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
+24th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
15th September 2019
HOME MISSION SUNDAY
Today we celebrate Home Mission Sunday. We are invited to find ourselves in the Gospel story as we accompany the characters who call out, ‘Rejoice with me!’ These words express the joy of finding something, or someone they had lost. Imagine the joy in your own heart when you see someone you love coming home to Church, because they are seeking, or have found Christ. Occasionally this happens by direct divine intervention, but more often we are called to be the face of Christ, praying for, inviting and welcoming those we love into a relationship with Him.
Thankfully we are not alone in this task. The Home Mission Office is a national organisation that helps the local Church engage in the vital mission of Evangelisation. This weekend, they ask for our prayers and our financial support through the second collection. Our prayers help them to be attentive to the Holy Spirit who directs their work, and our donations to the second collection will enable them to help the local Church share the joy of the Gospel throughout England and Wales. In short, the second collection helps them to help us. For more information about the Home Mission Office or to donate online please visit www.homemission.org.uk
+23rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
8th September 2019
FORM AND FLOURISH
TODAY is Education Sunday and the theme is “Form and Flourish”. Today Catholics are encouraged to reflect on the Church’s enormous contribution in this country and pray for all those involved in Catholic education.
The Catholic Education Service (CES) is the agency of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales charged with safeguarding and promoting our remarkable network of successful Catholic schools. The CES represents Catholic education to the Government, Ofsted and other national bodies to ensure Catholic schools are empowered to flourish.
Today’s second collection will be for the Catholic Education Service.
We live in a world that bombards us with images and stories about what it is to be successful and to be happy. Many of these are based on empty promises, ‘If you have this phone you will be popular and connected, if you drive this car you will be successful and attractive, if you look like this – people will want to be with you. But these are so often lies or empty promises. So many different studies in positive psychology tell us that our happiness and wellbeing is often linked to the quality of our relationships and the sense of purpose we have in life. In fact, as countries that are getting a richer report that happiness levels are stagnating or going backwards, we are starting to move away from measuring development in economic terms.
God has a dream for each of us, but that dream is not forced on us, we have to discover it and cooperate with God in fulfilling this dream. St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, gave some very good advice for us as we begin this process. To listen and learn about God’s dream and to start flourishing first off, we have to become free.
He talks about an ‘interior freedom’ where we become detached from any desires that will lead us away from God. We must practice being indifferent to some of these desires, to be rich, to be famous. Only when we are indifferent can we develop that inner freedom which allows us to spot the manipulative and false promises that ultimately make us unhappy and leave us feeling empty. When we become free we can ‘discern’ between God’s dream for us and the empty promises that surround us all the time. Then we can make decisions about how to spend our time and attention that will help us to flourish.
There is a lot of wisdom and guidelines in this Ignatian tradition. We cannot learn about our attachments, and therefore inner freedom on our own. Some of these attachments are also very natural and powerful but nevertheless can stop us from flourishing. Sometimes even in our own families, we can be stuck in abusive relationships or dragged down by someone else’s depression. Therefore, in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus strong words about ‘hating father, mother, brother, sisters and even his own life’ can be seen in this context. If we become so attached to those things, at the expense of finding out God’s dream for us, then we are not free and in fact those very things that we assume are good can prevent us from flourishing. Of course, if my family relationships are healthy, and I am free, then they will help and not hinder me from being happy. But sometimes these decisions are so complicated and difficult we cannot do this on our own, that is why St. Ignatius always insists that we find someone wise to accompany us and help us to discern, that we don’t do it on our own. Even better if they have some experience of these traditions which have so much wisdom and experience.
Father Tim Byron SJ
+22nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
1st September 2019
Education Sunday is one of the oldest Days of Special Prayer in this country’s liturgical calendar. Established by the Bishops in 1848, originally on the feast of the Sacred Heart in June, and now celebrated at the beginning of the academic year. Although long associated with the annual collection for the work of the Catholic Education Service, its main purpose is to celebrate the work of Catholic education and to enable it to continue to flourish with the support of the whole Catholic community.
Catholic education is a precious legacy from our forebears, and a testament to their courage and foresight. In the mid-nineteenth century the Catholic Church in this country was a mainly poor and immigrant community, emerging from centuries of persecution. Education was rightly seen as the principal means of handing on the faith and improving the spiritual, moral, social and cultural lives of the next generation. The Bishops made the education of the poor their top priority and, making huge sacrifices, Catholics set about raising funds and fighting for the right to re-establish a national network of schools and universities which we enjoy today.
Catholic education is a tremendous achievement to be celebrated. The Catholic Church is this country’s largest provider of secondary schools and second-largest provider of primary schools. Catholic education is by far the largest charitable endeavour of the Church in this country: we give thanks for the many thousands of teachers, lecturers, academics, support staff, leaders, governors, advisers and others who have found their vocation in Catholic education, and without whom this endeavour would be impossible. Catholic schools continue to be true to their mission: they are more diverse than any other type of school, they recruit disproportionately more children from the poorest areas of the country and still consistently manage to be the highest performing schools in the country.
For Catholic education to continue to flourish, it needs to rely on the continued support of the whole Catholic community. As in previous generation, all Catholics need to be prepared to do their bit to support, promote and defend Catholic education. There are many ways to do this: whether by praying for vocations to Catholic education, responding to consultations or letting your elected representatives know your views, or encouraging a young person to teach in a Catholic school. In that way, we can all ensure together that our Catholic schools and universities will be there to form the next generation.
Paul Barber, Director of the Catholic Education Service
+17th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
28th July 2019
HOLIDAYS (This is the last bulletin until early September)
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 are NO LUNCHTIME Masses 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, Rector
+16th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
21st July 2019
MARY AND MARTHA
Thoughts from Pope Francis
“The main figures in today’s Gospel, Mary and Martha, teach us how the Christian life must be lived – in love with the Lord.
