PARISH OF OUR LADY & ST VINCENT, POTTERS BAR
Celebrating in the light of Christ.
11 March 2018, Fourth Sunday of Lent
God’s work of art
A grimy painting hung for decades in the dining room of a Jesuit house in Dublin. Nobody paid it much attention until a visitor, an art expert, recognized it as a work of great value. Under close investigation, it turned out to be the work of the great Roman painter, Caravaggio. His painting of the arrest of Jesus now hangs in the National Art Gallery, and is one of the Gallery’s great treasures. All those years when it hung in the dining room, it was no less a masterpiece, but its real value went unrecognized. In today’s reading Paul says that “we are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life.” Like that Caravaggio painting, our worth can go unnoticed even to ourselves. We hardly think of ourselves as works of art; yet God sees us as works of art, in progress. Like the person who spotted the painting’s value, God knows our true worth, and through the inspired words of Isaiah says, “You are precious in my sight, and I love you.” If we know ourselves as precious in God’s sight, it gives foundation to our hope.
We can think of others as works of art too, in this way. These are people whom we value, whom we treasure, whose worth to us is beyond price. When someone is precious to us, we don’t treat them as customers or clients. We will do anything we can for them. We will travel a distance to see them; we will stay up half the night with them if they are ill; we will defend and protect them as best we can. We keep faithful to them, even at cost to ourselves. We value them, simply, for who they are.
Our experience of loving others gives us a glimpse of how the Lord relates to us. God loves us in a way that does not count the cost. The gospel says it wonderfully: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” Or as Paul puts it, “God so loved us that he was generous with his mercy.” We are so valued that God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to save us all. So it is not surprising that the cross became Christianity’s dominant symbol. It is not that we glorify suffering, but that we recognize in the cross just how far God is prepared to go for love of us.
OUR LADY & ST VINCENT PARISH
01707 654359 firstname.lastname@example.org wwwolasv.org.uk
Parish Priest: Canon Shaun Lennard email@example.com
Presbytery: 243, Mutton Lane, Potters Bar, EN6 2AT
Deacon: Rev Donal Hopkins firstname.lastname@example.org
Catechetical Co-ordinator: Mrs. Francesca Khaliq email@example.com
Secretaries: Bernadette Saunders & Sharon O’Reilly
Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 12.30pm
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The 7am Mass on Tuesday will take place in St Martha’s Convent, 1, The Avenue.
The Lent Course is held on Tuesday’s and begins at 7.30pm (tea/coffee from 7pm). This week we hear from Pilate’s Wife. All are welcome.
PARISH RECONCILIATION SERVICE
The parish Reconciliation Service for Lent is on Wednesday 14th March at 7.30pm. Six priests will be available for confessions after a short service. You are then free to stay or leave as you wish. Confirmation candidates and their families are particularly encouraged to attend. This is a great opportunity to celebrate this beautiful sacrament in preparation for Holy Week.
This Friday 7pm the Stations of the Cross will be led by the First Holy Communion Parents. This is followed, in the hall, by the film “Of Gods and Men” – a riveting story about monks in North Africa.
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER
This weekend there are sign-up sheets for various tasks, Ministers of the Eucharist and Readers have been emailed and people are being approached. Please be prompt and generous in your response – a great chance to volunteer if you have not been involved before.
Candidates please remember that the final preparation session for Confirmation is Wednesday 21st March, 7:15pm registration, when we will be joined by a volunteer from CAFOD. Please make sure you have submitted your write- up on your chosen Saint. Fr Shaun wants to read them on Monday.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Parents please remember that the final session before your child’s First Holy Communion Mass is next Saturday 17th March, 4:15pm registration. Please ensure you have returned your reply slips and have noted your practice session for your child’s First Holy Communion Mass. Any queries please contact Francesca Khaliq.
Confirmation & First Holy Communion cards and gifts are available from the Repository in the Parish Hall after all weekend Masses.
BAPTISM PREPARATION MEETINGS
The next baptism preparation meetings will take place on Tuesday 17 April and Tuesday 24 April from 7.30pm until 9.pm. If you would like to have your child baptised please give your details to Fr Shaun, Deacon Don and contact the office to register for the course. Both parents are encouraged to attend the meetings.
ST PATRICK’S DAY FUNDRAISER IN AID OF ‘FUNDING FOR RYAN’
Join in St Patrick’s Day celebrations on Friday, 16 March at The Builder’s Arms (Heath Road) from 7pm. This is a fund raising event in aid of Ryan, dad to Alfie, a Year 1 pupil at Pope Paul School. Ryan hopes to receive a specialist Cancer treatment not available on the NHS. A collection (no obligation) will be made on the night with all proceeds going towards ‘Funding for Ryan’.
RAFFLE TICKETS IN SUPPORT OF ‘FUNDING FOR RYAN’ WILL BE AVAILABLE AFTER ALL MASSES THIS WEEKEND. Raffle prizes include two beautiful hampers containing a selection of Ireland’s finest produce in addition to other prizes from the Emerald Isles. To read about Ryan’s journey visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dean-steadman. Thank you for your support.
