Hello! I am Fr.Chacko Panathara C.M. Parish Administrator of the Holy Family Parish

Hello, I am Fr.Chacko Panathara C.M , Priest of the Holy Family Parish in Bournemouth, a Parish on the outskirts of Bournemouth, belonging to the Catholic Diocese of Plymouth. In 2016 When Fr. Bill Muir (the previous incumbent) was sent to another diocese this parish was entrusted to me as part of the Vincentians (CM) by Bishop Mark O’Toole. Why the Holy Family Parish? Kinson and Ensbury Park are areas on the outskirts of Bournemouth. It is a poor parish, which is where Vincentians are regularly called to serve. The Holy Family Parish, Bournemouth is two churches within one astonishing parish: Christ the King in Kinson and Our Lady of Victories and St Bernadette in Ensbury Park. St. Bernadette’s was the First Church in the world dedicated to the name of St.Benadette, and has the highest number of vocations to priesthood in the diocese of Plymouth. The parish embraces: joining, welcoming and evangelism both to other Catholics and in the wider community, but also to non-Catholic and non-religious.

Christ the King church is open throughout the day and is a magnet for many people dropping in to pray or just to ‘come and rest a while’. Mothers on their way back from dropping their children at school find five minutes quiet time in their busy days, people who just feel good and want to share that with someone and those who have suffered loss or who feel lost in this forever frantic world and just need to feel safe and loved, all sorts, all are welcome. Through outreach schemes such as Lenten lunches for the elderly, members of our St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) visiting the sick, elderly and vulnerable, support for a local charity run play group, the local foodbank and the homeless in Bournemouth, the parish tries to live the true meaning of the Gospels; Love one another as I have loved you (John 15:12).

Young people are very important to us and we encourage parents to have their children Baptised into the church at an early age, we liaise with local schools to inspire parents to allow their children to make their First Holy Communion when they are in Year 3 and then run sessions to help young people of 13/14 to decide whether they want to renew the promises made for them at their Baptism, by going through the Confirmation programme. There are people working tirelessly in the parish to support and teach the young people, through these steps, and to provide support and encouragement for them in their journey into their Catholic faith. As a parish we use as many Fairtrade goods as possible and encourage other to do so, where appropriate. There is an ongoing and total commitment to supporting CAFOD and we have been awarded the Live Simply Award, the motto of which is ‘Live simply so that others may simply live’ The parish believes that cherishing our faith also includes doing what we can to cherish our world and everyone in it.

The parish of The Holy Family is keen to encourage other activities: within the parish we have a lovely group of ladies (men are also welcome) in the OK Knitting group, which meets monthly as do the Bereavement Group and the Scripture Reflection evenings as well as Bingo. Chacko’s Café, on every first Sundays of the month, raises money for a mission in Tanzania. We have Syro Malabar Rite Masses for the Catholics from Kerala, India and Catechism every two weeks and Bingo each week. Details of all these things are in the diary section of this website and all are welcome. The parish also organises annual picnics and various celebration Masses, throughout the year. Members of the parish are very involved with an annual pilgrimage to Lourdes for those with physical, mental or emotional needs.

You are very Welcome to our services and events across the Parish. You will find various links through the website. You will also find various links connected to the catholic life and activities and other useful information in this Parish website. You will also find information on our Facebook page. You will receive a warm welcome at both churches, which are also children-friendly, with activities available for them during the services, with scripture specific material. We have several events and activities to which you are warmly invited to join us, as well as our Sunday services, which include tea, coffee and biscuits at the end.

On July 2nd, 2016 (within the context of the XLII General Assembly of the Congregation of the Mission), Father Tomaž Mavrič, in his first homily, invited us to rediscover and develop the mystical and universal dimension of our charism – vocation … thus, following the inspiration of Saint Vincent, the father of the Poor. Our poverty is the hunger and thirst for God, which was the attitude of St. Vincent even in his own times in France. The Congregation when called to serve in a First world country must imbibe that spirit of Vincent and rediscover it’s charism in their given situation. It is a challenge the South Indian Vincentian Province of India met when they showed their readiness to come as Missionaries and serve in this parish.

St. Vincent’s concept of a missionary was in fact an image of his own spiritual profile: a Missionary — a true Missionary — is a man of God, a man who has the Spirit of God (CCD:XI:191). Indeed, we are aware that this is the concept to be lived in our situation, and so this is our prayer, the wonderful prayer that arose from the mystical heart of our Founder as he spoke to the Missionaries: “O my God! Grant me the grace of having your holy love imprinted very clearly on my heart, and that it may be the life of my life and the soul of my actions, so that, being apparent outside of me, it may also enter and work in the souls with whom I come in contact (CCD:XII:215). Thus, we come to a deeper understanding of St. Vincent’s life. The source of his spiritual life was a continual movement of love … a love that was etched in the very depths of his heart, a love that became contagious in all those persons who encountered him, a love that above all else clothed the nakedness of the poor and of those who were suffering, a love that dried the tears of the mournful and thus diminished their pain, a love that restored hope and gave people whom we are called to serve, the surety that they had been chosen by God to become rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He promised to those who love Him.

Back To Holy Family Parish