Posted by The Parish

Eightenth Sunday In Ordinary Time Sunday 6th August 2017
Orange Book Page 173

A few years ago I was wandering in Bromley town centre with my old friend Major Malcolm. Malcolm is a Salvation Army officer. During the 10 years that we worked together as chaplains at HMP Belmarsh we shared an invincible friendship. Between the two of us we supplied a formidable voice in the face of an institution that could often be crushing and brutal. Prison is a place where the most broken of people (sometimes even including staff) need somebody to speak up in the name of compassion and mercy.

Precisely what we were doing in Bromley on this particular day escapes my memory. We both share a mutual displeasure for the onerous ritual of “going shopping”! No doubt we had a plan for a nice lunch and a glass of fruit juice! (SA people are teetotal). As we wandered through the streets we could hear the lilting tones of an elderly man singing to an accordion. The beautiful melodies were mysterious and captivating.

We drew close to find an old man seated with a flat cap and a portable amplifier. We stopped for a while to listen. When he took a break we stepped forward and each put a £1 coin in his tin. He immediately engaged us in conversation. He wanted to know all about us and how we came to be together. He expressed his gratitude to the Salvation Army for memories in times past. It was very touching, then he turned to me assuming that I was a CofE minister. I explained that I was a Catholic priest.

Suddenly such a volume of ferocious contempt erupted from his mouth that we stepped back in disbelief. He proclaimed that Catholicism had been the source of every evil and trouble in the world since the beginning of time, and if only all priests could be done away with the world would be a better place! We stood shell shocked. What on earth had happened to this man for such sweetness to be transformed into sheer anger by the mention of Catholicism?

Malcolm thought about it for a moment. When the fellow stopped he stepped forward again: “Right” he said “Kevin is my friend and we would like our money back”. (We let him keep it in the hope that his opinions might change). All this comes to mind because recently Pope Francis paid tribute to the Salvation Army. Speaking to a delegation of leaders in the Vatican, he described his own memories of the Salvation Army from a time when he was just 4 years old: He expressed his hope that “Catholics and Salvationists will continue to render a common witness to Christ and the Gospel in a world that is in such great need of experiencing the mercy of God”. (Like our elderly singing friend). “Together with other Christians, we recognize that the needy have a special place in God’s heart, so much so that the Lord Jesus Christ made himself poor for us” Francis said. “We meet often at the same human fringes, my heartfelt hope is that our common faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ, the one mediator between God and men will become increasingly a solid foundation of friendship and collaboration between us…” 

In his recent exhortation Pp Francis has written:

“I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security”.

Blood and Fire and all that!

God Bless Fr Kevin

Please Remember 

Joe now home again.
Adrian following surgery in Mexico
Alice now at home.
Margaret at home.
Helen a young wife who is gravely ill
Larry very poorly and grieving at home
Simon recovering from surgery 

This Weekend Please welcome Fr John Zampesj & Fr Baderi on behalf of the St Francis Xaviour Foreign Mission Society 

There is also a Lay Missionary Branch that trains and sends young people for ministry in many different parts of the world.

No doubt they will tell you all about that!

Fr Kevin is away until Wednesday 

NB No Wedding Enquiries this week St J’s 

Anniversaries 

Catherine M, Elizabeth F, Gus H, James B, Stanley O, Martin F, Helen A, Patrick B, Michael M, Dorothy M, Patrick K, Nellie C, Christopher D, Andrew A

May they Rest in Peace 

Thank You for your Offering July 27th 

OLSS £470 Cafod £4

St J’s £417

Fr Kevin’s Stolen Bicycle 

If you should see a bright PINK men’s bicycle flying around Greenwich please stop the owner and find out where he got it. My bicycle was cut from the railings inside the front forecourt of the house last week. There are not many BRIGHT PINK men’s bicycles… No doubt it is already on Ebay.

