In November the parish of Our Lady of the Annunciation, Poringland, enjoyed a celebration of St Martin’s Day (pictured above). St Martin’s celebrations are quite common in Europe, but less well-known in this country. In his homily at Mass, Fr Andrew Eburne reminded parishioners that in former times Advent was 40 days long, and was preceded by a feast on St Martin’s Day – rather as “Pancake Day” or “Mardi Gras” leads into Lent.
He suggested two ways in which we could learn from our Catholic brothers and sisters of the past. One was that they were a bit better at fasting than we are, with a longer Advent. The second, was that they were also a bit better at feasting than we are, and they knew that every holy day was also a holiday and to be treated as such. The feast of St Martin is often associated with lantern processions, so Mass at Poringland was candlelit, and followed by a parish feast in the Poringland Conference Centre.
Singer and guitarist Gila Margolin will be giving a free spring concert for peace and reconciliation at St Anthony’s Catholic Church in Fakenham on February 15.
Gila will sing her favourite selection of songs of the 60s, Jewish and Scottish music, with her guitar. The concert takes place from 12 noon on Wednesday February 15, at St Anthony’s Church, 29 Wells Road, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 9EG. Admission is free with a retiring collection for the work of The Little Sisters of Joy. All are welcome.
St Philip Howard parish in Cambridge is very fortunate to have Francesco Connola as a parishioner. This year and last, he came into the church on many autumn evenings to work on creating a large and intricate Nativity scene in the Church reports Fr Philip John. “This year’s beautiful scene has not only the conventional figures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Shepherds and the Kings. It has a full townscape. Set on a hill, we have the different houses lit up from the inside and a working fountain. The artist’s wonderful imagination brings to life the central truth of the Nativity – that God became a human being in a real, but ordinary place in which all of us can recognise ourselves.”
St Philip Howard church in Cambridge celebrated the contribution of its altar servers as usual on St Stephen’s Day, December 26. Despite many families being away over Christmas, 21 servers attended the mass. At the mass, medals for diligent service were blessed and handed out by Fr Philip John. Ailyn Antony received a silver medal for 10 years of service. Bella Barrameda, Paolo Fiato, Jeremiah Josy and Aaron Lareza received bronze medals. Four servers were enrolled as members of the Guild of St Stephen. A further seven were due to be enrolled on January 8 and two more will receive bronze medals. The servers are ably guided by Zac Desruisseaux and Oliver Marks, both of whom feature in the photograph below.
Resources from The God Who Speaks project for January 2023 focus on the Light has Come.
Other resources for parishes and schools are provided, including 42 Gospel passages accompanied by background information and questions.
For the Sunday of the Word of God on January 22, Pope Francis invites everyone to re-discover the Bible on this special day. Make time for Scripture and its power to transform our life – https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/about-the-bible/
The Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ) have organised a Vocations Weekend for Women with the theme: Discerning God’s Call in your life, from 3-5 Feb 2023 in London. It will give the opportunity to explore the vocation to religious life and to reflect on God’s call.
If you are wondering if God is calling you to religious life and would like to find out more you are welcome to stay for the weekend or just go along on Saturday for the day. There will be opportunity for prayer, reflection and input, chance to ask questions and to meet others who are also wondering where God is calling them.