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Sermon for 31 July 2011
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EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR A + 31 JULY 2011 LIFE SUNDAY.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST

My Dear People,

I went to the Post Office on Tuesday for stamps and I was the only person there. Everyone seems to have gone away. The numbers are down at Mass and so is the Collection - folk are re visiting their old haunts and enjoying new ones. Many will be going abroad and to Ireland and I hope you all have a refreshing time.

The Holy Father began his Holiday last week in Castel Gandolfo - up in the cooler hills outside the city of Rome. I have re-printed below the Pope's wise words on the use we can make of free time and holidays. As you would expect - His Holiness is full of wisdom. Need I add that what the Pope advices I have already done as you will know from my newsletter last week - visiting Padre Pio's birthplace, the great 1000 year old Abbey of Corva and the shrines of St Matthew and St Andrew in Salerno and Amalfi as well as the beauty of the geography and the pleasure of swimming in the warm sea.

Those of you at St Edwards will know Pilar of the Fraterna who assisted me in the Parish when she resided at St Edwards. She is now in Salerno NEAR Naples, Italy, and we visited her several times. The Fraterna there actually live on top of the Church of St George - the Artist’s Church - it is called and they look after it. Many tourists come to looks at the art and architecture of the Church and it is truly beautiful and we offered Mass there. Normally Mass is offered there only on a Sunday at 1pm for the lazy artists who can't get up for early Mass!

Today we have a sombre mood in St Matthew's account of the feeding of the five thousand. It comes about as the result of our Blessed Lord receiving the news of the execution of his dear cousin, John the Baptist. "He was the light shining in the darkness" our Lord said about him. Jesus went off to a lonely place with the Twelve so that they could be by themselves and lo and behold - the crowds were waiting as he stepped ashore- thousands of them. Perhaps they were clinging to our Lord in the fear of what Herod had done to John. Jesus set about healing their sick – just like that. No wonder people followed him so.

But hunger sets in and they are far from the bakers and only five loaves and two fish are visible. Our Lord tells the apostles "bring them here to me". The rest is history.

But my dear people - do note - the people gave what they had and it was patently not enough - BUT - in our Lord's hands it becomes a great abundance; enough to feed the lot and have some left over. That is how God is with us. We offer what we can – poor as we are - and then Our Lord makes of it so much more. That is how the Catholic Church is constantly renewed you know. We are living in bad times for the Church in some ways and yet in parts there is abundant new life and growth beyond compare.

Jesus gave the Apostles the task of distribution of the bread and the fish. The Mass today will end with the apostle here and in everyplace - taking from our Lord's hands his Sacred Body and giving it to the Faithful. This is the food which our Lord promised he would give after the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. This is the "bread that would last forever". O Sacred Banquet in which Christ is received, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace and the pledge of future glory is given to us - the Prayer of St Thomas Aquinas.

God Bless,

Fr Tom Connolly.


FUNDRAISER FOR THE NEW STATUE OF OUR LADY FOR THE PROCESSION ON 1ST OCT. £900 WAS RAISED AND KARINA AND HER COMMITTEE OF FELLOW HELPERS WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU ALL WHO CAME TO THE CEILIDH NIGHT AT ST KENTIGERN'S CLUB AND WHO GAVE PRIZES FOR THE DRAW.

Wedding bells. Congrats to Modesta Kavu and Christophe Hayon who married at St Kentigerns on Saturday.

SECOND COLLECTION TODAY FOR THE BISHOP'S FUND FOR PRO LIFE.





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