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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In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus telling Parables of the Kingdom. The first declares that the growth of the Kingdom resembles the mysterious process of nature; so too the growth of the Kingdom is equally mysterious, as God’s ways always are. A second parable, that of the Mustard Seed, stresses the enormous potential of the Kingdom in spite of its tiny beginning. A parable, from the Greek word meaning “laid alongside,” can be seen as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
The Gospel of Christ is something so radically good and new that it can be difficult to accept - even by those who are closest to Jesus. The Gospel today tells us that Jesus’ own relatives thought he was “out of his mind.” And others accuse him of siding with Satan and with those who oppose God. They do not have “eyes to see” or “ears to hear” and so his message seems like foolishness or worse - like blasphemy against God - Such is their blindness and deafness to the true God who lives and speaks in Christ.
Today’s feast turns our thoughts to the sacred mysteries of the Eucharist, and one of the peculiarities of the Eucharistic feast is that we, the Church, become the Body of Christ through our partaking of Christ’s Body and the consequence of our assimilation to the Body of Christ is that, like Christ, we become spiritual food for the life of the world, to be broken, given away and consumed. The Eucharist makes the Church, by making the Church Eucharist.
We are not to approach God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God in three Persons as a mathematical puzzle or a philosophical problem but, rather, as the Divine community of love whom we are called to know and enjoy for ever, for the one God, who has revealed Himself as Trinity, has made us for himself - to know and enjoy him forever. That is why, in and through sacred mysteries which we celebrate in the Eucharist, he gathers us to himself so that, by grace, we might share in the life and love of the Most Holy Trinity for ever.
Today the Church of God throughout the world celebrates the Solemnity of Pentecost. It is God’s Spirit who inspires us to obey God’s commandments. All who love God experience the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. He counsels us and reminds us of what Jesus has said. The Holy Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control. As we thank God today for the gift of his Holy Spirit let us pray that our Christian discipleship manifests these fruits of God’s Spirit
The Gospel today invites us to celebrate the mystery at the heart of our salvation: God longs for us to be united with him, and with one another, in love. The readings from John typically rejoice at the Good News that we are truly loved by God - the God who is love. And God’s great love is revealed most powerfully in the life death, resurrection and ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ and is made truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Jesus calls us to follow his example in choosing to give ourselves in love, even when it hurts for this is the kind of love that mirrors God’s love. Authentic love is about self-giving - this cannot be accomplished in our own strength - but we can choose to try, confident that our efforts will be backed by God’s energetic and all-conquering love.
Through the Eucharist we make our home in Christ who describes Himself in today’s Gospel as “the true vine.” He is the “vine” and we are the “branches” which feed on His life in and through the miracle of the Mass. The Mass is vital to the Church’s mission and evangelisation, indeed, as St John Fisher once stated “When someone observes with attention the periods of spiritual flourishing of the Church and the times of degeneration as well he must realise this: the cause of degeneration in the Church is almost always the negligence and abuse of this most holy Sacrament of the Altar. On the opposite side however he will notice this: the times of genuine reform and the flourishing of the life of the Church were always preceded by a tender devotion to this most holy Sacrament.”
Today is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. We pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life and that all believers will be faithful to their baptismal vocation. To follow Christ is to love him, to trust him, to serve him and to do his will - which is also what it means to be faithful to our vocation. Christ, the Good Shepherd, tells us that his sheep follow him “because they recognise his voice.” We have to learn to distinguish the voice of the one true God from the voices of the many false gods and idols which call to us today.
The consequences of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ do not end with Easter Day. For those for whom the power of the Resurrection was a first-hand experience, it affected the rest of their lives. Today we remember that the Resurrection was a dynamic and transforming experience for the friends of Jesus and we pray that it may be so for us also.
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. Humankind not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but is also called to practice mercy towards others. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” It is to this end that we receive the transforming Spirit of God - the Holy Spirit, who through the power of God’s great loving mercy, transforms our interior life in order that it might radiate outwardly and be a transforming power in the world.
Christ has risen. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the joy of Easter. Today, with the Holy Church of God throughout the world, we proclaim and celebrate the truth which is foundational to our Christian faith, that on the third day Christ rose from the dead. And Christ, the Risen One, does not depart from us but returns to greet us with his peace and to remain with us until the end of time. And we share his peace and rejoice in his presence in the Mass.
