Message

The Most Holy Trinity

The Most Holy Trinity

Dear Friends in Christ 

The celebration of the Most Blessed Trinity this weekend brings together all of the Mysteries of the Christian Faith; it is the summation of everything we believe, since in God we find all of the perfections of the Christian life; we see what one day we shall be in God Himself. The celebration of Trinity Sunday invites us to make repeated acts of faith. Faith is increased when we make it one of the habits of the interior life, just as any human habit is nurtured and cultivated by the practise of it. The virtues are simply the good habits of the Christian life, and they begin with Faith.

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday

Dear Friends in Christ 

Pentecost was one of the three major Jewish festivals. Many Israelites would go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem to adore God in the Temple. It was an ancient thanksgiving celebration for the harvest, fifty days after Passover. In this context, with Jerusalem teeming with pilgrims, God brought the New People of Jesus Christ into existence. Having prayed for nine days after the Ascension, the Holy Spirit is poured-out upon Our Lady and the Apostles in the Upper Room.

Seventh Sunday of Easter Sunday 2nd June Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Seventh Sunday of Easter Sunday 2nd June Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Dear Friends in Christ 

The month of June is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is a month also full of some of the most beautiful feasts in the Catholic calendar: Pentecost, The Blessed Trinity, Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Saint John the Baptist and Sts Peter & Paul. These feasts, and their yearly recurrence, keep our minds focused on the life of Heaven, which was reinforced by the celebration of the Ascension of Jesus last Thursday. These feasts encourage us to not flag, but to keep looking to Jesus, our Good Shepherd and Guide, and to those whom He has raised up to be with Him in Heaven. Thank God for the richness

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Dear Friends in christ 

Fifty days after the Resurrection of The Lord comes His Ascension into Heaven. This Solemnity has been restored to its correct Day and is celebrated on this coming Thursday; it is a Holyday of Obligation. After Ascension Day, the Church joins in continuous and intense prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Essentially the return of Jesus to Heaven at His Ascension, moves us to keep our gaze upwards. Where Christ has gone ahead of us, there we hope to follow.

Fifth Sunday of Easter Sunday 19th May 2019 The Month of Our Blessed Lady

Fifth Sunday of Easter Sunday 19th May 2019 The Month of Our Blessed Lady

Dear Friends in Christ 

This Sunday we welcome our Bishop, Alan Williams, to the Parish. The presence of the Bishop in our midst is equivalent to that of one of the Apostles, since the Bishops of the Catholic Church are the direct descendents of those Twelve that Jesus called and commissioned to teach and sanctify in His name. During 11.30am Mass this weekend the Bishop will confirm twenty-six young adults. They have been preparing since the start of Lent for this moment, which is the completion of their initiation into the Church (begun at Baptism and nourished with the Blessed Eucharist) and now they take their place as fully adult members of the Family of the Church. Please pray for them, their families and their Sponsors, that they will be faithful to the graces and gifts that the Holy Spirit brings them on this occasion. I am very much indebted to the small group of Catechists who have been involved with the preparation of our young people for this Sacrament; I am confident that they have been given a good, solid and spiritual preparation for their Confirmation. Also, please continue to hold the Bishop in the charity of your prayers. He has a hugely important task as our Teacher of the Faith and we ask that the work that has been entrusted to him will be a cause of joy and consolation for him and for us.

Fourth Sunday of Easter - Sunday 12th May World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Fourth Sunday of Easter - Sunday 12th May World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Dear Friends in Christ 

Next Sunday is the occasion of the Visitation of the Bishop, Alan Williams, to our Parish. This takes place every three years and it is also the occasion when the Bishop will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on twenty-six young adults, during 11.30am Mass. The visit of our Bishop is the same as the visit of one of the Apostles, since he is a direct descendent of one of the Twelve. We shall welcome him with the devotion of his spiritual children and look forward to his words of encouragement to us. The Bishop is the first Teacher of the Faith in our Diocese and has the pastoral care and oversight of Clergy, Religious and Faithful, some 240,000 Catholics in ninety Parishes. Please pray for his intentions daily, as the work of a Bishop is both vital and huge within the Church today. I frequently assure the Bishop of our prayers for his intentions. One of the great consolations of a Shepherd is the knowledge that his flock are supporting him through the prayers and sacrifices of their lives.

Third Sunday of Easter

Third Sunday of Easter

Dear Friends in christ 

The Easter reason reminds us that every Sunday is in fact a mini-Easter Day. Back in May 1998 St Pope John Paul II wrote a beautiful Letter to the Church entitled The Day of the Lord - Dies Domini - in which he teaches the importance of this Day. It is right, therefore, to claim, in the words of a fourth century homily, that "the Lord's Day" is "the lord of days". Those who have received the grace of faith in the Risen Lord cannot fail to grasp the significance of this day of the week with the same deep emotion which led Saint Jerome to say: "Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, it is the day of Christians, it is our day". For Christians, Sunday is "the fundamental feastday" established not only to mark the succession of time but to reveal time's deeper meaning.

Second Sunday of Easter — Divine Mercy

Second Sunday of Easter — Divine Mercy

This is the Octave Day of the Resurrection and the Feast of Divine Mercy. We renew the joy of the Resurrection on this Sunday as we celebrate the incalculable gift of Divine Mercy which Jesus bequeathed to His Church on the evening of Easter Day: Peace be with you…receive the Holy Spirit...those whose sins you forgive they are forgiven. Each year we have the Devotions in honour of the Divine Mercy in our Parish; they begin this Sunday afternoon at 2.30pm and this year it is extended also to our Deanery who will be joining us. There will be a number of local Priests available for the Sacrament of Confession.

