Newsletter: 22nd September 2019

POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER:
The Protection of the Oceans
That politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.

SECOND COLLECTION THIS WEEKEND:
Fr Clements’s Parish “Borehole Project”.
A borehole has now been drilled to 200 metres and the parish now has its own source of free, clean water. Funds are still needed however to complete a reservoir and to reduce the fluoride content to the recommended level.

DEMENTIA Friendly MASS
3 pm Tuesday 24th September:
St Thomas Aquinas Church
An opportunity for those with Dementia and their carers to come together to celebrate Mass and spend some time together in a friendly and supportive environment.
All are very welcome to attend.

BAPTISM PREPARATION MEETING:
The next meeting for parents who are requesting Baptism for their children will be at 8pm on Thursday 26th September, 8pm at St Thomas Aquinas Church, MK2 2JE. The meeting is for parents and guardians only, unfortunately we are unable to accommodate young children.

CANONISATION OF
BLESSED JOHN HENRY NEWMAN:
Rome 13th October 2019
‘In 1828, Newman was appointed Vicar at Littlemore, a very poor hamlet near Oxford which had neither church nor school. He discovered that the majority of the children were
uneducated and illiterate, and if people went to Church on Sunday, they had to walk three miles into Oxford. Newman took his duties as Vicar very seriously saying: “I have the
responsibility of souls on me to the day of my death.” He rented a room where his congregation could meet. He began to catechize the children and to explain St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Newman cared for the poor, the sick and the overlooked. He eventually founded a church and a school. It was during his time in Littlemore that he converted to Catholicism.
This is the sixth in a series of articles about John Henry Newman before his canonisation on 13 October 2019.

AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TEACHING AND THEOLOGY OF ST THOMAS AQUINAS The “Thomistic Institute” have developed an exciting new “Aquinas” course that can be delivered directly into your email inbox. The Thomistic Institute exists to promote Catholic truth in our contemporary world by strengthening the intellectual formation of Christians at universities, in the Church, and in the wider public square. The thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Universal Doctor of the Church, is our touchstone. The TI is an academic institute of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. Aquinas 101 is a series of free video courses from the Thomistic Institute that help you to engage life’s most urgent philosophical and theological questions with the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas. In the end, you’ll be able to read Aquinas on his own terms and to master the essentials of his thought.
Enrolling in a video course is easy – and it will always be free! We’ll send you two e-mails a week with everything you need. https://aquinas101.thomisticinstitute.org

ECUMENICAL DAY OF REFLECTION:
Saturday, 12th October 2019
St Thomas Aquinas Church, Sycamore Avenue, Bletchley, MK2 2JE. Led by Fr Wayne Coughlin, Parish Priest in Bedford and Diocesan Director of Missio (the Pope’s official charity for overseas mission).
Theme: “Entering the Mystery: Salvation history in art”.
Bring-and-share lunch. NB: Sandwiches, etc. can be bought locally if preferred. Tea, coffee and biscuits available on arrival and throughout the day.
Start Time: 10:15am / Concludes at: 4:00pm.
People can come for the whole or part of the day.
The 9:30am Mass will be celebrated as normal.
There will be an opportunity to purchase, at a reduced price, a wonderful book consisting of famous works of art (all profits will support Missio). We shall be joined by ecumenical guests from the newly formed “North Bedford Churches Together”. Participants are asked to contact the Booking Secretary (Sheila) by Monday, 7th October to confirm attendance: holycrosschurch896@btconnect.com / (01234) 353116. Any queries can be addressed to the Booking Secretary (details above).

THIS WEEKEND: “Head Count”
Its time for the Parish to complete the annual statistics report for the Diocese. This year we have been asked to count Mass attendance on the last two Sundays of September and the first two Sundays of October. Today could collectors please count all those at Mass, including children. Please include those serving on the Altar.

MACMILLAN COFFEE MORNING Thursday 26th September at All Saints Meeting Room following the 10:00am Mass. Tea, coffee, cake 7 tombola. All very welcome.

ANNUAL LEAVE: Fr Christopher will be on vacation until Tuesday 1st October. In his absence please address all general enquiries to Jo at the Parish Office and all Clergy matters to Fr Emmanuel.

THE ANNUAL ACADEMIC MASS FOR TEACHERS will be celebrated at St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School on Tuesday 1st October at 4.30pm. All Catholic teachers are welcome to attend including those teaching in non-Catholic schools

BLETCHLEY CATHOLIC SCHOOLS FEDERATION – UPDATE

New Foundation Governor is Needed
We are looking for a new Foundation Governor for the Bletchley Catholic Schools Federation. This federation includes both Bishop Parker Primary School and St Thomas Aquinas Primary School. The Federation Governor should be a practising Catholic and not be a parent of either school. We have enough parents on the Governing Board already and want to get the right balance. We are looking for a professional who can bring a range of skills and talents to our governing table. Someone who can hold the schools to account and is able to ask searching questions as a critical friend. There are three full Governing Board meetings per year. Professionals with building, HR or finance experience would be ideal but other professions are very welcome to put their name forward to support our Bletchley schools. So if you would like to come forward or you know someone else who may be interested in becoming a Foundation Governor please contact either school or email me. We would be delighted to hear from you.

Outstanding News!
On July 1st Diocesan Inspectors came to St Thomas Aquinas School to inspect RE, Collective Worship and the Catholic life of the school. The school was graded outstanding for all aspects. The inspectors told us that they had not seen pupils as religiously articulate as our pupils before. They also praised the Catholic life of the school as a major strength which permeates all we do. The report is a really good read and I would commend it to you. This can be downloaded from the St Thomas Aquinas school website under school statutory information. So congratulations to pupils, parents, staff and governors! We are very proud of this magnificent achievement. Cathy Stormonth – Chair of Governors

With every blessing for the week ahead
Fr Christopher & Fr Emmanuel

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