Holy Week begins today and it is the most important week in the Church’s calendar. Holy Week opens with Palm Sunday when we carry palm crosses in procession to commemorate the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem. During Holy Week we celebrate the Easter Triduum, comprising the liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday evening). The liturgy of Holy Thursday commemorates the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, also there is the Washing of Feet in remembrance of our Lord’s example of humble service. On Good Friday we celebrate the Lord’s Passion and venerate the Cross. The wonderful liturgy of the Easter Vigil is celebrated on Saturday of Holy Week with the blessing and preparation of the Easter Candle and the celebration of Our Lord’s Resurrection. The celebration of Easter Sunday completes the celebrations we have prepared for during Lent. These sacred liturgies shine forth as the high point of the Church’s year. The Paschal Triduum is at the heart of all that it means to be the Church and we owe it to ourselves as Christians to be present at these key moments in the life of the worshipping community, for the sacred mysteries, which we celebrate on these three days, are not only the most beautiful liturgies of the Church’s calendar, they are also the axle on which the rest of the liturgical year turns.
Jesus calls us to serve him and follow him - to conversion. To turn away from sin - from all that harms our relationship with God and with our neighbour and to turn toward him, to serve him, do his will, to be faithful to our baptismal vocation. Conversion is a gift from God, won for us through the sacrifice of Christ and we must ask for it through fervent prayer in order that we might know the power of Christ’s Resurrection working in our lives.
Today is Mothering Sunday and so we give thanks to God for our mothers and for all who are mothers in our community. May God bless you in your high calling, remembering that the greatest of the saints, Our Blessed Lady, was, like you, a mother and that through loving devotion to her calling attained to the heights of holiness.
The Father loves and liberates but in today’s Gospel we see how his house can become ‘a market place’ where people are exploited. Jesus’ protest and rejection of the trading taking part in the Temple affects powerful interests: the interests of those who have replaced God (without denying God openly) by greed, which Paul calls ‘idolatry.’ Paradoxically, this subtle and insidious substitution is often justified by religious arguments. None of us is immune from this. The Gospel today invites us to examine our conscience both at the personal level and as members of Christ’s Church. Through Christ we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Lent is an opportunity for us to cleanse the temple of our lives from all that harms and diminishes us and those around us.
Today in the Gospel we hear how the apostles Peter, James and John were given a glimpse of Christ’s glory on the Mount of the Transfiguration - the same glimpse of glory that we are all given when we gather for the Mass, for in and through the sacred mysteries of the Eucharist we ascend to the heavenly places where, with Angels and Archangels and all the host of heaven, we worship the Beloved Son of God who sits at the right hand of the Father. God, the Holy Spirit, gathers us into the cloud of his glory. We listen to him in the scriptures. We feed on him in the Sacrament of the altar. No wonder the disciples “kept silence.” “Master, it is wonderful for us to be here.”
Today is the First Sunday of Lent, the season when the Church prepares for Easter, the greatest of her celebrations. During the season of Lent we are encouraged to grow in the life of Christ and to deepen and strengthen our relationship with God. The Church leads and assists us in this through encouraging our participation, in an ever more intense and fruitful way, in the liturgies of the Church and in penitential celebrations. In order to aid us in our Lenten endeavours I have arranged for instruction, devotions, times for meditation and prayerful reflection (please see details below) and there will be opportunities for people to make their confession.
At the time of Jesus, lepers were treated as social and ritual outcasts. They were not welcome in society or in the Temple. Therefore the leper in today’s Gospel makes a bold move in approaching Jesus. Jesus makes him “clean” enabling him to be accepted as part of the worshipping community and revealing to us how God, in Christ, is reconciling the world to himself. No one is outside the welcoming love of God.
The healings and exorcisms of Jesus are a visible manifestation that the Kingdom of God is breaking into and conquering the world - that all things are being made new in and through Christ. The Gospels see illness as part of our fallen human condition which Jesus comes to heal and make whole.
Safeguarding
The Parish follows the safeguarding standards advised by The Archdiocese of Birmingham. You can view these standards by following the link here.

