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
+16th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
22nd July 2018
About the World Meeting of Families
The land from which so many missionaries set forth to bring the light of Christianity to every corner of the world now wants to gather those families and individuals whose lives have been touched by the faith of these missionaries. Ireland has been chosen to host the next World Meeting of Families in 2018 and calls people from all over the world to come and join us in this amazing event. Started by Saint John Paul II, and held every three years, this major world event celebrates family as the cornerstone of our lives, and the fundamental building block of society and the Church.
“The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World” is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the 9th World Meeting of Families.
Families and others from all over the world will gather in Dublin from August 21 – 26, 2018 to celebrate their lives together, to share their experiences from different parts of the world, to reflect on the different challenges they face and to grow together in faith.
“The World Meeting of Families in Dublin will be a festival of witness to the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ. The vocation of Christian couples, supported by the Sacrament of Marriage, is a call to witness to that love and to experience the joy of bringing the love of Jesus to those who are troubled and challenged” – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.
+15th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
15th July 2018
A MATTER OF URGENCY
“Take nothing for the journey” Jesus tells the Apostles in today’s (Sunday) Gospel: they were to spread the Good News as a matter of urgency, relying on the providence of God and the goodwill of others.
In our own time, we need to re-capture that spirit of urgency in spreading the Gospel. Simply inviting someone to come to Mass with us is a good way of doing this.
To spread the Gospel, we need an ever deeper commitment to our dear Lord and to become more faithful followers. Devotion to the Precious Blood, to which this month of July is dedicated, will help us understand how love is made known in sacrifice, and how He shed His Blood out of love for us. It would be wonderful if we could all say very regularly the ANIMA CHRISTI, (Soul of Christ), especially after receiving Holy Communion.
Soul of Christ, sanctify, me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
‘Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from thee.
From the malicious enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me.
And bid me to come to thee.
That with thy saints I may praise thee,
For all eternity. Amen.
Fr David Barnes, Parish Priest
+14th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
8th July 2018
We see from today’s Gospel “Jesus is unwelcome”. Hopefully our familiarity with this Gospel passage doesn’t make it any less shocking than it is. Jesus own town shuns him, despises him. Every day our news contains stories of people who are shunned and more often, just plain ignored. Their situation is too complicated to understand and we are too busy with our lives. This is sad. Loneliness is becoming a hallmark of our times.
And yet as followers of Jesus, we are called and empowered by Him to accept those who are otherwise side-lined. Welcoming those in need, we welcome Jesus himself. On Sea Sunday in our prayer and support we remember the thousands of seafarers who call at our ports, strangers in our midst. We also remember the work of the Apostleship of the Sea, which on behalf of the Catholic community welcome and support them.
Let us remember that most of the goods we buy in the shops are brought to us by sea. The sailors life can we very lonely, the ships they sail in are really basic and not very comfortable. The seafarers are away from their families for months and connecting with their families is almost impossible.
Dear Lord, we pray for all those working on the seas, we remember the lonely in our midst and ask you Lord to lay your hands gently upon us all.
Taken from the Apostleship of the Sea Magazine
Sr. M. Lucina. Parish sister
+13th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
1st July 2018
PETER’S PENCE and the MISSION OF THE CHURCH
TODAY, SUNDAY, we have the annual collection for “Peter’s Pence”. This collection started here in England at the end of the 8th century, when the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity. They wanted to help the Bishop of Rome, as successor of St Peter, in his universal ministry. The money collected is for the Pope to give to those suffering from natural disasters, such as famine or flooding, or those in great need, such as those suffering the consequences of war. The Pope gives money in the name of the whole Church. This annual collection expresses well our love for the Successor of Peter in his universal ministry.
Please do give generously, and do pray for Pope Francis.
TODAY we also welcome Fr Tony Chantry from Mill Hill Missionaries. Fr Tony heads up MISSIO, which is the Catholic Church’s official charity for overseas mission. MISSIO concentrates on helping the Church where she is very poor and where the Church is new and young. Fr Tony will invite us all to sign up to a “Red Box”, so that during the year we can collect to help the missionary outreach of the Church.
Please do sign up for a Red Box!
May the love and prayers of Ss Peter and Paul sustain the Church, increase our love for the Church as the “Mystical Body of Christ as also our love for the Pope, and our love for the mission of the Church. For more information visit: http://www.peterspence.va/ and https://www.missio.org.uk/redboxapp
Fr David Barnes
Prayer for Pope Francis
look kindly on your servant Pope Francis;
You chose him to shepherd Your flock.
Guide and protect him in his daily work;
inspire him in Your ways to embrace Church unity.
assist Pope Francis in his constant effort,
to enlighten andYour Church and its people.
Open the eyes of non-believers so that together,
peace andwill prevail throughout our world.
may the splendour of your Son’s,
continue to illuminate all our lives.
May our thoughts, words and actions,
bear daily witness to the new life You gave us.
hear our prayer and the prayers of Pope Francis.
May they be a worthy addition to the chorus of song
among the angels and saints as we seek your help and grace.
We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, the true and everlasting Light.
+THE NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
24th June 2018
Pastoral Letter on the Priesthood
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,
On the left-hand side of Westminster Cathedral, in the second side Chapel, lie the mortal remains of St John Southworth. In preparation for his Feast Day on 27 June, they move into the middle of the main aisle.
