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Birthday Wishes

Happy 90th Birthday

Peter Bradley 90th Birthday

APRIL 3rd 2021

All regular parishioners at Our Lady of the Angels & St. Peter in Chains, know and love Peter. Devout,  dedicated, decent; Peter has served the Parish and its interests for the whole of his adult life. Regrettably, COVID-19 imposed a mooted celebration of his entry into his nonagenarian decade but when it is over, Peter (like the Queen) warrants a second, official birthday 🥳 and we can’t wait !!
In an emotional speech, Peter thanked his wonderful wife Mary but true to character, he soon made a plea to all those in the congregation to sign up for gift aid !

The address given by Mary Synnott, best describes Peter:

 

A tribute on behalf of Our Lady of the Angles and St. Peter in Chains Parish,Stoke-on-Trent

On the occasion of

Peter Bradley’s 90th birthday, Saturday 3rd April 2021 (Holy Saturday)

“Peter Bradley was born at the Stoke hospital on Friday 3rd April 1931. It was Good Friday. Peter was a poorly baby. Such was the worry that Fr. Brown, the curate of Our Lady’s Parish was called. He visited the hospital and baptised you on the spot (Baptism should not be done on Good Friday). Fr. Brown asked Peter’s Mum for the name of the “new” baby. She said she never gave it a thought. Fr. Brown suggested naming you Peter”.  It was agreed.  What an apt name for you, Peter (derived from the Greek Petros: a rock). Peter you are a rock, solid with secure foundations. You do not crumble when the going gets tough (Mary reminded me that you have Northern Irish RC ancestors). You are an intelligent, modest man of your word. You have served OL parish faithfully all your life. You attended the local RC school just behind this Church, served as an altar boy and moved on for secondary education to St. Joseph’s CBS RC Secondary School, Trent Vale. You give of their best to every task for the greater glory of God.

Peter, you have served as Chair of the Parish Council and the Finance Committee and been an excellent Parish Treasurer for years. You continue as our Parish Gift Aid organiser, a time-consuming task. No tax man will get the better of you.  Mary supports you 100%; and does many good deeds in secret. (She reaches out to sick and elderly parishioners who are unable to attend Mass/arranging flowers for our Church).  You & Mary are a formidable team. Every Parish needs Bradleys.

On behalf of the Parish, I congratulate you Peter on reaching this landmark birthday in fine fettle. We wish you and Mary a happy celebration (albeit Covid restricted).

On behalf of the Parish, Fr George will make a presentation to you & Mary as a token of our thanks and appreciation for all you & Mary have done and continue to do for OL and with our best wishes.”

