Friday 16th April is the Feast Day of St Bernadette Soubirous, so as part of our own ongoing virtual pilgrimage Monseigneur Liam Slattery will be celebrating a livestream Mass at 7:00 pm, please join us through the Clifton diocese website at www.cliftondiocese.com . 

The Sanctuary of Lourdes – The Diocese have heard from the Rector of the sanctuary that due to the unfortunate new lockdown in France, they are still not able to accept pilgrimages. So, until visitors from outside the local area are allowed, the chaplains will be offering Masses and Rosaries throughout the day which can be viewed either on their website https://www.lourdes-france.org/en/tv-lourdes/ or on their You Tube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/LourdesWebTV or on your smart TV You Tube app. 

The rector is inviting all our intentions and petitions which again can be requested through their website https://www.lourdes-france.org/en/ . This is a difficult time for all of us, but please pray for the local people of Lourdes, along with the Chaplains and those who serve at the shrine. The Rector assures us of his prayers. 

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During Holy Week and again for this first week after Easter there will an Easter Trails to follow around the town.

An A3 poster is placed on the door of our own church as St Joseph’s is one of the nine ‘stations’ along the route, which visits the various places of worship in Tewkesbury.

Please pick up a sheet showing the two different routes from our Narthex area this Sunday to join in this activity, which takes place of the normal Walk of Witness in our town.

Also available is a double sided quiz sheet for our children – with thoughtfully designed puzzles to bring home the true meaning of Easter. Answer sheets for the children’s quiz can be posted on the Facebook event page, or emailed to TCTEasterTrail@gmail.com to claim a prize.

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Catholics invited to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament on 23 March

The President and Vice President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have urged the faithful to make the National Day of Reflection on COVID-19 a day of prayer as well as a day of reflection.

Tuesday 23 March, the anniversary of the first national lockdown, will be marked with a minute’s silence at midday. At 8pm, people are encouraged to create a ‘beacon of remembrance’ on their doorsteps by beaming phones, candles and torches into the night sky. Prominent buildings and landmarks will also be lit up across the UK.

Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop McMahon stress that prayer is an essential part of this reflection and remembrance:

“For all who live by faith in God, reflection and prayer always go hand in hand. Prayer completes reflection. Reflection informs prayer. Prayer opens our life to its true horizon.

“Without prayer we live in a foreshortened world and are more easily swamped by its clamour and tragedy. Throughout this difficult year, so many have been inspired by prayer, so much effort sustained in prayer, in every place. So let us make the 23 March truly a day of prayer.”

The archbishops also invite Catholics to pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament on 23 March:

“March 2020 was the first time our churches had to be closed. It is our hope that on this day, every one of our churches will be open. We invite everyone to enter a church on this day, to reflect and pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

“We know this will involve an extra effort, but this can be part of our important contribution to a significant moment in the life of our country. Indeed, we ask that you might invite a friend, neighbour or colleague to come to church with you as you make this visit.”

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In a new Apostolic Letter entitled Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis describes Saint Joseph as a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.

The Letter marks the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To celebrate the anniversary, Pope Francis has proclaimed a special “Year of St Joseph,” beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020 and extending to the same feast in 2021.

Each time we say Mass we will recite together the prayer to St Joseph which you will find printed in our newsletter. Please see the display in the Narthex area put together by our Liturgy Team and feel free to add to it.

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