In order not to go astray in our life as Christians, the key is to be “in love” with the Lord, and to be inspired by Him in our actions. This was the case with St Paul the Apostle, who describes the Christian life in the reading from the Letter to the Galatians. There must be a balance between “contemplation and service,” two qualities which are illustrated in the day’s Gospel from St Luke, which is centred on the figures of Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus of Bethany, who welcomed Jesus into their home as a guest.
By their actions these two sisters, “teach us how we should go forward in the Christian life.” Mary “listened to the Lord,” while Martha was “distracted,” because she was occupied with service.” The Pope described Martha as one of the “strong” women, capable even of rebuking the Lord for not being present at the death of her brother Lazarus. She knew how to put herself forward, and so was courageous. Yet she lacked “contemplation,” and was incapable of “losing time gazing upon the Lord.”
There are so many Christians, yes, they go to Mass on Sundays, but they are always busy. They have no time for their children, they don’t play with their children. This is bad. “I have so much to do, I’m so busy…” they say. And in the end they become worshippers of that religion which is busy-ness: they belong to the group of the busy, who are always doing things… But pause, gaze upon the Lord, take the Gospel, listen to the Word of the Lord, open your heart… No: always the language of the hands, always. And they do good, but not Christian good: a human good. These people lack contemplation. Martha lacked that. She was courageous, always going forward, taking things in hand, but lacking peace: losing time gazing upon the Lord.
On the other hand, Mary doesn’t sit around “doing-nothing.” She “gazed upon the Lord because the Lord had touched her heart; and it is from there, from that inspiration of the Lord, that there came the work that she had to undertake later.” This is the rule of St Benedict, “Ora et labora,” “pray and work,” which monks and nuns incarnate in the cloister, who certainly don’t spend the whole day gazing at the heavens. They pray and work.”
“When God chose him,” the Pope said, “he didn’t go off to preach” immediately, but instead “went off to pray,” “to contemplate the mystery of Jesus Christ who was revealed”:
Everything St Paul did, he did with the spirit of contemplation, of gazing upon the Lord. It was the Lord who spoke from his heart, because Paul was in love with the Lord. And this is the key for not going astray: “being in love.” In order to know which side we are on, or whether we are exaggerating because we are getting into an overly abstract, even gnostic, contemplation; or whether we are too busy; we must ask ourselves the question: “Am I in love with the Lord? Am I certain, certain that He has chosen me? Or do I live my Christianity like this, doing things… Yes, I do this, I do that; But what does my heart do? Does it contemplate?
The Pope said it is like a husband returning home from work, and finding his wife waiting to greet him: A wife that is truly in love does not make him comfortable, and then return to her chores; she “takes the time to be with him.” We too take time for the Lord in our service to others.
Contemplation and service: this is the path of our life. Each one of us can think to ourselves, “How much time each day do I give to contemplating the mystery of Jesus?” And then, “How do I work? Do I work so much that there seems to be an alienation? Or is my work consistent with my faith, work as a service that comes from the Gospel?” We would do well to consider this.”.
Pope Francis, speaking on how we need both service and Contemplation, October 9th 2018
+15th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
14th July 2019
Today is Sea Sunday, when the Church prays for all those who live and work at sea. Without them we would not have most of the items we buy in the shops. Today’s second collection is for Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea), the Church’s official maritime welfare agency. It supports seafarers both practically and spiritually. This collection is vital to enable it to continue its work, so please give generously and remember seafarers in your prayers. Thank you. To donate online please visit www.apostleshipofthesea.org.uk
So who is our neighbour? Our neighbour doesn’t just mean someone who lives near us; it also means strangers we meet. And when seafarers arrive in a port, they are strangers in a foreign land. Their home can be thousands of miles away. They don’t know the locals. Often, they don’t speak the language. And they don’t know how to do many of things that we take for granted where we live. Where can I find a shop where I can buy batteries? How do I get there? Where can I access the internet to contact my family? Where is the nearest church? It’s the stranger that Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) port chaplains and volunteer ship visitors are there to help when they go on board a ship. Like the Samaritan in the Gospel, they are concerned for the welfare of those they meet. The help they give might include providing a mobile phone top-up, warm clothes in the winter, or arranging for seafarers to attend Mass. At other times, it might mean helping a seafarer resolve an issue with his employer over pay or working conditions. The Gospel calls us all to help the stranger. Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) chaplains and ship visitors do this in ports around the world. We can do it where we live, by supporting Sea Sunday and Stella Maris.
OUR LADY, STAR OF THE SEA PRAY FOR SEAFARERS, PRAY FOR US
O Mary, Star of the Sea, light of every ocean, guide seafarers across all dark and stormy seas that they may reach the haven of peace and light prepared in Him who calmed the sea. As we set forth upon the oceans of the world and cross deserts of our time, show us, O Mary, the fruit of your womb, for without your Son we are lost. Pray that we will never fail on life’s journey, that in heart and mind, word and deed, in days of turmoil and in days of calm, we will always look to Christ and say, ‘Who is this that even wind and sea obey him?’ Our Lady of Peace, pray for us! Bright Star of the Sea, guide us!
+14th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
7th July 2019
SEA SUNDAY – APOSTLESHIP OF THE SEA
Next week is Sea Sunday, when the Church prays for all those who live and work at sea. There will be a second collection for Stella Maris, Apostleship of the Sea, the official maritime welfare agency of the Catholic Church. It provides practical and spiritual support to seafarers visiting our ports. As it is dependent on voluntary donations, please give generously. For more information about its work, visit www.apostleshipofthesea.org.uk
Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Pray for Seafarers, Pray for us
O Mary, Star of the Sea, light of every ocean, guide across all dark and stormy seas that they may the haven of peace and light prepared in Him who the sea.
