JANUARY IS THE MONTH OF THE HOLY NAME
THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
The Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle.
On Tuesday we celebrate a great feast of the church, the Conversion of St Paul. He is the Father of the Fathers of the Church, THE Apostle. St Paul did not personally know Jesus Christ, during the Lord’s ministry, but he knew about him and his effects on people who had known him and passed on the good news of salvation. And St Paul wanted to put a stop to it. His own religious beliefs were challenged by what he saw. Observant of his own Jewish religion, Paul could not embrace this new teaching, even though Jesus had said that he came not as a revolutionary, but to fulfil the Law. ‘For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished’ ( Mtt 5: 18).
People don’t like change. Very often even doing things the wrong way can become engrained, until we think it is normal and don’t want to give them up. We don’t notice the bad habits that can accumulate in our worship and Christian lives. We become slack about our own lack of visible observance of our faith, preferring simpler short cuts that we don’t have to bother thinking about and by which our catholic identity dissipates. Bad practices can become the norm and eventually expressions of the sacred in worship and life are lost, as Catholic morals, education, worship, music, art, religious dress, architecture, become more and more just like everything else around them. Do you think that the catholic identity, vocations and observance of Catholics are as strong now as sixty years ago? Through the ages, God has sent us saints to call us back to our true religious identity as Catholics, to convert us who by baptism are already God’s children. Just because we are religious, doesn’t mean we can’t be converted back to our own religion.
In his conversion, St Paul encountered Christ. He was not called to give up his religion, but to redirect his religious zeal to the right place, to follow Christ. He came to know Jesus Christ who was not a new religion, but the fulfilment of it. We are called to do the same. We may be quite religious, but we can always ask what parts of our own lives are not converted to Christ, what parts of our minds and hearts are not directed to Christ at the sacrifice of the mass which is the heart of our religious identity as Catholics?
In the traditional catholic ordering of the mass, everyone present, including the priest, faces Our Lord Christ whose presence we acknowledge through the direction of our bodily gestures towards him, in bowing of the head at the mention of the Holy Name, in genuflecting, kneeling and standing before Him. His body and blood at the altar of sacrifice and reserved within the tabernacle is the Real Presence our Lord Jesus Christ with us at church, and to Him we all, priest and people, direct our hearts, minds and bodies. In the rubrics of the mass, when the priest addresses the people, he’s told to turn towards them. When the priest is addressing God on the people’s behalf, he ‘turns’ to God. This, for nearly two thousand years until only recently, has been the universal practice of the church. The words, music and ceremonial ordering of the mass are not of our own choosing, they are not based on our likes and dislikes or current cultural trends, but are passed on to us by the saints and holy church and direct us all, priest and people, to Jesus Christ our Lord. The mass is not an expression of the ‘self’ of likes and dislikes, but of worship in spirit and truth, most intimately and humbly expressed when kneeling to receive the Lord in Holy Communion, we give up the ego to become one with Him. It is for Jesus Christ our Lord and God we come to mass, and He will be there for us to become one with us when we can die to the self for love of Him as He died for us. That is the spiritual conversion of St Paul who when he encountered the same Risen Lord for the first time on the Damascus Road, fell to the ground (Acts 9: 4).
CATHOLIC CHILDREN’S SOCIETY: CRIB OFFERING 2021
Throughout the pandemic the Catholic Children’s Society (CCS) has provided emergency support for thousands of vulnerable children and families. Their Southwark Crisis Fund provides immediate help for local families who are facing real hardship and have nowhere else to turn.
There are many families in need of support and our parish will be donating our Crib Offering to support this important work. Every penny donated will be given out via CCS’s Southwark Crisis Fund to support local families in need. You can donate at the Crib or via the CCS website www.cathchild.org.uk/crib . The crib remains in place with the offering box for CCS until the feast of the Presentation on 2nd February.
WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL CHOIR: might your boy in year 2 or 3 have musical potential? Could he consider becoming a chorister at Westminster Cathedral? Every September Westminster Cathedral Choir School welcomes up to six choristers into Year 4. Becoming a chorister at Westminster Cathedral offers boys the opportunity to sing both at the Cathedral in central London, and on tour internationally, in one of the world’s great choirs. Boys also receive an outstanding education at one of London’s leading schools.
Choristers board during the School week only, heading home to their families from Friday afternoon and until Sunday morning at 9.45 a.m.
It is a wonderful opportunity to join a thriving choir and school. All boys receive generous scholarships, up to 100% of fees available on a means tested basis. Almost all the boys join from Catholic primary schools – the universal element is a love of singing. If interested, contact the Director of Admissions Miss Lucy Auger at Westminster Cathedral Choir School, Ambrosden Avenue, London SW1P 1QH or call 020 7798 9081.
