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Fr Tim

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY:

We will mark Remembrance Sunday with our usual service by the War Memorials in our two parishes. They are a constant reminder to us of the horror of war and the perennial need to strive for reconciliation and peace, beginning in our own homes and communities.

(The following prayer was written last year to commemorate the end of world war I)

Remembrance Sunday

To read more on our War Memorial click here

PILGRIMAGE TO ASSISI AND ROME:

The pilgrimage, organised by St Mary’s, but including a number of our parishioners from Bishop Eton, was a wonderful experience. It is hard to think of how it might have been bettered. Lorna, our guide, was knowledgeable and wise, knowing when to speak and when to leave us to our own thoughts and prayers. We covered an enormous amount of ground in both cities, and somehow the older pilgrims coped with it all and seemed game for more. At the same time the younger members of the party – and there were many of them – impressed me with their enthusiasm and their attentiveness to the needs of the elderly.

Even the weather was kind to us, in spite of some doubtful forecasts.

The one thing which struck me most forcefully was that in every generation it is a challenge to strike the right balance. St Francis literally stripped off and demonstrated how to live simply. He was an inspiration to everyone, so much so that within two years of his death, he was being canonised and great basilicas were being constructed in his memory. Yet, there is the rub. The very word basilica takes us back to the Roman Empire and the exercise of power. Pope Francis has taken his name to try and inspire us today to return to a simpler way of being Church and our coming SYNOD is an opportunity for us to think it through in our own time and place.

COMINGS AND GOINGS:

Fr Andrew will be away all this week on Provincial Council and other business.

synod 2020 logoTHE SYNOD:

I continue to urge you to respond to the request to contribute to the dialogue in preparation for the Synod. There is a box in each of our churches for you to share your thoughts.

We are moving now from “All called and gifted by God” to “Sharing the mission of Jesus”.

The following video has some reflections on the theme of Sharing the Mission of Jesus

The questions we are asked to reflect on are 

    • How do we more effectively evangelise and lead people to a deeper relationship with Jesus?
    • How do we show the compassionate love of Jesus in our work for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation, in our acts of charity and our works of mercy?
    • How can the parish rise to the challenge of sharing the mission of Jesus?
    • How can we equip people to be the presence of Jesus at work, at home, and in the street?

However, Fr Michael Henesy has once more come up with what I think is an inspired idea, which may enable our two parishes to make a unique contribution to the work of the Synod. We will share this with you next Sunday.

I am scribbling a note before leaving on the pilgrimage and am presuming that I, along with all the pilgrims, will be returning from our trip to Italy renewed in faith and commitment. I have never before returned from a pilgrimage disappointed!

We are now in the month of November and our attention turns to those who have gone before us, the souls in purgatory. We never quite grasp the mystery of life after death and the nature of eternity. The concept of purgatory speaks to us, not of eternity, but of a time of final preparation to meet God.

By happy coincidence Remembrance Sunday occurs in this month because 101 years ago the First World War finally came to an end at 11.00am on the 11th of the 11th.  As we pray for those who still need our prayers, perhaps we could redouble our efforts in praying that war will one day truly be a thing of the past.

Meanwhile, as we strive in Synodal language, to become the Church God wants us to be, let’s seek every way we can of healing division in our own families, communities and country.

PILGRIMAGE:

As you know, fifty of us will be away this week in Assisi and Rome for the St Mary’s Parish Pilgrimage.

Please pray that this will be a truly blessed experience for those of us taking part and we, in turn, will pray that our two parishes will be enriched by the experience in the months and years to come.

THIS WEEK:

Fr Andrew will be holding the fort this week and will deal with anything which needs immediate attention; otherwise, please wait until my return.

This week carries its own challenges with the Feast of All Saints on Friday and the Ordination to the Diaconate of Tim King here at 6 o’clock on Thursday evening. Archbishop Malcolm will be the ordaining Bishop and my thanks to those of you who have agreed to  ensure that all goes well both in the church and for a reception in the hall afterwards.

Please note that there will not be Masses at St Mary’s in the early part of the week, but Deacon Bernard has offered to look after Liturgies on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The usual Holiday of Obligation timetable will hold on Thursday and Friday: e.g. a Vigil Mass at St Mary’s on Thursday at 7.00pm, followed by the usual timetable in both churches on Friday, including an evening Mass here at 7.30pm.

I will be celebrating Mass that day in the Church of Sant’Alfonso in Rome. The normal timetable for everyone resumes next Saturday, the day we pilgrims return.

UPDATE 

This week there will be funerals for Catherine Fields on Tuesday and Rena Curpen on Wednesday.   Fr Andrew will celebrate these Requiem Masses and we assure their families of our prayers and condolences. They were faithful members of our parish and I had the privilege of ministering to both of them before they died.

I was also able to pray with May McCrossan this week. She is now at St Peter’s, the Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor near the Oval in South London, but, as many of you know, she was also a faithful member of our parish for fourteen years, and among other things organised the Divine Mercy Prayer. She is gravely ill and I assured her of our prayers at this time. From her sick bed she continues her own selfless network of prayer for everyone.

SYNOD:

Remember the theme for this month: ALL CALLED AND GIFTED BY GOD.

The questions we are asked to ponder are

    • How do I hear the call of God in my life today?
    • How do I feel about being called by God? 
    • What changes in me because God has called me? 
    • What does it mean for us to be a church of saints and sinners?

If you have suggestions to help formulate propositions for the Synod on this theme, please place them in the box by the Synod Display. Our reps have reminded me that one way of approaching this is to reflect on the enormous amount that is going on in both our parishes by way of people sharing their gifts.

PILGRIMAGE TO ASSISI AND ROME:

The St Mary’s Pilgrimage is coming up and I will be away for the inside of the week after next.

I will just highlight the fact that during that week there will be no weekday Masses at St Mary’s, but Deacon Bernard has kindly offered to celebrate a liturgy in the early part of the week but the usual holiday of obligation times will be in place for the Feast of All Saints.

ALTAR SERVERS:

Please do not despair. You are on my radar and hopefully, before I leave for Rome and Assisi we will have plans in place to train the new servers in both parishes and re-affirm all our existing servers.

 HELPFUL LINKS

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