Blessed Robert Grissold Catholic Church

A Community based on Faith, Altar and the Word

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Welcome to the website of Blessed Robert Grissold Catholic Church in Balsall Common. Here you can find details of the parish, our latest newsletter, services and sacraments offered by the Church and, in our parish archive, the events we have held. As a parish we value your privacy. Please follow the link here to learn more about the privacy policy that covers all catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Birmingham,
Father Frank writes
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In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus telling Parables of the Kingdom. The first declares that the growth of the Kingdom resembles the mysterious process of nature; so too the growth of the Kingdom is equally mysterious, as God’s ways always are. A second parable, that of the Mustard Seed, stresses the enormous potential of the Kingdom in spite of its tiny beginning. A parable, from the Greek word meaning “laid alongside,” can be seen as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
The Gospel of Christ is something so radically good and new that it can be difficult to accept - even by those who are closest to Jesus. The Gospel today tells us that Jesus’ own relatives thought he was “out of his mind.” And others accuse him of siding with Satan and with those who oppose God. They do not have “eyes to see” or “ears to hear” and so his message seems like foolishness or worse - like blasphemy against God - Such is their blindness and deafness to the true God who lives and speaks in Christ.
Today’s feast turns our thoughts to the sacred mysteries of the Eucharist, and one of the peculiarities of the Eucharistic feast is that we, the Church, become the Body of Christ through our partaking of Christ’s Body and the consequence of our assimilation to the Body of Christ is that, like Christ, we become spiritual food for the life of the world, to be broken, given away and consumed. The Eucharist makes the Church, by making the Church Eucharist.
We are not to approach God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God in three Persons as a mathematical puzzle or a philosophical problem but, rather, as the Divine community of love whom we are called to know and enjoy for ever, for the one God, who has revealed Himself as Trinity, has made us for himself - to know and enjoy him forever. That is why, in and through sacred mysteries which we celebrate in the Eucharist, he gathers us to himself so that, by grace, we might share in the life and love of the Most Holy Trinity for ever.
Today the Church of God throughout the world celebrates the Solemnity of Pentecost. It is God’s Spirit who inspires us to obey God’s commandments. All who love God experience the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. He counsels us and reminds us of what Jesus has said. The Holy Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control. As we thank God today for the gift of his Holy Spirit let us pray that our Christian discipleship manifests these fruits of God’s Spirit
The Gospel today invites us to celebrate the mystery at the heart of our salvation: God longs for us to be united with him, and with one another, in love. The readings from John typically rejoice at the Good News that we are truly loved by God - the God who is love. And God’s great love is revealed most powerfully in the life death, resurrection and ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ and is made truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Jesus calls us to follow his example in choosing to give ourselves in love, even when it hurts for this is the kind of love that mirrors God’s love. Authentic love is about self-giving - this cannot be accomplished in our own strength - but we can choose to try, confident that our efforts will be backed by God’s energetic and all-conquering love.
Through the Eucharist we make our home in Christ who describes Himself in today’s Gospel as “the true vine.” He is the “vine” and we are the “branches” which feed on His life in and through the miracle of the Mass. The Mass is vital to the Church’s mission and evangelisation, indeed, as St John Fisher once stated “When someone observes with attention the periods of spiritual flourishing of the Church and the times of degeneration as well he must realise this: the cause of degeneration in the Church is almost always the negligence and abuse of this most holy Sacrament of the Altar. On the opposite side however he will notice this: the times of genuine reform and the flourishing of the life of the Church were always preceded by a tender devotion to this most holy Sacrament.”
Today is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. We pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life and that all believers will be faithful to their baptismal vocation. To follow Christ is to love him, to trust him, to serve him and to do his will - which is also what it means to be faithful to our vocation. Christ, the Good Shepherd, tells us that his sheep follow him “because they recognise his voice.” We have to learn to distinguish the voice of the one true God from the voices of the many false gods and idols which call to us today.
The consequences of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ do not end with Easter Day. For those for whom the power of the Resurrection was a first-hand experience, it affected the rest of their lives. Today we remember that the Resurrection was a dynamic and transforming experience for the friends of Jesus and we pray that it may be so for us also.
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. Humankind not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but is also called to practice mercy towards others. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” It is to this end that we receive the transforming Spirit of God - the Holy Spirit, who through the power of God’s great loving mercy, transforms our interior life in order that it might radiate outwardly and be a transforming power in the world.
Christ has risen. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the joy of Easter. Today, with the Holy Church of God throughout the world, we proclaim and celebrate the truth which is foundational to our Christian faith, that on the third day Christ rose from the dead. And Christ, the Risen One, does not depart from us but returns to greet us with his peace and to remain with us until the end of time. And we share his peace and rejoice in his presence in the Mass.
Holy Week begins today and it is the most important week in the Church’s calendar. Holy Week opens with Palm Sunday when we carry palm crosses in procession to commemorate the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem. During Holy Week we celebrate the Easter Triduum, comprising the liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday evening). The liturgy of Holy Thursday commemorates the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, also there is the Washing of Feet in remembrance of our Lord’s example of humble service. On Good Friday we celebrate the Lord’s Passion and venerate the Cross. The wonderful liturgy of the Easter Vigil is celebrated on Saturday of Holy Week with the blessing and preparation of the Easter Candle and the celebration of Our Lord’s Resurrection. The celebration of Easter Sunday completes the celebrations we have prepared for during Lent. These sacred liturgies shine forth as the high point of the Church’s year. The Paschal Triduum is at the heart of all that it means to be the Church and we owe it to ourselves as Christians to be present at these key moments in the life of the worshipping community, for the sacred mysteries, which we celebrate on these three days, are not only the most beautiful liturgies of the Church’s calendar, they are also the axle on which the rest of the liturgical year turns.
Jesus calls us to serve him and follow him - to conversion. To turn away from sin - from all that harms our relationship with God and with our neighbour and to turn toward him, to serve him, do his will, to be faithful to our baptismal vocation. Conversion is a gift from God, won for us through the sacrifice of Christ and we must ask for it through fervent prayer in order that we might know the power of Christ’s Resurrection working in our lives.
Today is Mothering Sunday and so we give thanks to God for our mothers and for all who are mothers in our community. May God bless you in your high calling, remembering that the greatest of the saints, Our Blessed Lady, was, like you, a mother and that through loving devotion to her calling attained to the heights of holiness.
The Father loves and liberates but in today’s Gospel we see how his house can become ‘a market place’ where people are exploited. Jesus’ protest and rejection of the trading taking part in the Temple affects powerful interests: the interests of those who have replaced God (without denying God openly) by greed, which Paul calls ‘idolatry.’ Paradoxically, this subtle and insidious substitution is often justified by religious arguments. None of us is immune from this. The Gospel today invites us to examine our conscience both at the personal level and as members of Christ’s Church. Through Christ we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Lent is an opportunity for us to cleanse the temple of our lives from all that harms and diminishes us and those around us.
Today in the Gospel we hear how the apostles Peter, James and John were given a glimpse of Christ’s glory on the Mount of the Transfiguration - the same glimpse of glory that we are all given when we gather for the Mass, for in and through the sacred mysteries of the Eucharist we ascend to the heavenly places where, with Angels and Archangels and all the host of heaven, we worship the Beloved Son of God who sits at the right hand of the Father. God, the Holy Spirit, gathers us into the cloud of his glory. We listen to him in the scriptures. We feed on him in the Sacrament of the altar. No wonder the disciples “kept silence.” “Master, it is wonderful for us to be here.”
Today is the First Sunday of Lent, the season when the Church prepares for Easter, the greatest of her celebrations. During the season of Lent we are encouraged to grow in the life of Christ and to deepen and strengthen our relationship with God. The Church leads and assists us in this through encouraging our participation, in an ever more intense and fruitful way, in the liturgies of the Church and in penitential celebrations. In order to aid us in our Lenten endeavours I have arranged for instruction, devotions, times for meditation and prayerful reflection (please see details below) and there will be opportunities for people to make their confession.