Meanwhile if anybody has got a bicycle that they don’t use…

Diocesan Day for Catechists
Saturday 23rd September 

For those who help with the education of children, young people and adults here is a day of training organised by the Centre for Catholic Formation with an invitation from the Archbishop. The day runs from 11.00 until 4.00pm concluding with a Mass celebrated by Bp Patrick. The fees are covered from parish funds. The booking form is available in September. You will need a packed lunch. Please speak to Tina at OLSS or Sr Mary at St Joseph’s put this date in your diary today.

The Cathedral of Córdoba 

Here is a story to consider: The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption has been the ecclesiastical heart of the Diocese of Córdoba since 1236. It is also known as the “Mosque-Cathedral”. As a Unesco Heritage site (like Palmyra in Syria – now destroyed) it ranks as one of the architectural wonders of the world, and is visited by 1.5 million tourists every year. The cathedral’s ownership is now disputed by the Spanish left and Muslim activists. The campaign would have the building seized by the state claiming that it should belong to the whole world. It would be deconsecrated stripped of Christian imagery and no longer used for Mass. The Muslim claim hearkens to a legendary golden age of Moorish Spain. What remains unmentioned is that, although it was first constructed by the invaders as a triumphalist mosque it stands on the site and was constructed with materials taken from the 6thC Visigoth Cathedral of St Vincent which was totally erased in the 8th century. The foundations are only now revealing their secrets thanks to modern archaeological techniques. There are only 1500 Muslims in Cordoba whose needs are adequately supplied by two mosques within the city. The drive for this movement comes from outside Spain and is perhaps funded from Qatar. Meanwhile it has also passed unnoticed that during 2016 in SE Turkey SIX Christian churches were similarly seized by that state including the 1,700-year-old (i.e. 300 years before Mohammed) Virgin Mary Syrian Orthodox Church in Diyarbakir.

Source: World Watch Monitor

CALENDAR 5th -13th AUGUST 2017 

Saturday 5th Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: Grace M (RiP)

Sunday 6th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Frances D (BD)

Transfiguration Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Dr Rosemary U

of the Lord Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Parish & People

Monday 7th No Mass on Monday

Tuesday 8th 9.30 Eucharistic Service Welcome at Ursuline Convent 

St. Dominic Mass St J’s 7pm Int: Sr Shalini (Ints/safe journey)

Wednesday 9th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Lena R (WB)

Thursday 10th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Tim B (RiP)

St. Laurence Mass St J’s 11.00 Int: Martina A (WB)

Friday 11th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Sr Raphaela (Kathleen) C (RiP)

Saturday 12th Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: Fr John Lavery (RiP)

Sunday 13th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Parish & People

19th Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Elizabeth E (RiP)

in Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Joe & Mary C (W/An)

Saint Francis Xavier, S.J. (1506–1552) was an extraordinary Jesuit missionary, born in the Spanish Kingdom of Navarre. As a companion of Ignatius Loyola he was a co-founder of the Society of Jesus and one of seven who first took vows at Montmartre, Paris in 1534. He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly within the Portuguese Empire and was hugely influential in evangelization especially in India. He was the first Christian missionary to venture into Japan and associated islands (though it has been discussed whether Christianity may have penetrated that far in the 8th Century from Tang dynasty China). Struggling to learn the local languages and in the face of opposition, he had less success in these parts. Xavier intended to extend his mission to China but died in Shangchuan Island. Canonized by Gregory XV in 1622 in 1624 he was named co-patron of Navarre alongside Saint James. Known as the “Apostle of the Indies,” and the “Apostle of Japan”, he is considered to be one of the greatest missionaries since Saint Paul. In 1927, Pius XI published the decree “Apostolicorum in Missionibus” naming Xavier, along with Thérèse of Lisieux, as co-patron of all foreign missions. The “Day of Navarre” in Spain marks the anniversary of Saint Francis Xavier’s death, on 3 December 1552.

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