A link to the Archdiocese safeguarding website can be found
here.

Safespaces is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused by someone in the Church or as a result of their relationship with the Church of England, the Catholic Church in England and Wales or the Church in Wales. If you have been affected, however long ago, Safe Spaces can provide you with support. You do not have to have told the police or the church authorities, and you do not have to still be involved with the church. Your information will not be shared without your consent unless you or someone else is in immediate danger. To contact Safespaces, please follow the link to their website here.

The Isaiah Journey The Isaiah Journey is a working group of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales which has grown out of the need for a pastoral-spiritual response to the suffering of victims and survivors of abuse in the Church. It provides A Guide for Survivors of Abuse that can be found here.

The Safeguarding Rep for our Parish is Monica Green and she can be contacted via email at sg.brg.balsallcommon@rcaob.org.uk.

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
04.07.2024General Election 2024Please see https://www.cbcew.org.uk/election24/ where you will find information and guidance on key issues of importance to us, as Catholics, to help inform how we vote
04.07.2024SVP and CAFOD working together in the run up to the General ElectionAs Catholics, we know that tackling poverty and injustice are among the most important issues politicians should act on. St Vincent de Paul Society and CAFOD have produced a guide for Catholics for the Election, with suggested questions to ask candidates. Please see cafod.org.uk/encounter or svp.org.uk/encounter for more information.
02.07.2024Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at BRGAdoration of the Blessed Sacrament at BRG will follow the 7.00pm Mass every first Tuesday of each month, followed by Benediction at 8.00pm. All welcome.
27.06.2024Closing of Deanery Visitations MeetingCanon John would like to invite you all the Closing of Deanery Visitations Meeting which will commence with Vespers at the church of the Immaculate Conception, Bicester, OX26 1UN, followed by a meeting in the St John Paul II Centre (next door to the church) on Thursday, 27th June at 7pm. His Grace Archbishop Bernard Longley and Episcopal Vicar Canon Paul Fitzpatrick will report on the current parish visitations taking place in our Deanery.
18.06.2024Tuesday MassNo weekday Masses this week as Fr Frank will be on his annual retreat. Please see the Deanery website for other weekday Masses taking place in the area: https://banburyandwarwick-catholicdeanery.org.uk/
16.06.2024New translation of the lectionaryBy Advent Sunday this year, all parishes must begin using a new translation of the readings at Mass. These are taken from the English Standard Version, Catholic Edition (ESVCE). The new Lectionaries are not yet available, but the complete ESV-CE Bible is. If anyone would like to consider donating one of the four volumes we shall need for the church, they cost £175 each – please let Father Frank know, thank you.
16.06.2024Confirmation Commitment MassToday is a ‘Commitment Mass’ for the young people of our parish who are currently preparing for Confirmation. We welcome our candidates together with their parents, families and friends as they make their commitment to their ongoing preparation for Confirmation later in the year. Please keep them in your prayers as they deepen the understanding of their faith and prepare for this important Sacrament.
16.06.2024Volunteer Sunday After Mass today we are holding an information session (during coffee) about the various volunteering roles and rota vacancies within the parish. This is to provide information on what is involved with the various tasks with the aim of boosting volunteer numbers. When the rota’s are full most roles involve helping only a handful of times a year. Only a few of the roles have a more significant commitment. We would encourage all to attend to explore opportunities to enable us to lighten the load from the existing volunteering teams and fill the current vacancies.
12.06.2024Parish Coffee MorningThe next Parish Coffee Morning will be on Wednesday 12th June - tea, coffee, scones and cake in abundance - everyone welcome.
09.06.2024Urgently neededNew Treasurer From the end of this month, Mike Fairbrother will be standing down as Treasurer. We therefore urgently require a new treasurer to step forward. The Parish cannot function without a treasurer. Full training and support will be given. Our thanks to Mike who has completed more than one stint in this role and has proven to be an invaluable member of our community.
09.06.2024Cafod Sudan appealA big thank you to everyone who contributed to the CAFOD Emergency Sudan Crisis Appeal. £568.70 has been collected. Also £385 of this was gift-aided, which will add in another £96 (approx). This will take the total up to around £665. Thank you.