As we set forth upon the oceans of the and cross the deserts of our time, show us, O Mary, fruit of your womb, for without your Son we are lost.
Pray that we will never fail on life’s journey, that in heart mind, work and deed, in days of turmoil and in days calm, we will always look to Christ and say, “Who is that even wind and sea obey him?”
Our Lady of, pray for us! Bright Star of the Sea, guide us!
(Pope John Paul II)
+ST PETER AND ST PAUL
30th June 2019
TODAY (Sunday) is the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul.
The Church founded by Christ has Ss Peter and Paul as its principle pillars. Peter was chosen by Christ to be His first Vicar on earth, endowed with powers of the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 16:13-19) and charged with the role of Shepherd of Christ’s flock (Jn 21:15-17).
In Peter and his successors, the visible sign of unity and communion in faith and charity has been given.
Divine grace led Peter to profess Christ’s divinity. St Peter suffered martyrdom under Nero, in A.D. 66 or 67.
He was buried at the hill of the Vatican, where recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of the Basilica of St Peter’s.
Paul was chosen to form part of the apostolic college by Christ himself on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-16). An instrument selected to bring Christ’s name to all peoples (Acts 9:15), he is the greatest missionary of all time, the advocate of pagans, the Apostle of the Gentiles.
St Paul was beheaded in the Tre Fontane along the Via Ostiense and buried nearby, on the spot where the basilica bearing his name now stands.
Daily Roman Missal- SCEPTER PRESS, Edition
23rd June 2019
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 kneeling 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 PP
+THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
16th June 2019
DAY FOR LIFE
This year the Day for Life will focus on all those who are suffering or have survived domestic abuse. It provides an opportunity to pray, reflect and to choose the ways in which action, as well as practical and emotional support, can ensure the dignity of human life is upheld at every stage of a person’s life.
Following discussion about violence in the home and domestic violence at the Synod on the Family, Pope Francis wrote “Unacceptable customs still need to be eliminated. I think particularly of the shameful ill-treatment to which women are sometimes subjected, domestic violence and various forms of enslavement which, rather than show of masculine power, are craven acts of cowardice. The verbal, physical, and sexual violence that women endure in some marriages contradicts the very nature of the conjugal union.”
(Amoris Laetitia 54).
Within the bishops’ conference, a small working group (Domestic Violence Group) chaired by me meets with groups working on the ground as well as with members of CARITAS network. We are aiming to develop networks and work with others to support projects against domestic violence since Jesus tells us, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (www.cedar.uk.net).
Many people do not have life to the full because they are abused in their own homes. They have fallen victim to the scourge of domestic abuse which is an assault on a person’s innate human dignity. Further information is to be found on the CEDAR website (www.cedar.uk.net). Bishop John Sherrington
DAY FOR LIFE 2019: There will be a retiring collection after all Masses TODAY. If you would like to make a donation the Day for Life Fund, you can do so online at www.dayforlife.org/donate or by cheque. Please send cheques payable to “CATEW” to |Eccleston Square, London, SW1V 1BX (marked “Day for Life”). More information about the Day for Life collection can be found at www.dayforlife.org.
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 P.P.
9th June 2019
“COME HOLY SPIRIT…………….”
THE HOLY SPIRIT transformed the apostles from being inward- looking, timid and afraid, to being outward-looking and bold in proclaiming the Risen and Ascended Lord. The Spirit set them on fire: for this reason we sometimes call the Feast of Pentecost the BIRTHDAY of the Church.
The Holy Spirit can do the same for us—if we are open and really want to be transformed.
Last Wednesday Pope Francis said “The Spirit is the wind pushing us forward, keeping us going, that makes us feel like pilgrims and foreigners and doesn’t allow us to get comfortable and become sedentary………… HOPE collects the wind of the Spirit and transforms it into energy”.
This Pentecost, pray that we shall all be filled with the Holy Spirit and be full of hope.
How well do we know the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit?
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are Wisdom, Understanding Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge Piety Fear of the Lord.
The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Charity Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Generosity Gentleness faithfulness Modesty Self-Control Chastity
COME, HOLY SPIRIT fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love……….
Fr David Barnes. Rector
JUNE IS THE MONTH OF THE SACRED HEART
THE HEART is a symbol of love in very many cultures. Devotion to the Heart of Jesus is quite simply devotion to Him who is the Love of God perfectly revealed to us. The devotion goes back to earliest times, based on Our Lord’s description of
Himself, “Come to me….for I am meek and humble of the heart …..”. (Matthew 11:28-29)
Our own co-patron St Anselm promoted this devotion, though it really became widespread through St Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation sister in France (Paray-le-Monial) in the 17th century.
The most beautiful statue of the Sacred Heart I know is in our church. Let us go there often, in the spirit of this wonderful hymn.
Fr David Barnes. Parish Priest.
Sweet Heart of Jesus
…Sweet heart of Jesus, Fount of love and mercy,
Today we come. Thy blessing to implore:
Oh touch our hearts, So cold and so ungrateful,
And make them, Lord, Thine own for evermore.
Sweet heart of Jesus, we implore, O make us love thee more and more.
..Sweet Heart of Jesus! Make us know and love thee.
Unfold to us he treasures of thy grace.
That so our hearts, from things of earth uplifted,
May long alone to gaze upon Thy face.
Sweet heart of Jesus, we implore, O make us love thee more and more.
+SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
2nd June 2019
WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY
“We are members one of another” (Eph 4,25).
