Blessed Robert Grissold Catholic Church

A Community based on Faith, Altar and the Word

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Welcome to the website of Blessed Robert Grissold Catholic Church in Balsall Common. Here you can find details of the parish, our latest newsletter, services and sacraments offered by the Church and, in our parish archive, the events we have held. As a parish we value your privacy. Please follow the link here to learn more about the privacy policy that covers all catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Birmingham,
Father Frank writes
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The week of prayer for Christian unity begins this week. The vision of the Church presented by the scriptures is of Christ’s mystical body - the place where God is gathering into one all peoples, nations, races, and tongues and dissolving all barriers and disagreements. The new humanity of the Church, reborn in and through Christ, can never live separate from others or with hatred or hostility against others. According to the Christian vision the new humanity of the Church must be one for it is out of the one Father that they have been reborn. It is for this unity that we pray this week.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord and we leave behind the touching scene of the crib. Jesus has moved from the helpless infant of Bethlehem to a grown man who takes upon himself a tremendous burden and responsibility. The burden is the weight of the sins of humankind. The responsibility is to make reparation for those sins.
Thanks for the generosity you have shown in the gifts, cards and offerings, I have received over Christmas. Ny gratitude also to all of you who work so hard throughout the year to ensure that a worshipping community is viable here at Blessed Robert Grissold.
In today’s Gospel Luke relates the story of the Visitation and it involves the encounter of two pregnant women. Mary, who is from Galilee, journeys to Judea, the place where, one day, the son she is carrying will be cruelly rejected and condemned. At Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child in her womb “leapt for joy!” Joy is the first response to the coming of the Messiah. Preparing for the great celebration of the Nativity of the Lord means experiencing the joy of knowing that our God is the God who comes to us – the God who gives himself for us because he loves us.
Today is Gaudete Sunday and “Gaudete” refers to the joy of the Lord which we find echoed in today’s scripture readings. We also hear about John the Baptist in today’s Gospel and John marks the end of the time of waiting and the beginning of the new age in Jesus. John is the last of the great prophets, For a long time the people had been without a messenger from God but in John the Baptist the people discovered an end to God’s silence. Through John they could hear the word of God. We are told that many went out from the towns and cities to see John - which is testimony to his charismatic power to attract people - such is the powerful attraction of the word of God alive and active in a person.
The invitation to welcome the God who comes to us in Christ and to cast away empty living is repeated in the liturgy of the Second Sunday of Advent. The Opening Prayer of the Mass asks that no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet Christ. And today we hear the lonely voice of John the Baptist who exhorts us to prepare a way for the Lord. May our faithfulness to the spirit of Advent create a space so that the Lord can come to us.
The season of Advent begins today - the season of preparation for Christmas. The prayer of this season looks forward in relation to the triple coming of the Lord: in history, in grace and at the end of time. Its tone is one of anticipation, expectation and yearning. As St Charles Borromeo said: ‘This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that holy Simeon rejoiced to see. This is the season the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity. We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the mercy and love he has shown us in this mystery.’
The feast of Christ the King, which the holy Church throughout the world celebrates today, brings to a close the Church’s liturgical year. Our image of a monarch tends to be of one who lives a privileged life and lords it over others. Christ our King is not like that. He came to serve, not to be served and he wants us to imitate him in his loving service of others. That is why, as St. John of the Cross said: “In the evening of life we shall be examined on love.” If to love and to serve our neighbour is heavenly, hell is the suffering of one who can no longer love.
Faith in the God of love can bring great happiness and confidence for “perfect love casts out all fear.” The warnings about the end times in the Scriptures are meant to be a source of hope for us, not fear, for “Christ, by his death and resurrection, has achieved our sanctification.” All we need to do is to place our trust in Christ and so be able to make the words of today’s psalm our own: “You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence.”
