Sunday 25 October 2020
Fr Colin Writes:
On Wednesday, we welcome to the parish Fr David Knight, ordained to the priesthood last month. We are truly blessed in having a second priest in the parish and I am sure you will welcome him and enable him to have a great start to his priestly life.
One of the greatest benefits of an assistant priest would have been that Fr. David could visit the housebound and other parishioners, but now even the under-70’s cannot visit any households. One of the things I have missed since COVID restrictions were introduced is being able to greet you after Mass. Priests over 70 have been told to return to the Sacristy at the end of Mass. But there is nothing in the guidelines preventing me from greeting you outside (at a distance wearing a face mask) after Masses that another priest has celebrated. So I should be able to greet you again after some Masses. Father Colin
Month of the Holy Souls
Next weekend we celebrate the Feast of All Saints and then on Monday 2nd November we start the month of the Holy Souls on All Souls Day. On that day masses will be at 7.30AM and 7.30PM.
In previous years, names were written in the Memorial Book but this year with COVID precautions we cannot allow several people to touch the book. So, I will write the names of those who have had funerals in the last year and the book will be placed in front of the altar during November. It contains the names you have inscribed in previous years. There will also be a box in front of the altar into which we will put the names you wish to be remembered. Please write the names on a piece of paper and put in an envelope which you can put through the presbytery letter box. There are envelopes for this on the table at the back of the church.
The funeral Mass for JOHN ANDREW ZURAWICZ will take place at 10.00AM on Thursday. This will replace the 9.00AM that morning. Unfortunately, only those invited by the family can attend the funeral Mass because of the COVID restrictions. Also please pray for THOMAS O’ TOOLE, his burial will be on Friday 30th October and BRIDGET MULVEY whose burial is on Tuesday 3rd November, and MANIE MANDAPAT who has also died recently.
Candidates who were preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation earlier this year until the sessions had to be cancelled because of COVID, are now invited to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation during November. Families will be contacted by the catechists to arrange dates and will send you a power-point package by email to cover the sessions missed. There will be no Reconciliation Service but candidates are encouraged to come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a Saturday between 10.30 and 11.00 or between 5.45 and 6.15pm. Bishop Sherrington is unable to come to the Confirmation ceremonies so Fr. Colin will be administering the Sacrament.
30th Sunday of Year A
Today we hear about God’s beautiful commandment to love. If everyone followed the commandment to love God and our neighbour all the time, what a wonderful world it would be. But over the last few months we are aware of great love being shown by the care given to those who are suffering from the virus and their families, all in difficult circumstances. There have been occasions when it has been impossible to show one’s love for those close to us because of restrictions of accessibility and other ways have had to be found to keep in touch. We think of those doctors, nurses and caring staff who have worked tirelessly for the well-being of those in their care. We think of those who have been bereaved and have not been able to receive the comfort that they normally would have expected. The virus has caused everything to be different and yet new ways have been found to show and follow God’s commandment.
The pandemic may have woken us up to think more of others. It may have brought people closer to God as they think about their own future and that of others. Our prayers may have increased and widened. The more we turn to God, the more we turn to love, because God is love. We may now more easily be able to recognise God at work in other people by the love and care given to us. Love is catching, even more catching than COVID-19. If we are loved and cared for, it is natural to care more for one another. The people of Thessalonica were praised by St Paul for their faith and love of God and their good example for others. They imitated St Paul and the other church leaders to become spreaders of God’s love.
It is interesting that when the Pharisees, and in this case also the Sadducees, approach Jesus to question his teaching. Jesus always comes up with an answer that flattens all their criticism. Here he tells them that the greatest commandment of the Law is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. We cannot love God and not our neighbour. Following this commandment makes us more God-like. As the Pharisees understood their whole life centred around the Law. Jesus had to explain that on these commandments hung the whole Law. You cannot obey any of the commandments and ignore love. Jesus also refers to the Prophets. The Pharisees would have been aware of the prophets but they needed to note that all they said had love at the very core.
Charity is vital in the world of today. In the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in, it has been necessary to find different ways to fulfil the commandment by love and support. However, many inventive ways have been found to support charities in their work. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us in our quest to fulfil God’s commandment to love.
Parish Council Meeting
The Parish Council meet on Thursday 5th November at 7.45PM in the church.
First Communions and Confirmations 2021
Details about applying for these Sacraments to be received in 2021 will be available in November.
There will be a session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised on Sunday 6th December at 4.PM in the church.
Good Council Network
“Tuesday 27th October is the 53rd anniversary of the Abortion Act being passed in England and Wales. Since 1967 over nine million babies have lost their lives to abortion. Millions of women and men have also had to deal with the suffering which so often follows an abortion. Please join us in praying and fasting for the end of abortion in this country on Tuesday 27th October. For Post Abortion help and to support Pro-Life counselling see; www.GoodCounselNetwork.com”
Please invite your friends and Family to join us via this Facebook event; https://www.facebook.com/events/2739924072936969
Saints of the week
Wednesday 28th October St Simon & St Jude.
Patron Saints of hopeless causes (Jude) and tanners (Simon)
Judas Iscariot wasn’t the only Judas among the Twelve Apostles. Today’s Saint Jude (or Judas) was often confused with his evil contemporary.
Saint Simon the Apostle is called the “Zealot” in Saint Luke’s Gospel. Zeal is, in any case, a virtue. It must be joined with prudence to ensure that it does not offend for the sake of offending. A zealous soul will, however, lovingly provoke others to consider the things of God through his words, actions, and appropriate silences.
Thursday 29th October Blessed Martyers of Douai College.
A group of 160 priests trained at the English College of Douai, in France. They were martyred in England and Wales during the century following the foundation of the famed college by Cardinal William Allen in 1568. All perished at the hands of English protestant authorities while labouring to reconvert the island. Simply being a Catholic priest was high treason in England at this time, with the penalty of hanging, drawing and quartering. Eighty alumni of Douai were beatified in 1929.
The College was suppressed in 1793, and the collegians imprisoned for thirteen months at Doullens, Picardy. They were released in November 1794, returning to Douai for only a few months before obtaining permission to return to England. They found their first refuge at Old Hall Green, Ware, and dedicated the new work of the college to St Edmund of Canterbury on his feast day, November 16th, 1794.