Our postal address is 70 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3JA. You will find us on the east side of Kingsway, a few steps from Holborn Station (LT). Click here for a location map.
You can contact us on 020 7405 0376 or by fax on 020 7405 6928. Our email address is email@example.com.
EIGHTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR A
2nd March 2014
ASH WEDNESDAY 2014
LENT begins this Wednesday! The ash placed on our forehead reminds us of our mortality: “remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. Our response is directed by “Repent, and believe the good news”.
The ash is placed in the form of the cross: it is the cross of Christ that sets us free from sin, and ultimate consequence of sin which is death. Lent is therefore a time of conversion, made up of shaking off all our sins and deepening our faith in the Paschal Mystery. Lent is indeed our preparation to celebrate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord with our mind and heart renewed.
PRAYER, FASTING and ALMSGIVING: these are to be our priorities. Prayer opening us to God, fasting disciplining our body and mind, and almsgiving showing love to those less well off. Before Ash Wednesday it is best to have worked out what we are going to do in these three areas. If we are not clear what we are going to try to do, we shall probably end up doing little or nothing: that would be sad, and a missed opportunity.
PRAYER is the subject of our Lent talks. Each Monday evening of Lent beginning 10 March, David Torkington will guide us through how our personal prayer can develop. We all need help on this, so please do come. David is a master of this subject and you will not be disappointed – it could change your life! Each talk is at 6.45pm in the parish Room.
SUNDAYS IN LENT will include teaching from Pope Francis “The Joy of the Gospel”. The more we encounter the Risen Lord, the more we experience joy.
PRAY that we shall all keep a good Lent.
Fr David Barnes. PP
SEVENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR A
23rd February 2014
TO OUR ARCHBISHOP, VINCENT NICHOLS, who today (22nd February), in Rome, received “the red hat”, symbol of his being made “Cardinal” by Pope Francis. We assure our new Cardinal of our loyalty and prayers. Cardinal Vincent is now a member of the College of Cardinals whose members are at the service of the Pope’s universal ministry as Pastor and Teacher. The College of Cardinals also elects the Pope.
TODAY (Saturday 22nd February) is the FEAST OF THE CHAIR OF ST PETER, which celebrates the fact that Our Lord conferred on St Peter the mission of PASTOR and TEACHER. We celebrate the foundation of the Church on Peter, and that he is the focus of unity for the Church. Hence the Pope “gives the red hat” on this Feast of the Chair of Peter.
CATHOLIC TEACHING sees that communion with Christ and communion with the Church are two sides of the same coin. So communion with Christ is effected through our communion with the Church, expressed in a particular way through recognising our Bishop (Cardinal Vincent Nichols) as out leader in the Faith in this Diocese of Westminster, and our communion with the Universal Church as expressed through Cardinal Vincent being in full communion with Pope Francis. Our loving panicipation in this communion fosters the peace and unity of the Catholic Church This communion is celebrated at every Mass, when we offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice and pray for Francis our Pope and Vincent our Bishop. Once again, we assure Cardinal Vincent of our congratulations, loyalty and prayers.
Fr David Barnes. PP
SIXTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
16th February 2014
NO PERMISSION TO SIN
GOD does not want us to sin. We do so because we choose to: we prefer our own will to the Will of God.
OUR LORD calls us to be holy, to choose to do the good. We are all moved to sin at times: it is then we must choose to say NO TO SIN so as to say YES TO GOD: this is when we experience the Cross!
EVERYONE wants a sense of self-fulfillment. The world looks for self-fulfillment by doing what you want, what makes you feel good (the feel-good factor). Sometimes people reinforce this by saying “l don’t mind what you do…..all I want is for you to be happy.”
OUR LORD’S TEACHING is very different. He says “the person who seeks to save their life will lose it, but the person who loses their life for my sake and the sake of the Kingdom will find it.” Self-fulfillment is found through self-transcendence. Happiness in the Gospel is found as a consequence of doing the true good (ie what Jesus teaches).