At the time of Jesus, lepers were treated as social and ritual outcasts. They were not welcome in society or in the Temple. Therefore the leper in today’s Gospel makes a bold move in approaching Jesus. Jesus makes him “clean” enabling him to be accepted as part of the worshipping community and revealing to us how God, in Christ, is reconciling the world to himself. No one is outside the welcoming love of God.
The healings and exorcisms of Jesus are a visible manifestation that the Kingdom of God is breaking into and conquering the world - that all things are being made new in and through Christ. The Gospels see illness as part of our fallen human condition which Jesus comes to heal and make whole.
In Mark’s Gospel Jesus’ first miraculous work is an exorcism whereby he casts out an ‘unclean spirit’ - a demon. By this action Jesus’ announcement of the coming of God’s Kingdom becomes perceptible and concrete. Throughout the public ministry of Our Lord, Mark shows Jesus progressively dismantling the powers of darkness as he advances his assault on Satan’s kingdom. Those who witness Jesus’ words and actions are astonished for he teaches with authority. Also, it should be noticed that the presence of Christ draws the evil spirit out into the open. In the presence of Jesus the grip of evil on the man comes to light and he cries out in rage, challenging Jesus encroachment on the demon’s formerly uncontested territory. St Leo XIII wrote the following prayer to strengthen us and to gain the Archangel’s protection in the spiritual battle against the Devil and his evil influence.
In today’s Gospel reading we see how Jesus begins his public life with an exhortation to repent because the kingdom of heaven, or in Mark’s version the kingdom of God, is at hand. This warning prompted by love is addressed to all, for no one is without sin. Yet no matter how many wounds our human nature has sustained, we are never justified in giving way to despair, for the Lord, in his great love for us, pours out his compassion abundantly on all who need it.
Today’s Gospel conducts us to the River Jordan. This was the holy place where first century Judeans expected to see the Messiah come. It was also at this place that the people, long ago, crossed over into the promised land. Today’s story finds us here at this holy place, where John the Baptist is proclaiming Jesus to be the Lamb of God - the One who takes away the sins of the world, the One we are to follow.
Today, with the holy Church of God throughout the world, we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Epiphany means “manifestation” and it was made manifest to the Magi, who were led from afar by a bright star, that Jesus came, not just for the people of Israel but for everyone. This feast draws us away from the temptation to confine the mystery of the Christmas celebration to our own private world and interests. For the Church, Epiphany is a call and a challenge to never become narrow and inward-looking but to remember that, as the baptised, our vocation is to be a light for all people.
The Feast today reminds us that God’s revelation and the outworking of his loving purposes takes place in the context of human families. In today’s readings we see how God begins a new work in the world through Abraham and Sarah, in the Old Testament and through Mary and Joseph, in the New Testament. Both couples faithfully trusted in God’s promises and saw them come to fulfilment - such is the faithfulness and mercy of God.
We see in the Gospels how God fulfils the promises he has made through the people of the Old Covenant and he does this in a bewildering way. The fulfilment of the promises of old comes through a young Jewish girl who accepts the will of God and the work of his Holy Spirit in her. Her husband, Joseph, is confused about the events surrounding the conception and birth of Jesus but such perplexity is to be expected because God’s ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts and, according to God’s loving purposes, revealed in both the Old and New Testaments, something utterly ‘good’ and utterly ‘new’ is breaking into our world with the birth of Christ.
John the Baptist, who we hear about in today’s Gospel, marks the end of the time of waiting and the beginning of the new age in Jesus. John is the last of the great prophets, For a long time the people had been without a messenger from God but in John the Baptist the people discovered an end to God’s silence. Through John they could hear the word of God. We are told that many went out from the towns and cities to see John - which is testimony to his charismatic power to attract people - such is the powerful attraction of the word of God alive and active in a person.
The Gospel today encourages to “stay awake” not to allow ourselves to become complacent in our Christian lives. Advent is a penitential season when the Church invites us to prepare for the many ways in which Our Lord Jesus Christ comes to us. We can be assisted in remaining vigilant through prayer, fasting and almsgiving, that’s why these disciplines are recommended in this season. Like the “doorkeeper” in Mark’s Gospel, Christians have to remain ever watchful and be attentive to what the Lord wants to reveal to us in all the circumstances of our everyday lives.
The Gospel today encourages to “stay awake” - we must not to allow ourselves to become complacent in our Christian lives. Advent is a penitential season when the Church invites us to prepare for the many ways in which Our Lord Jesus Christ comes to us. We can be assisted in remaining vigilant through prayer, fasting and almsgiving, that’s why these disciplines are recommended in this season. Like the “doorkeeper” in Mark’s Gospel, Christians have to remain ever watchful and be attentive to what the Lord wants to reveal to us in all the circumstances of our everyday lives.
The chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind is labouring and the widespread evil in the world, are due to the fact that the majority of people today disregard Our Lord Jesus Christ and his holy law of love. Christ and his teaching finds no place in people’s private lives or in the public arena. And as long as individuals and states refuse to submit to the rule of Christ the King there is no real prospect of lasting peace among nations. Christ, the King of the Universe is seated on his throne of glory and the criterion used by him in his judgement is the law of love. “In the twilight of life we will be judged on love alone.”
In today’s Gospel we hear of a man who returned everything he had ever been given to his master - and yet he was censured. He was blamed, not for misusing the gifts he had been given, but rather for not having used them at all. This Gospel passage encourages us to reflect on how we use the gifts and talents we have received from God. The Parable of the Talents teaches us that true religion - a true response to Christ’s call to be his disciples - involves risk, adventure and enterprise. To use God-given gifts and talents aright is to share in the joy of the kingdom.
Today's Gospel reading reminds us to stay alert, to pay attention to the demands of the Gospel. Vigilance is nourished by hope and St Paul reminds us that the basis of this hope is the conviction that Jesus has risen from the dead. Hope enables us to leap over the barrier of a life imprisoned by death. Our hope in the resurrection affirms a life that knows no end. Eternal life starts here and now. It is the life we encounter and celebrate in and through the Eucharist.
November is the month the Church especially remembers to pray for the dead. Remembrance Sunday is next week when we will pray for the repose of the souls of all those who have lost their lives as a result of war, and we continue to pray for our deceased loved ones throughout the month of November. Scriptures and the Church teach that we can help the departed through the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for them. Consequently, Masses will be offered for the Holy Souls over the course of November.
October is the month of the Rosary, and the Rosary is a rich and powerful prayer. Firstly, the Rosary is vocal prayer in that the fixed words can be prayed aloud, but it also lends itself to meditative prayer as we reflect on each of the mysteries. This enables personal insights that can change our lives and meditation can lead to loving contemplation when our mind is seized by the depth of the mystery we are praying. That’s why Pope St John Paul II wrote: “The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation.” The words of the Rosary also contain prayers of praise and petition and the faithful often offer up each decade of the Rosary for a special intention. Countless believers, down through the ages have born witness to the fruitful results of praying the Rosary. How could it be otherwise when, as Pope St John Paul II says: “To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.”
October is the month of the Rosary, and the Rosary is Trinitarian and Christ-centred but it is also a Marian prayer. In the Rosary, we are happy to praise the mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the words of the Archangel Gabriel and her cousin Elizabeth: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.” And in the Rosary, we meditate and reflect on the important events in Our Lord’s life through the eyes of Mary. Another prayer that makes the Rosary Marian is the concluding prayer - the “Hail Holy Queen.” But the two most important prayers of the Rosary are the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary. As St. Louis de Montfort said: “How could there possibly be any prayers more pleasing to Almighty God and the Blessed Virgin, or any that are easier, more precious or more helpful than these two prayers?”