From social network communities to the human community
Bishop John Arnold, Bishop for Communications, writes…. “Once again on this special day of prayer for all those working in tech, the media, creative and communications industries, I’m delighted to bring your attention to the crucial work of the Communications Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
In his message for this day, Pope Francis invites us to reflect on the foundation and importance of our ‘being-in-relation’ and to rediscover, in the challenges of the current communications context, the desire of the human person who does not want to be left isolated and alone. While governments seek legal ways to regulate the digital world and to protect the original vision of a free, open and secure network in the worldwide web, we all have the possibility and the responsibility to promote its positive use.
We can always seek new, innovative ways to share and promote the joy of the Gospel. Those specifically dedicated to this work, such as the Diocesan Communications Officers and the small team at the Bishops’ Conference do an inspiring job with few resources. I’ve particularly enjoyed the recent Podcast series Luke in Lent, produced by the Communications Office at the Bishops’ Conference. The work around the Youth Synod has filled me with hope. The photos recording the events of the life of our Church are freely available to anyone who wishes to use them – and some 49 Million people across the world have already done so, this is a great resource for your parish and community”.
Please assist this crucial work by donating to the 2nd collection today after all Masses. Please visit and encourage others to visit www.catholicnews.org.uk and if you would like to sign up for the twice daily news bulletins, please e-mail email@example.com
+SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
26th MAY 2019
“…HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN…” (Creed)
TODAY’s celebration of Our Lords’s Ascension gives us much to ponder and treasure in our heart.
• He has completed everything the Father had given Him to do, crowned by the Paschal Mystery, and now He is returning to the Father. His joy is complete, and He invites us to share His joy.
Our true joy is to share His joy!
• He goes to prepare a place for us. Heaven is where we truly belong, to be with God for all eternity. Our Lord has prepared a place for us. He is calling us “so that where I am, you may be too”.
Do I live with heaven as my goal and true homeland?
• We are never alone: in his Ascension He promises that He will be with us always, “Yes, to the end of time”.
He is always present to us: are we always wanting to make ourselves present to Him?
• My Mission and purpose in this world is to share in the Mission Jesus gave the infant Church at His Ascension: “Go out into the whole world and proclaim the Good News…”
Our Lord shares His life fully with us through the Church: do we seek to bring others to share His life through the Church?
“Gladden us with holy joys, Almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son in our exaltation, and where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope” (today’s Collect)
+FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
19th MAY 2019
THE MISSIONARIES OF AFRICA
(THE WHITE FATHERS)
The Missionaries of Africa (also known as “The White Fathers”), are an international Missionary Society of priests and brothers and co-operators founded in 1868, by Cardinal Lavigerie, Established in North Africa, the society has always placed special emphasis on its work within Africa.
The Missionaries of Africa come from many different countries in Africa and around the world, and from the outset great importance has always been attached to the international nature of the society, with French and English being the official languages.
Any ministry which has a real relationship with Africa, no matter in what part of the world it may be, is considered by the Missionaries of Africa to be within the scope of our Apostolate.
The Missionaries of Africa lay special stress on the family spirit, having a life of prayer and work in common. Even though our work may take us for some time away from our communities, the community is the home to which we return.
Through pastoral ministry, the media, social welfare, justice and peace, leadership training, educational and media work, the Missionaries of Africa aim to be of service to the Church in Africa. Today most of the Bishops in Africa are Africans. They are assisted in their work by an ever-increasing number of African priests. We offer ourselves to the Church in Africa in a spirit of partnership. The missionary these days will find himself engaged in many different types of activity: parish ministry, helping to train future priests in seminaries and also working in other educational establishments.
He will find himself involved in working with newspaper, television and radio journalists, with justice and peace groups, ministering to refugees, to name but a few activities.
In many places the Missionaries of Africa help in building up self-reliant small Christian Communities so people can experience for themselves the light of the Gospel at a ‘grass roots’ level. At the same time, much of our work is still of a pioneering nature, and missionaries have to be prepared to adapt themselves to changing circumstances.
Thanks to the heroic efforts of missionaries working in Africa since 1868, the increase in the number of African Christians is vastly outpacing the supply of African priests, brothers and co-operators required to attend to the spiritual needs of these peoples.
Many parishes in Africa are understaffed, simply because there is nobody to send there. At the same time, within the Diocese in Africa, there are vast areas where the fulfilment of the Church’s commission to the world has still to be initiated or consolidated. It is especially here that the Missionaries of Africa find their task today.
FR FRANK NOLAN, a Missionary of Africa, is in the parish this weekend and will make an appeal for the support of their work. Do let us support the retiring collection as best we can.
+FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
12th MAY 2019
GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY – PRIEST TRAINING FUND
This weekend is Good Shepherd Sunday, the day we pray for priests and for vocations to the priesthood. TODAY the second collection will be in support of the Priest Training Fund, which benefits the parishes and the Diocese of Westminster by providing us with new priests.
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 27 for our own Diocese. In 2018 we also celebrated the ordination of eight men to the priesthood, to serve as our future priests.
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 life-time 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 – please take one, read the information, and hand it back in with your donation. You can also use this leaflet to make a regular donation to the Priest Training Fund, and to find out more about our vocations team or you can donate online anytime at www.rcdow.org.uk/donations
+THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
5th MAY 2019
MARY’S MONTH OF MAY
MAY is dedicated to Our Lady. It is a time to get to know and love Our Lady more. At the 10am Mass this weekend we have the Crowning of Our Lady as Queen of the May. This helps us express and understand how the reign of Mary is the reign of “YES- TO-GOD” in our daily life. May we let the spirit of Mary, the spirit of “YES-TO-GOD”, flourish in our day-to-day living.