OUR POWER TO CHOOSE is the emphasis of today’s readings.
REFLECTION on the Word of God. “If you will, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.” (first reading at today’s Mass). “All you need to say is Yes if you mean Yes, No if you mean No: anything more comes from the Evil One”. (Gospel reading at today’s Mass). Do not try to justify our wrong wrongdoing.
Fr David Barnes. PP
FIFTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
9th February 2014
OUR HELP IS IN THE NAME OF THE LORD
In today’s Gospel we read ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under foot by men.’
‘You are the light of the world.’ We are told our light must shine for all to see (St Matthew 5 13:14) How do we keep this light burning? We have been given the wherewithal in the Sacraments of the church. We know there are seven Sacraments. Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Sacrament of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. We need these Sacraments to help keep us stable and strong in order to be true followers of Christ.
The Sacraments are divided into:
The Sacraments of: Christian initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist);
The Sacraments of Healing: (Penance and Anointing of the sick;
and the Sacraments “of Communion and Mission: (Holy Orders and Matrimony).
The Holy Eucharist is at the heart of the seven Sacraments, for us to use in our needs.
Let us ask God to help us use these precious gifts He has bequeathed to each one of us for His greater glory and the good of His Church, The Kingdom of God and His justice.
Sr. M. Lucina, Parish Sister
2nd FEBRUARY 2014
FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD.
Mary and Joseph, following the Jewish Law, present Jesus to God in the Temple in Jerusalem 40 days after His birth. It is above all an act of thanksgiving, and consecrating Him to God.
SIMEON declares that this child will be a light of revelation to all peoples – that this child will reveal God fully to all humanity. Hence the feast is celebrated with candles, celebrating Jesus as the Light of the World, and the celebration of the fact that the person who follows Him “shall not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” The procession helps us understand that we are a people on a journey, following Jesus the Light of the World, and we are enlightened by Him.
DISCIPLESHIP involves suffering. Simeon tells Our Lady that a sword will pierce her own heart too. The joy of discipleship involves also the suffering that comes from loving – essentially of learning to do the Lord’s will rather than our own. This renunciation is in fact our pathway to freedom.
THANKSGIVING, DISCIPLESHIP and REPENTANCE are the key emphasis of our celebration today. Invoke the prayers of Our Lady and St. Joseph, that we learn better to know and do God’s will.
Fr David Barnes P.P.
Music for March 2014
Sunday 2nd March
Ave Maria – Lindley
O salutaris Hostia – Saint-Saëns
12 noon Mass
Missa Brevis – Coleman
Laudate nomen Domini – Tye
Final (Symphonie I) – Vierne
Sunday 9th March
Deus meus – Anon.
Ave verum – Elgar
12 noon Mass
Attende, Domine – chant
Saturday 15th March – 12 noon
(Our Lady – Old Rite)
Mass for 5 Voices – Byrd
Gaude Maria Virgo – Byrd
In jejunio et Fletu – Tallis
Sunday 16th March
Attende Domine – chant
Jesu, joy – Bach
12 noon Mass
Mass for 4 voices – Byrd
Super flumina – Palestrina
Sunday 23rd March
Dulcis Christe – Grancini
O holy Jesus – White
12 noon Mass
Missa ‘Inter vestibulum’ – Morales
Laeva eius – Palestrina
Tuesday 25th March – 6pm Mass
Missa Brevis (194) – Mozart
Ave Maria – Vierne
Grand choeur dialogué – Gigout
Sunday 30th March
Save us, O Lord – Hurd
Adoramus te – Byrd
12 noon Mass
Benedicam Domino – Pietkin
BULLETINS FOR JANUARY 2014
26th JANUARY 2014
CHRISTIANS MUST BUILD BRIDGES NOT WALLS
These were the words of the Holy Father at Mass last Friday in the Casa Marta chapel where he lives.
Reflecting on the conflict between King Saul and David which is the focus of the day’s Old Testament reading, the Pope said, David has the chance to kill Saul but he chooses “a different path: the path of dialogue, to make peace”.
