Welcome to the webpages of the Roman Catholic Church of St Anselm and St Cæcilia, Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Here you will find information about us including normal Mass times as well as Parish contacts.
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).
You can contact us on 020 7405 0376.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
+2nd SUNDAY OF ADVENT
9th December 2018
BIBLE SUNDAY 2018
THIS SUNDAY (ADVENT 2) is sometimes called BIBLE SUNDAY: We pray for a deeper love of the Sacred Scriptures.
St Jerome lived during the 4th century of the Church. A man of brilliant mind, he lived as a hermit for years, in order to deal with his many sins. However, God needed his intellect and gift of language; thus St. Jerome is credited with translating the Scriptures into Latin, known as the Vulgate.
St. Jerome famously said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” That thought alone should send us all scurrying for our Bibles! So, whyshouldmake regular Scripture reading and study part of their daily lives?
1) It is the living Word of God. There are many ancient texts in the history of the world. Many of us, in high school and college, readThe Iliad, I Ching,and theTao de Ching. They are all worthy of study, but what sets the Bible apart? It is the living Word of God. It has no equal, and it is as relevant today as it was when Jerome labored over its translation. Further, the Word of God is Christ:In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.(Jn. 1:1 ) Thus, every encounter with Scripture is an encounter with Christ.
2) Sunday isn’t enough. Indeed, the Mass is full of Scripture. We hear the Word proclaimed from the Old and New Testaments, the Psalms, and the Gospel. We hear the Word sung in our hymns. The prayers at Mass are full of Scriptural quotes and references. And yet … it’s not enough. It’s easy to miss parts of the Word as it’s proclaimed as Mass: we get distracted, the Word is not proclaimed well, we don’t quite hear it. In order to prepare well for Mass, we should “read ahead:”find the readings for Massread them prior to Mass. How are they connected? What is God’s message for His people today?
3) God’s Word keeps us grounded.It is very easy, in the midst of our sloppy, busy, stress-filled days, to lose touch with who we are: God’s children. Taking time to read Scripture every day keeps us
grounded, reminds us of who we are. Reading Scripture helps us to recall, every day, that Christ is with us – even in the sloppiness, the busy-ness, the stress.
4) Scripture reminds us of God’s covenant. God made a promise to our forefathers in faith, the Jews. He told them, “I will be your God, and you will be my people.” Even though the Jews (like us!) did many things that should have destroyed that covenant, God’s promise is eternal. A covenant is unbreakable, because it is God’s truth. Then, with the coming of Christ, we received a new covenant: “This is My Body and this is My Blood. Whoever eats and drinks of it shall have eternal life.” The Bible, from start to finish, is the story of God’s unbreakable promise to us. That’s pretty important.
5) Reading Scripture helps us to pray better.Every one of us needs to pray better. Prayer is our lifeline to God. Scripture can help us to pray better. We see ourselves reflected in the sorrow, pain and faithfulness of Job. We understand Jonah’s reluctance to do the job God has set before him. We rejoice, laugh, cry and challenge God with the psalmist. We understand the shame of the woman about to be stoned. We tremble with fear, abandoning Christ, just as most of the Apostles did when He most needed them. To enter into God’s word helps us to see, hear, feel and understand basic human responses … and then do better. We rise above our fears, our sorrows, our shame, because we know God is with us. Always. He never abandons us. Scripture is the story of God’s eternal love and faithfulness.
St. Jerome knew all this. He spent his life carefully and faithfully translating God’s word. He did it not because it was yet another text that smart people wanted to read in their own language. No, he understood that Scripture is the living word of God, as relevant to us as it was to the Jews in their many triumphs and struggles, as it was to the earliest Christians during St. Jerome’s life, and now, in a world where we have so much information at our fingertips it would make St. Jerome’s head spin. But there is no website, no book, no podcast, no Facebook post that equals God’s word. Do not be ignorant of this word, lest you be ignorant of Christ.
THE ADVENT WREATH: The Advent wreath helps us reflect on how God has come to us. The circle of the wreath is a symbol of both the eternity of God and our being called to eternal life. The evergreen foliage symbolises on-going life, while the holly and the red berries symbolise that the child in the manger is also the one who will suffer and die for us on the Cross. The five candles too have meanings. The outer candles are purple and one pink – the four weeks of Advent: purple is a sign that Advent is “little Lent”, a time for prayer, fasting, repentance and conversion. The pink candle is for “Gaudete Sunday”, the third Sunday in Advent, reminding us to rejoice in the coming of the Saviour. The white candle symbolises Christ, the Light of the World. The coming of the Light (Christ) into the darkness of the world is a constant theme in Advent, and the gradual lighting of the Advent candles reminds us of this. Various meanings are given to each specific candle -here is one set of meaning:
1st CANDLE- (purple) THE PROPHECY CANDLE or CANDLE OF HOPE – We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our hope comes from God. (Romans 15:12-13)
2nd CANDLE- (purple) THE BETHLEHEM CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF PREPARATION – God kept his promise of a Saviour who would be born in Bethlehem. Preparation means to “get ready”. Help us to be ready to welcome YOU, O GOD! (Luke 3:4-6)
3rd CANDLE- (pink) THE SHEPHERD CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF JOY – The angels sang a message of JOY! (Luke 2:7-15)
4th CANDLE- (purple) THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE – The angels announced the good news of a Saviour. God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! (John 3:16-17)
5th CANDLE- (white) “CHRIST CANDLE” – The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth! (John 1:29)
+1st SUNDAY OF ADVENT
2nd December 2018
TODAY, Sunday, the great season of Advent begins. The word comes from the Latin verb “advenire” meaning “to come to:” so Advent calls us to ponder Our Lord’s THREE “comings to us”.
• The Incarnation when “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us ie”. Our Lord’s Nativity in Bethlehem.
• Our Lord’s daily coming to us on the altars of the Church.
• The Second Coming, when “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead”.
ADVENT is sometimes called “Little Lent” because it is properly a time of prayer, fasting and good works, a time of repentance. This is why purple is the colour of Advent. Do your best to keep Advent in this way, even though secular society is making merry around us, the celebration of Christmas begins with the Vigil of Christmas, and is celebrated for the 12 days that lead up to the Epiphany on 6th January
THE ADVENT WREATH, with the build up of lighting the candles, reminds us of the coming of Our Lord into this world in His Nativity – He is “the Light of the ‘World” who dispels the darkness of the world.
ADVENT is a time of HOPE as we come understand better that God is always faithful to His promises.
OUR LADY “believed that the promises made her by the Lord would be fulfilled:” We pray that we may have faith like hers, and invoke her powerful intercession.
Fr David Barnes, Parish Priest
A few quotes from Pope Francis on Advent.
Pope Francis invites us to feel the beauty of hope. Hope can seem distant … “out there” somewhere. But the call to feel is a call to bring it in close, and to warm yourself by that fire. This Advent let us warm ourselves by the fire of hope! (comment by Christmas West)
“Advent has a special charm, it makes us experience deeply the meaning of history.”
“In Advent we rediscover the beauty of all being on a journey … across the paths of time.”
“The season of Advent restores … a hope which does not disappoint for it is founded on God’s Word. A hope which does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! … Let us think about and feel this beauty.”
“Let us allow ourselves to be guided by [Mary this Advent], she who is mother, a mamma and knows how to guide us. Let us allow ourselves to be guided by her during this season of active waiting and watchfulness.”
+OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE
25th November 2018
“The Lord Gave, The Lord Has Taken Away, Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord” Job 1:2
These words from Job came into my mind when Sr. Teresa, my superior told me I was to return to Loughborough. The irony of this is when I retired from teaching in 2003, in spite of being offered parish work in Derby, Leicester and Loughborough, I was not allowed to accept any of them. That’s all in the past and I have lived through the trauma. Pope St. John Paul II said somewhere “When God closes one door, He opens another”.
My retirement to Central London has been the happiest time of my life, living among the saints in Holborn and walking in the steps of the Martyrs. Thank you to each and everyone of you for your friendship, kindness and thoughtfulness, I have felt really blessed living, praying and sleeping during adoration of the Blessed Sacrament among you for the last fourteen years.
I will not forget you and promise to remember you all in my daily prayer. You are all most welcome to visit your extended family in Loughborough Convent.
On this final Sunday with you Happy birthday to Monsignor John Conneely.
Heartfelt thank you to Fr. David for your thoughtfulness, kindness and especially your patience and forgiveness. Please give Orry, Machol and Branoc a regular hug from me. I am leaving you with a great sadness, I leave that repair job to the Lord.
Sr. M. Lucina
+33rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
18th November 2018
THE MINISTRY OF THE EUCHARIST IN HOSPITALS AND PRISONS (BY BISHOP PAUL MASON AND FR PAUL DOUTHWAITE) ADOREMUS – LIVERPOOL 2018:
“There are many many Catholic people who find themselves in prison. In many prisons chapels where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, prisoner, chaplain and staff are not only reminded but are able to experience the presence of a compassionate and forgiving Lord’.
Comments from prisoners themselves :
“Mass is the only time in the week that I feel normal”
“When I come to Mass I don’t feel like a prisoner”
“The volunteers that come in for Mass show me that people care”
“If an experience of the Eucharist ‘inside’ were to play any part in leading to a better life ‘outside’ it lives up to the message in John’s gospel that ‘the bread of life gives life to the world’”.
Bishop Paul recalled that whilst undertaking service as a Hospital Chaplain, many of the patients he visited had explained that their illness was the best thing that had happened to them. He went on to elucidate that many felt it was a moment of reckoning which had finally allowed them to wake up out of their comfort zone. A chaplain can help piece things together, with spiritual and practical assistance helping to bring about a sense of peace.