Today in the Gospel we hear the story of the “Widow’s Mite.” The mite was the tiniest coin in circulation. In the Temple the rich were giving from their loose change, but the widow, out of her extreme poverty, gave everything she had: two small coins. Although poor and in need of the few coppers she had, she never hesitated, never counted the cost. She gave everything to God. The widow became famous, not because she gave so little but because, in her extraordinary generosity, she gave so much.
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints when we give thanks to God for all those who are in heaven, both those recognised by the Church as saints and those known only to the Lord. The Church teaches that sanctity is within everyone’s reach and we ask for the intercession of the saints in heaven as we endeavour to follow their example. On Tuesday, the Feast of All Souls, we commemorate all the Faithful Departed when the Church invites us to pray for our beloved deceased.
October is the month of the Rosary and the Rosary is a rich and powerful prayer. Firstly, the Rosary is vocal prayer in that, the fixed words can be prayed aloud, but it also lends itself to meditative prayer as we reflect on each of the mysteries. This enables personal insights that can change our lives and meditation can lead to loving contemplation when our mind is seized by the depth of the mystery we are praying. That’s why Pope St John Paul II wrote: “The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation.” The words of the Rosary also contain prayers of praise and petition and the faithful often offer up each decade of the Rosary for a special intention. Countless believers, down through the ages have born witness to the fruitful results of praying the Rosary. How could it be otherwise when, as Pope St John Paul II says: “To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.”
October is the month of the Rosary and the Rosary is Trinitarian and Christ-centred but it is also a Marian prayer. In the Rosary, we are happy to honour the mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the words of the Archangel Gabriel and her cousin Elizabeth: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.” And in the Rosary, we meditate and reflect on the important events in Our Lord’s life through the eyes of Mary. Another prayer that makes the Rosary Marian is the concluding prayer - the “Hail Holy Queen.” But the two most important prayers of the Rosary are the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary. As St. Louis de Montfort said: “How could there possibly be any more pleasing prayers more to Almighty God and the Blessed Virgin, or any that are easier, more precious or more helpful than these two prayers?”
October is the month of the Rosary and the Rosary is a rich and complete form of prayer. In the first place it is “Trinitarian.” We begin the Rosary with the sign of the Cross as we invoke the three persons of the Most Holy Trinity: “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” We then recite the Apostles Creed, which calls to mind each of the divine persons in turn: “I believe in God the Father Almighty…and in Jesus Christ his only-begotten Son…I believe in the Holy Spirit.” And each decade of the Rosary concludes with the Trinitarian prayer: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.” The Rosary is also Christ-centred for the mysteries of the Rosary upon which we meditate are the mysteries of Christ’s life. And in every “Hail Mary” prayed we honour Christ by saying: “blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
In today’s Gospel reading Jesus reminds us of God’s original intention in creation and he does so in response to the question posed concerning marriage and divorce. When St Paul speaks of marriage he says: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.” He then goes on to say: “This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.” (Ephesians 5:31,32). Christ and the Church is “the great mystery” signified by Christian marriage and by the reference Jesus makes to the book of Genesis in today‘s Gospel, it is also the mystery of God’s original intention in creation.
A reminder that this coming Friday is Family Fast Day on behalf of CAFOD. The Coronavirus pandemic is pushing millions of people around the world into poverty and deepened inequality. The poorest and most vulnerable people in the world are also the ones who are being hit hardest by climate change. Harvests are failing. Cities are flooding. Entire communities are finding it harder and harder to survive in the place they call home. By donating to CAFOD this Family Fast Day, you can help communities affected by the worst impacts of the climate crisis. CAFOD works with local experts to help people around the world to adapt to the changing climate and to protect our common home. What we save by going without for one day can help to save the lives of others. Our offerings should be returned next Sunday 3rd October. There are envelopes available for the offerings.
The Gospel today presents us with a lesson in humility. Whilst the disciples were arguing amongst themselves about who was “the greatest” Jesus was arguing for being “last of all” and “servant of all” and Jesus backs up his words with his actions, for that is exactly what he became. He washes his disciples feet, the work of a slave, and he dies the death of an outcast criminal. And he wants us to share in his way of humility because it is the way of the God who stoops low to gather us into his kingdom.
