Also, consider these ideas for how to make your Lent an intense time to receive and welcome the love of God:
Also, consider these ideas for how to make your Lent an intense time to receive and welcome the love of God:
I was recently at a Baptism in which the priest reminded each person present that it would be through his or her actions that the child being baptised would come to know about God and how to respond to Him. If the child witnessed us praying, she would learn prayer was important, but that if the child never saw any communication with God from the people in her life, the child would learn that it wasn’t necessary.
Though none of us is perfect, we do have the responsibility to try to model behaviours that we want our child to emulate. As much as kids learn from what we do, they also learn from what we do not do. When we don’t make going to Church a priority each Sunday, it speaks volumes about faith and life to the hearts of our children.
If I can fit God in, great, but only if it is convenient for me. Football games, sleeping in, and _____ (insert activity of choice) are more important than making an effort to be with God one hour a week.
Yes, it is a commandment to keep the Lord’s Day Holy, but God doesn’t understand how busy I am or how many kids I have or how tired I’ve been so I can just decide based on my life’s circumstances what He really means by this commandment and all of His other commandments. It’s up to us to pick and choose which of God’s laws we want to follow.
Yes, it is a precept of the Church to attend Mass on Sundays, but the Church doesn’t understand how busy I am or how many kids I have or how tired I’ve been so I can just decide based on my life’s circumstances what the Church really means by this precept.
When we come and go to Mass as we please, we seem to forget that going to Mass builds the Church community. Your parish may need you to be a lector, sing in the choir, or take up the gifts. Seeing your family in Church might be just the thing an elderly person needs to bring joy to a lonely Sunday. There are many reasons that we are a community of faith and that we come together in Worship.
If we don’t go to Mass and we tell our kids it’s because Mass is “boring” or we “don’t get anything out of it,” our children learn that we only have to do things that are fun and exciting. This is simply not true regarding both our faith and everyday life. Most people don’t find doing their taxes fun and exciting, but we still have to do them.
If you truly believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist and that He comes to us each Sunday at Mass, what would keep you from Him? Why would you not want to receive the graces He bestows through this incredible gift?
Our Catechism teaches us “The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church.”
Parents, I know and fully understand how difficult it is to bring children to Church. Often when I leave Mass, I feel as if I have just competed in a wrestling match. No matter how much I plan and prepare (find tips here), we have plenty of days when the kids are less than angelic.
It is a battle. But, it is a battle worth fighting. There is no better place to bring our children than to the feet of Jesus. There is no better lesson to teach them than to put God first ALWAYS, no matter what else is going on in our lives or how difficult it is to be at Mass.
Guess what will happen if you wait to bring children to Mass until they can behave better or your life isn’t as busy? It won’t happen.
Satan will always give us an excuse to miss out on the celebration of the highest form of prayer we have here on earth, but God will always give us the graces to respond with a “yes” when we ask Him to help us.
Make Sunday Mass the one thing that your family consistently does together. Trust me, the blessings and graces that will come from this discipline will transform your family life in a powerful way.
With a huge joy I would like to inform all of You, that we have a plan to establish a solid YOUTH CLUB in our Parish. The idea is based on our wonderful altar servers who will go for their annual trip to my first Parish in Great Britain – to Jersey. But, this trip will have a huge heart (‘Lion’s Heart’), because it is going to be organised in the way of a sponsor walk, dedicated to our ministry towards the local homeless. Because from the next Pastoral Year (from September) we would like to increase our ministry to the prisoners, as we have found out that many homeless people go there, or some of them become homeless after leaving the prison.
First of all, I would like to ask You do not be upset by my look during this Lent, even if I will look a little bit like a barbarian. It will be something to shock our children for the Easter Mass.
Second, the message for those who would like to join us for our SPONSORED WALK AROUND JERSEY ISLAND this Summer (from 22nd July – 26th July 2019). I will cover the costs for our altar servers from your generous Christmas collection for me, and the costs of this trip for other children or teenagers I will cover with The Easter collection, which is also dedicated to the priest. Our children very soon will be given a special sheet to collect their sponsors, and the special letter will be send to their school asking for Lenten support for them. All the money collected will be dedicated for our spread ministry for the homeless and those who are in the prison now, and those who are coming out. We will walk 34 miles in 5 days, visiting the most special, beautiful places in Jersey.
It will be also our preparation to the World Youth Day in Lisbon (2022) and making a dream real to manage a walking Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella (Spain 2020). More info will be share in the next Newsletters. Please, all the children in age from 9 to 15 are very welcome, if You only see that YOUTH CLUB. in the church is something You would like to belong, create and identify with.
More info will be share in the next Newsletters. Please, all the children in age from 9 to 15 are very welcome, if You would like to join us, please let know Fr Marcin and collect a special form on Sunday 1st March.
