St Teresa & St John Southworth Churches, Cleveleys
Fr Chris Cousens—Phone: 853340
Rev Bernard Ward (Deacon) (Tel: 858346)
Enquiries for St John Southworth: Phone: 853340
28 November 2021
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
Sunday : 1st Sunday of Advent
Reflections for the coming week
Gospel Luke 21:25-28
‘Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and the moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await the menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’
‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness, and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.
Gospel Reflection : Another Christmas
Advent is waiting for the birth of Jesus, but it is a strange waiting. We are waiting each year for someone we know is here! We recall in Advent that Jesus has come among us, is present all the time, and will come again in glory.
He is the child who is born each year, for the world always needs its God and Saviour. He is the child awaited each year for our lives are new each year, and we need him in different ways at different stages of life, and the world has different needs of God at different times.
We need the child of peace to be born in our wars and violence; the child of wisdom in our search for truth and meaning; the child of gentleness in a world which can be harsh and greedy.
We need to know in Jesus that birth and life are the most precious gifts of God, and that in our celebration of Christmas the birth of Jesus each each year is the everlasting promise of God to be with us.
And Advent looks ahead, letting us see that the life of Jesus is never over, that the meaning of Jesus is always spoken, and that one day we will see him in glory. For we are people of Advent and Easter, of waiting and resurrection; we are people of earth and heaven, as Jesus is the Son of Mary and the Son of God, who leads us through our life on earth to the eternal glory of Heaven.
We Remember In Our Prayers : Margaret Scott and Jimmy Cleary whose Funerals were last week, and Christine Dempster whose Funeral Service is at St. Teresa’s on Wednesday, 8th December at 12.15 pm. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they all be in God’s peace.
Wedding: We congratulate and pray for every blessing for Niamh Tiplady and Sean Bowd, whose Marriage takes place at St. Teresa’s this week.
Special Collection. At all Masses this weekend there is the annual special collection for ‘the Poor Missions’. ‘Poor Missions‘ is an old title given to those parishes in our own Diocese who would struggle to exist without our support. These parishes can be found in the countryside of our Diocese, but these days may also be in our towns.
The Times Of Our Christmas Masses are now planned, and hopefully will remain, unless the emerging situation with the new strain of Covid virus determines new, or repeated, regulations. We certainly pray that it won’t.
St. Teresa’s Church (St. George’s Ave., Cleveleys)
Friday 24th December : Christmas Eve Family Mass, 6.30 pm
Christmas Midnight Mass, 12.00
Saturday 25th December Christmas Morning Mass, 9 am and 10.30 am
Sunday 26th December Boxing Day Mass, 9 am and 10.30 am
St. John Southworth Church (Northumberland Avenue, Cleveleys) :
Saturday 25th December Christmas Day Mass 10 am
Christmas Extra : We are warmly invited to join two events organised by our Churches-Together-In-Cleveleys :
‘Lancashire Sings Christmas’ is the annual event where we listen to the Radio Lancashire broadcast together and join in the carols at the appropriate times. This takes place on Thursday, 16th December, 7 pm – 8 pm at The Golden Eagle, North Drive, Anchorsholme. For more information please contact Bernard (Tel. 858346)
‘Carols In Cleveleys’ is the event when we join with local churches to sing carols and share Christmas joy together. This takes place outside the TSB Bank on Victoria Road, Cleveleys (weather permitting), 11 am – 11.30am on Saturday, 18th December, and then at St. Andrews Church, just nearby, 12 – 12.30pm.
We Are Now In A Newly Created Deanery, A New Group Of Local Catholic Churches. Our own previous Deanery, comprising the churches of Poulton, Thornton, Cleveleys and Fleetwood, has now been merged with all the churches of Blackpool. The new Dean is Fr. Peter Sharrock who is Parish Priest at St. John’s, Poulton. We pray for him!