08.06.2024Ripples of Hope As we look ahead to next year’s Jubilee. CAFOD invites you to Ripples of Hope, a special day of reflection, prayer and spiritual nourishment led by well-known and much-loved Catholic speaker, teacher and author David Wells. The event will be held on Saturday 8 June 2024 at The Dormer Conference Centre, St Peter Apostle Catholic Church, Leamington Spa, CV32 5AA from 11.00am – 4.00pm (a light lunch will be provided). To attend please register here: https://cafod.org.uk/news/events/ripples-of-hope
07.06.2024June - the Month of the Sacred HeartJune is the month of the Sacred Heart. The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus falls on Friday 7th June. Great benefits are promised to those who practice this devotion. Also, during this month, we can seek to deepen our devotion to the love of God revealed in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - a devotion encouraged by St Margaret Mary, whose relic rests in the altar at Blessed Robert Grissold church. We might even consider consecrating ourselves to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.
04.06.2024Adoration of the Blessed SacramentAdoration of the Blessed Sacrament: will follow the 7.00pm Mass every first Tuesday of each month, followed by Benediction at 8.00pm. All welcome.
02.06.2024WelcomeWe are delighted to welcome Fr Ed to celebrate Mass for us this Sunday. As you all know we have been supporting him over the last 24 years. Please join us after Mass for a coffee and Danish Pastries and hear about the developments of his work in Peru.
02.06.2024Retiring Collection for Father Ed (Millenium Project)The retiring collection taken after Fr Ed's visit last Sunday raised £443.60. This is a great result and thank you all for your generosity.
28.05.2024Catholic maritime charity Stella Maris (formerly called Apostleship of the Sea) Catholic maritime charity Stella Maris (formerly called Apostleship of the Sea) is very grateful for this parish’s prayer and financial support of its work on Sea Sunday last year. To report back on the use of those funds, it invites parishioners to join an online update and thank you webinar on Tuesday 28th May from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. You will hear about the impact of your generosity on the lives of seafarers, fishers, and their families over the last year. Its CEO and chaplains will share inspiring stories of how they have helped seafarers and fishers through your support. To register for this virtual event, please visit www.stellamaris.org.uk/thankyou2024
26.05.2024Midweek Mass w/c 27th May 2024Please note that there are no midweek masses at BRG or St Francis this week. Please go to the deanery website for details of Masses at other churches in the area: https://banburyandwarwick-catholicdeanery.org.uk/
25.05.2024BaptismPlease pray for Maria who was Baptised yesterday, 25th May at Blessed Robert Grissold. Please also pray for her Parents and Godparents
20.05.2024Pilgrimage to Rome & Assisi26 October - 2 November 2024. For more information contact Mgr. McHugh at: co.ordinator.ethnic.chaplaincy@rcaob.org.uk/07812 110640 by 20th May 2024.
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04.07.2024
Please see https://www.cbcew.org.uk/election24/ where you will find information and guidance on key issues of importance to us, as Catholics, to help inform how we vote
04.07.2024
As Catholics, we know that tackling poverty and injustice are among the most important issues politicians should act on. St Vincent de Paul Society and CAFOD have produced a guide for Catholics for the Election, with suggested questions to ask candidates. Please see cafod.org.uk/encounter or svp.org.uk/encounter for more information.
02.07.2024
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at BRG will follow the 7.00pm Mass every first Tuesday of each month, followed by Benediction at 8.00pm. All welcome.
27.06.2024
Canon John would like to invite you all the Closing of Deanery Visitations Meeting which will commence with Vespers at the church of the Immaculate Conception, Bicester, OX26 1UN, followed by a meeting in the St John Paul II Centre (next door to the church) on Thursday, 27th June at 7pm. His Grace Archbishop Bernard Longley and Episcopal Vicar Canon Paul Fitzpatrick will report on the current parish visitations taking place in our Deanery.
