We are used to the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd leading his sheep but, in this week's Gospel, he speaks of himself as the sheepfold and as the gatekeeper of the fold. In the high mountains, one can still come across such folds; places of safety, shelter and security for animals - particularly in times of threat or vulnerability (like lambing time). The Shepherd's task was to stay awake and alert to protect the sheep...not always easy when surrounded by warm bodies, bleating soothingly. And, in such proximity, the shepherd will have, as Pope Francis says, 'the smell of the sheep'. This doesn't just apply to priests; each of us, who cares for others, has to be willing to risk, to be vulnerable ourselves, to 'put our own skin and heart on the line' (Pope Francis). Every good priest, good parent, good carer, knows that; though, sometimes, it helps to be reminded.
Please remember in your prayers all our beloved departed, especially
Marie Shirley deLord (Funeral; 5 May, 1pm)
those who died recently and those whose anniversaries occur at this time.
We continue to remember in our prayers all those who are sick and those who care for them. SUNDAY EVENING PRAYER AND BENEDICTION Continues this week, beginning at 7.30pm. BINGO AND AFTERNOON TEA This coming week, because of the Bank Holiday, the Bingo will take place on TUESDAY, 2nd May, from 2-4 pm. BINGO NIGHT The SVP group are organising a Bingo Night for 29th April, beginning at 6.30 pm. ST MICHAEL'S, FINCHLEY; DIRECTOR OF MUSIC The school is seeking to appoint someone to lead the music department. Closing date; 5th May. Application pack available at st-michaels.barnet.sch.uk . DAY OF PRAYER FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF ABUSE The annual Day of Prayer, initiated by Pope Francis, will be held on Tuesday 9th May. Helpful materials may be found at cbcew.org.uk OPERA EVENING AT BARNET The parish in Barnet is hosting an opera evening on Saturday 29th April at 7pm. Tickets: £10 on entry. 82 Union St, EN5 4HZ. Everyone is welcome. PRECIOUS BLOOD DEVOTION Mrs Cecilia Nwokolo will give a presentation on this devotion after the 11.30 Mass this Sunday, 30th. All are welcome. THE CORONATION OF KING CHARLES III Following the suggestions of the Bishops' Conference, we will; a) Pray especially for the intentions of the King from Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th May. b) The 10 am Mass on Friday, 5th, will be offered for the King c) On Sunday 7th May, the day after the Coronation, we will pray in thanksgiving and conclude Mass with the singing of the National Anthem at the end of Mass. d) On the day of the Coronation, 6th May, morning Mass will be at 9.30 and there will be no Exposition or confessions following the Mass. MARY'S MEALS The charity, dedicated to Our Lady, is organising a Pray in May Campaign, asking people to keep its ministries in their prayers. Further information on their website marysmeals.org.uk THE PASSAGE The Spring Newsletter is available at Passage.org.uk and there are also copies available in the Narthex. SECOND COLLECTION This weekend's second collection is in aid of the Priest Training Fund. You can contribute by using one of the envelopes available in the Narthex or on-line by using the QR code below.
Also in the Narthex, you will find copies of the Allen Hall Seminary News (featuring Fr John on the cover). Please feel free to take one. AND FINALLY... Last week, I was in Krakow at a Vincentian Meeting. We were brought to the Shrine of Divine Mercy (where I prayed for all the parish) and to the nearby Shrine of St Pope John Paul II. The statue before the shrine shows the late Pope as shepherd.
With every blessing and good wish,
Rev Eugene Curran CM