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Oratorians arrive in Bournemouth

“We thank Bishop Philip for inviting us to his Diocese, and are delighted to be coming to Sacred Heart Parish to begin the new Bournemouth Oratory-in-Formation on the Feast of Our Lady’s Visitation, 31st May 2017.

Formed by St Philip Neri in 16th century Rome, and brought to England by Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, the Oratory is here to serve the Parish, University, and all who choose to come to the Sacred Heart.

In addition to Fr Dominic (a Co-Founder of the Oxford Oratory 27 years ago), who is the Moderator of this new Oratorian Community, and Fr Peter, as Parish Priest, there are two brothers, who come initially as Postulants – Wojtek and Kari (respectively from Poland and Finland). A further arrival is expected in the summer, while much work needs to be done on the Oratory House to make room for other enquirers – priests or laymen – who are welcome to make contact.

From the first Monday (5th June), in additional to the usual 12.15pm daily Mass, Mass will be offered at 7.30am on weekdays, with Confessions before every Mass. The existing Wednesday 11am – 12 noon Eucharistic Adoration will be extended from the end of the 7.30am Mass until mid-day so that, in the words of Bishop Philip, more people will have opportunity to “met the Lord Jesus in Person, and take to heart the salvation and eternal life He offers”.

While nothing will initially change, additions to the existing programme of devotions will naturally be in the spirit of St Philip Neri, with the ‘daily distribution of the Word’, prayer, and the Sacraments – the foundations of the Oratory. The Fathers and Brothers gather together for half-an-hour of prayer twice every weekday – and invite others to join us – for meditation at 7am, and at 6pm for evening Oratory (silent prayer, and then a litany and devotions). There will be the traditional Blessing with the Relic of St Philip after Mass on Mondays, and from the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (18th June) we start Oratory and Benediction at 6pm on Sundays.

We greatly look forward to being with you, working with and for you, and introducing St Philip, the Apostle of Christian Joy, to the Parish, University and beyond. St Philip said:  ‘The great thing is that we become saints’.  He saw the work of the Oratory essentially as ‘making people saints in their own homes’.  This is our hope and our aim.  It is our vocation. May the Lord bless us all.”

From Holy Family, Southampton

Dear Friends in the Heart of Jesus,

The month of June is dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Since Easter I have been visiting homes in our parish, blessing them with the water blessed at the Easter Vigil and enthroning in them an image of the Sacred Heart. It has been a beautiful experience to see our parishioners give themselves to Jesus in a new way through this devotion. In particular, seeing a family kneel before the Heart of Jesus to make the consecration of their family home to him; this is a great moment for any family, and for our parish.

We begin the Month of the Sacred Heart with the celebration of Pentecost Sunday. In this feast we mark the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. It is particularly fitting that we will call down the Holy Spirit during the 10.30 a.m. Sung Mass, as (with the bishop’s consent) I confirm Linda Clarke. Following the Sung Mass there will be a reception for Linda and our wonderful young people who received Confirmation at the Cathedral with Bishop Philip last Saturday. Please join us – we’re having doughnuts!

Pentecost marks the conclusion of the Easter season, but it also begins a series of wonderful and rich feasts that I would like to draw to your attention. Next Sunday we will celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity (Trinity Sunday). This recalls what it means for us to be united with the Heart of Jesus; to be one with him in the selfless love-giving of the Trinity. The following Sunday we will keep the Feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord (Corpus Christi). On this day we will also welcome 48 children to receive their First Holy Communion, and process with the Blessed Sacrament around our parish. Please make every effort to be here for the 10.30 a.m. Sung Mass on this day, and to join in our procession; bearing witness to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament on the streets!

On Thursday 15 June we will begin our celebrations of Corpus Christi with a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form (often called the Latin Mass). This will be a wonderful celebration of our faith, enriched by beautiful music sung by visiting professional singers. Some of you may jump at the chance of coming to this, others may be concerned about not knowing the Latin etc. Let me encourage you to have an open heart and mind, and simply to come and see. It is not a museum piece, or an exercise in  turning back the clocks, but simply an act of worship. As a famous advert used to say, “Try it, you might like it!”

Two practical notices about this Sunday. First, we welcome Father John Hammond from the Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee. Father Hammond is studying for a Licentiate in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, and is a good friend of mine. Please welcome him after Mass! Secondly, please note that on Sunday the Sung Mass will begin at 10.30 a.m. from this Sunday on. Please don’t be that person running in late!

May God continue to bless our parish! 

Fr James Bradley

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