October is the month of the Rosary and the Rosary is a rich and complete form of prayer. In the first place it is “Trinitarian”. We begin the Rosary with the sign of the Cross as we invoke the three persons of the Most Holy Trinity: “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” We then recite the Apostles Creed, which calls to mind each of the divine persons in turn: “I believe in God the Father Almighty…and in Jesus Christ his only-begotten Son…I believe in the Holy Spirit.” And each decade of the Rosary concludes with the Trinitarian prayer: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.” The Rosary is also Christ-centred for the mysteries of the Rosary upon which we meditate are the mysteries of Christ’s life. And in every “Hail Mary” prayed we honour Christ by saying: “blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
October is the month of the Rosary - a form of prayer which has been practiced and encouraged by saints and Popes down through the ages. More importantly it is a prayer that has been urged by Our Blessed Lady herself. Mary appeared to St Dominic and instructed him to use the Rosary in combating heresy. In the apparitions in Lourdes in 1858, Our Lady appeared with the Rosary in her hand and recited it together with Bernadette. And in Fatima, in 1917, she appeared again holding the Rosary and encouraged the faithful to be diligent in praying the Rosary. It was at Fatima that Mary identified herself as “the Lady of the Rosary” and asked for the “Fatima prayer” to be said after each decade: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.”
Monday 2nd October marks the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels. This celebration was placed in the Roman Calendar in 1615. Sacred Scripture is full of stories of angels coming to help Patriarchs and all. Each person has his or her Guardian Angel. Angels are God’s messengers whose mission is to take care of us, to protect our way on earth, and to share with Christians the apostolic zeal to get souls closer to God. Saint Peter was liberated from gaol by an angel. Our Lord spoke of the angels of children who constantly behold His heavenly Father’s face. Our Guardian Angels are our friends.
There is an opportunity at St Francis church to pray the Rosary every Wednesday after the 9.00am Mas. The Holy Rosary is a form of prayer which has been practiced and encouraged by saints and Popes down through the ages. More importantly it is a prayer that has been urged by Our Blessed Lady herself. Mary appeared to St Dominic and instructed him to use the Rosary in combating heresy. In the apparitions in Lourdes in 1858, Our Lady appeared with the Rosary in her hand and recited it together with Bernadette. And in Fatima, in 1917, she appeared again holding the Rosary and encouraged the faithful to be diligent in praying the Rosary. It was at Fatima that Mary identified herself as "The Lady of the Rosary" and asked for the "Fatima prayer" to be said after each decade: "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy."
At the heart of the revelation of God in the scriptures is his gratuitous love and today's Gospel teaches us that this kind of love is to be the norm of our relationship with others. According to Jesus' teaching, forgiveness is a vital part of the daily life of the Christian community. Peter wants to know just how far our forgiveness should go. Jesus answers that we must always forgive - that is the meaning of the mysterious expression "seventy-seven times." This symbolic number indicates that there is to be no limit to forgiveness in the Christian community for love is not compatible with obligations that can be counted, rather it is gratuitous, like the love of God.
In the second reading today St. Paul tells us: "Loves is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour" And Jesus, in the Gospel says, "If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him." We should remember that correcting others is a delicate business requiring discernment - we can easily expect too much too soon. People need time and space to grow - and that means time and space to grow through their mistakes. Jesus was blunt, forceful and highly critical in correcting the Pharisees but was patient, with hardly a word of criticism, in his dealings with sinners and humble folk. He wanted to correct all of these, not to hurt them, and he accomplished this because he worked from a discernment informed by love for all people. "Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour."
Jesus never pretended that it would be easy to be a disciple of his. In today's Gospel, Peter refuses ot accept Jesus' way - he is not prepared, at this stage, to accept the costliness of discipleship, the price of following him. Jesus strongly rejects Peter's reaction but at the same time he is telling him to take up his place as a disciple again. Jesus knows that discipleship is a process, and, like Peter in the story, none of us is the finished article. So, when we stumble and fall, like Peter, wemusttake our placebehind Jesus andfollow him in his way ofthe Cross and Resurrection.
The Catechism teaches that from the beginning of his public ministry Jesus chose certain men, twelve in number, to be with him and to participate in his mission. He gives the Twelve a share in his authority and sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal. Simon Peter holds the first place in the college of the Twelve. As we hear in today’s Gospel, Jesus entrusted a unique mission to him. Because of the faith he confessed Peter will remain the unshakeable rock of the Church. His mission will be to keep this faith from every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it. Pope Francis, as successor to St Peter, is called to the same ministry and mission as the first Bishop of Rome. We pray that God will grant him the grace to be faithful to this Divine calling.
Today’s Gospel shows how the Good News of God’s Kingdom is for everyone - no one is excluded, for all are equal before God. We must not fall into a narrow-minded mentality where we are inclined to think that we are private owners of the Gospel and to identify our customs and culture with Jesus’ message. In the Gospel today Jesus acknowledges the faith of the woman whose customs and culture are far different to those of the community that Matthew is addressing in his Gospel. Jesus not only acknowledges her faith with admiration and joy he also presents her as a model to believers.
In today’s Gospel Peter’s faith is tested when the going gets tough. When everything is going swimmingly we do not realise how small our faith is. We find out about our insufficiency and our absolute dependency on Christ when we are buffeted by the storms of life. As Thomas Merton says, when we have “nothing of our own to rely on, and nothing in our nature to support us, and nothing in the world to guide us or give us light - then we find out whether we live by faith.” But it is when we know our poverty of spirit that we are blessed according to Jesus, for it is then that we are aware that we are not self-sufficient but that our sufficiency is all in him.
The Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ took place on Mount Tabor. Christ revealed himself in this glorious light in order to strengthen his disciples for the challenges which lay ahead. It would not be long before the weakness, humiliation and suffering of his Passion and shame of the Cross would become apparent. The Transfiguration reveals that light and glory of Easter - the light of the Resurrection which overcomes the darkness of sin and death. Christ reveals himself on Mount Tabor as the Son of God who is Light from Light and the glory of heaven.
Both the “treasure” and the “pearl” spoken of by Christ in today’s Gospel express what the Kingdom of Heaven must be for disciples: something of ultimate worth. The demand of the Kingdom is radical - everything must be relativised in relation to the absolute value of the Kingdom. Finding the “hidden treasure” or the “pearl” is not the outcome of our work or calculation. With the Kingdom we are in the presence of something gratuitous - something freely given, not something we have earned and, therefore deserved. However, when the gift is given, our response has to be selling all we have in exchange for it.
The thirteenth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel presents several parables on the Kingdom. All of them emphasise the presence of the Kingdom of God in history - a presence which involves a process. In the parable of the wheat and the darnel Jesus teaches us that that the enemy of souls is at work in the world, seeking to destroy the good seed sown by Christ. It also teaches us how difficult it is to distinguish between those who are in the Kingdom and those who are not and that, therefore, we should not judge others, for God will give the definitive judgement in the end.
Monday is the anniversary of the martyrdom of our Patron, Blessed Robert Grissold. Robert Grissold was born around 1575 in Rowington to a Catholic family. When he grew up he became the servant of Mr. Sheldon of Broadway, Worcestershire, in whose service he probably met the priest Fr. John Sugar. Fr. Sugar was once an Anglican priest but, having been received into the Catholic church, went to the English College at Douai to be formed for the Catholic priesthood. Robert and Fr. John came to Rowington and on Sunday 8th July 1603 they were captured in a lane near Baddesley. Both were offered their freedom if they would conform to the Church of England - both refused. On the 16th July both men were taken to Gallow’s Hill, outside Warwick, and were executed. Robert was buried beneath the gallows. Almighty God, you gave to John Sugar and Robert Grissold the joy of sharing in the suffering of your only Son, may the lives of your holy ones inspire us to greater endeavour in the service of your people. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
What great condescension and humility is revealed in the Gospel today. The Master comes to console his fallen servants. He shows us pity when we deserve punishment - he addresses the guilty ones with words of kindness and compassion: “Come, learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.” God is humble; we are proud. He bends low in order to raise us up. We can see his gentleness and humility from what he has become. Heaven is his throne, yet he walks among us on the earth in order that we might know his healing and peace and find rest for our souls.