St John Southworth has a very special place in our history and in our hearts. A Lancashire man, he had been ordained a priest in 1619 at the English College in Douai, in northern France, at a time when it was impossible to prepare men for the Catholic priesthood in this country. This year, Douai College is celebrating its 450th anniversary. We are all included in this celebration, for the College is a crucial part of Catholic survival and heritage, succeeded first by St Edmund’s College in Ware, Hertfordshire, and then by Allen Hall, our own Diocesan seminary.
To be a Catholic priest in England in those days was considered to be an act of treason and punished by the cruel death of hanging, drawing and quartering. This is how St John Southworth died on 28 June 1654 at Tyburn, near Marble Arch in central London.
By then he was no stranger to central London. His priestly ministry started in Lancashire. But after his first arrest, he was moved to a gaol in London. In 1630, he was spared execution and deported to France. He returned, determined in his mission, to minister in the streets of central London, around Westminster, to those impoverished and sick because of the plague. In 1637, he was again imprisoned. Again, he avoided trial and for 14 years continued his clandestine ministry in our streets, in and out of prison.
Finally, in 1654, he was arrested and brought to trial. He refused to deny that he was a priest. The magistrate, sick of so many executions, reluctantly sent him to his death on the gallows.
St John Southworth is a key patron saint of the priests of this Diocese. He is an inspiration and an intercessor for us. We bring his body into the central aisle of the Cathedral not only for his Feast Day but so that he is there among the candidates for the priesthood on the day of their ordination. Next Saturday, in the Cathedral, six men will be ordained priests for service in our parishes. During the singing of the Litany of the Saints, they will prostrate themselves, face down on the floor. In their midst will be the prostrate body of the Martyr. But he lies face up, reflecting the glory of God shining in him as he now enjoys the fullness of God’s grace in heaven. He is indeed our special patron.
Today I ask you to pray for all our priests. Pray particularly for the six new priests and the priest(s) serving in your parish. Our lives may not be as dramatic nor as full of public conflict as the life of St John Southworth. Yet we priests strive to express in our daily ministry exactly the same dedication to the mission of Jesus Our Lord as he did. Like him, we depend on the support and love of faithful people. For St John Southworth that was literally a matter of life and death. While that deadly drama has ended, over the centuries a marvellous tradition has remained of genuine love for priests and a readiness to support them, through thick and thin. I ask you, today, to continue that tradition and share it with your families.
Of course, we priests and bishops are sinners. There is no hiding our mistakes and faults. Indeed, we have learned painfully, that trying to hide major failures, especially in relation to the most vulnerable, seriously compounds the failures and betrayals that so damages our shared mission. Today I express my sorrow at our failings and I ask for your patience, forbearance and, indeed, forgiveness. In the Church, we are bound together in Christ Jesus. He is full of mercy. We can only strive to show that mercy to each other, always and everywhere.
In the months ahead, remembering Douai College and so many martyr priests, we will be striving to renew our priestly mission and purpose. As priests, we will try to encourage each other more steadfastly. This time of renewal will come to a key moment next year, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a day set aside by Pope Francis for prayer and renewal for all priests throughout the world.
On that day, 28 June 2019, all Diocesan priests in England and Wales will be invited to come to Westminster Cathedral to celebrate together a Mass of thanksgiving and renewal. On that day too, we will gather around the precious body of St John Southworth, knowing that he will intercede for us. I hope and trust that you will do so too.
At Mass today we heard these words: ‘The Lord called me before I was born, from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name’ (Isaiah 49:1). Today they are applied to St John the Baptist. Yet they are words of truth for everyone who hears them, for each of us has a God-given purpose in our lives. Pray, then, for each other, that you may all have that same sense of purpose and dedication in your life. Then you will pray with joy, as I do, the words of today’s Psalm: ‘I thank you, Lord, for the wonder of my being’ (Psalm 138).
Yes, Lord, I thank you every day. Amen.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster
+11th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
17th June 2018
DAY FOR LIFE 2018: HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Human trafficking has been described by Pope Francis as ‘an open wound on the body of humanity’. Since we are all part of that humanity, human trafficking defaces us all.
He goes on to say that it is ‘a wound in the Body of Christ’ in which we share. Our faith teaches us to see, the face of Jesus in those who are most vulnerable and needy. These are the reasons why today, on this Day for Life, we focus on the eradication of human trafficking.
What exactly is human trafficking? Here is a description: Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of individuals for the purpose of exploitation, through the use of violence, force, fraud, coercion, or deception, or through the abuse of power, position or trust. People may be trafficked for any number of exploitative activities, such as domestic servitude, prostitution, forced begging or criminality, forced marriage, and forced organ removal.
This criminal activity is widespread and well organised in the world today. Estimates are that there are over 40 million victims, trafficked out of every country and trafficked into every country. This includes our own. English victims of trafficking include many youngsters caught up in gang crime in our cities. Victims of trafficking held in this country come from over 80 different homelands and are caught up in an invisible crime in our midst, on our streets, in businesses and shops.
As a Church we have a great part to play. Our contacts are widespread, not least among the ethnic communities with their chaplains. ‘We can all learn to recognise the signs of a victim; we can be important ‘eyes and ears’.
