THIRTY SECOND SUNDAY C + 7th NOVEMBER 2010.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
WAS it not a wonderful and awe-inspiring sight, during the FORTY HOURS ADORATION to see the holy Sanctuary filled with light and beautiful flower displays honouring the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar?
Each of those candles represents your prayers going up to Almighty God, full of light and warmth. Each candle has a name or names written on it. You have written them. So each candle burns and represents and commends to God the people whose names you have written. Some of them no longer walk with us on earth - God has called them recently or long ago. Other names are your family and friends and you intend to pray for them offering the candle on their behalf.
The important thing is this - nearly 600 candles have been purchased by you to honour Jesus Christ, our Eucharistic Lord and to pray for yourselves and for the others whose names ore written down. Nearly every child and teacher and member of staff of our schools have visited Jesus in this Exposition and said their prayers both St Kentigern's School and The Divine Mercy for both parishes are having the 40 hours Devotion.
Near the Paschal Candle is another list of names written down. They are the ones you have placed as "among the dead" of your family and our community. The proximity to the Easter candle reminds us that death is not the end and that the Resurrection of the Body is the final state of the Blessed of the Lord. Both devotions tell us a lot about how God relates to us.
In THE FORTY HOURS DEVOTION we watch and pray with Christ in his Real Presence in the church solemnly exposed in the Monstrance. It is an intense moment. One man came into the church some years ago and exclaimed: "It is like being in Heaven!" That is true because in heaven we will see what we cannot see now - the angels adoring the monstrance exposing the Lord's Outward Sign of His Risen Body - the saints gathering at the altar of the Lamb - St Joseph, our Blessed Mother, etc. We will be with All the Saints who have ever lived adoring the Triune God. In Knock the seers saw these surrounding the Lamb (Jesus) on the Altar surmounted by the Cross. Our Lady and St Joseph were there and the angels surrounded the Holy Mother who wore a Crown and pointed to her Saviour and her Lord - the Lamb. The Blessed Sacrament is a foretaste of Heaven itself is it not?
On this Sunday afternoon - a glorious conclusion to the FORTY HOURS will be Solemn Benediction at 4pm. Do be there for the end if you can. I know it is not easy to get out on a Sunday afternoon but try and the Lord will reward you.
Now THE MONTH OF THE HOLY SOULS. Do you remember the old hymn "They are waiting for our petitions, silent and calm, their lips no prayer can utter, no suppliant Psalm. We have made them all too weary with long delay - the souls thou lovest dearest, Good Christian pray." I could sing it now to you I learnt at school and such hymns and prayers made sure that we Catholic children grew up with a very highly developed knowledge of the things the dead needed once they had left us. My mother died when I was 12 and I remember doing the visits to the Seven Churches on Good Friday to visit the Altars of Repose. I wanted to apply the Plenary Indulgence to her soul and release her from Purgatory. With such Piety we were brought up but it reflected an ultimate reality - that we must and should pray for our dead. No deeper grave can we dig than loss of memory to pray.
Our Lord tells us we must love with all our hearts and minds - firstly God and then our neighbour. Well people do not cease to be our neighbours do they? When they die, we keep praying for their eternal repose. Often on a Catholic Gravestone you see the words "OF YOUR CHARITY PRAY FOR THE SOUL OF..." That is a good inscription for when you read it you pray for the person interred. They are very close to us in the Communion of Saints and are part of the Church "Suffering" like we are part of the Church "Militant" and the people in heaven part of the Church "Triumphant". Now - there is a lot to think about!
God Bless and don't forget to hand back the November Lists Envelopes - in the Collection or through the letterbox.
God Bless you all,
Father Tom Connolly
CATHOLIC CHILDREN'S RESCUE SOCIETY Christmas card catalogues are at the back of church for the Rescue society for you to order. They made over £5000 on cards last year. Please take one and use it. Aid to the Church in Need Xmas Card catalogues too are in the porch.
Even though our Government has made it illegal for our Catholic Children to be adopted by heterosexual couples exclusively (as Catholic Morality demands) and we have had therefore to stop arranging Adoptions - the Rescue society still runs a whole gamut of social services for Fostering, Single mums service and shelter, refuge for those tempted to terminate, refuge for teens unable to live with a parent, help and support for vulnerable families etc so they need our full support still. Sad though that a Catholic lass wanting her babe adopted cannot ask the Catholic Church to look after the baby's spiritual welfare isn't it? I wonder if they ask the Muslims for such an assurance or the other Religions who also agree with us. We are not free to state that it is not good for a child to be adopted by a gay couple. I might get arrested now! God forgive those MPs who so gladly voted for this. If you are interested in Fostering see www.ccrs.org.uk.
BISHOPS BURSE COLLECTION NEXT SUNDAY. THIS IS FOR THE BISHOP'S HOUSEHOLD AND OFFICE AND HIS WORK FOR US AS OUR PASTOR.
MR.KEVIN FITZPATRICK, OUR SOCAL CENTRE BOSS AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE HAS BEEN NOMINATED TO JOIN A SHORT LIST FOR "MANAGER OF THE YEAR for CHARITABLE FUNDRASING" PRIZE AWARDED NATIONALLY BY THE "CLUB MIRROR" MAGAZINE. WE WISH KEVIN GOOD LUCK FOR THE 10TH NOV AT THE PALACE HOTEL, OXFORD ROAD WHEN THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED. LET US HOPE IT WILL BE OUR KEVIN!! HE MERITS IT FOR SURE. WE WILL BE PRESENT THAT NIGHT TO SUPPORT HIM.
NEXT SUNDAY IS REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY AND THE 11AM MASS AT ST KENTIGERNS AND THE 10AM MASS AT STEDWARDS WILL BE A WAR REQUIEM MASS FOR THE WAR DEAD OF OUR COUNTRY.