· Incidentally, we have a cathedral chorister coming to sing this Sunday for the 11.00 a.m. Latin Mass here at St Thomas More singing Caccini’s Ave Maria and Franck’s Panis Angelicus.
COLLECTIONS HAVE RESUMED. ONLY NON PERISHABLE ITEMS CAN BE RECEIVED PLEASE.
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.
A Day with Mary
Saturday 5th February 2022 at St. Edmund of Canterbury, Village Way, Beckenham. 9.30 a.m. start, finishing at 5.00 p.m.
UNION OF CATHOLIC MOTHERS
Next week at all masses we have a visit from Tina of the Union of Catholic Mothers who will be speaking to our parish about starting a UCM here. If you are a young or old mum, and want to make more social contacts in the parish, learn more about your faith and be involved with your parish more, the UCM might be for you. Come along next Sunday and Tina will tell you all about it. After the 11.00 mass she will be available to anyone interested.
First Holy Communion 2022
Lesson 3. Saturday 29th January 10.30 am. Church Hall.
Please read the newsletter every week and listen out for notices at the end of Sunday mass. Don’t forget to bring your mass attendance cards to Sunday mass!
The children’s commitments were made at all masses on the Second Sunday of Advent.
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.
This will resume at 9.00 a.m. this Sunday.
Parish Social Evenings Parish Socials with the Bar will continue in the Church Hall on Sunday evenings from the 9th of January.
SAFEGUARDING UPDATE. MESSAGE FROM THE HEAD OF SAFEGUARDING FOR THE ARCHDIOCESE OF SOUTHWARK.
‘After serving the parish for some years as Safeguarding Representative, Mr. Martin Keaveney is stepping down from this role. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Martin for his service and dedication in this role and for supporting the Parish in our safeguarding function. Safeguarding remains a priority within our Parish and if anyone is interested in taking on the role of Parish Safeguarding Representative, please let me know. The ideal candidate would be someone who has an understanding and/or a commitment of safeguarding within the Catholic Church. The role is fully supported by the Archdiocese Safeguarding team. Please let me know if you are interested in volunteering for this role.
While an new PSR is recruited, if anyone has any safeguarding concerns or matters that they wish to raise, please contact the Archdiocese safeguarding team on email@example.com /0207 261 1606 or speak to the parish priest. Please do not contact Mr. Keaveney who is no longer in this role.
I will send a link to the face to face training shortly.
Head of Safeguarding |Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark CIO, 59 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JE
MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE COMING WEEK: THIRD WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME
Saturday 22nd January THIRD SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C)
6.00 p.m. Confessions
+ 6.30 p.m. Tommy Hugh R.I.P.
Sunday 23rd January 2022
8.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary.
+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG The people of the parish.
+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS (with English Readings) Patricia Blake P.I. We welcome to this mass Luca, a treble chorister who will be singing Giulio Caccini’s Ave Maria and Cesar Franck’s Panis Angelicus accompanied by Ms H. Ratcliff on the organ.
7.30 p.m. Parish Social Evening in Church Hall.
Monday 24th January S Francis de Sales, bishop & doctor of the church, memorial.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Anna Traverso P.I.
Tuesday 25th January The Conversion of S. Paul the Apostle, feast.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Cecilia Rodrigues R.I.P.
Wednesday 26h January Ss Timothy & Titus, bishops, memorial.
The Daily Rosary at home.
NO PUBLIC MASS TODAY.
Thursday 27th January S. Angela Merici, virgin.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Alicia Rodrigues R.I.P.
2.00 p.m. Thursday Lunch Club Afternoon.
Friday 28th January S. Thomas Aquinas, priest & doctor of the Church, memorial.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Ellen Birch R.I.P.
6.00 p.m. Choir practice.
Saturday 29th January Our Lady’s Saturday.
9.30 a.m. Confessions/ The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m.[Latin] Stephen Fernandes R.I.P.
10.30 a.m. First Holy Communion Class in Church Hall
[ + 6.30 p.m. FOURTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C) Agnes & Martin Braganza R.I.P.]
JANUARY PRAYER IN HONOUR OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS.
O Divine Jesus, you have promised that anything we ask of the Eternal Father in your name shall be granted. O Eternal Father, In the name of Jesus, for the love of Jesus, in fulfilment of this promise, and because Jesus has said it, grant us our petitions for the sake of Jesus, your Divine Son, our Lord. Amen.
Blessings to you all, Fr Jonathon