Posted by The Parish

The Feast of the Epiphany Sunday 7th January 2018
Blue Book Page 115

A letter from Warsaw – The House of Life 

The family; Robin, Sylvia, and their boys set off for an economy break and found themselves in Warsaw for a poignant New Year’s night:

It certainly wasn’t Five Star! We were in a flat on the 11th floor of Bagno 5, a Communist-inspired housing block, right on the edge of the old Jewish ghetto where fear, hunger and unspeakable events took place between 1939 & 1945. Across the street was All Saints Church in Grzybowski Square. Reputedly the largest church in Warsaw, it is hemmed in by old Soviet styled apartment blocks, modern offices, hotels and shopping galleries, All Saints is the only ‘traditional building’ as far as the eye could see on this side of the city. We read the story of the church on the Internet, while surveying it from our vantage point high up on the 11th floor of Bagno 5. In 1861 the Countess Gabriella Zabiello donated her Grzybów estate to the Society of Mission Priests and provided financial help to construct the church under plans by the architect, Enrico Marconi.

Having been damaged in 1939, and more dramatically so during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, All Saints only narrowly survived WWII. Some 25 churches were obliterated by the Nazis as Warsaw was razed to the ground. After the war, the church was reconstructed. Apart from being incongruous with its surroundings, it is what happened inside the church during the Nazi occupation that makes it special: At first, All Saints found itself within the walls of the Jewish ghetto serving ‘Jewish Christians’ but later found itself just outside the perimeter. It is this fact that gave rise to the inspiring story of human courage that unfolded. Fr Marceli Godlewski and assistant curate Fr Antoni Czarnecki helped to hide many Jews here and assisted in their escape. There is a short video on the Internet about this tragic time. It shows the cold basement of the church and a secret cupboard that hid its terrified occupants.

Belatedly, it was only in June 2017, that the church received the acknowledgement it deserves. The Wallenberg Foundation, awarded All Saints the title of “House of Life” – the first place in Poland to be bestowed with such an honour. The public inscription translated into English reads: “This building served as a shelter for innocent people.” 

Sameul Tenembaum, son of the Foundation’s founder, said, “This was a house of life, it was a place of life. It was a fortress of life. It was here that life had its headquarters, within the walls of this church. The darkness could not overcome it”. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, when young men were randomly setting off ear splitting fireworks all across the city, it was hard not to imagine this as the sound of gun fire echoing in the streets during those horrific war years. At the end of 2017 our minds were taken with the thought that humankind is still perpetrating horrors against innocent people in many parts of the world. Perhaps it is foolish to think that 2018 will be any different, but God’s House of Life means darkness surely will not prevail. Shouldn’t we ask, Are we providing a House of Life?’ just as Frs Godlewski & Czarnecki bravely did in 1939? Happy New Year! 

Fr Roy & Fr Kevin Thankyou for Your Christmas Offerings 

OLSS £2334 & St J’s £702

Dec 31st OLSS TBC Crib £98 Cafod £28

Dec 31st/1st St J’s £691 & SpDn £570

The Manna Centre will Collect our gifts next week it is not too late to bring items this W/End 

Such as: Sugar, Powdered Milk, Tinned tomatoes, Rice, Meat & Fish (Tinned) Coffee, Trainers, Blankets, Sleeping bags, Underwear, Toilet & Kitchen Rolls, Socks & Shoes, Jeans,

Maggie’s Christmas Hampers 

Maggie’s Christmas hampers raised more than £400 towards Church Funds at OLSS

Here is the list of the winners: Ticket No.

1st Marie O 909 Blue
2nd Joan N 634 Pink
3rd Amanda B 99 Pink
4th J.O.P. 512 Blue
5th Rochford 411 Blue
6th Anne K 509 Blue
7th Anne K 503 Blue
8th Maeve P 210 Blue
9th Dominican Sisters 972 Blue

Baptism Preparation Jan 10th 

If you are seeking the Baptism of a child either at OLSS OR St Joseph the next preparation evening will be Wednesday 10th January at 7.00pm at the Presbytery 68 Crooms Hill.

