Posted by The Parish

Sunday after ASCENSION (7th Easter) 13th MAY 2018
Teal Book Page 277 

Saints In Strange Places: 

My father always told me that his Grandmother was American. She had been born in Brooklyn to Irish parents, who fled from the Great Famine during the 1850s. He also used to say that her father had been a soldier in a New York regiment during the American civil war and died as prisoner of war in Richmond, Virginia. 

Dad developed Parkinson’s in the last decade of his life and his memory, which had been so wonderful, began to fade. I realised that all this family history would be lost if I didn’t start to record and investigate it. So, with his help I searched through military & pension records in the U.S. The results were both sad and surprising. 

Daniel, my GG Grandfather, had enlisted in the 155th New York Infantry (Buffalo Irish) in 1862. After a raid by confederate cavalry on a railway line they were guarding, in Dec 1863, he was captured with 7 other men and taken to Richmond. His wife never heard from him again and she believed he died in prison of pneumonia. The records we uncovered showed he had actually survived prison there, but had been sent to another, in Georgia. 

Andersonville or Fort Sumter was built to hold 10,000 men but by the time Daniel found himself there, it held 32,000. Confined soldiers suffered terribly from over crowding, poor sanitation, and inadequate food. Most prisoners died from disease, starvation or exposure. Daniel died in the “infirmary” in July 1864 and was buried in what is now the historic graveyard on the site. 

One consolation to the suffering men, and I hope my ancestor, must have been the presence of a catholic chaplain. Fr Peter Whelan, was an Irish priest based in Savannah, who lived in a shack outside the camp during the worst 4 months of its existence. He would rise early, say his prayers, eat a scant breakfast and walk a mile to the camp. There he would spend the day with the prisoners, baptising, hearing confessions, comforting the sick and ministering to the dying. At sundown he would leave, return to his little hut, eat, pray and fall asleep exhausted “full of sorrow at what he had seen all day”. Several younger clerics were sent to assist him, but all became ill because of the awful conditions and had to leave. Fr Whelan continued in his ministry but developed a lung disease that plagued him for the rest of his life. Even when he was about to leave the camp for good he borrowed money and used it to buy flour to make bread for the remaining prisoners. It became known as Whelan’s Bread and saved hundreds of lives. 

The prisoners never forgot him. He is mentioned by many of those who survived the camp and wrote their memoirs. One recalled; “of all the ministers in Georgia accessible to Andersonville, only one could hear this sentence, ‘I was sick and in prison and you visited me,’ and that one is a Catholic.” 

Fr. Whelan died in 1871 in Savannah. His Mass at St Patrick cathedral was attended by more than four thousand people and the funeral procession was over 2 miles long. He is remembered as the “Angel of Andersonville 




Rose D, Jeremiah G, Irene M, Anne P, Eamon W, Rev D F Coffey, Matilda J, Fr Vincent Power, Paul O, Gladys J, Robert M, Kathleen F, Sr Eugene Ryan OSU

May they Rest in Peace 

Baptism Preparation (no meeting in May) 

Fr Kevin will be away for the early part of May If you are seeking the Baptism of a child either at OLSS OR St Joseph the next preparation group will be on Wednesday 13th June at 7.00pm. 

No need to book a place. Please bring your child if necessary. 

This is World Communications Day 

The only worldwide celebration called for by the 2nd Vatican Council is marked in most countries, this Sunday (before Pentecost) May 13th. Pope Francis announced the theme: ’The truth will set you free’ (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace.

Focusing on the harmful effects of fake news, and never timelier than in the light of the current uncertainties surrounding Syria. There are 2nd collections at all Masses supporting the work of the Bishops Conference and the training of Catholic representatives working with the media. 

This Sunday 13th at OLSS at 3.00pm 

Come and enjoy something different at OLSS at 3.00pm for a Summer Afternoon. Siying Chen (Peggy) is a Chinese Soprano who is preparing a programme of Classical Folk Songs for a concert in London. (She has also been singing with our group at 11.00am). She will offer a recital at OLSS this Sunday at 3.00pm in aid of the restoration fund which will also help her to prepare her performance elsewhere. Peggy Chen is currently Cardiff-based for her master courses on operas in the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and already has a PhD on Kunqu Opera in Chinese National Academy of Arts and a bachelor degree on vocal art in Nanjing University of the Arts. Come and enjoy something quite different and very special. 

An Invitation to the Summer Celebration from the Carmelite Community at Aylesford Priory 2018 

Saturday May 26th – 11:00 to 17:30 


11.00: Devotions with Anointing
12.00 – 13.00: Picnic on the grounds
13.30: Open Air Mass
14.30: Saint Jude procession
The summer is always very beautiful at the Shrine, and it will be lovely to see visitors at the Summer Celebration. All welcome. 

The Great OLSS Party Saturday July 7th
7.00 till late, Live Music, Bar & Barbecue 

Tickets and draw tickets will be soon available – limited numbers. Special thanks to Alex & Virginia our Sponsors at Amber Tree Café High St Deptford 

José RiP 

Funeral is at OLSS on Tuesday 22nd at 11.30. José will be received into OLSS Church on Monday 21st at 4.30. (Burial at Eltham – Falcon Wood) 

Wedding Paper Administration 

There will be no Wedding Paper Administration this Tuesday at St Josephs. Fr Kevin will return on Friday 18th May. Please attend on Tuesday 22nd after 7.00pm Mass at St Joseph’s. 

MASS CALENDAR FOR 12th – 20th MAY 2018 

Mass Intentions. The newsletter and calendar was created sometime in advance of this week. If you would like an intention please use the envelopes provided and deposit in the secure letter boxes 

Saturday 12th Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: Gerard M (RiP) 

Sunday 13th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Stephany I (RiP) 2nd Collections at 

World Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Int: Anne C All Masses this W/End 

Communication Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Parish & people 

Monday 14th No Mass on Monday 

Tuesday 15th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: 

Mass St J’s 7.00 Int: Sr Reetha Paul FSM (Ints) 

Wednesday 16th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Thomas & Pat T 

Thursday 17th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: 

Mass St J’s 11.00 Int: Father of Debbie W (RiP) 

Friday 18th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Alan L (RiP) 

Saturday 19th Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: Michael B (WB) 

Holy Baptism Joseph, Maximilian, Joshua, Alexander 11.30 OLSS 

Wedding of James M & Jenny T OLSS 13.30 

Sunday 20th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Parish & People 

Pentecost Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Anne C (RiP) 

Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Walter & Alice P (RiP) 

There will be a parents meeting at St Joseph for FHC Children after Mass on Sunday 20th 

Simone is an icon writer in the Romanian & Byzantine traditions. She is planning to run An Icon Painting Programme for 3 days later in the summer at OLSS. It would need 8 participants to make a group, Simone will provide the materials (frame, glass, paints, brushes & golden leaf). The two styles of painting need different days. The cost would be circa £40 per person per day. Simone is a Romanian Orthodox friend of Kay. Please see contact details in the newsletter in the church. 

Post expires at 6:27am on Sunday June 17th, 2018