Upcoming Activities & Offerings

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IMPORTANT DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

March 15th  --  CAFOD LENT FAMILY FAST DAY 

March 16th  --  St Patrick’s Day Dinner at St John’s 

March 16th  --   First Communion Retreat Day, Brandon 

March 17th  --  St Patrick’s Day 

March 19th  --  Solemnity of St Joseph 


Dates for SECOND COLLECTIONS 

March 17th  --   LENT FAST DAY COLLECTIONS 

Deanery Station Mass ...

is on Thursday March 14th, 7 pm at St Edmund’s Church, Bury St Edmunds. Everyone is invited to attend this mass, celebrated by the Bishop. 

Stations of the Cross -- Friday’s in Lent

At Brandon every Friday at 1200 noon 

At Mildenhall every Friday at 1230 pm 

First Communion Parents -- First Holy Communion Retreat Day

On Saturday 16th March, our First Holy Communion Retreat Day is being held at St Thomas’s Church Brandon. The day begins at 10:30 and finishes at 4:00 pm. In the original notice it said that children needed to bring a packed lunch. This has now changed, thanks to a generous donation from a parent lunch and snacks will be provided for your children. I would also like to meet with parents at the beginning of the day for the first hour and a half. (10:30 -12:00) Please make every effort to get your child to attend this day as it is an essential part of their preparation for Holy Communion. The parish asks for a donation of £5 toward the cost of the day. On Thursday 21th March (not 20th March as was incorrectly typed in the letter) during the usual 4pm session your child will be invited to make his or her First Confession. 

St Patrick’s Day Dinner

Is it in your diary? 

Saturday March 16th, St John’s, 7 for 7.30 pm 

FOOD BANK

The next Food Bank Day is Sunday, April 7th

Please remember that those who need food also need other things that you can give, especially hygiene materials and products for babies.


Please do not donate fresh food or out-of-date items, alcohol, medicines, secondhand clothing or used hygiene materials. 

LENT -- A TIME OF PREPARATION

Are we prepared? ‘Lent’ comes from the old English word lencten, meaning ‘Spring’ and recent weather has been so bonny that you can see that the birds are already preparing to do what they do so joyously in Spring! 


Traditionally, Lent is a time for sombre reflection - but it should also be a time for joyful optimism, as we commemorate Christ’s journey through death to resurrection and the forgiveness of all our sins. With this in mind you may wish strengthen your readiness by the Prayer for THE HOLY SPIRIT’S SEVEN GIFTS:- 

1. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom, that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only for the eternal; 

2. Grant me the Spirit of Understanding, to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth; 

3. Grant me the Spirit of Counsel, that I may always choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven; 

4. Grant me the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; 

5. Grant me the Spirit of Knowledge, that I may know God and know myself and grow in holiness; 

6. Grant me the Spirit of Piety, that I may find the service of God sweet and enjoyable, and 

7. Grant me the Spirit of Fear of the Lord, that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread displeasing Him in any way. 

                                                         TC 

Lent, a time for Fasting!

The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The fast is broken by eating between meals and by drinks which could be considered food (milk shakes, but not milk). 

Lenten Reconciliation Service

Our Reconciliation for Lent will be held at St Thomas’ Brandon. At 11:30 on Saturday 6th April. Several Parishioners have told me that they find it difficult to come out at night and during the week so I hope that this timeslot will be more accessible for many. Fr Christopher from Newmarket will be assisting me with Confessions. 

Ignite Festival May 4th - 5th

Inviting ALL young people in Year 8 upwards ...


Come and experience your faith in a new and dynamic way at the Ignite Festival. The weekend will include inspiring talks, passionate prayer, live music, and lots of fun stuff including sumo suit wrestling! Organised by the Diocesan Youth Service. See www.ignitefestival.co.uk for more information. 

Interested in joining the Ignite Team?

Are you leaving school or university soon, in between jobs or would like to do something 'different'? The Diocesan Youth Service is looking for people age 18-30 to join the Ignite Team, sharing the Gospel Message with young people in a way they can relate to. These are full-time positions, with food, accommodation and a monthly allowance provided. Ideal as a ‘gap year’. For more information see www.rcdea.org.uk/youth .