18.06.2024
No weekday Masses this week as Fr Frank will be on his annual retreat. Please see the Deanery website for other weekday Masses taking place in the area: https://banburyandwarwick-catholicdeanery.org.uk/
16.06.2024
By Advent Sunday this year, all parishes must begin using a new translation of the readings at Mass. These are taken from the English Standard Version, Catholic Edition (ESVCE). The new Lectionaries are not yet available, but the complete ESV-CE Bible is. If anyone would like to consider donating one of the four volumes we shall need for the church, they cost £175 each – please let Father Frank know, thank you.
16.06.2024
Today is a ‘Commitment Mass’ for the young people of our parish who are currently preparing for Confirmation. We welcome our candidates together with their parents, families and friends as they make their commitment to their ongoing preparation for Confirmation later in the year. Please keep them in your prayers as they deepen the understanding of their faith and prepare for this important Sacrament.
16.06.2024
After Mass today we are holding an information session (during coffee) about the various volunteering roles and rota vacancies within the parish. This is to provide information on what is involved with the various tasks with the aim of boosting volunteer numbers. When the rota’s are full most roles involve helping only a handful of times a year. Only a few of the roles have a more significant commitment. We would encourage all to attend to explore opportunities to enable us to lighten the load from the existing volunteering teams and fill the current vacancies.
12.06.2024
The next Parish Coffee Morning will be on Wednesday 12th June - tea, coffee, scones and cake in abundance - everyone welcome.
09.06.2024
New Treasurer From the end of this month, Mike Fairbrother will be standing down as Treasurer. We therefore urgently require a new treasurer to step forward. The Parish cannot function without a treasurer. Full training and support will be given. Our thanks to Mike who has completed more than one stint in this role and has proven to be an invaluable member of our community.
09.06.2024
A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the CAFOD Emergency Sudan Crisis Appeal. £568.70 has been collected. Also £385 of this was gift-aided, which will add in another £96 (approx). This will take the total up to around £665. Thank you.
08.06.2024
As we look ahead to next year’s Jubilee. CAFOD invites you to Ripples of Hope, a special day of reflection, prayer and spiritual nourishment led by well-known and much-loved Catholic speaker, teacher and author David Wells. The event will be held on Saturday 8 June 2024 at The Dormer Conference Centre, St Peter Apostle Catholic Church, Leamington Spa, CV32 5AA from 11.00am – 4.00pm (a light lunch will be provided). To attend please register here: https://cafod.org.uk/news/events/ripples-of-hope
07.06.2024
June is the month of the Sacred Heart. The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus falls on Friday 7th June. Great benefits are promised to those who practice this devotion. Also, during this month, we can seek to deepen our devotion to the love of God revealed in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - a devotion encouraged by St Margaret Mary, whose relic rests in the altar at Blessed Robert Grissold church. We might even consider consecrating ourselves to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.
04.06.2024
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: will follow the 7.00pm Mass every first Tuesday of each month, followed by Benediction at 8.00pm. All welcome.
02.06.2024
We are delighted to welcome Fr Ed to celebrate Mass for us this Sunday. As you all know we have been supporting him over the last 24 years. Please join us after Mass for a coffee and Danish Pastries and hear about the developments of his work in Peru.
02.06.2024
The retiring collection taken after Fr Ed's visit last Sunday raised £443.60. This is a great result and thank you all for your generosity.
28.05.2024
Catholic maritime charity Stella Maris (formerly called Apostleship of the Sea) is very grateful for this parish’s prayer and financial support of its work on Sea Sunday last year. To report back on the use of those funds, it invites parishioners to join an online update and thank you webinar on Tuesday 28th May from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. You will hear about the impact of your generosity on the lives of seafarers, fishers, and their families over the last year. Its CEO and chaplains will share inspiring stories of how they have helped seafarers and fishers through your support. To register for this virtual event, please visit www.stellamaris.org.uk/thankyou2024
26.05.2024
Please note that there are no midweek masses at BRG or St Francis this week. Please go to the deanery website for details of Masses at other churches in the area: https://banburyandwarwick-catholicdeanery.org.uk/
25.05.2024
Please pray for Maria who was Baptised yesterday, 25th May at Blessed Robert Grissold. Please also pray for her Parents and Godparents
20.05.2024
26 October - 2 November 2024. For more information contact Mgr. McHugh at: co.ordinator.ethnic.chaplaincy@rcaob.org.uk/07812 110640 by 20th May 2024.
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