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JOYFUL GIFT Your weekly newsletter from the Catholic English Mass in Funchal

Edition #42 th Sunday, 15 April 2012

Easter Blessings to you..! From all of us here at Penha de França We have gone through Lent, a 40 days journey of fasting, praying, devotion. Now we welcome Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is much more than Easter Sunday alone, instead is another journey of 50 days, finally ending on Pentecost Sunday.

My name is JESUS, I died but I am Alive… I am happy because I am with you and you are with me to alleviate the suffering of the world. Together we are “People Helping People”!

Welcome to the Chapel of Penha de França, founded by António Dantas in 1622 and built on a “penha” or peak, by the sea. This soon became so famous a shrine that people came to it on pilgrimage from all parts of the Island, and in 1721 the chapel was restored and enlarged. When the Diocese of Funchal took possession of the chapel it was used for the bishops as a Country House or Summer Residence for many years. In the meantime, the Franciscans had been coming to Madeira to carry out apostolic duties however it was only in 1935, on Easter Sunday, that they founded the Franciscan Residence of Our Lady of Penha de França, at the request of Bishop D. António Ribeiro. The English Mass is a tradition that dates back to 1966, when Fr Rafael Andrade, having just returned from his first visit to England, complied with the Bishop’s request to start an English celebration. Fr Rafael presided this mass for over 30 years, when he had to stop in 1999 due to overlapping duties. For eight years there was no Mass in English in Madeira, until it began again on the first Sunday of Lent in 2007.

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Have a lovely time in Madeira Island and we hope to receive your visit again soon!


Thoughts on the Scripture Readings Brought to you by Chris Oliver, UK 15th April – Second Sunday of Easter

During the six weeks of Easter the first readings are from the Book of Acts, part 2 of Luke's book, in which he describes Jesus continuing his ministry through the Church after his earthly life ended. The weekday readings told how Pentecost transformed Peter into a lucid preacher, boldly proclaiming belief in the resurrection of Jesus. Not intimidated by his arrest, he continued to attract many Jews to follow Jesus. Today we hear how this growing community held their assets in common. The next verses give two examples: Barnabas who gave the proceeds from selling a field; and Ananias and his wife, who held back some of the proceeds and were struck dead by Peter in his Apostolic role as a Judge of Israel.

The second readings in Eastertide are from the first letter of John, although today's reading is from the last chapter. John quickly summarises the basis of our faith, namely that the man Jesus is Son of God, God's Christ, as witnessed by the water and blood from his side, and by the Spirit. John spells out that loving God is not about emotion: it means keeping his commandments. The gospel reading is the beautiful first ending of John's gospel, after Thomas, in the highest expression of faith in any of the gospels, acclaims Jesus as "My Lord and my God". Acts 4: 32-35 Psalm: 117(118) 1 John 5: 1-6 John 20: 19-31 Further Information,

You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them. – St. Therese

The World Seen from Rome Brought to you by ZENIT, the Catholic Church news agency Families in Trial are not Alone


meditations for the traditional Good Friday procession in the Colosseum were unique this year in that they were written by a married couple. In his brief address to conclude the Via Crucis, the Pope encouraged individuals and families in difficulty to find in the cross the strength to press on: "The experience of suffering and of the cross touches all mankind; it touches the family too. How often does the journey become wearisome and difficult! Misunderstandings, conflicts, worry for the future of our children, sickness and problems of every kind. These days too, the situation of many families is made worse by the threat of unemployment and other negative effects of the economic crisis. "The Way of the Cross invites all of us, and families in particular, to contemplate Christ crucified in order to have the force to overcome difficulties. The cross of Christ is the supreme sign of God’s love for every man and woman, the superabundant response to every person’s need for love. At times of trouble, when our families have to face pain and

adversity, let us look to Christ’s cross. There we can find the courage and strength to press on." The Holy Father also affirmed that in times of trial, "we are not alone; the family is not alone." "Jesus," he said, "is present with his love, he sustains them by his grace and grants the strength needed to carry on, to make sacrifices and to overcome every obstacle. And it is to this love of Christ that we must turn when human turmoil and difficulties threaten the unity of our lives and our families. The mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection inspires us to go on in hope: times of trouble and testing, when endured with Christ, with faith in him, already contain the light of the resurrection, the new life of a world reborn, the passover of all those who believe in his word." Further Information,


From My Heart to Your Heart Brought to you by Fr. Bernardino Andrade, Madeira The Wounded Healer

Irene, a 17 years old teenager, was in Church attending Mass. She was struggling with some personal issues and she thought that the Church would be the best place to deal with them and find some meaning for what felt like a meaningless life. All of a sudden, abundant tears started falling down her face, but she was convinced that nobody was noticing it. By her side a mother was holding a baby. When the baby saw Irene’s tears he stretch out his tiny hands and started playing with them, gently touching Irene’s face. Then he started smiling and the more tears the more smiles, until he started laughing. He was really having fun. Surprisingly, Irene was also having fun. Irene started smiling and soon her eyes were dried and replaced by a wonderful sense of surrender and a sense of peace. At the end of Mass the baby’s mother made sure to accompany Irene outside. Still holding her baby she approached Irene, kissed her and said, “My name is Anne.” Now, Anne was the one who was having a hard time keeping her eyes dried. “My name is Irene,” said the teenager. “Congratulations for your precious and beautiful baby.” “Irene,” said the mother, “I want to thank you for what you just did for my son. I can’t wait to get home and tell everyone what you did for my baby. Thank you Irene, I will always love you and be grateful to you.” Irene was confused. In her understanding she had done nothing for that precious boy. He was the one who did it for her. Then Ann explained, “My son was born with a pathologic condition that doctors could not understand. My baby was never able to smile. He could cry, he could walk, eat and apparently he was a normal and healthy baby. Except he has never smiled. Today, playing with your tears, was the first time in his and my life that he was able to smile. Thank you Irene for sharing your tears with my son. Your suffering whatever it is, your pain, your tears