Notre Dame High School, Norwich

Deputy Headteacher required for September 2019, please see Diocesan Website for more details: https://www.rcdea.org.uk/school-vacancies/ 

Adult Faith Formation (AFF)

This is a programme of weekly sessions exploring understanding of our faith and spiritual development, held at Our Lady Immaculate & St Etheldreda after 7 pm Mass each Thursday.  All are welcome. Tom & Gill Caple have details. 

For a full programme see the OLiSE website - www.olise.co.uk. 

Mass Intentions

There is a bit of a back log with Mass intentions: If you would like Mass offered for a particular intention on or near a specific day, (and at a specific location) please give as much notice as possible – some people book days a year in advance. If the date that you would like is unavailable Mass will be offered at the requested location, on the next available free-day. The current schedule, however, means that this could be as long as six weeks after the proposed date. If you are not too-concerned about where Mass will be offered (Brandon or Mildenhall) then it is often possible to fit a Mass in sooner than this. 

Parish Mission Advisory Team (P-MAT)

Fr Luke writes: In order to help me run our parish I am looking to appoint a group of advisors from both the Mildenhall and Brandon Community. I am going to spend some time next week praying over the mission and ministry of our parish and planning the way forward. A constitutive part of this team will be a new safeguarding rep as our current rep, Andy Watts has decided to step down. I am grateful to Andy for the work he has done. If I approach you over the next few weeks, please be generous in giving of yourself in service of our parish community. If you have any ideas or suggestions about how things are done in our parish please feel free to email me or to talk to personally, I want to hear your views. 

“Let’s Go To Mass” A Booklet for Children and Their Parents

An anonymous donor has given the parish 10 copies of this Redemptorist booklet, which can be used by children (with or without their parents, depending on age) to follow and learn about the Mass. Users can colour in and wipe off again and again. 

Five of the copies will be available in each church. You may use it, but please clean and return it after Mass. If you want to take it home for study between masses, please do so, but return it the following week. Thank you. 

Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Mildenhall

The Tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel has now been changed for a larger one which is more suitable to our needs and has been moved to central position behind the altar. Please do continue to visit this Chapel to pray in the presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle. 

Discipleship Days

A new series of day-retreats entitled 'Discipleship Days' aimed at those aged 16 - 35, are now being launched around the Diocese of East Anglia. These days are for those who wish to grow in their faith through a day of fellowship, formation and prayer. The first one took place on the 23rd of February in Brandon. These events are free of charge. If you are under 18, please go to www.rcdea.org.uk/youth for a parental consent form. 

New St Thomas Of Canterbury Books for sale

Gracewing has just published a beautiful little book Devotions to St Thomas Becket by Fr John S. Hogan, a priest of the Diocese of Meath in Ireland, with illustrations by a monk of Silverstream Priory. As well as the Christmas Novena to St Thomas, Fr John's book offers an 'armchair' pilgrimage to Canterbury with the Seven Stations of St Thomas of Canterbury. The book retails at £7.99 St Thomas Becket, a popular little life of the saint, at £6.99 - you can find copies of these books at the back of the Church in Brandon. Please put money in the CTS pamphlet box on the wall. 

Red Boxes

Thank you for helping Missionary work through using your Red Box. Please keep up this good work for 2019.

Not got a Red Box? Some spare boxes are at the back of the church. Take one and tell Sue Dean. 

Stole Fees

There is sometimes confusion about what stole fees are and who receives them. 

They are amounts of money given to priests for various services (Baptisms, Marriages, funerals, etc.). In some countries, the priest keeps the fee. In East Anglia, because priests receive a modest stipend (salary) each month, Bishop Peter Smith decreed that fees should be part of the parish income. This is still the situation. 

New Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham

A New statue of the Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady of Walsingham has been donated to our parish for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at St Johns. Fr Luke will bless this new statue at Mass next weekend. Please have a look at our new statue and take a moment to ask the prayers of Mary, Mother of God of Walsingham. Walsingham is our National Shrine and the centre of the New Evangelisation as designated by the Bishops of England and Wales, we are blessed to live so close to this beautiful and important site for Catholicism in our Country. 

Lost or Left Property

Items left behind or lost are now accumulating. If you have lost anything please check what is in the narthex. We will keep abandoned items for one month, but will then have to dispose of them. Items of value may be kept longer, but we cannot take responsibility for these or anything else left behind. 

Masses & Flowers

Having a mass said or paying for flowers in the church are practical ways supporting the work of the parish. Please give your donations to Fr Luke or Philip Kemp. 

2019 Catholic Diary

Need a 2019 Catholic Diary? Contact Tom Caple 

House Blessing/Visit

Has your house been blessed? Would you like a home visit and a blessing for you home and family? 


If you would like Fr Luke to visit you in your home and invoke God’s blessing upon your home and family, please speak to him after Mass or call the presbytery. 


Even if your home has been blessed in the past we can still pray together and ask for God’s blessing upon our lives. It’s also an excellent way for priest and parish to get to know each other! 

Traidcraft

Just Traid, the Fair Trade shop next to St John the Baptist Church, St John’s Street, Bury, has launched an exciting new menu in their café and a wide range of goods in their shop. Well worth a break to rest your legs and your pocket, when Christmas shopping! 

  • Just Traid are also looking for volunteers to help in the shop and the kitchen. For more talk to Gill Caple. 

What is the St Edmund Fund?

The Fund deals with emergency grant applications from families or individuals in need. It also considers support for young people wishing to explore a third world project in their gap years or long vacations. 


The fund is administered by Caritas East Anglia. All applications come from the parish or endorsements from professionals working with applicants. 


Over the past year, the Fund has supported families and individuals facing homelessness or job losses resulting in rent arrears. Others helped have been dealing with the sudden onset of terminal illness. 


For more details go to:  https://www.rcdea.org.uk/caritas-east-anglia/ 

Book of the Dead

November is a traditionally the month when we pray for the dead. In both of our Churches you will find a ‘Book of the Dead’. 


Please put the names of your loved ones who have died in the book and they will be prayed for throughout November. I will also offer Mass for the Holy Souls at various points in November and they shall be remembered in those Masses. 


To add a name, simply find the page which corresponds to the month that they died and write the name in. Any name of any deceased person can be added, they do not need to have died in this last year nor do they need to be a Catholic. All people alive and dead can benefit from our prayers! 

You too can help our community -- We Need YOU!

Children’s Liturgy

 If you would be willing to help run a children’s liturgy group at Mildenhall or Brandon please speak to Fr Luke. 

Alter Servers

If you have made your first Holy Communion and would like to serve at Mass at either Brandon or Mildenhall, speak to Fr Luke. We need you! 

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Justice & Peace Group

 

Your local J&P Group brings together Brandon, Mildenhall and Newmarket as our two parishes work together to promote practical action in support Catholic Teaching. We: 

  • Arrange exhibitions & displays;
  • Organise peace vigils;
  • Provide resources to celebrate church festivals (from Easter chicks to Peace Poppies);
  • Run campaigns (e.g. “Share the Journey”) to support people in need in the UK and elsewhere round the world;
  • Raise funds for specific projects;
  • Keep people informed about J&P Matters.

We always welcome new members to the group. You don’t have to come to meetings! You can join by using Skype of Face Time or just receive and respond to our monthly Update. 


Talk to Tom or Gill Caple or more information: 01638 716474 

Nonviolence Works

Nonviolence Works is a network of Christian Peace Organisations, including Pax Christi, committed to furthering peace in communities. The network has evidence that there are ways other than violent intervention to resolve differences and bring an end to wars. It publishes cases that show how nonviolent approaches can and do work. We will publish examples from time to time. Here are three: 


Norway 1942 

Teachers refused to co-operate with the pro-Nazi Quisling regime and, although many endured prison, the obligation to teach Nazi doctrines had to be withdrawn. 


