Faithful amidst turmoil: All  three member countries of our SCJ Region are faced with political upheaval at present

In India there are General Elections which may take several weeks to complete. A BJP government which is staunchly anti-Christian may yet win again.

In Thailand General Elections on March 23 did not produce a clear winner so the 5-yr old military government may linger on.

In Britain? The only certain thing is that Brexit confusion governs everything, and the whiff of xenophobia is strong.

How does a faithful Christian make good choices & give true witness in these times? Are the Beatitudes our best measuring rod? And does the threat of global warming make election results a secondary issue? No answers today… just questions!

RIP: Fr. Luigi Speziale scj 1939-2019 Please pray for Don Luigi (as he was often known) for 50 years a linchpin of our community in Bethlehem, and a much loved teacher  at the local Diocesan Seminary at Beit-Jala. Ill health took him back to Italy recently where he died in a St.John of God Care Home a few days ago.

YOUR EASTER OFFERING TODAY the Easter gift that directly supports the resident SCJ Community scan qualify for gift aid.  If you’ve not already done so and want to join the SCJ gift aid scheme, (which can include Standing Order) please complete the ‘Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Betharram’ Gift Aid Form from the narthex and return to Parish Office.  Cheques to be made out to ‘Sacred Heart Fathers and Brothers’.

REMINDER - Please remember to switch off all mobile phones when in the church!

LECTIO DIVINA continues this Wednesday April 24; May 8,  22. All  welcome to this prayerful way of reading the scriptures. For many it has been a breakthrough in finding the link between the gospels & ordinary life. No previous experience necessary. Just a willing heart.

URGENT APPEAL for collectors to help distribution & collection of envelopes for Christian Aid Week 11th - 18th May.  We ask if you can give 2 evenings to help distribution & collection of envelopes in roads designated for Friary parish. List of roads in Narthex. If you can help please contact parish office with details which will be passed on co-ordinator Mary Clay.

ST PEREGRINE DEVOTIONS: A time to offer prayer for anyone who is sick and needs help and consolation, especially someone suffering from cancer. 

The St.Peregrine Prayer Group has met here at the Friary over the last few years to support our brothers and sisters who suffer from illness. 

We meet every last Friday each month at 2.30 pm in the Day Chapel and offer our prayers and petitions to St Peregrine. 

St. Peregrine  lived in 14th Cent Italy and was cured of cancer after a night of prayer before an image of Christ crucified.  You will be most welcome to join us as we pray together.  In true Catholic tradition we always finish with tea and a chat.

CHARITY COLLECTION BOXES for SVP and St Basil’s charities are built into the left and right hand sides, at the back of the Church.  Built-in boxes can be found in the narthex for St Anthony’s bread (used to help the poor in the local area) and Holy Souls (used for Mass intentions for Holy Souls).

CHURCH CLEANING ROTA for week commencing 21st April, Group B.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED  - Please contact the Sacristan if you are able to volunteer as a Church Warden.  We are particularly short of help at 6 pm Mass.  Thank you.

THE SUMMER FAIR will be Sat  June 15. We are looking for volunteers to man  stalls & help set up on the Friday evening & clear up after the fair.  We would be grateful for any donations of toys & fancy goods.  Also please bring cakes on the day.

FRIENDS OF OLC are holding a quiz night Friday 10th May at OLC school starting 8pm. Everyone welcome for a night of fun with quiz, games, a raffle and the opportunity to try different gins and some authentic Turkish food. Tickets £3 p.p. Tables of up to 6 people. Funds raised to go towards target of £75,000 needed to redevelop school outdoor play area with new astroturf & grass areas & update  play equipment. Quiz tickets on sale after Masses Sundays 28 April & 5 May.

