Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We give thanks to God for our children who were confirmed on Friday by Bp. David Evans. As always it was a joy to have the Bishop among us, and we believe he enjoys coming to The Friary. Many thanks to the parents, catechists and teachers who helped prepare our children for confirmation. This is the sacrament that sets a seal on our belonging to the family of Christ. From this day on we are destined to work in his service

Many thanks to our  Synodal Pathway team who have lovingly collated the responses from over 200 people since the beginning of Advent. Some meetings were face to face in the parish hall, the day Chapel, the Church and the lounge, while other meetings were by zoom.

At all meetings there was a generosity of spirit, and the desires often strongly expressed for change and renewal, sprung from a love of Christ and his people.

A summary of the listening sessions is on a leaflet in church today. Please pick one up from your bench and take it home to read. The full 20-30 page edition will be on our parish website after a week or so. These sessions weren't a survey but more a start of the discernment Pope Francis asked of us in 2021. We try to answer the invitation of St.John: ‘Listen to what the spirit is saying to the churches’. (Rev 3.22) Though the starting point for these sessions was the invitation to feed into the Bishop’s synod in Rome next year, we see this as an ongoing process to continue for many years and help us listen the promptings of the spirit.

May is the month of our Mother Mary,  so we ask her protection for the rest of this month. Next Sunday we shall pray the rosary together in church at 3.00pm. May she continue to watch over us.

 

Fr.Biju Antony SCJ      Parish Priest

SCJ News

Betharram: After a gap of 3 years 18 young students will be gathering at our mother house in Betharram during the month of July to prepare for their final profession. The 18 participants will be coming from a mixture of countries: India, Thailand, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Input on various subjects relating to the spirit or our Congregation will be given by different senior members of the Congregation, including Fr Enrico, Fr Gustavo, Fr Stervin, Fr Austin, Fr Jean-Luc  Fr Laurent Bacho and Fr Gaspar.

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PRAYER FOR EASTERN CHRISTIANS The British Catholic charity, Fellowship and Aid to the Christians of the East (FACE) is delighted to announce the International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians, on 22nd May 2022, with the participation of Christians from all over Europe, the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and India.

This Day of Prayer – organised by FACE and Oeuvre d’Orient together with the Congregation for Oriental Churches and the Eastern Catholic Churches – offers Eastern and Western Christians an opportunity to unite in prayer during the season of Easter.

Please join in prayer for Eastern Christians many of whom are suffering from the effects of war and discrimination, especially those in Ukraine who are dispossessed and displaced. You can also express your solidarity by making a donation to support FACE’s charitable projects in the Middle East and Ukraine under the patronage of the Eastern Catholic Churches, by using the following link: https://app.donorfy.com/form/PPYHLF9549/85G2G OR by texting DAYOFPRAYER to 70450

Marraige Matters Sixth Sunday of Easter Acts15:1-2, 22-29; Rev21:10-14, 22-23; John14:23-29  Eastertide is a time for us as couples to celebrate the reality of our love as being a reflection of the presence of God, who IS Love. It is a time for us to recognise more readily the risen Lord is alive in us, with us, and present in the many and various ways we try to share our love.

THANKS to our CLEANERS... who unseen keep our church tidy during the year: Rota: Week beginning May 22 Group A

RAISE THE ROOF: many thanks to those who supported our Friday night socials and raised funds for our church roof. Please can people bring back their roof collection boxes by end of this month.

Congratulations to Harold Hands who received the Diocesan Ubi Caritas award and congrats for Dr. Neethu Sebastian for her Junior Doctor award.

Solemn Holy Rosary will be on 29th May at 3 pm in the Church as we are still in the month of Our Lady. Everybody welcome.

PLEASE PRAY FOR James Stuart Waldron RIP  Funeral 17th June at midday

ST PEREGRINE –Our meeting to commence on Friday 27th May at 1.45pm in the Day Chapel. with usual prayers, followed by refreshments in the lounge.

If you are new to the parish or would like to join a parish group please see Fr Biju

The Summer Fayre will be on Sat 11 June. A joint event with the Friends of OLC. If you can help please contact Annette Dodds via the parish office. We need stall holders & people to set up & tidy up. We also need donations of bottles, chocolate, fancy goods, good quality toys & teddies. Please leave in the basket in the narthex. If you can donate a prize for the raffle, please contact the office.

PLEASE PRAY for our wedding couples next w/e: Sam Pyatt & Ruth Manion  Friday; David Mitchell & Anna Evans  Saturday.

Rishi Sunak is giving away cash! People are generous at our offertory collection, and we often see £10 notes.  But if you put the note into one of our special envelopes and sign a gift-aid form, the Chancellor will convert £10 into £12. It’s true! Just call our parish office to see how it works.

