SCJ NEWS - At the beginning of this new year 2020... Fr.Gustavo our Superior General reminds us of our mission theme this year: “Go out, together to meet life and people in the margins’ Let us savour the  flavour of being apostles of the Sacred Heart! It is a challenge that reveals the heart of our Betharramite charism: & identity."          Fr. Gustavo AGÍN SCJ

FR.ENRICO is in India this week visiting our SCJ communities in Karnataka. Unfortunately he cannot go up to Assam this time to see the new school founded by Fr.Pascal as civil unrest continues in Assam following new legislation biased against non-Hindu faiths. Foreigners are currently warned to keep out of Assam.

MASS OF THANKSGIVING many thanks to all who took part in the thanksgiving celebration on Thursday night along with Archbishop Longley. Besides the Archbishop we welcomed Fr.Stephen Wright (new Vicar general to replace Fr.Tim Menezies) and Fr.Gary Buckby (new Vicar general for religious communities) For both VGs it was their first time inside The Friary.

Archbishop Longley stressed that having a secure home should be used as a springboard for parish mission. This year we can combine the Archbishop’s pointer with pointers from our own Fr.Gustavo and search for ways to reach out to the marginalised, however defined.

Friary History Several people have asked for copies of the slide presentation  on The Friary history put together by Oriel Rayner & Fr.Austin for Thursday night. If you are interested please speak to Fr.Austin.

PEACE SUNDAY—Today is Peace Sunday. Retiring Collection today is for PAX Christi the Catholic Peace Movement.  More info at:

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRITIAN UNITY: 18-25 January this year began yesterday and takes the theme ‘Unusual Kindness’.

CHRISTIAN UNITY PRAYER TIME 7.30 pm Friday 24 January in the  Day Chapel. Come join with our fellow Christians from other churches for an hour of prayerful scriptural reflection led by Fr.Austin & others. There are also earlier prayers at 2.00 pm at The Branch Baptist church 85 Warwick Rd

UNUSUAL KINDNESS is this years Christian Unity theme, taken from Acts 28.2 when St.Paul landed in Malta after being shipwrecked. He recalled that the natives ‘showed us unusual kindness’ Maltese Christians prepared prayers this year.

JOURNEY IN FAITH Tomorrow, 8pm 20 Jan– Year of the Word of God: Fr.Biju; 27 Jan-Where on Earth is Heaven: Ros Sherman; 3 Feb Holy Scripture our inspiration—Bill Johnson.

DEANERY MEETING will take place at The Friary on 11th February. This is the monthly meeting & fellowship meal for local priests and deacons frequently hosted at St.Augustine’s or Holy Souls. Thanks to all the good people who worked to restore our Parish Hall Kitchen we can provide them with a full meal here at The Friary.

LECTIO DIVINA—Dates for 2020 Jan 22, Feb 12 & 26, March 11 & 25, April 8.  All  welcome to this prayerful way of reading the scriptures. For many it has been a breakthrough in finding the link between the gospels & ordinary life. No previous experience necessary. Just a willing heart.

CHURCH WARDEN please contact Sacristan (or the parish office) if you are able to volunteer as a Church Warden/Collector.  Our wardens give valuable service acting as ‘good shepherds’ to the congregation. 

CHURCH CLEANING ROTA for week commencing 19th January, Group E.

WELCOMERS' TEAM: Old rotas are due to end soon. Please pick up your envelope with the new rota from the box in the narthex today.

MANY THANKS for collection last week for Friary Building Fund £89.26

200 CLUB RENEWALS—Members, please return  Renewal letter for 2020 a.s.a.p. to be included in next draw. Some ‘200 Club’ numbers are available for people wishing to join the monthly draw. 

HEALING & ANOINTING MASS takes place this year on February 15th, the Saturday nearest the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. If you have any condition (physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual) that makes major changes to your life then you are eligible to be anointed. Often in a Lourdes pilgrimage everyone is anointed.


*Jan 26 is Word of God Sunday, and also Holocaust Memorial Day.

