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Sermon for 19 October 2014



My Dear People,

Father Gabor will be coming again in November and I was reminded by him of our visit to Northumbria. In Northumbria you are in in the steps of St Cuthbert and St Bede, St Wilfred, St Paulinus all – great Northern saints. I mention these for these were the ones who laid the foundations of a new Christian civilisation. St Bede wrote from his monastic cell a huge commentary on the Sacred Scriptures as he taught the young monks but also the History of the establishment of the Catholic Church in these Islands. In fact it is the first History book written about these Islands. In it he describes the tension and the struggle between the forces belonging to the Tribal Kings and chiefs and the new Faith brought by the monks of St Benedict when Pope Saint Gregory the Great sent them to the shores of the Anglo Saxons to bring the Catholic Faith. St Augustine laboured with great success.

St Bede describes the gradual conversion of these landed chiefs who were not used to submitting to anything but brute strength and here was the gentle yoke of Jesus Christ being offered them. Their blood revenge was lethal and many a young one had to die to satisfy the blood revenge that was part of the deal in those times which were gradually embracing the Faith. The Vikings who used to come sailing in on their Long boats and cause havoc by their plundering and murder and desecration were eventually converted and received Baptism.

The new Christian civilisation laid the foundations for a nation that would one days come to be seen a Britain. The kingdoms would gradually come together and the new Faith gave them a bond and a principle of unity. The recent Viking hoard of treasure discovered in Scotland contained a beautifully handmade Cross - a sign that the Viking has started their Conversion to Christ. They were in contact with the rest of Europe through trading but even more by the common faith the successor of St Peter proving a dynamic and life giving focus of unity and ecclesial unity. This was not without cost. Many died in the process. In the end though one could say that here we had a land whose religion was no longer the worship of the sun and the moon but the Son of God.

That Christian teaching and values permeated our mentality and culture and the monastic life with its great centres of learning and farming and shelter and continuity over hundreds of years provided the cement for Christian life in marriage, family life, transactions, liturgical expressions, legal institutions and Government and Kingship. The set of Stamps to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee some year ago now show the implements and regalia of a Christian Monarch including the Crown of St Edward the Confessor.

So when our Lord says "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God, what belongs to God" he was talking about the demarcation that often happens when one does not live in a Christian civilisation or like St Thomas of Canterbury and St Thomas More and St Oliver Plunkett who lived in times where Caesar (the State) was demanding what rightly belonged to God.

This is the case now. Our Government has passed an Act of Parliament to re –assign Marriage so it is no longer the bond of a man and woman but instead, two of the same sex. It is part of the de-Christianization of Britain. Remove the word marriage and Spouse from the Social Security Forms and remove Male and Female from the Passport application and you are re designing the way people think and form categories. It is almost illegal to have a Christian belief and express it.

Our men did not fight and die in two World Wars to bring this rubbish into civil life. Winston Churchill would turn in his grave!!

The labelling of the child in the womb as an embryo so you can abort a baby at will is another example. Abortion was one of the things abolished by the Christian faith. Stalin brought it in to Russia almost at the beginning of the Soviet State. It was all part of the secularisation and atheistic propaganda. The ban on us having our children adopted within the Church community because we will not break God's law and give these little ones to same sex couples in another example. These things take from God what is His. The State cannot change what God has established. Believe me this State and these Laws will be seen as a bitter legacy one day. The killing of the handicapped and the very weak and ill is almost law in as much as the Chief Law Officer has said that he will see “mercy killings” as sometimes justified and no action taken against the one who does the killing. You see - life belongs to God and it is not within our power to decide if it is worthwhile or not.

So - there is a lot of moral choices to make now for many people who follow Christ and the atmosphere is becoming more hostile to the believer. Be careful and always seek the advice of a priest if you are in difficulty in this regard. "Render to God what belongs to God."

God Bless

Father Tom Connolly

Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers for the 29th Sunday of the year. A

Priest: Christ is the Lawgiver and the Supreme Judge. We come to the Father in His Name – seeking his help in all our needs.

Reader: For the Church Universal in its great mission for bringing Christ to the waiting multitudes that she be delivered from any clergy who be an obstacle in that mission. We pray for the Synod in Rome on the Family. Lord in your mercy.

For all those who fight in the House of Commons to protect human life. We pray especially for all those who are opposing the Embryology and human fertilisation Bill and moves to assist suicide. We ask God to restore the love for the life he so generously gives us. Lord in your mercy.

For those Political systems which demand the submission of their populations and who deny God his rightful place in the society and who deny believers the freedom to worship God - we pray especially for the many Bishops in prison in China. Lord in your mercy.

That we may give to Caesar the things that are Ceasars and not deny Almighty God the things that are rightfully His. We pray for the Faith to know the difference. Lord in your mercy.

We commend to the tender loving mercy of God all those in our community who are lying sick or disabled: Elizabeth McDonald, Agnes Halligan, Brendan Byrne. Lord in your mercy.

We commend to God those who have been called from this life recently : Noel Byrne, Tony Connelly, Biju Augustine and for all the souls whose anniversaries fall about this time: Johnny Byrne, Tom Greally (VIGIL MASS), Bridget Boyle.

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

O Mary Conceived without sin. R/ Pray for us who have recourse to thee.

O Mary most Holy, Mary most Pure - listen to the prayers of your people...Hail Mary, full of grace...

Priest: God all powerful Father, may the life you give us increase our love for you and keep us in the joy of the light of your kingdom - Hear and answer our heartfelt prayer. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.