“Much like any parish there are many occasions when because of sickness there are prisoners who are unable to attend the chapel, or it might be that they are located in the ‘prison hospital’ or are separated for safety or because of their behaviour. In these cases communion is taken to them by the chaplain, a further example of how the Eucharist unites the community – when a prisoner receives communion on the wing or in healthcare, or wherever he or she is located, they are united with the Eucharistic Community and in that moment of grace they are assured of the prayers of the worshiping community not only in the prison but throughout the world”.
I myself have been a Voluntary Eucharistic Minister for for past year and a half at The University College Hospital in Euston Road. There is a rota so I go 1 or 2 Sunday’s a month. I go to the 9.45am Mass in the Hospital Chapel and at the end of Mass Fr Peter, the Hospital Chaplain blesses the Hosts and gives them to the Ministers.
There are usually 2 or 3 of us. We are then given a list of patients on different floors who would like to receive Holy Communion and off we go. They give me any Italian speaking patients as I am Italian myself. The ones who cannot speak English are really appreciative to have someone speak in their language. Most times I know who they are as some of them are from the Italian Community in London and I see them at St Peter’s Italian Church in Clerkenwell. They are always pleased to see a familiar face.
I must say that I really find this very rewarding and satisfying and I feel very honoured that I have been accepted to carry this out.. I am taking Our Lord to those who cannot receive Him in person, especially the sick people. I hope I will be able to do this for a very long time to come.
Sandra Ferdenzi (Participant at Adoremus 2018)
+32nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
11th November 2018
SICK & RETIRED PRIESTS’ FUND COLLECTION
Today we will take up a second collection in support of the Sick and Retired Priests’ Fund.
This fund pays for things like making a flat accessible if a priest is disabled, or paying for a carer post-surgery. It can be as simple as a lift to the doctor’s for those without transport or something more complex like ensuring a sick priest has proper nutrition. The Diocese works closely with social service agencies, the NHS, and local councils who provide care for our priests, but the fund will also meet funding gaps and unforeseen expenses. Most of all, it gives peace of mind to these men who continue to live out their vocation. Many priests stand down from active ministry as a parish priest at 75, but may continue in ministry in our parishes, schools, hospitals and chaplaincies. Cardinal Nichols and the Diocese of Westminster are committed to ensuring that no retired or sick priest is out there on his own.
If you took a donation envelope last weekend, be sure to place it in the collection bag today. If you do not have an envelope, there are some available in the pews and at the back of the church. Don’t forget to complete the Gift Aid form if you are a taxpayer – adding 25 pence onto every pound you give, at no cost to you. You can even fill out a standing order form if you would like, which enables you to become a Patron and make an ongoing donation to this fund.
Please be generous and please continue to pray for all of our clergy, be they in active ministry, retired or ill. Thank you.
DAILY PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SOULS
Immortal God, holy Lord, and Protector of all You have created, we raise our hearts to You today for those who have passed out of this mortal life.
In Your loving mercy, Father of all, be pleased to receive them in Your heavenly company, and forgive the failings and faults may have done from human frailty.
Your only Son, Christ, our Saviour, suffered so cruelly thatmight deliver them from the second death. By his merits may they share in thegloryHis victory overdeath.
May the merits andour Virgin Mother, Mary, and those of all theSaints, speak for us and assist them now. This we ask through Christ Our Lord.
Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selflessactsthey perform for us in ourtime. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.
+31st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
4th November 2018
Sr MARY LUCINA
It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that our dear Sister Lucina is being recalled by her Religious Superiors to their convent in Loughborough. I was informed of this two weeks ago: it came as an immense shock, as I am sure it will be for all of you too.
Sister does so very much on so many levels here in our parish: a huge gap will open up. Everybody is on the receiving end of Sr Lucina’s total commitment to the parish, to us all.
Sister is leaving us at the end of this month of November: there is then some time for us to spend time with her, and to thank her for her most generous and loving service over the last fourteen years. I know Sister is greatly saddened at leaving us, but she gives us a great example of loving obedience. Every Religious Sister and Priest promises obedience to our Superior or Bishop as a way of expressing that we really do want to obey Christ, whatever the cost. Sr Lucina has said “Yes” to her Superior’s decision. I know it is very costly for Sister, as she would love to stay — as I would wish also. But Sister’s generous Yes is a great example to us all of how we too must accept that our loving obedience to Christ involves a lot of “No” to our own will and personal preferences.
We have a month for our goodbyes. There will be time to show our thanks to Sister for the wonderful work and contribution she has made to our parish. Above all, let us pray for Sister, whom I know is finding this move, out of obedience, a most difficult experience. Pray that she might find peace in her “Yes”.
Over the coming days, Sister Lucina, we shall try to express to you something of all we feel for you and the great way you have contributed to our life here.
Fr David Barnes
NOVEMBER IS THE MONTH OF THE HOLY SOULS
PRAYERS FOR THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of their sins, that, through pious supplications, they may obtain the pardon which they have always desired. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
+30th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
29th October 2018
“ADOREMUS”: EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS 2018
One of the discussions at the Symposium on the first day of the Congress was entitled: “The Eucharist as a Sign of the Church’s Unity: ‘One Bread, One Body’ Revisited.” This featured two Catholic speakers and one each from the Anglican, Methodist and Salvation Army traditions. Given the controversy aroused over the centuries by the Roman Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the consecrated bread and wine and the concept of Transubstantiation so central to our Faith, it was remarkable that a calm discussion can now take place based on personal conviction and a study of the scriptures and sources within our respective denominations.
Following a presentation of the Catholic approach to sharing Communion, in very limited circumstances, confined to those members of other denominations who accept our interpretation of the presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the external forms of bread and wine, our guests from other faiths proceeded to reassure us that they were not as far apart from us in this matter as might first be thought. Obviously, the speakers were to some extent self-selecting, as they were all involved in inter-religious dialogue and came from Faiths which accommodated a wider range of beliefs. Given the vast amount of progress in inter – religious dialogue in the last 50 years and assuming an ample supply of God’s grace, the Churches may soon hasten the process of repairing the rifts of the last 500 years and persuade their entire congregations that sacred tradition is not being betrayed on the path towards greater unity.
The Reformation was not a single unified process and ranged from the nationalisation of the Church in England with its Catholic-style hierarchy which only later acquired some more classic Protestant characteristics and the contrasting self-rule by individual congregations typical of many Presbyterian worship groups.
John Wesley is now regarded as the founder of Methodism, but he did not set out to found a breakaway movement, only to enliven the social outreach of the Anglican Church he served. His brother, Charles, included in his hymns phrases such as “His presence makes the feast” and “To every faithful soul appear and show thy real presence here”. The Salvation Army was formally founded in 1865 by General Booth as a separate evolution of the Methodist-inspired Holiness movement. Although the founder laid aside Communion from its forms of worship in 1883, he did not do this on doctrinal grounds and in the 1990s its Spiritual Life Commission stated that “if St Augustine’s definition of communion as a ‘visible sign’ of an invisible grace’ allowed the wider embracing of symbols as ‘signs of something sacred’, then in that broader sense the Army is most definitely a Sacramental movement”. Over the years, the Church of England has in many parishes restored tabernacles as a focus of prayer to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, albeit often using white rather than red lights to indicate the Real Presence and the clergy and presumably a fair proportion of the congregations in these churches share our understanding of Holy Communion. Many of them feel the pain of incomplete unity through the lack of inter-communion, but see that through close association with those whose church discipline does not permit full sharing they can still gain some of the graces of “spiritual communion” through close solidarity in the pursuit of the Christian mission.
We have to be aware of the need to tread carefully in these matters, and the strong feeling of regret at non-Catholic spouses being unable to receive Communion in our churches on a routine basis was eloquently expressed in the subsequent discussion by a representative of the Association of Interchurch Families. Whilst full agreement on this issue may be a long way away, surely we must rejoice that a century after the Blessed Sacrament could not be carried in procession at an earlier Eucharistic Congress for fear of public disorder; representatives of other faiths are now willing to give public testimony to their reverence for the Eucharist.
+29th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
21st October 2018
WORLD MISSION SUNDAY – QUOTES FROM POPES ON MISSION
‘May the world of our time be enabled to receive good news not from evangelisers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervour, who have first received the joy of Christ.’ Pope St Paul VI
‘There can be no true evangelisation without the explicit proclamation of Jesus as Lord.’ St John Paul II
‘Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.’ Pope Benedict XVI
‘Evangelisation is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him. All of them have the right to receive the Gospel.’ Pope Francis
OCTOBER, month of the HOLY Rosary
“The Rosary is my favourite prayer. A Marvellous prayer. Marvellous in its simplicity and it’s depth… Against the background of the words Ave Maria the principal events of the life of Jesus Christ pass before the eyes of the soul….
At the same time our heart can embrace in the decades of the Rosary all the events that make up the lives of individuals, families, nations, the Church, and all mankind: our personal concerns and those of our neighbour, especially those who are closest to us, who are dearest to us. Thus the simple prayer of the Rosary marks the rhythm of human life.”
POPE SAINT JOHN PAUL II (1920-2005), October 29th 1978
+28th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
14th October 2018
PRAY FOR CHRISTIANS DENIED THE SACRAMENTS
During the recent Eucharist Congress ADOREMUS in Liverpool (September 7-9) we heard from representatives of Aid to the Church in Need (CAN) about the Christians all over the world who are persecuted for their faith.
As an act of solidarity with Christians denied access to the Sacraments the Charity is inviting Catholics around the world to “go to one extra Mass” to pray for the 200 million Christians who face persecution for their faith and even risk of death, to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.
TWO ways to participate:
Go to a Mass you wouldn’t normally attend and offer it for all persecuted Christians or a country e.g. North Korea, Syria, Nigeria or one hour of Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament.We have Adoration here every day Monday to Saturday 4pm to 6pm.
If you are a visitor to our Parish perhaps you could encourage your fellow parishioners to get involved. For further information you can search for: #Go2Mass or #Go2Adoration.
