At the time of Jesus leprosy was not just an incurable physical ailment: it amounted to social and religious death (see today’s 1st reading). Socially a leper was an outcast and untouchable. The meeting between the leper and Jesus is significant in two ways. The outcast meets with the Servant, himself a future outcast: leprosy which defiles comes into contact with the one who makes pure; and in the person of this leper Jesus reaches out to touch and purify a whole sinful world.
It is good to see the days lengthening as we progress towards Spring. As I drive to Hoveton on Saturday evenings in daylight I am less likely to be attacked by the local wild-life! It is also the time when we begin our Lenten Spring. There will be Mass with the blessing and distribution of ashes at each of our three churches on Ash Wednesday. The diocese has sent to all parishes some suggestions that will help us to make this Lent a special time of grace. These will be given out this weekend and you may find them helpful. I have two further suggestions: if you don’t come to Sunday Mass on a regular basis why not commit to joining your parish community every Sunday during Lent? Also, like every parish, there are those who have taken a ‘holiday’ from the Church and the sacraments. If you know of a lapsed friend or relative why not invite them to join you for Sunday Mass? People sometimes just need to be invited!
God bless you all and may He help you to make this Lent a special time of preparation for Easter.
PS. From a genuine report from a hospital in Glasgow:
‘On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared’.
There is no meeting of the Senior Citizens’ Group (North Walsham) this week (16th) as it is half term.
The Parish Pastoral Council meets on Tuesday 18th February in the Parish Hall at 7.30pm.
Lent Courses (Ecumenical) taking place in the wider parish:
A Lent Course will begin on Wednesday, 25th February in Aylsham Parish Church from 7.30 – 8.30 pm ending with Compline.
Also: at St Mary’s Church Wroxham (the first three weeks of Lent) and at Neatishead Baptist Church for the final week.
Further Events at Aylsham. St John of the Cross will be hosting the first of the Churches Together Lenten Lunches on Friday, 27th February from 12 – 1.30. We need helpers to prepare and serve the food. St John’s will also be the venue for the Women’s World Day of Prayer on Friday, 6th March at 2.30 and 7.30 pm. If you can help with either event please contact Pauline Andrews on 01263 732780.
There will also be Women’s World Day of Prayer for the Wroxham/Hoveton area taking place in St John’s Church at 10.30 am on Friday 6th March.
There is a Day of Renewal at the Bowthorpe Church Centre on Saturday, 28th February from 10 am to 4.30 pm. All are welcome.
Are you a post-graduate looking for a career in teaching? Would you like to train with a leading catholic Provider? Would you like to teach in the Catholic Diocese of East Anglia? The western Area Pyramid of Catholic Schools is a teaching alliance of 6 schools in the west of Suffolk. We are able to provide opportunities for teacher training initially but with a longer term commitment to developing teachers and leaders for our schools in the Catholic Diocese of East Anglia. For more details please visit the Diocesan Website www.catholiceastanglia.org or see Notice on Board.
Ron Papendick would like to thank the parish for all their prayers and cards with good wishes during his time in hospital.
We pray for Mark Gibson who died just over a week ago and we remember his family and friends in prayer. We pray also for those whose anniversaries occur during this week including: (Beatrice) Mary Devitt, Edward Francis Brown, Winifred Coates, Iris Maud McGee.
May they rest in peace.
If you have any items for the newsletter please let us have them by Tuesday.