St. Alban’s Monthly News - St Alban's Church, Macclesfield

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St. Alban’s Monthly NewsThe monthly magazine of St. Alban’s Parish, MacclesfieldIssue No. 148December 2015“We aim to be a loving Catholic community in Macclesfield, assisted by prayer andthe sacraments, proclaiming God’s Word, serving all in need.”A Community of MercyNovember Parish Meeting - What did you miss?We enjoyed a very informative and interesting eveningon 17th November at the Parish Meeting. On this occasion, four informed speakers gave brief introductions(5 minutes or so!) to four ‘hot topics’ of our time, afterwhich the panelists took questions from the floor andsome lively and interesting discussion ensued.Fr Paschal reminded us that 08.12.15 - 20.11.16 hasbeen designated an extraordinary jubilee for the Yearof Mercy. According to Pope Francis, 2016 aims tohighlight the Catholic Church’s mission to be a witnessof mercy. Mercy is not just a pastoral attitude, it is thevery substance of the gospel message. We must nevertire of asking for forgiveness. It is a favourable time toheal wounds – a time to offer everyone the way of forgiveness and reconciliation. As in previous jubileeyears, the Church will grant special indulgences oncethree conditions are met.Fr Peter talked about the Vocation and Mission of theFamily. Our vocation is to live with one another, in family. We are invited to be part of God’s family throughBaptism. Families have a unique strength because ofthe community of sharing and embracing others. Godsends us out to build our own families, and a sense offamily, within our community and to include all thosewho are ‘dislocated’ or ‘isolated’ and bring them intothe family of God. We need to build up a sense of family and encourage people to enjoy what they have, to‘give’ of themselves and not just ‘take’.György Zorenyi encouraged us to think about how wecan ensure that everyone is integrated within ourdiverse parish family. There were a number of suggestions from the floor, including: offering English language support from within the parish to overcomelanguage barriers, providing a translation facility forour website and newsletter, fully explaining things suchas the CAFOD organisation, personally welcoming andspeaking to people at mass and activity groups such asthe toddler group, ensure we get together over sharedfood and culture, and share this approach with otherfaiths.The question was raised as regards our vision for awelcoming parish in 5 years’ time. Fr Peter suggestedthat we will bring to birth a community of mercy.Everyone will know that we believe in Jesus and theywill have been invited by us to come to our church.Keith Taylor gave us more insight into Pope Francis’encyclical: Laudato Si’ - Care for our Common Home,which is in bad need of care. Indifference is not anoption, but rather, Pope Francis calls us to anecological conversion and to become wholeheartedstewards; to become ‘caretakers’ of the world and notjust ‘takers’.He doesn’t prescribe how we change our lifestyle, butdoes challenge us to reflect and enter into dialoguewith those around us. Keith invited us to attend aseries of 3 participative study/reflection sessions onthe encyclical on 24.11.15, 12.01.16 and 15.03.16.We also briefly heard about two initiatives to supportrefugees here in Macclesfield and to support persecuted Christians particularly in Iraq and Syria.There was still so much to discuss. but unfortunatelywe ran out of time! If you have some ideas on how todevelop these issues or would like to get more involved, then please contact the Parish Council orFr Peter.Full minutes and copies of speeches are available atthe back of church and on the website.Kirsten Bisgood-Smith