Categories
Archdiocese of Birmingham

March 23rd – National Day of Reflection for Covid-19

Cardinal Vincent Nichols
  • Statement from the Presidency of the Bishops’ Conference on the National Day of Reflection for COVID-19
We welcome the designation of Tuesday 23 March as a National Day of Reflection to mark the anniversary of the first national lockdown with a minute’s silence at midday and doorstep vigils of light at 8pm. We ask you all to make this not only a Day of Reflection but also a Day of Prayer. In reflection we ponder on all that has taken place; in prayer we bring this to our Heavenly Father. For all who live by faith in God, reflection and prayer always go hand in hand. Prayer completes reflection. Reflection informs prayer. Prayer opens our life to its true horizon. Without prayer we live in a foreshortened world and are more easily swamped by its clamour and tragedy. Throughout this difficult year, so many have been inspired by prayer, so much effort sustained in prayer, in every place. So let us make the 23rd March truly a day of prayer. March 2020 was the first time our churches had to be closed. It is our hope that on this day, every one of our churches will be open. We invite everyone to enter a church on this day, to reflect and pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. We know this will involve an extra effort, but this can be part of our important contribution to a significant moment in the life of our country. Indeed, we ask that you might invite a friend, neighbour or colleague to come to church with you as you make this visit. There is so much on which to reflect and include in our prayer. We reflect in sorrow on all those who have died, whether family members, friends or those unknown to us personally. We pray for them, asking our Father to welcome them into their heavenly home, the destiny for which God first gave us the gift of life. We reflect with compassion on all those who have suffered during this last year, whether through illness, stress, financial disaster or family tensions. We pray for their ongoing resilience, courage and capacity to forgive. We reflect with thanksgiving for the generosity, inventiveness, self-sacrifice and determination shown by so many in this most difficult of times. We pray for them, thanking God for their gifts and dedication, whether they are scientists, politicians, health workers, public servants of every kind, community leaders or steadfast family members and friends who continue to show such love and compassion. We reflect in hope that, as the pandemic is controlled and we open up our lives again, we will gather in the lessons we have learned and build our society into a better shape, more compassionate, less marked by inequalities, more responsive to needs and deprivation. We ask for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen us in this endeavour, whether we are focussing on overcoming family breakdowns, economic recovery, or building political consensus. Christian prayer is, of course, centred on Jesus Christ, the one who is “lifted up” before us “so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him” (John 3.13). We pray with Jesus, in him and through him, for he is the one who carries us, and our prayers, into the embracing presence of his Father. He is our comfort in sorrow, our strength in the face of need, our rejoicing in the gifts we celebrate and our hope in the face of the weighty darkness of death. May Tuesday 23rd March be a great day of prayer that this pandemic comes to an end and that the gift of God’s Holy Spirit will carry us all forward to a new and better life, both here and in the world to come. Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Diocesan Prayer

Day of Prayer & Remembrance One Year into Covid-19 Pandemic

Holy Trinity,
Fount of Knowledge, Wisdom and Love,
We come before you on this day of prayer,
following a year in which there seem to have been more questions than answers.
We stand before the mysteries of life and death, of sickness and healing.
Silence is sometimes the first and only response.
As we reflect on a year that has brought real suffering and struggle to many, we remember every earthly life that has ended either as a result of or during this pandemic. Every life is precious in your sight.
We pray for all of our brothers and sisters who have known the loss of jobs and livelihoods, of purpose and dignity. We pray for all of our friends and relatives and for all those who continue to carry sickness. We ask you to accompany them through times of darkness into the emerging dawn.
In the midst of all that has appeared wrong, we know too that there have been unexpected blessings over the past year, and for those we are grateful: a greater appreciation of family and friends, a greater need to build community and strengthen ties of fraternity; a recognition of the selfless goodness in people who often do not have much to give themselves.
We have had time.
At this moment, Lord God, enlighten and enliven your people who look to you for guidance and strength. May we continue, with your grace, to make the right decisions for ourselves and for others.
May our eagerness to put the past year behind us also be an eagerness to embrace new ways of living, generous ways of acting and a renewed dedication to you. If the past year has taught us one thing, it is that we are not in control of our destiny and we submit to that reality.
You, Father, Son and Spirit, together with the angels and saints of heaven:
Intercede for your people now, as the prophets and apostles interceded for the people of their day.
May we face the challenges of each day welcoming the gift of life each day, and live as best we can with a heart filled with gratitude for that gift.
You are alive and reign in heaven and on earth for ever and ever. Amen.

 

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CAFOD

Cafod – Walk for Water

CAFOD

Walk for Water

Are you ready to change your life and transform someone else’s this lent? Walk for water is the only lent challenge you need. 10,000 steps a day done your way. Every Day for 40 days. Go the distance this lent and help to end water poverty.

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❤️ JUST PUT YOUR HEART & SOUL INTO IT ❤️

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis Lenten Message

Papal Lent Message

2021

Message of the Holy Father Francis for Lent 2021, 12.02.2021

The following is the text of the Message of the Holy Father Francis for Lent 2021, entitled: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem “ (Mt 20: 18). Lent: a Time for Renewing Faith, Hope and Love:

 

Message of the Holy Father

“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem” (Mt 20:18).

