Today is the First Sunday of Lent. Today also we begin our Novena of Hope. A Novena is nine days of intercessory prayer, where we beg God together as a family for the graces and blessings that we need now on our life’s journey. The concept of a Novena originates from apostolic times. It is believed that the apostles waited in the Upper Room after Ascension Day until Pentecost which is a period of nine days. They spent their time in prayer in company with the Mother of Jesus watching and waiting for the Spirit of God to come to them. Our Novena caters for people of all faiths and all who are struggling to make sense of their lives. Last Wednesday we began our Lenten journey, when we had ashes placed on our foreheads as a sign of our willingness to turn more fully to the Gospel. The word “Lent” means spring. The days are getting brighter and the daffodils will soon be in bloom. The season of Lent repeats what is happening in nature. We are being encouraged to a new springtime of faith. As in farming and gardening, there is work to be done if new growth is to happen! We look back and see what was done well and what has, in effect, died off. We need to make space by clearing the ground and looking at ourselves honestly. We are beginning this wonderful journey towards the great day of Easter. “And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you” (Luke 3:22). These words were proclaimed by God at his Baptism and now in today’s Gospel (Luke 4:1-13) His identity as God’s Son is put to the test in the wilderness. We are also sons and daughters of God. St. Paul tells us this fact in many of his letters. “…you are all of you, sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26) and again; “The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again, it is the spirit of sons and daughters and it makes us cry out “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). Our identity as followers of Jesus Christ can get lost in the hurly burly of life. As a society we suffer from a kind of psychic and emotional jet-lag: we never quite catch up with ourselves. We live in the society of the sound–bite, reactions to events rather that sound reflection, – has our face book, snapchat, face time, messenger generation given us time to think in this age of emoting and sensationalism? Many young people are drawn to measure self-esteem in likes, social media re-sharing, followers, and other virtual entrancing reactions/distractions of the online world. Lent is a time when we have the opportunity to find our true identity. Our true identity is not found in things or possessions but in the truth and reality of our lives as a baptised child of God. We read in the Preface
Novena of Hope: Our Novena of Hope begins this weekend at all the Masses and will continue until Monday 14 March. The Novena prayers will be said at each Mass over this weekend and next weekend. The Novena Mass will be celebrated at 12:30 pm and 7:00 pm each day. Unfortunately because of the current pandemic there will be no services for the sick during this time. To celebrate the Jubilee of the birth of St. Charles of Mount Argus there will be a blessing with his relic on the last day of the Novena at both Masses. Please sanitise your hands and wear a mask while you are in our Church building.
Remembrance of our Dead: On the sanctuary we have placed two bare branched trees. You are invited to write the name of your loved one who died over this time of pandemic on a paper leaf and hang it on the tree. We will remember them in our Masses during the time of Novena.
Thanks for the collection last week. It came to £1530. We appreciate your generosity. Thanks also to our Ushers and Ministers of the Eucharist in helping to keep our religious services running smoothly. Thanks also to the March cleaning group that beautified our church in preparation for this Novena. Thanks to the children and their teachers for preparing such beautiful artwork. As you can see there are many children’s drawings around the church. Thanks to all those who have volunteered to help in the carparks.
Adoration: Will take place between 1: 30 pm to 5:00 pm each day of the Novena (except on Sundays).
Petitions If you wish to send in any petitions please do so either by post or email. If you wish to receive the Novena brochure please call (02866322272) during office hours. 9:30-5:00 pm. Some may be read out during the Novena prayers.
Novena On-Line: If you have the facility, you can view our Novena on our webcam which can be found at www.thegraan.com. The service will also be recorded each night and can be viewed at a time.
Duty: There will be a priest available each day of the Novena from 1.30pm to 5pm.
Our Shop: If you wish to contact us as regards purchasing cards please ring us during office hours (9:30 am – 4:00 pm). We have a wide selection of Novena of Hope cards and candles, St Patrick’s Day and Easter cards & Holy Communion and Confirmation gifts.
Danny Mc Kervey, Irvinestown
Maisie Boyd, Breandrum Park, Enniskillen
Imelda Maguire, Derrylin
Mary Rose & James Foy, Clarnagh, Tempo
Hugh Mc Cormac, Enniskillen
Kevin Jackson, Silverhill, Enniskillen
Gerry Treacy, Tullyholvin, Boho
Caoimhe Gault, Ashdale, Enniskillen
Gene & Mena Kearns, Windmill Heights, Enniskillen
Paddy Feely, Belleek
Jim Breen, Maguiresbridge
Phonsie Maguire, Enniskillen
Gerry Maguire, Monea
Frank Campbell, Dunleer, Co Louth
Tommy & Ellen Bannon & Their son Sean Bannon, Belturbet
Patrick Francis Keown, Cornahilta, Belleek
Bertie & Sarah Duffy, Derrygonnelly
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201