Our Marian devotions should not be limited to church. Please ensure you honour Our Lady in your home. Do crown a statue or picture of Our Lady at home. Gather around the statue or picture of Our Lady, and recite the Rosary. Let us teach our children (and remind ourselves!) that the reign of Mary, the reign of “YES -TO-GOD”, is the best way to true self-fulfilment and happiness.
DAILY PRAYER is vital for all of us. A new initiative is now available called “Click to Pray” It is the Pope’s App that connects your prayer to the world. Download the App for free www.clicktopray.org on the App store or Google play.
Please take a leaflet from the table at the back of the church to find out more.
Fr David Barnes. Rector
+SECOND SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION
28th APRIL 2019
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.
CHURCH of Ss ANSELM & CÆCILIA, KINGSWAY, WC2
DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY: 28th APRIL 2019, 2.30pm
• Blessings & Ceremony of Enthronement of The Divine Mercy Image
• Rosary & Chaplet of Mercy
• The Three O’clock Prayers
• Act of Entrustment of the World to Divine Mercy
+EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION
21st APRIL 2019
The Lord is truly risen, alleluia
He is risen indeed, alleluia
Our Lord’s Resurrection changes everything, for we can now see everything in the light of Him, the Risen Lord..
Everything that spoils life and leads to unhappiness and death (that is, sin), has lost its power, and need now no longer dominate our life, for Our Lord has overcome the long reign of sin and death in human life.
We share His victory through sharing His life. Just as He came to the Resurrection through His suffering and death, so too our own sufferings and death are means for us to unite our life more closely to Him. Place all your faith and hope in Him: then you know how to love Him!
Remember always His infinite love for you: He wants to save you from every destructive thought, word and act (that is our sins) so let Him save us. Then we shall know even greater joy!
Fr David Barnes, PP
+PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD
14th APRIL 2019
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.
THE DESCENT FROM THE CROSS
One of the treasures in our church and one so easily missed by many people is the magnificent painting which hangs on the south wall close to the Sacristy – The Descent from the Cross. It is attributed to John Francis Rigaud RA. In the Old Sardinian Chapel it hung above the high altar – easily visible to the congregation.
The scene is described by the 4 Evangelists, who all write of the overwhelmingly sorrowful moment when the dead body of Jesus was lowered from the cross. Yet it is the words from St John, the artist may well have had mind as he created the painting. St John witnessed the full horror of the crucifixion. Joseph of Arimithea…asked Pilate to let him have the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.’ (19:38-41)
Our large painting depicts the slumped body of Our Lord, held under the arms by Joseph of Arimithea, carefully and tenderly supported by Nicodemus as together they wrap the linen cloth around the dead Christ. The jar of myrrh and aloes brought by Nicodemus is placed in the foreground almost in a vertical line with the upright of the cross.
Many of us may be fortunate to have a photograph of ourselves as we received Holy Communion for the first time. Here in this painting we have an awesome portrait of Our Lady in all her sorrow and heartbreak about to receive the Body of her beloved Son. Has there ever been a Communion like this?
The other significant figure is Mary Magdalene, positioned in the foreground, very close to the wounded left foot of Our Lord. Feet she had once so lovingly kissed, wept over and anointed, and whose faith had saved her, her many sins forgiven. She has her right hand raised as if in adoration or wanting to touch the body of Jesus, almost helpless in the aftermath of all the brutality she has seen. In a few days time she will be given the most wonderful reward of being the first person to see the Risen Christ.
The painting is a scene of total sorrow, with hearts crushed and all seemingly lost. But God has not abandoned mankind, His Son will rise in triumph from the dead. With Holy Week approaching we continue our Lenten observance and wait patiently for all the joy and thrill of the first Easter.
+5th SUNDAY OF LENT
7th APRIL 2019
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
+4th SUNDAY OF LENT
31st March 2019
CARDINAL VINCENT NICHOLS WRITES:
1. Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse, Friday 12 April 2019
In February 2016, Pope Francis asked each Bishops’ Conference to establish a Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse. In response, the Bishops of England and Wales designated the Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent to be observed as this Day of Prayer. This year, therefore, the Day of Prayer is Friday 12 April.
I ask that this Day of Prayer is observed in all our parishes and chapels. It is important that we do so. Day by day, the pain of those who have suffered abuse, and its lasting corrosive impact, are brought more fully into the light. The pain of that betrayal of trust is all the more profound when the abuse took place within the community of the Catholic Church. We also see so clearly the failures in leadership in the Church that have exacerbated the sufferings of those who have been abused. We have plenty of reasons to pray.
We pray for those who bear this pain. We pray for their strength and perseverance.
We pray for those who have been caught up in the circles of mistrust, silence and complicity which emanate from this abuse.
We seek repentance and renewal for all who have failed in their duty to protect and respond to the victims of these crimes.
We pray for a renewal in the life of our Church that has become a lodging place for this evil.
We pray in confidence that the Lord does not abandon His Church but constantly calls us to purify our ways of life.
We pray with Mary, our holy Mother, and finest expression of our Holy Mother, the Church.
I ask you to respond to this earnest request in the ways you judge to be best, and to use this message as you think fit. The prayers provided on the website of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors may be helpful to you: http://www.protectionofminors.va/content/tuteladeiminori/en/resources_section/day-of-prayer_page.html.
For my part, I will keep the day with extra simplicity and self-denial and will celebrate the 5.30pm Mass in the Cathedral with these prayers constantly in my heart.
2. Knife Crime
At the recent meeting of the Deans, attention was brought to the dramatic rise in knife crime in London, to the number of its victims and to the fear that is spreading in some communities.
