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Sermon for 15 July 2012



My Dear People,

Holiday time is always for me a time of deep reflection about the meaning our lives and where they are going and how we are managing etc. You might think this is a bit odd to be thinking on the beach or in the nice hotel but for me it is not. I have just had a week in a quiet part of Spain with no "pubs" or "Fish and Chip" places!!

It is when you get off the fast moving pavement of the two Parishes of St KENTIGERNS and St EDWARDS and the schools and institutions which go with them that I am forced to take time off. With no timetable or appointments or priestly ministry duties beyond offering the Holy Mass each day and praying the Divine office, it is possible to have uninterrupted time to reflect.

I see husbands and wives with their little children and babes in arms and sometimes bringing on hols their beloved handicapped or special needs child and indeed Grandma to do a bit of baby minding I guess. I see the young singles - hoping to be enjoying themselves and meeting maybe the one they can love forever! I am a romantic at heart you know.

One also sees a lot of bare skin and our bodies become a bit more vulnerable to the sun, to the gaze, to the self value and self esteem. I am reminded of our bodies and how God made us and how short and wonderful the gift of life is that God has bestowed upon us. I saw really old people who could hardly walk, in their shorts and swim suits and soft shoes slowly, slowly making it down to the beach and the sea air. I think some of them could swim faster than they could walk.

For me it always demonstrates the different stages of our lives on earth and how each of them are opportunities for us to grow in God's grace and favour. I see the children there - born in the last few years and wonder what kind of world our Governments are bringing in with their denying of the man and the woman needed for Marriage. What of the world where it will be a hate crime to say the true things of God which are related to marriage and being a man and a woman. I think of the kids brought up by same gender couples and the agonies they will suffer. I also reflect on the gift of children - the fruit of your body as the Bible says. You see other people's families a lot on holidays by the sea.

May God be praised in all his creation. May we thank God for the gift of this wonderful world and this wonderful life - however much we have in front of us, it is a gift to be treasured each day and to be lived in His Presence and in His Divine Love.

"He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out." On 28th July at St Kentigerns and the 22nd at St Edwards we are holding a day of prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood and consecrated life. Each Parish is assigned a Day of Prayer and each School. I attended an Ordination in Rome recently of a young man who found his vocation whilst doing a Post Grad Engineering degree at the Uni and came to Mass at St Edwards and found his vocation. He said Mass on the 4th at St Edwards as you know. He is being sent to Chile on the 13th - Pray for him, Don Ruben Roncolato. Think of the work of God which will and is coming about through a newly ordained priest. The devil is scared you know. He is another Christus - driving out Satan, the spirit of evil, absolving, communicating the Word and the Holy Sacrament of the Altar and the holy Mysteries of Christ, liberating and setting free. It is a mandate from Christ and they are still being sent and people respond and are converted to the Lord God. It is all wonderful is it not?

Holiday times come and Mr O'Keefe is retiring early and he has been at our school for as long as anyone can remember so we wish him and Pat a long and happy second phase...and thanks.

May all who go away have a nice time and return to us safe and sound. Donít forget to go Holy Mass on hols unless you are miles from a church.

God bless and safe journey to all who travel.

Father Tom Connolly

CHAIR OF GOVERNORS I am and will remain in this Office at St Kentigerns school for as long as the Governors elect me each year. A rumour went out that I had resigned. NOT TRUE.

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