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English Speaking Roman Catholic Community of Basel
- Lenten Newsletter Saturday, February 18th, 2023
Lenten Message from Father Sibi
“Going up to Jerusalem”
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem” (Mk 10:33). With these words, the Lord invites the disciples to journey with Him along the road that leads from Galilee to the place where He will complete His redemptive mission. The road towards Jerusalem is the crowning point of Jesus’ earthly journey. It is the model for all Christians who commit themselves to follow the Lord on the Way of the Cross.
Going up to Jerusalem was not an easy task for Jesus and His Disciples. This journey included the responsibility to proclaim the Kingdom of God. This journey is the journey of salvation. Our blessed Lord took time to teach to the values of the Kingdom of God.
During this Journey, many sick, abandoned, blind and lame, unloved, despaired people experienced the essence of the Kingdom of God through Jesus’ healing ministry. Many listened to the authoritative teaching of our blessed Lord. Some believed and some did not; those who believed attained salvation.
Every Lenten season reminds us of this journey of the Lord, and it invites every baptized to accompany the Lord with the same attitude and mission of Jesus. Hence, the Holy Mother Church insists on these three foundations of our spirituality, Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.
Prayer makes us holy before God and His people, it enables us to accept the other as our brothers and sisters.
Fasting makes us feel the pain and need of our brethren, it enables us to express our solidarity with those suffering and needy.
Almsgiving makes us come out of our comfort zone, it enables us to relinquish our egoistic or selfish attitudes.
As Jesus redeemed and restored our eternal Joy by shedding His blood on the cross, we too will have the same joy and blessed feeling of redemption, if we accompany the Lord in His journey towards Jerusalem.
Ash Wednesday – 22nd February 2023
We will celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass together with the Swiss and Spanish communities at Heiliggeist Kirche on 22nd February at 18.30 heiliggeistkirche basel – Search (bing.com)
Stations of the Cross – 12th March 2023
We will pray the Stations of the Cross in English on Sunday 12th March at 17.00 in the Church.
Lenten Reflections – Amores Laetitia – The Joy of Love
The Joy of Love is Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the pastoral care of families.
Father Sibi will lead a course on Wednesday 8th, 15th, and 22nd March from 19.30 to 21.00 in the BK Hall using key parts of the exhortation as a basis for discussion during Lent. Those interested in attending can sign up using this Sign-up Form.
Soup Sunday – 26th March after Mass
Our Soup Sunday held during Lent allows the RE program participants and their parents to participate in a service and charitable event. The event provides an opportunity to socialize with fellow parishioners and at the same time raise funds for our Lenten charity. Details to follow.
Lenten collections as part of the Bishop’s Appeal
Lent is traditionally a time when we think of others and how we can best support those less fortunate and in need. Our community has a spirit of generosity, and we ask you to consider donating to the following appeals during Easter:
26th March and 2nd April: Fastenaktion
9th April: Christians in the Holy Land.
Fastenaktion’ is a Catholic aid organization in CH committed to helping disadvantaged people and working towards a more just world, overcoming hunger and poverty. Their theme for 2023 is Ending Hunger Together
The Sacrament of Reconciliation offers the opportunity to reflect on our own lives and to let go of what burdens us, in a confidential atmosphere. Father Sibi is available for Confession on Sunday, February 26th, March 26th at 17:00 and on Sunday April 2nd from 16.30 to 17.15 in the downstairs chapel. Should these dates and times not suit you contact Father directly for an appointment.
Online Daily Reflections
Lent provides the opportunity to stand back, reflect and prepare for Easter as Jesus did when he spent the 40 days and nights in the desert. To support you during this period of reflection you can join this daily online reflection https://www.dynamiccatholic.com/lent.html
Women in Faith
The next WIF meeting will take place at the home of one of the ladies on Friday evening 17th March. On Friday 15th September an overnight retreat will take place at Mariastein Abbey. If you require further information on either of these events, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Men in Faith
The next MIF meeting will take place on Friday evening 17 March at 19.30. Details to follow.
Nursery and Word of God programs
The Nursery for babies and toddlers is in the Pre-sacristy room. The Word of God program explains the readings for Mass in a simple format for children aged 3-6 and takes place in the BK hall. Both programs are now offered weekly during Mass. Please email us at email@example.com if you’d like to volunteer to help with the programs.
Review of Annual Financial Statements
We are obliged to have 2 persons reviewing our financial records on an annual basis. We already have one person who has volunteered and would be grateful for a second volunteer. It requires an hour or 2 of your time. Contact our treasurer Mandy Ward firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering.
Volunteering in our community
We are a community of volunteers, and are continually in need of additional help and support. We would like to ask you to volunteer and support the continuity of our community. It need only be a few hours a year, but every hour helps.
