Sunday April 13th. 2014                                                                                        Charity registration No. SC 002876

St. Margaret's,                        St. Joseph's,                        St. Finnan's
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Bertha Jones R.I.P

We offer our sincere sympathy to Bertha's brother, Edward, her sister, Marie, and their respective families, at the death of their sister last Monday in the Belford Hospital.

Bertha had surgery a few years ago, but recently she required further medical attention. She was so brave when the consultant told her that her illness was terminal, and tried to live her life as normally as possible. Within the past few weeks her condition began to deteriorate and she was brought back to hospital. Her sister Marie and her husband travelled from the south of England to be with her, and her brother, Edward and his wife, came over from Holland, where he has been living for the past 40 years. Their presence  was a great support for Bertha, and she was comforted so much by their regular visits to her in hospital.

Bertha received all the sacraments with such great joy and devotion, and I was able to bring her holy communion several times until God called her gently to himself.

Bertha is  remembered with immense gratitude by former staff  and pupils of  Lochaber Primary School where she taught for 23 years.  She was recognised as  a very kind, just and excellent teacher, bringing  the best out of her pupils and preparing them for life. She expressed her wish to be cremated, but, unfortunately, there have been  problems at the crematorium in Inverness and it is only 50% efficient at the moment. This has caused a backlog of cremations, and, as a consequence, Bertha’s Requiem Mass will take place in St. Margaret’s  on Tuesday of Easter week, April 22 at 11 a.m.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord

This photograph shows the moment Pope Francis shocked his congregation by dropping to his knees and confessing to his own sins.

He knelt before an ordinary priest in St Peter’s Basilica on Monday while presiding at a service intended to show the importance he attaches to the sacrament of reconciliation, commonly known as confession.

After reading a sermon, he was to have gone to an empty confessional to hear confessions of ordinary faithful, and some 60 priests scattered around the huge church did the same. His master of ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini, pointed him towards the empty confessional, but the pope went straight to a another one. He knelt before a surprised priest, and confessed to him for a few minutes.

The sight of Pope Francis kneeling before a priest and making his confession brought home one of his most persistent appeals - acknowledge our sins and embrace God's forgiveness.  In fact, it was his experience of confession, as a young student in Buenos Aires, that the Pope cites as a decisive turning point in his life and which led eventually to him becoming a priest.  Today, he still goes to confession every two weeks, knowing that God never tires of forgiving those who

repent, but also knowing that having a priest say "I absolve you" reinforces belief in God's mercy.

Using a Spanish saying, "It's better to turn red once than yellow a thousand times," Francis has acknowledged some people are embarrassed to confess their sins to a priest - but it is the best path to spiritual healing and health, he insisted.

In a world often dominated by "individualism and subjectivism," he said, many people - including many Catholics - say that God will forgive their sins and they have no need of the sacrament and the ministry of a priest. "Certainly, God forgives every repentant sinner, but the Christian is bound to Christ and Christ is united to his Church," the Pope said. "God, in his sovereign mercy, forgives everyone, but he wanted those who belong to Christ and his Church to receive forgiveness through the community’s priests

Pointing to his own  need for forgiveness and frequent recourse to the sacrament Francis says: “My confessor hears what I have to say, offers me advice and forgives me.  We all need this”

(Thanks to Vincent Toal and Flourish for the above article)

Pope Francis surprises the people by going to confession in public

“God never tires of forgiving me” Pope Francis confesses