healed my baby. I wish I could help you as you helped me. Please count on me, never hesitate to call me day or night. You healed my baby. Your tears healed my son, my family. Thank you Irene for your tears.” *** The apparition of the Risen Lord to Thomas has always been my favourite Resurrection story. Thomas was confused. He was disappointed. Maybe he felt bad that Judas had betrayed Jesus but he also was feeling bad that he had been betrayed by Jesus. When his friends told him that they had seen the Lord I imagine Thomas telling them, “You are a bunch of liars. You are a bunch of jokers and I don’t find funny your stupid jokes.” But it was true. Jesus was Risen and appeared again. Thomas got confused until Jesus showed him His wounds. Thomas saw them and touched them. It was the wounds of Jesus that saved Thomas. I am afraid that Thomas would be contemplating to do the same as Judas because I believe that depression is the main cause of suicide. But he found Jesus. He found himself and he was able to express his discovery and his experience in the words all the Christians of the world know by heart: MY LORD AND MY GOD (Jo. 20: 28). The Wounded Healer is the name of a famous book written by Henri Nouwhen. There are people in the world who will never be able to find meaning for their lives until we show them our wounds and also until we are open to touch their wounds no matter how putrid they are. That’s why I believe very much in support groups like Alcoholic Anonymous and all the groups that have saved so many lives. There are victims of cancer, diabetes, suiciders, overweight people, gamblers, cheaters, people in prison and their families and hundreds of wounded people trying to help each other. What they do in their meetings is just showing and touching the wounds of each other. Jesus is risen but His wounds are still available to be seen and touched by those who are hurting and don’t find any meaning for their lives. Love, Fr. Bernardino Andrade []


Music for Everyone Brought to you by Larysa violin, Cátia organ/voice, Helena voice & Mónica voice

Our music group is composed by four special and talented ladies. Larysa Makarova is from Ukraine, has a degree in conducting and plays the violin since she was six years old. She has been playing in the English Mass for over a year now. Fátima Cátia Marques has a degree in music, plays the organ and sings (she is a soprano) and also played for a long time in the English Mass until 2008, together with her choir “pax et bonum” (a Franciscan saying that means “peace and all good”). Helena Marques has a degree in Portuguese, Latin and Greek, but also studies music, such as singing and violoncello. To conclude this power group, Mónica Vasconcelos has a degree in Cultural Studies, but like the rest of these ladies, is also very fond of music, especially acoustic guitar and choir singing.

From the yellow book Catholic Hymns Old&New, Entry Hymn = No.65 Bind us together, Lord Penitential Act = No. 663 Lord, have mercy Responsorial Psalm = No. 796 Psalm 117 Gospel Acclamation = No. 683 Easter alleluia Offertory Hymn = No. 438 O worship the King Sanctus = No. 704 Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Agnus Dei = No. 733 Jesus, Lamb of God Communion Hymn = No. 454 Our God loves us Thanksgiving = instrumental Final Hymn = No. 216 He is risen

People Helping People A small project founded in the Chapel of Penha de França to help those in need Our Bishop D. António once said, “One must find new ways of helping the poor”. A very small group of people attending the English Mass decided to do just that – try our best to help those who struggle to survive. It is simply a project, a dream, a way of life. In a short period of time we have created partnerships with restaurants and supermarket chains, we have paid dozens of medical prescriptions, we have spent gallons and gallons of petrol riding across the island giving lifts, we have prevented families to lose their homes, get their electricity cut, run out of gas. We have tried to keep them warm, keep them hopeful, keep them dreaming. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ´what are you doing for others?´” – Martin Luther King, Jr. “Nobody frees anybody. Nobody frees himself by himself. We free ourselves together.” – Anonymous Lovers always look insane for the non-lovers! If you wish to DONATE, please find bellow the details for PHP Bank Account, NIB: 0038 0000 39527051771 85 IBAN: PT50 0038 0000 39527051771 85 BIC: BNIFPTPL To send CHECKS or any correspondence, here is our Address Book, (Europe) Pe Bernardino Andrade Rua das Murteiras, 28 – 1E 9060-199 Funchal, Madeira (USA) Janice Contreras 60 Meeks Ln. Oakley, CA 94561

If you wish to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us, and if you too believe that help has many forms (a birthday cake, a lift to the Hospital) start your own People Helping People and lets create an international community that looks after one another. We would also like to express our gratitude to Fr Rafael for all the information on the English Mass, Fr Nélio for kindly giving the booklet on the story of Penha de França, Sir Ronnie for all his dedication and friendship, Fr Bonifácio, Pablo & Ligia for all the help printing this newsletter, restaurant FIGOS in Garajau for always providing a fabulous meeting point and all of you that, with your endless generosity, support this cause. Editor: Laura Machado © Funchal, 2012 []


Joyful Gift #42  

Edition no.42 of Joyful Gift (15-04-2012) - Your weekly newsletter from the Catholic English Mass in Madeira Island

Joyful Gift #42  

Edition no.42 of Joyful Gift (15-04-2012) - Your weekly newsletter from the Catholic English Mass in Madeira Island