Regarding discipleship and following Jesus, Christ calls us to radical commitment to him. The cost is great, it demands our all but the reward is inexpressibly greater. We cannot follow him in our own strength. He leads us, he empowers us, he gives us the strength to follow so that we might increasingly immerse ourselves in that incomparable love of his which was revealed in his Passion and Cross - a love that is stronger than death and the love we were created to know and share in forever.
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us: “Do not be afraid,” but there is so much fear in the world today. All sorts of harm spring from fear. The world today, its political and economic structures, reflect the fears that our in our hearts - the fears that lead to gross inequalities, injustice, hatred and conflict. Jesus came to show us another way - the way to overcoming fear with that change of heart that desires the love of God and neighbour above all else. This is the perfect love that casts out all fear and marks the coming of God’s Kingdom. This is the love we feed on in the Mass. This divine love is the source of that peace that Jesus shares with us - a peace that the world cannot know or give. We are called to be filled with his love that casts out fear so that we can bring its healing influence to a world in much need of healing and peace.
Everything begins, one might say, from the heart of Christ who, at the Last Supper, on the eve of his passion, thanked and praised God and by so doing, with the power of his love, transformed the meaning of death which he was on his way to encounter. The fact that the Sacrament of the Altar acquired the name "Eucharist" - "thanksgiving" - expresses this: that changing the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is the fruit of the gift that Christ made of himself, the gift of a Love stronger than death, divine Love which raised him from the dead. This is why the Eucharist is the food of eternal life, the Bread of Life. (Pope Benedict XVI)
Everything begins, one might say, from the heart of Christ who, at the Last Supper, on the eve of his passion, thanked and praised God and by so doing, with the power of his love, transformed the meaning of death which he was on his way to encounter. The fact that the Sacrament of the Altar acquired the name "Eucharist" - "thanksgiving" - expresses this: that changing the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is the fruit of the gift that Christ made of himself, the gift of a Love stronger than death, divine Love which raised him from the dead. This is why the Eucharist is the food of eternal life, the Bread of Life. (Pope Benedict XVI)
We are not to approach God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God in three Persons as a mathematical puzzle or a philosophical problem but, rather, as the Divine community of love whom we are called to know and enjoy for ever, for the one God, who has revealed Himself as Trinity, has made us for himself - to know and enjoy him forever. That is why, in and through sacred mysteries which we celebrate in the Eucharist, he gathers us to himself so that, by grace, we might share in the life and love of the Most Holy Trinity for ever.
Today the Church of God throughout the world celebrates the Solemnity of Pentecost. It is God’s Spirit who inspires us to obey God’s commandments. All who love God experience the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. He counsels us and reminds us of what Jesus has said. The Holy Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control. As we thank God today for the gift of his Holy Spirit let us pray that our Christian discipleship manifests these fruits of God’s Spirit
For Jesus the Cross is His glory and the way to the glory of eternity. But wherein lies the glory of the Cross? Jesus' life was glorious and drew many to Himself but his death on the Cross was even more glorious. For, as He said, "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." This is because the death of Christ on the Cross shows the incomparable and infinite love of God - a love that is prepared to go to any length to win us to Himself. In His obedience to finish the work of salvation given to Him by the Father, Christ completed His mission, when God's great love for us shone in all its glory from the Cross.
In today’s Gospel we are told of the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Lord calls the Spirit ‘another Advocate’ a term which is difficult to translate from the original Greek but which means something like ‘being with’ being the defender - one who intercedes for. We can see from this that the Spirit continues Christ’s mission for Jesus is with us, at our side as a friend representing us and defending us. The Spirit is sent to be with us forever and we know him because he lives in us. Not only is the Spirit revealed as being with us, he is also ‘the Spirit of truth.’ Jesus and the Spirit lead the Christian community into communion with the Father and into all truth
The Gospel today reveals how Jesus is the full expression of God the Father. The invisible God fully manifests himself in the humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to the fullest extent that this can be expressed in human nature. That is why he is the “Way” to the Father - to have seen him, to have heard him, is to have seen and heard the Father. And Christ embodies and reveals the “Truth” about existence - the truth that God made us for himself, so that his creatures might know him and love him forever. That is the truth about how and why we were made and that is why, as St Augustine said: “Our souls are restless until they find rest in God.” And Christ is our “Life.” All things were made through him and for him and he shares his life with us so that the life that is in him may be in us too. That is why he can properly proclaim himself, “the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
No weekday Masses this week - Fr Frank is having his post-Easter break which will continue until the weekend of the 4th Sunday of Easter. Therefore, there will be no weekday Mass for the next week. The Sunday Masses will still go ahead
Safeguarding
The Parish follows the safeguarding standards advised by The Archdiocese of Birmingham. You can view these standards by following the link here.

A link to the Archdiocese safeguarding website can be found
here.

Safespaces is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused by someone in the Church or as a result of their relationship with the Church of England, the Catholic Church in England and Wales or the Church in Wales. If you have been affected, however long ago, Safe Spaces can provide you with support. You do not have to have told the police or the church authorities, and you do not have to still be involved with the church. Your information will not be shared without your consent unless you or someone else is in immediate danger. To contact Safespaces, please follow the link to their website here.

The Isaiah Journey The Isaiah Journey is a working group of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales which has grown out of the need for a pastoral-spiritual response to the suffering of victims and survivors of abuse in the Church. It provides A Guide for Survivors of Abuse that can be found here.

The Safeguarding Rep for our Parish is Monica Green and she can be contacted via email at sg.brg.balsallcommon@rcaob.org.uk.

Parish Events

Looking for the rest of the Parish Event List? We have archived the list from our old site but you can still view them here.
Date
TitleDescription
04.07.2024General Election 2024Please see https://www.cbcew.org.uk/election24/ where you will find information and guidance on key issues of importance to us, as Catholics, to help inform how we vote
04.07.2024SVP and CAFOD working together in the run up to the General ElectionAs Catholics, we know that tackling poverty and injustice are among the most important issues politicians should act on. St Vincent de Paul Society and CAFOD have produced a guide for Catholics for the Election, with suggested questions to ask candidates. Please see cafod.org.uk/encounter or svp.org.uk/encounter for more information.
02.07.2024Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at BRGAdoration of the Blessed Sacrament at BRG will follow the 7.00pm Mass every first Tuesday of each month, followed by Benediction at 8.00pm. All welcome.
27.06.2024Closing of Deanery Visitations MeetingCanon John would like to invite you all the Closing of Deanery Visitations Meeting which will commence with Vespers at the church of the Immaculate Conception, Bicester, OX26 1UN, followed by a meeting in the St John Paul II Centre (next door to the church) on Thursday, 27th June at 7pm. His Grace Archbishop Bernard Longley and Episcopal Vicar Canon Paul Fitzpatrick will report on the current parish visitations taking place in our Deanery.
18.06.2024Tuesday MassNo weekday Masses this week as Fr Frank will be on his annual retreat. Please see the Deanery website for other weekday Masses taking place in the area: https://banburyandwarwick-catholicdeanery.org.uk/
16.06.2024New translation of the lectionaryBy Advent Sunday this year, all parishes must begin using a new translation of the readings at Mass. These are taken from the English Standard Version, Catholic Edition (ESVCE). The new Lectionaries are not yet available, but the complete ESV-CE Bible is. If anyone would like to consider donating one of the four volumes we shall need for the church, they cost £175 each – please let Father Frank know, thank you.
