Dear Friends in Christ
The year 2017 is full of significant anniversaries: most notably for the Church, it is the centenary of the apparitions at Fatima and in our own Diocese, the centenary of our coming-to-birth. In March 1917 the Diocese of Brentwood was created from the Archdiocese of Westminster. Our Diocese is formed of the County of Essex with five London Boroughs. The first Bishop of Brentwood was appointed by
Pope Benedict XV on 22nd March and was formally Elected on 22nd July of that same year. Both of these dates will be marked this Year: on 22nd March with a Mass of Thanksgiving in Brentwood Cathedral in the presence of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster who will preach; and on Saturday 22nd July the Diocese will go on pilgrimage to Walsingham. Please note this date, as we have booked two coaches from our Parish and it is hoped that as many of us as possible will travel there with our Bishop to celebrate the Day; also to consecrate the Diocese to Our Blessed Lady and offer Holy Mass in thanksgiving. There are a number of other interesting events that have been organised to mark this centenary and they are available on separate flyers and on a dedicated page of the Diocesan website: dioceseofbrentwood.net/diocese/centenary
We shall begin our own celebration locally next weekend on Saturday - Solemnity of Our Lady of Lourdes - with a Holy Hour of exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 10 - 11am. A Sung concelebrated Mass will begin at noon (Preacher: Fr Stephen Morrison from the Norbertine Priory Chelmsford) followed by lunch in the Parish Centre; tickets are available from the Parish Office. Let us give thanks to God for one hundred years of Faith and Mission. Let us begin the next century with the enthusiasm with which they begun in 1917 and as ourselves go forward and outwards continuing to bring souls to Christ through His Church!
I am delighted to be able to report that Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School received an judgement of: Outstanding in all areas related to last week's Section 48 RE Inspection. Well done to everyone involved; it's a great boost to the morale of our School!
The work of redecorating the church will begin this week which means that weekday Masses will be celebrated from Monday in the Parish Centre. The church will remain closed for reasons of health and safety; please bear with it! By Easter we should have a renewed church building!
God bless you all!
Msgr Kevin Hale