Lent: a Time for Renewing Faith, Hope and Love.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Jesus revealed to his disciples the deepest meaning of his mission when he told them of his passion, death and resurrection, in fulfilment of the Father’s will. He then called the disciples to share in this mission for the salvation of the world.

In our Lenten journey towards Easter, let us remember the One who “humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). During this season of conversion, let us renew our faith, draw from the “living water” of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God, who makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. At the Easter vigil, we will renew our baptismal promises and experience rebirth as new men and women by the working of the Holy Spirit. This Lenten journey, like the entire pilgrimage of the Christian life, is even now illumined by the light of the resurrection, which inspires the thoughts, attitudes and decisions of the followers of Christ.

Fasting, prayer and almsgiving, as preached by Jesus (cf. Mt 6:1-18), enable and express our conversion. The path of poverty and self-denial (fasting), concern and loving care for the poor (almsgiving), and childlike dialogue with the Father (prayer) make it possible for us to live lives of sincere faith, living hope and effective charity.

1. Faith calls us to accept the truth and testify to it before God and all our brothers and sisters.

In this Lenten season, accepting and living the truth revealed in Christ means, first of all, opening our hearts to God’s word, which the Church passes on from generation to generation. This truth is not an abstract concept reserved for a chosen intelligent few. Instead, it is a message that all of us can receive and understand thanks to the wisdom of a heart open to the grandeur of God, who loves us even before we are aware of it. Christ himself is this truth. By taking on our humanity, even to its very limits, he has made himself the way – demanding, yet open to all – that leads to the fullness of life.

Fasting, experienced as a form of self-denial, helps those who undertake it in simplicity of heart to rediscover God’s gift and to recognize that, created in his image and likeness, we find our fulfilment in him. In embracing the experience of poverty, those who fast make themselves poor with the poor and accumulate the treasure of a love both received and shared. In this way, fasting helps us to love God and our neighbour, inasmuch as love, as Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches, is a movement outwards that focuses our attention on others and considers them as one with ourselves (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 93).

Lent is a time for believing, for welcoming God into our lives and allowing him to “make his dwelling” among us (cf. Jn 14:23). Fasting involves being freed from all that weighs us down – like consumerism or an excess of information, whether true or false – in order to open the doors of our hearts to the One who comes to us, poor in all things, yet “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14): the Son of God our Saviour.

2. Hope as “living water” enabling us to continue our journey.

The Samaritan woman at the well, whom Jesus asks for a drink, does not understand what he means when he says that he can offer her “living water” (Jn 4:10). Naturally, she thinks that he is referring to material water, but Jesus is speaking of the Holy Spirit whom he will give in abundance through the paschal mystery, bestowing a hope that does not disappoint. Jesus had already spoken of this hope when, in telling of his passion and death, he said that he would “be raised on the third day” (Mt 20:19). Jesus was speaking of the future opened up by the Father’s mercy. Hoping with him and because of him means believing that history does not end with our mistakes, our violence and injustice, or the sin that crucifies Love. It means receiving from his open heart the Father’s forgiveness.

In these times of trouble, when everything seems fragile and uncertain, it may appear challenging to speak of hope. Yet Lent is precisely the season of hope, when we turn back to God who patiently continues to care for his creation which we have often mistreated (cf. Laudato Si’, 32-33; 43-44). Saint Paul urges us to place our hope in reconciliation: “Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). By receiving forgiveness in the sacrament that lies at the heart of our process of conversion, we in turn can spread forgiveness to others. Having received forgiveness ourselves, we can offer it through our willingness to enter into attentive dialogue with others and to give comfort to those experiencing sorrow and pain. God’s forgiveness, offered also through our words and actions, enables us to experience an Easter of fraternity.

In Lent, may we be increasingly concerned with “speaking words of comfort, strength, consolation and encouragement, and not words that demean, sadden, anger or show scorn” (Fratelli Tutti, 223). In order to give hope to others, it is sometimes enough simply to be kind, to be “willing to set everything else aside in order to show interest, to give the gift of a smile, to speak a word of encouragement, to listen amid general indifference” (ibid., 224).

