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  • RCDOW Burnt Oak

Sunday 17 October 2021

29th Sunday of Year B

James and John were close followers of Jesus and were hoping that this would mean that they would earn a privileged place in the heavenly kingdom. This provides Jesus with an opportunity to explain that these privileged places are for those who dedicate their lives to service, often involving suffering of one kind or another. Jesus himself would attain glory through his own suffering and humiliating death. To be a good disciple, we must initiate Jesus in his life of service, accepting what sufferings which might come our way and so eventually share in his glory in heaven.


Next weekend is World Mission Day. Pope Francis has written the following message for World Mission Sunday 2021:

The theme of this year’s World Mission Day – “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20), is a summons to each of us to “own” and to bring to others what we bear in our hearts. Buy its very nature, the life of faith calls for a growing openness to embracing everyone, everywhere. I like to think that “even those who are most frail, limited and troubled can be missionaries in their own way, for goodness can always be shared, even if it exists alongside many limitations” (Christus Vivit, 239).

On World Mission Sunday we recall with gratitude all those men and women who by their testimony of life help us to renew our baptismal commitment to be generous and joyful apostles of the Gospel. Let us remember especially all those who resolutely set out, leaving home and family behind, to bring the Gospel to all those places and people thirsting for its saving message.

Jesus needs hearts capable of experiencing vocation as a true love story that urges them to go forth to the peripheries of our world as messengers and agents of compassion. Universal openness to love has a dimension that is not geographical but existential. To be on mission is to be willing to think as Christ does, to believe with him that those around us are also my brothers and sisters. May his compassionate love touch our hearts and make us all true missionary disciples.

There will be a second collection next weekend to support the missionary work carried out by Missio (the Pontifical Mission Societies).


This weekend parishes are launching the Synodal pathway, outlined in the recent pastoral letter form Cardinal Vincent Nichols. The listening process, considering questions relating to the Church as we move from the worst of the pandemic, will be prominent in the next couple of months. Details of how we are going to do that will follow.


There will be no Mass this Monday at 12 Noon. The only Mass is at 7.30am


Over several years in Burnt Oak and Mill Hill, there has been a group of people available to meet up with individuals or families suffering from the effects of bereavement. In more recent times, there has also been a drop-in facility for those who wish to talk about their bereavement in a group environment. This has taken place at the Sacred Heart Church in Mill Hill. Over the last 18 months, these facilities have been in abeyance because of COVID but it is hoped that they will start up again soon. However, we are in need of more befrienders. If you think you would be able to take this on or would like to know more about it, please speak to Fr Colin, who has been involved in the project since he first came to the parish. It is emphasized that this is not a Counselling Service. The main attribute required is to be a good listener. Training can be provided.


This autumn’s group and individual reflection booklet relates to St Joseph, as we approach the climax of the Year of St Joseph. Copies of the booklet ‘With a Father’s Love’ can be found in the porch. Donations of £2. can be put into the wall box marked ‘papers’ to the left of the door.


The next session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised is on Sunday 14th November at 4pm in the church.

Foodbank for the community

This outlet is currently suspended until 1st November. Many thanks to those who have made donations already.


The number of people attending Mass here last weekend was 327. This gives us an average of 375 over the four weeks, compared with 273 over the equivalent four weeks of 2020 and 639 in 2019.


The bereavement Mass will take place on Saturday 13th November at to which everybody is welcome.


Application forms for parents who wish their child to receive 1st Holy Communion next year are available in the porch. Children should be in Year 3 or above. Please return the form to the presbytery by 5th December 2021.

The Passage

The Passage is grateful to those parishioners who have volunteered to help with its street collection on Tuesday 19 October. There is a final opportunity to volunteer, contact Andrew Hollingsworth 020 75921886 (07928 703131) by 12.00 noon on Monday 18 October. Do look out for Passage collectors on Tuesday if you are in Westminster in Victoria Street or Oxford Street. If you do not carry cash you can donate to the campaign online at


All Catholics have been asked to pray for the defeat of the Assisted Dying bill, which is due to receive a second reading with a full debate in the House of Lord’s on 22nd October. There is a Novena of prayer, asking the intercessions of St John Paul II as part of the effort to defeat this attempt to legalise assisted suicide.

Merciful God, we pray with thanks and gratitude for the great spiritual gift of Saint John Paul II’s apostolic life and mission. Through his heavenly intercession we ask that the ‘Assisted Dying’ Bill be defeated and that the infinite worth of each human person is upheld through proper investment in palliative care. Grant also that we may grow in love for You and proclaim boldly the love of Jesus Christ to all people. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen, The Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.


Day One ‘All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.’ (Pope Francis, Message to Catholics participating in Day for Life in Britain and Ireland, July 28, 2013)

Day Two “A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.” (Evangelium Vitae, 101) Day Three ‘A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members; and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying.’ (St. John Paul II, Address to the New Ambassador of New Zealand to the Holy See, 25th May, 2000) Day Four “Respecting the dignity of people who are dying must involve respecting their lives, for without life there is no dignity.”(Cherishing Life, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales 2004) Day Five“Laws which legitimize the direct killing of innocent human beings through abortion or euthanasia are in complete opposition to the inviolable right to life proper to every individual; they thus deny the equality of everyone before the law.” (Evangelium Vitae, 72) Day Six “As believers, how can we fail to see that abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are a terrible rejection of God’s gift of life and love? And as believers, how can we fail to feel the duty to surround the sick and those in distress with the warmth of our affection and the support that will help them always to embrace life?” (St. Pope John Paul II) Day Seven Physician-assisted suicide is part of a “throwaway culture” that offers a “false compassion” and treats a human person as a problem…True compassion does not marginalise anyone, nor does it humiliate and exclude- much less considers the death of a person as a good thing.’ (Pope Francis, Address to Directors of the Orders of Physicians of Spain and Latin America, June 2016) Day Eight As life is given by God, so we should be ready to meet God in death when the time comes. For Christians this is a time in which fear and sadness are mixed with hope and love. It is an occasion to surrender ourselves into the hands of God. It is wrong for us to anticipate God’s command and bring about our own deaths…’ (Cherishing Life, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales 2004) Day Nine “Never tire of firmly speaking out in defence of life from its conception and do not be deterred from the commitment to defend the dignity of every human person with courageous determination. Christ is with you: be not afraid!” (St. Pope John Paul II)


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