February 12th 2006 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

How terrible and horrifying to be rejected in such a way. Cast out of your home, away from family and friends, be forced to ring a bell and shout ‘unclean’ for fear someone would come upon you. That was the way of life for the untouchables, the lepers.
Jesus was moved and filled with compassion. Yes, he wanted to heal the person and so he did the unthinkable, he reached out and touched the leper. He cured him of his leprosy and much more. He brought healing wholeness and new life to the man. The leper was literally born again.
For anyone of us Jesus is there. Waiting to forgive, to make us whole again and breathe new life into us. But it is up to us to approach and ask. No matter what our pain, our anguish, he wants to touch us with his loving and healing embrace.
We mightn’t get the miracle cure we desire. But let’s be in no doubt, he can fill the void and reassure us with his comforting presence. We can look forward, though, to being made whole again, and he will breathe new life into us, if not in this world, then certainly in the next. For no one is untouchable in Jesus’ eyes!

Lourdes Invalid Fund
The annual collection in churches to aid the Pilgrimage will  be taken up this weekend. Proceeds of the collection are used (a) to subsidise the cost for ill and disabled pilgrims and (b) to subsidise the cost of travel for voluntary and professional carers.
Last year’s collection from the Diocese came to almost €80,000. Expenditure on last year’s pilgrimage came to €99,785. (The balance was provided by donations and a flag day). Your support will be greatly appreciated.

Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 20th–29th Sept.
There have been a good number who have given their names for the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Application forms and itinerary can be had in the Parish Office and should be returned as soon as possible to secure one’s place. We fly direct from Cork to Tel Aviv. Pilgrims will stay in Jerusalem and Tiberias and visit Jerusalem, Bethlehen, Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Cana and many other holy places.

Viatores Christi
If you are interested in bringing your skills to the developing world, Viatores Christi are having an information session on Tuesday 14th February in The SMA Parish Centre, Wilton , Cork, at 7.30 pm. Contact 01-8749346 for further details.
Viatores Christi is the only Catholic lay missionary association in Ireland. It recruits, trains and places ordinary people who are called to share their life and professional experiences in areas of need all over the world. The association gives people an opportunity to share their skills and lives in another culture. There is an ongoing need in several countries for lay missionary volunteers, in particular for teachers, trades people of all kinds, agriculturists, doctors, nurses, lab technicians, pastoral workers, youth workers, community development workers and administration staff. Visit our website www.viatoreschristi.com

St Joseph’s Young Priests Society
Monthly meeting on Tuesday 14th February after the 10am Mass in the Parish Centre.

We remember in our prayers Kathleen O’Connor, who died recently, and extend our sympathy to her family. May those who mourn her be comforted.

Catholic Papers
The Irish Catholic, The Voice, The Universe and The Catholic Times are on sale at the back of the Church every week.

Nurturing Our Children’s Faith
Summary of the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter
Bishops and priests feel privileged and happy to be present at significant moments in the lives of people. On such occasions, whether joyful or sorrowful, faith makes a great difference. Experience demonstrates that the faith of children is best nurtured when home, school and parish work together in partnership.
The witness of love in the family is an irreplaceable foundation on which a child’s faith can grow and be nourished. This witness of love is visible in husbands and wives, in people who are parenting alone, in childless couples, in single people, in those who care for the elderly and in the attention given to others who are physically or mentally challenged.
Many people seem to have more of everything except time. The gift of time spent with their children is one of the most precious gifts that parents can give.

Time spent in reflection, prayer and in developing a relationship with God is vital for both parents and children. Many people devote time to works of service and caring. Time given to others enriches all our lives. Such witness helps children to make choices based on sound Christian values which offer an antidote to consumerism.
Research has shown that marriage is best able to provide the stability that allows children to flourish. This is not to deny that goodness can be found in other family structures. It is important to remember that a family is holy, not because it is perfect but because God’s grace is at work in it.
The presence of caring parents and a strong foundation in Christian values can be vital supports to adolescents as they face the pressures of modern life.
It is in the home that children learn the message of Christ for the first time. Family prayer, family meals, family rituals, the use of hole water, the displaying of sacred images – all convey a Christian approach to life.
Coming together to celebrate the sacraments and the feasts of the Liturgical Year strengthens the bonds of unity within the local and wider Church.
As Christians our hope is rooted in Christ. Gathering around him at Mass gives us strength to develop a loving, sensitive, forgiving and nurturing home environment.

Glory be to him whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more than we can ask or
imagine; glory be to him from generation
to generation in the Church and in
Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.
(St. Paul)

I have learned more from those who have talked to
me than from those who have taught me
(St Augustine)

There is no happiness without prayer
(Charles Handy, management writer)

We sow the seeds, we do not see the fruits
(Archbishop Oscar Romero)

Be the change you want to see in the world