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Dear Friends in christ 

With Palm Sunday of the Passion of Our Lord we begin Holy Week. 

Day-by-day we move with Jesus through the final days and hours of His life on earth: the days of our Redemption. I would like to remind us of the deep spiritual significance of these days ahead. On Palm Sunday we commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem; this is where He will accomplish those saving acts. On Wednesday evening at 7pm in Brentwood Cathedral, there will be the Mass of Chrism, during which the Holy Oils for use in the coming year are blessed; the Priests also renew their commitment to service in the Priesthood. 

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends in christ 

The final two weeks of Lent - Passiontide - brings us closer to the highpoint of the liturgical year: the Sacred Triduum of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord; Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Day. We shall spend these days considering the infinite love of God, who permitted His Son to suffer for our sins. The whole meaning of the Christian life is summed-up in the Cross, and although our crucifixes and images are veiled in purple now, it is so that when they are unveiled on Good Friday, the whole drama of the mysteries of our salvation are made manifest. So, although we veil images and objects at certain times, this is only so that our sense of anticipation be heightened, and when the veils are taken away, we may see the Mysteries with fresh eyes.

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends in Christ 

Each week I try to present an image on the Newsletter of some piece of Catholic Art that relates to the Gospel of the day, one of other Readings or some theme in the liturgy of the season. The Parable of the Prodigal Son has been depicted by many artists, simply because it is one of the most famous short stories ever told. The painting this week is by Jacopo Palmo (1544-1628).  You will know from being at Mass that I have been making a more extensive catechesis of the Sacrament of Confession over these Sundays of Lent. 

Third Sunday of Lent

Third Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends in christ 

The Parable of the Fig Tree, which forms part of the Gospel of this Third Sunday of Lent, reminds us that during this sacred season we are trying to produce fruit: the fruits of the spiritual life. St Paul lists these fruits for us as being: charity, generosity, joy, gentleness, peace, faithfulness, patience, modesty, kindness, self-control, goodness & chastity which are the result of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Second Sunday of Lent

Second Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends in christ 

The pilgrimage of Lent moves us in union with Jesus our Lord, towards the saving events that will take place in Jerusalem. To this end, and knowing how His suffering and death would affect His disciples, Jesus consoles them by giving a glimpse of His divinity whilst they are on Mount Tabor. This Gospel, read every Second Sunday of Lent reminds us too, that the Cross and suffering come before glory. Part of the Lenten pilgrimage entails going back to basics; learning the ABC of the Faith. 

First Sunday of Lent Sunday 10th March 2019

First Sunday of Lent Sunday 10th March 2019

Dear Friends in Christ 

The first Sunday of Lent brings us into the desert with Jesus. He goes there for forty days and nights to prepare for the ordeals ahead. Whilst there, He is tempted. There are three classic temptations that He faces: to satisfy his bodily desires; to worship a false God; and to use His power for His own purpose. By resisting each of the temptations of the Evil One, Jesus emerges with a stronger will. During Lent we too are engaged in a warfare,  a struggle. It is a warfare against the powers that seek to conform us to pleasure, wealth and power. Armed with the threefold weapons of prayer, fasting and charity, we too can emerge fortified and ready for spiritual warfare. There is no holiness possible without struggle, constant struggle.
St Thomas More said that we cannot get to heaven in feather beds! The task is unremitting, and the rest and reward will come in Heaven. 

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in christ

Most Catholics across the entire world will go to Holy Mass on Wednesday and hear the priest pronounce Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return as ashes are placed upon our heads. These words, taken from the very first pages of the Bible (Genesis 3:19) remind us of our mortality and that we have been given this time on earth for a purpose: that we might know, love and serve God. This is the one and only Truth that we need to know and live; everything else is secondary; only God matters. If we can begin Lent this week with God at the centre of our lives, and keep him there throughout the coming Forty Days, then we shall have done Lent well.

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in christ

The Readings of the Mass this Sunday bring to mind the theme of magnanimity: greatness of soul, largeness of heart. The Saints have always been those who manifest this virtue of magna anima, showing their largeness of spirit whenever they initiated anything for the sake of Christ and His Church. We are called to the same love: great in our human relationships, in evaluations and dealings with other people, seeing everyone as a child of God. 

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in christ

We are currently in Year C of the cycle of Readings for Sunday Mass, the year of Luke. St Luke was, according to tradition, a Physician and in addition to writing the third Gospel, wrote a history of the early Church: The Acts of the Apostles. Our Blessed Lady is said to have had a special affection for him, which was reciprocated by St Luke painting her. The picture of Mary, Salus Populi Romani, Health of the Roman People which is enshrined in the Basilica of Mary Major in Rome, is believed to be a very close copy of that original painting.

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday 10th February 2019

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday 10th February 2019

The Gospel of this Sunday relates how Jesus preaches to the crowds from Peter’s boat. He then goes on to direct him and the other Apostles how to be effective fishermen; but the lesson is really one in showing them how they would catch souls for Christ and His Church. Our Lord calls us all to be apostles in the middle of the world, whether we are sitting at a desk, ploughing the land, in a great city or in a tiny village. He calls us all, so that with holiness of life and by giving good human example, we may be good instruments of Christ in a world that seems to turn its back on Him.

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in christ

The Epistle at Mass this Sunday is the great hymn of Charity written by St Paul.  He outlines the qualities of Christian charity, without which life lacks its prime and essential ingredient. The most sublime eloquence, and all the good works imaginable would be like the fading reverberation of a gong, lasting for a few moments, and then fading away to oblivion. Without charity, the Apostles says, even the greatest gifts are of little value.