Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Parish Lenten Retreat

Our Parish Lenten Retreat takes place on Monday 29th February to Friday 4th March.
There will be Eucharistic Adoration each evening at 5.30PM followed by Mass at 6.30PM.
Our presenter will be Fr. Mark Owen.

See You There!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Year of Mercy Plans

What does the Archdiocese have planned for this Year of Mercy? Take a look:

The Season of Lent

We are now in the Holy Season of Lent. Lent is about self-sacrifice. It begins Ash Wednesday and goes until Easter where we, as Catholics, celebrate the Paschal Mystery which is the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Lent has three (3) pillars; Fasting, Prayer & Almsgiving. We are encouraged to fulfill all three during this solemn season.

As Jesus was in constant Prayer for 40 days and nights in the desert, we are to be like him in constant prayer both in season and out of season. Prayer is simply our conversation with God and without prayer we deprive ourselves from talking to God. However, in Lent, we are called to ‘beef up’ our prayer life so that our relationship with God will amplify. 

This is where the self-sacrifice takes effect. Jesus lived in the wilderness for a great time without indulging himself in hearty meals. So the question is, if Jesus can sacrifice a hearty meal, why can’t we sacrifice something we most desire? As Christians we have to challenge ourselves to the extreme to be as strong-minded as Christ is. Why not start by giving up something we absolutely love for ONLY 40 days! The bible says, And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Why not make that effort for our Lord who endured so much more for us! Let us show him our utmost love by giving up something for him. It will pay off in the long run! 

When we give alms we are expressing our gratitude for all that God has done for us and all that he continues to do. Coming to a realization of others who are in great need and giving with grateful hearts is an integral way of Christian living. Giving alms should not be carried out only during Lent or Christmas, but is should be second nature for us Christians. Why should we shy away a stranger who is in need of a meal or clothes or even money? The main thing is fulfilling the works of charity all in the name of Love. If almsgiving is something that you want to start doing, let this season of Lent be a beautiful way to kick start your commitment of giving and let it be a year-round tradition.

There is one other thing to be said; Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert but he was strong enough to resist all the lures that came his way. For humans, it is natural for us to give in to temptation but for Spiritual Humans, we have the secret weapon just like Jesus, to resist all of Satan’s tactics, and that is the Holy Spirit living in each of us. Call on him and ask him to strengthen you in your weakened states. He NEVER lets us down. Satan can only try but we have won the victory. 

Having discussed most of what this Holy season is offering; let us offer up ourselves this Lenten season to Christ  as we journey with him to death and rise with him in this New Life! To God be the Glory!

-- B. Durham, 2016

Monday, 8 February 2016

Understanding Lent

The Lenten Season: FAQs

Q. So does that mean that when we give something up for Lent, such as candy, we can have it on Sundays?
A.  Apart from the prescribed days of fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and the days of abstinence every Friday of Lent, Catholics have traditionally chosen additional penitential practices for the whole Time of Lent.  These practices are disciplinary in nature and often more effective if they are continuous, i.e., kept on Sundays as well.  That being said, such practices are not regulated by the Church, but by individual conscience.

Q.  I understand that all the Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat, but I'm not sure what is classified as meat.  Does meat include chicken and dairy products?
A.  Abstinence laws consider that meat comes only from animals such as chickens, cows, sheep or pigs --- all of which live on land. Birds are also considered meat. Abstinence does not include meat juices and liquid foods made from meat.  Thus, such foods as chicken broth, consomme, soups cooked or flavored with meat, meat gravies or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat are technically not forbidden.  However, moral theologians have traditionally taught that we should abstain from all animal-derived products (except foods such as gelatin, butter, cheese and eggs, which do not have any meat taste).  Fish are a different category of animal.  Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, (cold-blooded animals) and shellfish are permitted.

Q.  I've noticed that restaurants and grocery stores advertise specials on expensive types of fish and seafood on Fridays during Lent.  Some of my Catholic friends take advantage of these deals, but somehow I don't feel right treating myself to the lobster special on Fridays during Lent.
A.  While fish, lobster and other shellfish are not considered meat and can be consumed on days of abstinence, indulging in the lavish buffet at your favorite seafood place sort of misses the point.  Abstaining from meat and other indulgences during Lent is a penitential practice.  On the Fridays of Lent, we remember the sacrifice of Christ on Good Friday and unite ourselves with that sacrifice through abstinence and prayer.

Q.  I understand that Catholics ages 18 to 59 should fast on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday, but what exactly are the rules for these fasts?
A.  Fasting on these days means we can have only one full, meatless meal.  Some food can be taken at the other regular meal times if necessary, but combined they should be less than a full meal.  Liquids are allowed at any time, but no solid food should be consumed between meals.

Q.  Are there exemptions other than for age from the requirement to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday?
A.  Those that are excused from fast and abstinence outside the age limits include the physically or mentally ill including individuals suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes.  Also excluded are pregnant or nursing women.  In all cases, common sense should prevail, and ill persons should not further jeopardize their health by fasting.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Stations of the Cross

Ash Wednesday Schedule

JUST IN: There is a correction. There will be no Holy Mass at 6PM in St. Jude's Chapel, Mt. D'or. Instead, there will be a Eucharistic Service at 6PM in St. Jude's Chapel.
Also, there will be an 11AM Mass (With the Distribution of Ashes) for the St. Joseph College in St. Joseph R.C. Church.
Sorry for the Inconvenience caused.