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Bryanston Catholic Church of the Resurrection                          8 April 2021

CHURCH NEWS

From the desk of Father Keith 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

With all sorts of emotions, we have celebrated the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Holy Week is always a profound experience – from the sadness of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday. We keep celebrating so that we might continue to enter into the meaning of the resurrection and to deepen the way it touches our daily lives. More than just a day, the Church gives us a seven-week Easter season to celebrate. 

After Easter Week's resurrection stories, the first reading for the rest of this long and glorious season is from the Acts of the Apostles. Every day we see how Jesus' followers reacted to his death, the challenges to their witness and the unexpected courage that comes to them. John's Gospel is used for the entire Easter Season, the one time of year we can enter into his poetic and layered stories on a daily basis.

Easter only begins with Easter Sunday. Daily prayers and meditations come together to remind us that Jesus is with us. He is not dead, but alive. And, that makes all the difference in the world in how much hope and courage we have, before any struggle, any possible fear of death.

Yet sometimes our everyday lives feel so heavy that celebration is not a part of them.  Critical illness in the family, loss of a job, the challenges of the pandemic, disappointment in a relationship and other burdens of life can make it a challenge to feel particularly joyful – even in the Easter season.

Take heart, the joy we are being invited into this season is beyond what we see in our everyday lives.  It's true that Jesus says “Come to me and bring me your burdens” but we usually can’t believe it.  Maybe we don’t want to believe it.  "If I really allow Jesus to come into my heart the way he wants to, will he ask me to change my life in ways that are too hard? How do I share the chaos of my life with Jesus?  If I keep him at arm’s length, my life might be difficult, but at least my problems are familiar.  What would it cost me to let go and change my life?"

Jesus loves us - right now.  At this moment, Jesus holds us in his warm and loving gaze and loves us so freely at a depth that our human minds can’t take in.  Whether we comprehend this or not, Jesus loves us endlessly and waits for us with his arms open, ready to hold and support us. 

We are being missioned as Easter People.  We find peace in Jesus’ love for us and now we share it with others.  We find ourselves standing side by side with Jesus, looking together at those we are being sent to love.   That is where the real joy of Easter waits for us.

In these 50 days, we are Easter People!
God bless,
Fr Keith
Holy Week at our Church

Holy Week started with Palm Sunday services and the Penetentail service on Tuesday.

The Evening Mass of our Lords Supper on Thursday was celebrated next. Within Covid regulations, instead of washing the feet of 12 people, one person represented all the disciples and had their feet washed by Fr Keith.

The Youth put together a really beautiful Stations of the Cross on Friday morning. It was so current and relevant and gave us much to reflect on and pray about.

The Passion of the Lord was the most attended mass as we were able to host 250 people in the church and 250 people in the Emmaus Center. We also had over 2400 people watching on YouTube, making this one of the most watched videos of the year. 
The Easter Vigil on Saturday evening was a special and very moving mass. Apart from the Blessing of the New Fire and the lighting of the Easter candle, 4 catechumens were baptised and 6 candidates from RCIA received First Holy Communion and were confirmed. The music and chanting provided by the choir was first rate. 

Easter Mass on Sunday was a joyous occasion to celebrate our risen Lord and to share in the Easter Sacrament – Holy Communion.

All services were recorded and are available on our YouTube Channel.
RCIA candidates

This week three of our RCIA candidates have shared a little bit about their journey to confirmation.

Anni-Mari van Wyk
"I come from a Charismatic Church background, however, what was lacking was a real understanding of scripture. I decided to go on an Alpha course, which ultimately led me to a course in Catholicism. The more I learnt, the more I felt drawn to the Catholic Faith, especially to Jesus in the Eucharist. I love that one of Jesus’s apostles became the first Pope. I wanted to know more, and that is how I ended up taking part in RCIA and being confirmed this Easter. Our church feels like home to me, such a wonderful privilege.

Ornella De Rose was my sponsor. She is such a wonderful reflection of what a child of God looks like. 
My patron saint is Saint Germaine Cousin

I found the online RCIA very easy, organized and amazing. Carol and the team were absolute angels in assisting and leading throughout the whole course, I would like to thank them all for all that they do to help prepare us for this special sacrament."

Thokozani Makuyana
"I had been baptised into the faith as a child but I had not received my First Holy Communion or been confirmed. After spending quite a few years away from the church, I attended my nephew’s baptism and I felt very strongly that the Holy Spirit was calling me home.  