One of the key tasks of any Bishop, and one that I personally consider to be central to my own ministry, is to teach the Faith and in Apostolorum Successores, the Directory on the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, it highlights the importance of the Bishop sending out from time to time a Pastoral Letter to the clergy and faithful of the diocese to be read at Mass: “On special occasions in the life of the diocese, the Bishop should also propose doctrine by means of pastoral letters and messages, addressed to the whole Christian community. These may appropriately be read out in Churches and oratories and also distributed in printed form among the faithful. In drafting these letters, the Bishop may wish to enlist the help of his advisers, of the presbyteral council and, if the case so warrants, of the diocesan pastoral council. These groups may suggest topics to be treated, present-day objections to be refuted, or they may point out issues arising in the diocese on which it is appropriate for the Bishop to speak authoritatively (122).”
Since becoming the Bishop of Portsmouth, I have issued twenty Pastoral Letters covering the Church’s teaching in the Creed, on the three Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity, on Our Lady and St. Joseph, on mission and evangelisation, the Christian view of the human person, moral theology and the Church’s social teaching. Latterly I have been reflecting one by one on the seven Sacraments. The next Pastoral Letter is due for release on 24th February (the Seventh Sunday of the Church’s Year) and will be sent out in written form, and also as a podcast and a video. I intend the Letters to have ‘plenty of meat’ in them so as to lead to further prayer, study and reflection, which is why I always ask parishes to make available copies for people to read as it is being read and to take away afterwards. You can see the list of Pastoral Letters here.
Father Marcin Drabik invites you to join him on pilgrimage to Italy this September…
Following on from our successful trip last year to eastern Europe –Poland, Lithuania & Ukraine – this year St Swithun’s Parish is having its annual Pilgrimage to Italy. We will leave on 16th and return on 26th September 2019. During this time we will visit the various sites where the Eucharistic Miracles have taken place and other places of interest where our blessed saints are buried, including: Padua, Loreto, Manopello, San Giovani Rotondo, Pompeii, Naples, Assisi, Ferrara, Macerata, Lanciano, Serracapriola, Bolsena, Orvieto, Cascia and Siena.
You can find all the details (with short videos and short extracts about the places we will visit) on our website here: https://stswithuns.org.uk/pilgrimage-sep-2019
You will find costs, dates, locations , payment details and how to register for this exciting trip.
We would love you to come. Closing dates are on the website.
You can also collect the programme and details from the back of the church – please share with all those your Friends, who can be interested.
INCLUDED IN PRICE
|Round Trip Airfare||prices are inclusive of airline taxes and charges|
|Modern Coach||with a professional driver to our constant disposal;|
|Accommodation||in double/triple rooms with WC & shower
There are only 12 single rooms only these have a surcharge of £165
|Local English Speaking Guides||if needed|
|Meals||Breakfast and dinner daily. B/D;|
|All Entrance fees & Local taxes;|
|Tips for Guides|
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
|Items of a personal nature|
|Payment Schedule||Date Needed By||Amount|
|Payment 1: deposit||Submitted with the Registration Form||£300.00|
|Supplement for a single room||18th April 2019||£165.00|
|Payment 2:||10th June 2019||£400.00|
|Payment 3:||20th July 2019||£280.00|
Download Registration form here: Pilgrim-Registration-Form- EUCHARISTIC PILGRIMAGE – ITALY 2019
|The registration form can be sent to:||Fr. Marcin Drabik, Our Lady of Lourdes’ & St Swithun Church, 105 Waverley Road, Southsea PO5 2PL|
|Email registration form to:||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Deposit in cash or by cheque:||made out to PRCDTR Our Lady of Lourdes’ & St Swithun Church with the title ‘EUCHARISTIC PILGRIMAGE|
|Bank Transfer to the Parish:||Account no: 01730453;
Sort Code: 30-93-04,
|Monday, September 16th 2019||Flight out|
|Tuesday, September 17th||PADUA||Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua’ tomb, Eucharistic Miracle of Ferrara, Italy, 1171|
|Wednesday, September 18th 2019 Morning||LORETO||The Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto|
|Wednesday, September 18th 2019 Afternoon||MACERATA||Santa Maria della Misericorida – Macerata,; Cathedral of Holy Mary Assumed and St. Giuliano|
|Wednesday, September 18th 2019 Afternoon||MANOPPELLO||The Holy Face of Jesus, the Veil of Manoppello|
|Thursday & Friday, September 19th & 20th 2019||LANCIANO||Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano|
|Thursday & Friday, September 19th & 20th 2019||SERRACAPRIOLA||Tomb of Father Matteo of Agnone Exorcist|
|Thursday & Friday, September 19th & 20th 2019||SAN GIOVANI ROTONDO||the sanctuary of Saint Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo|
|Saturday & Sunday, September 21st & 22nd 2019||POMPEII||Sanctuary Della Madonna – Virgin of the Rosary|
|Saturday & Sunday, September 21st & 22nd 2019||NAPLES||The Grave of Father Dolindo Ruotolo|
|Monday, September 23rd 2019||BOLSENA & ORVIETO||The Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena Italy and the Tomb of Saint Cristina|
|Tuesday, September 24th 2019||CASCIA||Basilica of St Rita of Cascia|
|Tuesday, September 24th 2019||ASSISI||Basilica of St Francis, Church of St Clara, & S. Maria degli Angeli, the temple of Minerva , tomb of Venerable Carlo Acutis|
|Wednesday, September 25th 2019||SIENA||Eucharistic Miracle, St. Catherine’s Relics, Basilica of Saint Francis|
|Thursday, September 26th 2019||Flight back|
Padua is the oldest city in Northern Italy. It is a beautiful old university town with an illustrious past. We’ll venerate Saint Anthony of Padua, the Franciscan hermit who was born in Lisbon but died in Padua, when we visit the magnificent Basilica that holds his tomb and relics.
