Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent.
Ashes are ceremonially placed on the heads of Christians on Ash Wednesday, either by being sprinkled over their heads or, in English-speaking countries, more often by being marked on their foreheads as a visible cross. The words (based on Genesis 3:19) used traditionally to accompany this gesture are, “Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.” (“Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.”) This custom is credited to Pope Gregory I the Great (c. 540–604). In the 1969 revision of the Roman Rite, an alternative formula (based on Mark 1:15) was introduced and given first place “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” and the older formula was translated as “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The old formula, based on the words spoken to Adam and Eve after their sin, reminds worshippers of their sinfulness and mortality and thus, implicitly, of their need to repent in time.
Cardinal John Henry Newman is close to becoming Britain’s first new saint since St. John Ogilvie was canonized by Pope Saint Paul VI in 1976. The last English saints, 40 martyrs of the Reformation, were canonised in 1970. Cardinal Newman, who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, was born in 1801. He was ordained as a Church of England priest and went on to found the Oxford Movement but converted to Catholicism in 1845. He was later made a cardinal and, after he died at the age of 89, more than 15,000 people lined the streets for his funeral. The cause for his sainthood was opened in 1958 and he was declared Venerable by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1991 after his life of ‘heroic virtue’ was recognised.
“Sincere thanks to all who helped clean and prepare the Churches for Christmas and who took part in the Masses by reading, providing the music and serving at the altar. Thanks also to those who decorated the trees and window ledges at St Mary’s and St Patrick’s and for further donations toward the cost of flowers. Once again you have been so very kind in sending me lovely cards, wonderful and generous presents and for the plentiful Christmas collection. For all this I am truly grateful. (I do try to thank people personally but even after all this time in the parish I don’t necessarily know names but only faces – so if I have missed you, it’s down to my poor memory for names!)” Canon C
There are plenty of Masses to choose from at Christmas in the Parish this year! CHRISTMAS EVE St Patrick’s – Carols 4:00pm followed by Family Mass at 4:30pm St Mary’s – Carols 6:00pm followed by Family Mass 6:30pm (Solemn) St Patrick’s – Christmas Eve Mass 9:00pm (Polish) St Patrick’s – Midnight Mass (Missa Brevis) Carols from 11:40pm CHRISTMAS DAY The Good Shepherd – 8:30am (Dawn Mass) St Mary’s – 10:30am (Daytime Mass) St Patrick’s – Christmas Day Mass (Polish) 12noon
Fr Joe Maley, often referred to by his friends as JOCK, died on the 5th October 2018. He will have been known by many parishioners throughout Lancaster Diocese. He was the Parish Priest of The Good Shepherd, Torrisholme for many years. May he rest in peace.