FLOODLIGHT DEDICATION- You can have the Church floodlit in someone’s memory Suggested donation is £10 p.w. the name of the person will be in the Newsletter. Forms in the Narthex or Parish Office.

BEFRIENDING  REFUGEES: Restore will run a training course for befriending a refugee Dates for Thursday Zoom training sessions 9, 16 & 23 June 2022   7.15pm – 8.45pm

Week 1: Global refugee issues & UK scene, intro to Restore & befriending including input from volunteer befriender.

Week 2: Overview of asylum application Refugee resettlement & a personal story

Week 3: Practicalities: guidelines, support boundaries, safeguarding. Book at:

https://www.restore-uk.org/news/restore-training-course/etc..

LAY MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES Churches Together  Olton introduces Chaplaincy & Wellbeing Ministries in Olton. In the UK 95% of working people are not in church on Sunday but are at work on  Monday. Olton churches are promoting a Chaplaincy partnership in Olton for the 2,800 people employed in Olton. Most Chaplains are lay members of local churches and quite a few are retired. They dedicate 2 - 3 hours p.w.  to Chaplaincy visits to people in their place of work, and offer a listening ear. If you are interested, Please come to a presentation Wednesday 22nd June at 8:00 pm.

THANKS ALSO TO OUR STEWARDS - who make it possible for the church to open. Their work is still much needed.

THE PARISH HALL is Open for organised groups like Zumba, Slimmers & Kung Fu who take responsibility for sanitising etc,, We are holding fire on one-off social events till we receive  guidance from the Diocese. The pandemic is not over yet.

Contactless Payments : ‘Dona’ Card payment machine is now  in the Narthex. Initially for offertory giving, it will soon  be live for retiring collections & others. Parish website also has a card payment link for Offertory giving & payments. Offertory giving by card may also be gift aided for UK taxpayers. 0121 705 1737

GIFT AID:  Please inform the Parish Gift Aid Organisor of any changes to address or tax situation so accurate records may be kept. If you wish to join the Gift Aid Scheme, please contact Parish Office 0121 706 0505

DIOCESAN DIRECTORIES are also available. Just a few still left at £3.

HOLY COMMUNION FOR THE HOUSEBOUND:  Special Ministers can’t presently do their weekly rounds. But they may take communion to one of their own family.

NON - MINISTERS MAY BE COMMISSIONED FOR THEIR OWN FAMILY. Please call Fr.Biju on 0121 706 0505 if you would like to do this.

ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN COUNSELLORS (ACC) COVID-19 CRISIS Support Service has been set up to aid people fielding painful feelings thoughts & circumstances because:

• They work in an NHS setting (at any level) and are impacted by caring for people who have C-19, or

• They have been bereaved, whether due to C-19 or another reason.

We offer up to 10 counselling sessions on a no-fee basis, either on-line or by phone.  To find out more please see ACC website www.acc-uk.org or ring 024 7644 9694.

PARISH GROUPS—Please check your information posted on the Parish website.  Any updates/corrections/alterations, please email the parish office.

SOLIHULL/HEARTLANDS HOSPITAL Please ask hospital Switchboard for on-call Catholic Priest 0121 424 2000, & they will call the duty Priest. Catholic Chaplain at Solihull & Heartlands is Fr Roger Raven. Data Protection law means visit from  priest must be actively sought. He doesn't have access to patient files.

CAR PARK - Please be considerate when parking/manoeuvring your car and please note the disabled parking bays are for the use of those with disabled badges, 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.

HALL BOOKINGS from external groups, particularly regular users are a useful income toward the upkeep of the Church. If access is needed to hall or kitchen during these times, please liaise with the Parish office or Community first.

CREMATION PLOTS (newer area) Following previous notes re- borders & stones barred for H&S danger to graveyard volunteers; please also note that plots are set out in vertical strips, in plots for two.  So borders & stones added around memorial tablets are encroaching on the space of a loved one, and should be removed.

GOING TO HOSPITAL -Please let your parish priest know if you’re going into hospital. On admission ask for the Catholic chaplain as Chaplains no longer receive names of Catholic patients unless they opt in.

SECURITY NOTICE - Please ensure Friary doors are kept closed & locked when necessary.  If you attend a meeting please make sure that the last one out has secured the outside doors.  The front door should not be left on the hook unattended.  Besides Church security, the Friary is home to priests & brothers who need to know they are safe.

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).

FLOODLIGHT DEDICATION—You are able to have the Church floodlit in memory of someone.  A suggested donation is £10 a week, the name of the person in whose memory it is in would appear in the newsletter.  Forms are available in  narthex, or from parish office.

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.

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.

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.