in the beginning was love

“I have loved you with everlasting love…” (Jeremiah 31:3) The first and most enduring word in our life of faith is the Father’s everlasting love. This is what he is continuously saying to us and what we fathom in all he does for us each day: I love you. It is his essence, “God is love” (1 John 4:8); he cannot not love us. LOVE is the way in which the Lord looks at us always, regardless of the course our life has taken–even if we have strayed away from him because of our sin. His love is unconditional and notwithstanding. It is the principle and the foundation of our spiritual way. Our life starts by his love, is sustained by it, and one day will be received by that love. To acknowledge his love gives us the chance to love him in return. (you can read more at the way of the heart )
THE ESSENTIALS: printable bulletin for March
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Bishop Terry's Pastoral Letter for the First Sunday of Lent


Fasting, prayer and almsgiving, as preached by Jesus (cf. Mt 6:1-18), enable and express our conversion.

Lent is precisely the season of hope when we turn our gaze back to the God who is patient. Saint Paul passionately urges us to place our hope in reconciliation: “Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20).

Lord, Our God, grant that we Christians may live the Gospel, and recognize Christ in each human being, so as to see him crucified in the sufferings of the abandoned and forgotten of our world, and risen in each brother or sister who makes a new start. #WorldDayOfSocialJustice

In this Lenten Season, accepting and living the truth revealed in Christ means, first of all, opening our hearts to God’s word, which the Church passes on from generation to generation.

During the Season of Lent, the Holy Spirit drives us too, like Jesus, into the desert (Mk 1:12-15). It is not a physical place, but rather an existential dimension in which we can be silent and listen to the word of God, so that a true conversion might be effected in us.

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This month we celebrate the solemnity of St Joseph. A solemnity is the highest form of celebration in the mass. A saint’s day can be a memorial, which is the lowest remembrance, a feast which is a step up for people like St Patrick or a solemnity which is reserved for the most important occasions. It means we celebrate it like a big Sunday mass. So why is St Joseph given this importance? It’s summed up by Pope Francis, “Joseph was the man chosen by God to guide the beginnings of the history of redemption.” If our redemption comes through Jesus, the Word Made Flesh, then Joseph’s part in guiding and protecting Jesus through to adulthood cannot be underestimated. Pope Francis even goes so far as to say God trusted St Joseph. Amazing! Could there be any greater trust than asking someone to care for your own children? This is why St Joseph is commended to us in a special way this year as a patron and guide. As he cared for Jesus in his earthly life, so Joseph cares for the Church, the Body of Christ, on earth today in his heavenly life. This is encapsulated in the title, Patron of the Universal Church, given to St Joseph 150 years ago. Can we follow God’s example and entrust our cares, our lives to the intercession of St Joseph, our patron?

It’s the feast of St Joseph on March 19th, see the Pope’s letter for the year, here:

Every blessing, Fr Philip

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World Day of Prayer
This annual ecumenical service (formerly the Women's World Day of Prayer) was due to take place on Friday 5th March. Unfortunately, it cannot happen as a live event but we are hoping to hold our Guisborough service later in the year, at the Salvation Army Citadel.

The service has been prepared by the women of Vanuatu, a group of islands in the South Pacific, formerly known as The New Hebrides. There is plenty of information on the World Day of Prayer website ( and they are hoping to announce a live stream/YouTube video of a service soon. It would be good to pray with them and for them on that day.

Donations for the many charities that the World Day of Prayer supports can be made via the website.

If you would like any further information, or a copy of the service booklet, please contact Mary Coulston, Tel 01287632811

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If you took part in the traditional Family Fast Day last Friday, could you please send the amount that you saved on a reduced lunch to Your support is very appreciated by the poor of this world.

(picture: What your donation could buy... £20 could buy water containers for two families)

Action News Do you want to learn how to lobby your MP in support of CAFOD's campaign to rebuild a better world from the Coronavirus pandemic? Attend a training session which will provide you with step-by-step guidance to setting up a meeting with your MP. You can choose between two dates: Thursday 25 March, 6.30-8pm or Saturday 10 April, 11am-12.30pm. Register for our online event

Woman wears a sign to support the 'The Time is Now - Mass Lobby'

As host to two major international meetings - the G7 and COP26 - the UK has a pivotal role to play on the global stage this year.

It is vital that all MPs hear our demands about rebuilding from the pandemic in a way that tackles major global injustices, including climate change and unjust foreign debts.

That is why we are inviting Catholics across the country to work with their fellow parishioners to organise virtual meetings with their local MP.

You do not need to be an expert on the issues, you just need to care about building a better world.