"Who do people say I am?" - This is the question posed to his disciples by Jesus in today’s Gospel. But more important is the question he poses to Peter: “But you, who do you say I am?” for this is a question posed to all of us too. So who is Jesus for us? Is he just a fine example of what it means to be a thoroughly decent human being or is there more to him than that? Is he, in fact, divine, the Son of God, the Second Person of God, the Most Holy Trinity made flesh? How we answer this question will determine how we respond to him and his message. It will deeply affect the way we live our lives, for if we truly believe that he is the Messiah and Son of God then why wouldn’t we make every effort to get to know him and his will for us and strive to live accordingly?
St. James reminds us in our second reading today that we should not have a higher regard for those who are well-dressed and well-heeled. For him such an attitude is incompatible with faith in the one who washed the feet of his own disciples and who said: “Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your slave.” Discrimination against the poor, or partiality towards the wealthy, is seriously at odds with the teaching of Christ who, though equal with God, made himself poor so that we might be rich.
Jesus’ controversy with the Pharisees, in today’s Gospel, points up his opposition to a cold, formal and exterior religion. Jesus wants us to engage rather with the loving, interior demands of the kingdom of God. Like the prophets of old, he calls for conversion of heart rather than mere conformity to external standards and laws. One way to obscure the joy and truth of the Gospel is to reduce it to a series of formal rules which need to be observed only in an external fashion. The Gospel of Christ, on the other hand, is primarily an affair of the heart.
Masses at Blessed Robert Grissold in time of the pandemic

Out of care for the welfare of others please social distance, wear a mask and sanitise hands:

Please stay at home if...
+ You are feeling ill or show any symptoms
+ You suspect you may be ill or have been exposed to Covid 19
+ You have a sick family member at home
+ You have come into contact with someone who is infected


Those attending will be asked to supply contact details for track and trace

Please Note:
+ In the first instance, attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Once capacity has been reached the stewards will prevent entry
+ Wrap up warm (if necessary) - doors and windows will be left open to increase ventilation wherever possible
.
The Diocesan Vision: Unfolding God’s Plan
You may recall a Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Bernard Longley was read out at Mass a few weeks ago. It outlined the vision for the Archdiocese as we move forward. Leaflets explaining The Diocesan Vision: Unfolding God’s Plan will be available to take away this weekend. Please pick up a copy for yourself, and take copies for those who are unable to come to Mass. More information on the Vision is available on the Diocesan website here.

Parish Events

Looking for the rest of the Parish Event List? We have archived the list from our old site but you can still view them here.
Date
TitleDescription
16.01.2022WelcomeToday we are pleased to welcome Father Michael Dolman, Rector of Oscott College, to celebrate the Mass.
16.01.2022Get TogetherDue to the increased risk presented by the Omicron Covid variant, we have decided not to have a Get Together in January. We will hopefully have our first one of 2022 on Wednesday 2nd February at 10.30 am in the Parish Meeting Room.
16.01.2022Pope Francis’ Invitation to the Synodal ProcessIn preparation for our participation in the Synodal Process I have devised a questionnaire to help us reflect, individually and in small groups, on how we can respond to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us today. I would be pleased to receive written responses to those questions which most interest you and I will use your written responses in formulating a response to the Archdiocese who will forward a summary of the feedback from parishes to the Synod on Synodality in Rome in 2023. The questionnaires are available at the back of the church
16.01.2022Millennium ProjectThe Bottle is back in the narthex. Any loose change can be deposited in the Bottle and the contents will eventually be sent to Fr Ed O'Connell, a Columban priest working with needy communities in Lima. We have been supporting Fr Ed for many years now. Columban calendars are available in the narthex too.
09.01.2022Local Coronavirus updatePlease click on the link to see an update from local Coronavirus Community Champion
02.01.2022BulletinVolunteers are needed to join those who ensure the printing of the weekly Bulletin for the Mass - full instruction will be given. Volunteers share the responsibility for the printing of parish news and notices for a limited number of weeks. Please contact Fr Frank for further details if you are interested.