O GOD, HEAR OUR PRAYERS and the Prayers of our Brothers and Sisters who, daily, suffer persecution and even death, for being Faithful Witnesses to the Truth. May their love for You and Your Blessed Mother sustain them. May we, who are so free to practise our Faith, be inspired by those who suffer persecution, to ever greater Love; may we never refuse God’s Invitations to follow Him and witness to others!
+27th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
7th October 2018
STATEMENT FROM THE BISHOPS OF ENGLAND AND WALES, ROME, SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER 2018
As we end our visit, ‘ad limina Apostolorum’, we offer these reflections on our days together in Rome.
On Friday 28 September, we were immensely privileged to share conversation with Pope Francis for over two hours. It was a most remarkable and intimate experience.
We asked the Holy Father for a message which we could bring back to our dioceses, to our priests and people. His message was simple: we are to live the gift of our faith with joy. Joy was his great emphasis. He explained that this joy is rooted firmly in our relationship with Jesus. It is a joy of knowing that he is with us; of knowing the presence of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives, drawing and guiding us towards the will of God; a joy of knowing our Heavenly Father is waiting for us, longing to hold us in his embrace of loving mercy. This is the joy of the faith by which we are to live. He added that this joy is the source of lasting peace in our hearts and lives, no matter our circumstances.
As we spoke with Pope Francis we realised, more and more, that he simply radiates this joy and peace. He is indeed gifted with a unique grace of the Holy Spirit of God.
Even in this time of turmoil, the Holy Father is so clearly rooted in God and blessed by God. His peace is secure. His life is serene. We know, because he showed us his heart. It is the heart of a loving father.
In our turn, we affirmed our deep communion with him and promised him our love, support and prayers. We expressed confidently these sentiments on behalf of all the faithful Catholics of England and Wales.
We spoke with the Holy Father about the difficulties of fulfilling our role as bishops. In turn he reflected on the importance of prayer and preaching in our lives, and of paternal closeness to our priests and people, with care and with firm justice. He spoke of the encouragement he wishes to give to priests today, who. can sometimes feel vulnerable in the face of difficult circumstances, in a critical environment. He spoke, movingly, of the wounds inflicted by abuse and neglect, wounds that wreak such harm in the lives of its victims and in the life of the Church. Wherever they are found, these are wounds in the Body of Christ and are painful to touch. He encouraged us, in our pastoral work, never to neglect even the tiny flames of faith that exist in so many communities and people.
We have been given a warm welcome in our visits to all the departments of the Roman Curia. We were asked to speak freely about our endeavours and problems. In the officials of the Holy See we have found a spirit of true cooperation. Everywhere we have been encouraged and given helpful advice. We have seen clear evidence that the life of the Catholic communities of England and Wales is generally well respected and even admired here in Rome. Our reports of the Eucharistic Congress ‘Adoremus’ have been well received, as has the strength of our compassionate outreach to those in need. Indeed, the leaders of our Diocesan charitable works were present in Rome at this same time, at the instigation of the Catholic Social Action Network (CSAN) and we were able to spent time and pray together. In encouraging this work of outreach, Pope Francis urged us always to walk with those engaged in its projects so as to draw them nearer to the Lord who is the source of compassion and mercy. We know so well that it is from our prayer, especially before the Blessed Sacrament, that the mission of each of the baptised truly springs.
In a number of our visits we have been accompanied by two bishops of the Church of England, Bishop Martin Warner and Bishop Christopher Foster. On one occasion we were joined by Sister Frances Orchard CJ of the Conference of Religious in England and Wales. We also visited the Pontifical Commission for Communication, whose Prefect, Dr Paolo Ruffini, is a layman. These are all ‘firsts,’ examples of openness and change.
Our ‘ad limina’ visit is now completed. We have celebrated Mass together in the four great Roman basilicas, at the tomb of St Peter and the tomb of St Paul. We have been embraced by the Successor of Peter, Pope Francis. Our pilgrimage has been richly blessed and we are glad to share this sense of the deep encouragement and powerful grace we have received.
Pope Francis commended us to our Blessed Lady, Mary our Mother, reflecting beautifully on her role as the ‘untier of knots’, a deep devotion in his own life. May she always be at our side.
We pray that God bless and strengthen our Holy Father, Pope Francis. May God guide us in all our ways that we may share the joy of our faith and the ways of peace.
+26th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
30th September 2018
STATEMENT FROM THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF
ENGLAND AND WALES 24th SEPTEMBER 2018
As we gather in Rome for our visit ‘ad Limina Apostolorum’, we have spent time together reflecting again on the impact of the recent reports containing stark revelations of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, including in England and Wales, and of evident failures of local leadership.
These reports make it clear that both bishops and religious leaders, in various places, failed to protect the children in their care from those who have done them great harm. In particular, the failures of bishops to listen or give credence to those who have courageously spoken out about the profound damage they have suffered through childhood abuse, together with the steps some have taken in order to cover up or minimise the abuse that became known, are a great betrayal of the trust placed in them by the faithful and of the responsibilities that come with episcopal office.
Throughout our ‘ad Limina’ visit here in Rome, the impact and consequences of the shame and sorrow we feel will constantly be in our hearts and in our prayers, especially as we come to pray at the tomb of St Peter and at the tomb of St Paul, key moments in our visit. These themes will also be part of our conversation with Pope Francis, when we meet with him on Friday. Our visit, then, has a penitential heart, as in communion with bishops throughout the world, we seek forgiveness from the Lord and grace for our future ministry.
We have also reflected on the practical steps we must take. We do so in the light of all that has been achieved since the Report of Lord Nolan in 2001. We have endeavoured to build a culture of safeguarding within the Church’s parishes and religious communities in England and Wales, thereby providing a safe environment for all.
In every parish there is a Parish Safeguarding Representative. In every Diocese, there is a Safeguarding Coordinator and a Diocesan Safeguarding Commission, composed of experts in the main disciplines needed for effective safeguarding. It is these experts and independent Commissions that take the lead in handling every allegation of abuse, whether from the distant past or the present day. They do so in accordance with our nationally agreed protocols, to be followed in all cases, including the steps to be taken if allegations of abusive behaviour were to be made against a bishop. We have established a National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (the NCSC), with a strong majority membership of experts, independent of the authority structures of the Catholic Church. Much has been achieved. Much is to be learned.
These recent reports, shocking as they are, have caused us to reflect again on our own leadership and on the responsibilities we hold in England and Wales for ensuring that safeguarding is embedded in every aspect of the life of the Church.
Today we have decided to ask the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission to commission an entirely independent and comprehensive review of the safeguarding structures that currently operate within the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Importantly, we will seek to ensure that the voices of the victims and survivors of abuse, through the Survivors Advisory Panel established by the NCSC, fully inform the review and its recommendations.
In calling for this review, we are taking an important step towards meeting the Holy Father’s recent injunction in his ‘Letter to the People of God’ in respect of sexual abuse: “no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening” (20 August 2018).
Each bishop has decided that he will take steps to set aside time for the purpose of meeting with victims and survivors of clerical abuse who live in his diocese. This will be done in cooperation with the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator, to assist the bishop in responding in the best possible way to those who speak to him, in his pastoral role as their bishop, of their pain, hurt and anger.
May God guide us during this week and in this work, that the voice of Christ, crying out in those who have suffered, may be heard with compassion and discernment.
+25th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
23rd September 2018
OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM
Tomorrow Monday 24th September is the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham.
The Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, in North Norfolk, was established in 1061 when, according to the text of the Pynson Ballad (c 1485), Richeldis de Faverches prayed that she might undertake some special work in honour of Our Lady. In answer to her prayer, the Virgin Mary led her in spirit to Nazareth, showed her the house where the Annunciation occurred, and asked her to build a replica in Walsingham to serve as a perpetual memorial of the Annunciation.
This Holy House was built and a religious community took charge of the foundation. Although we have very little historical material from this period, we know that with papal approval the Augustinian Canons buiit a Priory (c 1150). Walsingham became one of the greatest Shrinesin Medieval Christendom.
In 1538, the Reformation caused the Priory property to be handed over to the King’s Commissioners and the famous statue of Our Lady of Walsingham was taken to London and burnt. Nothing remains to-day of the original shrine, but its site is marked on the lawn in “The Abbey Grounds” in the village.
After the destruction of the Shrine, Walsingham ceased to be a place of pilgrimage. Devotion was necessarily in secret until after Catholic Emancipation (1829) when public expressions of faith were allowed .In 1896 Charlotte Pearson Boyd purchased the 14th century Slipper Chapel, the last of the wayside chapels en-route to Walsingham, and restored it for Catholic use.
In 1897 by rescript of Pope Leo XIII, the sanctuary of Our Lady of Walsingham was restored with the building of a Holy House as the Lady Chapel of the Catholic Church of the Annunciation, King’s Lynn. The Guild of Our Lady of Ransom brought the first public pilgrimage to Walsingham on 20th August 1897. Visits to the Slipper Chapel became more frequent, and as the years passed devotion and the number of pilgrimages increased.
In the Middle Ages Walsingham was one of the four great shrines of Christendom with pilgrims coming from all parts of the known world. There were wayside chapels along the pilgrim route and the Slipper Chapel was the last and most important of these. Pilgrims stopped here to go to Mass and to confess their sins before walking the last mile to the Holy House in Walsingham. The name of the chapel may come from the fact that pilgrims removed their shoes to walk the last mile or it may come from the word “slype” meaning a way through or “something in between”, the slype or slip chapel standing as it did between the Holy land of Walsingham and the rest of England.
In 1538 the Shrine and Priory were destroyed and the Slipper Chapel, although not damaged, passed into disuse. It was used successively as a poor house, a forge, a barn and even a cow byre. Stories of older residents suggest that even during this time of neglect occasional pilgrims would still come and pray there. In 1896 it was brought by Charlotte Boyd and restoration started the following year. For thirty years the Slipper Chapel remained restored but little used, as devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham was centred on Kings Lynn. On August 19th 1934, Bishop Youens of Nothampton celebrated the first public Mass in the Slipper Chapel for four hundred years, and two days later Cardinal Bourne led a national pilgrimage of more than 10,000 people to the Shrine. At this pilgimage, the Slipper Chapel was declared to be the National Shrine of Our Lady for Roman Catholics in England.