16.06.2024Confirmation Commitment MassToday is a ‘Commitment Mass’ for the young people of our parish who are currently preparing for Confirmation. We welcome our candidates together with their parents, families and friends as they make their commitment to their ongoing preparation for Confirmation later in the year. Please keep them in your prayers as they deepen the understanding of their faith and prepare for this important Sacrament.
16.06.2024Volunteer Sunday After Mass today we are holding an information session (during coffee) about the various volunteering roles and rota vacancies within the parish. This is to provide information on what is involved with the various tasks with the aim of boosting volunteer numbers. When the rota’s are full most roles involve helping only a handful of times a year. Only a few of the roles have a more significant commitment. We would encourage all to attend to explore opportunities to enable us to lighten the load from the existing volunteering teams and fill the current vacancies.
12.06.2024Parish Coffee MorningThe next Parish Coffee Morning will be on Wednesday 12th June - tea, coffee, scones and cake in abundance - everyone welcome.
09.06.2024Urgently neededNew Treasurer From the end of this month, Mike Fairbrother will be standing down as Treasurer. We therefore urgently require a new treasurer to step forward. The Parish cannot function without a treasurer. Full training and support will be given. Our thanks to Mike who has completed more than one stint in this role and has proven to be an invaluable member of our community.
09.06.2024Cafod Sudan appealA big thank you to everyone who contributed to the CAFOD Emergency Sudan Crisis Appeal. £568.70 has been collected. Also £385 of this was gift-aided, which will add in another £96 (approx). This will take the total up to around £665. Thank you.
08.06.2024Ripples of Hope As we look ahead to next year’s Jubilee. CAFOD invites you to Ripples of Hope, a special day of reflection, prayer and spiritual nourishment led by well-known and much-loved Catholic speaker, teacher and author David Wells. The event will be held on Saturday 8 June 2024 at The Dormer Conference Centre, St Peter Apostle Catholic Church, Leamington Spa, CV32 5AA from 11.00am – 4.00pm (a light lunch will be provided). To attend please register here: https://cafod.org.uk/news/events/ripples-of-hope
07.06.2024June - the Month of the Sacred HeartJune is the month of the Sacred Heart. The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus falls on Friday 7th June. Great benefits are promised to those who practice this devotion. Also, during this month, we can seek to deepen our devotion to the love of God revealed in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - a devotion encouraged by St Margaret Mary, whose relic rests in the altar at Blessed Robert Grissold church. We might even consider consecrating ourselves to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.
04.06.2024Adoration of the Blessed SacramentAdoration of the Blessed Sacrament: will follow the 7.00pm Mass every first Tuesday of each month, followed by Benediction at 8.00pm. All welcome.
02.06.2024WelcomeWe are delighted to welcome Fr Ed to celebrate Mass for us this Sunday. As you all know we have been supporting him over the last 24 years. Please join us after Mass for a coffee and Danish Pastries and hear about the developments of his work in Peru.
02.06.2024Retiring Collection for Father Ed (Millenium Project)The retiring collection taken after Fr Ed's visit last Sunday raised £443.60. This is a great result and thank you all for your generosity.
28.05.2024Catholic maritime charity Stella Maris (formerly called Apostleship of the Sea) Catholic maritime charity Stella Maris (formerly called Apostleship of the Sea) is very grateful for this parish’s prayer and financial support of its work on Sea Sunday last year. To report back on the use of those funds, it invites parishioners to join an online update and thank you webinar on Tuesday 28th May from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. You will hear about the impact of your generosity on the lives of seafarers, fishers, and their families over the last year. Its CEO and chaplains will share inspiring stories of how they have helped seafarers and fishers through your support. To register for this virtual event, please visit www.stellamaris.org.uk/thankyou2024
26.05.2024Midweek Mass w/c 27th May 2024Please note that there are no midweek masses at BRG or St Francis this week. Please go to the deanery website for details of Masses at other churches in the area: https://banburyandwarwick-catholicdeanery.org.uk/
25.05.2024BaptismPlease pray for Maria who was Baptised yesterday, 25th May at Blessed Robert Grissold. Please also pray for her Parents and Godparents
20.05.2024Pilgrimage to Rome & Assisi26 October - 2 November 2024. For more information contact Mgr. McHugh at: co.ordinator.ethnic.chaplaincy@rcaob.org.uk/07812 110640 by 20th May 2024.
19.05.2024Maggie EllisMaggie sends her best wishes to her friends and parishioners at BRG and would welcome visits from them. Although Fr Frank is taking Communion to her during the week, she would appreciate one of the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion taking it to her on Sundays.
19.05.2024Deanery Pastoral Council RepresentativeI am grateful to Iain Butlin-Moran for taking on the responsibility of Deanery Representative of the Parish. Along with Fr Frank, he is responsible for conveying Parish concerns to the Deanery and for reporting back on Deanery meetings.
19.05.2024Could you be a seed of hope? The Archdiocese of Birmingham is inviting enthusiastic individuals to create a network of Environment Champions. To celebrate Laudato Si week (19-26 May), please help us get as many parish/cluster/deanery Environment Champions as we can. Your mission is to be a channel of communication between the Archdiocese and your parish, cluster or deanery, to promote Care of Creation and to enthuse others to help in responding to Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si to a spirituality which supports an ecological conversion. You will receive the full support of the Care for Creation Committee as part of the diocesan effort to act as stewards of creation. For details, please see https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/seedofhope
19.05.2024Pilgrimage to WalsinghamPilgrimage to Walsingham: as part of the Jubilee Year 2025. If you are interested please see information website: Come to Walsingham for the Jubilee Year 2025! - Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady
19.05.2024Parish CouncilPlease print your name on the sheet provided at the back of the church if you would like to serve on the Parish Council for Blessed Robert Grissold.
15.05.2024Parish Coffee Morning This month’s gathering will be held this Wednesday 15th May. All welcome for tea, coffee and cakes a plenty at 10:30 in the Narthex.
12.05.2024Retiring Collection todayRetiring Collection today for Catholic Communications
12.05.2024Deanery Pastoral Council Further to the Archbishops Pastoral letter during Lent, the Banbury and Warwick Deanery is in the process of establishing a Deanery Pastoral Council and a couple of preparation meetings have been held which a number of our parishioners have attended. The first Deanery Council meeting is planned for June. More information to follow in due course.
09.05.2024Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord to be celebrated on Thursday 9th May at 9.00am at Saint Francis. This Mass will be followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. All welcome.
08.05.2024First meeting of the Banbury and Warwick Deanery Pastoral Council (DPC) Over 40 lay representatives and parish priests/ deacons met for the first meeting in Bicester. The minutes will appear on the Deanery website soon. Meanwhile, the main agenda item was around the grouping of the parishes into 5 possible clusters, known as Leamington, Rugby, Bicester & Banbury, Stratford and Kenilworth. It was agreed that the representatives of the parishes on the Deanery PC should meet with the parish priests before the next meeting on 19th September, to discuss the proposed clusters, recommend any improvements and share how parishes within the cluster can support each other in fulfilling the Diocesan Vision.
07.05.2024Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will follow the 7.00pm Mass on Tuesday at BRG on 07/05/24 and every first Tuesday of each month, followed by Benediction at 8.00pm. All welcome.
05.05.2024Opportunity for Pilgrimage to Walsingham as part of the Jubilee Year 2025 If you are interested in visiting Walsingham as part of the Jubilee Year please see information on their website: Come to Walsingham for the Jubilee Year 2025! - Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady https://www.walsingham.org.uk/come-to-walsingham-for-the-jubilee-year-2025/
05.05.2024Urgent appeal for VolunteersThere is an urgent need for volunteers to come forward to assist the small team who are currently managing all aspects of Church maintenance, finance, hall hire, cleaning etc. We would be so grateful to anyone who can offer their time or skills to lighten their load. Please email Fr Frank at fr.frank.smith@rcaob.org.uk if you can help.
