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Sermon for 16 September 2012



My Dear People,

We have in today’s Gospel account from St Mark (who was the scribe to St Peter) a very moving account of the reaction to our Blessed Lord's prediction of his fate. Our Lord described that he would suffer - grievously at the hands of the religious authorities - even listed them - “the elders, the Chief Priests, and the scribes and be put to death…”

For the poor apostles this was a terrible defeat – indeed an unthinkable outcome. They did not even hear the good bit - that after three days he would rise again.. It is amazing how people are selective and only hear sometimes was they want to hear.

Here the apostles had just– through Peter, proclaimed Jesus their Master as THE CHRIST - the Saviour - the Anointed One and our Lord had sworn them to keep quiet about it. He did not want the popular misunderstanding of the nature of the Messiah to be a military and political one as it would have been. Indeed that is exactly what the Authorities stitched up our Lord on - claiming to be a King.

They were so horrified Peter was pushed forward as the Leader to tell our Lord that he had got it wrong ; it was not to be like this. They were on the winning side - not the losing side. Look at the great miracles - our Lord could not be a victim like this.

However - when Peter spoke like this you will notice if you re-read the account that Jesus turned from Peter's face and SEEING HIS DISCIPLES rebuked Peter in those very strict and final words "Get behind me Satan". Now - Peter never forgot that and Mark gives Peter’s memory of the moment. I like to think that our Lord, seeing his disciples standing behind Peter knew at that moment that Peter – his first Vicar was trying to jeopardise their salvation and our Lord’s Sacred Mission – to suffer and to die for us and our salvation. That was a big rock for Peter. Then our Lord gives us the sublime teaching from his sacred lips - the unique Christian teaching about losing your life in Christ if you are to find it – and to take up the Cross daily and not to avoid it or see it as a curse. To be a follower you have to embrace the Cross with Jesus.

Each of us, as St Theresa teaches us in her short life, has plenty of crosses per day without looking for new ones to do. Life brings crosses and joys you know. If you greet every suffering and set back and deprivation with the words "Thy will be done" or the words to the Sacred Heart : "O Sacred Heart of Jesus , I place all my trust in you, though, in all and despite all" you will experience the help of Christ Himself and really get into that term "follower of mine". It is only those who have borne the cross that enter into life - here on earth and in the world to come. The less cross were bear the more purgatory we will have to do folks.

It is worth it. You will have the crosses in any case - why not turn them into a means of salvation for your own souls and for the souls of others?

With these joyful thoughts I remain…your loving PP,

Father Tom Connolly

Your PP's Health. I was sent by the GP to the Strokes Unit at the MRI and saw the Professor on Tuesday and he tested me for many things and nothing showed up thank God. However he is sending me for a Brain Scan very soon and we will see…Later I am to see a Heart man. So far there has been no re occurrence of the "Blank outs". Keep up your prayer for me and novenas. Thank for showing me so much care.

NEW TAX ON OUR PARISHES. I GOT A LETTER FROM THE TRUSTEES OF THE DIOCESE OF SALFORD ON MONDAY INFORMING US THAT THE DIOCESE IS GOING TO TAX ST.KENTIGERN’S £9, 800 per annum on top of the £10,000 we have to pay for the Catholic Schools Fund. St Edwards is going to be taxed £1800-extra. It is based on Income and Deposits in the Parish Bank A/C. THIS IS TO PAY FOR THE CARE OF RETIRED PRIESTS OF OUR DIOCESE. ALL ARE LIVING LONGER AND WHEREAS BEFORE THE DIOCESE COULD PAY THEM A LITTLE PENSION OR PAY THE FEES FOR THEIR Care Home from the Bank interest accrued by the Diocese of Salford Deposit account - now they are getting hardly any interest on account as you all well know.

We are making an Annual Appeal from now on as started last year for the Sick and Retired Priests of our Diocese of Salford. The Bishop is hoping that some of you may sign a Gift Aid Standing Order or make a provision in your Last Will and Testament for the Fund. All you have to say is that you want the amount to go to the Diocese of Salford Sick and Retired Clergy Fund. That would ensure that those retired priests offered Mass for your soul as their Benefactor. Think about it!!

St Kentigern's School. We have a great new group of young and brilliant teachers started at our school this week. We had a Staff Mass last week on Thursday in the midst of their In-Service Training. It is such a happy school and the pupils are so contented and happy. These teachers will make their mark I can tell. St Edwards did the same with five new teachers and they had a Mass offered by Fr George. We wish them all a successful academic Year ahead. Each week Mass is offered in the schools - Fr George on Tuesdays at 8 20am in The Divine Mercy and Thursday Fr Connolly in St Kents 8.20am - open to parents and parishioners too.

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