Walsingham National Shrine of Our Lady
THE PRAYER FOR ENGLAND
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and out most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England your “Dowry” and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in you. By you it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world; and He has given you to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us your children, whom you did receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother intetcede fot our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold, they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of your Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith, fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with you, in our heavenly home. Amen.
+24th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
16th September 2018
Our parish delegates to the NATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS AND PLGRIMAGE called (ADOREMUS) = let us adore in Liverpool last weekend are pleased to report on a successful and well attended event, which witnessed to the core beliefs of our Faith and reinforced our understanding of the Eucharist and the Mass through powerful presentations about the theology and practice of our worship. On Friday 7th September a series of presentations explored the Church’s unchanging understanding of the Real Presence of Christ in the Mass and the reserved Eucharist in the tabernacle, as well as the Eucharist as exposed for Adoration and Benediction in the monstrance. On a practical level, the work of Extraordinary Ministers and Catechists was addressed, as well as historic and contemporary understanding of the Real Presence both in history and among our current contemporaries from other Christian denominations, with many of whom we now appear to have much common ground, despite restrictions on full inter-communion. On Saturday 8th September powerful presentations by Bishop Robert Barron (Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles and a noted international evangelist) reinforced our understanding of the essence of the various parts of the Mass and the firm link with Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction, which give opportunities for direct prayerful conversation with Jesus and acknowledgment of his eternal saving sacrifice for us. Other presentations ranged from an insight into the dreadful suffering and heroic faith of our fellow Catholics under persecution in less fortunate parts of the world to inspiring descriptions by our younger generations of their faith journeys and a clever dramatisation of the challenges of getting the faith across to the younger generations, including a surprisingly effective finale by a ballerina dressed in white and gold which managed to avoid the worst pitfalls of liturgical dance. Sales and information stalls representing a variety of Catholic organisations and publications were available to visit on both days and the final event on Saturday was a period of Adoration in the Arena followed by Benediction, which worked surprisingly well considering the venue was intended for sports and entertainment. The sound systems generally worked well, too.
On Sunday 9th September, Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP, our host in the Cathedral of Christ the King, led us in the Mass followed by the Procession around the nearest streets ending with Benediction at the top of the dramatic steps leading up to the Cathedral. On a sombre note, none of the speakers avoided the problem of recent safeguarding issues in the Church and our need for a penitential approach arising from the complacency and negligence which allowed injustice and suffering to result, but there was also no note of despair and a determination that after necessary cleansing, the Word must still be proclaimed. Appropriately, the procession started with a very heavy cold downpour from the heavens, but all ended well, despite the challenge of handling the large numbers involved. We will share more of the fruits of the Congress in coming weeks, but in the meantime many of the useful materials are available from www.catholicnews.org.uk/adoremus2018
Parish Delegates: Sr. M. Lucina, Martina Cullen, Sandra Ferdenzi, Pavel & Jean Novak
+23rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
9th September 2018
Thought for the Week
I offer you a few thoughts from our Father Founder, Antonio Rosmini
Antonio Rosmini’s little book the “Maxims of Spiritual Perfection” (1830) is his greatest spiritual work. Pope Saint John XXIII used this and kept a copy of this by his bedside. He also referred to it in his “Journey of a Soul”.
We might have the idea that the saying of Jesus: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect,” is only meant for those who want to become great saints. Antonio Rosmini however wrote in his introduction to the Maxims, that all Christians, whatever their state in life are called to ‘perfection’, which means called to holiness of life. In everyday living, this means setting one’s heart on loving God and the people we come across, with all our being.
In the FOURTH of Rosmini’s six MAXIMS Rosmini speaks about the wisdom of “Abandonment to Divine Providence” which is simply leaving ourselves in God’s hands. If we can put ourselves completely into the care of God’s providence, then we discover peace of mind and heart. Rosmini develops his thought on these words of Jesus:
“Do not be anxious what you shall eat. Think of the birds: they neither sow nor reap, yet God feeds them and how much more you!” (Lk. 12:22-24).
“Think of the flowers; they never have to spin or weave … Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field … how much more will He look after you”. Jesus says in another place, “Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you”.
These words teach us that God, who is love, cares for his creation: he cares for us. His hands fashioned us and his loving care sustains us every moment. We trust in God who treasures each one of us just as we are.
These words also teach us to ask our Heavenly Father for all things with great simplicity and confidence and to talk to Him about the wishes of our hearts. It implies ‘living justly, loving tenderly, and walking humbly with our God’.
Sr. M. Lucina
+22nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
2nd September 2018
NATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS
7-9 September in Liverpool
Our Bishops have convoked this gathering so that all of us might grow in Knowledge and love of the Mass, and of Our Lord’s abiding presence among us in the Blessed Sacrament. Pope Francis writes
“Moreover, I want to encourage everyone to visit — if possible, everyday — especially amid life’s difficulties, the Blessed Sacrament of the infinite love of Christ and His mercy, preserved in our churches, and often abandoned, to speak filially with Him, to listen to Him in silence and to peacefully entrust yourself to Him”
Our Archbishop, Cardinal Vincent, wrote in his Pastoral letter for Corpus Christi:
In prayer before the Blessed Sacrament we slowly discover that there we find a home for every heart. For this reason we pray with suppliant hearts, full of love and heartfelt praise. We come into the presence of our Blessed Lord with our anxieties and troubles. But there all restless yearnings cease and sorrows all depart. There, in the peace of his presence, we can speak freely, telling our tale of sorrow and distress, whispering as it were into his ear. This is a Sacrament of shelter and a shoreline of safety.
In my experience, it takes time spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the Body and Blood of the Lord there in front of our eyes, before we realise that in its far depths our Godhead’s majesty is softly shining. This is indeed the true light of the world, the world’s true Jubilee. And seeing this with the eyes of faith, and sensing it in our open, loving hearts, we pray most fervently that this sweet light may always shine upon us so that we never lose our sense of direction, our instinct for our heavenly home.
Pray in these days that the Congress may bear much fruit among us. Please pray for the fine delegates going from our parish who, on their return, will share with us much of the input.
As we go about, let us say or sing often (at least sotto voce)
“O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine”
Fr David Barnes,
EUCHARISTIC PLIGRMAGE AND CONGRESS 2018
Jesus, You are truly present in the most Holy Eucharist.
Help me feel Your presence every time I visit you.
Give me strength when I receive You
in Holy Communion. And, receiving Your love,
Help me take that love to other.
I ask this in Your name.
29th July – 2nd September 2018
The end of the school term signals the Summer holiday season ahead. Our English word comes from “holy days”, which makes clear the nature and purpose of a holiday – a re-orientation of our life to God, and to growing. in wholeness / holiness. This is the way to a happy and restorative holiday.
Central to our holiday should be:
Mass: make sure you find out the location of the nearest Catholic church.
A good spiritual book
A good self examination and a good confession.
AUGUST in the parish: please remember there is NO LUNCHTIME Mass during August nor will there be a weekly bulletin.
ADORATION of the Blessed Sacrament will be Monday – Saturday 4.00pm to 6.00pm.
This is the last bulletin until early September. I wish you all a good holiday and summer: remember to pray for each other, and especially our sick and housebound.
Fr David Barnes, Parish Priest
+16th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
22nd July 2018
About the World Meeting of Families
The land from which so many missionaries set forth to bring the light of Christianity to every corner of the world now wants to gather those families and individuals whose lives have been touched by the faith of these missionaries. Ireland has been chosen to host the next World Meeting of Families in 2018 and calls people from all over the world to come and join us in this amazing event. Started by Saint John Paul II, and held every three years, this major world event celebrates family as the cornerstone of our lives, and the fundamental building block of society and the Church.
“The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World” is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the 9th World Meeting of Families.
Families and others from all over the world will gather in Dublin from August 21 – 26, 2018 to celebrate their lives together, to share their experiences from different parts of the world, to reflect on the different challenges they face and to grow together in faith.
“The World Meeting of Families in Dublin will be a festival of witness to the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ. The vocation of Christian couples, supported by the Sacrament of Marriage, is a call to witness to that love and to experience the joy of bringing the love of Jesus to those who are troubled and challenged” – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.
+15th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
15th July 2018
A MATTER OF URGENCY
“Take nothing for the journey” Jesus tells the Apostles in today’s (Sunday) Gospel: they were to spread the Good News as a matter of urgency, relying on the providence of God and the goodwill of others.
In our own time, we need to re-capture that spirit of urgency in spreading the Gospel. Simply inviting someone to come to Mass with us is a good way of doing this.
To spread the Gospel, we need an ever deeper commitment to our dear Lord and to become more faithful followers. Devotion to the Precious Blood, to which this month of July is dedicated, will help us understand how love is made known in sacrifice, and how He shed His Blood out of love for us. It would be wonderful if we could all say very regularly the ANIMA CHRISTI, (Soul of Christ), especially after receiving Holy Communion.
Soul of Christ, sanctify, me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
‘Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from thee.
From the malicious enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me.
And bid me to come to thee.
That with thy saints I may praise thee,
For all eternity. Amen.
Fr David Barnes, Parish Priest
+14th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
8th July 2018
We see from today’s Gospel “Jesus is unwelcome”. Hopefully our familiarity with this Gospel passage doesn’t make it any less shocking than it is. Jesus own town shuns him, despises him. Every day our news contains stories of people who are shunned and more often, just plain ignored. Their situation is too complicated to understand and we are too busy with our lives. This is sad. Loneliness is becoming a hallmark of our times.
