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. UPDATE 12/12: Please note that all midweek masses are cancelled this week due to poor weather. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.
|04.03.2017||Coffee Together||BRG will be hosting the next ‘Coffee Together’ on Sat. 4 March 10.30-12 noon in the Jubilee Centre. We are in urgent need of more helpers. Please see Louise or John Perry for more info|
|04.03.2017||Baptism||We pray for Henry Joseph Wilson Ramsay, who was baptised here yesterday, for his godparents, family and friends, that together they will grow into the fullness of life in Christ.|
|05.03.2017||Dates for your diary||Dates for your diary: Millennium Breakfast (Visit by a Columban Father)|
|05.03.2017||Millennium Breakfast||After Mass today, with usual breakfast offering, all welcome so please join us.|
|05.03.2017||Columban Centenary Altar Cloth||To coincide with today’s parish ‘breakfast’ for Fr. Ed O’Connell, the Columban missionaries invite members of the parish to add their names to an altar cloth that is being created for their centenary year in 2018. The altar cloth is being taken to places of special significance to the Columbans in Britain.|
|05.03.2017||Balsall Common Christian Youth Group||Balsall Common Christian Youth Group meets tonight for years 7 and above at St. Peters 6.30-7.45pm. Please speak to Claire Keane/Kathryn Driffield for more info. The Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month|
|05.03.2017||Confirmations||Could parents of children from Year 5 up interested in making their Confirmation contact Fr. Frank to register interest. Instruction would start from September with the ceremony itself in the early part of 2018.|
|05.03.2017||100 Club||Subscriptions for 2017 are now due. Chris Burleigh will be available after Mass. The cost is £15 for the year, with the chance to win £75, £45, or £30 each quarter. Last year the 100 Club contributed £645 towards church funds.|
|10.03.2017||CAFOD Lent Fast Day||A message from CAFOD “Florence is a hard-working mother who is devoted to her family. A few years ago, she was only just making enough to feed her family. However, CAFOD’s partner, the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, recognised how determined Florence was to stand on her own two feet and so they gave her 500 tiny fish, tools and training to build a pond and farm fish. By selling some of the fish at market, Florence was able to give her children a future – she was able to send them to school”. Please support this Lent Fast Day, to ensure more people like Florence can turn tiny fish into something amazing|
|12.03.2017||Meditations before the Blessed Sacrament on Wednesdays||Meditations before the Blessed Sacrament on Wednesdays continue to reflect on the writings of Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan who in 2000 Pope John Paul II chose to preach a course of Spiritual Exercises for himself and the Curia. Archbishop Van Thuan majors on "hope" in his addresses - a hope that he discovered during his 13 years imprisonment for his faith, nine of which were spent in solitary confinement. This Wednesday's meditations continue to explore the great blessing of coming into the present moment - the place where God - the eternally present 'I AM' - is to be found. We are greatly assisted in this by having Christ present to us, in the sacrament of the altar. In our prayerful stillness and reflection before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar we can be present to the One who is ever present. All welcome.|
|12.03.2017||Candle of Dedication||The candle is lit this week for Maureen and Joe Martin (RIP).|
|12.03.2017||Activities in Lent||In order to help us to prepare prayerfully for Easter there will be Stations of the Cross on Tuesday mornings after Mass at 10am. Also, there will be Lent talks on the Eucharist after 7pm Mass on Wednesdays. The course is open and accessible to all, wherever you are on your Christian journey. (Please bring a Bible if you can). We begin with coffee at 7.30pm and finish before 9pm. Also there will be a Mass at 7pm on Thursdays followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and meditations on the spiritual life, finishing at 8.00pm with Benediction.|
|12.03.2017||Dementia Prayer Week||"During this week we remember especially the often forgotten pain of those suffering with dementia, and those who care for them." Bishop David McGough. Prayer cards available at the back of the church.|
|12.03.2017||Cakes for the Columbans||Cake will be available after Mass every Sunday in Lent - a joyful and enjoyable way of giving the seasonal alms. All donations will go to support the Columban’s missionary work. Thanks for the cakes already offered. If you would like to contribute cakes, please see Sara Stevens.|
|12.03.2017||Millennium Breakfast||Thank you to everyone who came to the Breakfast last week. We hope you all enjoyed the chatter with friends and meeting new parishioners. Everyone was very generous and we raised £200 which will be sent to help Fr. Ed. O'Connell in the shanty towns of Peru.|
|19.03.2017||Pancake Extravaganza||On Sunday 19th March, after 9:30 mass, the men of the parish will provide a pancake breakfast (as a change to the usual bacon butties). A variety of toppings will tantalize your taste buds, so put the date in your diary and come along to support the event!|
|19.03.2017||Balsall Common Christian Youth Group||Balsall Common Christian Youth Group meets tonight for years 7 and above at St. Peters 6.30-7.45pm. Please speak to Claire Keane/Kathryn Driffield for more info. The Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month.|
|23.03.2017||Parish Council||The next Parish Council meeting is on Thursday 23rd March at 7:30 in the Parish Room. All welcome|
|25.03.2017||Churches Together Lenten Breakfasts||Churches Together Lenten Breakfasts are being held on Saturday mornings during Lent at the Methodist church from the 4th March to the 1st April. Each church hosts the breakfasts and Blessed Robert Grissold will be hosting on the 25 March. We need volunteers on this occasion. See notice board for more information or speak to Louise or John Perry.|
|26.03.2017||Candle of Dedication||The candle is lit this week for Patrick Flynn (RIP).|
Carol Service – Sunday, 17th December. at 6.30pm. It is always followed by refreshments including mince pies. If you are able and willing to contribute, please put you name on the paper at the back of the church today
Please note that all midweek Masses are cancelled this week due to poor weather. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.