On Saturday 6 April 2019, I will be taking part in a Rally in Trafalgar Square under the heading ‘Standing Together’. The Rally runs from 2.00-4.00pm. It will focus first on the tragic consequences of knife crime, sharing a lament with those who have sufferedthe loss of life of a loved one and now carry a burden of great sorrow. Then it will proclaim the goodness of so many young people and give forth a voice of hope, much needed at this time. I would be grateful if notice of this event could be given, especially in the London parishes, so that those who might think of joining in this public act of witness are encouraged to do so.
+3rd SUNDAY OF LENT
24th March 2019
DON’T BE AFRAID TO SEEK HOLINESS
Take a few minutes to read the following reflection silently or aloud: Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, was on the New York Times’ bestseller list for over a year. Married to a farmer in rural America, and mother of seven children, she fell into self-pity and depression until she was challenged by a friend to write down in a journal one thousand things to thank God for – not all at once! This simple spiritual practice helped her to centre her life on God rather than herself – the very essence of holiness. On her website (https://annvoskamp.com) she writes:
“I keep writing it out here every day, the words I am seeking to live — about this wondrously messy, everyday-holy life, about finding the beauty and quiet, about slowing to see the sacred in the chaos, the cross in the clothespin, the flame in the bush. Just listening – laundry, liturgy, life, — all of life, holy ground. A holy experience — because God has flaming bushes everywhere.”
It’s now over 50 years since the Second Vatican Council sent out a strong message that all Christians are called to be holy, but still we have not fully taken this message on board. We think of holiness as the preserve of consecrated people – monks, nuns, priests; or we think of it as withdrawing from the world to engage in lots of pious exercises.
Pope Francis in Gaudete et Exsultate sees holiness as a joyful challenge, founded on the Beatitudes, (Mt. 5: 1-12; Lk. 6: 20-26) each of which begins with the word Blessed or Happy, just as the very first psalm begins: ‘Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked…’
Just as Ann Voskamp adopted a particular spiritual practice, in her case that of thanksgiving, to help her move from selfishness to
holiness, so it is good for us to look at concrete areas of our life and decide to change our attitudes and behaviour. Pope Francis points to several such “signs of holiness in today’s world”. They are too many to list here, so let us take one particularly relevant and important one: our behaviour online. In no. 115 he writes:
“Christians too can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication. The result is that things can be said there that would be unacceptable in public discourse, and people look to compensate for their own discontent by lashing out at others. It is striking that at times, in claiming to uphold the other commandments, they completely ignore the eighth, which forbids bearing false witness or lying, and ruthlessly vilify others. Here we see how the unguarded tongue, set on fire by hell, sets all things ablaze.” (cf. Jas 3:6)
And in no. 117 he quotes St. John of the Cross as an antidote: “Always prefer to be taught by all, rather than to desire teaching even the least of all. Rejoice in the good of others as if it were your own, and desire that they be given precedence over you in all things; this you should do wholeheartedly. You will thereby overcome evil with good, banish the Devil, and possess a happy heart. Try to practise this all the more with those who least attract you.”
The booklet can be found using the following link: https://rcdow.org.uk/att/files/faith/aff/rejoice%20and%20be%20glad%20singles%20print%20ready%20-%20no%20crops.pdf
+2nd SUNDAY OF LENT
17th March 2019
CARDINAL’S LENTEN APPEAL 2019
The Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal funds initiatives in parishes, schools and charities in the three mission areas of: 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 Service in Society, putting our faith into action by serving the poor, the lonely and the marginalised.
This year, the Cardinal is asking us to think about the last of these in particular, and he has launched a new programme focusing on the food poverty that affects so many across the Diocese. Much of this poverty remains hidden. Many use foodbanks even though there is a wage earner in the family.
Please take a donation leaflet form the table at the back of the church as you leave Mass today.
In addition, to find out about volunteering opportunities, visit:
In the words of Cardinal Nichols: “I hope this Appeal offers you and your family one way in which to observe Lent and to grow in the richness of our response to God’s blessings of life and faith.”
If you are facing food poverty or know someone who is, please do ask Fr David about help that may be available.
+1st SUNDAY OF LENT
10th March 2019
FAMILY FAST DAY 2019
CAFOD’s (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) Family Fast Day this Lent is an opportunity to support our brothers and sisters around the world. Drought, floods and storms are having a devastating impact on our global family. Like Mahinur from Bangladesh. She makes a living from fishing but a drought last year killed all the fish, and she’s struggling to support her disabled husband and son. On Friday 15th March, can you eat a simple meal in solidarity and give what you save to help people like Mahinur? Through CAFOD’s global Church network – one of the largest aid networks in the world – your support can reach to the ends of the earth. Please collect your Fast Day envelope from church this week and give whatever you can.
Connect with us online and help spread the Fast Day message. By simply sharing our Fast Day video on your personal Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts, you can make a huge difference. You can spread the word to thousands more people, inviting them to support our brothers and sisters in poverty. You can find our Fast Day video on CAFOD’s Facebook page or at cafod.org.uk/lent
Why is it so important to Gift Aid? When you donate and fill in a Gift Aid form, you can increase the value of your gift by 25p for every £1 you give – at no extra cost to you! This extra 25 percent makes a big difference and means that we have more money to help people. In the last year alone, we’ve raised over £2.6 million through Gift Aid donations from supporters like you. Please use the envelopes, which have the Gift Aid slips on them, and everyone who is eligible to fill in the Gift Aid slip when they donate. The donor must be a UK taxpayer (and have paid sufficient Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax), for CAFOD to be able to reclaim the basic rate of tax paid on their donation, however large or small. For any questions, contact CAFOD on 0300 011 5680 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CAFOD Family Fast Day: Friday 15th March: There will be a retiring collection after all Masses next weekend. Please give generously as always. Thank you.