And yet as followers of Jesus, we are called and empowered by Him to accept those who are otherwise side-lined. Welcoming those in need, we welcome Jesus himself. On Sea Sunday in our prayer and support we remember the thousands of seafarers who call at our ports, strangers in our midst. We also remember the work of the Apostleship of the Sea, which on behalf of the Catholic community welcome and support them.
Let us remember that most of the goods we buy in the shops are brought to us by sea. The sailors life can we very lonely, the ships they sail in are really basic and not very comfortable. The seafarers are away from their families for months and connecting with their families is almost impossible.
Dear Lord, we pray for all those working on the seas, we remember the lonely in our midst and ask you Lord to lay your hands gently upon us all.
Taken from the Apostleship of the Sea Magazine
Sr. M. Lucina. Parish sister
+13th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
1st July 2018
PETER’S PENCE and the MISSION OF THE CHURCH
TODAY, SUNDAY, we have the annual collection for “Peter’s Pence”. This collection started here in England at the end of the 8th century, when the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity. They wanted to help the Bishop of Rome, as successor of St Peter, in his universal ministry. The money collected is for the Pope to give to those suffering from natural disasters, such as famine or flooding, or those in great need, such as those suffering the consequences of war. The Pope gives money in the name of the whole Church. This annual collection expresses well our love for the Successor of Peter in his universal ministry.
Please do give generously, and do pray for Pope Francis.
TODAY we also welcome Fr Tony Chantry from Mill Hill Missionaries. Fr Tony heads up MISSIO, which is the Catholic Church’s official charity for overseas mission. MISSIO concentrates on helping the Church where she is very poor and where the Church is new and young. Fr Tony will invite us all to sign up to a “Red Box”, so that during the year we can collect to help the missionary outreach of the Church.
Please do sign up for a Red Box!
May the love and prayers of Ss Peter and Paul sustain the Church, increase our love for the Church as the “Mystical Body of Christ as also our love for the Pope, and our love for the mission of the Church. For more information visit: http://www.peterspence.va/ and https://www.missio.org.uk/redboxapp
Fr David Barnes
Prayer for Pope Francis
look kindly on your servant Pope Francis;
You chose him to shepherd Your flock.
Guide and protect him in his daily work;
inspire him in Your ways to embrace Church unity.
assist Pope Francis in his constant effort,
to enlighten andYour Church and its people.
Open the eyes of non-believers so that together,
peace andwill prevail throughout our world.
may the splendour of your Son’s,
continue to illuminate all our lives.
May our thoughts, words and actions,
bear daily witness to the new life You gave us.
hear our prayer and the prayers of Pope Francis.
May they be a worthy addition to the chorus of song
among the angels and saints as we seek your help and grace.
We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, the true and everlasting Light.
+THE NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
24th June 2018
Pastoral Letter on the Priesthood
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,
On the left-hand side of Westminster Cathedral, in the second side Chapel, lie the mortal remains of St John Southworth. In preparation for his Feast Day on 27 June, they move into the middle of the main aisle.
St John Southworth has a very special place in our history and in our hearts. A Lancashire man, he had been ordained a priest in 1619 at the English College in Douai, in northern France, at a time when it was impossible to prepare men for the Catholic priesthood in this country. This year, Douai College is celebrating its 450th anniversary. We are all included in this celebration, for the College is a crucial part of Catholic survival and heritage, succeeded first by St Edmund’s College in Ware, Hertfordshire, and then by Allen Hall, our own Diocesan seminary.
To be a Catholic priest in England in those days was considered to be an act of treason and punished by the cruel death of hanging, drawing and quartering. This is how St John Southworth died on 28 June 1654 at Tyburn, near Marble Arch in central London.
By then he was no stranger to central London. His priestly ministry started in Lancashire. But after his first arrest, he was moved to a gaol in London. In 1630, he was spared execution and deported to France. He returned, determined in his mission, to minister in the streets of central London, around Westminster, to those impoverished and sick because of the plague. In 1637, he was again imprisoned. Again, he avoided trial and for 14 years continued his clandestine ministry in our streets, in and out of prison.
Finally, in 1654, he was arrested and brought to trial. He refused to deny that he was a priest. The magistrate, sick of so many executions, reluctantly sent him to his death on the gallows.
St John Southworth is a key patron saint of the priests of this Diocese. He is an inspiration and an intercessor for us. We bring his body into the central aisle of the Cathedral not only for his Feast Day but so that he is there among the candidates for the priesthood on the day of their ordination. Next Saturday, in the Cathedral, six men will be ordained priests for service in our parishes. During the singing of the Litany of the Saints, they will prostrate themselves, face down on the floor. In their midst will be the prostrate body of the Martyr. But he lies face up, reflecting the glory of God shining in him as he now enjoys the fullness of God’s grace in heaven. He is indeed our special patron.
Today I ask you to pray for all our priests. Pray particularly for the six new priests and the priest(s) serving in your parish. Our lives may not be as dramatic nor as full of public conflict as the life of St John Southworth. Yet we priests strive to express in our daily ministry exactly the same dedication to the mission of Jesus Our Lord as he did. Like him, we depend on the support and love of faithful people. For St John Southworth that was literally a matter of life and death. While that deadly drama has ended, over the centuries a marvellous tradition has remained of genuine love for priests and a readiness to support them, through thick and thin. I ask you, today, to continue that tradition and share it with your families.
Of course, we priests and bishops are sinners. There is no hiding our mistakes and faults. Indeed, we have learned painfully, that trying to hide major failures, especially in relation to the most vulnerable, seriously compounds the failures and betrayals that so damages our shared mission. Today I express my sorrow at our failings and I ask for your patience, forbearance and, indeed, forgiveness. In the Church, we are bound together in Christ Jesus. He is full of mercy. We can only strive to show that mercy to each other, always and everywhere.
In the months ahead, remembering Douai College and so many martyr priests, we will be striving to renew our priestly mission and purpose. As priests, we will try to encourage each other more steadfastly. This time of renewal will come to a key moment next year, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a day set aside by Pope Francis for prayer and renewal for all priests throughout the world.
On that day, 28 June 2019, all Diocesan priests in England and Wales will be invited to come to Westminster Cathedral to celebrate together a Mass of thanksgiving and renewal. On that day too, we will gather around the precious body of St John Southworth, knowing that he will intercede for us. I hope and trust that you will do so too.
At Mass today we heard these words: ‘The Lord called me before I was born, from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name’ (Isaiah 49:1). Today they are applied to St John the Baptist. Yet they are words of truth for everyone who hears them, for each of us has a God-given purpose in our lives. Pray, then, for each other, that you may all have that same sense of purpose and dedication in your life. Then you will pray with joy, as I do, the words of today’s Psalm: ‘I thank you, Lord, for the wonder of my being’ (Psalm 138).
Yes, Lord, I thank you every day. Amen.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster
+11th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
17th June 2018
DAY FOR LIFE 2018: HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Human trafficking has been described by Pope Francis as ‘an open wound on the body of humanity’. Since we are all part of that humanity, human trafficking defaces us all.
He goes on to say that it is ‘a wound in the Body of Christ’ in which we share. Our faith teaches us to see, the face of Jesus in those who are most vulnerable and needy. These are the reasons why today, on this Day for Life, we focus on the eradication of human trafficking.
What exactly is human trafficking? Here is a description: Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of individuals for the purpose of exploitation, through the use of violence, force, fraud, coercion, or deception, or through the abuse of power, position or trust. People may be trafficked for any number of exploitative activities, such as domestic servitude, prostitution, forced begging or criminality, forced marriage, and forced organ removal.
This criminal activity is widespread and well organised in the world today. Estimates are that there are over 40 million victims, trafficked out of every country and trafficked into every country. This includes our own. English victims of trafficking include many youngsters caught up in gang crime in our cities. Victims of trafficking held in this country come from over 80 different homelands and are caught up in an invisible crime in our midst, on our streets, in businesses and shops.
As a Church we have a great part to play. Our contacts are widespread, not least among the ethnic communities with their chaplains. ‘We can all learn to recognise the signs of a victim; we can be important ‘eyes and ears’.
One of our responses to this tragedy, here in the Diocese, is Bakhita House, a house of welcome and healing for these victims. It is supported by Caritas Westminster, by many religious congregations and by many generous donors. In the past three years it has welcomed and assisted over 80 guests, all women rescued from modern slavery. There are also five babies in this great extended family!
These are some of the words written by one guest:
When we didn’t have any hope and reason to live we came to this house and here we got our new family….We aren’t born in the same families but my friends, who are living in this house, we have the same pain in our hearts and souls but with your help every member of Bakhita House are doing the best to relieve our pains. ‘Only thing we can do for you is to pray for you in our languages and by our religions, to ask God for your strength, health and patience to have a long life. God bless you for all the kind works you have done!’ Please do learn more about modern slavery. Please do support this work in whatever way you can. Please do pray for its victims, held without any apparent hope, exploited every moment of the day, clinging on to life. Please do pray for all those who work hard to bring this criminal activity to an end.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster
For more info & to donate online please visit:
+10th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
10th June 2018
June: Month of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart: First Fridays
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is of great antiquity in the Church. It was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, however, who made this devotion widespread. In 1690, within the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi , our Lord appeared to her and said: “Behold this Heart which, notwithstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the Sacrament of my love. But what pierces my Heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service.”
However, to those who show Him love and who make reparation for sins, Our Lord made a great promise: “I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my Heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who take communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavour, or without having received the Sacraments, since my divine Heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life.”
This great promise of the Sacred Heart is most consoling. He promises us the grace of final perseverance and the joy of having His Heart as our sure refuge and infinite ocean of mercy in our last hour.
To gain this grace we should:
Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays without any break;
Have the intention of honouring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of reaching finial perseverance;
Offer each Holy Communion as an act of atonement for offences against the Blessed Sacrament.
3rd June 2018
TODAY we celebrate the wondrous love of Our Lord for us — how He gives Himself completely to us in Holy Communion, and how He is with us always in the Sacred Host in all the tabernacles throughout the world.