Through recollection and silent prayer, hope is given to us as inspiration and interior light, illuminating the challenges and choices we face in our mission. Hence the need to pray (cf. Mt 6:6) and, in secret, to encounter the Father of tender love.

To experience Lent in hope entails growing in the realization that, in Jesus Christ, we are witnesses of new times, in which God is “making all things new” (cf. Rev 21:1-6). It means receiving the hope of Christ, who gave his life on the cross and was raised by God on the third day, and always being “prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls [us] to account for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Pet 3:15).

3. Love, following in the footsteps of Christ, in concern and compassion for all,is the highest expression of our faith and hope.

Love rejoices in seeing others grow. Hence it suffers when others are anguished, lonely, sick, homeless, despised or in need. Love is a leap of the heart; it brings us out of ourselves and creates bonds of sharing and communion.

“‘Social love’ makes it possible to advance towards a civilization of love, to which all of us can feel called. With its impulse to universality, love is capable of building a new world. No mere sentiment, it is the best means of discovering effective paths of development for everyone” (Fratelli Tutti, 183).

Love is a gift that gives meaning to our lives. It enables us to view those in need as members of our own family, as friends, brothers or sisters. A small amount, if given with love, never ends, but becomes a source of life and happiness. Such was the case with the jar of meal and jug of oil of the widow of Zarephath, who offered a cake of bread to the prophet Elijah (cf. 1 Kings 17:7-16); it was also the case with the loaves blessed, broken and given by Jesus to the disciples to distribute to the crowd (cf. Mk 6:30-44). Such is the case too with our almsgiving, whether small or large, when offered with joy and simplicity.

To experience Lent with love means caring for those who suffer or feel abandoned and fearful because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In these days of deep uncertainty about the future, let us keep in mind the Lord’s word to his Servant, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you” (Is 43:1). In our charity, may we speak words of reassurance and help others to realize that God loves them as sons and daughters.

“Only a gaze transformed by charity can enable the dignity of others to be recognized and, as a consequence, the poor to be acknowledged and valued in their dignity, respected in their identity and culture, and thus truly integrated into society” (Fratelli Tutti, 187).

Dear brothers and sisters, every moment of our lives is a time for believing, hoping and loving. The call to experience Lent as a journey of conversion, prayer and sharing of our goods, helps us – as communities and as individuals – to revive the faith that comes from the living Christ, the hope inspired by the breath of the Holy Spirit and the love flowing from the merciful heart of the Father.

May Mary, Mother of the Saviour, ever faithful at the foot of the cross and in the heart of the Church, sustain us with her loving presence. May the blessing of the risen Lord accompany all of us on our journey towards the light of Easter.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 11 November 2020, the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours

Francis

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Uncategorized

Something to cheer us up…

Father George Captures Our Lady in the snow

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Archdiocese of Birmingham

Annual Pastoral Letter from Archbishop

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Christmas Wishes 2020

Childrens’ Xmas Message

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Christmas Wishes 2020

Christmas Wishes from Fr Michael

Fr. Michael Miners

Fr Michael is wishing us a Holy, Peaceful and a Blessed Christmas and prosperous New Year. He is also sending his love and prayers to all. Please include Fr. Michael in your prayers.

Wishing Fr. Michael a Blessed Christmas and Prosperous New Year. From all at Our Lady of the Angels & St Peter in Chains
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CAFOD

Cafod Rep

Could you be Our Lady & the Angels next CAFOD rep…

First of all a great big thanks and God Bless to Joe Andrews who has recently retired as our parish’s CAFOD Rep. He’s done a brilliant job and is a credit to our parish.

Of course someone is now needed to fill Joe’s role. So please if you have some spare time and are passionate about the charitable work of CAFOD please consider taking this up. Its so incredibly important that our Catholic community pulls together at this time and that every Parish takes part and has a dedicated representative for our Catholic charities.

For an informal discussion please email Phil Mayland: philip.mayland@cafod.org.uk

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CAFOD

Laudato Si

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