One of our responses to this tragedy, here in the Diocese, is Bakhita House, a house of welcome and healing for these victims. It is supported by Caritas Westminster, by many religious congregations and by many generous donors. In the past three years it has welcomed and assisted over 80 guests, all women rescued from modern slavery. There are also five babies in this great extended family!
These are some of the words written by one guest:
When we didn’t have any hope and reason to live we came to this house and here we got our new family….We aren’t born in the same families but my friends, who are living in this house, we have the same pain in our hearts and souls but with your help every member of Bakhita House are doing the best to relieve our pains. ‘Only thing we can do for you is to pray for you in our languages and by our religions, to ask God for your strength, health and patience to have a long life. God bless you for all the kind works you have done!’ Please do learn more about modern slavery. Please do support this work in whatever way you can. Please do pray for its victims, held without any apparent hope, exploited every moment of the day, clinging on to life. Please do pray for all those who work hard to bring this criminal activity to an end.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster
For more info & to donate online please visit:
+10th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
10th June 2018
June: Month of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart: First Fridays
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is of great antiquity in the Church. It was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, however, who made this devotion widespread. In 1690, within the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi , our Lord appeared to her and said: “Behold this Heart which, notwithstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the Sacrament of my love. But what pierces my Heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service.”
However, to those who show Him love and who make reparation for sins, Our Lord made a great promise: “I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my Heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who take communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavour, or without having received the Sacraments, since my divine Heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life.”
This great promise of the Sacred Heart is most consoling. He promises us the grace of final perseverance and the joy of having His Heart as our sure refuge and infinite ocean of mercy in our last hour.
To gain this grace we should:
Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays without any break;
Have the intention of honouring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of reaching finial perseverance;
Offer each Holy Communion as an act of atonement for offences against the Blessed Sacrament.
3rd June 2018
TODAY we celebrate the wondrous love of Our Lord for us — how He gives Himself completely to us in Holy Communion, and how He is with us always in the Sacred Host in all the tabernacles throughout the world.
MASS is the means to bring us this presence. The priest takes bread and wine, and through the Holy Spirit our gifts are transformed to become really, truly and substantially the Body and Blood of Christ, so that Our Lord is present as perfect God and Perfect Man, body, soul and divinity. This transformation we call transubstantiation.
ADORATION is therefore the appropriate response to this gift, so on this weekend’s celebration we should resolve again to make a good preparation for receiving Holy Communion followed by thanksgiving.
Visit Our Lord regularly in the tabernacle (“making a visit” is an important part of Catholic spirituality, and builds up our bond with Our Lord).
Show ever greater respect when we come into church, “the House of the Lord”, by genuflecting to the tabernacle and knelling to adore and pray. Keeping silence in church is not only a way to respect Our Lord, but also one another.
“O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine”.
Fr. David Barnes
+THE MOST HOLY TRINITY SUNDAY
27th May 2018
THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
GOD has been revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit — three persons, but one God. We could never know this by use of reason: we know it because Our Lord Jesus has revealed it.
GOD’s love is made known to us as a dynamic interaction of loving between the Three Persons of the Trinity. God is loving — the active relationship of loving between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
GOD’s love for us is made known in the Incarnation — the enfleshment of God — when “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” That love is revealed through the mystery of the Cross. God’s love for us is confirmed in every Mass through receiving Holy Communion. As Pope Francis tells us: “Christ has shown us the face of God, one in substance and triune of Persons. God is all and only Love, in a subsisting relationship that creates, redeems and sanctifies all: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God’s love for us is made known in the fact that God wants to be known by us — to live in relationship with us. We can do so with confidence because in our baptism God made us His adopted sons and daughters with the great privilege of relating to God as a most beloved son or daughter. We always have access to God on this personal level. So relate to God everyday, ever faithful.
Fr. David Barnes
20th May 2018
COME HOLY SPIRIT
TODAY we celebrate PENTECOST, the coming of the Holy Spirit, Third person of the Blessed Truth. The disciples had been hiding away, afraid and insecure: but then came the Holy Spirit, promised by Our Lord, and they became bold, outward-looking and no longer afraid to proclaim openly that the Lord is truly risen.
This transformation, which is the work of the Holy Spirit, we seek in our own day. Pentecost is often called the Birthday of the Church, because the Church was enabled to carry out what the Lord commissioned her to do. Let us all be very devoted to the Holy Spirit.
TODAY also marks the First Holy Communion of 23 of our children. Pray that they will be faithful to this weekly encounter with our Risen Lord in the Mass and pray that their families bringing will always support them by bringing them to Mass every Sunday.
OUR ANNUAL CORPUS CHRISTI procession follows the 10am Mass, and gives us the opportunity not only to reverence the Blessed Sacrament but also to pray for our children and ourselves that we may be able to follow Our Lord faithfully, and to witness to Him whatever we are.
LEARN: the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit – Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord.
The 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit – Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-Control and Chastity.
Fr David Barnes
+SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
13th May 2018
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
I am delighted to tell you all that Mr Adam Balkwill is our new Director of Music. Adam writes:
“I feel honoured to have been appointed as the new Director of Music at St. Anselm and St. Caecilia, and very much look forward to building on the superb legacy left by Ian Coleman. Prior to my appointment here, I was the Director of Music at St. Augustine’s, High Wycombe, under the late Monsignor Paul Donovan and Father Jonathan Hill. After studying Music at Robinson College in Cambridge, and subsequently Piano Accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music, I built a career as a freelance conductor, accompanist and private piano teacher. Many of my most treasured musical experiences have taken place within a Catholic setting, and I am looking forward to working with both the Schola Caeciliana and Schola Anselmi immensely. I very much look forward to meeting you over the coming weeks.