MASS is the means to bring us this presence. The priest takes bread and wine, and through the Holy Spirit our gifts are transformed to become really, truly and substantially the Body and Blood of Christ, so that Our Lord is present as perfect God and Perfect Man, body, soul and divinity. This transformation we call transubstantiation.
ADORATION is therefore the appropriate response to this gift, so on this weekend’s celebration we should resolve again to make a good preparation for receiving Holy Communion followed by thanksgiving.
Visit Our Lord regularly in the tabernacle (“making a visit” is an important part of Catholic spirituality, and builds up our bond with Our Lord).
Show ever greater respect when we come into church, “the House of the Lord”, by genuflecting to the tabernacle and knelling to adore and pray. Keeping silence in church is not only a way to respect Our Lord, but also one another.
“O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine”.
Fr. David Barnes
+THE MOST HOLY TRINITY SUNDAY
27th May 2018
THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
GOD has been revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit — three persons, but one God. We could never know this by use of reason: we know it because Our Lord Jesus has revealed it.
GOD’s love is made known to us as a dynamic interaction of loving between the Three Persons of the Trinity. God is loving — the active relationship of loving between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
GOD’s love for us is made known in the Incarnation — the enfleshment of God — when “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” That love is revealed through the mystery of the Cross. God’s love for us is confirmed in every Mass through receiving Holy Communion. As Pope Francis tells us: “Christ has shown us the face of God, one in substance and triune of Persons. God is all and only Love, in a subsisting relationship that creates, redeems and sanctifies all: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God’s love for us is made known in the fact that God wants to be known by us — to live in relationship with us. We can do so with confidence because in our baptism God made us His adopted sons and daughters with the great privilege of relating to God as a most beloved son or daughter. We always have access to God on this personal level. So relate to God everyday, ever faithful.
Fr. David Barnes
20th May 2018
COME HOLY SPIRIT
TODAY we celebrate PENTECOST, the coming of the Holy Spirit, Third person of the Blessed Truth. The disciples had been hiding away, afraid and insecure: but then came the Holy Spirit, promised by Our Lord, and they became bold, outward-looking and no longer afraid to proclaim openly that the Lord is truly risen.
This transformation, which is the work of the Holy Spirit, we seek in our own day. Pentecost is often called the Birthday of the Church, because the Church was enabled to carry out what the Lord commissioned her to do. Let us all be very devoted to the Holy Spirit.
TODAY also marks the First Holy Communion of 23 of our children. Pray that they will be faithful to this weekly encounter with our Risen Lord in the Mass and pray that their families bringing will always support them by bringing them to Mass every Sunday.
OUR ANNUAL CORPUS CHRISTI procession follows the 10am Mass, and gives us the opportunity not only to reverence the Blessed Sacrament but also to pray for our children and ourselves that we may be able to follow Our Lord faithfully, and to witness to Him whatever we are.
LEARN: the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit – Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord.
The 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit – Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-Control and Chastity.
Fr David Barnes
+SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
13th May 2018
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
I am delighted to tell you all that Mr Adam Balkwill is our new Director of Music. Adam writes:
“I feel honoured to have been appointed as the new Director of Music at St. Anselm and St. Caecilia, and very much look forward to building on the superb legacy left by Ian Coleman. Prior to my appointment here, I was the Director of Music at St. Augustine’s, High Wycombe, under the late Monsignor Paul Donovan and Father Jonathan Hill. After studying Music at Robinson College in Cambridge, and subsequently Piano Accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music, I built a career as a freelance conductor, accompanist and private piano teacher. Many of my most treasured musical experiences have taken place within a Catholic setting, and I am looking forward to working with both the Schola Caeciliana and Schola Anselmi immensely. I very much look forward to meeting you over the coming weeks.
With good wishes.”
Adam Balkwill. Director of Music.
We wish Adam every blessing in his new role. I want to thank in a particular way the Senior Choristers who maintained such a high standard of music at the 10am Mass on Sundays, as also Celia Gardiner and her colleagues who have continued the excellent music at the 12 noon Mass — we are truly blessed to have them all.
Fr David Barnes,
+SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
8th May 2018
(Holy Day of Obligation, Thursday 10th May)
FORTY DAYS after the resurrection, Our Lord is taken from sight of the infant Church: just as He came down from heaven in the Incarnation, so He returns now to His Father in heaven, celebrated as the Ascension.
He had completed everything the Father had given Him to do, climaxing in the Paschal Mystery, and now his joy was to return to the Father. It is this joy He wants us to share. The more we enter into His joy, the more we understand that our way to true happiness is to carry out what God is asking of us and so come to a deeper union with God. The Ascension also reminds us to develop a more “supernatural perspective” on daily life that we see our key objective is to find union with God through communion with Christ, which is the first and greatest commandment.
Our FIRST HOLY COMMUNION children are today (Sunday) making their First Confession, and the First Holy Communion Mass is on Saturday 19th May at 12noon Please pray for them, and for their families.
Six of our teenagers are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation which they receive on Saturday 26th May at 2pm in Westminster Cathedral. Please pray for them and their families.
MAY is MARY’S MONTH, a time to deepen our devotion to her. Be faithful to the daily Angelus and the Rosary.
Fr David Barnes
+FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
29th April 2018
Come Holy Spirit
Before Fr David went away he asked me, ”how do you see the Holy Spirit in your life? This was in preparation for instruction with the young people of the parish preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. My immediate thought was that through the Sacrament of Baptism, when I became a member of God’s Family, that is just the beginning. Christian initiation is completed with the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The Bible gives us many references about the Holy Spirit: In Matthew 41:11
The Spirit sent Jesus out into the dessert, where He was tempted by the devil we read how it is the devil who gets exhausted and leaves Jesus alone to pray to His heavenly Father the Holy Spirit is stronger than the devil. Jesus is truly man, but He is also truly God.
After the Resurrection Jesus left us with that wonderful promise. “I will be with you always even to the end of time”.
Wherever the Holy Spirit is, there is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. My prayer is that each one of us will be open to the Holy Spirit and that the gifts and fruits he has given to each one of us will flourish and grow.
Sister M. Lucina
+FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
22nd April 2018
Good Shepherd Sunday – Priest Training Fund
This weekend marks Good Shepherd Sunday, the day we pray for priests and for vocations to the priesthood. This weekend our second collection will be in support of the Priest Training Fund, which benefits the parishes and the Diocese of Westminster by providing us new priests striving to follow Christ the Good Shepherd, in the service of God’s people. The formation of our priests is of top priority – it is our future.
The Priest Training Fund pays for the training and education of seminarians at our seminary, Allen Hall. We currently have 45 men in formation at Allen Hall, including 28 for our own Diocese. In 2017 we also celebrated the ordination of eight men to the priesthood, to serve as our future priests, and we look forward to additional priests being ordained this June.
It costs on average £25,000 per man, per year of formation – that is about £150,000 to form and educate a new priest, who makes a lifetime commitment to Christ and the Church.
The Priest Training Fund also pays for the ongoing education and formation of our priests post-ordination. Priests are the heart of the Catholic Church. So I ask you to please be generous in your support of this appeal and to continue to pray for vocations and our seminarians.
Donation leaflets are available today you can use this envelope to make a one-off donation or to set up a regular donation to the Priest Training Fund. If you can Gift Aid, please don’t forget to tick it off.
On behalf of all the clergy of the Diocese,
+THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
15th April 2018
Priest Training Fund
Next weekend is Good Shepherd Sunday, the day we pray for priests and for vocations to the priesthood. The annual collection for the Priest Training Fund will also take place next weekend. This fund pays for the priestly formation of men for the Catholic priesthood. There are currently 45 men studying at Allen Hall seminary, 28 of whom are for our own Diocese, and last year eight men ordained to the priesthood to serve as our future priests. The fund also supports the ongoing enrichment and formation of our ordained priests.
Your generous donation helps ensure we can support these men who are called to be like Christ the Good Shepherd. Donation leaflets are available in the back of the church. Please take one home, read the information, and bring it back next weekend with your donation.
Please continue to pray for vocations and for our priests. You can donate online anytime at www.rcdow.org.uk/donations
+SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
8th April 2018
Background of the Divine Mercy Devotion
From the diary of a young Polish nun, a special devotion began spreading throughout the world in the 1930s. The message is nothing new, but is a reminder of what the Church has always taught through scripture and tradition: that God is merciful and forgiving and that we, too, must show mercy and forgiveness. But in the Divine Mercy devotion, the message takes on a powerful new focus, calling people to a deeper understanding that God’s love is unlimited and available to everyone — especially the greatest sinners.
The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.
The message of mercy is that God loves us — all of us — no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. It is a message we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC.
A— Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.
B— Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.
C— Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.
POPE FRANCIS AND SAINT THOMAS MORE: In a new book called “God is Young”. Pope Francis also speaks of the importance of humour. “If one doesn’t have a sense of humour, it’s very difficult to be happy; it’s necessary not to take oneself too seriously… A sense of humour is fundamental to be able to breathe, because it’s linked to the capacity to enjoy life, to be enthusiastic. “Quoting GK Chesterton he said: “Life is too important to be taken seriously. “The Holy Father confides that every day, for almost 40 years, he has recited the ‘Prayer for Good Humour’ by Saint Thomas More. The book concludes with this prayer:
Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest.
Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humour to maintain it.
Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good
and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil,
but rather finds the means to put things back in their place.
Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments,
nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.”
Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humour.
Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy,to be able to share it with others.
1st April 2018
Rejoice, heavenly powers!
Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
May God fill you all with Easter joy!
25th March 2018
Holy Week & Easter
Holy Week is the most important week in the Christian year. Pope Francis says “Holy Week” is a privileged time when we are called to draw near to Jesus: friendship with Him is shown in times of difficulty”. The best way to draw near to Our Lord is to participate as much as possible the liturgies of the Church.
PALM SUNDAY — the commemoration of Our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem when he was greeted with praise and thanksgiving, the waving and strewing of palms. We too carry palms, then take them home to put with our household crucifix.
