It’s never a good idea to predict the future – only the Lord knows what lies ahead! But here’s a quick taster of things we expect in 2018:
In late January, God willing, the narthex will open, and there will be a blessing and official opening of the new building soon after its completion. Look out for more details early in the new year.
February 14th is Ash Wednesday, so best to get the Valentine’s Day meal in early. During Lent and Eastertide there will be opportunities to discover more about the seven sacraments, in the homily at Sunday Mass and on other occasions too. Easter Sunday falls on 1st April.
The Ascension moves back to its proper day, 40 days after Easter (for the last few years we have been celebrating this feast on the nearest Sunday), so this Holy Day will fall on 10th May in 2018. In May there will be an opportunity to discover the ‘Franciscan Crown’ – a prayer similar to the Rosary, but based on the Seven Joys of Mary. Also in May, members of the NeoCatechumenal Way will gather in Rome to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of ‘the Way’.
Confirmations and First Communions will take place in June, and in July the annual 40 Hours Eucharistic Devotion (Quarant’Ore) will take place (12th-15th).
August 11th is the feast of our patroness, St Clare, and alongside the Mass for her feast day, we will again celebrate her ‘Transitus’ – her entry into eternal life.
In September (8th-10th) there is a national Eucharistic Congress taking place in Liverpool, and there will be related events (talks on the Eucharist, times of prayer) throughout the year, in our parish, our diocese and nationwide.
Throughout the year we will be continuing to raise money for displaced families, in association with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). In 2017 we have raised close to £11,000 for families in Syria; midway through the coming year we will shift focus to raise money for families facing similar problems in Iraq.
Finally… it’s likely that in 2018 we will bid farewell to Bishop Michael, who is due to retire shortly, and welcome his successor to the Diocese. As yet, no decision has been made. Keep those involved in your prayers!