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9 Day Novena from 9th May 2017.


Corpus Christi Church, Boscombe                     

                                               25th March 2017- Feast of The Annunciation   A Mass of Thanksgiving and Welcome

This year the Feast of The Annunciation on the 25th March was especially joyful for us as ACI Family and indeed for our wider community as we gathered in Corpus Christi Church for a most wonderful Mass of Thanksgiving and Welcome back to the Parish and the diocese for our Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Congregation - in particular Sisters Frances, Jo , Melita and Janet .

 The newly elected General of the Handmaids, Sr Rosario Fernandez Villaran and two assistant Generals, Sr. Ines Ruis and Sr. Maria Vaz Pinto had travelled from Rome to be present for the celebration together with several sisters from various countries  -- and the local community  turned out in great numbers to welcome them

Father Adrian Howell, our parish priest, welcomed Fr. Bruce Barnes, Director for Religious, representing Bishop Philip Egan,  Fr Bernardine Nsom , Co-ordinating Pastor for the Bournemouth Pastoral Area , and very specially Sr Rosario and All the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart. We were also blessed to have the Jesuit Provincial, Fr. Dermot Preston SJ and several of our Jesuit Priests concelebrating the Mass.

Our beautiful church. lovingly prepared with fresh flowers and Annunciation Centrepiece, was already filled with an overwhelming sense of joy as we began the opening hymn ‘Sing of the Lord’s goodness’. Accompanied joyfully by Aki Cook and her very musical family, together with Sr Janet and Anne on guitar, the newly formed ACI CHOIR led the congregation in a glorious celebration of praise and thanksgiving

Father Adrian in his homily very warmly and generously welcomed the Handmaids back to the Parish and to Bournemouth  - their presence here once again a great grace.

As we sang our Offertory Hymn ‘All that I am’, Offertory gifts of fresh bread and grapes were brought up by children preparing for their First Holy Communion, and bread and wine for consecration by ACI Family members. Two Sisters carried a crucifix and the Constitutions of the Handmaids. Sr Rosario, The Handmaid General , carried a globe representing the Congregation’s mission to the whole world.

With ‘Ubi , Caritas et amor  , Ubi, caritas Deus ibi est’ as Communion mantra ,we seemed on this great day to be united  even more closely as The Body of Christ. And so together, with open hearts, we raised our voices, the whole congregation as one ,to the good Lord with the Magnificat as our Recessional Hymn.

 In the Parish Centre afterwards we gathered to meet with the Sisters who had come to be with us ,new friends from far away and old friends from nearby, and share a most wonderful feast ,rejoicing and celebrating with all present.


THANK YOU TO THE PARISH for the wonderful and joyous welcome we received at the Mass on Saturday 25th March .Sisters Frances, Jo Melita and I were overwhelmed with the support and love shown to us. We thank Fr Adrian , all the clergy , the Handmaids, the ACI Family and all the parishioners who made it such a special Service. Sr Janet.


In LENT we Discover ........

See Word files below for ACI reflections during Lent.


As we gathered , sang and prayed together it was wonderful to experience a renewed sense of joy , of belonging and of gratitude for all that we  are and all that we have received over many years through the commitment and generous Service  and sharing in the charism of the Handmaids with Sisters we have known and loved.  We have prayed hard for the  presence of the Sisters once again in Bournemouth  and so now, as the Handmaids return, our joy is deeper , our gratitude heartfelt , and our hope and desire is that we will  continue to grow in fidelity to the Eucharistic charism of St Raphaela Mary and  extend our links of love in our  families , our communities , and especially to those in need both here and throughout the world .   Our ACI Family Day spent together with Sisters Janet, Frances and Jo has given us a  renewed ‘spring in our step’ and  commitment in our hearts.

St Raphaela  Mary desired that we be united ‘like the fingers of the hand ’ and ‘Universal like the Church’ . As we celebrate Mass on 2nd March for the Universal ACI Family  , we ask her once again to intercede for us all.

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