With good wishes.”
Adam Balkwill. Director of Music.
We wish Adam every blessing in his new role. I want to thank in a particular way the Senior Choristers who maintained such a high standard of music at the 10am Mass on Sundays, as also Celia Gardiner and her colleagues who have continued the excellent music at the 12 noon Mass — we are truly blessed to have them all.
Fr David Barnes,
+SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
8th May 2018
(Holy Day of Obligation, Thursday 10th May)
FORTY DAYS after the resurrection, Our Lord is taken from sight of the infant Church: just as He came down from heaven in the Incarnation, so He returns now to His Father in heaven, celebrated as the Ascension.
He had completed everything the Father had given Him to do, climaxing in the Paschal Mystery, and now his joy was to return to the Father. It is this joy He wants us to share. The more we enter into His joy, the more we understand that our way to true happiness is to carry out what God is asking of us and so come to a deeper union with God. The Ascension also reminds us to develop a more “supernatural perspective” on daily life that we see our key objective is to find union with God through communion with Christ, which is the first and greatest commandment.
Our FIRST HOLY COMMUNION children are today (Sunday) making their First Confession, and the First Holy Communion Mass is on Saturday 19th May at 12noon Please pray for them, and for their families.
Six of our teenagers are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation which they receive on Saturday 26th May at 2pm in Westminster Cathedral. Please pray for them and their families.
MAY is MARY’S MONTH, a time to deepen our devotion to her. Be faithful to the daily Angelus and the Rosary.
Fr David Barnes
+FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
29th April 2018
Come Holy Spirit
Before Fr David went away he asked me, ”how do you see the Holy Spirit in your life? This was in preparation for instruction with the young people of the parish preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. My immediate thought was that through the Sacrament of Baptism, when I became a member of God’s Family, that is just the beginning. Christian initiation is completed with the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The Bible gives us many references about the Holy Spirit: In Matthew 41:11
The Spirit sent Jesus out into the dessert, where He was tempted by the devil we read how it is the devil who gets exhausted and leaves Jesus alone to pray to His heavenly Father the Holy Spirit is stronger than the devil. Jesus is truly man, but He is also truly God.
After the Resurrection Jesus left us with that wonderful promise. “I will be with you always even to the end of time”.
Wherever the Holy Spirit is, there is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. My prayer is that each one of us will be open to the Holy Spirit and that the gifts and fruits he has given to each one of us will flourish and grow.
Sister M. Lucina
+FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
22nd April 2018
Good Shepherd Sunday – Priest Training Fund
This weekend marks Good Shepherd Sunday, the day we pray for priests and for vocations to the priesthood. This weekend our second collection will be in support of the Priest Training Fund, which benefits the parishes and the Diocese of Westminster by providing us new priests striving to follow Christ the Good Shepherd, in the service of God’s people. The formation of our priests is of top priority – it is our future.
The Priest Training Fund pays for the training and education of seminarians at our seminary, Allen Hall. We currently have 45 men in formation at Allen Hall, including 28 for our own Diocese. In 2017 we also celebrated the ordination of eight men to the priesthood, to serve as our future priests, and we look forward to additional priests being ordained this June.
It costs on average £25,000 per man, per year of formation – that is about £150,000 to form and educate a new priest, who makes a lifetime commitment to Christ and the Church.
The Priest Training Fund also pays for the ongoing education and formation of our priests post-ordination. Priests are the heart of the Catholic Church. So I ask you to please be generous in your support of this appeal and to continue to pray for vocations and our seminarians.
Donation leaflets are available today you can use this envelope to make a one-off donation or to set up a regular donation to the Priest Training Fund. If you can Gift Aid, please don’t forget to tick it off.
On behalf of all the clergy of the Diocese,
+THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
15th April 2018
Priest Training Fund
Next weekend is Good Shepherd Sunday, the day we pray for priests and for vocations to the priesthood. The annual collection for the Priest Training Fund will also take place next weekend. This fund pays for the priestly formation of men for the Catholic priesthood. There are currently 45 men studying at Allen Hall seminary, 28 of whom are for our own Diocese, and last year eight men ordained to the priesthood to serve as our future priests. The fund also supports the ongoing enrichment and formation of our ordained priests.
Your generous donation helps ensure we can support these men who are called to be like Christ the Good Shepherd. Donation leaflets are available in the back of the church. Please take one home, read the information, and bring it back next weekend with your donation.
Please continue to pray for vocations and for our priests. You can donate online anytime at www.rcdow.org.uk/donations
+SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
8th April 2018
Background of the Divine Mercy Devotion
From the diary of a young Polish nun, a special devotion began spreading throughout the world in the 1930s. The message is nothing new, but is a reminder of what the Church has always taught through scripture and tradition: that God is merciful and forgiving and that we, too, must show mercy and forgiveness. But in the Divine Mercy devotion, the message takes on a powerful new focus, calling people to a deeper understanding that God’s love is unlimited and available to everyone — especially the greatest sinners.
The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.
The message of mercy is that God loves us — all of us — no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. It is a message we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC.
A— Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.
B— Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.
C— Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.
POPE FRANCIS AND SAINT THOMAS MORE: In a new book called “God is Young”. Pope Francis also speaks of the importance of humour. “If one doesn’t have a sense of humour, it’s very difficult to be happy; it’s necessary not to take oneself too seriously… A sense of humour is fundamental to be able to breathe, because it’s linked to the capacity to enjoy life, to be enthusiastic. “Quoting GK Chesterton he said: “Life is too important to be taken seriously. “The Holy Father confides that every day, for almost 40 years, he has recited the ‘Prayer for Good Humour’ by Saint Thomas More. The book concludes with this prayer:
Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest.
Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humour to maintain it.
Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good
and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil,
but rather finds the means to put things back in their place.
Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments,
nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.”
Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humour.
Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy,to be able to share it with others.
1st April 2018
Rejoice, heavenly powers!
Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
May God fill you all with Easter joy!
25th March 2018
Holy Week & Easter
Holy Week is the most important week in the Christian year. Pope Francis says “Holy Week” is a privileged time when we are called to draw near to Jesus: friendship with Him is shown in times of difficulty”. The best way to draw near to Our Lord is to participate as much as possible the liturgies of the Church.
PALM SUNDAY — the commemoration of Our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem when he was greeted with praise and thanksgiving, the waving and strewing of palms. We too carry palms, then take them home to put with our household crucifix.
THE SACRED TRIDUUM — the 3 Holy Days of the Paschal Mystery
HOLY THURSDAY —The MASS of THE LORD’S SUPPER at 6:00pm commemorates the institution of the Eucharist, the total gift of Himself to us as the Bread of Life. Afterwards, Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. After this mass the consecrated hosts are taken to the “altar of repose”. All are invited to spend some time with Him, learning to be with Him in His suffering. The church is stripped of its candles and linens, all holy water is removed and the sacraments are not celebrated until Easter. It is a time of mourning, but always lived in light of the Resurrection.
GOOD FRIDAY — A day of fasting and abstinence. Fasting applies to those 18-60: no meat (abstinence) and only one simple meal and two small ones, and no food in between. Do all you can to be at THE LITURGY OF THE LORD’S PASSION AND DEATH at 3:00pm, the hour at which Christ died on the Cross.
HOLY SATURDAY — the Church waits in the Lord’s tomb, reflecting on his Passion and Death, waiting with faith, prayer and fasting the glorious Resurrection. Mary is waiting with us. We gather at 8:00pm to celebrate the Vigil Mass of the Resurrection, to celebrate in readings and song how God prepared His People for the Resurrection and conclude with the First Mass of Easter
Fr David Barnes P.P.
8 Quotes For Holy Week
With the celebration of Palm Sunday, we enter Holy Week.
Hopefully, this will be a time of peace, reflection, penance and prayer for all Christians. Here are 7 quotes for you to ponder as we prepare for the Passion of Christ.
1. We give glory to You, Lord, who raised up Your cross to span the jaws of death like a bridge by which souls might pass from the region of the dead to the land of the living. We give glory to You who put on the body of a single mortal man and made it the source of life for every other mortal man. – St. Ephrem of Edessa
2. Ultimately, in the battle against lies and violence, truth and love have no other weapon than the witness of suffering. – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
3. Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you – for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart. – St. Thérèse of Lisieux
4. Be assured of God’s love for you. Seek by his grace to heal the damage of sin. Seek communion with him and with those who make up his Church and those who are not yet within. His love for all of us is unconditional. His joy is infinite. His mercy overflows. – Deacon Michael Bickerstaff
5. “We adore you and we bless you, Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all the churches which are in the whole world, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.” – Stations of the Cross
6. Through the stark and solemn Liturgy of the Friday we call “Good”, we stand at the Altar of the Cross where heaven is re-joined to earth and earth to heaven, along with the Mother of the Lord. We enter into the moment that forever changed – and still changes – all human History, the great self gift of the Son of God who did for us what we could never do for ourselves by in the words of the ancient Exultet, “trampling on death by death”. We wait at the tomb and witness the Glory of the Resurrection and the beginning of the New Creation. – Deacon Keith Fournier
7. The Cross is the word through which God has responded to evil in the world. Sometimes it may seem as though God does not react to evil, as if he is silent. And yet, God has spoken, he has replied, and his answer is the Cross of Christ: a word which is love, mercy, forgiveness. It is also reveals a judgment, namely that God, in judging us, loves us. Remember this: God, in judging us, loves us. If I embrace his love then I am saved, if I refuse it, then I am condemned, not by him, but my own self, because God never condemns, he only loves and saves. – Pope Francis
8 Quotes on the Resurrection
1. We are the Easter People and Alleluia is our song (Pope John Paul II)
2.”The Gospel of Easter is very clear: we need to go back there, to see Jesus risen, and to become witnesses of his Resurrection. This is not to go back in time; it is not a kind of nostalgia. It is returning to our first love, in order to receive the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people, to the very ends of the earth.” (Pope Francis,Easter Vigil Homily, 2014)
3. “Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus says that there is a future for every human being; the cry for unending life which is a part of the person is indeed answered.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Benedictus, 128)
4. The Cross had asked the questions; the Resurrection had answered them…The Cross had asked: “Why does God permit evil and sin to nail Justice to a tree?” The Resurrection answered: “That sin, having done its worst, might exhaust itself and this be overcome by Love that is stronger than either sin or death.” (Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Lent and Easter Wisdom, 110)
5. “If one does away with the fact of the Resurrection, one also does away with the Cross, for both stand and fall together, and one would then have to find a new center for the whole message of the gospel. What would come to occupy this center is at best a mild father-god who is not affected by the terrible injustice in the world, or man in his morality and hope who must take care of his own redemption.” (Hans Urs Von Balthasar, The Cross For Us)
6. “O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages.” (St. John Chrysostom, Easter Homily)
7. “In fact, everything that exists and moves in the Church – the sacraments, doctrine, institutions – draws it’s strength from Christ’s Resurrection.” (Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, Life in Christ, 67)
8. The Lord’s triumph, on the day of the Resurrection, is final. Where are the soldiers the rulers posted there? Where are the seals that were fixed to the stone of the tomb? Where are those who condemned the Master? Where are those who crucified Jesus? He is victorious, and faced with his victory those poor wretches have all taken flight. Be filled with hope: Jesus Christ is always victorious. (St. Josemarie Escriva, The Forge, 660)
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+5th SUNDAY OF LENT
18th March 2018
TODAY there is a sombre atmosphere: the statues are covered in purple veils to help us focus on our Lord’s suffering and death. It is a time not only to understand better what He went through, out of love for us, but also to understand better the place of suffering and death in our lives. Above all we can come to appreciate more that love and sacrifice are in extricabley bound up with one another. The Cross reveals God’s absolute love for us: the more we love and venerate the Cross, the more we shall understand God’s love.