All Christians, always, should follow the path of reconciliation, the Pope said, because that is what Jesus taught us, because Jesus showed us the way.
In order to enter into dialogue, the Pope explained, it is important to be meek, to be humble, even after an argument or a fight. It is important to “bend”, to be flexible, so as not to reach breaking point.
However, the Pope recognised, it’s not easy to build dialogue, especially when we’re divided by resentment. It’s not written in the Bible, he said, but we all know that to be meek, to be humble, we have to swallow a lot of pride-but we must do so, because that’s how we build peace, with humility.
Humility may be hard, Pope Francis said, but allowing resentment to swell in our hearts is much worse than attempting to build a bridge of dialogue.
When we allow resentment to grow, we end up isolated in the “bitter broth” of our own rancour. To be a Christian, instead, is always to be the bridge.
It’s important, Pope Francis continued, not to let too much time pass after a storm, after a problem. It’s important to build dialogue as soon as possible, because time allows the walls of resentment to grow taller and get in the way of the corn – when our walls grow tall, reconciliation becomes difficult!
“I am afraid of these walls” the Pope concluded, “these walls that grow taller every day, building resentment and hatred. Let us follow instead the example of David who defeated hatred with an act of humility”.
ARCHBISHOP VINCENT NAMED CARDINAL
19TH JANUARY 2014
Last Sunday, Pope Francis announced the names of 19 men he has chosen “to receive the red hat”: among them is our own Archbishop Vincent. The following is the letter Pope Francis wrote to Archbishop Vincent.
My dear Brother,
On the day in which your designation as a member of the College of Cardinals is published, I offer you my cordial greeting and the assurance of my closeness in prayers. It is my hope that by this closer bond to the Church of Rome, clothed with the virtues and sentiments of Christ (cf. Rom 13:14), you will be able to assist effectively and in a fraternal spirit in my service to the universal Church.
The cardinalate is not a promotion, an honour or an award; it is simply a service which calls for a broader vision and a more expansive heart. Although it may seem paradoxical, this ability to see farther and have a greater, universal love can only be achieved by following the same path which the Lord himself took: the path of abasement and humility, in the form of a servant (cf. Phil 2:5- 8). For this reason, I would ask you please to receive this appointment with simplicity and humility of heart. Though it is fitting that you should do so with great joy, try to avoid any expression of worldliness and celebration not in keeping with the evangelical spirit of austerity, sobriety and poverty.
I look forward to seeing you, then, on the twentieth of February, when we will begin our days of reflection on the family. I am at your service and I ask you, please, to pray for me and to ask others to do the same.
May the Lord bless you and Our Lady watch over you.
Cardinal-designate Vincent replied:
13th January 2014
Most Holy Father,
I write to thank you for calling me to serve as a member of the College of Cardinals and for your gracious and inspiring letter. I hope that I can respond to this summons in the spirit of service and humility of which you write.
I would also like you to know that your decision has given great joy not only to the Catholic community in England and Wales but also to many fellow Christians and many others in these lands. It is my privilege to come to your service on their behalf and with their encouragement and prayers.
Most Holy Father, so many people are full of loving respect for you and constantly support you with their prayers. That is certainly the tradition of the faith in our countries.
May I assure you of my constant prayers and thank you for this opportunity to serve the Petrine Office and the Universal Church.
With my warmest greetings,
Cardinal-designate Vincent “receives the red hat” in Rome on this coming 22 February.
Some of you may have written to Archbishop Vincent. Fr David Barnes wrote the following on behalf of our parish here:
Congratulations, best wishes and prayers for you on being named Cardinal,
from all of us at SS Anselm and Cæcilia’s and asking your prayers and blessing
THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
12th January 2014
We are all here today to renew our commitment to Our Lord, made at our Baptism. Not a lot of people remember the day they were baptised, but promises were made on our behalf, or if we were older we made our own. Those promises entailed living Gospel values, spreading the Word and love of God to everyone we meet.
