DECEMBER IS THE MONTH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.
THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT
This week we have two saints’ days, St. Lucy and St. John of the Cross. St Lucy is one of the ancient martyrs who gave her life in 304 and is remembered in the First Eucharistic Prayer, the ancient ‘Canon of the Mass’. St John of the Cross was a Carmelite Friar in 16th century Spain and was selected by St Teresa to the first member of her new reformed Carmelite observance. He was directed to lead the reform, but suffered great persecution from his fellow friars for trying to change the habits they were so stuck in. St John was a great ‘mystic’ and wrote the most sublime meditations and poetry. He was a faithful follower of ancient tradition, but he writes of God from his own relationship with God and experience of God, with almost no reference to earlier spiritual writings. St John was treated with great inhumanity by his own religious community and superiors during the last months of his life. The cry of ‘crucify him!’ is still proclaimed, even by those who claim to follow Christ, and for this, St John of the Cross is a martyr in spirit, if not in actual physical fact. His works are not easy and need personal faith, prayer and time to access: they combine the immensely personal relationship he had with God with orthodox catholic theology and have inspired many people to go further and deeper in the spiritual life.
Every year we commemorate the great saints and martyrs on their feast days. At St Thomas More, through prayers and a special memorial fund, we remember every year a lovely priest who used to work in this parish and was a friend to many of you here. We come to the time of year again when we remember him again. Below is a message from Lawrence Dadzie to tell any newcomers to the parish about Fr Francis and the Memorial Fund.
Fr Francis Ato Jackson Donkor R.I.P. : Memorial fund 2021
Message from Lawrence Dadzie:
Father Francis was a priest of the Spiritan Community and the Rector/Principal of the Spiritan University College who visited this parish from Ghana for many years during the summer holidays.
He was well known and liked by a lot of people in St Thomas More Parish.
He had an ardent desire to establish a Fund to support females to pursue University studies. He used to talk to some parishioners about this desire and dream especially to one particular parishioner.
So when Father Francis passed away this parishioner approached the then parish priest and with the support of other parishioners started raising funds to send to Ghana to enable the realisation of Fr Francis’ dreams and aspirations.
This Fund has been in existence since 2012 and thanks to the Fund female students have pursued their goals and obtained their degrees. Letters of appreciation have always been received from the beneficiaries of the Fund.
Through the generosity of the Parishioners of St Thomas More contributions to the Fund have continued uninterrupted except during the Covid lockdown last year.
It is a great desire of many people who were close to him to keep this legacy going in order to support these females who otherwise would not have been able to obtain a degree despite their academic ability.
Continuing with this Fund would also help to keep Fr Francis in our thoughts and prayers.
Thank you Lawrence for continuing to promote this fund in parish and to keep the memory of Fr Francis alive with us, through our fundraising and in our prayers.
The 9.00 a.m. mass this Sunday will be offered for the repose of Fr Francis’ soul and there will be a second collection at all Sunday masses for the Fund. Please make your offering by cash or cheque and it is best placed in an envelope marked ‘Fr Francis Memorial Fund’ or you can make your donation online:
ACC NO. 21361606
SORT CODE 517014
for the credit of: RCAS ST THOMAS MORE - BOSTALL PARK
Ref: Fr Francis Memorial Fund
Days with Mary
The Sacred Heart, Edge Hill, Wimbledon, Saturday 1st January 2022
Honour the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God and consecrate the new year to her. Programme begins at 10.45. Bring your own packed lunch.
Parish Social Evening in Church Hall every Sunday from 7.00 p.m. The bar is opening again this Sunday. All parishioners welcome. This evening there will be carols from our Keralan community.
There is currently a particular need for:
Long Life milk, Long Life juice, Squash, Tins of Rice Pudding, Toilet Paper
The container for donations is in the Church Porch and is taken to Bexleyheath food bank on Monday mornings.
St. Thomas More Catholic Primary School Admissions.
The next open morning for parents considering sending children to our catholic primary school is on Monday 10th January. For more detail look at the website and video on the school website: www.stm.bexley.sch.uk/admissions/admissions
The Archdiocese of Southwark ‘Synodal Process’ Local level
Following the ‘synod on synodality’, the ‘synodal process’ is currently at the local level of a worldwide dialogue which is the base of what is a type of pyramidical dialogue structure. From local it moves on upwards to diocesan and then national level and from there up to continental synods and then ultimately up to the pinnacle of the pyramid in Rome which represents the global level of ‘synodality’. As always, all roads lead to and from Rome. It is from the Pope in Rome that ‘the synodal process’ was initiated and ordered and indeed all orders and directives affecting the universal church have come down to us through his papal edicts to be implemented by the clergy and people below at the bottom of this pyramid. To quote from the Diocesan Synodal Document on FAQs ‘The Synodal Process is not about a democratic debate. It is a place of respectful mutual listening and experiencing the call of the Holy Spirit to move in new ways. Again the Pope is clear on this: “Another temptation that so often confuses people is treating the Synod as a kind of parliament underpinned by a ‘political battle’ in which in order to govern one side must defeat the other…this goes against the spirit of the synod as a protected space of community discernment.”