THANKS from Fr.Hudsons Care for Lenten alms collection this year: £168.94

LOURDES HCPT a small HCPT group from Solihull goes to Lourdes this week to join the main pilgrimage of 3,000 people.  All the adult helpers pay their own way, but generous donations from this parish and others help to sponsor special needs children.  Altogether the Friary parish contributed over £2,500 this year. Many grateful thanks to all. Group 204 will pray for you at The Grotto

Called to Witness Vocation event for  young people 18-25. Harvington Hall Sat 4 May, Feast of English Martyrs. Discussion, Mass, Prayer Reflection. Speakers: Dr.Judith Champ & Sr. Gemma Simmons CJ

TAIZE Birmingham 2019: God's Love Has No Borders. Register now for 2019 Taizé Birmingham meeting in partnership with FaithJustice a new network for young adults. 10-12May( Fri-Sun) Details at:

GREEN FUEL fuel Using green fuel across the Birmingham Diocese will save thousands of pounds.  British Gas has presented the Archdiocese with a Green Gas for Business Certificate.  59 per cent of gas supplied to the Archdiocese was generated by renewable for 1 Oct 2017 to 30 Sept 2018.

FLOWER FESTIVAL—14-16th June 2019 St Chad’s Cathedral. The Friary will be represented. See poster for more details.

STORIES FROM THE HOLY LAND: CAFOD meeting for Birmingham East deanery volunteers and supporters Tuesday 4th June, Mass at 7.00pm followed by a bring and share supper and CAFOD meeting from 7.30 to 9.00pm St Thomas More Church, 130 Horse Shoes Lane, Sheldon, Birmingham, B26 3HU.

RETIRING COLLECTION last week was for the Friary Building Fund, total £178.60.

JOURNEY IN FAITH We welcomed 8 new people into the church on Easter night but Journey in Faith continues through May. Join us May 6 for ‘Catholic Social teaching’

THE SICK OF OUR PARISH - If your name or the name of a friend or relative was on the parish list of prayers for the sick, and you would like that name to remain on the list, would you please contact the Parish Office on 0121 706 0505.  Data protection law obliges us to ensure that you or your friend or family member has consented to being on the list, as it can be seen by many, (e.g. church notice board) and is available for anyone to pick up.  We make great efforts to ensure the church abides by new data protection and privacy law.

CAR PARK—Please be considerate when parking/manoeuvring your car and please note there is no parking in either the Community and Staff designated areas and the front & rear of The Friary Residential block.  When parking on a Sunday, please do not park on or drive over the grass adjacent to the gate leading into the graveyard.  Only authorised cars to park at other times, by arrangement with the Parish Priest.

A HELPING HAND - Many thanks for your kind help and support to keep the Church tidy after each Sunday Mass by placing your hymns books (and other sheets if taken) back on the trolley in the narthex, please also take your newsletter home with you!

SUBMISSIONS FOR PARISH NEWSLETTER - Please forward submissions for the Parish newsletter (preferably by email to by Wednesday for inclusion in Sunday's newsletter. 

VISITORS - If you wish to gift aid your offertory donation, white visitor envelopes are available in the narthex.

VEHICLE CRIME ALERT - The neighbourhood Policing Team would like to draw your attention to an increase in vehicle crime in the area.  5 crime reduction tips—ALWAYS close the windows and doors in your vehicle, DON'T leave any valuables on display and where possible do not leave ANY valuables in the vehicle such as Satnavs, Mobile Phones, Wallets, Purses, Bags or iPods, ENSURE your registration plates are fixed using 'anti tamper screws', KEEP your car keys in a safe place in your house.

SAFEGUARDING - In this parish there have been strict guidelines in place for several years for the protection of children and vulnerable persons.  Anyone with a concern about safeguarding issues should ring the Diocesan Safeguarding Office on  0121 230 6240.

AFTER MASS COFFEE DURING THE WEEK - Would parishioners kindly remember to use the Day Chapel entrance to access the lounge for refreshments if Mass has taken place in the Church?  Use the intercom for enquires to the Parish office or if you have mobility difficulties.

KEEP YOUR VALUABLES SAFE - Please do not leave bags unattended in Church, even at Communion time.  Bags and valuables should not be left on display in cars as this can present a target for thieves.

OPEN HOUSE GROUP - Are you new to the Parish and aged 30+? Do you want to get more involved in Parish Life, but don't know where to start? The Open House Group has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and its members are involved in various parish activities such as Traidcraft, Christian Aid, the Fast Supper, Welcome and Coffee Bar rotas.  We also have regular meetings in parishioners' homes for spiritual reflection and discussion of topical issues.  If you are interested in joining us please contact the Parish Office for more information.