Services this year for Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy Week and Easter Day

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Ash Wednesday - this week 9.15am Mass & distribution of ashes at close of Mass (to enable the school children to depart quietly). 7.00pm. Mass & distribution of ashes after the Gospel. Confessions after both Masses.

Stations of the Cross immediately after every Friday Mass during Lent.

Lenten Course 'Pivotal Players': every Wednesday 3.30pm in Quiet Room. Those participating please take home your study book after Mass this Sunday.

Parish celebration of Passover Meal: Wednesday 5th April in the evening.

Palm Sunday April 8/9th: Saturday 6.00pm at Alston; 8.30am & 10.25am at Penrith. The Sung Mass with Procession of Palms begins in the Haydock Centre 10.25am

Tuesday: Penrith: 6pm Servers/Ministers practice for Maundy Thurs & Good Fri

Spy Wednesday 6.00 to 8.00pm: Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confessions.

Holy Thursday: 11.30am. Mass of Chrism at Lancaster Cathedral. Penrith 7pm. Mass of Last Supper with Watching till 11pm.

Good Friday: 10.00am. Stations of the Cross. 12 noon Penrith Ecumenical Walk of Witness starts at Penrith Museum; 12 noon Alston Walk of Witness starts at the Friends. 3.00pm. Penrith & Alston, Our Celebration of the Lord's Passion.

Holy Saturday Penrith: 11.30am. Polish tradition of Blessing of Easter Gifts. Penrith 3pm Servers/Ministers Practice for the Vigil Service Penrith 8.30pm Easter Vigil Mass of the Resurrection

Easter Sunday: Penrith: Masses 8.30am & 10.30am, 3.30pm (Polish)  Alston: 4.30pm.

Welcoming refugees

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I have followed up my attendance at the recent meeting of the Carlisle Refugee Action Group by contacting the One World Action Centre to see what help can be offered to support refugees arriving in Penrith.  Sarah Wilson has replied with the following "I'm a volunteer, I live between Penrith and Carlisle, I spent much of last year in the Dunkirk camp in France, running the Dunkirk Adult Learning Centre and I'm in touch with many asylum seekers and refugees who have made it to the UK by independent means. From April this year the first Syrian families under the Government's Vulnerable Person's Scheme will come to Cumbria. We don't know for certain yet, but we think a few of the first families will be housed in Carlisle. I'd like to initiate Penrith welcoming refugees. I was wondering about inviting a small group of interested people to meet and discuss an approach. Welcoming refugees is a sensitive topic in today's world but many people do want to do this. Would you like to be part of this?"

Anyone who is interested in joining me to meet with Sarah to talk about possible ways to offer support,  speak to me after Mass, or email me or telephone me on 01768 862273. Fr Jerome.

Fasting & Abstinence

Fasting, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday is for those between the ages of 18yrs and 60 years and means having only one full meal, with a little food being taken at breakfast and midday or evening.

Abstinence, for everyone over the age of 14 years and by the recent instruction of the bishops of England and Wales applies to every Friday of the whole year as well as Ash Wednesday. It involves abstaining from meat and meat products.

Fasting from food before receiving Holy Communion (this applies not only in Lent but throughout the year)

(1) Communicants should fast from solid food & from drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, for one hour before the time of Communion; water does not break the fast.

(2) The sick, even those not confined to bed and those directly involved in tending the sick may take non-alcoholic liquids and true medicines, including food, at any time.

Get Growing Now!

Get Growing Now

Our parish Spring plant sale in aid of our sponsorship of the Monze Holy Spirit Sisters' Hospital will be held this year on Sunday 2nd April after the Masses. Details to follow, meanwhile, would gardeners please start sowing and preparing for veg., tomatoes, flowers, annual, perennials, shrubs, fruit etc., ready for the sale. Please bring your successes to the Haydock Centre on Saturday 1st April.

Thanks and good gardening! The Monze Team

The Pivotal Players - Wednesdays at 3.30pm, starting Ash Wednesday

The Pivotal Players

I would like to invite you, as part of your preparation for Easter, to something a little different during this Lent. It is part discussion/part reflection along with an interesting DVD film presentation of the lives of some key notable people in the life of the Church, some saints, some not. Though we will look at the life of the person under discussion, the real point of the afternoon would be to see that person's impact on the life of the Church and how the Church changed & developed through that saints influence. The material is presented by Bishop Robert Barron and is called Catholicism:The Pivotal Players. This is the same Fr Robert Barron who did such a wonderful work in his film presentation of the key aspects of the Catholic Faith which some of our parishioners have been enjoying over the last two years. We would have a choice out of six people: St Francis of Assisi, St Thomas Aquinas, St Catherine of Siena, Blessed John Henry Newman, GK Chesterton and Michelangelo who not only influenced the Church but society at large. To give you a flavour, here are three:

St. Francis, The Reformer. Rebuild my Church! That's the mission Christ gave to St. Francis and it's the perennial task of the Church in every age of its life. But how is the reform and renewal of the Church to be accomplished? .

Bl. John Henry Newman, The Convert. Is there any truth in matters of religion? Should the Church simply retreat in the face of the challenges of culture now that we supposedly live in a post-truth world?

G.K. Chesterton, The Evangelist. How does one engage a culture that is befuddled by Christ and suspicious of the Church and any authority.

We will meet in the Haydock Centre and start 1st March, Ash Wednesday. I will put the books for those coming for the programme in the narthex next Sunday to give participants a chance to read beforehand. (If you want it any earlier, please let me know). The programme allows for 2 sessions per person under discussion, (unless we decide otherwise). We will start with St Francis of Assisi and decide as a group on who else we will discuss.

I have bought books/materials for 20 participants so any more to join us are welcome. Put your name on the list in the narthex or have a word with me.

Fr Jerome

My visit in May this year to Zambia and Monze Mission Hospital

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We have recently reformed our support group in the parish for the Congregation of the Holy Spirit Sisters and their management of the Mission Hospital in the township of Monze, southern Zambia. This group generously raised over £800 before Christmas for the Sisters and their work in the hospital. Take a copy from the narthex of their Report of how our last donation was spent. The Sisters wish for more than our fundraising, though this is important. They wish for our prayers not just for the Mission Hospital but also for their life as a Congregation. We do this every first Thursday Mass in the month. Do join us!

I am travelling to Zambia this May to stay with the Sisters, see their work and spend a longer time at the Hospital as well as visiting the Bishop of Monze diocese. I will speak of our parish, its concern for them and come back with a report of their life and work, especially of the Hospital. I will also invite one or two of the sisters to Penrith, if the congregation thinks this is good to do.

What I ask is what can we do together before I travel in May to raise their profile in the Parish and make their life and work better appreciated?

Fr Jerome.