Then we travel on to the place of Eucharistic Miracle of Ferrara, Italy, 1171. The miracle took place in the Basilica of Saint Mary in Vado, on Easter Sunday, March 28, 1171. While celebrating Easter Mass, Father Pietro da Verona, the prior of the basilica, reached the moment of breaking the consecrated Host. At this point he saw that Blood gushed from the Host, staining the ceiling of the crypt above the altar with droplets. In 1595 the crypt was enclosed within a small shrine and is still visible today in the monumental Basilica of Santa Mari a in Vado. (BB, D)
In the Morning we will be travelling to Loreto which is a lovely hill town situated in the Marche region of Italy. It is home to the site of the Holy House of the Holy Family, which was carried by angels from Nazareth to Loreto as it was about to be destroyed by Holy Land invaders.
The Holy House of Nazareth, where the Annunciation was made to Our Lady, is now located here inside the Basilica of the Holy House. Known as “The Translation”, the angelic flight of the Holy House from Nazareth across the Mediterranean to Loreto mirrors the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt.
During the breaking of the Eucharistic Bread before Holy Communion, the priest began to doubt the Real Presence of Jesus in the consecrated Host. Precisely at the moment in which he broke the Host, and to his great surprise, he saw an abundance of Blood flow from the Host which stained part of the corporal, and the chalice placed on the altar.
At Macerata , in the church of the Cathedral of Holy Mary Assumed and St. Giuliano, under the altar of the Most Holy Sacrament, it is possible to venerate the relic of the “corporal marked by Blood.” Also preserved in this church is the parchment on which the miracle is described.
It is different in one aspect, however, in that it is a positive image rather than a negative image as shown on the Shroud. When the image on the Veil of Manoppello is laid over the image of the face on the Shroud of Turin, the two images match perfectly. It is the same face. (BB, D)
The news spread quickly, and the faithful came from all over to view the miracle, which to this day has retained the same dimensions. The miracle is contained in a silver and glass reliquary and is clearly visible.
The latest scientific testing, done in the 1970’s, confirms what the faithful have believed for 12 centuries without the technology of today: “the flesh is real flesh” (a perfect slice from the heart), and “the blood is real blood”. The blood type is AB, the same found on the Shroud of Turin. Viewing this most spectacular miracle of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament is a deep and moving experience for many pilgrims.
In fact the tomb of a saint is a kind of axis mundi, and that of the Servant of God Padre Matteo of Agnone is a sort of nuclear reactor against the devil. The whole church where he’s buried is an energy factory, where people can access divine energy through contact with the sacred remains of the saint and through his divinely effective intercession.
Sometimes a sick self leads to a sick body and a sick mind, so a pilgrimage (or a retreat) at Padre Matteo’s tomb is a chance to recover from spiritual diseases.
We will spend the morning in the sanctuary of Saint Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo. and then walk to the church of Our Lady of Grace and celebrate Mass. We will visit the tomb of Saint Padre Pio. After our visit to the Shrine of Saint Padre Pio we will then go to Monte Sant’ Angelo to visit the Grotto where Archangel Michael appeared from the 5th – 17th century. (BB, D)
We will visit the shrine of the Virgin of the Rosary in POMPEII, where the painting of ‘Our Lady of the Rosary’ with its bronze gilt frame is presented on the high altars.We’ll visit the ruins of ancient Pompeii ,one of the world’s most fantastic archaeological experiences. The town was buried under a layer of lapilli in AD 79 after the eruption of Vesuvius and the result is a remarkably well preserved slice of ancient life where visitors can walk along Roman streets and snoop around millennia old houses, temples, shops and Amphitheatres.
