SCJ –NEWS: A PASSAGE TO INDIA 

Fr.Enrico is now visiting our communities in Mangalore & Bangalore along with Fr.Gustavo our Superior General. Please keep them in your prayers. Among the places they plan to visit is Simuluguri in Assam where Fr.Pascal’s new school is now entering its fourth year. Fr.Wilfred is also currently in India for his annual leave, and will meet up with Fr.Enrico for a Regional Council meeting ... joined by Fr.Chan from Thailand and Fr.Arul from India.

WATER INTO WINE- Today Sunday Jan 20th the gospel tells of the marriage feast of Cana, and at  9.00 Mass we shall bless all the engaged couples who plan to marry at The Friary this year.

THE CRIB- This year we will again follow the tradition of the Diocese of Rome and keep our crib on view till Candlemas. This gives us wonderful openings to honour the child Jesus at the stable of Bethlehem.

CHRISTIAN UNITY WEEK- Church unity week begins today Sunday January 20th, and we host the Churches Together service in  Friary Day Chapel next Sunday 27th January at 4.00 pm.

POPE JOHN- Back in the 1960’s Pope John XXIII and Cardinal Bea committed the catholic church to the quest for unity. Back then the focus was on unity with the protestant churches of the West. But in the 1980’s Pope John Paul II widened this to include the Orthodox Churches of the East. Both popes are now declared saints, and the quest for the unity of all Christians is an important part of their legacy.

PRAYER FOR UNITY prayed by Jesus at the last Supper (John17.21): ‘That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’

JOURNEY IN FAITH – For all interested in being received into the Catholic Church, for family & friends & sponsors & all   interested in deepening their faith.  Continues tomorrow, 21st Jan: Healing & forgiveness (Fr. Austin), 28th Jan: Signs & Symbols (Kathy Williams, 4th Feb: Holy Scripture our inspiration (Bill Johnson).

ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT every Tuesday evening 7.30 – 8.00. Come join us in prayer before Blessed Sacrament.

LECTIO DIVINA will continue on January 23rd, February 13th and 27th, March 13th and 27th. Come and join us for this gentle prayerful way of unlocking the treasures of holy scripture.

BAPTISM REQUESTS—If you wish to arrange for your child to be Baptised, please firstly seek permission by speaking to Fr Biju Antony, Parish Priest after attending Mass on Sunday.  Dates for the Preparation session and Baptism are arranged through the parish office once the completed request form is received.

EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS/READERS—new rotas are available from the Sacristy for collection.

WELCOMERS- New rotas now available. Current list finishes Sunday 10th February. Please collect your envelope from the Narthex. In the Early Church  Welcomers were known as Doorkeepers and were a valued ministry. Then as now they are the ‘face’ of the church for newcomers.

SUBMISSIONS FOR PARISH NEWSLETTER Please forward items for the Parish  news-letter to Rheann.byrne@oltonfriary.org.uk by Wednesday for the w/e newsletter.

POSTAGE STAMPS—N.B. we no longer collect & process stamps for SCJ missions.  We will send remaining stamps to RNIB who can use them to fund aid for people with sight loss.

CHURCH CLEANING ROTA for week commencing 20th January, Group A. 

LOURDES 2019— The Friary Lourdes group will again be answering our Lady’s call—May 25th to June 1st. 4 star Hotel ‘Alba’. Coach £514, Air £854.  All welcome from near or far.  Please inform Jim Noonan via the parish office or at Church.  Deposits by early March.

THANKSGIVING MASS FOR MARRIAGE Archbishop Bernard, will celebrate a Mass St. Chad’s in thanksgiving for the gift of love & married life 11.00 Sunday 3rd Feb.

Milestone: We are encouraging couples with a  major anniversary (10, 20, 25 etc.) to take part. Newlyweds & engaged also welcome. Lianne Pap, diocesan family ministry worker is  trying to find the longest married couple in the Diocese for a testimony. Longest so far is 62 years. Can you help? lianne.pap@rc-birmingham.org

THREE BIG THANKYOUS

First: thanks from Fr.Hudson’s Care for our support for the Christmas Giving Tree. The Director Andy Quinn has written to thank us for ongoing parish support.

Second: a thankyou from Elysa Cooper at Breast Cancer Haven, St.Bernards Rd for last years collection. Elysa invites us to join in the March Big Tea Cosy programme and hold tea parties in our own homes to raise support.

Third: CAFOD has thanked us for the recent parish collection raising £575.  This  goes to help victims of the Tsunami floods in Indonesia.

LOOKING AHEAD... 5 dates to note ....

First: we have Candlemas Day on Saturday February 2 with blessing of candles at 10.15 Mass. This is the day when the infant Jesus was presented in the temple and blessed by holy Simeon and Anna. Our crib will be taken down the next day.