Our current Volunteer Needs:
Hospitality ministers – to welcome persons attending Mass, hand-out Hymn Books and collect them after Mass
Choir members – to sing in the choir at Sunday Mass
Council vacancies – Liturgy Coordinator, Adult Faith Coordinator, Secretary, Social events assistant
If you would like to volunteer, email us: email@example.com.
A special thank you to our dedicated team of volunteers without whom our community would not function.
Save the date: AGM on Sunday 23 April
Laura Mckeaveney (Social) and Christian Doeringer (Secretary) will relinquish their roles on the Council at our AGM. Thanks to both for serving on the Council. Anyone interested in serving on the Council can contact current Council members for further information.
- Nativity Play Saturday, December 10th, 2022
Our Nativity Play which is performed by the young children in our Community during the Gospel Reading at Christmas Mass will return this Christmas.
We have roles for Joseph, Mary, Angels, Shepherds, Sheep, Donkeys and of course, the 3 Kings. The rehearsal will be at 4:00pm next Sunday 18th December in the church hall downstairs. Costumes should not be purchased but rather be creative with what you find at home. Your child will love to help make their own.
Please fill in the form available online on our website: https://forms.gle/hkGHTEM15Fyhkzxx9
You will be contacted thereafter with further information.
- Religious Education classes selling chocolate hearts for charity after Mass Saturday, December 10th, 2022
This Sunday after 17.30 Mass our RE classes will be selling Chocolate Hearts to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital in Bethlehem, which is the chosen charity for our Christmas collections as part of the Bishops Appeal.
If you signed up for our daily Advent Reflections for the Best Christmas Ever you will know the answer to the Santa Question. In the spirit of Christmas we are encouraged to “be the difference that makes the difference by giving generously to those who need it most bringing them Hope, Comfort and Joy”
Let us indeed make a difference this Christmas season by generously supporting our Christmas charity.
(1024) The Santa Question – Best Christmas Ever – Matthew Kelly – YouTube
Wishing you all a continued Blessed Advent season
- Matthew 13:24-30 Saturday, July 24th, 2021
Jesus in today’s parable was warning us against a premature separation of wheat from weed, of the good from the bad. He was saying that this kind of separation is really God’s work, not our work and that it will happen at the end of time rather than in the course of time. Just as the servants in the parable would have been unable to distinguish the wheat from the weeds if they had been let loose, we do not always have the necessary insight to distinguish who is good and who is evil. We can get it terribly wrong; we only have to think of those innocent people who have been wrongly imprisoned. How often in our own personal lives have we judged someone harshly only to discover in time that we were very wide of the mark. Too great a zeal to purify the wheat field risks doing more harm than good. A weed-free garden may be highly desirable, but the gospel today suggests that we may have to learn to live with weeds. We need to be patient with imperfection, in ourselves and in others. As we know only too well, life is not tidy. It is not like a well-manicured garden, in which order and harmony prevail. Each of us is a mixture of wheat and weed; we are each tainted by sin and yet touched by grace. Our calling is to grow in grace before God and others, as Jesus did. We look to him to help us to keep on turning from sin and growing in grace.
- Feast of Mary Magdalene – John 20:1-2, 11-18 Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
According to the gospels, Mary Magdalene was one of the women disciples who followed Jesus in Galilee. She stood with the other women looking on as Jesus was crucified. She witnessed the burial of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathea. She went to the tomb with other women early on the first day of the week. It is the gospel of John that highlights the role of Mary Magdalene on Easter Sunday. The tears we shed at a graveside flow from our love for the person who has died. On that first Easter Sunday, Mary seems to have been alone weeping outside the tomb. Yet, she was not really alone. The one for whom she wept was present to her, even though she did not recognize him, ‘she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not recognize him’. She thought she was seeing the gardener. The risen Lord is always present to us in our moments of sadness and grief, in our times of struggle and distress. Like Mary Magdalene, we don’t always recognize the Lord’s presence. We can be so absorbed by our grief or by our plight that we struggle to see beyond it. At such times, we often need to find a quiet moment to become aware of the risen Lord’s presence and to hear him speak our name, as he spoke Mary’s name to her. It was when the stranger spoke her name that she recognized him as the risen Lord. As Jesus, the risen Lord, said to Mary Magdalene, he has ascended to his Father and our Father, to his God and our God, but he is also present among us and present to each one of us personally, especially in times of loss and struggle. The feast day of Mary Magdalene invites us to allow ourselves to become more aware of the risen Lord’s presence and to become attuned to his calling us by name.
English Speaking Roman Catholic Community of Basel
Bank Account IBAN CH22 0900 0000 8722 1172 2