Page 2St Alban’s Monthly NewsTHE PARISHROSARY FOR PEACEEvery Wednesdaystarting at 6.30pm(before evening mass)we invite you to comealong and join in Together we CAN makea difference!First Saturday DevotionsDay of Revivalwith theShrewsbury Diocesan Service Teamfor Charismatic RenewalSaturday12th December 20159:15- 16:00“The Plans I have for you”A gentle reminder that it is the first Saturdayof the month again this Saturday, December 6th.Starting at 10.30am with the Rosary, theConsecration prayer and Reparation to theImmaculate Heart of Mary,followed by Adoration and confessions at 11amand concluding with Holy Mass at 12 noon.Look forward to seeing you. All welcome.God bless. Love, Josie xThen Contact Margaret on 07881 895540Monthly News Editor : Phil Read ShawTel: 828152 Email: welcome from all groups and individualsin the Parish. Copy deadline: last Monday of the month.Advertising contact: Keith Taylor Tel: 429915Email: Rates 6.00 per singleinsertion. (width 6cms by depth 4cms.)( 30.00 for six months.)St Alban’s Website: This month’s and last month’seditions of the Monthly News are available at Alban’s Monthly News is printed byMAIL BOXES ETC1 Silk House, Park Green, Macclesfield SK11 7QJTel 429900 Email: info@mbruk.comMusic service/talks/reconciliation/adorationof the Blessed Sacrament/ Holy mass withthe Fellowship Group/ Healing MinistryThis October the Shrewsbury DiocesanService Team held a retreat week end inPantasaph. The shorter version of theretreat will be taken to different parts of theDiocese as part of the evangelisation workof the service team. This is a good opportunity for us to reflect upon our personalgifts and how to use them for the sake ofthe community.Talks are given by the different members ofthe service team and will cover the followingtopicsListen, Walk and Go .Our God is a God who has plans .Teaming up with God- the next steps.For more information please contactGyorgy/Monica Zorenzi01625 615763

Page 3St Alban’s Monthly NewsHOLY FATHER’S PRAYER INTENTIONSfor DecemberTHE BOOK FORDECemberLocated in the Parish Library.“Liturgy” - Spine Number: 46Universal: That all may experience the mercyof God, who never tires of forgiving.Evangelization: That families, especiallythose who suffer, may find in the birth ofJesus a sign of certain hope.These Advent meditations, with texts of theNew Testament, bring together the threeWe are pleased to invite you to our annualCarol Serviceat St. Peter’s Church, Windmill StreetFriday 18th December 2015Serv ice 6.30-8.00 pmf ollowed by f estive treatsThe Serv ice will be led by the Rev erend Dav id Wightmanand supported by the y oung people of Ty theringtonHigh School BandRSVP 665079comings of Jesus: the historical, which fulfilledthe promises of the prophets; a coming at theend of time, still awaited; and a present coming by grace. Even today, this very moment,is the time of Christ; the hope of God’sKingdom approaching persists and calls us toaction, however dark the future appears.Silvia

Page 4St Alban’s Monthly NewsA victim of St Alban’sThis is Albert Woodfox a prisoner in LouisianaUSA. He has been in solitary confinement for 43years.Yes FORTY THREE YEARSIN SOLITARY IN THE USA.See below.On the 1st Sunday in AdventSt Alban’s parishioners signed35 Christmas cards to him.Livesimply challenges us to respond to God’scall to live simply, sustainably and in solidaritywith the poor.Today we are focussing on living simply.As we enjoy the anticipation of the season ofAdvent eagerly waiting for the feast ofChristmas. May we take time to reflect on theimpact of our Christmas on others and God’screation. Pope Francis in his encyclical “LaudatoSi”: Care for our common home offers theopportunity to reflect on the world around us and toreject the contemporary “throw away” culture andopen our eyes to see how God is presentthroughout creation.He goes on to encourage us to adopt anattitude of profound respect and care towardsourselves, our neighbours and our beautiful sisterearth, as an expression of our love for God. So willyour Christmas be one of living simply, avoidingthe temptations of excessive food consumptionand consumerism?What lasting effect will your Christmas have onGod’s creation, will it be one of special memoriesof times with others or additional electrical gadgets?We ask God to help us all reflect on how we canlive our lives more simply this Christmas.Could we do more?We know of his situation from the website ofAmnesty International. This encourages peopleconcerned about him to send him things whichfeed his interest in the world outside.In particular it is suggested that postcards wouldbe most welcome. Here’s a recommendation forus all.Go out and buy postcards of Macclesfield and thetowns and countryside around. Send them toAlbert (address below) in his prison with amessage which includes some information relatingto the picture and a greeting “from your friend –give your name - in Macclesfield, England”Albert Woodfox #72148West Feliciana Parish Detention CenterPO Box 2727St. Francisville, LA 70775, USAAlbert Woodfox, 68, has been in solitaryconfinement since his conviction in 1972for the murder of a prison guard.He has always maintained his innocence.There is no physical evidence to link himto the crime; the conviction relied primarily on the testimony of an eye witnesswho received favours, including his release, for cooperation.Albert’s conviction has been overturnedthree times yet he remains in prison asthe state appeals every decision in hisfavour.In June 2015 a federal court ordered Albert’s immediate release, but the stateappealed again and he remains in jailpending a further ruling.For more