A Notice From St. Teresa’s Nursery, which supports children from both our parishes and our local community:
“Do you have a child in the family who is 3 or 4 years old, and ready for Nursery? We would love to welcome you to take a look around, or have a virtual tour, as we have places in our newly refurbished St.Teresa’s Nursery. We offer 15 hours free childcare per week. Please contact St.Teresa’s Nursery, Tel. 01253 852457
Keeping Advent In Mind : Each Thursday, 7.30pm – 8.30pm, a group from different parishes meets online to discuss the Sunday Readings, to deepen our understanding and appreciation of how faith enriches daily life. Anyone is welcome to join – we are not experts, and we take the Readings but not ourselves seriously! Please email Martin Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link, or for more details. (It is Martin who each week kindly provides the daily reflections which are put with the Bulletin on our parish website, www.st-teresas-church.co.uk
Daily Reflections for this week
Monday (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel)
The new Jerusalem, the holy city, is the goal towards which all of humanity is moving. It is curious that God’s revelation tells us that the fullness of humanity and of history is realized in a city. We need to look at our cities with a contemplative gaze, a gaze of faith which sees God dwelling in their homes, in their streets and squares. God’s presence accompanies the sincere efforts of individuals and groups to find encouragement and meaning in their lives. This presence must not be contrived but found, uncovered. God does not hide himself from those who seek him with a sincere heart, even though they do so tentatively, in a vague and haphazard manner.
Scripture (Isaiah 30:18-21)
The Lord is waiting to be gracious to you, the Exalted One to take pity on you, for the Lord is a God of fair judgement; blessed are all who hope in him. Yes, people of Zion living in Jerusalem will weep no more. He will be gracious to you when your cry for help rings out; as soon as he hears it, he will answer you. When the Lord has given you the bread of suffering and the water of distress, he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your ears will hear these words behind you, ‘This is the way, keep to it,’ whether you turn to right or left.
Tuesday (Albert Schweitzer)
He comes to us as he came to those by the lakeside. He speaks the same words, “Follow me”, and sets us to the same tasks which he has to fulfil for our time. He commands. And to those who obey him, whether they be wise or simple, he will reveal himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings through which they shall pass. They will learn in their own experience who he is.
Scripture (Psalm 118:5,13-21)
In my distress I called to the Lord, he heard me and brought me relief. I was pushed hard, to make me fall, but God came to my help. The Lord is my strength and my song, he has been my Saviour. Shouts of joy and salvation in the tents of the upright, ‘The Lord’s right hand is triumphant, his right hand is victorious!’ I shall not die, I shall live to recount the great deeds of the Lord. Though the Lord pushed me sternly, he has not abandoned me to death.
Wednesday (Thomas Merton)
We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every desire to the limit and to create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater for them with the products of our
factories and printing presses and all the rest. All who live only according to their five senses and seek only to satisfy their natural appetites for pleasure and reputation and power, cut themselves off from the love which is the principle of all spiritual vitality and happiness because it alone saves us from the barren wilderness of our own selfishness.
Scripture (Luke 21:25-27,34)
‘There will be signs in the sun and the moon and the stars; on earth, nations in agony, bewildered by the turmoil of the ocean and its waves; people falling away with terror and fear at what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud and with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is close at hand. Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and the day will come upon you unexpectedly.
Thursday (Cardinal Basil Hume)
The eyes of faith enable us to see in our pagan and secular world the striving of many good people to bring the values of the Kingdom of God into the city of man, so often cruel and unthinking. Those eyes of faith can also see in the agony of the world the possibility of achieving God’s purpose which is the best interest of us all. We have to turn the vision that was Christ’s into at least partial reality in our situation and in our own time.
Scripture (Jeremiah 33:10-11,15-16)
‘The Lord says this “In this place of which you now say: It is a ruin, without human or animal, in the towns of Judah and desolate streets of Jerusalem where there is neither human nor animal, once more will be heard shouts of rejoicing and mirth. In those days and at that time, I shall make an upright branch grow for David, who will do what is just and upright in the country. In those days Judah will triumph and Israel live in safety. And this is the name the city will be called: Yahweh-is-our-saving-justice.”
Friday (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
God’s beloved people had been ill-treated and laid low. There were no longer any shepherds in Israel. No one led the flock to fresh water; no one protected them from the wolf. They were harassed, wounded and distraught. Such was the condition of the people when Jesus came. From the human point of view, everything looks hopeless, but Jesus sees things with different eyes. The hour has come for those poor and wretched folk to be fetched home to the kingdom of God. Jesus beholds the promise of God descending on the multitude. It is hardly surprising that so few are granted to see things with the eyes of Jesus, for only those who share the love of his heart have been given eyes to see.
Scripture (Romans 8:18-21)
In my estimation, all that we suffer in the present time is nothing in comparison with the glory which is destined to be disclosed to us, for the whole creation is waiting with eagerness for the children of God to be revealed. It was not for its own purpose that creation had frustration imposed upon it, but for the purposes of him who imposed it – with the intention that the whole of creation itself might be freed from its slavery to corruption and brought into the same glorious freedom as the children of God.