* Feb 15 Mass of anointing 10.15

*Mar 19-22 Parish Retreat. A chance for all the parish to join in prayer & reflection mid-way through Lent with Fr.Eamon Mulcahy an inspired spiritual guide from Manchester who has worked in Africa, Ireland & UK, speaks to audiences all over the world and his love of the scriptures is infectious. Please mark these dates!

SUNDAY Jan 26 is WORD OF GOD SUNDAY. We invite everyone bring their bible to mass and there will be a special blessing of the Word. Later this year the Friary Spirituality Group will run a  user-friendly course on St.Matthew’s gospel

DIOCESAN DIRECTORY get copy of the 2020 Birmingham Archdiocese Year Book Directory from Sacristy or Parish Office £3

NEWSPAPERS: To cover costs please do pay the correct amount. Universe £1.50; Irish Post £1.50; Catholic Herald £2.70; Ireland’s Own usually £1.50; Tablet £3.60; Sacred Heart Messenger £1.60  Thankyou

FRIENDS OF THE HOLY LAND  a Christian Charity with wide support, needs part-time paid staff to support our mission supporting vulnerable Christians in West Bank, Gaza, Israel & Jordan from office in Kenilworth. Typical client support IT & people-skills needed. Hours to be agreed See: Non-political & Ecumenical, we also seek office & home-based volunteers. To express an interest in these opportunities, please either call: 01926 512980 or email

SAFEGUARDING JOB: Catholic Diocese of Hallam (Sheffield) seeks new Diocesan Safeguarding Co-ordinator.  Minimum 3 years experience plus ability to work with other agencies. Permanent contract 80 hrs per month.  £37k p.a. (FTE) 25 days hols plus statutory hols.  Employer’s pension scheme. Closing Date Wednesday 29 January 2020.  Interviews Thursday 6 February 2020.  Info email: or call 0114 2566453

SOLIHULL/HEARTLANDS HOSPITAL Please ask hospital Switchboard for on-call Catholic Priest 0121 424 2000, & they will  call the duty Priest. Catholic Chaplain at Solihull & Heartlands is Fr Roger Raven. Data Protection law means visit from  priest must be actively sought. He doesn't have access to patient files.

GIFT AID SCHEME—Members, please inform the Parish Office of any changes to address or tax situation so that accurate records may be kept.  If you wish to join the Scheme, forms are in the Narthex or please ring Rheann Byrne 706 0505.

TINS FOR THE NEEDY- Thank you for continuing to bring tins, they are sent to ANAWIM, a women’s centre based in Balsall Heath who offer help to vulnerable women & their children around the Birmingham area.  You will find a box in the Narthex marked ‘Tins for the Needy’.

CAR PARK—Please be considerate when parking/manoeuvring your car and please note the disabled parking bays are for the use of those with disabled badges, there is no parking in either the Community and Staff designated areas and the front & rear of The Friary Residential block.  When parking on a Sunday, please do not park on or drive over the grass adjacent to the gate leading into the graveyard.  Only authorised cars to park at other times, by arrangement with the Parish Priest.

WEBSITE—  Please can Parish Groups check their details & contact the office with any changes or amendments to their info so that the website can be kept up to date? 

HALL BOOKINGS from external groups, particularly regular users are a useful income toward the upkeep of the Church. If access is needed to hall or kitchen during these times, please liaise with the Parish office or Community first.

CREMATION PLOTS (newer area) Following previous notes re- borders & stones barred for H&S danger to graveyard volunteers; please also note that plots are set out in vertical strips, in plots for two.  So borders & stones added around memorial tablets are encroaching on the space of a loved one, and should be removed.

A HELPING HAND-Many thanks for your support in keeping the Church tidy each Sunday by placing your hymns books (& other sheets) back on the trolley in the narthex. Please also be sure to take your newsletter home with you!

GOING TO HOSPITAL -Please let your parish priest know if you’re going into hospital. On admission ask for the Catholic chaplain as Chaplains no longer receive names of Catholic patients unless they opt in.