How do we do this? The Kingdom values are:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
Blessed are those who mourn,
Blessed are the meek,
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice and righteousness,
Blessed are the merciful,
Blessed are the pure in heart,
Blessed are the peacemakers,
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
The last words of Jesus are “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the Prophets who were before you.”
Even after 60 years in the convent I still find these lessons of Jesus hard to follow and each day I have to make the commitment made way back in 1954, the Marian year, to try to live the way Jesus taught us.
Let us pray for each other as we continue on this road to perfection.
Wishing you all a very happy and prayerful Feast day.
Sr.M.Lucina – Parish Sister
EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
5th January 2014
The word EPIPHANY comes from a Greek word meaning “to reveal, make known.” So just as in Bethlehem Jesus is revealed to the shepherds (representing the people of Israel) as God-with-us, so in the Epiphany Jesus is revealed to the Magi (wise men) or Kings representing all the peoples of the world as God-with-us.
The two traditions (wise men and Kings) speak to us that true greatness is to know our need for God, to know that without God we are incomplete. The Kings/Wise men would seem to have everything – status, money, power, knowledge and celebrity. Yet here they are on a journey, seeking wisdom and truth. Their journey leads them to Jesus, and on finding Him they fall down and worship Him. He is the answer to all they look for.
We are to learn from them: to be truly great and wise is to come to Jesus, fall down and worship Him. He alone is the complete answer to all we look for in life.
The gifts they bring are Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh – Gold represents Kingship, Frankincense divinity, and Myrrh anointing used for burial. Thus our Lord’s earthly life is revealed in the gifts – He is King of Kings, God made flesh, who will suffer and die on the Cross leading to His Resurrection.
What gifts do we bring to Our Lord?
Fr David Barnes, PP
BULLETINS FOR DECEMBER 2013
29th December 2013 The Holy Family
The origin of this word is Old English for “mass /festival of Christ”. So Christmas is the Festival of the long-expected Christ (the Messiah) born in a manger in Bethlehem.
The shepherds and, later, the kings come to worship Him. The word “worship” is, again, from Old English and means to recognise the worth of something. The shepherds and the kings fall down and worship the Christ-child: that is, they recognise that He is Emmanuel, a name which means “God-with-us”. They recognise and embrace Him for who He really is. Do we? Do we fall on our knees and worship Him? Are we full of reverence and awe, wonder and love? As Catholics we believe Our Lord is as fully present on our altars as He was in Bethlehem: one description of the Mass is that it is “the extension of Bethlehem”. We come to worship Him, to recognise Him for who He really is, that is, the Lord “through whom all things were made”. When we genuflect, do so with a spirit of awe and wonder. To do so is to find our true place in the world, to find our inner self and to find true peace.
We can know our worship of God is genuine if it leads us to a deeper respect and reverence for one another. So sang the angels at the Birth of our Saviour
“Glory to God in the highest
and peace on earth to those who are God’s friends”.
The way to Peace in the world is to put God at the heart of all human life, beginning with our own.
Wishing you a blessed Christ-mass,
Fr David Barnes, Rector
15th December 2013
OUR CHRISTMAS TREE
Evergreens have been symbols of immortality since at least Ancient Greece and Rome: so in the dead of winter, evergreens were often brought into the house as signs of life. Christmas trees in Christianity appear around the 15th century – at first in central Germany in public squares, then later in churches.
The Christmas tree in England became fashionable through Prince Albert in the 1840s. The tree was often decked with apples (which have developed into our baubles!): so the tree reminds us of the tree in the Garden of Eden which became a symbol of man’s fall from grace and his consequent feeling of alienation from God. The Christmas tree then comes to represents the tree of life, the tree of the Cross, whereby man’s reconciliation with God is made possible and eternal life is won for us . The lights remind us that Jesus is the Light of the world. The apples on our tree (not baubles) represent a fruitful life through our being grafted into Christ through our baptism. The wafers/shortbread (which in present times have developed into sweets/ confectionary) represent the bread of the Eucharist whereby Christ shares His life completely with us. So on our Christmas tree we have these traditional decorations. Gifts surround the foot of the tree, representing the gifts of the three Kings who brought their gifts to the new born King of kings. Understood in this way, the Christmas tree can be a potent symbol to celebrate the love and mercy of God who, while we were still sinners, sent His only Son into the world so that we may no longer live in darkness but have the light of life.