CALLING ALL YOUNG PEOPLE (18-30)
In the autumn the Pope has called for a synod in Rome on Young People in the Church. Our bishops want to hear from young people in preparation for this synod. This is NOT just for young people who are attending church. Do you know of somebody who no longer comes to church? Could you invite them? There is a meeting in our area: 16th March (6.30pm – 8.30pm) at Cockfosters with Bishop John Sherrington. This is a discussion and listening exercise and your views are important. Registration is necessary – please contact Fr Shaun or the office for more details.
CENSUS & VOUNTEERING
If you were away for the last 3 weeks, please complete a census form and indicate on the back anything you can help with. Completed forms may be posted in the box outside the office.
PEACE: THE PRODUCT OF JUSTICE AND LOVE
An Ecumenical service to mark the 38th Anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero. 11am Saturday 17th March at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square. All welcome
GOOD FRIDAY WALK OF WITNESS
ADVANCE NOTICE this year’s walk will start at the URC in Darkes Lane at 9.30am on Good Friday, 30 March, with some interesting events along the way and finish with a short ALL AGE service in our church. This is the opportunity to bring children along and invite people you know who might not normally attend church to a service which will be VERY user-friendly!
The rose chasuble, worn on the middle Sunday of Lent and Advent, worn by Fr Shaun today has been given in memory of Canon Peter Gilburt. Fr Peter was assistant priest in this parish from 1963-1968 and he died last year in his 53rd year as a priest. May he rest in peace.
DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY 8th APRIL
This feast will be celebrated in our Parish from 2:30pm to 3:30pm on 8th April, commencing with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for half an hour followed by the Divine Mercy Devotions. All are then invited to refreshments in the hall. The Divine Mercy Novena begins in Good Friday and prayer leaflets for this will be available in the Narthex.
CARDINAL’S MASS OF THANKSGIVING FOR THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY
Westminster Cathedral, Saturday 19th May 2018 at 3pm. The Cardinal will be inviting to this Mass all couples in the Diocese who are celebrating their 5th 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th (and every year over 60) wedding anniversary in 2018. If you are celebrating an anniversary, please give the office the following details: husband and wife’s names, wedding date, full postal address and email or telephone number.
National Eucharistic Congress on Saturday 8th September in Liverpool. Deacon Don will be leading a parish group and we have four parish delegate spaces. Coach travel with other deanery parishes. Please speak to Don this weekend if you are interested.
PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES
Sat 21st – Fri 27th July by Eurostar and TGV £669 per person sharing (£835 by air) The Pilgrimage will be led by Cardinal Vincent and it would be nice to travel as a parish group. There will be an information meeting on Monday 19th March at 7.30pm in the hall. For further details please see Fr Shaun and poster on the noticeboard.
Many people ‘give up’ things for Lent and give the money saved to charity (alms.) Envelopes and information are available in the narthex for the Cardinal’s Lent appeal. Please return them by Easter with your offering.
Please Remember In Your Prayers:
The sick, their families and all who care for them, including: Betty Swift, Peggy Rafferty, Damien Grafton, Marsaili MacAuley, John Wilkinson, Linda Brooks, Patricia Wallington, Coral Morton, Cathy Sexton, Rev Nick Brindley, Grant Davis, David Bradford, Bridie Spelzini, Frank Casali, Susan Lundrigan, Kay Lewthwaite, Jean Rudd, Theresa Round, Steve Malone, Aileen Freeman
The lately Dead including Julio Vargas, Susan Rooney, Betty Humphries and all those whose anniversaries occur about this time including Angela Merlo, Myles Tempany, Kathleen Allan
READERS FOR NEXT SUNDAY
18 March, 5th Sunday of Lent, Year B
Saturday 6pm Rosan Ali/Georgina McArdle
Sunday 9.00am Mark Guerin/Maureen Vaughan
Sunday 11.00am Pope Paul School/Rosemarie Surry
BIDDING PRAYERS: Rosemarie Surry
READINGS FOR NEXT SUNDAY
18 March, 5th Sunday of Lent, Year B
Jeremiah 31: 31-34
CHURCH CLEANING ROTA
W/C 11 March 2018, Team D
Pam Tempany, Kathy Stevens, Ann McGorman, Miho Yong
TIMES OF SERVICES
Sunday Mass (11 March 2018)
Saturday (Vigil) 6pm, Sunday 9am & 11am
Weekday Mass this week
Monday 12 Mar 10am and 6pm in Convent
Monday 12 Mar 3pm Funeral of Susan Rooney at Woolenbrook Crematorium
Tuesday 13 Mar 7am at the Convent and 10am in Church
Wednesday 14 Mar 10am
Wednesday 14 Mar 7.30pm Lent Reconciliation Service
Thursday 15 Mar No Mass
Friday 16 Mar 10am
Friday 16 Mar 1.20pm Fr Shaun Mass at Nicholas Breakspear School
Friday 16 Mar 6pm (Convent)
Friday 16 Mar 7pm Stations of the Cross
Saturday 17 Mar 10am
Saturday 17 Mar 10.30 – 11.30am Exposition & Sacrament of Reconciliation
Sunday Mass (18 March 2018)
Saturday (Vigil) 6pm and Sunday 9am & 11am
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday 10.30 – 11.30am, 5.15 – 5.45pm, and by appointment
St Martha’s Convent is at 1A, The Avenue, Potters Bar.
Deadline for newsletter articles is Tuesday morning, 9.30am