Page 5St Alban’s Monthly NewsSt Alban’s Healing Mass/ServiceChristmas gifts: the answerFor some time now, a monthly Healing Service has been held atSt Alban’s; if you have never been, maybe this is the time tothink about coming along?Don’t look on the internet Bypass the coloursupplements .Ignore the shops.Every one of us is in need of some kind of healing - of body,mind or spirit - and we have concerns about family/friends/theworld. Our God wants to heal us; when Jesus was asked abouthealing, His immediate reply was “of course I want to!”to!” (Mark1:42) -and in John 10:10 “I have come so that theymay have life and have it to the full”During his time on earth, “Jesus moved about through thewhole of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preachingthe good news about the kingdom, and healing every diseaseand disability among the people. His reputation spread . andpeople brought to him all those who were ill, suffering from allkinds of diseases and pains; He healed them” (Matthew 4:2325)-and St James tells us to “pray for one another “ “ (James5:16)St Alban’s Healing Service provides an opportunity toexperience the gentle power and presence of God’s Love andHealing.The evening begins with Mass; at the end of Mass the BlessedSacrament is exposed and members of the Healing MinistryTeam, including Fr Peter/Fr Paschal, are available to pray withpeople; the team members sit in pairs and simply wait for people to come forward for prayer; no pressure is ever put on anyone; people come up for prayer as and when they feel promptedby the Holy Spirit. Whatever is shared with the prayer teams isconfidential.Everything is done with great gentleness and in a spirit of prayer and in the knowledge and understanding that Jesus is presentin the Blessed Sacrament and that all healing comes from Him;the prayer teams are simply channels of His healing and love.Prayers have been answered and healings have taken place - forwhich we give all the glory to God. Our God is so generous. Itis a wonderful encouragement to us all when we hear of prayersthat have been answered; we know of course, that God hearsand answers all prayer but sometimes His answers are not onlyfor the person involved but for the building up of the community.If you have experienced healing/answered prayer after beingprayed with at the Healing Service, we would love to hear fromyou and, with your permission (and anonymously) include it ina future Monthly News; as well as helping others, we do need togive glory and thanks to God for the things He has done (1Cor10:31)The Healing Masses take place on the First Weds of everymonth, starting with Mass at 7pm, followed by Exposition andprayers for healing, during which members of the parish musicgroups play/lead us in song.The Healing Mass is open to all and indeed, visitors regularlycome from a wide radius of the parish. All are welcome.Jesus invites us: “come to me all you who are weary and overburdened and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28Catherine Mossey01625 426868catherine.mossey34@virginmedia.comThe answer is on the shelf at the back ofchurch. It’s the WorldGifts Catalogue*. Giftsfor everyone . at everyprice point.They appeal, not because they are just whatAunt Ethel – or whoever – always wanted butbecause they do some good where it is needed.This will please the old girl anyway.Take the food for a family.A godsend to a refugeefamily from Syria inGreece.“People arrive every day.They need everything. They are really happy toreceive the food. There are a lot of smiles.”So says Evelina, Caritas GreeceEvelina is part of CAFOD’s crisisresponse team in Greece, providingfood, water and emergency suppliesto thousands of refugees. After risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean, refugees can arrive exhausted, frightened and withnothing. This gift, which funds emergency foodpackages, can provide hope as well as desperately needed food for a whole family.PS if all the catalogues have been snapped upyou can buy on line at If you want to impress Uncle George whatabout a camel? This provides apoor family with up to seven litresof milk a day which they can thensell, alongside the chance to rearcalves for a much-needed income. It also helpsby carrying weights up to 200kg, truly making itthe camel that carries!A snip at 400.