Fr David Barnes, Rector
8th December 2013
THE ADVENT WREATH
The circle of the wreath and its evergreen branches represent eternity. The four outer candles are the four weeks of Advent, a time of preparation for the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Each week another candle is lit, helping us to see the coming of the Light of Christ, culminating in lighting the central candle at the first Mass of Christmas. The first candle (purple) is called the Prophecy candle and the candle of hope. The Prophets (especially Isaiah) foretold the coming of Christ, and since God is always faithful to his promises we can live in hope. The second candle (purple) is called the Bethlehem candle, and the candle of love. God’s love is revealed fully to us in the coming of Christ. The third candle (pink) is called the Shepherd candle, and the candle of joy (the angel told the shepherds good news of great joy). This Sunday is often known as Gaudete Sunday (the angel said to the shepherds ‘Gaudete…Rejoice). The fourth candle (purple) is known as the Angels’ candle and represents Peace. The fifth, central candle (white) is called the Christ candle and represents the coming of Our Saviour Himself. The Advent wreath is a great help to prepare for the coming of Christ, and to keep Christ at the centre of Christmas. Why not make one for your own home? It will help prepare our hearts with HOPE, JOY, LOVE and PEACE. Will we be awake and ready?
Fr David Barnes, Rector
1st DECEMBER 2013
POPE FRANCIS has written a letter to the whole church called “THE GOSPEL OF JOY”. The following is Archbishop Nichols’ introduction to it:
Pope Francis’ words are full of the ‘Joy of the Gospel’, the Exhortation’s very title. They are marked throughout by the immediacy of the Holy Father’s character and by the profound compassion which shines in all his actions.
This is a papal document with a difference. In it the Pope speaks of his ‘dream’ (27) and shares a humorous comment (135). But, at another level, it presents a searching examination of conscience for everyone who seeks to be a follower of Christ and for everyone who claims to have the good of society at heart. No one escapes its penetrating questions.
Yet these questions arise not from a burden of guilt but from a joyful heart, a generous heart which, expanded by God’s merciful grace (142), seeks to liberate and renew (24). The document is an exhortation to all of humanity to let our hearts be taken up into the very heart of God (178).
It presents a vision for the pattern of life of the Church present throughout the world, for parish life, for the work of the preacher, for the catechist, for the bishop, for the business person and the politician and for the ministry of the Pope himself. It contains a radical look at the crisis of poverty in our world and the role of economics. It offers a new light of the Church’s social teaching and calls for dialogue between faith, reason and science, with our Fellow Christians, with the Jewish community, with other religions and with society, especially in the context of religious freedom.
Indeed a spirit of freedom permeates this text as does the constant call for everyone to enter into the mercy of God and to offer that same mercy and compassion to others without reserve.
Pope Francis proclaims that by baptism we are called to be missionary disciples and that the spirit of our calling springs from this conviction: ‘We have a treasure of life and love which cannot deceive, and a message which cannot mislead or disappoint. It penetrates to the depths of our hearts, sustaining and ennobling us. It is a truth which is never put out of date because it reaches that part of us which nothing else can reach. Our infinite sadness can only be cured by infinite love.’ (265)
This Apostolic Exhortation lays out the enterprise which lies ahead of us all. It is inspiring and presents some of the challenges faced by our world today for ‘a Church without frontiers’ (210).
+Vincent Nichols 26 November 2013
BULLETINS FOR NOVEMBER 2013
24th NOVEMBER 2013
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King: Youth Sunday
Dear Young Friends,
As you return to your homes, do not be afraid to be generous with Christ, to bear witness to his Gospel.