+8th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
2nd March 2019
Dear Fr David and my treasured friends in Christ.
Sincere thanks for all your prayers, cards and good wishes supporting me during the last few weeks, you really have helped me to keep strong both in mind and body, may the good Lord reward you as only He can.
It has all been a great shock. I had registered with a new surgery after leaving London and had only made an appointment with the doctor in order to renew my regular prescription, the doctor would not let me leave the premises until transport arrived to take me to the hospital in Leicester.
That is all in the past now and I am back in the convent being thoroughly spoilt by everyone.
How I miss you all and am keeping an eye on Ss Anselm and Cecilia’s via the internet, joining you for the 6.00pm Mass each day, may we continue to praise the Lord by our lives and the good work He allows us to do.
Your loving sister in Christ.
Sr. M. Lucina
My new email is:- email@example.com
The direct telephone line to my room is:- 01509631055
19 Garton Road
+7th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
24th February 2019
POPE FRANCIS’ strategy on Sexual Abuse
“Faced with widespread and growing discomfort following new reports and revelations of very serious cases of sexual abuse involving members of the clergy, on September 12, 2018, at the end of one of the meetings of the Council of Cardinals it was announced that the Holy Father had decided to call a meeting in the Vatican for February 21-24, 2019. The meeting would be a broad approach to the theme ‘The Protection of Minors in the Church.’
This is certainly a first meeting of its kind, yet it is also clearly part of the process ofsynodalityPope Francis is keen to have at the heart of his plan to reform the Church. Faced with a problem that shows itself more and more present and serious in different geographical areas of the world and of the Catholic Church, the Pope has ordered the highest representatives of the different ecclesial communities to give a united response at the universal level. The entire Church must choose to live in solidarity, above all with the victims, with their families and with the ecclesial communities wounded by the scandals. As the pope has written, ‘If one member suffers, all the members suffer together’ (1 Cor:26), and the commitment to protect minors has to be taken on clearly and effectively by the entire community, starting with those in the highest positions of responsibility.
In consciousness of the facts, the meeting sees itself as a step on a long path of reappraisal, healing and transformation of the Church, which must always be a transformation towards a deeper, more wholehearted following of Jesus Christ.” – from www.pbc2019.org.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols is attending this gathering, and wrote to all the priests of our diocese last week. The following is an extract……..
Tomorrow, Wednesday, I travel to Rome to take part in the meeting called by Pope Francis to address the protection of minors within the Catholic Church worldwide in the light of the abuse suffered by them within the communities of the Church. I write to ask for your prayers and those of your people, for the positive outcome of this meeting and for all survivors of such abuse who will find these days particularly difficult as so much public attention is given to this reality.
The broad themes of the meeting are those of responsibility – knowing what is to be done; accountability – the ways in which we are responsible to each other; and transparency – the determination that there are no hiding places in these matters. These are the virtues, the qualities of our life together, that need to be renewed and strengthened.
An excellent website provides detailed information about this event: www.pbc2019.org.
Finally, at a very personal level, please do keep me in your own prayers. These will be difficult and painful days and I need your prayers. With my best wishes and prayers,
Yours devotedly, Cardinal Vincent Nichols Archbishop of Westminster
May we all pray that the Holy Spirit guide the Church.
+6th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
18th February 2019
TODAY is Racial Justice Sunday. The theme this year is “Dignity for all Workers”, recognising the problems faced by people due to racism and ethnic discrimination in the workplace.
In a world steeped in violence, conflict, and discrimination, the Gospel demands that we acknowledge the dignity of the human person, the necessity of building peace, prosperity, justice for all. In “Octogesima Adveniens” and “Gaudium et Spes”, St Paul VI teaches that “all people have a right to work … to lead a worthy life on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level”. We are therefore called to ensure people are not exploited while they work, and to open our hearts to those who face this hatred. “As you did this to the one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me…”
In our task as disciples of Christ, our responsibility is to make sure people are treated with dignity at work and are not exploited. Migrant communities and those suffering from racial abuse are particularly vulnerable to being drawn into unjust working conditions and labour exploitation.
A prayer for those facing exploitation
from your abundance all gifts and skills are bestowed,
making us participants in your work of creation.
by the word of your Son,our greed,
challenge us when we treat people as means of profit,
or discriminate unjustly against our fellow human beings.
raise us up to new life in your service
that in all our worksbegun, continued and ended in you
we may glorify your holy name.Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, Amen.
+5th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
10th February 2019
ADOREMUS (Let us adore)
The National Eucharistic Congress last September, in Liverpool, is hopefully continuing to help us know and love Our Lord in the Eucharist. During Lent, on the first 5 Monday evenings (11th, 18th, 25th March, 1st & 8th April), we can all watch and listen to each of the inspiring talks given at the Congress.
Please do note these dates in your diary now!
ADORATION is very much part of our parish life. Do remember we have Adoration Monday — Saturday inclusive from 4pm —6pm. The church is always open Monday — Friday from 7am to 7pm, Saturday 11am — 7pm and Sunday 9am — 7pm. Do try to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament as frequently as possible.
Some helpful booklets are available from the Repository at weekends, or from the Sacristy after any weekday Mass.
“Eucharistic Reflections” (by Walk with me), at £1.50
The Watchful Hour — a Scriptural Companion to Eucharistic Adoration, Fr Florian Racine, at £3.50.
Eucharistic Adoration — Prayers, Meditations and Devotions (CTS), at £3.50
Meeting Christ in the Eucharist, by Fr Stephen Wang at £3.50
Prayer Before the Blessed Sacrament — by Timothy Menezes at £4.99
For those regularly at weekday Mass, I very much recommend “Magnificat” which has texts for daily Mass, morning and evening prayer, articles on the saints and the spiritual life.
