Immaculate Conception and St. Dominic, Stone

Including Sacred Heart Church, Eccleshall
 

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Welcome to our website.

We are the parish which Includes Immaculate Conception and St. Dominic, Stone; Sacred Heart, Eccleshall; Holy Michael Archangel, Aston-by-Stone. We hope to keep you well informed during these strange times and offer some thoughts and prayers.

Dear Parishioners,

We have a pastoral letter from the Archbishop this weekend. It is about the diocesan plan for keeping the Church alive, relevant, vibrant and effective in mission and charity. The Archbishop speaks about the coming worldwide gathering (synod) of the Pope and bishops to discern new approaches to challenges we face. We are reminded that we and our voice are equally important in the Church. It seems so often that only ordained ministers especially bishops decide the best way of being God’s church. Yet each baptised person has gifts, charisms, wisdom and insight that are valid and valuable. Each of us has the Holy Spirit within us Who inspires us. The gathering of bishops in Rome (Synod) is to be preceded by consultation and we can all have our say. Covid makes it difficult to meet, but we will find some way of exploring what the Spirit is saying to and through each of us. You can read this letter by clicking here or watch a video by following the link below in Latest News.

Our readings: Isaiah gives us the Suffering Servant who prefigures Jesus in His mission, passion and death. Suffering has a purpose: it atones for humanity’s sin and liberates all who desire mercy. ‘Atone’ means to bring into one – God and humanity are reunited. The Servant doesn’t just suffer – period. Afterwards, he has the joy of seeing those his suffering has liberated. We can see Jesus prefigured in the Psalm (32) Telling of God’s love at work in His Servant. Hebrews: Once a year, the High Priest would enter the Temple on the Day of Atonement to offer sacrifice for Israel’s sins, entering into the most intimate Shrine in God’s presence. Hebrews represents Jesus doing in reality what the High Priest did by mere analogy. In His own death, Jesus offered the perfect definitive sacrifice to take away our sins and then entered into the Father’s presence in Heaven to continue to mediate between God and humanity. All is now “through Christ, Our Lord. Amen”. In our Gospel from Mark, James and John have misunderstood Jesus’ spiritual Kingdom and seek exalted places in a material kingdom. Jesus answers: are they willing to drink from the cup? The ‘cup’ is the way of suffering and selfless love. James and John courageously reposition their aspirations and accept how God wants them to emulate Jesus in serving Him in their love for others. As they are willing to do this they will find themselves in glory with the Lord. The others disciples are also fixed in the material kingdom mind set and Jesus teaches only one who serves can be an effective communicator of the Lord’s loving concern for people.

In the garden: every morning the Starlings are waiting chatting away to each other waiting for breakfast. I wonder what is being said? “What’s your plans for today, etc.” Friend: “Oh, I think I will murmur with my pals for a bit then come back later to see if there is any lunch”. Cheese is still very much on the menu. They seem to have agreed to feed in two sittings. I have been visited by a band of long tail tits singing away. The cat food in the front and back garden continues to disappear by morning but I haven’t a clue what animal is eating it. My wild strawberries finally gave up this week after valiant attempts to bear fruit despite the change in the weather. I have been tip-toeing over them for months.

God bless,
Fr. Gerard

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