Mozambique 1989-92 

The Rome-based Community of Sant” Egidio brokered an agreement between RENAMO and FRELIMO forces, ending ten years of war. 


Guatemala 2007 

Young stilt walkers used circus acts and carnival in the streets to transform the climate of violence spread by brutal youth gangs. 

RCIA - Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

 Interested in becoming a Catholic? Want to know more about the Church? Perhaps you are a Catholic but missed out on making your confirmation as a youngster. If this is you please consider joining our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) programme. Please fill out a form indicating your expression of interest and return to Fr Luke. 

Lectio Divina

A personal search for dialogue with God

Time set aside for Lectio Divina enables us to discover in our daily life an underlying spiritual rhythm. We discover an increasing ability to offer more of ourselves and our relationships to the Father, and to accept the embrace that God offers us in the person of his son, Jesus Christ. We can attend "with the ear of our hearts", listening for God's presence in our lives. 

How to Practice Lectio Divina as an individual

• Choose a text of the Scriptures that you wish to pray. This could be a reading for that day’s mass, or a particular book from the New Testament. The amount of text covered is in God's hands, not yours. 

• Place yourself in a comfortable position and allow yourself to become silent. This could be a few moments focused on your breathing, or a favourite prayer. Use whatever method is best for you and allow yourself to enjoy silence for a few moments. 

Turn to the text and read it slowly, gently. Savour each portion of the reading, constantly listening for the "still, small voice" of a word or phrase that somehow says, "I am for you today." In Lectio Divina, God is teaching us to listen to him, to seek him in silence. 

• Take the word or phrase into yourself. Slowly repeat it to yourself, allowing it to interact with your inner world of concerns, memories, and ideas. Memories or thoughts are simply parts of yourself that, when they rise up during Lectio Divina, are asking to be given to God along with the rest of your inner self. 

• Speak to God. Whether you use words, ideas, or images--or all three--is not important. Interact with God as you would with one you know loves and accepts you. Give to God what you have found within your heart. Experience God by using the word or phrase he has given you as a means of blessing and of transforming the ideas and memories that your reflection on his word has awakened. 

• Rest in God's embrace. And when he invites you to return to your contemplation of his word or to your inner dialogue with him, do so. Learn to use words when words are helpful, and to let go when they no longer are necessary. Rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you in both words and silence. 

How to Practice Lectio Divina as a group

 Many prayer groups find it a useful approach to collective study and prayer. 

This form of Lectio Divina works best in a group of between four and eight people. A group leader coordinates the process and facilitates sharing. The same text from the Scriptures is read out three times, followed each time by a period of silence and an opportunity for each member of the group to share the fruit of her or his Lectio. 

• The first reading is for the purpose of hearing a word or passage that touches the heart. When the word or phrase is found, the group's members take it in, gently recite it, and reflect on it during the silence that follows. After the silence, each person shares which word or phrase has touched his or her heart. 

• The second reading (by a member of the opposite sex from the first reader) is for the purpose of "hearing" or "seeing" Christ in the text. Each ponders the word that has touched the heart and asks where the word or phrase touches his or her life that day. Then, after the silence, each member of the group shares what he or she has "heard" or "seen." 

• The third and final reading is for the purpose of experiencing Christ "calling us forth" into doing or being. Members ask themselves what Christ in the text is calling them to do or to become today or this week. After the silence, each shares for the last time, and the exercise concludes with each person praying for the person on the right of him or her. 


Those who regularly practice this method of praying and sharing the Scriptures find it to be an excellent way of developing trust within a group. It also is an excellent way of consecrating projects and hopes to Christ before more-formal group meetings. 

 Based on “How to Practice Lectio Divina” Rev. Luke Dysinger OSB www.beliefnet.com 

Happenings in our Church at Large

Pope Francis ... on Prisoners and Prisons

"I think to myself, 'I, too, could be here.’ That is, none of us can be sure that we would never commit a crime, something for which we'd be put in prison." 


"We all make mistakes in life.  And we all must ask forgiveness and make a journey of rehabilitation so we don't make them again."