THE SACRED TRIDUUM — the 3 Holy Days of the Paschal Mystery
HOLY THURSDAY —The MASS of THE LORD’S SUPPER at 6:00pm commemorates the institution of the Eucharist, the total gift of Himself to us as the Bread of Life. Afterwards, Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. After this mass the consecrated hosts are taken to the “altar of repose”. All are invited to spend some time with Him, learning to be with Him in His suffering. The church is stripped of its candles and linens, all holy water is removed and the sacraments are not celebrated until Easter. It is a time of mourning, but always lived in light of the Resurrection.
GOOD FRIDAY — A day of fasting and abstinence. Fasting applies to those 18-60: no meat (abstinence) and only one simple meal and two small ones, and no food in between. Do all you can to be at THE LITURGY OF THE LORD’S PASSION AND DEATH at 3:00pm, the hour at which Christ died on the Cross.
HOLY SATURDAY — the Church waits in the Lord’s tomb, reflecting on his Passion and Death, waiting with faith, prayer and fasting the glorious Resurrection. Mary is waiting with us. We gather at 8:00pm to celebrate the Vigil Mass of the Resurrection, to celebrate in readings and song how God prepared His People for the Resurrection and conclude with the First Mass of Easter
Fr David Barnes P.P.
8 Quotes For Holy Week
With the celebration of Palm Sunday, we enter Holy Week.
Hopefully, this will be a time of peace, reflection, penance and prayer for all Christians. Here are 7 quotes for you to ponder as we prepare for the Passion of Christ.
1. We give glory to You, Lord, who raised up Your cross to span the jaws of death like a bridge by which souls might pass from the region of the dead to the land of the living. We give glory to You who put on the body of a single mortal man and made it the source of life for every other mortal man. – St. Ephrem of Edessa
2. Ultimately, in the battle against lies and violence, truth and love have no other weapon than the witness of suffering. – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
3. Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you – for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart. – St. Thérèse of Lisieux
4. Be assured of God’s love for you. Seek by his grace to heal the damage of sin. Seek communion with him and with those who make up his Church and those who are not yet within. His love for all of us is unconditional. His joy is infinite. His mercy overflows. – Deacon Michael Bickerstaff
5. “We adore you and we bless you, Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all the churches which are in the whole world, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.” – Stations of the Cross
6. Through the stark and solemn Liturgy of the Friday we call “Good”, we stand at the Altar of the Cross where heaven is re-joined to earth and earth to heaven, along with the Mother of the Lord. We enter into the moment that forever changed – and still changes – all human History, the great self gift of the Son of God who did for us what we could never do for ourselves by in the words of the ancient Exultet, “trampling on death by death”. We wait at the tomb and witness the Glory of the Resurrection and the beginning of the New Creation. – Deacon Keith Fournier
7. The Cross is the word through which God has responded to evil in the world. Sometimes it may seem as though God does not react to evil, as if he is silent. And yet, God has spoken, he has replied, and his answer is the Cross of Christ: a word which is love, mercy, forgiveness. It is also reveals a judgment, namely that God, in judging us, loves us. Remember this: God, in judging us, loves us. If I embrace his love then I am saved, if I refuse it, then I am condemned, not by him, but my own self, because God never condemns, he only loves and saves. – Pope Francis
8 Quotes on the Resurrection
1. We are the Easter People and Alleluia is our song (Pope John Paul II)
2.”The Gospel of Easter is very clear: we need to go back there, to see Jesus risen, and to become witnesses of his Resurrection. This is not to go back in time; it is not a kind of nostalgia. It is returning to our first love, in order to receive the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people, to the very ends of the earth.” (Pope Francis,Easter Vigil Homily, 2014)
3. “Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus says that there is a future for every human being; the cry for unending life which is a part of the person is indeed answered.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Benedictus, 128)
4. The Cross had asked the questions; the Resurrection had answered them…The Cross had asked: “Why does God permit evil and sin to nail Justice to a tree?” The Resurrection answered: “That sin, having done its worst, might exhaust itself and this be overcome by Love that is stronger than either sin or death.” (Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Lent and Easter Wisdom, 110)
5. “If one does away with the fact of the Resurrection, one also does away with the Cross, for both stand and fall together, and one would then have to find a new center for the whole message of the gospel. What would come to occupy this center is at best a mild father-god who is not affected by the terrible injustice in the world, or man in his morality and hope who must take care of his own redemption.” (Hans Urs Von Balthasar, The Cross For Us)
6. “O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages.” (St. John Chrysostom, Easter Homily)
7. “In fact, everything that exists and moves in the Church – the sacraments, doctrine, institutions – draws it’s strength from Christ’s Resurrection.” (Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, Life in Christ, 67)
8. The Lord’s triumph, on the day of the Resurrection, is final. Where are the soldiers the rulers posted there? Where are the seals that were fixed to the stone of the tomb? Where are those who condemned the Master? Where are those who crucified Jesus? He is victorious, and faced with his victory those poor wretches have all taken flight. Be filled with hope: Jesus Christ is always victorious. (St. Josemarie Escriva, The Forge, 660)
+ + + + + + + + + + + + +
+5th SUNDAY OF LENT
18th March 2018
TODAY there is a sombre atmosphere: the statues are covered in purple veils to help us focus on our Lord’s suffering and death. It is a time not only to understand better what He went through, out of love for us, but also to understand better the place of suffering and death in our lives. Above all we can come to appreciate more that love and sacrifice are in extricabley bound up with one another. The Cross reveals God’s absolute love for us: the more we love and venerate the Cross, the more we shall understand God’s love.
Passiontide is not a time to be miserable. Last Sunday was “Laetare Sunday” when we celebrated rejoicing that our Lord’s Passion and Death led to the Resurrection. So we move through Passiontide knowing the end — that Our Lord has overcome the power of sin and death and is truly risen.
NEXT SUNDAY is PALM SUNDAY, the beginning of Holy Week. Please ensure you can participate as fully as possible in the Liturgies: the more we put in the more we get out.
Lent has been a time to give alms, and Cardinal Vincent has invited us to consider giving some or all of our Lenten alms to his Lenten Appeal. Next Sunday there will be a retiring collection for the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal.
Finally, let us pray for one another — it is a key way to love one another.
Fr David Barnes, Parish Priest
A Man of Silence
The silence of St. Joseph does not demonstrate an empty interior, but rather the fullness of faith that he carries in his heart and that guides each of his thoughts and actions; a silence through which Joseph, together with Mary, guard the Word of God, known through sacred Scripture, comparing it continually to the events of the life of Jesus; a silence interwoven with constant prayer, a prayer of blessing of the Lord, of adoration of his holy will and boundless confidence in his providence. It is not an exaggeration to say that Jesus will learn – on a human level – precisely from ‘father’ Joseph this intense interior life, which is the condition of authentic righteousness, the ‘interior righteousness,’ which one day he will teach to his disciples (cf.MT 5:20)
“Let’s allow ourselves to be ‘infected’ by the silence of St Joseph! It is so lacking in this world which is often too noisy, which is not favourable to recollection and listening to the voice of God. … Let us cultivate interior recollection so as to receive and keep Jesus in our lives.” Pope Benedict XVI, 18th December 2005
Prayer to St Joseph in difficult times
“Holy St. Joseph,
You were a man of great hope and faith. You faced many difficult times in your life, fleeing into Egypt, caring and fearing for Mary and Jesus. You lived like us today in uncertain times. Your strength came from knowing that the power and faithfulness of God would always be constant.
Fill us with the confidence that you had in the Lord, Our God.
Help us to know that God is so close to us that He will deliver us from the trials and troubles we are now encountering.
May the light of the Lord give us hope. May it guide us every day of our lives and, uniting our prayers with yours, may we be assured by the peace and joy of the Lord, that will strengthen us in all our difficulties.”
Holy St. Joseph, pray for us.
+4th SUNDAY OF LENT
11th March 2018
CARDINAL’S LENTEN APPEAL — 2018
This year our parish is supporting the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal through the Lenten Alms collections. Funds donated to the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal will support the work of Catholic parishes, schools and charities, working within the Diocese and contributing innovatively to the following three mission areas of the Church:
Marriage and Family Life – enriching and supporting marriages, the essential building block of society and the Church.
Youth and Evangelisation – supporting young people, the future of the Church, as they grow in their relationship with God and deepen their Catholic faith.
And the Church’s Social Outreach within Civil Society – putting our faith into action through projects that serve the poor, the lonely and the marginalised, especially at a time of greater division and inequality in society.
Two weekends ago, we distributed Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal donation leaflets. We have more to hand out today, and there are more available at the back of the church. As we are just about half way through Lent, please consider designating your Lenten sacrifice to the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal. Thank you for your generosity and sacrifice.
+3rd SUNDAY OF LENT
4th March 2018
THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE
TODAY’S GOSPEL tells of Our Lord driving out the money changers and those who sold birds and animals for sacrifice.
We are to learn that:
- the Temple sacrifices have come to an end because Jesus Himself is now God fully present among us, and His one perfect sacrifice on Calvary effects our reconciliation with God and one another.
- After the Resurrection the Church is His Mystical Body on earth – belonging to Jesus and His Church are two sides of the same coin.
- Our churches are to be places of prayer. Authentic worship and prayer are means to let God transform us and enable us live better each day.
- Jesus wants to cleanse us of our sin but this cannot happen until we enthrone Him, so that He reigns fully in our life. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is our most powerful weapon to effect this.
- The Ten Commandments teach us ten ways of loving, so they are an excellent way to help us examine our life and prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We should know the Ten Commandments by heart! Do we?
+2nd SUNDAY OF LENT
25th February 2018
ALMSGIVING is essential to keeping a good Lent.
