Posted by The Parish

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time 28th OCTOBER 2018
Blue Book Page 149

 The Sacraments through Art: 2 The Eucharist 

‘When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.’ (Luke24:30-31) 

The story of the Road to Emmaus describes how, after the crucifixion Cleopas and another disciple encounter a man on their journey. It is only later over supper, when the man breaks and blesses the bread that the disciples see that he is the recently resurrected Jesus. The painting by Caravaggio (1571-1610) captures the very moment of Christ’s unveiling. We see Christ flanked by two apostles; Cleopas & “the other one” on the right (traditionally identified as St Luke the Evangelist & travelling companion of St Paul) wearing a shell on his tunic – the symbol of pilgrimage and Cleopas about to jump out of his seat on the left. The landlord of the inn stands rather nervously to Christ’s left; I would guess like all pub landlords he’s wondering if there’s going to be any trouble! 

Around a quarter of the painting is taken up with the table and what’s on it. Centre stage is a roast chicken and there are also some pieces of bread, a glass of wine, a bottle of water and in the foreground a precariously balanced basket of fruit. We might also notice the faces of the apostles are not idealised – in fact Caravaggio used people from his own poor quarter of Rome as models. He pioneered a new style of painting – a kind of realism. The scene is very believable, in our day we would call it a ‘freeze frame’ moment. The use of chiaroscuro – dramatic light and dark effects and his realism helped make Caravaggio’s artistic reputation. However here both these elements serve a deeper purpose. The dramatic lighting is an allegory for the moment of illumination itself ‘Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him’. 

The realistically depicted scene too serves such a purpose. The wine, bread and water are what the priest has on the altar during the liturgy of the Eucharist. Christ raises his hand in the act of consecration. The table becomes an altar. The painting very much shows us things as they are, but also something much more. Whilst disparaged by some at the time, the artist’s realism seems entirely appropriate to this subject since as Cardinal Newman (1801- 1890) said, Catholics worship not dogmatic definitions but Christ himself: “believing in the [Real] Presence in the sacred Tabernacle not as a form of words, or as a notion, but as an Object as real as we are real”. The open space at front of the picture offers us a place at the meal (reminiscent of Rublev’s famous hospitality icon) while the apostles hand appears to come out into our space, this is happening here and now, it is real the picture tells us.


Image: The Supper at Emmaus 1601
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
Oil and tempera on canvas, 141 x 196.2 cm,
via The National Gallery

Return to GREENWICH MEANTIME I.e. Clocks go back One Hour this Weekend 


Gladys B, David W, Willie O, Alice C, Margaret H, Frank M, Eleanor & Willie S, Sean K, Winifred K, Margo B, Dennis M, Lottie M, Michael S, Bernard B, Joseph C 

May they Rest in Peace 

Please remember among the sick: 

May (Now Home)
Phil (Recovering at home)
Anthony (Guys Hs)
Eileen (Respite Care Eltham)
Baby Eva & Sam 

Combined OLSS & St Joseph’s Confirmation Programme Is your child at least 12 years old and would like to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation? 

The programme for OLSS & St Joseph’s will run on Sundays, starting 18th November (9:15- 10:45, followed by the Mass at 11) with breaks following the school calendar. The Confirmation Mass will be on Sunday, 30th of June 2019. Registration forms are available. The first Parents’ Meeting, where the programme will be consolidated, will be on Thurs 8th Nov at 8pm. See contact information in the newsletter in the church.

Thinking about the Catholic Faith
An Adult RCIA Group 

Our little group of adults who are exploring the Catholic faith has now grown to FIVE people of all different ages and backgrounds. It is not too late if you would like to join this group. We are meeting on Wednesdays with Sr Alice OSU & Fr Kevin. Welcome this Wednesday in the parish rooms at OLSS at 7.30. We are meeting informally for just one hour so you do not have to consign the whole evening. 

Concert for The Philippines 

Andrea & Petra wish to thank everybody for a lovely evening and for your generosity. The Concert raised £577 which will go towards the movement of clothes and goods and other supplies which are being shipped to the area. 

Ursuline School Vacancy 

The Ursuline School is seeking to appoint a Cover Supervisor to provide class cover for short term absence of the class teacher, with good interpersonal and behaviour management skills for our Educational Support team in January 2019. See website or contact Louise Shackel on 020 8858 4613 ext. 127. Closing date Friday 2nd November. 

Thank You for your Offering 14th Oct. 

St Joseph £417 H/M £45 Cafod Fast £286 

OLSS TBC – A Special Thankyou for some discreet offerings that have been received in the light of current difficulties at OLSS. 

Parking at St. Joseph’s Don’t pay to park for Sunday Mass at the meters! Parking is available for church users on Sunday in the school carpark from 9.30-11.30 on Sunday. Cars left at owners’ risk etc. NB. Your imaginative Local Authority now has money from the Mayor of London to reduce the use of motor vehicles. A plan to “Help prevent child obesity” is already closing Commerell Street by St Joseph’s ON WEEKDAYS only AT SCHOOL TIME with removeable barriers. Apparently, the L.A. have “listened to the consultation process”  (of which we have heard nothing) CF 

They welcome comments: Don’t hold your breath for a reply and keep your comments polite and respectable as befits Christian people! 

Crooms Hill Closure

Meanwhile see contact details for the local lady who is trying to co-ordinate the response of residents in Crooms Hill to the LA plan to close off this road to through traffic. By all means message her to add your name to a list of concerned local people but the oracle to whom you should register your opinions is 

Childrens FHC OLSS 

Begins next Saturday at 10.45 

Baptism If you are seeking the Baptism of a child at either church the next preparation meeting will be Wednesday Nov 14th at OLSS 


Saturday 27th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Michael H (RiP) & Alachka B (RiP) 

Sunday 28th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Teresa K (WB) 

29th Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Jayasili & Joseph (Parents of Helen) Welcome Fr Peter Kucera 

Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Joe C (RiP)

Monday 29th No Mass on Monday 

Tuesday 30th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: James A 

Mass St J’s 7.00 Int: 

Wednesday 31st Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Matthew T 

Thursday November 1st All Saints Day
Masses at OLSS 9.30 & 11.30 with the Ursuline school
St Josephs with the School 11.00am
Sung Mass OLSS 8.00pm 

Friday 2nd Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Ann S (RiP) 

Commemoration of All Souls Sung Requiem at 8.00pm OLSS
When we remember by name all those whom we have loved
The 8.00pm will be especially for the Soul of Peter R 

Saturday 3rd Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Stephey I (RiP) 

Sunday 4th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Weronika & Stefan K (RiP) 

31st Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Parish & people 

Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Vanessa N (RiP) 

A Parish Database: We have made 3 attempts to set up a Parish Database of names and addresses and related details. We need somebody with the right expertise to set this up as a task in conjunction with GDPR 

A Day of Reflection for Ministers & Readers Is planned on Saturday 17th November with Bp Patrick for Extraordinary Minsters of Holy Communion & Readers. At Bp Thomas School SW162HY. The programme has been distributed electronically but if you would like to be included ask for a form. 


Post expires at 8:42pm on Saturday December 1st, 2018