I asked Toinette Versfeld to be my sponsor, after meeting her while doing Alpha and the Gifts Course. I thought she would be a great sponsor because she is kind, gentle and serves in the church with an open and generous heart. Turns out I was right! She checked in on me often and has been very encouraging throughout my journey back to the church.  

My saint name, Anne, was chosen for me when I was born. St Anne, is the Blessed Virgin’s mother. This makes her Christ’s grandmother! Although I didn’t choose this name for myself, I was happy to keep it for my confirmation as I have much to learn from St Anne. She is a great example of waiting in faith and with patience for prayers to be answered."
Marcelle Henry
"I was baptised Catholic but never fulfilled any other sacraments. In 2019, I started searching for my spiritual home and, although I tried out a few churches, I never really felt like I belonged.

When lockdown happened, I found Bryanston Catholic Church on YouTube and felt an instant connection to this vibrant and active church. During Fr Keith and Fr Tsepho’s isolation, I volunteered to record a daily Liturgy for the YouTube Channel. I had the opportunity to chat with Leigh-Ann from the Comms Team and she suggested I explore Alpha and the RCIA course, both of which were being offered online during the lockdown.
The rest, as they say, is history. This Easter I received the Sacrament of First Holy Communion and was confirmed into the Catholic Faith.

Leigh-Ann kindly agreed to be my sponsor and I thank her for walking this journey with me.   

I chose Saint Teresa of Calcutta as my Patron Saint because Mother Teresa is inspirational to me; she achieved so much with a simple approach - Love. She believed that love changed how people felt about themselves and others.
I can also relate to her works amongst the poorest of the poor, which has already lead me to look for ways to help other people. I found this quote of hers, which really inspires me and I am going to use it to shape the way I live my life going forward:

I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, 'How many good things have you done in your life?' rather he will ask, 'How much love did you put into what you did?'

I hope that through my deepening Catholic faith journey while getting to know God better, I will come to understand what my calling is. In some small way, I hope to make a difference to people close and around me."
Web Team Appeal

Bryanston Catholic Church is a vibrant parish in which engagement is growing all the time. Staying connected with you all is important to us and one key way we do this is through the web site and app.

The web site has a good reach with about 1 500 active users and about 9 000 views per month. Keeping the content relevant is an important part of this consistent appeal. This ministry is an important part of remaining connected in our modern world.

There is an opportunity for another person to grow God's Kingdom by joining the web team. The ideal person has a love for computers and should be able to commit at least 2 hours a week to help. You will be shown what to do and supported by the other members of the team. If this is you, please contact communication@bryanstoncatholic.co.za to apply

Prayer

Jesus Christ is ris’n today Alleluia
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia
Who did once upon the cross Alleluia
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia    Trinity Psalter Hymnal #36

Dear Father God

Thank you for the gift of Easter. 
Thank you for giving us this time of reflection.
A time to bond with You during this great feast.
Thank you for allowing us to walk the way of the cross with your son, Jesus.

Thank you for the triumph of the cross.
Thank you for the beautiful rain and the promise of new life and cleansing of heart, body and mind.

Help us during this season not to lose sight of You and to keep us in this spirit of grace as we look forward to Pentecost. 

Come, Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful with joy and peace.
Lay a special hand on the people of the Parish of the Resurrection who have asked for your healing, peace and love during this time. Brian Richardson, Chihera, Chris Busschau, Collette Drewes, Didi Tomsett, Erika Woxholt, Estelle Jacquet, Fatima & Sieraaj Haffejee, Gail Solomon, Gillian Green, Goodwill Ntamehlo, Inez Braford, Jean Broens, Lettie Nda, Luzia Bento, Manfred Sussmann, Marilyn, Mary-Anne Alho, Olivia Tanyanyiwa, Paula Britten, Pierre Kedziersk, Quinton, Renatus Marol, Rose Kin, Simon van Wyk, Sister Notburga, Tania Noach, Trevor Fenton and Yvonne Mupenda. 

We ask this in your blessed name.
Amen

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Giving

This faith community is making a difference in the world. Our online and in-person ministries touch the lives of many thousand people.

It is through your generous donations that the Church of the Resurrection is able to offer a wide array of programmes and facilities. Thank you for your regular weekly donations; they make all the difference.

Since we are not collecting weekly donations in church, we are 100% reliant on the money that you give us via channels such as EFT or SnapScan. Every donation counts and is greatly appreciated.

If you're not signed up for dedicated giving but would like to continue to support the parish, you can make donations via snap scan or follow the link online. 
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