Reach out and inspire others Watch the video Screenshot of woman talking from the 'Reclaim our common home' video

Have you watched our latest campaign video? Learn why we are campaigning to Reclaim Our Common home.

Pray for our Common Home

In collaboration with other Christian charities, we are inviting everyone to join a year of prayer for our common home. Sign up

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Lent Humour

this video clip may give you a chuckle, and may resonate with those whose children or grandchildren are heading back to school

This month's verbose joke...
A man walks into a bar and orders three beers. Seeing as they are alone the bartender is a bit confused, but he pours the man his beer and the man drinks one after another, then leaves without saying word. The next week he comes back and does the same thing. By the fourth week the bartender says “I’ve got to ask, why do you order three beers and drink them all by yourself?”
The man says “oh, you see I used to go out drinking every week with my brothers, but unfortunately they moved away, and so now in each of our cities we each have three beers, one for each of us in commemoration of our time past.” The bartender says, “that's really interesting, great way to keep in touch” and this goes on for another couple weeks, until one day the man walks in and says, “I'll have two please.” You can see the sadness on his face and the bartender immediately feels this.
He does this week after week, only ordering two - and so the bartender finally says, “I'm so sorry for your loss” and the man says, “what are you talking about?” - “well you used to drink three beers but now it's only two, so we all just assumed that something happened to your brother.” The man looks at him and says, “oh no that's not it: the two beers are for my brothers, but it's Lent and I gave up drinking.”

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Saint Patrick March 17th -- to be sure!!! The Patron Saint of Ireland

lent cartoon
Perhaps the feast date is more well- known than the dates of the Patron Saints of the countries comprising the rest of the British Isles.

St. Patrick is credited with the conversion of Ireland to Christianity.

The picture is taken of the window from St Patricks in Junction City Ohio and shows the Shamrock with which he explains the Mystery of the Trinity, the robes of a Bishop upon which is woven the “Cross Pattee”. The other cross of association is that of the Saltire. However this was not introduced until 1783. There is an image of a serpent that is another “good story” where he banished all serpents from Ireland whilst on a Lenten Fast upon a hilltop. However, there is no archaeological evidence that supports this.

Patrick was born in Britain of a Romanized family. At age 16 he was torn by Irish raiders from the villa of his father, a deacon and minor local official, and carried into slavery in Ireland. He spent six bleak years there as a herdsman, during which he turned with fervour to his faith. Upon dreaming that the ship in which he was to escape was ready, he fled his master and found passage to Britain. There he came near to starvation and suffered a second brief captivity before he was reunited with his family. Thereafter, he may have paid a short visit to the Continent. He is believed to have studied in Tours where he became a priest.

Tradition has it that he took the religion to Ireland but it is doubtful that a country with such trading links to Rome had not received visits for that very purpose.

The best-known passage in the  Confessio  tells of a dream, after his return to Britain, in which one Victoricus delivered him a letter headed “The Voice of the Irish.” As he read it, he seemed to hear a certain company of Irish beseeching him to walk once more among them. “Deeply moved,” he says, “I could read no more.” Nevertheless, because of the shortcomings of his education, he was reluctant for a long time to respond to the call. Even on the eve of embarkation for Ireland he was beset by doubts of his fitness for the task. Once in the field, however, his hesitations vanished. Utterly confident in the Lord, he journeyed far and wide, baptizing and confirming with untiring zeal. In diplomatic fashion he brought gifts to a kinglet here and a lawgiver there but accepted none from any. On at least one occasion, he was cast into chains.  May we have the same Faith and dedication.

More Saints! Who is commemorated this month?

The Annunciation marks the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he told her (announced) that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. annunciation More importantly, since it occurs 9 months before the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day, the Annunciation marks the actual incarnation of Jesus Christ - the moment that Jesus was conceived and that the Son of God became the son of the Virgin.

St. David St. David
It is not certain how much of the history of St. David is fact and how much is mere speculation. David was reputedly born on a cliff top near Capel Non (Non’s chapel) on the south-west Wales coast during a fierce storm. Both his parents were descended from Welsh royalty.

The young David grew up to be a priest, being educated at the monastery of Hen Fynyw under the tutorage of St. Paulinus. According to legend David performed several miracles during his life including restoring Paulinus’ sight. It is also said that during a battle against the Saxons, David advised his soldiers to wear leeks in their hats so that they could easily be distinguished from their enemies, which is why the leek is one of the emblems of Wales!