“ADOREMUS IN AETERNUM SANCTISSIMUM SACRMENTUM”
Fr David Barnes,
+4th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
3rd February 2019
The Feast of the Presentation, often called Candlemas, commemorates the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the presentation of Christ in the temple, which occurred 40 days after his birth as prescribed by the Jewish law. According to Mosaic law, a mother who had given birth to a boy was considered unclean for seven days. Also, she was to remain 33 days “in the blood of her purification.”
Luke tells us, quoting Exodus:2,12, that Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem because every firstborn child was to be dedicated to the Lord. They also went to sacrifice a pair of doves or two young pigeons. This lowly offered showed that Mary and Joseph were likely poor. Once in the temple, Jesus was purified by the prayer of Simeon, in the presence of Anna the prophetess. Simeon, upon seeing the Messiah, gave thanks to the Lord, singing a hymn now called the
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace, your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.
Simeon told Mary, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against, (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” Simeon thus foreshadowed the crucifixion and the sorrows of Mary at seeing the death of her Son.
The name Candlemas is derived from the activities associated with the feast. It came to be known as the Candle Mass. In the Western Church, a procession with lighted candles is the distinctive rite.
Compiled by David Bennett
+3rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
27th January 2019
POPE LAUNCHES HIS CLICK TO PRAY APP PROFILE
During the Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square last week, Pope Francis unveiled his very own user profile in Click To Pray, the official app of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, including its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement – EYM.
Click To Pray (www.clicktopray.org) is a platform that invites men and women from around the world, to accompany the Pope in a mission of compassion for the world. It has a website and a mobile app, both forAndroidiOS, with its social networks, available in six languages (Spanish, English, Italian, French, Portuguese, and German).
Click To Pray has three main sections: “Pray with the Pope”, with the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions for the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church; “Pray every day”, with a prayer rhythm involving three daily moments; and “Pray with the network” that is a space where users (Pope Francis among them) can share their prayers with the others. Pope’s Francis own profile
(https://www.clicktopray.org/en/user/popefrancis) can be found clicking in the Pope Francis button at the “Pray with the Network” section.
Click To Pray is the official prayer platform forYouth Day 2019, which takes place in Panama from 22-27th January 2019. For this event, the platform includes a special multimedia section to pray and meditate the Rosary for Peace.
Pope Francis (Sunday 21st Jan 2019)
+2nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
20th January 2019
WEEK of PRAYER for CHRISTIAN UNITY
In these days we pray especially for the reunion of all Christians. The theme for this year is “Justice only justice, you shall pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20), chosen for its powerful usage of promoting truth, equality and unity. We are called to move from shared prayer into shared action. Further information can be found here — https://ctbi.org.uk/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-resources
This Sunday, 20th January, is also designated “PEACE SUNDAY”
The Bishops of England and Wales invite us to make today a day of prayer for peace and to reflect on the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the annual World Day of Peace with the challenging title: ‘Good politics serves peace’. The Gospel for this Sunday gives us a most wonderful basis for reflection on our calling to work together for peace (and to get involved in the political process, too, in order to seek that goal). We meet Jesus, his mother and his disciples at the Wedding Feast of Cana. He shares in our human joys – the joys of family, the joys of human love and the pledge of fidelity that unites one heart to another. But he also shares in our sorrows – Mary’s cry: ‘They have no wine’; the realisation that our own resources are run dry, our bonds of love prove fragile, our promises are all too easily betrayed.
PAX CHRISTIis an international Catholic movement for peace. “The work of Pax Christi is based on the Gospel and inspired by faith. Our vision is of a world where people can live in peace, without fear of violence in all its forms. Rooted in Catholic Christianity, we work with all who share ourvalues to abolish war and create communities of peace and justice”.
If you wish to support the work of Pax Christi, there are envelopes available on the table at the back of the church.
Fr David Barnes, Rector
How I wish that
All men and woman of good will
Would look at the Cross
If only for a moment!
There, we can see God’s reply:
Violence is not answered
Death is not answered
With the language of death.
In the silence of the Cross
The uproar of weapons ceases
And the language of reconciliation,
Forgiveness, dialogue and
Peace is spoken
+THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
13th January 2019
TODAY (Sunday) we celebrate Our Lord’s baptism by his cousin John the Baptist.. Our Lord is revealed as divine, the Son of God. Our Lord later commissions the apostles to go out into the whole world and baptise people everywhere in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
To be baptised means to be immersed into the life of the Blessed Trinity, so as to share God’s life. In baptism God places us in His son and we become a son or daughter of God: when God looks at us He sees us as his son or daughter because we are in His Son. This is all pure gift, a grace of God. We could not do this ourselves: God does it for us.
Baptism of infants began from the earliest times where the parents were Christians. Please remember – our new born should be baptised as soon as possible after birth, within the first weeks. This is the teaching of the Church, for it is vital that this new life should not be deprived of the gifts God wants to give. The baptism should never be delayed for social reasons (e.g. waiting months to coincide with a visit from relations abroad, needing time to save money for a big reception etc.) These are not good reasons for delaying baptism. The newborn should receive the gifts God wants to give.
– Delaying baptism can also have long term consequences. Where there is pressure on school places the child can be disadvantaged if the baptism has been delayed. God wants to share His Life with us, and for us to share ours with Him. Baptism initiates this relationship. Today, thank God for the Sacrament of Baptism, and pray we shall all live our friendship with God more devotedly.
Fr David Barnes, Parish Priest
6th January 2019
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