Thank you so much. Your generous gifts will help people like Hagos in Ethiopia, struggling to cope in an increasingly hotter and drier climate. Hagos and his family nearly starved due to drought, but thanks to our church family and support like yours, CAFOD provided him with solar-powered water pumps. Hagos and his neighbours now have flowing water to cultivate their land.
Remember, it’s not too late to give to CAFOD’s Lent appeal. Visit the CAFOD web site by clicking here.
You can also easily via text. Text LENT to 70460 to donate £10 which will also cost your standard network fee. You will be opting in to hear more about CAFOD’s work and fundraising by telephone and SMS. If you would like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text LENTNOINFO to 70460.
Michael has served this parish in different ways and we are grateful for his help and kindness. He has been an altar server for 47 years in this church and has also regularly served at St. Mark’s when the Franciscans where in the parish. He has also been very helpful to St. Pancras and St. Mary’s parishes. In recognition of his services we present him a diocesan medal during the Mass at 10.00 am this Sunday, 7th March.
During his time as a seminarian in India, Fr Mathew met then Mother Teresa and later after his ordination, celebrated Mass at her tomb in Calcutta, at the Mother House of her order. This story and experience was shared with the late Monica Ford, and Fr Mathew was asked by Monica to give a talk to the Ipswich CWL. Unfortunately, because of Covid restrictions, this never happened, but with Monica recently passing away, Fr Mathew contacted the Mother House in India, and told them about Monica and the way she imitated St Teresa in helping the poor in this town. He has obtained a relic of St Teresa of Calcutta which is now in church temporarily housed on the Walsingham altar. A prayer card containing a small fragment of cloth from St Teresa’s religious habit has been presented to the Ford family, and there are some small relic prayer cards for general distribution available in the narthex if you would like one.
During the course of this activity, Fr Mathew was advised that Mother Teresa had been to Ipswich in 1970, and visited St Mark’s Catholic school. A photograph of the visit, taken by the EADT, shows a number of children with Mother Teresa and we would like to explore this story further. If anyone was one of the children pictured at that visit, or knows of somebody who was, perhaps they could contact Fr Mathew so we can try to document the occasion - please speak to Fr Mathew or use the Contact Form.
Great progress this week with the construction of the new parish room. The roof is nearly finished with the tiles being installed, making the building weatherproof and allowing work to continue undisturbed now by the elements.
The Catholic charity Retrouvaille is offering two online courses later this year to help couples who are struggling in their marriage. Marriage difficulty and breakdown is not something that’s often discussed openly – yet it is, sadly, a common experience. This pandemic year in particular has strained many marriages to breaking point. : Retrouvaille is for couples with marriages that are struggling, or who are not communicating well, and for those who are considering marriage separation or divorce. It is also for those who have separated or divorced, who want to try again to reconcile. For more information click here to visit web site or text or call 0788 729 6983.
Some of our older parishioners may remember John and Margaret Ryan, an Irish couple who used to live in Preston Drive and worship at St Mary Magdalens before moving out of the parish. Sadly, John passed away peacefully and unexpectedly a couple of days ago. Please pray for repose of his soul and for his widow Margaret and the rest of their family at this very sad time. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
On Thursday, March 18th at 7:30 pm, a Lenten Taizé service is to be held at St Mary’s church, Woodbridge Road. The church will be in semi- darkness, lit up with candles and a few lights. Beautiful music of monastic chants, from the depth of the Scriptures, is wrapped around with deep silences and prayerful intercessions. The service will be on-line only due to Coronavirus restrictions, but all are invited from the parish, deanery, diocese and the wider world to view on YouTube. The link for this service can be found on the parish web site.
The 2020 parish accounts have recently been completed and despite reductions in our offertory and hall rents totalling in excess of £12k show a small surplus on General Funds of £269. This was possible due mainly to receipt of a revenue grant of £5k from the Rope Fund charity coupled with Alive in Faith income of £4k, plus lower spending on property maintenance and other running costs as a result of restricted operations in the church and hall. 2021 will however be another challenging year as income from the offertory and hall rentals is likely to remain depressed. Property maintenance will need to remain at the top of our list of priorities as we seek to ensure that the fabric of our buildings is not allowed to deteriorate. For instance we have recently discovered that the flat roof on the kitchenette/toilet block has been leaking and is in need of repair. Those parishioners who are not attending services in person at the moment and who normally put their offertory in the collection plate can assist with supporting the church by making their offering by standing order to our bank account. Details can be found here or forms are available in the narthex. You can also make a credit card donation here. Copies of the 2020 summarised accounts are available in the narthex and can found here.
Should you have any queries on the accounts that you would like answered, please use the Contact Form and select Finance to submit your question.
The Christmas offering, the personal gift from the parish to the parish priest, was closed for further contributions on January 31st. The total raised was £940.00. Fr Mathew writes: “I would like to thank everyone for your generous Christmas offering. I am aware that many of you could not come to the church for the Christmas Masses due to Covid restrictions, but still made an effort to make the Christmas offering for the priest. Thank you very much.”
In his Angelus Message for 27th December (Feast of the Holy Family) the Holy Father stated ‘Today’s feast reminds us of the example of evangelizing with the family, proposing to us once again the ideal of conjugal and family love, as underlined in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, promulgated five years ago this coming 19th March. And there will be a year of reflection on Amoris Laetitia and it will be an opportunity to focus more closely on the contents of the document [19 March 2021-June 2022]. These reflections will be made available to ecclesial communities and families, to accompany them on their journey. As of now, I invite everyone to take part in the initiatives that will be promoted throughout the Year and that will be coordinated by the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life. Let us entrust this journey with the families of the whole world to the Holy Family of Nazareth, in particular to Saint Joseph, attentive spouse and father.’