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May 2019

From our Priest:
On Monday of Holy Week we saw the huge scale fire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and many of us were sad to see such a beautiful building and place of worship, hundreds of years old, burn in such a way, with many ‘treasures’ lost to the flames. Thankfully it could have been a lot worse. No lives were lost and much of the building remains. Certainly Holy Week and the focus on Christ’s passion would have had an unexpected twist to it for those who regularly worship in the cathedral and maybe those beyond. Prayers were said amongst groups of people outside in the darkness as the flames licked the night sky.
On Easter Day, resurrection day when Christ is risen, there was further bad news, this time much worse, when we heard of the bombings in Sri Lanka of three churches, where people were celebrating Easter and the further bombings in restaurants and hotels. It’s estimated over 250 people died in the explosions, both Sri Lankan and foreign nationals and seemingly contrasts the joy of new life and resurrection that Easter Joy brings as we celebrate Jesus rising from the dead, as the worshippers in those three churches were celebrating this same joy in their Easter rituals.
Ten years ago another cathedral fell in a devastating earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people. This time it was Notre Dame de l’Assomption in down town Port-au-Prince on the former French colony of Haiti. Not a mediaeval gothic cathedral, but an early 20th century one, but nonetheless a cathedral important to so many Haitians.
Unlike the former with I think rightful talk of re-building, the latter, ten years after its destruction, is seeing little chance of being re-built. That’s not surprising in a country where poverty is so high and more immediate problems are education, basic nutrition, health care, sanitation and the list goes on.
Yes it seems that many Haitians would love to have their cathedral again, in whatever way it might look; so many were baptised there, had their first communions, attended Sunday Mass; but it’s not going to happen any time soon.
However, what we see in all three situations, in all the varying levels of brokenness and devastation, is a sense of hope. Human nature can be naturally resilient anyway, but on top of this for many Christians there is the hope of new life. We see signs of new and better life in our present lives. We see people recover from physical illness. We see people recover from mental illness. Homeless people finding housing. We see people overcome addictions.
In the above scenarios with all the pain and the sorrow and the continued suffering, we see signs of hope as people come together, determined to re-build. Re-build lives, re-build trust, re-build communities. In Sri Lanka we hear of mosques offering their sacred spaces to Catholic Christians for the celebration of mass, with their own church buildings faced with the task of re-building and church attendance considered very risky.
For those who are scarred with injury or with the loss of loved ones, the wounds can heal as broken flesh and broken hearts knit together.
Just as Jesus’ broken heart and broken flesh knit together, as death turned to life.
And so, may we and all the suffering take heart that Christ in his wounds of crucifixion, shares in our sufferings. And in our wounded world, may we with hope turn to Jesus’ wounds and with him rise to new life.
Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Fr Carl

     Fr. Carl Peters
     The Clergy House
     Sawmill Lane,
     Brandon
     Durham
     DH7 8NS

     Tel: 0191 680 3875


Other Contact Telephone Numbers

Brandon, St. John's

Churchwarden - David 0191 3789718
P.C.C. secretary - Carolyn – 0191 6803875

New Brancepeth, St. Catherine's

Reader – Liz – 0191 3731554,
Churchwarden - Joe - 0191 3739927

Links

website http://www.brandonparish.org.uk/Welcome.htm

email Webmaster@brandonparish.org.uk

email - Lesley Baxter - for enquiries on
St. John's Hall Meadowfield

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