Takehomenews Sunday 2 May
Fr Colin writes:
The image of Jesus Christ as the Vine in our Gospel today sparks a few thoughts about us being fruitful branches of the vine. Covid has made us branches some what distant from each other. We have not been able to mix as we did before and nourish each other with our words and deeds of encouragement. Our communication with each other has been different. We have had to communicate by phone or computer rather than meet face to face. However, the goodwill has not diminished. Prayers are the invisible means of nourishing. The support is still there. The NHS has been at the forefront in care for the branches of Christ the Vine. As restrictions begin to ease, we may be able to resume former ways of helping the other branches and so allow the Vine to flourish.
We have now started the First Communion Programme. Because of COVID restrictions, until the 21st June the children’s sessions are in two groups which meet on separate Sundays. If all the restrictions are lifted as mapped out, we will be able to have the First Communions in July.
The Confirmation programme will be getting under way soon. Please see below for more details.
On Thursday, the Canon Smyth Parish Centre will be used as a Polling Station for the Mayoral and Local Elections. Fr Colin.
Priest Training Fund
Thank you for your generosity to the Priest Training Fund collection last weekend. It is not too late to make a donation if you wish. Envelopes are available in the back of the church, Please continue to pray for vocations to the priesthood. For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.rcdow.org.uk/donations
First Communion Programme
There will be a session for First Holy Communion parents on Wednesday at 7.45pm by zoom. Please note that this session is on a Wednesday not the usual Tuesday.
The Children in Group A will have their second session next Sunday (9th May) at 9.15 in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre.
Thankyou to those who have already supplied their email address. For those who have not already done so please supply your email details to email@example.com as soon as possible. We will shortly be providing a link to an online meeting for Parents on Tuesday 4th May at 7.00pm, and further details regarding the programme once finalised, will be announced by email.
You may have noticed that we have had new windows installed in the Sacred Heart alcove at the back of the church. The old windows were damaged and the new ones provide a colourful glow into the corner of the church.
5th Sunday of Easter (B)
This week we move from the image of Christ as the Good Shepherd and we as the sheep to Christ as The True Vine and we as the branches. These images in St John's Gospel are very powerful in explaining the relationship between God and his people. The teaching is essentially about being in Christ. It is about drawing life from the vine so that the branches can bear fruit. The purpose of the branches is the fruit that they can produce. The branches are not there just to decorate the vine. This means that as the branches we have an important role to play. What can we do to produce the fruit? The key to this lies in the work of God. If we follow what the vine teaches us, our branch will be adequately nourished to produce effective fruit. To be IN CHRIST and Christ to be IN us takes us back to our baptism when we became part of him and he part of us. We were baptised into the death and resurrection of Christ. We took on his name and became Christians. And so to be effective branches, Christ is living in us to guide us in our pursuit of producing fruit. In this, we must not forget the power of the Holy Spirit giving us the grace in so many situations to fulfil the demands to bear fruit.
Love is the principal ingredient of the Holy Spirit and our second reading today from the letter of St John emphasises how love is not just words but actions. Putting love into action should be a daily pursuit. Love breeds love. Love is what makes branches flourish. Love is God himself. The reading invites us to reflect on the love that the Father has lavished on us. We are called children of God from the time of our baptism. This endorses the idea that God lives in us and we in him, that we are branches of that same vine.
What about those who have damaged the vine by being bad branches? The first reading makes us think about Saul who had persecuted the church. God invites those who have broken off from the vine to be converted through repentance and thereby be effective branches. After his conversion, Paul worked wholeheartedly in nourishing, the vine by being active in spreading the Word of God, and putting right what he had damaged. Our extract from the Acts of the Apostles in today’s first reading shows how the other disciples were at first reluctant to accept him as one of them. However, Barnabas introduced him to the apostles and Paul was able to set our on his journey to spread the faith, to make more branches on the vine.
Annual Mass of Thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony
The Cardinal will be celebrating a Thanksgiving Mass via live-stream from Westminster Cathedral, on Saturday 15th May 2021 at 3.00pm. The Mass is for all couples in the Diocese who are celebrating their 5th, 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th (and every year over 60) wedding anniversary of Catholic marriage in 2021. If you are celebrating an anniversary, please give your parish clergy/parish office the following details: husband and wife’s names, wedding date, full postal address and email (or telephone number if no email), and these details will be sent to those organizing this celebration. An Order of Service can be downloaded from the Cathedral website before the event – www.westminstercathedral.org.uk.
May Devotion to Our Lady
May Devotion to Our Lady will take place on Sunday 9th May at 3.30pm at the Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden. It will include Holy Rosary and Benediction, with music from the Shrine Singers. Due to Covid Restrictions only a limited number of seats will be available for reservation. The Devotion will be livestreamed. For a link to the livestream and booking of available seats, please visit parish.rcdow.org.uk/Willesden
St Dominic’s Sixth Form College
in the Parliamentary Review
The latest edition of the Parliamentary Review has been published and St Dominic’s is pleased to say that they feature in it. The article had been due to be published in the schools 40th Anniversary Year but was delayed due to the Pandemic. This year the journal is hosted by Kwasi Kwateng MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse
Tuesday 4th May has been designated as a day of prayer for those who have been abused in a season of hope and new life.
Praise to you Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
The source of all consolation and hope.
Be the refuge and guardian of all
Who suffer from abuse and violence.
Comfort them and send healing
For their wounds of the body, soul and spirit.
Help us all and make us one with you
In your love for justice
As we deepen our respect for the dignity of every human life.
Giver of peace, make us one in celebrating
Your praise, both now and forever.
We ask through Christ our Lord.
“Jesus made the crowds welcome and talked to them about the Kingdom of God; and he cured those who were in need of healing.” cf.Matthew 4:123
Saints Days This Week
Monday—St Philip and St James May 1 is the Feast Day of St. Philip and St. James, Apostles. This day has been observed as such since ca. 560, when their remains were moved to the new Church of the Holy Apostles in Rome. (Rome now celebrates these Apostles on May 3.
Tuesday—The English Martyrs In England, these martyrs were formerly commemorated within the Catholic Church by a feast day on 25 October, which is also the feast of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, but they are now celebrated together with all the 284 canonized or beatified martyrs of the English Reformation on 4 May.