Our office is on Singleton Road, situated between Bury Old Road and Bury New Road.
“When we pray, we stand at the centre of the great mystery of divine compassion”. (Henri Nouwen)
Lord our God,
grant us warmth,
grant us calm,
grant us hope
on our journey into a new year.
We make our prayer in Jesus’s name. Amen.
Scripture 1 John 4:7-10
7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35 When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.’ 37 But he answered them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said to him, ‘Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?’ 38 And he said to them, ‘How many loaves have you? Go and see.’ When they had found out, they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ 39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And all ate and were filled; 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.
What we would like to do is change the world – make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And to a certain extent, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, of the poor, of the destitute – the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words – we can to a certain extent change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever-widening circle will reach around the world.
We repeat, there is nothing that we can do but love, and dear God – please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbour, to love our enemy as well as our friend.
How can we break bread
and not remember those who have no bread?
How can we meet together
and not remember those separated
from their families and friends?
How can we shelter here
and not remember those whose only shelter
is a refugee camp or a cardboard box?
How can we speak of peace
and not remember those whose peace is shattered
by constant fear and the rattle of guns?
We do remember them, Lord,
and ask you to hold them close to your loving heart.
We bring our own intentions and petitions
In the full tide of the day and in its ebbing,
in the rising of the sun and its setting,
the mighty God be with you,
the loving God protect you,
the holy God guide you.
And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Catholics across England and Wales are busy organising Creation Celebrations as part of the Our Common Home campaign. A Creation Celebration involves a creation-themed mass and possibly followed by a shared meal and a continued conversation on climate change. Parishioners are also encouraged to sign to the petition to the prime minister to ensure the government adhere to their promise of committing to ‘net zero’ emissions by 2045.From CAFOD in Salford we wanted to share with you what parishes are doing and hopefully encourage more of you to try this fantastic initiative.
St Bernard’s parish held their Celebration Mass on September 14. The creation Masses at Wardley & St. Catherine’s and Pope Francis inspired them to have a go. As it was the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross they had the readings of the day & Fr. Michael spoke very eloquently about the Garden of Eden, the Cross, The Tree of Life & the fruits of Creation, still denied to so many. They used the bidding prayers from the organizer’s booklet & at the offertory packets of seeds, stapled into a fan shape, were taken up with the bread & wine. They also played keyboard and chose familiar hymns as
Blest Are You Lord God at the Offertory (Bread & wine from wheat & vine)
This is My Body at Communion (You are the branches I am the Tree)
O Lord My God at the end of Mass (When through the woods & forest glades I wander).
It is amazing to see how communities come together and actually decide to make an impact. Dympna, one of the organisers of this wonderful celebration, explains what they did during that mass: ‘Our display was a simple earthenware pot with poppies & wheat, a colourful basket of fruit & vegetables & the CAFOD candle.
‘After Mass there was time to sign the petition & collect a copy of the Creation edition of The Beacon. Then we shared a simple, cold lunch & there were informal chats about why it was meat-free which linked to the fires in the Amazon & climate change. A homeless man came looking for the foodbank, we invited him in to share lunch so perhaps we entertained angels, unaware.’
We want to say to the people from St Bernard’s parish what an admirable work they have done and thank them for letting us share this story. Do you have a similar story? Share it with us! Or, are you interested in holding your Creation Celebration? Click the link for more information.
See Harvest Fast Day prayer card
This we know, the earth does not belong to us,
we belong to the earth.
This we know, all things are connected,
like the blood that unites one family.
This we know, we did not weave the web of life,
we are merely a strand in it.
This we know, whatever we do to the web,
we do to ourselves.
Let us give thanks for the gift of creation.
Let us give thanks that all things hold together in Christ.
Scripture Zechariah 8:20-23
20 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, the inhabitants of many cities; 21 the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Come, let us go to entreat the favour of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going.’ 22 Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favour of the Lord. 23 Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from nations of every language shall take hold of a Jew, grasping his sleeve and saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; 53 but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. 54 When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’] 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 Then they went on to another village.
Apprehend God in all things,
for God is in all things.
Every single creature is full of God
and is a book about God.
Every creature is a word of God.
If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature,
even a caterpillar,
I would never have to prepare a sermon,
so full of God is every creature.
Lord our God, you renew the face of the earth
and bring newness to our world:
restore the waters,
refresh the air,
revive the land,
breathe new life into all your creation
and begin with us.
The Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth,
bless and guide us in all that we do,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life that is eternal.
(David Adam: “The Rhythm of Life”)