Jesus Christ is counting on you! The Church is counting on you! The Pope is counting on you!
May Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, always accompany you with her tenderness:
“Go and make disciples of all nations.”
Pope Francis Rio 2013
17th NOVEMBER 2013
End of the Year of Faith
My dear brothers and sisters,
Next Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King and marks the end of the Church’s Year. The Scripture readings today, then, are all about endings, both our own and the ending of the world, seen through the eyes of faith. The call of the Word of God is clear: do not be frightened; there will be fearful sights but not a hair of your head will be lost; the light of God will shine out with its healing rays. So we face the future with hope for we know that all endings are within the sight of God. even the most distressing. God has shown this to us clearly in the death of Jesus, the only Son of God. who died in agony and isolation. In Jesus, God embraced all our endings and in the Resurrection of Jesus made clear His will that they have a glorious final outcome.
Next Sunday also marks the end of the Year of Faith we have been following at the invitation of Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. This Year of Faith has had two main aims: that we rediscover and deepen the joy of believing and that we recover enthusiasm for sharing that faith with others. The first aim, we might well say, draws on the great strength of Pope Benedict, a graceful teacher of the faith: the second from the impact and priority of Pope Francis, that we get out there and show our faith by the way we live.
I hope that you can look back and recall points of impact of the Year of Faith in your lives. Through the year we pondered first of all faith in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, incarnate of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, the importance of the sacraments, then the practice of the moral life and finally the place of prayer in our daily lives. But now we must look forward.
Next Sunday every Catholic parish in the world will profess its faith, in the Creed, with renewed heart and fresh determination. And what we profess with our words in church we must make clear in our lives in the world. So now we look again at how well we live our faith in every circumstance, how ready we are to stand out by the way we speak and act, not timid about giving an account of our faith, of our love of the Lord, of the place of prayer in our lives, of our commitment to do what is right and just.
Pope Francis has a phrase which describes this call. He says, over and over again, that we are to be ‘missionary disciples’. Yes we are disciples, those who wish to follow the Lord. We are his people, the People of God. But with that comes the task of being a missionary. Perhaps we are used to associating the word ‘missionary’ with overseas, with other countries. But the call of every follower of Jesus is to make his love present in every place, and to issue his invitation to every person.
At the end of Mass next Sunday we shall step out of the church with this fresh imperative ringing in our ears: go and make visible the love and compassion of God you have just celebrated. So what are you going to do?
Think, please, of your home life. What could you do to make faith more visible? A fresh pattern of prayer, shared by all present, before a meal or at the end of the day? Perhaps there could be more visible signs of faith in your home: a crucifix in each room or a statue in a prominent corner. Visitors should be in no doubt that they are entering a Catholic home, best of all by the way you behave, but also by what they see.
Then please think of your life at work, or in the company you keep outside your home. Can you be someone who is known and respected for being trustworthy? Someone who doesn’t gossip but will always have a kind word to say about others? Can you be someone to whom people know they can turn when they are in difficulty, someone prepared to understand and to help? Are you, or could you be, someone who readily offers to say a prayer for a person facing problems? Most people are ready to welcome such an offer. They know that there is more to life than the sum of human efforts, that there is a God who watches over us and can be turned to, even if they arc very unsure as to how to do it.
There is so much we can do, so much that is simple yet profound, deeply human yet showing our faith, especially in these times when many are in difficulty. So I urge you to look again at the patterns of your daily living in the light of the Lord’s call to be his missionary disciples. As we take so many different pathways in life, look out for those who are burdened, who feel lost, who are, perhaps, walking away from the Church, their hearts downcast. Walk with them. Listen to them. Speak only as little as possible, but from a heart full of compassion. And act in the way in which you speak. This is the way of the Lord, Christ our King. This is the way of faith. This is the way we proclaim afresh the coming of the Kingdom of God in our world today. May God bless you all.
+ Vincent Nichols Archbishop of Westminster