05.05.2024Baptism of Roman James Martin The Baptism of Roman James Martin will take place on Sunday 5th May at 1pm. Please keep Stephen, his Parents and Godparents in your prayers.
04.05.2024Thanksgiving Mass for MarriageAn invitation is extended to married couples, those celebrating a milestone anniversary and those preparing to marry this year, to an annual Mass for Marriage at St Chad's Cathedral at Midday on Sat 4th May, followed by refreshments. Visit www.vocations.org.uk/marriage-mass
04.05.2024A Year of EncounterWith a UK general election due sometime this year, politicians will be looking for our votes. We have a responsibility as Catholics to make sure that parties commit to tackling issues such as poverty and injustice. Raising our voices and contacting parliamentary candidates as a parish community will send a strong signal to those standing for election in our local constituencies. A Year of Encounter is a joint initiative between CAFOD and St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP), equipping Catholics to ask key questions of local candidates at the key moments. Please see cafod.org.uk/encounter for more information, including an online sessions on Saturday 4th May to learn more.
28.04.2024Job vacancy Friends of the Holy Land Friends of the Holy Land are looking for an energetic, dedicated individual to join our fast-moving, growing charity making a difference to Christians in the Holy Land. The successful candidate must have office experience, excellent oral and written communication skills and be a ‘people person’; social media experience is also desirable. Full details are available at https://www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk/jobs. Closing date for applications is 29th April. Please send your CV and covering letter to Jen Hill at office@friendsoftheholyland.org.uk
27.04.2024True devotion to Jesus and MaryThe Warwickshire group would welcome anyone from the deanery to join. This devotion is a perfect renewal of baptismal promises and is based on the teachings and spirituality of St Louis Marie de Montfort. Please bring your rosary for our first meeting: Upper Room St Peter’s parish centre, Dormer Place, Leamington Spa, CV32 5AA on Saturday 27th April at 11am. Parish website: catholicleamington.org.uk. Local contact: Peter Dimambro 01926 428399. Email: rcia.cathleam@gmail.com
21.04.2024Second collection this SundayThere will be a second collection today for the Clergy Training Fund
21.04.2024Adults seeking receptionAdults seeking to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church should email Fr Frank by the end of February.
14.04.2024CAFODA huge thank you for the response to the CAFOD Lent appeal which raised £518.75. When added with Gift Aid totals £633.75. This will really help the impoverished communities around the world.
11.04.2024Deanery Pastoral CouncilFurther to the Archbishop’s Pastoral Letter of 17th March, a second information and preparation meeting for the Deanery Pastoral Council was held this week and a few parishioners attended. A further meeting is scheduled for 18th June. More information to follow in due course. If you would like further information please speak to Ian and Ellie Clarke, Bob Jones or David Green
10.04.2024Stella Maris MassYou are invited to the Stella Maris Mass celebrated by Archbishop Bernard Longley on Wednesday 10 April at 12:15 at St Chads Cathedral, Birmingham. Should you be able to join on that day please RSVP to Roland.Hayes@stellamarismail.org or by phone on 0207 901 1931
10.04.2024Get TogetherThe next gathering of the monthly parish coffee morning will take place at 10.30 am on Wednesday, 10th April, in the Parish Room. Join us for tea, coffee, cakes, scones and chat. All welcome
07.04.2024Easter Offering Thank you for the collection last weekend which was the customary Easter offering to your priest. I am grateful for the generosity of spirit which is shown in so many ways in the life of the Parish
07.04.2024Easter raffle A huge thank you to everyone who donated gifts and bought tickets for the Easter Raffle. The total sum came to £260 and will be given to Church funds. Thank you to Teresa and Dominic Green for organising this.
02.04.2024Weekday MassWeekday Mass on Tuesday 2nd April will be at 7.00pm at BRG instead of the usual 10.00am Mass
29.03.2024Collection on Good FridayThere will be a collection on Friday for the Holy Places in the Holy Land.
28.03.2024Ministers of the Eucharist Ministers of the Eucharist will be invited, at Mass on Maunday Thursday, to renew their commitment to serve the parish
26.03.2024Opportunity for Adoration and ConfessionOn Tuesday 26th March Mass at BRG will be at 7pm followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and an opportunity for Confession. There will be no 10.00am Mass
24.03.2024Altar ServersIf you would like to serve at the altar please contact Fr Frank
24.03.2024Blessed Robert Grissold Church 30th Anniversary, dates for your diary2024 marks the 30th Anniversary of the opening of Blessed Robert Grissold Church. The following is advanced notice and dates for your diary of planned events to celebrate the anniversary year: The Archbishop has been invited to celebrate Mass during the year to coincide with Blessed Robert Grissold’s Feast day and the Churches Consecration (Early summer - date to be confirmed). Parish Quiz Night - 28th Sept 2024. Parish Meal (and entertainment) - 23rd Nov 2024, Youth Mass (followed by a party for the youth and children) – 24th Nov 2024 (Youth Sunday)
24.03.2024Holy Week and Easter Services 2024Click on the link to see the times of services at Blessed Robert Grissold during Holy Week and Easter 2024
10.03.2024Urgent appeal for volunteers to manage the weekly collections process We require 2 people (or more) to form a team to manage the weekly offertory collection process and take over from Mike Fairbrother who has done this task for many years. No previous or accounting experience required! But it would be preferable for at least one of the team to have ability to use spreadsheets. If you can help please contact Father Frank or Mike Fairbrother
10.03.2024Urgent appeal for volunteers for the church cleaning rotaThe rota of volunteers for church cleaning has become seriously depleted of late and we urgently need more helpers. We need to maintain a clean and attractive church not only for services but also for the hall hire which generates important income for the church. All cleaning supplies are provided for use. No prior experience required! If you can help please contact Louise Perry after mass or call on 01676 533357.
06.03.2024Balsall Common memories café - Dementia Friends Awareness SessionThis is a 1 hour interactive session open to everyone who wants to become a Dementia Friend or know more about dementia. The session will be taken by David Rees-Jones from The Alzheimer’s Society at 2.30pm on Wednesday 6th March 2024 at the Village Hall, Station Road, Balsall Common. For more information contact: Christine Hornsby on 07974 140353.
03.03.2024Second Collection for CAFODThis Sunday there is a second collection for CAFOD Lent Fast Day. Chris Lynn will give a short talk after Mass about family fast day and CAFODs aim to eradicate extreme poverty throughout the world. There will be envelopes available for giving donations. Please can these be returned to Chris either today or next week with your donation inside. Thank you very much for your support.
03.03.2024Churches Together Lenten breakfastsThe Churches Together Lenten breakfast series continues on Saturdays during Lent at the Methodist Hall, Station Road. They start at 8.30 with a Danish pastry and tea/coffee (£2 donation) and the talks start at 9.00. For further details please see Parish Notice Board. This year’s subject is: ‘Trail blazers of faith: Women Spiritual Icons in Christian History’. The dates and remaining talks this year are: 2nd March - ‘Evelyn Underhill’ Canon Mark Britton (hosted by Blessed Robert Grissold), 9th March - ‘Teresa of Avila’ speaker Annie McCormick and 16th March - ‘Julian of Norwich’ speaker Susan Mobberley. For more information about the speakers please see Church notice board.
03.03.2024Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation Preparation for this important Sacrament is open to young people who are in Year 6 and above at school. For further information please contact Teresa Green on 07583 540060.
02.03.2024Volunteers neededBlessed Robert Grissold are hosting the third Lenten talk to be held on Sat 2nd March at the Methodist church. This involves being at the Methodist Church hall at 8am to help with refreshments. Talks start at 9.00am. Then help to clear up afterwards at 10.00. Please contact Louise Perry.
