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 email@example.com
+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