25.12.2021Christmas OfferingThe collections at the Christmas Masses are for your Priest
24.12.2021Christmas MassesClick on the link to see when Masses will be celebrated at Blessed Robert Grissold this Christmas
19.12.2021Local Coronavirus updatePlease click on the link to see an update from local Coronavirus Community Champion
19.12.2021The Sacrament or ReconciliationI will be hearing Confessions by arrangement after masses this week
19.12.2021ThanksThanks to Claire Kean for her work in raising funds and acquiring gifts for our Christmas charities and to all those who have generously supported her efforts
19.12.2021Millennium ProjectThe Bottle is back in the narthex. Any loose change can be deposited in the Bottle and the contents will eventually be sent to Fr Ed O'Connell, a Columban priest working with needy communities in Lima. We have been supporting Fr Ed for many years now. Columban calendars are available in the narthex too.
19.12.2021Notice from the ArchdioceseThe wearing of face coverings (masks) is now mandatory in places of worship. There are exemptions for priests, for the public proclamation of spiritual readings and for those who have a legitimate exemption.
19.12.2021CAFOD World GiftsBuy a Christmas gift that makes a difference! Help provide emergency support to a family in urgent need this Advent. The World Gifts range will delight the people you give them to and help transform the lives of families living in poverty. Shop online at www.worldgifts.cafod.org.uk
12.12.2021100 Club Winners in the recent drawCongratulations to our winners in the recent draw: 1st Prize £130 Bob Jones; 2nd Prize £100 Meghan Westall; 3rd Prize £80 John McLellan; 4th Prize £40.00 Margaret McLellan
12.12.2021Save the Children Christmas FayreA few ‘thankyous’ for the Fayre a couple of weeks ago. Over £1,000 was raised, which will really support the work of ‘Save the Children. A fantastic amount considering the wintry weather on the day. Thanks to all who helped, Terry, who helped set up and clear away, also having the task of clearing the snow away. Thanks also to Father Frank, for use of the hall. Congratulations to those lucky parishioners who won raffle prizes. In addition, a large cake tin, with a blue lid pear-like has gone missing from the kitchen. If someone took it home to carry cakes, please return it to Terry. Thank you. Julia Greensall
12.12.2021Notice from the ArchdioceseThe wearing of face coverings (masks) is now mandatory in places of worship. There are exemptions for priests, for the public proclamation of spiritual readings and for those who have a legitimate exemption. Please note that our choir have all taken lateral flow tests with a negative result before singing on a Sunday
12.12.2021Sad NewsPlease remember in your prayers Thomas Powditch, a former member of the parish, who has died suddenly. Please also remember his family.
12.12.2021Christmas Giving to Father Hudson's ProjectThis Advent we are going to collect gifts for Father Hudson's. They have asked for Christmas selection packs, Family Biscuit or Chocolate boxes. Family presents eg a family game, and Gifts for adults eg toiletries or winter accessories. Either wrapped (with a label stating who it is for) or unwrapped. If you prefer to give a gift voucher for food or other gifts, that would also be lovely. (Please see the enclosed leaflet for details of this) We will be collecting all gifts /vouchers at church on the 5th and 12th Dec- Just put your donation in the box under the tree. We will also have a box there for food donations for the food bank. Please also see the notice in the Narthex. Thanks for all your donations – Claire.
08.12.2021Immaculate ConceptionThere will be a Mass celebrating the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Francis Baddesley Clinton at 9.00am on Wednesday 8th December.
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16.01.2022
Today we are pleased to welcome Father Michael Dolman, Rector of Oscott College, to celebrate the Mass.
16.01.2022
Due to the increased risk presented by the Omicron Covid variant, we have decided not to have a Get Together in January. We will hopefully have our first one of 2022 on Wednesday 2nd February at 10.30 am in the Parish Meeting Room.