Thank you all for supporting this venture. We collected over £230 for Parish Funds. Also, HCPT benefitted by £55 from the sale of cards and calendars. Many thanks
Christmas Cards and Advent Calendars are on sale until 24th December. All proceeds will go towards the expenses of Group 83.
The tree is now up at the back of church. The gifts we collect will be given to those who are struggling this Christmas either through illness or difficult social situations. Many of the children's gifts will be distributed via "Hudsons care" Birmingham. Please take one or more tags and leave your present with the tag under the tree on or before next Sunday, 17th December.
Raffle Tickets are available at the back of the Church today. The tickets are £1.00 each or £5.00 for a book. There are great prizes. Please collect your tickets today and sell as many as you can. The stubs and money can be returned each week after Mass. Please return any unsold tickets in order that they might be sold - Time is short for us to make a success of this - hopefully this will serve to concentrate our efforts. Thank you for your efforts. The draw will take place after mass next Sunday
We are looking for some help to clear the gutters on the church on Saturday 9th December at 10-00 am for about an hour, ready for the Gardner to clear the leaves the following week. If you can spare an hour it would be very much appreciated. Please contact Joe Martin.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is usually offered on the last Thursday evening of every month - it has been moved this month to the Thursday morning of 7th December. All those who are challenged by their suffering in body, mind or spirit are welcome to receive this sacrament of Christ's healing. This is a practice which dates back to the earliest Church and is encouraged in scripture, where it is written: 'Are there any who are sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church, and let the priests pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick persons, and if they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them' (The Letter of James 5: 14-15).
You are invited to share in these Wednesday evening meditations which will focus on the last things heralded by the coming of Christ at the end of time. In the Eucharist we have a foretaste of the future gathering of all things in unity in Christ. Why not use the Wednesdays of Advent and Christmastide to reflect on the mystery of our crucified, risen and ascended Lord who comes to us in the most holy Sacrament of the Altar? This will also help us to "stay awake" and be more watchful and aware of the ways in which Our Lord comes to us always and everywhere in the sacrament of each present moment. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, meditations and silent prayer will take place after the 7.00pm Wednesday Mass and will finish with Benediction at 8.00pm. All welcome.
Get together this Wednesday, 6th December. We meet at 10.30am in BRG car park for onward visit to Melbicks Garden Centre.
Sara, Simon and Sophia are so pleased to announce that Phoebe Catharine Maria was born 30th November at 2.10pm, weighing 8lb 3ozs. Father Frank and Sandra are delighted to have another grandchild.
www.covrefugee.org. Asylum seekers, looking to obtain refugee status, need the Centre, a mix of paid staff and volunteers, to help them negotiate the many forms and demands confronting them. They may need financial support to attend immigration interviews in London or Liverpool, signposting to food banks or receiving help in getting a hot meal, when their £36.95/week for food and personal needs doesn't quite stretch. Immigration and Asylum Law support is available along with Men’s and Women's Groups and help in learning English to support their integration. Being alone in a foreign land can test the most resilient. Some, who have endured things we cannot imagine, may need specialist help. Those already here who have met verbal and physical abuse, or are at risk, may also need support from the Safeguarding Unit. Having achieved refugee status, together with migrants from other countries, they may need help in finding work or accommodation – the Work and Wellbeing Group and the Housing Group are there for them. No matter what their need, the Centre tries to help them. The Centre is heavily dependent on donations from people like you; please be as generous as you can – thank you.
The tree is now up at the back of church. The gifts we collect will be given to those who are struggling this Christmas either through illness or difficult social situations. Many of the"children's gifts will be distributed via "Hudsons care" Birmingham. Please take one or more tags and leave your present with the tag under the tree on or before 17th December. Many thanks to the children from the Children's Liturgy Group who decorated the tags for the children.
The Plan is currently underway and during the month of November every household in Balsall Parish and Balsall Common received a Household Questionnaire which we were encouraged to complete and return. The questionnaire seeks ideas and opinions on a variety of issues within the Balsall Parish and Balsall Common area. Their ideas and opinions will create the Balsall Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan, a planning policy document which will state which community facilities should be developed, upgraded or enhanced from 2019 to 2033. If you have not completed the questionnaire, the deadline having been extended, you are invited to complete the document within the next couple of days.
There is no Mass on Thursday this week but there will be a Eucharistic Service at 10.00am. The Mass with the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is transferred to Thursday 7th December at 10.00am.
Quiet reflection on the miracle of the Eucharist Mass, as is usual on a Wednesday, will be followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, with meditations on the Holy Eucharist and silent prayer until Benediction at 8.00 p.m. In our busy lives it is essential to come apart with Christ from time to time - to be with him, to wait upon him and to listen for his voice speaking in the depths of our hearts.
If anyone has any holly we can have for the advent wreath it would be very much appreciated, variegated would be a bonus. Please contact Pam Martin.
Walk with Me booklets available at the back of church to help us to reflect and pray through Advent in preparation for Christmas.
Raffle Tickets: Available at the back of the Church today. The tickets are £1.00 each or five pounds for a book. There are great prizes. Please collect you tickets today and sell as many as you can. The stubs and money can be returned each week after Mass - Time is short for us to make a success of this - hopefully this will serve to concentrate our efforts.
Do you support Catholic schools and the right of Catholics to send their children to them? Then we need you to make your voice heard. The Government is making a critical decision on whether to overturn the admissions cap which prevents Catholic schools from allowing all Catholic pupils to attend. They have acknowledged that this policy discriminates against Catholics and promised to abandon it, now we need you to tell them not to U-turn on their promise to Catholics. Visit http://catholicnews.org.uk/education-cap or search for "Catholic Education" in your search engine to write to the Government and urge them to drop their policy which bans new Catholic schools