Palm Sunday – 5th April

This ‘Mini Retreat’ is an attempt to ease the burden on those who are unable to watch streamed Masses and other liturgies. The posts we publish on this site are intended to help us journey through Holy Week by using the Gospel passages of the day taken from Holy Mass. They offer a structure for your prayer time and suggest that you choose a time during the day that suits you best. This could be the time that you would usually attend Mass or, early in the morning, midday, whatever suits you.

 It is a moving experience each year on Palm Sunday as we go up the mountain with Jesus, towards the Temple, accompanying him on his ascent. But what are we really doing when we join this procession as part of the throng which went up with Jesus to Jerusalem and hailed him as King of Israel? Does it have anything to do with the reality of our life and our world?

To answer this, we must first be clear about what Jesus himself wished to do and actually did. He was journeying towards the temple in the  Holy City, towards that place which for Israel ensured in a particular way God’s closeness to his people . The ultimate goal of his pilgrimage was the heights of God himself; to those heights he wanted to lift every human being. Our procession today is meant, then, to be an image of something deeper, to reflect the fact that, together with Jesus, we are setting out on pilgrimage along the high road that leads to the living God.

Pope Benedict XV

Become silent, aware of the awesome presence of God who never ceases to be with us.

Continue reading “Palm Sunday – 5th April”

A Mini Retreat For Holy Week

Holy Week 2020 is being celebrated amid extraordinary circumstances. There are probably few, if any of us, who can remember such a time as this, when we have been directed by the Government and the Church to self isolate in order to protect each other from being infected with the Covid-19 virus. Hopefully our cooperation with these directives will significantly help to slow down and prevent the spread of the virus meaning that fewer people will get sick and still fewer people will succumb to the virus.

Many of our clergy have taken the initiative to live stream their Masses and prayer liturgies. This has proven to be a source of great comfort for those with access to technology and are able to use it. For others, not being able to get to church for Mass increases the sense of isolation and loneliness.

This ‘Mini Retreat’ is an attempt to ease the burden on those who are unable to watch streamed Masses and other liturgies.

The pages of this booklet are intended to help us journey through Holy Week by using the Gospel passages of the day taken from Holy Mass.

We offer a structure for your prayer time and suggest that you choose a time during the day that suits you best. This could be the time that you would usually attend Mass or, early in the morning, midday, whatever suits you.

This may supplement your usual daily prayer so please don’t stop praying your everyday prayers.

Each day is structured in the following way:

  • Be still and become aware of God’s presence
  • Opening prayer
  • Psalm
  • Thanksgiving to God
  • Reading the Gospel of the day (Bible reference will be given)
  • Dig out yourBible!
  • Reflecting and praying with the Gospel
  • Act of Spiritual Communion
  • Closing prayer

Take things at your own pace, take as long as you wish, there’s no rush.

May God’s blessing be with you and on your home.

Mini Retreat – Holy Week

Palm Sunday

Monday of Holy Week 6 April

Tuesday of Holy Week 7 April

Wednesday of Holy Week 8 April

Holy Thursday 9 April

Friday of the Passion of the Lord 10 April

Holy Saturday 11 April

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord 12 April

Help us spread the word!

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For those who don’t know St Helen’s has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. In order for us to communicate with as many people as possible, we are pushing to increase the number of people who follow us on Facebook to 250 (300 if we can!).

For those who haven’t yet followed/liked our page, this is your chance to follow/like us.
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For those who already have followed/liked us, could you please encourage your family and friends to follow us? Here are the instructions on how to do this – it’s easy!

Here we go:

  1. Go the St Helen’s Caerphilly Facebook page.
  2. Look to the panel on your right and you will see a section called ‘Community’
  3. Click the words, “Invite your friends to like this page”
  4. Select all your finds who may be interested (the ones who like it are already “Liked”)
  5. Click “Send Invitations”

There is a message with the “Invite your friends” window which you can modify if you wish. You can invite friends of yours who go to church, or who are associated with St Helen’s or Cardinal Newman or any of the church groups.

And that’s it!

CAFOD School Volunteer Taster Session

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CAFOD is running a taster session open to anyone who wants to find out more about CAFOD’s volunteer work in schools and parishes. The session will be held at Saint David’s Cathedral in Cardiff on Monday 17 September, 11-4pm. A great way to find out more about CAFOD’s educational work, meet other volunteers, unpack resources and see first-hand what this vital role entails. It’s an ideal opportunity for those who are interested in becoming a volunteer, but want to find out more first. Please contact CAFOD at southwales@cafod.org.uk or 029 20 344 882 to find out more and book your place.