Next Sunday is Peace Sunday 

There are 2nd Collections for the work of Pax Christi this intention is especially promoted by HH Pope Francis cf: www.paxchristi.org.uk

This W/End White Flower (SPUC) Appeal 

St Ursula’s School – Sr. Ignatius Stone RIP 

Sr. Ignatius Stone OSU died on 4th January 2018. Aged 93 she was Headteacher of St Ursula’s from 1970-1977. Her funeral will be at the Ursuline Chapel, Westgate at 10.30am on Friday 26th and 2.15pm at the Crematorium. Students & staff will represent the school and community that she served faithfully for so many years. Please join us in your thoughts and prayers for her friends & family

Ms Catrina Hamilton Headteacher

The Ursuline school is currently advertising THREE Job Vacancies for 2018: 

Deputy Headteacher – from April or Sept Teacher of English – from April
Also Exam Invigilators required – £9.00per hour 

(Previous experience is not necessary as full training is given. This role offers flexible working arrangements).

For info see: www.stursulas.com/vacancies or Louise Shackel lshackel@stursulas.com 020 8858 4613 ext 127.

Fr Roy Dunstan RIP 17th Dec Eltham 

People at Christchurch have been saddened by the death of Fr Roy Dunstan. He was 101 years of age and still active. He will also be known to friends in Greenwich. He was a member of the Order of Canon’s Regular who serve the church at Eltham where Fr Roy was himself Parish Priest in years past. His Funeral is on Wednesday 17th at 11.30 at Christchurch.

Children’s’ FHC Programmes 

St Joseph’s: There is a special meeting for Parents and Children after the 10.00am Mass this Sunday where the programme will begin properly from next week. It is not too late to register if any child has been overlooked.

OLSS: The programme has already been running for several weeks in the Autumn and will resume Next Saturday at 10.45

Petra Hajduchova & Friends are planning an evening of devotional music at St Josephs for the Feast of the PRESENTATION Feb 4th when we will dedicate the image of Our Lady of Fatima and share a celebration at 6.00pm

Calander for the week Feast of Epiphany 7-14th January 

Saturday 6th Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: Parish & People

40th Wedding Anniversary for Dinah & Frank J

Sunday 7th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Thomas & Margaret H (RiP)

Epiphany Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Rada (RiP)

Also commemorating Emilio M RiP 2nd Ann (Father of Giuseppe & Antonio)

Also Commemorating Margaret & Tom D (Parents of Kathleen RiP)

Special Meeting after Mass today for FHC Parents at St Joseph’s

Welcome Bp Patrick Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Joe C (RiP)

Monday 8th No Mass on Monday

Tuesday 9th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Mary S (RiP)

(15th Wedding Ann) Mass St J’s 7.00 Int: Aleteia D & Marcel S

Wednesday 10th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: George Y (RiP)

Thursday 11th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Shelia P (WB)
St Joseph’s whole School Epiphany Mass in Church at 11.00 Int: Teresa H

Friday 12th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int:

Saturday 13th 12.30 Holy Baptism OLSS

Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: James & Ellen H (RiP)

Sunday 14th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Pauline A (Thg)

Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: John & Annie M (RiP)

Peace Sunday Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Parish & People

Some people say that there are not 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS but 40! and that “Christmas” should end on February 2nd with the feast of the “PRESENTATION” (Candlemass). 12th Night marks the Epiphany which is continuous with Christmas. Epiphany means literally to SHINE OUT (Epi-Phaino). The Star shines out to the wise men fulfilling today’s Psalm 71, the Kings of the earth come with Gifts to the God of Israel. But the child in the manger shines out to the whole world “To be a light to lighten the gentiles (pagans)” Luke 2v32. He is the Light of the World, The light that shines in the darkness John 1:5, The Lord himself said “I will draw all mankind to myself” John 12v32. Epiphany includes the first 3 signs of The Lord’s Divinity. The “Wise men from the east”, The Baptism of Christ when a voice from heaven proclaims “This is my Son” (all Gospels), and the first sign at the wedding feast when he turns water into wine John 2v1-11.

Post expires at 6:57am on Sunday February 11th, 2018