First 1 of 20 Last Show: 20, 40, 60, All
04.07.2024
Please see https://www.cbcew.org.uk/election24/ where you will find information and guidance on key issues of importance to us, as Catholics, to help inform how we vote
04.07.2024
As Catholics, we know that tackling poverty and injustice are among the most important issues politicians should act on. St Vincent de Paul Society and CAFOD have produced a guide for Catholics for the Election, with suggested questions to ask candidates. Please see cafod.org.uk/encounter or svp.org.uk/encounter for more information.
02.07.2024
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at BRG will follow the 7.00pm Mass every first Tuesday of each month, followed by Benediction at 8.00pm. All welcome.
27.06.2024
Canon John would like to invite you all the Closing of Deanery Visitations Meeting which will commence with Vespers at the church of the Immaculate Conception, Bicester, OX26 1UN, followed by a meeting in the St John Paul II Centre (next door to the church) on Thursday, 27th June at 7pm. His Grace Archbishop Bernard Longley and Episcopal Vicar Canon Paul Fitzpatrick will report on the current parish visitations taking place in our Deanery.
18.06.2024
No weekday Masses this week as Fr Frank will be on his annual retreat. Please see the Deanery website for other weekday Masses taking place in the area: https://banburyandwarwick-catholicdeanery.org.uk/
16.06.2024
By Advent Sunday this year, all parishes must begin using a new translation of the readings at Mass. These are taken from the English Standard Version, Catholic Edition (ESVCE). The new Lectionaries are not yet available, but the complete ESV-CE Bible is. If anyone would like to consider donating one of the four volumes we shall need for the church, they cost £175 each – please let Father Frank know, thank you.
16.06.2024
Today is a ‘Commitment Mass’ for the young people of our parish who are currently preparing for Confirmation. We welcome our candidates together with their parents, families and friends as they make their commitment to their ongoing preparation for Confirmation later in the year. Please keep them in your prayers as they deepen the understanding of their faith and prepare for this important Sacrament.
16.06.2024
After Mass today we are holding an information session (during coffee) about the various volunteering roles and rota vacancies within the parish. This is to provide information on what is involved with the various tasks with the aim of boosting volunteer numbers. When the rota’s are full most roles involve helping only a handful of times a year. Only a few of the roles have a more significant commitment. We would encourage all to attend to explore opportunities to enable us to lighten the load from the existing volunteering teams and fill the current vacancies.
12.06.2024
The next Parish Coffee Morning will be on Wednesday 12th June - tea, coffee, scones and cake in abundance - everyone welcome.
09.06.2024
New Treasurer From the end of this month, Mike Fairbrother will be standing down as Treasurer. We therefore urgently require a new treasurer to step forward. The Parish cannot function without a treasurer. Full training and support will be given. Our thanks to Mike who has completed more than one stint in this role and has proven to be an invaluable member of our community.
09.06.2024
A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the CAFOD Emergency Sudan Crisis Appeal. £568.70 has been collected. Also £385 of this was gift-aided, which will add in another £96 (approx). This will take the total up to around £665. Thank you.
08.06.2024
As we look ahead to next year’s Jubilee. CAFOD invites you to Ripples of Hope, a special day of reflection, prayer and spiritual nourishment led by well-known and much-loved Catholic speaker, teacher and author David Wells. The event will be held on Saturday 8 June 2024 at The Dormer Conference Centre, St Peter Apostle Catholic Church, Leamington Spa, CV32 5AA from 11.00am – 4.00pm (a light lunch will be provided). To attend please register here: https://cafod.org.uk/news/events/ripples-of-hope
07.06.2024
June is the month of the Sacred Heart. The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus falls on Friday 7th June. Great benefits are promised to those who practice this devotion. Also, during this month, we can seek to deepen our devotion to the love of God revealed in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - a devotion encouraged by St Margaret Mary, whose relic rests in the altar at Blessed Robert Grissold church. We might even consider consecrating ourselves to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.
04.06.2024
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: will follow the 7.00pm Mass every first Tuesday of each month, followed by Benediction at 8.00pm. All welcome.
02.06.2024
We are delighted to welcome Fr Ed to celebrate Mass for us this Sunday. As you all know we have been supporting him over the last 24 years. Please join us after Mass for a coffee and Danish Pastries and hear about the developments of his work in Peru.
02.06.2024
The retiring collection taken after Fr Ed's visit last Sunday raised £443.60. This is a great result and thank you all for your generosity.
28.05.2024
Catholic maritime charity Stella Maris (formerly called Apostleship of the Sea) is very grateful for this parish’s prayer and financial support of its work on Sea Sunday last year. To report back on the use of those funds, it invites parishioners to join an online update and thank you webinar on Tuesday 28th May from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. You will hear about the impact of your generosity on the lives of seafarers, fishers, and their families over the last year. Its CEO and chaplains will share inspiring stories of how they have helped seafarers and fishers through your support. To register for this virtual event, please visit www.stellamaris.org.uk/thankyou2024
26.05.2024
Please note that there are no midweek masses at BRG or St Francis this week. Please go to the deanery website for details of Masses at other churches in the area: https://banburyandwarwick-catholicdeanery.org.uk/
25.05.2024
Please pray for Maria who was Baptised yesterday, 25th May at Blessed Robert Grissold. Please also pray for her Parents and Godparents
20.05.2024
26 October - 2 November 2024. For more information contact Mgr. McHugh at: co.ordinator.ethnic.chaplaincy@rcaob.org.uk/07812 110640 by 20th May 2024.
19.05.2024
Maggie sends her best wishes to her friends and parishioners at BRG and would welcome visits from them. Although Fr Frank is taking Communion to her during the week, she would appreciate one of the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion taking it to her on Sundays.
19.05.2024
I am grateful to Iain Butlin-Moran for taking on the responsibility of Deanery Representative of the Parish. Along with Fr Frank, he is responsible for conveying Parish concerns to the Deanery and for reporting back on Deanery meetings.
19.05.2024
The Archdiocese of Birmingham is inviting enthusiastic individuals to create a network of Environment Champions. To celebrate Laudato Si week (19-26 May), please help us get as many parish/cluster/deanery Environment Champions as we can. Your mission is to be a channel of communication between the Archdiocese and your parish, cluster or deanery, to promote Care of Creation and to enthuse others to help in responding to Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si to a spirituality which supports an ecological conversion. You will receive the full support of the Care for Creation Committee as part of the diocesan effort to act as stewards of creation. For details, please see https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/seedofhope
19.05.2024
Pilgrimage to Walsingham: as part of the Jubilee Year 2025. If you are interested please see information website: Come to Walsingham for the Jubilee Year 2025! - Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady
19.05.2024
Please print your name on the sheet provided at the back of the church if you would like to serve on the Parish Council for Blessed Robert Grissold.
15.05.2024
This month’s gathering will be held this Wednesday 15th May. All welcome for tea, coffee and cakes a plenty at 10:30 in the Narthex.
12.05.2024
Retiring Collection today for Catholic Communications
12.05.2024
Further to the Archbishops Pastoral letter during Lent, the Banbury and Warwick Deanery is in the process of establishing a Deanery Pastoral Council and a couple of preparation meetings have been held which a number of our parishioners have attended. The first Deanery Council meeting is planned for June. More information to follow in due course.
09.05.2024
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord to be celebrated on Thursday 9th May at 9.00am at Saint Francis. This Mass will be followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. All welcome.
08.05.2024
Over 40 lay representatives and parish priests/ deacons met for the first meeting in Bicester. The minutes will appear on the Deanery website soon. Meanwhile, the main agenda item was around the grouping of the parishes into 5 possible clusters, known as Leamington, Rugby, Bicester & Banbury, Stratford and Kenilworth. It was agreed that the representatives of the parishes on the Deanery PC should meet with the parish priests before the next meeting on 19th September, to discuss the proposed clusters, recommend any improvements and share how parishes within the cluster can support each other in fulfilling the Diocesan Vision.
