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Sermon for 28 June 2015



My Dear People,

Mass today is the Solemnity of Peter and Paul. This nation received the Christian faith from the Successor of St Peter - Pope Gregory the Great when he sent St Augustine to England to convert the Angles as we were called then. We are directly connected then to the successor of the Apostle who was martyred in Rome by being crucified upside down. St Paul was beheaded in Rome for he was a Roman citizen.

You will remember the story of the monk who became Pope. Gregory was walking in the market in Rome when he saw these people on sale as slaves. They were blond haired and very fair in contrast to the dark Mediterranean looks of the locals. He asked about them and was told that they were "Angles" and he responded by saying "not Angles but Angels."

When he was elected Pope (590- 604) he never forgot these fair haired slaves on sale and sent missionaries to what is now known as England. He sent Augustine with nine other MONKS. Augustine nearly gave up several times in his attempts to even get to our shores with storms on the English Channel. He waited for several attempts to cross. Pope Gregory had to encourage him in this unique Mission.

Augustine was a Benedictine Monk and founded the diocese of Canterbury and sent the monk Paulinus up North to York where he founded the York Minister and both of these two great Monk-Bishops converted and Baptised the local kings and the people followed. Then we became Missionaries to Germany and Holland. The Catholic faith spread like a fire and in no time at all monasteries were founded and dioceses and parishes were established.

In the Great Hall of Manchester Town hall you can see the murals of this beginning of the Catholic Faith, the Christian religion and beliefs in the North of England depicting Paulinus Baptising in the river.

Father Simon Gaine OP will be making the Mission Appeal this Year. He might not get to preach at all Masses because we have the First Communions at the 10am at St Edwards but a Collection will be taken in anycase.

No doubt if St Dominic de Guzman of Osma in Spain had a town hall to decorate the Saintly Founder of the Dominicans Fathers, who make the Mission appeal to us today would be depicted. St Dominic went to France to counteract the Albigensian Heresy of the era. He spent all his energies bringing the Faith and fighting the heresy of his day so a new Europe could emerge. He died in 1221 having spent his energy on founding he Dominican Order and spreading the Catholic Faith. (Please be generous). I, your Parish Priest studied in the Dominican Priory in Oxford. St Martin de Porres is the most famous Dominican Saint from the West Indies missions of the Order.

So may the great Saintly Pope Gregory the Great, Successor of St Peter in the Holy See of Rome, pray for us as a people now. May the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul who shed their blood in the city of Rome for the truth of Christ pray for us. May St Peter who was made the supreme Pastor of the Flock of Christ (us) when Jesus said to him "You are Peter and on this Rock I will build my Church" and "You will be the strength of your brethren" and "what you bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven..." pray for us. May we be loyal and submissive to Pope Francis and listen to his sublime teaching and heed his warnings as Supreme Pontiff (Bridge builder - connector) . May our Catholic Faith make us not afraid of going against the fashion and the trends of the age.

God Bless you all,

Father Tom Connolly.

ST EDWARD'S FIRST COMMUNIONS TODAY- ALL 19 OF OUR DEAR CHILDREN, MOST OF WHOM ATTEND The Divine Mercy School. Well done to their teachers and Catechists and Fr George and Claudia for leading them and of course Mrs Walsh the Head teacher.


RUMOURS OF MY DEMISE ARE PREMATURE! FACTS: After the First Communion Mass last Sunday I went out like a light and it took me 35 minutes to come round. The ambulance was called and Mr. Kevin Fitzpatrick came into the Ambulance to see me fully round. They checked me out at the MRI and after 2 hours discharged me and I was just fine. Thank you for your love and concern and prayers. The Specialist is still mystified by these (2) episodes and is consulting more. Ask our Lady of Lourdes to rid me of this complaint.

Bidding Prayers


Priest: We pray to Christ who built his Church on the rock of Peter, and sent his apostles as witnesses to his victory over death and the hell.

Reader: Lord, you prayed that the faith of Peter might not fail and that he would, after his return, be the "the strength" of his brethren - the other apostles - we pray for your Vicar on earth - pope Francis - that you will continue to strengthen us all by his teaching and pastoral care. Lord in your mercy.

You chose Paul to proclaim the good news to all the nations; be with Fr Simon Gaine and the Dominican Missions in their work of bringing the Christian Faith to the nations. Like St Paul and Peter may we be committed to communicating our faith to others. Lord in your mercy.

We pray for the coming world Youth Day in Cracow, Poland - that this international gathering around the successor of St Peter may be a moment of grace for the youth of the Church. Lord in your mercy.

When the disciples feared the Ship was sinking, you commanded the sea and it was calm, protect your church in the midst of trouble and give her the peace the world cannot give. Lord in your mercy.

After the resurrection you gathered your church around Peter - gather all the peoples now into the unity for which you prayed that in communion with Pope Francis we may all grow in holiness and truthfulness. Lord in your mercy.

You gave the apostles the power to heal the sick and through Saint James showed us the Sacrament of the Sick - we pray for all our sick: Denis McLoughlin, Pat Banahan, Tom and Brenda Lynch, Eileen McCormack, Marie Hopkins, Gilda Royce, John Doherty, Annette McHale, Christine Booth, Sam Murray, Michael Nolan, Mary Molloy, Brenden Byrne. Lord in your mercy.

You entrusted the Keys of your Kingdom to your Church - open the gates of life to the dead who put their trust in you and we pray for all those who have died recently - Florrie Ackroyd, Margaret Morris, Mary Rose Smith AND For those whose anniversaries occur about this time: Susan Doherty, John Serridge, Seamus McKeown, Colin Grimes, Michael Devanney, Gerry Doyle, Pat Molloy and Molloy and Grennan families deceased. May their souls and the souls...

O Mary Conceived without sin. / R Pray for us who have recourse to thee. O Mary, Queen of the Apostles intercede for us now..HAIL MARY.

Priest. Almighty and ever-loving God - through SS Peter and Paul you first taught the your Church the Christian faith; listen now to our heartfelt prayer on this feast of the holy apostles, Peter and Paul. Through Christ our Lord.