16.01.2022
In preparation for our participation in the Synodal Process I have devised a questionnaire to help us reflect, individually and in small groups, on how we can respond to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us today. I would be pleased to receive written responses to those questions which most interest you and I will use your written responses in formulating a response to the Archdiocese who will forward a summary of the feedback from parishes to the Synod on Synodality in Rome in 2023. The questionnaires are available at the back of the church
16.01.2022
The Bottle is back in the narthex. Any loose change can be deposited in the Bottle and the contents will eventually be sent to Fr Ed O'Connell, a Columban priest working with needy communities in Lima. We have been supporting Fr Ed for many years now. Columban calendars are available in the narthex too.
09.01.2022
Please click on the link to see an update from local Coronavirus Community Champion
02.01.2022
Volunteers are needed to join those who ensure the printing of the weekly Bulletin for the Mass - full instruction will be given. Volunteers share the responsibility for the printing of parish news and notices for a limited number of weeks. Please contact Fr Frank for further details if you are interested.
25.12.2021
The collections at the Christmas Masses are for your Priest
24.12.2021
Click on the link to see when Masses will be celebrated at Blessed Robert Grissold this Christmas
19.12.2021
Please click on the link to see an update from local Coronavirus Community Champion
19.12.2021
I will be hearing Confessions by arrangement after masses this week
19.12.2021
Thanks to Claire Kean for her work in raising funds and acquiring gifts for our Christmas charities and to all those who have generously supported her efforts
19.12.2021
The Bottle is back in the narthex. Any loose change can be deposited in the Bottle and the contents will eventually be sent to Fr Ed O'Connell, a Columban priest working with needy communities in Lima. We have been supporting Fr Ed for many years now. Columban calendars are available in the narthex too.
19.12.2021
The wearing of face coverings (masks) is now mandatory in places of worship. There are exemptions for priests, for the public proclamation of spiritual readings and for those who have a legitimate exemption.
19.12.2021
Buy a Christmas gift that makes a difference! Help provide emergency support to a family in urgent need this Advent. The World Gifts range will delight the people you give them to and help transform the lives of families living in poverty. Shop online at www.worldgifts.cafod.org.uk
12.12.2021
Congratulations to our winners in the recent draw: 1st Prize £130 Bob Jones; 2nd Prize £100 Meghan Westall; 3rd Prize £80 John McLellan; 4th Prize £40.00 Margaret McLellan
12.12.2021
A few ‘thankyous’ for the Fayre a couple of weeks ago. Over £1,000 was raised, which will really support the work of ‘Save the Children. A fantastic amount considering the wintry weather on the day. Thanks to all who helped, Terry, who helped set up and clear away, also having the task of clearing the snow away. Thanks also to Father Frank, for use of the hall. Congratulations to those lucky parishioners who won raffle prizes. In addition, a large cake tin, with a blue lid pear-like has gone missing from the kitchen. If someone took it home to carry cakes, please return it to Terry. Thank you. Julia Greensall
12.12.2021
The wearing of face coverings (masks) is now mandatory in places of worship. There are exemptions for priests, for the public proclamation of spiritual readings and for those who have a legitimate exemption. Please note that our choir have all taken lateral flow tests with a negative result before singing on a Sunday
12.12.2021
Please remember in your prayers Thomas Powditch, a former member of the parish, who has died suddenly. Please also remember his family.
12.12.2021
This Advent we are going to collect gifts for Father Hudson's. They have asked for Christmas selection packs, Family Biscuit or Chocolate boxes. Family presents eg a family game, and Gifts for adults eg toiletries or winter accessories. Either wrapped (with a label stating who it is for) or unwrapped. If you prefer to give a gift voucher for food or other gifts, that would also be lovely. (Please see the enclosed leaflet for details of this) We will be collecting all gifts /vouchers at church on the 5th and 12th Dec- Just put your donation in the box under the tree. We will also have a box there for food donations for the food bank. Please also see the notice in the Narthex. Thanks for all your donations – Claire.
08.12.2021
There will be a Mass celebrating the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Francis Baddesley Clinton at 9.00am on Wednesday 8th December.
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