This Sunday, we have the reading of the Prodigal Son. Prodigal means 'wastefully extravagant', reckless or lavish. In fact, it is the father who is prodigal: with his love, his forgiveness and his openness to both his sons. He doesn't stand on ceremony or on his dignity: he runs out to meet both sons and accepts them as they are, warts and all. By the end of the story, we know that he has sought reconciliation with both his boys but we never know if they sought reconciliation with each other. On this 'Laetare' (Joyful) Sunday, maybe it is a time for us to reflect on the people, and the memories, with whom we need to make our peace. This can be a very 'male' story; perhaps we also need to talk about Prodigal Mothers, Prodigal Daughters and Prodigal Sisters! You might like to read The Return of the Prodigal Son: a story of Homecoming by Henri Nouwen. RECENTLY DECEASED Please remember in your prayers all who have died recently, especially
Johanna (Hanni) Harkins (Funeral; Friday 25th, 2pm) Mary Keane (Little Sisters of the Poor, Vauxhall)
In the coming weeks, I will be celebrating memorial services for Mary Smith and Pat Harte, who both died at the beginning of the pandemic. We remember them and all those who have died during this time. We continue to remember in our prayers all those who are sick and those who care for them.
DEDICATION OF UKRAINE AND RUSSIA TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY Pope Francis will lead an act of Consecration at 4pm on Friday, 25th (Feast of the Annunciation). The full text can be read on the rcdow.org.uk website and we will use it at the 7 pm Mass on Friday. Perhaps at 4 pm, or at some other time on Friday, you could pray just this section of the dedication:Therefore, O Mother, hear our prayer. Star of the Sea, do not let us be shipwrecked in the tempest of war. Ark of the New Covenant, inspire projects and paths of reconciliation. Queen of Heaven, restore God’s peace to the world. Eliminate hatred and the thirst for revenge, and teach us forgiveness. Free us from war, protect our world from the menace of nuclear weapons. Queen of the Rosary, make us realize our need to pray and to love. Queen of the Human Family, show people the path of fraternity. Queen of Peace, obtain peace for our world. FIRST RECONCILIATION and FIRST COMMUNION 2021 - 2022 For children attending Catholic Schools, applications are available on-line here.
For Catholic religious education and Sacramental preparation for children aged 6 -13 who attend a non-Catholic school please contact the Walk with Me programme via this link. VINCENTIAN APPEALS FOR UKRAINE; DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY AND DEPAUL UKRAINE Current advice is to try to get money to those directly supporting refugees, as needs change by the hour. The DCs have 24 Sisters in Ukraine and are also in touch with the provinces in Poland and Slovakia. If you wish to support their efforts, contributions can be left at the presbytery or made by bank transfer: a/c name; DCSVP Missions Account a/c number; 51808591 Sort code; 40-13-22 Ref; Ukraine AppealDepaul Ukraine, part of Depaul International, has been operating since 2007, supporting homeless people. With Depaul Slovakia, they are now focussing on working with displaced people. You can learn more or contribute on their website int.depaulcharity.org LENT RETREAT FOR YOUNG ADULTS (18-30) 2nd April (10.30am - 6.30pm), 23 Kensington Square W8 5HN. Register by emailing email@example.com GOOD SHEPHERD COMPANY This company, based in Nottingham, supports Christian families in the Holy Land. Next weekend (2nd April) they will be selling their products (olive wood carvings, cards etc) in the Narthex. CAKE-SALE FOR SUDAN Congratulations to the young women from Loreto, St Albans, who hosted the bake sale last Sunday. They raised over £300. Well done on taking this initiative. PARISH SYNODAL PROCESS Over the coming weeks, we will be asking you to complete an on-line questionnaire. Whatever you have to say will be of help to us. For those not on-line, paper copies will be made available in the Narthex. There is a helpful explanatory video here. STEWARDSHIP AT SACRED HEART Thank you all for your support and responses last Sunday. On Saturday, 2nd April, from 6-8pm, we will be having an open evening (with wine) on for all those who have offered their services as volunteers. Even if you are only exploring the possibility of volunteering, please come along. COMINGS AND GOINGS This weekend we welcome Fr Ifeanyi Chibuzo CSSp who will be making the MISSION APPEAL on behalf of the Spiritans (Holy Ghost Fathers). He should feel at home here as the full title of the congregation is...of the Holy Spirit and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
AND FINALLY... To all those who have a mothering role - in families, in Church, in our community - to all who are life-givers and life-enhancers, who bring to birth and nurture, every blessing this Mothering Sunday. And to all our mothers, in this world or the next, our love and prayers. Remember, the clocks go forward an hour on Saturday night!
With every blessing
Rev Eugene Curran CM