Posted by The Parish

Thirteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time Sunday 2nd July 2017
Orange Book Page 96

“I’m only Human-ist” 

In an unusual moment of quiet my old friend announced: “At last, I have discovered who I really am”. Now, if being half way to the age of 112 still counts as middle age, his discovery was not before time. I was cautiously reassured and simultaneously disturbed by the revelation. Hesitantly I enquired what this new found identity might be: “I am a humanist!” he proclaimed. Relieved that he was not about to embark on some exotic new-age quest for enlightenment I enquired further what he might believe a humanist to be? “A humanist is somebody who is committed to humanity, to the needs of other people whoever they are, and who has no need of God or any kind of religion” (or words to that effect).

I was much impressed that the compassionate side of his nature was developing, and all this from within himself and without the help of God. I felt less flattered, to realise that after a lifetime of personal reflection on human nature, the mystery of God and the history of religion it was evidently necessary that I should now receive a lecture on this new found “faith”. The reality is that people of Anglo Saxon descent are now so dislocated from the simple elements of Christianity that most would probably describe themselves as HUMANIST.

We may ponder why this might be? Peoples from other cultures far removed from Northern Europe and no less advanced or enlightened remain profoundly God-centred and instinctively spiritual? For people from Eastern Europe, Africa & Asia something of the DNA of God is written into their genetic identity. I believe that the same DNA strand still lies dormant in the Anglo Saxon gene system but something in the psychological mechanism prevents faith from finding expression in the modern age. Maybe it has something to do with the legacy of the so called reformation. Perhaps it is a genetic memory that all religion is dangerous, and best avoided (hardly surprising in the present climate). All this comes to mind because last week we celebrated those two great Patron Saints of the Archdiocese of Southwark: John Fisher & Thomas More.

There is no need to rehearse their stories here except to remember that, in their day, in matters of learning, Thomas More probably outshone everybody in the land and John Fisher should largely remain credited with the foundation of Cambridge University as it remains standing even today! What may surprise you is to discover that both these men would have named themselves as “humanists”.

They too were committed to the humanitarian needs of all people except for one thing: They would have said that no such progress is ever possible without God. They would have said that God is the ground and source of humanity and all creation. They would have said that something in the heart of man makes him reach out beyond himself. That the pathway to enlightenment is to apply our critical faculties, including the sciences to the whole of creation, the mystery of God and the nature of man. They would also have told you that the best way to develop as a human being would be to stay close to Jesus in the sacraments, within the life of his visible body, the undivided church and always to reflect intelligently on Holy Scripture. For this they died.

I hope that you are a humanist like them… that is what I try to be.

God Bless Fr Kevin.

Please Remember 

Joe now home again.
Adrian very ill in hospital in Mexico
Alice now at home.
Margaret now at home.
Eileen who has been ill in Glasgow
Helen a young wife who is gravely ill
Larry very poorly and grieving at home
Anna ongoing anxiety since accident. 

Anniversaries 

Rosaleen D, Anne S, William & Margaret H, Sr Gabriel OSU Ellen, Catherine M, Lillian M, Mary Ann S, Margaret G, Thomas F, Celia J

May they Rest in Peace 

Next Week Great Parish Party! 

Saturday July 8th 

Have you bought your ticket for the combined Parish Party at OLSS Garden in the evening of July 8th at 7.00pm after Mass? A band and barbecue is included with your ticket and a paid licenced bar. This year the sun will be shining it will be a warm and happy event. Places are limited and Tickets are available at both churches so do not be disappointed and assume you may purchase on the door as we must be strict about numbers. I am grateful to Pat Farren and to local businesses who have arranged and contributed raffle prizes:

Roberto Farren Photography – Framed photograph
Al Pancino Restaurant – Meal for two inc prosecco
The Hill Restaurant – Dinner for two inc bottle wine
Greenwich Theatre – Four complimentary tickets
Bill’s Restaurant – Meal + drink for two
Karen Woolven Florist – Bouquet of flowers
Rivington Restaurant – Breakfast for two
Doubletree Hilton Greenwich – Afternoon tea for two
Greenwich Picturehouse – Two complimentary tickets
Greenwich Tavern – Meal for two

And Maggie’s Summer hamper!

What is dying? 

A ship sails and I stand watching 
till she fades on the horizon, 
and someone at my side 
says, “She is gone”. 
Gone where? Gone from my sight, 
that is all; she is just as 
large as when I saw her… 
the diminished size and total 
loss of sight is in me, not in her, 
and just at the moment 
when someone at my side 
says “she is gone”, there are others 
who are watching her coming, 
and other voices take up the glad shout, 
“there she comes!” …and that is dying. 

Grace RiP Friday June 30th 

Many people will be very sad to hear of the passing of Grace at 11.25 on Friday at KCH following a stroke at home on Tuesday. Funeral arrangements are TBC

We keep Larry & the family in the heart of our affection and prayers.

Francis (Frank) RiP

Frank was a kindly, cheerful man usually found at the back of St Joseph’s church. He has been struggling with illness for a little while and sadly died on June 27th. He will be received into church at 4.00pm on 18th for a requiem at St Josephs Wednesday 19th at 12.30

Farewell and Hello 

A number of people have sadly departed recently from OLSS to pursue life elsewhere. We bid them a fond farewell. Frances & Peter (who helped with parish finances) have moved to Eastbourne. Frank & Josie were stalwarts for many years – they have moved to Sidcup. Martin (Cafod) has now retired he has moved to live in Lanzarote! Tamas & Anna (Deanery Rep and Website manager) have recently moved to Scotland with Baby Anna Lily. Meanwhile we are pleased to welcome new faces and families especially the Hasset family and other friends who have settled with us in recent times.

Thankyou for your Offering June 25th 

OLSS £635 2nd £111 Cafod £50

St J’s £267 2ndCol £36 Candles £324

CALENDAR 1st – 9th JULY 2017 

This is SEA SUNDAY a significant celebration especially for our two Churches on the edge of the “Thames Basin”

Welcome at OLSS Wojciech Holub who is the Stella Maris Chaplain to seafarers 

Saturday 1st Holy Baptism 2 p.m. Violetta 

Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: Parish & People

Sunday 2nd Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Dennise P (RiP) Rueben & Zita

13th Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Jean Henri F RiP 1st Ann)

in Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Joe C (Ints & WB)

First Holy Communion St. Joseph’s 25 children including TWO adults make their FHC at St Josephs this Sunday at an additional Mass at 12.00 noon. 

Young Adult Confirmation Retreat today with The Sisters of St Andrew 99 Belmont Hill 

Monday 3rd No Mass on Monday

Tuesday 4th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: For the healing of Julia & Teresa F

Mass St J’s 7pm Int: Domestic Difficulties in families

Wednesday 5th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Mangela P (Ints)

Thursday 6th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: A young couple with anxiety

Mass St J’s 11.00 Int: Sr. Leela FSM (At home in India)

Young Adults Confirmation OLSS 25 young people from both congregations have prepared for the sacrament of Confirmation this year. We welcome their friends and families and Bishop Patrick for a lovely evening with a reception in the garden. Mass at 7.00pm 

Friday 7th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int:

Saturday 8th Mass OLSS 6.00 Int:

Next Saturday at 7.00pm Combined Parish Party OLSS garden
Make sure you get your ticket this weekend. 

Sunday 9th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Parish & People 

14th Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Margaret L (WB/GW)

in Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Astrid & Ashley – Rite of Baptism today

Post expires at 10:29pm on Saturday August 5th, 2017