Passiontide is not a time to be miserable. Last Sunday was “Laetare Sunday” when we celebrated rejoicing that our Lord’s Passion and Death led to the Resurrection. So we move through Passiontide knowing the end — that Our Lord has overcome the power of sin and death and is truly risen.
NEXT SUNDAY is PALM SUNDAY, the beginning of Holy Week. Please ensure you can participate as fully as possible in the Liturgies: the more we put in the more we get out.
Lent has been a time to give alms, and Cardinal Vincent has invited us to consider giving some or all of our Lenten alms to his Lenten Appeal. Next Sunday there will be a retiring collection for the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal.
Finally, let us pray for one another — it is a key way to love one another.
Fr David Barnes, Parish Priest
A Man of Silence
The silence of St. Joseph does not demonstrate an empty interior, but rather the fullness of faith that he carries in his heart and that guides each of his thoughts and actions; a silence through which Joseph, together with Mary, guard the Word of God, known through sacred Scripture, comparing it continually to the events of the life of Jesus; a silence interwoven with constant prayer, a prayer of blessing of the Lord, of adoration of his holy will and boundless confidence in his providence. It is not an exaggeration to say that Jesus will learn – on a human level – precisely from ‘father’ Joseph this intense interior life, which is the condition of authentic righteousness, the ‘interior righteousness,’ which one day he will teach to his disciples (cf.MT 5:20)
“Let’s allow ourselves to be ‘infected’ by the silence of St Joseph! It is so lacking in this world which is often too noisy, which is not favourable to recollection and listening to the voice of God. … Let us cultivate interior recollection so as to receive and keep Jesus in our lives.” Pope Benedict XVI, 18th December 2005
Prayer to St Joseph in difficult times
“Holy St. Joseph,
You were a man of great hope and faith. You faced many difficult times in your life, fleeing into Egypt, caring and fearing for Mary and Jesus. You lived like us today in uncertain times. Your strength came from knowing that the power and faithfulness of God would always be constant.
Fill us with the confidence that you had in the Lord, Our God.
Help us to know that God is so close to us that He will deliver us from the trials and troubles we are now encountering.
May the light of the Lord give us hope. May it guide us every day of our lives and, uniting our prayers with yours, may we be assured by the peace and joy of the Lord, that will strengthen us in all our difficulties.”
Holy St. Joseph, pray for us.
+4th SUNDAY OF LENT
11th March 2018
CARDINAL’S LENTEN APPEAL — 2018
This year our parish is supporting the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal through the Lenten Alms collections. Funds donated to the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal will support the work of Catholic parishes, schools and charities, working within the Diocese and contributing innovatively to the following three mission areas of the Church:
Marriage and Family Life – enriching and supporting marriages, the essential building block of society and the Church.
Youth and Evangelisation – supporting young people, the future of the Church, as they grow in their relationship with God and deepen their Catholic faith.
And the Church’s Social Outreach within Civil Society – putting our faith into action through projects that serve the poor, the lonely and the marginalised, especially at a time of greater division and inequality in society.
Two weekends ago, we distributed Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal donation leaflets. We have more to hand out today, and there are more available at the back of the church. As we are just about half way through Lent, please consider designating your Lenten sacrifice to the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal. Thank you for your generosity and sacrifice.
+3rd SUNDAY OF LENT
4th March 2018
THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE
TODAY’S GOSPEL tells of Our Lord driving out the money changers and those who sold birds and animals for sacrifice.
We are to learn that:
- the Temple sacrifices have come to an end because Jesus Himself is now God fully present among us, and His one perfect sacrifice on Calvary effects our reconciliation with God and one another.
- After the Resurrection the Church is His Mystical Body on earth – belonging to Jesus and His Church are two sides of the same coin.
- Our churches are to be places of prayer. Authentic worship and prayer are means to let God transform us and enable us live better each day.
