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Thought from Fr. Colm - 21st January 2024

Mass time changes: I’m not on Facebook but gather some feel disappointed at ‘lack of consultation’ regarding changes to the Mass times on Sunday at St. Joseph’s. I'm happy to facilitate a meeting to listen to any opinions or suggestions. I will be available in the Jubilee Room immediately after the 11:00am Mass this Sunday, 21st January, to listen to any opinions, suggestions etc., on Mass times, or indeed to any comments you might have on any of our services, be it baptism, marriages, confessions etc. Please feel free to join me – you will be more than welcome. Thanks.

Our week of prayer for Christian Unity is now upon us, and your continued prayers are asked. In a time when witness is so important, perhaps a model witness is the excellent work at an ecumenical level is being done at Sanctuary 21 by the combined efforts of the Salvation Army and members of our parish. May they continue to be blessed in alleviating the growing plight of homelessness.

“On the journey of ecclesial communion, and in the dialogue with other Churches and Christian communities, something that has always made me think of what Patriarch Athenagoras said, somewhat light-heartedly, to Paul V1: let us put the theologians on an island and we will journey together. Certainly, theologians are necessary: they need to study, to speak, to discuss; but in the meantime, let us carry on, praying together and with works of charity. For me, this is the path that does not disappoint,” Pope Francis.

Journey in Faith – we realise that a different approach is needed and to this end we are going to re-appraise the format for the Autumn.

The Hill We Climb

Amanda Gorman

When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry, a sea we must wade

We’ve braved the belly of the beast

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace

And the norms and notions of what just is

Isn’t always just-ice

And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it

Somehow we do it

Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished

We the successors of a country and a time

Where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one

And yes we are far from polished far from pristine but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect

We are striving to forge a union with purpose

To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man

And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us but what stands before us

We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside

We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another

We seek harm to none and harmony for all

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:

That even as we grieved, we grew

That even as we hurt, we hoped

That even as we tired, we tried

That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious

Not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree

And no one shall make them afraid

If we’re to live up to our own time

Then victory won’t lie in the blade

But in all the bridges we’ve made

That is the promised glade

The hill we climb If only we dare It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy

And this effort very nearly succeeded

But while democracy can be periodically delayed it can never be permanently defeated In this truth in this faith we trust

For while we have our eyes on the future history has its eyes on us

This is the era of just redemption

We feared at its inception

We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour but within it we found the power to author a new chapter

To offer hope and laughter to ourselves

So while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?

Now we assert

How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?

We will not march back to what was but move to what shall be

A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free

We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation

Our blunders become their burdens

But one thing is certain:

If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left with

Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one

We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west, we will rise from the windswept northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states, we will rise from the sunbaked south We will rebuild, reconcile and recover and every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful will emerge, battered and beautiful

When day comes we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid

The new dawn blooms as we free it

For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’re brave enough to be it.


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