Posted by The Parish

First Sunday of Lent Sunday 18th February 2018
Teal Book Page 152

Dear Friends,

It’s about this time of the year that I get a touch of the Moody Blues and perhaps you do as well. Do you remember that album “Days of Future Passed”? It captured a certain melancholy loneliness marking the passing of young life including the timeless melody “Nights in White Satin”. I was only aged 10 but I discovered it later in adolescence. There is no escaping the fact that for several reasons February reminds me of my age. The extended winter chills, the never-ending damp and darkness penetrates your being proclaiming that there is now less to the future and much more to the past and perhaps some of our recollections are not always easy to bring to mind. It was on one such cold and damp evening that I took my Dad to see the film “Our Darkest Hour”.

Dad’s life was hammered by memories of those unfolding events on the world stage when he was just 18. The film reveals the oratory prowess of Winston Churchill and the colossal odds that were against him and the whole Nation in the face of the outbreak of the 2nd world war. When the great man finally unified the divided house, with a speech that galvanised the nation and gained the confidence of the king, the declining Lord Chamberlain exclaimed “What just happened?” Lord Halifax replies: “He mobilised the English language and sent it off to war”. No doubt there is poetic licence in all that. What impressed me is that Churchill had made costly mistakes in the past, and he had memories which were distressing but they were events from which he had learned that enabled him to deal with the crisis he confronted.

One quote has remained with me:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal:
it is the courage to continue that counts”. 

Now consider this: Churchill’s greatest moment did not occur until he was 64 and Victory was not achieved until he was nearly 70. Churchill was no great churchman and it is unclear where he really stood as a Christian but he still has things to teach us: Some people might say that the present time is a dark age for the church. We do not have to rehearse the reasons, lack of vocations, secular materialism, individualism and the scandalous failures even within the church. This is not a time for faint hearts; “It is the courage to continue that counts”. Look at other things, our congregations are flourishing, our schools are thriving and we have children and young people in great numbers. Within these two communities the Lord is still calling people to offer their lives in unexpected ways.

He still calls young women to be religious sisters. He still calls young men to be priests and he calls married men to be ordained deacons supporting the life of the church. More to the point he calls YOU in the depths of your being. So, this Lent take heart. The future still lies before us. If you are troubled by unhappy memories come to Confession. If you have made costly mistakes learn from them and put them in the past. If you are not so troubled thank God and come for the grace of the sacrament itself so that you might hear in what ways the Lord might be calling you to a deeper life of faithfulness. We do not need to fight on the beaches. Perhaps this is our Dunkirk moment to rediscover the courage to continue with this faith as Easter approaches in 2018.

God Bless Fr

Stations of the Cross 

Every Friday during Lent after Mass at 10.00am OLSS and 7.00pm at St Joseph

Sunday 4th March OLG Charlton Greenwich Deanery Penitential Service 

Confessions with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Benediction 4.00pm Sunday 4th

Baptism Preparation This Wednesday 

If you are looking for the Baptism of a child NB. at either church, please attend this Wednesday evening at OLSS 21st at 7.00pm. No need to book. Bring your child if necessary

Parish Rooms at OLSS 

Work has started to refit and refurbish the parish (basement) rooms at OLSS including floors, toilets, ceilings, lighting and kitchen (Hence the big skip). This is likely to take us into the beginning of March. Apologies for the disruption. The Children’s Liturgy group will meet in the Ursuline Convent Chapel for the foreseeable future with thanks to the Sisters. We will ensure that at least one toilet remains useable during public services.

A Day of Prayer 

In conjunction with the appeal to promote Eucharistic Adoration we will have a Day of Prayer on the First Friday of March (March 2nd). The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed at OLSS throughout the day after the 9.30 am Mass. It is very important that the sacrament is never left unattended. Will you come and watch and pray for 30 minutes or perhaps an hour on that day? We will arrange for a rota that you can sign at the beginning of Lent.

Thankyou for your Offertory Sunday 11th 

OLSS 4th February £784
11th Feb £682 Poor Par £134 Cafod £23
St J’s £379 Candles £308 Poor Parishes £48

60+ group 

Welcome again at the Dominican Convent Hyde Vale this Thursday 22nd at 2.00pm. Don’t stay at home all alone you will receive a warm welcome.

For Your Prayers 

Peter has been in Hospital he is home now. Sheila is now resident at Morden College. Anne is presently at QEH following a fall, she continues with a determined spirit towards recovery. Jose is also currently at QEH together with Dawn’s Mother (Sheila from St Joseph’s School) & Father.

If you need the The Catholic Chaplain at QEH call Fr Paul Antwi-Boasiako CSSp, 07462 461533,

CAFOD Family Fast Day: This Friday 23rd 

Please welcome Liam at OLSS and Mick at St Joseph’s .

They will speak on behalf of Cafod about the family fast day this Friday. This is an oppor-tunity during Lent to support our brothers and sisters who don’t have enough to eat. This Friday can you give up a meal, or eat a simple meal, in solidarity? With malnutrition still killing almost three million children a year, your fasting, prayers and donations will ensure more of God’s children have enough good food to eat. This Lent, your donation will make double the difference. For every £1 you donate to CAFOD, the UK Government will also donate a pound, up to a total of £5 million, meaning twice the number of lives can be transformed. Twice the number of children can have the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong. Please collect your Fast Day envelope from church this week and give generously. In light of recent news reports you may wish to know CAFOD has a statement about safeguarding vulnerable communities on:

Football Practice 

Esteban (Candelaria’s & Tomas’ Dad) organizes football training every Tuesday from 8-9pm. He invites families to get involved “you don’t need to be Messi, just someone willing to run a bit and have fun. Ladies or teenagers from 16 onwards are welcome”.

We play close to David Lloyds gym. See contact details in the newsletter in the church.


Saturday 17th Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: Cathie & John T (RiP)

Sunday 18th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Maura N (RiP)

First Sun of Lent Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Mary VFamily (WB)

Shepherd Family Memorial Mass Christopher & Anthony S (Brothers) Doreen & Charles S (Mum& Dad)

Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Parish & People

Monday 19th No Mass on Monday

Tuesday 20th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Vicky & Marianne (WB/GW)

Mass St J’s 7.00 Int:

Wednesday 21st Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Sr Vera O.P. (RiP)

Thursday 22nd Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Eleanor W & Family (WB)

Mass St J’s 11.00 Int: Anne C (WB/GW)

Friday St Polycarp Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Parish & People (Lieu of Sun)

Saturday 24th Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: Mary K (RiP)

Sunday 25th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Frances D (WB/GH)

Second Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Eric & John M (THG)

of Lent Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Frances & Paddy C (RiP)

St Polycarp (Friday) –“Much Fruit”- is a principle witnesses for the Christian faith in the period immediately following the New Testament. He stood in succession to the Apostle John as Bishop of Smyrna as is testified by various Church Fathers. He left another Letter to the Philippians and various fragments of other writings are preserved by later authors. The chief story of his life is in a poetic account of his martyrdom written by a contemporary source. Polycarp was burned at the stake for refusing to burn incense to the Roman Emperor. When the flames failed to take his life, he was pierced with a spear. “Eighty and six years I have served Him (Jesus) and He has done me no wrong… How then can I blaspheme my King and Saviour? You threaten me with a fire that burns for a season, and after a little while is quenched; but you are ignorant of the fire of everlasting punishment that is prepared for the wicked. When it was over a fragrant incense was pervaded the arena and the flames enfolded him carrying his spirit towards heaven.


Post expires at 8:29pm on Saturday March 24th, 2018