Becoming a missionary, David travelled throughout Wales and Britain and even made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem where he was consecrated bishop. He founded 12 monasteries - including Glastonbury - and one at Minevia (St. Davids) which he made his bishop’s seat. He was named Archbishop of Wales at the Synod of Brevi (Llandewi Brefi), Cardiganshire in 550.

Monastery life was strict, the brothers having to work very hard, cultivating the land and pulling the plough. Many crafts were followed – beekeeping, in particular, was important. The monks had to keep themselves fed as well as provide food and lodging for travellers. They also looked after the poor.

St David died on 1 March 589A.D., at Minevia, allegedly over 100 years old.

More Saints!

The common theme for these saints is how they had a fairly comfortable or privileged life, and they resisted pressure from powerful forces in order to help those who were ill or disadvantaged or destitute or abused.

St Casimir
St Casimir (1461-1484) was a Polish prince who preferred living a simple poor life instead of being an aggressive warrior-prince and heir (which really annoyed his dad, the King). He became known for his piety, devotion to God, and generosity towards the sick and poor. But he died young (most likely with tuberculosis) at the age of 25. He is now the Patron Saint of Lithuania.

St John of God
St John of God (1495-1550) was Portuguese who was destitute himself before becoming a soldier. Later, following a mental breakdown and a change of religious attitude, he set up hospitals and care centres to look after deranged, sick and homeless people, and founded the Order of Hospitallers, which still exists today for the same purpose (including the Pope’s medical needs).

St Turibius
St Turibius (1538-1606), a Spanish lawyer, was fast-tracked to fill the vacancy for Archbishop of Lima in Peru, where he found colonialism at its worst. The Spanish authorities there were guilty of every sort of oppression of the native population, which he saw at first hand as he travelled around the country. Abuses among the clergy were flagrant, and he devoted his energies to this difficult area first. He learnt the local dialects and became a champion of the rights of the natives and their liberties, struggling against the vested interests of the authorities.

St Frances of Rome
St Frances of Rome (or Santa Francesca Romana, 1384-1440) lived a comfortable married life in Rome but with her sister-in-law she set up and organised a group of like-minded women to work for the poor and sick, (called the Oblates de’ Tor Speccia) after plague had ravaged the country. They spent their own wealth on this, and when all that was spent, they begged from door to door. It must be very likely they would have cared for victims of sexual abuse as well, which is also recognised this month.

St Cyril
St Cyril of Jerusalem (c313-386 AD) was a philosopher and theologian. He wrote and preached that sin is a consequence of freedom, and not a natural condition. The body is not the cause of sin, but the instrument of sin, and God is loving and forgiving. These views were unusual and controversial at the time in the early Christian Church. He was consecrated Bishop of Jerusalem in about 350AD, and when a famine hit Jerusalem the poor turned to Cyril for help. Cyril, seeing the poor starving to death and having no money, sold some of the goods of the churches – a decision which was later used against him in the politics of the times.

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News Roundup

You can read the most recent Guisborough Bridge Association Newsletter here

Guisborough Town Hall is looking for volunteers to join their board. We are particularly interested in people who will add to the skill set of our team. This could be in any field finance, graphics, management, community or maybe you would just like to get involved? If you are interested send your details with an expression of interest saying something about your area of interest to

Catholic Voices are doing another national survey on attitudes to church in the pandemic. It’s really a follow up to a summer one they organised. It would be good to get as many people as possible to complete it to give a greater overall picture. It can be found here:

Guisborough and District Friends of Cancer Like so many other charities are desperately trying to raise money. With events cancelled and shops closed, it's been very hard for everyone, and with World Cancer Day being held in February, they're asking if people would be kind enough to think of donating to their funds. All money raised locally goes to the highly esteemed Cancer Research Centre in Newcastle, so this funding remains in the area helping local people.
Two keen local supporters have already completed a 16-mile walk around East Cleveland, starting at Brotton and ending in Guisborough, on a cold, wet, and windy day earlier this month. If anyone would like to sponsor - or even do a walk of their own - the Friends would be extremely grateful. Donations can be made online at: or by post to:
Mrs W Wilson,
8, High Peak,
Guisborough TS14 7NG
Cheques should be made payable to: "Guisborough and District Friends of Cancer Research UK" please. All donations, however small or large, will be very gratefully received and put to excellent use. Thank you very much!
End Piece
Thought provoking... click here

Bit part in the play
he played his part quietly
just getting on with it
we do not hear him ask
for his unmet needs to be addressed
probably he cherished the quiet life
though he did not get it
then he vanishes from our sight
job done, steps back into a hidden life,
anonymous, content I guess,
one of us. For a few years he
was the pillar that held the roof
over their heads. I like Joseph.
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