You can find the grave of Father Dolindo Ruotolo in Naples cathedral with the relics of the patron saint of the city. Father Dolindo Ruotolo was a Neapolitan priest (1882-1970), a stigmatised miracle worker and “mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit”. Father Dolindo Ruotolo had extraordinary communication with Jesus throughout his heroic life, a life that was totally devoted to God and the Holy Mother Mary. He referred to himself as “the Madonna’s little old man” and the Rosary was his constant companion.
|As you can see from this novena much of what our Lord wants flies in the face of normal human inclination and reason. We can only rise to this level of thinking through the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit. We must let go of our problems, stop worrying and trying to resolve them ourselves. We must believe, trust and allow our Lord to rescue us from ourselves and supply our wants, needs and resolve our problems as only He can. “Jesus, You take care of it”, should be the first words that come to mind and flow from our lips. After all, we have tried to do things our way and look where is has got us.|
We will visit Bolsena , where another Eucharistic Miracle took place, and from which Corpus Christi Processions have their beginning.Such was the case in 1263, when a visiting priest stopped in Bolsena to celebrate Mass at the Saint Christina’s Church in Bolsena . He had begun to doubt that the Eucharist was really the Body and Blood of Christ; however, the priest was shocked when the host began to bleed right after the prayer of consecration. Unable to hide this fact, he interrupted the Mass and went to nearby Orvieto, where Pope Urban IV was in residence. After a thorough fact-finding investigation the Pope ordered that the miraculous host and the linen altar cloth (Corporal) stained with blood be brought to Orvieto and placed on display. It still on display today for pilgrims to see.It should be noted that the Cathedral also has some of the most magnificent frescoes to be found anywhere. The San Brizio Chapel depicting visions of heaven and hell certainly rival those of the Sistine Chapel in our humble opinion. You will find some beautiful frescoes by the early Renaissance painter, Luca Signorelli, depicting the Preaching of the Anti-Christ, of the Last Judgement, and of the Resurrection of the body, certainly inspired Michelangelo’s own masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel. The Cathedral was originally planned as a residence for the Pope, but as history unfolded, the Papacy moved elsewhere and that helps explain why such a magnificent structure can be found in a town that historically has not had great significance.
|Orvieto and Bolsena are only about 10 miles apart, so it is easy to combine both. Certainly viewing the Eucharistic Miracle in Orvieto is the number one priority of most pilgrims, but many are also interested in visiting the Church of Saint Christina in Bolsena where the miracle actually took place. (BB, D)|
Saint Rita of Cascia is one of Catholicism’s most revered saints, often referred to as the “Saint of the Impossible” & also the place where a Eucharistic Miracle is preserved. The miraculous host dates from 1330 when a priest in Sienna, off to visit a dying farmer, took a consecrated host and stuck it in his breviary rather than a pyx. When he arrived at the bedside he opened the breviary and discovered the host was bleeding and that the pages inside were stained with blood. The pages were preserved and numerous tests were performed confirming that it was indeed human blood. The Eucharistic miracle is kept in the lower chapel of the Basilica of St Rita.
In addition to its natural beauty and its excellent university, it is the home to both Saint Catherine of Siena (Doctor of the Church.) She experienced visions from an early age and seemed destined for sainthood. Throughout her life she experienced almost every type of mystical gift. She levitated, performed exorcisms, healed, lived on only the Holy Eucharist for years, received the invisible stigmata, and had numerous visions of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the saints, and the devil)
The Eucharistic Miracle of Siena is one of the longest on-going miracles in the world.
On August 14, 1730, thieves broke in to the Church of St. Francis and stole a ciborium containing consecrated hosts. The theft was discovered the next day by Franciscan priests, and the town’s festivities celebrating the Feast of the Assumption were immediately halted. The bishop asked for prayers and reparations as civil authorities searched for the missing ciborium.
On August 17th a parishioner in the Church of St. Mary noticed a bright light coming from a collection box. When the box was opened a large number of hosts was discovered covered by dirt and cobwebs. Counted and examined, these were determined to be the same hosts that were stolen. Normally the priest would have consumed these hosts but since they were covered with dirt and cobwebs it was decided to let them decompose naturally, something that should have taken a few weeks.
However, since 1730, the hosts have remained fresh and sweet-smelling. Over the years various tests have been performed that authenticate this miracle. They are preserved here in Siena in the Basilica of Saint Francis. (BB, D)
Keep up to date with parish news & receive Father Marcin’s thought-provoking Newsletter each Sunday.