Adoremus Keynote Speech by Bishop Barron

This was the first keynote speech from Bishop Robert Barron, a fantastic explanation of the mass, at Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress. I you have ever wanted to hear it explained in such a beautiful and understandable way, please take some time out to listen. Everyone will learn something new.

More videos (interviews, talks and testimonies can be found at Shalom World TV.

Join our Singing or Instrument Groups

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The Singing Group will meet again on Monday 17th September at 7:30pm after mass. The session lasts no longer than an hour. We welcome new members. You don’t have to come and sit at the front on Saturdays or Sundays but just sing from where you normally sit. Also, you don’t need to have a wonderful voice but just a desire to praise God. We will be learning new music for Christmas so everyone will be starting from the same place.

We are also looking for new members of The Instrument Group. You need to be about grade 4 standard but you don’t have to have done the exam. Just come and see Brett or any member of the music group after Mass or text to 07971 848734 if you are interested. You will have all the music to learn in advance so you won’t be playing things you haven’t already practised.

Journey of Faith Starts on Thursday

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Adults who wish to explore becoming a Catholic, or who simply wish to find out more about the Catholic faith, are welcome to ‘come and see’, as Jesus invited his first followers. The RCIA (Rite of Cristian Initiation of Adults, or Looking Into The Faith) group is run by Father Kelly and is aimed at those who would like to become Catholics or who would just like to know more about the faith. We should hasten to add that the group is also made up of people from the parish who come along to learn and to support those who may enter into the church. Our meetings are very informal and take place every other Thursday – we’ll even make you a cup of tea and offer you some biscuits!

Father John is always there (except when he attends meetings) as we explore the faith through a course called Evangelium (and the excellent Catholicism series), which offers an excellent grounding in the full panorama of Catholic beliefs. This course is delivered through a PowerPoint presentation and covers many of the questions you have about the Catholic faith.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Share the Journey

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Photo: L’Osservatore Romano

cafodWar, persecution, natural disaster and poverty force millions of people from their homes. Most come from poor countries and seek safety in poor countries nearby.

We cannot turn away. These are human beings, with hopes, fears, desires and stories to share, just like each one of us.

The Church worldwide is committed to sharing the journey of people on the move. World leaders must be moved to do the same as they negotiate two global agreements on refugees and migration between now and autumn 2018.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ special concern for migrants and refugees, we invite you to join the Share the Journeycampaign. Alongside Catholics worldwide, we call on governments to agree on two global ‘compacts’ which place the human dignity of people on the move at their heart.

You are invited to the hall this Thursday, June 7th, at 7pm, to discuss and become part of a proposed walk in support of the refugees and to respond to the ongoing Crisis of which Pope Francis is calling us, and all the world, to become aware.

Further information can be found on the Cafod site.

Lion’s Roar: Mark’s Gospel

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Are you looking for something for you and your family to do on a Saturday in those dark afternoons after Christmas? Well, look no further. On Saturday 27th January we will be running an afternoon for all the family. There will be workshops looking at the Lion’s Roar: Mark’s Gospel. The afternoon starts at 11am and ends at 2.45pm (with a bring-and-share lunch).

There will be sessions for small children up to age 9; a youth drama session for young people from 10 to 16 and two separate workshops for adults: something for everyone! Please fill in the registration form in your pew, to be collected as you leave Mass today.

St Helen’s Secret Santa Appeal  

christmasAs it is the time of year where we think about others, the Evangelisation team at St. Helen’s church would like your help in supporting disadvantaged children throughout the Caerphilly Borough this Christmas.

Could you donate a small (or large) gift? Stocking fillers? Suitable for a boy or a girl of any age from babies to 16 year olds.

All of the gifts donated (we ask that all items are new and unused) will be delivered to Caerphilly Council who will allocate them to the appropriate child.

Please could the gifts be unwrapped and placed in the box in the entrance of the church or handed in to the office at St. Helen’s school.

Last day for the gifts to be handed in:

School – Friday 24th November

Church – Sunday 26th November

We would like to thank you for your generosity

and

wish you all a very Holy and Happy Christmas. ✝️ 🎄