07.05.2024
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will follow the 7.00pm Mass on Tuesday at BRG on 07/05/24 and every first Tuesday of each month, followed by Benediction at 8.00pm. All welcome.
05.05.2024
If you are interested in visiting Walsingham as part of the Jubilee Year please see information on their website: Come to Walsingham for the Jubilee Year 2025! - Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady https://www.walsingham.org.uk/come-to-walsingham-for-the-jubilee-year-2025/
05.05.2024
There is an urgent need for volunteers to come forward to assist the small team who are currently managing all aspects of Church maintenance, finance, hall hire, cleaning etc. We would be so grateful to anyone who can offer their time or skills to lighten their load. Please email Fr Frank at fr.frank.smith@rcaob.org.uk if you can help.
05.05.2024
The Baptism of Roman James Martin will take place on Sunday 5th May at 1pm. Please keep Stephen, his Parents and Godparents in your prayers.
04.05.2024
An invitation is extended to married couples, those celebrating a milestone anniversary and those preparing to marry this year, to an annual Mass for Marriage at St Chad's Cathedral at Midday on Sat 4th May, followed by refreshments. Visit www.vocations.org.uk/marriage-mass
04.05.2024
With a UK general election due sometime this year, politicians will be looking for our votes. We have a responsibility as Catholics to make sure that parties commit to tackling issues such as poverty and injustice. Raising our voices and contacting parliamentary candidates as a parish community will send a strong signal to those standing for election in our local constituencies. A Year of Encounter is a joint initiative between CAFOD and St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP), equipping Catholics to ask key questions of local candidates at the key moments. Please see cafod.org.uk/encounter for more information, including an online sessions on Saturday 4th May to learn more.
28.04.2024
Friends of the Holy Land are looking for an energetic, dedicated individual to join our fast-moving, growing charity making a difference to Christians in the Holy Land. The successful candidate must have office experience, excellent oral and written communication skills and be a ‘people person’; social media experience is also desirable. Full details are available at https://www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk/jobs. Closing date for applications is 29th April. Please send your CV and covering letter to Jen Hill at office@friendsoftheholyland.org.uk
27.04.2024
The Warwickshire group would welcome anyone from the deanery to join. This devotion is a perfect renewal of baptismal promises and is based on the teachings and spirituality of St Louis Marie de Montfort. Please bring your rosary for our first meeting: Upper Room St Peter’s parish centre, Dormer Place, Leamington Spa, CV32 5AA on Saturday 27th April at 11am. Parish website: catholicleamington.org.uk. Local contact: Peter Dimambro 01926 428399. Email: rcia.cathleam@gmail.com
21.04.2024
There will be a second collection today for the Clergy Training Fund
21.04.2024
Adults seeking to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church should email Fr Frank by the end of February.
14.04.2024
A huge thank you for the response to the CAFOD Lent appeal which raised £518.75. When added with Gift Aid totals £633.75. This will really help the impoverished communities around the world.
11.04.2024
Further to the Archbishop’s Pastoral Letter of 17th March, a second information and preparation meeting for the Deanery Pastoral Council was held this week and a few parishioners attended. A further meeting is scheduled for 18th June. More information to follow in due course. If you would like further information please speak to Ian and Ellie Clarke, Bob Jones or David Green
10.04.2024
You are invited to the Stella Maris Mass celebrated by Archbishop Bernard Longley on Wednesday 10 April at 12:15 at St Chads Cathedral, Birmingham. Should you be able to join on that day please RSVP to Roland.Hayes@stellamarismail.org or by phone on 0207 901 1931
10.04.2024
The next gathering of the monthly parish coffee morning will take place at 10.30 am on Wednesday, 10th April, in the Parish Room. Join us for tea, coffee, cakes, scones and chat. All welcome
07.04.2024
Thank you for the collection last weekend which was the customary Easter offering to your priest. I am grateful for the generosity of spirit which is shown in so many ways in the life of the Parish
07.04.2024
A huge thank you to everyone who donated gifts and bought tickets for the Easter Raffle. The total sum came to £260 and will be given to Church funds. Thank you to Teresa and Dominic Green for organising this.
02.04.2024
Weekday Mass on Tuesday 2nd April will be at 7.00pm at BRG instead of the usual 10.00am Mass
29.03.2024
There will be a collection on Friday for the Holy Places in the Holy Land.
28.03.2024
Ministers of the Eucharist will be invited, at Mass on Maunday Thursday, to renew their commitment to serve the parish
26.03.2024
On Tuesday 26th March Mass at BRG will be at 7pm followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and an opportunity for Confession. There will be no 10.00am Mass
24.03.2024
If you would like to serve at the altar please contact Fr Frank
24.03.2024
2024 marks the 30th Anniversary of the opening of Blessed Robert Grissold Church. The following is advanced notice and dates for your diary of planned events to celebrate the anniversary year: The Archbishop has been invited to celebrate Mass during the year to coincide with Blessed Robert Grissold’s Feast day and the Churches Consecration (Early summer - date to be confirmed). Parish Quiz Night - 28th Sept 2024. Parish Meal (and entertainment) - 23rd Nov 2024, Youth Mass (followed by a party for the youth and children) – 24th Nov 2024 (Youth Sunday)
24.03.2024
Click on the link to see the times of services at Blessed Robert Grissold during Holy Week and Easter 2024
10.03.2024
We require 2 people (or more) to form a team to manage the weekly offertory collection process and take over from Mike Fairbrother who has done this task for many years. No previous or accounting experience required! But it would be preferable for at least one of the team to have ability to use spreadsheets. If you can help please contact Father Frank or Mike Fairbrother
10.03.2024
The rota of volunteers for church cleaning has become seriously depleted of late and we urgently need more helpers. We need to maintain a clean and attractive church not only for services but also for the hall hire which generates important income for the church. All cleaning supplies are provided for use. No prior experience required! If you can help please contact Louise Perry after mass or call on 01676 533357.
06.03.2024
This is a 1 hour interactive session open to everyone who wants to become a Dementia Friend or know more about dementia. The session will be taken by David Rees-Jones from The Alzheimer’s Society at 2.30pm on Wednesday 6th March 2024 at the Village Hall, Station Road, Balsall Common. For more information contact: Christine Hornsby on 07974 140353.
03.03.2024
This Sunday there is a second collection for CAFOD Lent Fast Day. Chris Lynn will give a short talk after Mass about family fast day and CAFODs aim to eradicate extreme poverty throughout the world. There will be envelopes available for giving donations. Please can these be returned to Chris either today or next week with your donation inside. Thank you very much for your support.
03.03.2024
The Churches Together Lenten breakfast series continues on Saturdays during Lent at the Methodist Hall, Station Road. They start at 8.30 with a Danish pastry and tea/coffee (£2 donation) and the talks start at 9.00. For further details please see Parish Notice Board. This year’s subject is: ‘Trail blazers of faith: Women Spiritual Icons in Christian History’. The dates and remaining talks this year are: 2nd March - ‘Evelyn Underhill’ Canon Mark Britton (hosted by Blessed Robert Grissold), 9th March - ‘Teresa of Avila’ speaker Annie McCormick and 16th March - ‘Julian of Norwich’ speaker Susan Mobberley. For more information about the speakers please see Church notice board.
03.03.2024
Preparation for this important Sacrament is open to young people who are in Year 6 and above at school. For further information please contact Teresa Green on 07583 540060.
02.03.2024
Blessed Robert Grissold are hosting the third Lenten talk to be held on Sat 2nd March at the Methodist church. This involves being at the Methodist Church hall at 8am to help with refreshments. Talks start at 9.00am. Then help to clear up afterwards at 10.00. Please contact Louise Perry.
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