HYMN BOOKS - Please take good care of our hymn books & remember to pray for the person named inside the front cover. Strangely a few books do go missing each year so please check your home & car and return any stray books a.s.a.p. to Church. 

SECURITY NOTICE - Please ensure Friary doors are kept closed & locked when necessary.  If you attend a meeting please make sure that the last one out has secured the outside doors.  The front door should not be left on the hook unattended.  Besides Church security, the Friary is home to priests & brothers who need to know they are safe.

VISITORS – If you wish you can gift aid your offertory donation. White visitor envelopes available in narthex.

CHARITY COLLECTION BOXES for SVP and St Basil’s charities are built into the left and right hand sides, at the back of the Church.  Built-in boxes can be found in the narthex for St Anthony’s bread (used to help the poor in the local area) and Holy Souls (used for Mass intentions for Holy Souls).

HOUSEBLESSING/HOUSEMASS If you’d like your house blessed or a house Mass this summer esp. if housebound or for special occasion, please arrange with Fr Biju.

FLOODLIGHT DEDICATION—You are able to have the Church floodlit in memory of someone.  A suggested donation is £10 a week, the name of the person in whose memory it is in would appear in the newsletter.  Forms are available in  narthex, or from parish office.

ST PEREGRINE DEVOTIONS: A time to offer prayer for anyone who is sick and needs help and consolation, especially someone suffering from cancer. The St.Peregrine Prayer Group has met here at the Friary over the last few years to support our brothers and sisters who suffer from illness. We meet every last Friday each month at 2.30 pm in the Day Chapel and offer our prayers and petitions to St Peregrine. St. Peregrine  lived in 14th Cent Italy and was cured of cancer after a night of prayer before an image of Christ crucified.  You will be most welcome to join us as we pray together.  In true Catholic tradition we always finish with tea and a chat.

THE SICK OF OUR PARISH - If your name or the name of a friend or relative was on the parish list of prayers for the sick, and you would like that name to remain on the list, would you please contact the Parish Office on 0121 706 0505.  Data protection law obliges us to ensure that you or your friend or family member has consented to being on the list, as it can be seen by many, (e.g. church notice board) and is available for anyone to pick up.  We make great efforts to ensure the church abides by new data protection and privacy law.

VISITORS - If you wish to gift aid your offertory donation, white visitor envelopes are available in the narthex.

VEHICLE CRIME ALERT - The neighbourhood Policing Team would like to draw your attention to an increase in vehicle crime in the area.  5 crime reduction tips—ALWAYS close the windows and doors in your vehicle, DON'T leave any valuables on display and where possible do not leave ANY valuables in the vehicle such as Satnavs, Mobile Phones, Wallets, Purses, Bags or iPods, ENSURE your registration plates are fixed using 'anti tamper screws', KEEP your car keys in a safe place in your house.

SAFEGUARDING - In this parish there have been strict guidelines in place for several years for the protection of children and vulnerable persons.  Anyone with a concern about safeguarding issues should ring the Diocesan Safeguarding Office on  0121 230 6240.

AFTER MASS COFFEE DURING THE WEEK - Would parishioners kindly remember to use the Day Chapel entrance to access the lounge for refreshments if Mass has taken place in the Church?  Use the intercom for enquires to the Parish office or if you have mobility difficulties.

KEEP YOUR VALUABLES SAFE - Please do not leave bags unattended in Church, even at Communion time.  Bags and valuables should not be left on display in cars as this can present a target for thieves.

OPEN HOUSE GROUP - Are you new to the Parish and aged 30+? Do you want to get more involved in Parish Life, but don't know where to start? The Open House Group has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and its members are involved in various parish activities such as Traidcraft, Christian Aid, the Fast Supper, Welcome and Coffee Bar rotas.  We also have regular meetings in parishioners' homes for spiritual reflection and discussion of topical issues.  If you are interested in joining us please contact the Parish Office for more information.