In order to proceed with this ‘respectful mutual listening’ there are three main themes for discussion. The first concerns Communion and we are asked to consider in what ways our parish most successfully brings people together. Christ is present as the head united to his body in our parishes and communities, how is this reflected in our parish/community life? Are there other reasons that we gather together?
Secondly we are asked to think about our participation and reflect on 16 months of this pandemic and how participation in our parish has been affected. How can we better enable full participation and co-responsibility in the life of the church at the parish and diocesan levels?
Finally, we are asked to reflect on the Church’s mission and ask if we are looking in or are we looking out, as a parish community. Can we do both effectively? How does the life of the parish aid in the formation of parishioners as missionary disciples?
Anyone interested in this is invited to meet with our parish synodal delegates, Obi and Esther at the following times:
On Sunday 12th December at 12.15 (after 11.00 a.m. mass) in the Church Porch.
On Monday 13th December at 6.00 p.m. in the Church Porch.
For more information on the ‘synodal process’ and ‘synodality’ go to the Archdiocese of Southwark website.
First Holy Communion 2022
Thanks for submitting your applications on time.
Please read the newsletter every week and listen out for notices at the end of Sunday mass.
The children’s commitments were made at all masses on the Second Sunday of Advent.
Sunday Children’s Liturgy in the Hall: 9.00 a.m. this Sunday. Helpers still needed. Please contact me or Fiona Martyres.
Application forms can be picked up by candidates, completed at home and then returned after any Sunday mass. Preparation will begin in the spring term and include a couple of day/evening trips and (hopefully) an overnight retreat.
Deaths For all our brothers and sisters who ate the Body of Christ, the bread of Life, that they may be raised up on the Last Day. (Drawn from the intercession of the Funeral Mass)
Please pray for the soul of:
Ann Ellen Silvestre who died on Monday 15th November aged 85. Her Funeral Requiem is at 10.00 a.m. on Monday 13th December followed by committal at Eltham Crematorium. May she rest in peace.
MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE COMING WEEK: THE THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT.
Saturday 11thDecember THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT (C)
6.00 p.m. Confessions
+ 6.30 p.m. MASS [said] Tracy D’Souza T.G.
Sunday 12th December
8.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG MASS. Fr. Francis Ato Jackson Donkor R.I.P. With ‘Children’s Liturgy’ in Church Hall.
+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS [with English readings] Alice McLaughlin (for 2nd anniversary) R.I.P.
12.15 p.m. first open meeting with parish ‘synod representatives’ in Church Porch.
7.00 p.m. Parish Social Evening in Church Hall with bar.
Monday 13th December St. Lucy, virgin & martyr, memorial.
9.00 a.m.? The Daily Rosary (if not, say at home)
+ 10.00 p.m. Funeral Requiem for Anne Ellen Silvestre followed by committal at Eltham.
6.00 p.m. Second open meeting with parish ‘synod representatives’ in Church Porch.
Tuesday 14th December St. John of the Cross, priest & doctor of the church, memorial.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Ben Jay W.B.
11.00 a.m. Deanery clergy meeting at St. Thomas More.
Wednesday 15th December Advent feria
The Daily Rosary at home.
NO PUBLIC MASS TODAY.
Afternoon. School carol services in church. Attendance by invitation only.
Thursday 16th December Advent feria.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Joachim D’Souza R.I.P.
2.00 p.m. Thursday Lunch Club Afternoon Tea in Church Hall.
Friday 17th December Advent feria. (here begins the last phase of advent: a novena which looks towards Christmas day, with each day having proper readings and prayers, including the ‘O Antiphons’ which will be sung in the gospel acclamation)
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Saskia Lane W.B.
End of term Benediction at school for children only.
6.00 p.m. choir practice. New members welcome to come along.
Saturday 18th December Advent feria.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary & Confessions
+ 10.00 a.m. [Latin] Fran Olaj R.I.P.
[+ 6.30 p.m. FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT Oliver Fernandes & family W.B.)
DECEMBER PRAYER TO OUR LADY. The ‘ALMA REDEMPTORIS MATER’
Loving Mother of the Redeemer, gate of Heaven, star of the sea, assist your people who have fallen, as we strive to rise again. To the wonderment of nature, you bore your Creator, yet remained a virgin after as before. You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting, have pity on us poor sinners.
Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti. Surgere qui currat, populo: tu uae genuisiti, natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem, Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore sumens illud ave, peccatorum miserere.