Second: we have a Mass of anointing on February 9 at 10.15. All who feel in need of healing are welcome.

Third: we will host an Irish Night in our parish hall on Saturday March 2 .. A joyful social evening just before lent begins

Fourth: Ash Wednesday falls on March 6. Time to think of Lenten resolutions! On Ash Wednesday we always have Fast Supper after the 7.30 pm Mass in support of HCPT Lourdes Group

Fifth: On March 10, first Sunday of lent we will hold a soup lunch in the Parish Hall in support of Churches Action on Poverty.

SETTLEMENT SCHEME FOR EU CITIZENS- A statement from the Bishops’ conference of England and Wales can be seen on the noticeboard in the narthex.

PRE-SCHOOL sadly the pre-school run by ACE in our Parish Hall will close at half term.  It is hoped that a new management working to different hours will be able to restart in September.

HEADTEACHER OF OUR SCHOOL— Our Lady of Compassion Catholic Primary School are looking to appoint a Head Teacher with effect from September 2019.  Details are displayed at the rear of the Church or for further information phone 0121 706 9508 or email g78rmoore@olc.solihull.sch.uk

REMEMBER GILBERT & SULLIVAN?-The Savoy Operas were a staple of college productions and local Am-Dram societies for a hundred years, and many in our parish will remember the choruses from Iolanthe, The Mikado and HMS Pinafore from their school days. The plots were always a little daft, revolving around class, money, silly government or illicit marriage. But Victorian audiences loved the social satire and the OTT tongue-in-cheek patriotism. A conundrum involving the threat of execution or exile was always resolved in the last scene with an improbable happy solution that both saved honour and served justice. Today we seem to live in a Brexit G & S opera, with all the old motifs at work. The  original G & S plots always had a happy ending ... with the exception of Yeomen of the Guard which ends in tragedy. Where are G & S when you need them?

ST PAUL'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, Vernon Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B16 9SL will be holding a Memorial Mass to celebrate the life and work of Miss Eastwood (former Head of RE) on Saturday, 16 March 2019 at 10:30am.  The Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Robert Byrne.  If you wish to attend can you please contact Mrs Pellowe, prior to the date, either by phone (0121 454 0895) or email (spellowe@stpaulgl.bham.sch.uk) with your name and number attending.  

PAYMENTS BY CHEQUE-To help us pay in cheques at the bank, please note that cheques for Mass Intentions or members of the Community should be made out to ‘Sacred Heart Fathers & Brothers’.  Other payments for the Parish should be made out to ‘Olton Friary Church’. Thank you.

SOLIHULL/HEARTLANDS HOSPITAL emergencies Please ask the hospital Switchboard for the on-call Catholic Priest on 0121 424 2000, they will then phone the duty Priest. The Catholic Chaplain at Solihull & Heartlands Hospital is Fr Roger Raven.  New data protection law means that a visit from a Priest must be actively requested. He does not have any access to patient files.

GRAVES & CREMATION PLOTS – This is a sensitive issue, but please be advised that borders and stones etc. around memorial tablets pose a safety risk to maintenance staff and are still prohibited. 

Please arrange removal if appropriate so that the area can be maintained.  A copy of our graveyard regulations is now displayed on the parish noticeboard for your information.  Ref. item no. 15:  The cremation plot size is a standard 51” X 18” wide or 130 cm X 46 cm wide.  If you need any clarification of what is allowed in the graveyard, or wish to receive a copy of the graveyard regulations, please do not hesitate to contact Rheann Byrne, Parish Administrator. 

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

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!

ST PEREGRINE DEVOTIONS  A time to offer prayers for anyone who is sick and needs help and consolation.  There has been a prayer group here at the Friary over the last few years to support our brothers and sisters who are, or know anyone who is suffering from illness.  We meet every last Friday in the month at 2.30 pm in the Chapel at the Friary when we offer our prayers and petitions to St Peregrine.  St. Peregrine himself lived in the 14th Century in 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.  Please contact Stella, if you would like any more information.

SUBMISSIONS FOR PARISH NEWSLETTER - Please forward submissions for the Parish newsletter (preferably by email to Rheann.byrne@oltonfriary.org.uk) 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.

SUPPORT FOR YOUR PARISH; THE GIFT AID OPTION - As a member of this parish, if you pay tax on income - be it on wages, salaries, pensions or dividends on investments - it is easy, to increase the value of your weekly parish donation/contribution at no additional cost to yourself.  So, if you have not yet signed up for the Gift Aid option please will you consider opting in to the Gift Aid Scheme now?  All you have to do to begin the process is to call to the parish Office on 0121 706 0505 indicating your intention.  Thank you.  Members of the scheme are asked to update any changes to address or tax situation, in order that accurate records may be kept.

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.