“It must be kept in mind that penal sanctions have the aim of rehabilitation, while national laws should consider the possibility of establishing other penalties than incarceration. In this context, I would like once more to appeal to governmental authorities to abolish the death penalty where it is still in force, and to consider the possibility of an amnesty." 


"Losing our freedom is not the same thing as losing our dignity.  That is why we need to reject all those petty clichés that tell us we can't change, that it's not worth trying, that nothing will make a difference."


“Prisoners who are re-entering civic society ought not be punished anew by neglect, indifference or, worse, contempt.” 

Pope Francis ... on our Catholic Church's Mission

 If one’s work as a Catholic is not united to Christ Jesus, it is no longer the “mission” to which the Church is called, Pope Francis told a group of religious brothers on Monday 29tth October. 

“Let us not forget that the condition of every mission in the Church is that we are united to the Risen Christ as branches to the vine. Otherwise what we do is social activism,” the pope said Oct. 29. 

“This is why I repeat to you the exhortation to remain in [Christ],” he continued. “First of all, we need to let ourselves be renewed in faith and hope by Jesus alive in the Word and in the Eucharist, but also in sacramental forgiveness. We need to be with him in silent adoration, in lectio divina, in the Rosary of the Virgin Mary.” 

Pope Saint Paul

On October 14th Pope Francis canonised Pope Paul VI (1963-78). Pope Saint Paul oversaw the Vatican Council, making numerous reforms. 

St Oscar Romero

On October 14th, Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917 – 1980) was canonised by 

Pope Francis. St Oscar lived almost all of his life in El Salvador. 

On 23 February 1977, he was appointed Archbishop of San Salvador. Welcomed by the 

government, many priests were disappointed, especially those openly supportive of 

liberation theology. Progressive priests feared that his conservative reputation would 

negatively affect commitment to the poor. 


However, just 17 days after his appointment, something happened which had a profound effect on him. Fr. Rutilio Grande a personal friend who had been creating self-reliance groups among the poor, was assassinated. St Oscar later said: "When I looked at Rutilio lying there dead I thought, 'If they have killed him for doing what he did, then I too have to walk the same path.' Romero urged the government to investigate, but they ignored his request. Furthermore, the censored press remained silent. 


He devoted the rest of his life to defending the vulnerable against the violence and cruelty of what became a Civil War. His sermons and broadcast speeches created many enemies in a country where assassination was commonplace. In March 1980 he urged soldiers who were Christians to keep to their faith and not follow orders to unjustly persecute and kill. The next day, saying mass at a hospital chapel, he was shot and killed. The revulsion and demands for justice raised by Salvadorans and the International Community have not yet led to the murderers being identified. 


When he was beatified, Pope Francis said of him: "His ministry was distinguished by his particular attention to the most poor and marginalized.” Hailed as a hero by supporters of liberation theology, St Oscar, according to his biographer, Jesus Delgardo, "was not interested in liberation theology" but faithfully adhered to Catholic teachings on liberation and a preferential option for the poor, desiring a social revolution based on interior reform. 


St Oscar agreed with the Catholic – and not the materialist - vision of liberation theology. A journalist once asked him: 'Do you agree with Liberation Theology' And Romero answered: "Yes, of course. However, there are two theologies of liberation. One is that which sees liberation only as material liberation. The other is that of Paul VI. I am with Paul VI… The most profound social revolution is the serious, supernatural, interior reform of a Christian. The liberation of Christ and of His Church is not reduced to the dimension of a purely temporal project. It does not reduce its objectives to … a material well-being or only to initiatives of a political or social, economic or cultural order. Much less can it be a liberation that supports or is supported by violence." 


A Prayer 

St Oscar Romero, pray for us that we too will model our lives on Christ and have the courage to face evil and work for justice. 

First Holy Communion

First Holy Communion in our parish will next be on Sunday June 2nd 2019.  Classes are on-going.

Confirmation

 If you want to be confirmed this academic year (usually in school year 9 and above) please fill out a form expressing your interest and return to Fr Luke.