- Jesus wants to cleanse us of our sin but this cannot happen until we enthrone Him, so that He reigns fully in our life. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is our most powerful weapon to effect this.
- The Ten Commandments teach us ten ways of loving, so they are an excellent way to help us examine our life and prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We should know the Ten Commandments by heart! Do we?
+2nd SUNDAY OF LENT
25th February 2018
ALMSGIVING is essential to keeping a good Lent.
A few weeks ago, you may have heard the Cardinal’s Pastoral Letter, in which he spoke of the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal in support of key areas of work in our Diocese. The Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal was set up in 2015 to fund the innovative work of Catholic parishes, schools and charities working within the Diocese, contributing to three fundamental mission areas of the Church: Marriage and Family Life – enriching and supporting marriages, the essential building block of society and the Church. Youth and Evangelisation – supporting young people, the future of the Church, as they grow in their relationship with God and deepen their Catholic faith. And the Church’s Social Outreach within Civil Society – putting our faith into action through projects that serve the poor, the lonely and the marginalised, especially at a time of greater division and inequality in society.
These mission areas embody how we live out the Gospel and put our Catholic values into action – in service to others through practical programmes. Please take a Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal donation leaflet as you leave Mass today. During Lent, and in the spirit of sacrifice, sharing and almsgiving, please consider designating your Lenten sacrifice to the Cardinal’s Appeal.
There are envelopes at the back of the church containing more in formation about the Cardinal’s Appeal: please take one and remember to complete the Gift Aid declaration if you are a UK tax payer.
Inspirational Quotes for The Lenten Season
1. “Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” — Pope Francis
2. “Are you capable of risking your life for someone? Do it for Christ.” — Pope St John Paul II
3. “As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…’Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.” — Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
4.“Prayer is where the action is.” — John Wesley
5. “The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.” — Pope St. Gregory the Great
6. “Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and in this way to know the fundamental truth: who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life…” – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
7. “Renounce yourself in order to follow Christ; discipline your body; do not pamper yourself, but love fasting.” — Saint Benedict
8. “Lent is like a long ‘retreat’ during which we can turn back into ourselves and listen to the voice of God, in order to defeat the temptations of the Evil One. It is a period of spiritual ‘combat’ which we must experience alongside Jesus, not with pride and presumption, but using the arms of faith: prayer, listening to the word of God and penance. In this way we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our Baptism.” — Pope Benedict XVI
+1st SUNDAY OF LENT
18th February 2018
LENT: 40 days and nights
In these days we seek to identify with Our Lord’s experience in the desert and so come to know and love Him better.
It was the Holy Spirit who led Him into the desert, and we shall only keep a good Lent in so far as we keep asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. Our Lord was tempted by the Devil, and, if we are intent on following Our Lord, so shall we be tempted — to give up, to make the things of this world (food, drink, possessions, status and money) the treasures of our heart. This is why we must emphasise the disciplines of Lent: PRAYER, FASTING and ALMSGIVING.
Practising these liberates us from our self-centredness and self-indulgence. We need always to ask the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the help of the angels, just as Our Lord experienced this in the desert. There is the wonderful prayer to St Michael the Archangel to keep us from the influence of the Devil and bad spirits.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
(written by Pope Leo XIII in 1884)
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle;
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke Him, we humbly pray,
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God, cast into Hell,
Satan and all the other evil spirits,
who wander through the world,
for the ruin of souls. Amen.
ACT OF CONTRITION
O Lord, forgive me my sins, the sins of my youth
The sins of my age, the sins of my soul,
The sins of my body, my idle sins,
My serious voluntary sins, the sins I know,
The sins I do not know:
The sins I have concealed so long,
And which are now hidden from, my memory.
I am truly sorry for every sin, mortal and venial,
For all the sins of my childhood up to the present hour.
I know my sins have wounded your tender heart.
O my Saviour, let me be freed from the bonds of evil
Through the most bitter passion of my Redeemer.
O my Jesus, forget and forgive what I have been.
+6th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
11th February 2018
LENT 2018 begins this Wednesday. It is a joyful season because we are choosing again to come back to the Lord with all our heart.
ASH WEDNESDAY reminds us of our mortality: “remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return”, so how are we using the relatively short life we have? Our aim is to move away from our self-centredness and self-indulgence toward the love of Christ and his way — that of love expressed in service and sacrifice.
PRAYER, FASTING and ALMSGIVING are the means we take on with renewed vigour.
PRAYER the raising up of mind and heart to God each day will keep us focused on our aim. — a deeper conversation to God and neighbour.
FASTING gives us greater control over bodily appetites, helps us live in greater solidarity with the hungry, and helps us grow in our capacity to hunger for the Bread of Life.
ALMSGIVING moves us to share what we have with others, especially those in greater need.
“DO WHATER HE TELLS YOU” said Our Lady to the servants about her Son at the first miracle in Cana: in doing what Jesus said, the water was transformed into wine! When we pray, fast and give alms out of love for the Lord we too are transformed. Have a good and joyful Lent!
ASH WEDNESDAY MASSES:
8:00am, 12:30pm, 1:15pm and 6:00pm
Fr David Barnes
Pope Francis’ WORDS:
Do You Want to Fast This Lent?
·Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
· Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
· Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
· Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
· Fast from worries and have trust in God.
· Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
· Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
· Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
· Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
· Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
· Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.
+5th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
4th February 2018
MASS TIMES AND INTENTIONS
HEALING features powerfully throughout Our Lord’s public ministry — healing of body, mind or spirit. Today’s Gospel gives examples of these healings.
His ministry of healing continues in the Church today. The Church has founded many hospitals, and has always emphasised love and care for the sick, and we should often pray for doctors and nurses: do we, for example, pray for our GP?
The Sacrament of the Sick is powerful means to let God’s healing power work within us.
If you are going into hospital, please do let me know — I cannot know unless I am told! If in hospital, you will need to ask the nursing staff that you want to see the Catholic chaplain: it will not happen unless you ask. If you cannot get to mass because of sickness or failing health, please do let me know — again, I cannot know unless someone tells me! Or if you know of someone who cannot get to mass or is now housebound, please let me know and I can visit them and bring them the sacraments.
We should often invoke the prayers of Our Lady for healing under title “Our Lady, health of the sick”.
Next Sunday, 11th February, is usually the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Washing with Lourdes water, when done with love and faith, is often a means of healing. This Saturday there is a Mass for healing at 2pm in the Cathedral.
God wants our healing: let us be open to it, and pray for it with faith — not only for ourselves but also for one another.
Fr David Barnes Parish Priest
+4th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
28th January 2018
RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY
TODAY Catholics are called to pray for those who experience unjust discrimination or marginalised because of their race and ethnicity. We think in particular of those who feel they do not belong within our society or our communities because of this discrimination.
As Catholics we are asked to treat all humans with dignity, regardless of their background or circumstance.
There are many stories of alienation throughout the Bible, with clear calls to “Love the stranger”. That the Church is a place where all belong is clearly seen in the recent Feast of the Epiphany, when Christ is revealed not only to the Israelites, but to all of God’s people.
All the money raised will go towards supporting the Church’s work on racial justice issues. The theme this year is “Belonging”, emphasising that we are called not only to ensure our parishes welcome newcomers, strangers, and those from different backgrounds, but also that all people will know they will find a welcome in our parishes.
Please help us continue this good work, by contributing to the collection on this day. Prayer cards and posters have been sent to parishes for this day, and can be accessed online at
http://catholicnews.org.uk/racial-justice-sunday-2018 where you can also donate.
+3rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
21st January 2018
The recent daily readings at Mass have been about Samuel, his call, his response which led me to think about my own call to serve the Lord. I cannot recall when I knew I wanted to be a sister simply because I cannot remember wanting anything else. We had teaching sisters in primary school but they never had the privilege/burden of teaching me. Being a vain child my mother tried all kinds of effort to make me change my mind about bring a sister when I did enter the convent my mum was the proudest mother in the world.
Having completed 63 years in religious life reminds me of my parents diamond wedding anniversary, I said to my father, that’s two prison life sentences, but like many parents they have been wonderful years.
In most families life is not always a bed of roses, but with God’s help we survive. We try to be like Samuel and say, “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will”. Fr John during the week gave us a good maxim to follow. When we wake up in the morning make our first words of the day be, “here I am Lord, I come to do your will.
The Lord is continually calling us each day and throughout the day. How many times have I not listened or ignored or refused to hear? The Good News is we can always turn to God, He will nevet desert us. In the words of John Henry Newman, “to live is to change, to change often is to become perfect, which is what the Lord asks of us.
Why did God make me? In the words of the Catechism, “God made me to know Him, love Him and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in the next.
Sister M. Lucina
+2nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
14th January 2018
The Bishops of England and Wales invite us to make today A Day of Prayer for World Peace, using the theme proposed bv Pope Francis: “Migrants and Refugees – Seekers of Peace”. Sadly, we are so used to images of those driven from their homelands by warfare or famine that we risk being desensitised both to their pain and to their aspirations. Yet these are our brothers and sisters: they seek what we all seek – food and shelter, a safe home and hope for the future. So at Mass today let us ask Christ for the grace to recognise Him in the refugee and the stranger and to remove the barriers in out hearts which make us view others as a threat and a danger, rather than as fellow seekers after peace.
A PRAYER OF POPE FRANCIS
We believe that Jesus was a refugee, had to flee to save his life, with Saint Joseph and Saint Mary, had to leave for Egypt. He was a refugee. Let us pray to Our Lady who knew the pain of refugees. Let us be close to these people, sharing their fears and their uncertainty for the future and alleviating their pain with concrete measures. Mary, mother of refugees , pray for us, asking that the
Lord sustain those people and institutions who work with generosity to assure a welcome to refugees, recognise their dignity, and give them reasons for hope.
7th January 2018
TODAY we celebrate the Epiphany. In the coming of the King’s/the Magi, we see that all real power and wisdom are found in the person of Jesus – He is the Power and the Wisdom of God personified.
The King’s/Magi fall on their knees and worship Him: we too must imitate them, falling on our knees and worshipping Him – only then are we better disposed to see who He really is.
The Feast of the Epiphany was the day I was ordained priest – now 42 years ago! On my ordination prayer card I put a prayer written by a saint who has influenced me greatly throughout my adult life: St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
I put the prayer here again, and encourage you to say it regularly. Pray for me, as I do for you.
teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve You as You deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for any reward
save that of knowing I am doing Your Will.
Fr David Barnes, Parish Priest