day

Today we celebrate the Patronal Feast day of St. Teilo here in our Parish Church in Whitchurch. St. Teilo was a 6th century monk and Bishop. He was a very popular saint in Wales with more churches dedicated to his name than any saint other than St. David.

 

According to tradition, St. Teilo studied under St. Paulinus at the monastic school at Whitland, Carmarthenshire. Here he met and became firm friends with St. David. St. Teilo subsequently travelled with him to Mynyw, now known as St. David’s, where St. David set up his religious community.

 

As a Bishop, St. Teilo founded the Cathedral Church at Llandaff, where he is buried, and the great Abbey in the town named after him, Llandeilo. St. Teilo was also a missionary, travelling to Brittany to share the faith.  He is commemorated in many churches dedicated to him in Brittany.

 

At the end of the 9am and 11am Mass today the children of the parish will be invited to gather around the statue of St. Teilo, our Patron Saint, to celebrate his feast day.

 

The Presentation of the Lord

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord which occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemas day, since the blessing and procession of candles is included in today’s liturgy.

The Presentation of the Lord concludes the celebration of the Nativity and with the offerings of the Virgin Mother and the prophecy of Simeon, the events now point toward Easter.

In obedience to the Old Law, the Lord Jesus, the first-born, was presented in the Temple by his Blessed Mother and his foster father. This is another ‘epiphany’ celebration insofar as the Christ Child is revealed as the Messiah through the canticle and words of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess. Christ is the light of the nations, hence the blessing and procession of candles on this day. In the Middle Ages this feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or ‘Candlemas,’ was of great importance.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is a combined feastcommemorating the Jewish practice of the purification of the mother after childbirth and the presentation of the child to God in the Temple and his buying back (redemption) from God.

Sunday of the Word of God

On this Third Sunday of Ordinary Time the Church celebrates the first Sunday of the Word of God.

Pope Francis proposed the idea at the conclusion of the Year of Mercy when he wrote of a desire to institute a “Sunday given over entirely to the Word of God, so as to appreciate the inexhaustible riches contained in that constant dialogue between the Lord and his people.”

In his Apostolic Letter “Aperuit Illis”, the Holy Father writes:

A day devoted to the Bible should not be seen as a yearly event but rather a year-long event, for we urgently need to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scriptures and of the risen Lord, who continues to speak his word and to break bread in the community of believers.

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales outline the way we can celebrate the Sunday of the Word of God and invite us to read St. Matthew’s Gospel day by day during this Year of the Word. It involves exploring the words of St. Matthew over 44 days. If you would like to read the Gospel which is the centre of the Church’s Liturgy this year follow this link.

Baptism of the Lord

Today, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord’s second manifestation or epiphany, which occurred on the occasion of His Baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the river to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to beget sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes. In the Eastern Church, this feast is called Theophany because at the Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan, God appeared in three persons.

The Baptism of John was a sort of sacramental preparation for the Baptism of Christ. It moved men to sentiments of repentance and induced them to confess their sins. Christ did not need the baptism of John. Although He appeared in the “substance of our flesh” and was recognised “outwardly like unto ourselves”, He was absolutely sinless and impeccable. He conferred upon the water the power of the true Baptism, which would remove all the sins of the world: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world”.

Many of the incidents, which accompanied Christ’s Baptism, are symbolic of what happened at our Baptism. At Christ’s Baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him; at our Baptism, the Trinity took its abode in our soul. At His Baptism, Christ was proclaimed the “Beloved Son” of the Father; at our Baptism, we become the Sons and Daughters of God. At Christ’s Baptism, the heavens were opened; at our Baptism, heaven was opened to us.

The Epiphany

The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Saviour of the world.

The great feast of the Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men, the Magi, from the East, together with His baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the Magi, representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first fruits of the nations who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. The Magi’s coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the Messianic light of the Star of David, the One who will be king of the nations. Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship Him as Son of God and Saviour of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the Messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament.

The Epiphany shows that “the full number of the nations” now takes its “place in the family of the patriarchs”, and acquires Israelitica dignitas (is made “worthy of the heritage of Israel”).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 528

May the light of the star, the light of faith, lead you into a closer encounter with Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Holy Family Sunday

Today is the feast day of the Holy Family, and also every family’s feast day, since the Holy Family is the patron and model of all Christian families.

Today is to be a huge family feast, devoted to the Holy Family as a model for the Christian family life.

As Rev. Edward Sutfin states:

The children must learn to see in their father the foster-father St. Joseph, and the Blessed Mother as the perfect model for their own mother. The lesson to be learned is both practical and theoretical, in that the children must learn how to obey and to love their parents in thought, word and action, just as Christ was obedient to Mary and Joseph. Helping mother in the kitchen and in the house work, and helping father in his odd jobs about the home thus take on a new significance by being performed in a Christ-like spirit.

A happy Holy Family Day to all the families of our Parish and beyond.

On the Feast of Stephen

Today is the feast of St. Stephen

You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Matthew Chapter 10 verse 22.

St Catherine of Siena reflects

In the name of Jesus Christ crucified and of gentle Mary. I Caterina, slave of the servants of Jesus Christ, am writing to you in his precious blood. I long to see you bathed and drowned in that blood, which will make you strong enough to bear with true patience any trial or trouble, from whatever source it may come. It will give you perseverance to endure even to the point of death in true humility.”

St. Stephen pray for us

Christmas Masses

The Parish Newsletter for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (22nd December) is now available.

 

It includes all the Mass times for the Christmas period.

 

If you haven’t got time to click the link and read the whole newsletter, the Mass times for Christmas Day are as follows:

 

Vigil Masses on Christmas Eve
4.30pm at St. Teilo’s – Offeren y Nadolig (Mass in Welsh)
6pm at Our Lady of Lourdes with Carols from 5.30pm

 

Midnight Mass on Christmas Day
12am midnight at St. Teilo’s, with Carols from 11.30pm
12am midnight at Our Lady of Lourdes – Msza w języku polskim (Mass in Polish)

 

Daytime Masses – Christmas Day
9am at St. Teilo’s – Mass of Dawn
10.30am at St. Teilo’s – Mass of Christmas Day
10.30am at Our Lady of Lourdes – Msza w języku polskim (Mass in Polish)
12pm midday at Our Lady of Lourdes – Msza w języku polskim (Mass in Polish)

 

St Stephen’s Day – Boxing Day
10.30am at Our Lady of Lourdes – Msza w języku polskim (Mass in Polish)
12pm midday at St. Teilo’s – Our Altar Servers, as members of the Guild of St. Stephen, will renew their promises to serve on the altar during this Mass.
12pm midday at Our Lady of Lourdes – Msza w języku polskim (Mass in Polish)

 

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.

Today is the last Sunday of our preparation for Christmas, the anniversary of Christ’s birth. Like Joseph, we can all feel unworthy of the honour of welcoming him into our hearts and our homes. We are indeed unworthy, not because we have little of this world’s goods, but because we have so little humility, so little charity, so little faith and trust in God’s goodness. Let us try to imitate Joseph and Mary, the humblest of the humble, the kindliest of the kindly, and the greatest-ever believers in God’s goodness and mercy. We can never hope to equal them, but we can follow them humbly, from afar.