A few weeks ago, you may have heard the Cardinal’s Pastoral Letter, in which he spoke of the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal in support of key areas of work in our Diocese. The Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal was set up in 2015 to fund the innovative work of Catholic parishes, schools and charities working within the Diocese, contributing to three fundamental mission areas of the Church: Marriage and Family Life – enriching and supporting marriages, the essential building block of society and the Church. Youth and Evangelisation – supporting young people, the future of the Church, as they grow in their relationship with God and deepen their Catholic faith. And the Church’s Social Outreach within Civil Society – putting our faith into action through projects that serve the poor, the lonely and the marginalised, especially at a time of greater division and inequality in society.
These mission areas embody how we live out the Gospel and put our Catholic values into action – in service to others through practical programmes. Please take a Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal donation leaflet as you leave Mass today. During Lent, and in the spirit of sacrifice, sharing and almsgiving, please consider designating your Lenten sacrifice to the Cardinal’s Appeal.
There are envelopes at the back of the church containing more in formation about the Cardinal’s Appeal: please take one and remember to complete the Gift Aid declaration if you are a UK tax payer.
Inspirational Quotes for The Lenten Season
1. “Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” — Pope Francis
2. “Are you capable of risking your life for someone? Do it for Christ.” — Pope St John Paul II
3. “As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…’Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.” — Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
4.“Prayer is where the action is.” — John Wesley
5. “The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.” — Pope St. Gregory the Great
6. “Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and in this way to know the fundamental truth: who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life…” – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
7. “Renounce yourself in order to follow Christ; discipline your body; do not pamper yourself, but love fasting.” — Saint Benedict
8. “Lent is like a long ‘retreat’ during which we can turn back into ourselves and listen to the voice of God, in order to defeat the temptations of the Evil One. It is a period of spiritual ‘combat’ which we must experience alongside Jesus, not with pride and presumption, but using the arms of faith: prayer, listening to the word of God and penance. In this way we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our Baptism.” — Pope Benedict XVI
+1st SUNDAY OF LENT
18th February 2018
LENT: 40 days and nights
In these days we seek to identify with Our Lord’s experience in the desert and so come to know and love Him better.
It was the Holy Spirit who led Him into the desert, and we shall only keep a good Lent in so far as we keep asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. Our Lord was tempted by the Devil, and, if we are intent on following Our Lord, so shall we be tempted — to give up, to make the things of this world (food, drink, possessions, status and money) the treasures of our heart. This is why we must emphasise the disciplines of Lent: PRAYER, FASTING and ALMSGIVING.
Practising these liberates us from our self-centredness and self-indulgence. We need always to ask the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the help of the angels, just as Our Lord experienced this in the desert. There is the wonderful prayer to St Michael the Archangel to keep us from the influence of the Devil and bad spirits.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
(written by Pope Leo XIII in 1884)
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle;
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke Him, we humbly pray,
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God, cast into Hell,
Satan and all the other evil spirits,
who wander through the world,
for the ruin of souls. Amen.
ACT OF CONTRITION
O Lord, forgive me my sins, the sins of my youth
The sins of my age, the sins of my soul,
The sins of my body, my idle sins,
My serious voluntary sins, the sins I know,
The sins I do not know:
The sins I have concealed so long,
And which are now hidden from, my memory.
I am truly sorry for every sin, mortal and venial,
For all the sins of my childhood up to the present hour.
I know my sins have wounded your tender heart.
O my Saviour, let me be freed from the bonds of evil
Through the most bitter passion of my Redeemer.
O my Jesus, forget and forgive what I have been.
+6th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
11th February 2018
LENT 2018 begins this Wednesday. It is a joyful season because we are choosing again to come back to the Lord with all our heart.
ASH WEDNESDAY reminds us of our mortality: “remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return”, so how are we using the relatively short life we have? Our aim is to move away from our self-centredness and self-indulgence toward the love of Christ and his way — that of love expressed in service and sacrifice.
PRAYER, FASTING and ALMSGIVING are the means we take on with renewed vigour.
PRAYER the raising up of mind and heart to God each day will keep us focused on our aim. — a deeper conversation to God and neighbour.
FASTING gives us greater control over bodily appetites, helps us live in greater solidarity with the hungry, and helps us grow in our capacity to hunger for the Bread of Life.
ALMSGIVING moves us to share what we have with others, especially those in greater need.
“DO WHATER HE TELLS YOU” said Our Lady to the servants about her Son at the first miracle in Cana: in doing what Jesus said, the water was transformed into wine! When we pray, fast and give alms out of love for the Lord we too are transformed. Have a good and joyful Lent!
ASH WEDNESDAY MASSES:
8:00am, 12:30pm, 1:15pm and 6:00pm
Fr David Barnes
Pope Francis’ WORDS:
Do You Want to Fast This Lent?
·Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
· Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
· Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
· Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
· Fast from worries and have trust in God.
· Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
· Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
· Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
· Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
· Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
· Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.
+5th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
4th February 2018
MASS TIMES AND INTENTIONS
HEALING features powerfully throughout Our Lord’s public ministry — healing of body, mind or spirit. Today’s Gospel gives examples of these healings.
His ministry of healing continues in the Church today. The Church has founded many hospitals, and has always emphasised love and care for the sick, and we should often pray for doctors and nurses: do we, for example, pray for our GP?
The Sacrament of the Sick is powerful means to let God’s healing power work within us.
If you are going into hospital, please do let me know — I cannot know unless I am told! If in hospital, you will need to ask the nursing staff that you want to see the Catholic chaplain: it will not happen unless you ask. If you cannot get to mass because of sickness or failing health, please do let me know — again, I cannot know unless someone tells me! Or if you know of someone who cannot get to mass or is now housebound, please let me know and I can visit them and bring them the sacraments.
We should often invoke the prayers of Our Lady for healing under title “Our Lady, health of the sick”.
Next Sunday, 11th February, is usually the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Washing with Lourdes water, when done with love and faith, is often a means of healing. This Saturday there is a Mass for healing at 2pm in the Cathedral.
God wants our healing: let us be open to it, and pray for it with faith — not only for ourselves but also for one another.
Fr David Barnes Parish Priest
+4th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
28th January 2018
RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY
TODAY Catholics are called to pray for those who experience unjust discrimination or marginalised because of their race and ethnicity. We think in particular of those who feel they do not belong within our society or our communities because of this discrimination.
As Catholics we are asked to treat all humans with dignity, regardless of their background or circumstance.
There are many stories of alienation throughout the Bible, with clear calls to “Love the stranger”. That the Church is a place where all belong is clearly seen in the recent Feast of the Epiphany, when Christ is revealed not only to the Israelites, but to all of God’s people.
All the money raised will go towards supporting the Church’s work on racial justice issues. The theme this year is “Belonging”, emphasising that we are called not only to ensure our parishes welcome newcomers, strangers, and those from different backgrounds, but also that all people will know they will find a welcome in our parishes.
Please help us continue this good work, by contributing to the collection on this day. Prayer cards and posters have been sent to parishes for this day, and can be accessed online at
http://catholicnews.org.uk/racial-justice-sunday-2018 where you can also donate.
+3rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
21st January 2018
The recent daily readings at Mass have been about Samuel, his call, his response which led me to think about my own call to serve the Lord. I cannot recall when I knew I wanted to be a sister simply because I cannot remember wanting anything else. We had teaching sisters in primary school but they never had the privilege/burden of teaching me. Being a vain child my mother tried all kinds of effort to make me change my mind about bring a sister when I did enter the convent my mum was the proudest mother in the world.
Having completed 63 years in religious life reminds me of my parents diamond wedding anniversary, I said to my father, that’s two prison life sentences, but like many parents they have been wonderful years.
In most families life is not always a bed of roses, but with God’s help we survive. We try to be like Samuel and say, “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will”. Fr John during the week gave us a good maxim to follow. When we wake up in the morning make our first words of the day be, “here I am Lord, I come to do your will.
The Lord is continually calling us each day and throughout the day. How many times have I not listened or ignored or refused to hear? The Good News is we can always turn to God, He will nevet desert us. In the words of John Henry Newman, “to live is to change, to change often is to become perfect, which is what the Lord asks of us.
Why did God make me? In the words of the Catechism, “God made me to know Him, love Him and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in the next.
Sister M. Lucina
+2nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
14th January 2018
The Bishops of England and Wales invite us to make today A Day of Prayer for World Peace, using the theme proposed bv Pope Francis: “Migrants and Refugees – Seekers of Peace”. Sadly, we are so used to images of those driven from their homelands by warfare or famine that we risk being desensitised both to their pain and to their aspirations. Yet these are our brothers and sisters: they seek what we all seek – food and shelter, a safe home and hope for the future. So at Mass today let us ask Christ for the grace to recognise Him in the refugee and the stranger and to remove the barriers in out hearts which make us view others as a threat and a danger, rather than as fellow seekers after peace.
A PRAYER OF POPE FRANCIS
We believe that Jesus was a refugee, had to flee to save his life, with Saint Joseph and Saint Mary, had to leave for Egypt. He was a refugee. Let us pray to Our Lady who knew the pain of refugees. Let us be close to these people, sharing their fears and their uncertainty for the future and alleviating their pain with concrete measures. Mary, mother of refugees , pray for us, asking that the
Lord sustain those people and institutions who work with generosity to assure a welcome to refugees, recognise their dignity, and give them reasons for hope.
7th January 2018
TODAY we celebrate the Epiphany. In the coming of the King’s/the Magi, we see that all real power and wisdom are found in the person of Jesus – He is the Power and the Wisdom of God personified.
The King’s/Magi fall on their knees and worship Him: we too must imitate them, falling on our knees and worshipping Him – only then are we better disposed to see who He really is.
The Feast of the Epiphany was the day I was ordained priest – now 42 years ago! On my ordination prayer card I put a prayer written by a saint who has influenced me greatly throughout my adult life: St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
I put the prayer here again, and encourage you to say it regularly. Pray for me, as I do for you.
teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve You as You deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for any reward
save that of knowing I am doing Your Will.
Fr David Barnes, Parish Priest