Page 6St Alban’s Monthly NewsMonday 28th December 2015 Bollington Fun RunIn aid of Cafod’s Syria AppealIt’s December so thoughts turnxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxthto the annual Bollington Fun Run that is due to take placethis year on Monday the 28 December 2015. The event in aid of Cafod’s Syria Appealstarts on the Middlewood Way close to the St Gregory’s Parish Hall, Bollington at 11.00a.m. (with a warm up at 10.45 a.m.). Registration in the Parish Centre at St Gregorys ison the day and opens at 9.30 a.m. There is an option to walk, jog or run one of threedistances 1 mile, 3.5 miles or 4.5 miles.Pictured are a few participants from previous year’s runs having a thoroughly enjoyablemorning blowing away the post Christmas cobwebs. Last year Father Paschal ranrepresenting the Parish and he is also hoping to take part this year. A number of otherparishioners have already said that they are intending to come along with a great numberanticipated from all Churches around the district and from further afield in East Cheshire.In the run up to Christmas St Alban’s parishioners will be given an opportunity to sign upfor the event or sponsor Fr Paschal or any of the other runners. Registration forms andsponsorship forms will be at the back of church at masses over the weekend of 12 th & 13thDecember. Last year over 4,500 was raised so please do try to help with this year’sappeal.Chris Pimblott

Page 7St Alban’s Monthly NewsAll Hallows Sixth Form Fancy Dress DayRaising Money for IndiaThe recent fancy dress event for the sixth form atAll Hallows Catholic College was a great success, thestudents manged to raise 476 for their Indiaproject.The India project beganback in 2008 when thecollege chose to workwith the PresentationSisters who serve andempower the poorestcommunities in India totake charge of their ownlives and live more fully.Since 2008 All Hallows has raised over 40,000.All of the money has reached the Indian communitydirectly and the result is ‘All Saint’s Health andCommunity Centre’ which is now supplied with solarpower, and has full sanitation, with fresh watereing drawn from a new bore-hole. The first phaseof the project realised a single storey building withgeneral male and female wards, a labour ward, alaboratory, a dispensary, and doctors consultingroom.Thesecondphase ofthe project hasaddedanotherfloor withrooms forcommunity meetings, adult health education, andsupplementary education for children.Hannah Bristow (sixth form student) said, “OurFancy Dress fundraiser day has become a traditionat All Hallows. It's a day we really look forward toand a fun way to raise money for our India project.I suppose my next experience of this will be RAGweek at university!"Emily Rafferty said "We have been planning ourcostumes for weeks. How to put a twist on theWizard of Oz!?The best costumes were definitely the home madeone's. The most talked about was the 'HumanRoller Coaster!'Emotionally HealthySchoolsJust Drop-In is workingwithin a multi- agencyprogramme along withCAMHS, Visyon, TheChildren’s Society and the Local Authority to deliver anexciting and innovative pilot to improve the emotionalhealth of young people in schools. The project will useresearch and best practice to develop initiatives across6 high schools with the aim to directly benefit theirpupils.Ann Wright, Just Drop-In’s Manager has been workingwith partners for over 12 months to get this vital pilotoff the ground: “Just Drop-In is passionate about helping young people find their feet and it is fantastic tosee this project finally going into schools. We are delighted to be piloting new approaches to help improveyoung people’s emotional well being”.Just Drop-In welcomes Lori Hawthorn who joins theteam as the pilot's ProjectWorker. Lori will be focusing on work in MacclesfieldAcademy and PoyntonHigh School reflecting ourstrong presence and growing reputation as a provider of emotional healthservices in the north of Cheshire East.The pilot is already attracting national interest, as it issuch a unique model with the voluntary and statutoryservices working closely together. Salford Universityhave been commissioned to evaluate the projectensuring the difference the team and the approachused will make is captured.WHAM NightshelterThe winter is drawing in and it's hard not to thinkabout our previous guests and what they'll bedoing to survive this cold weather. If youhaven't already volunteered to cover shifts, mayI encourage you to do so.Also, if you have had a positive experienceworking with us, please share it with yourfriends, colleagues and fellow church membersand get them to contact me.The rota is looking at little sparse in someareas at the moment so please contact me andvolunteer for a shift or two. You won't regret it.With much

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Albert Woodfox, 68, has been in solitary confinement since his conviction in 1972 for the murder of a prison guard. He has always maintained his innocence. There is no physical evidence to link him to the crime; the conviction relied pri-marily on the testimony of an eye witness who received favours, including his re- lease, for cooperation. Albert’s conviction has been overturned three .

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