Posted by The Parish

The Holy Family 30th DECEMBER 2018
Mauve Book Page 105

Sometimes you learn from your mistakes… 

A year or so ago, I painfully drove a screw into the tip of my thumb with an impact driver. I was pressing two pieces of wood together. The screw travelled much faster and deeper than I expected and deep into my thumb. I had to unscrew it using the driver. My language was as colourful as the stains that I managed to smear all around the house. Once the screw was safely removed (with a large shot of whisky for anti-septic purposes) the injury healed very quickly with no lasting harm… or so I thought. Now I realise I have damaged the nerve endings. This means that I have difficulty taking hold of something as delicate as the Sacred Host at Mass. I cannot quite feel if I have grasped one or two hosts at the same time as I administer communion. 

It set me wondering… Was Jesus ever that careless in the days when he worked in the carpenter’s shop? Then I remembered a famous painting: It is called “Christ in the House of His Parents” (1850 NB same year as OLSS) by John Millais 1829–1896. Millais was an English Painter of the “Pre-Raphaelite” school. He was close friends with John Ruskin (he actually married Ruskin’s ex-wife when their marriage was annulled). At the time that it was released, the famous painting, provoked scandal and disdain. Among the most contemptuous of his critics was Charles Dickens who said some very rude things indeed! Queen Victoria asked to view it privately. What was so scandalous was that Milais had painted the Holy Family as if they were just any ordinary domestic family in a real-life setting. The traditional symbols of holiness were removed. Inevitably, being an English painter, the family are portrayed as humble white peasants. It is significant that Joseph is preparing a door. There is dirt on the floor and sheep in the field outside. If you look carefully the Lord has injured his hand on a sharp nail. St Anna is about to remove it. Mary is comforting her child who looks to be 6 or 7 years old… or is it the child, with a certain sense of resignation, who is comforting the mother? A drop of blood has fallen from his hand to his foot. The older child is bringing water. He is John the Baptist. They are gathered at the carpenter’s bench or is it an altar? The tools fixed to the walls, are the tools that will be used at the crucifixion. A builders’ set square puts the Trinity at the centre and the lines of parallax extend the trinitarian symbol across the canvas. The rickety ladder symbolises Spiritual Life. (The “Ladder of Ascent” by John Climacus AD 600 is an important text in Eastern Christianity). Critics objected to the portrayal of Jesus: One complained that it was “painful” to see “the youthful Saviour” depicted as “a red-headed Jew boy”! Dickens described him as a “wry-necked, blubbering red-headed boy in a bed-gown”, adding worse about his mother. It tells me that for all his social observation and literary genius, in this instance, Dickens was a protestant bigot. Whereas the young St John is wearing an animal skin, The Lord is already clothed in his shroud! 

An unidentified apprentice cautiously observes from the side. Who knows, surely that must be you…? 

God Bless
Fr Kevin 

Dear Friends 

I will be away from Tuesday 2nd until Thursday 24th January. I am making a trip to India where I hope to make contact with Fr Victor & Fr Martin and to visit the seminary where Victor is presently teaching. My old Pal Bob from N. Wales is coming and we are travelling with “Paddy” (Manak our builder friend) & other members of his family. Hopefully three weeks of winter will have passed and soon we will see the first signs of spring (optimism)! 

While I am away, I am indebted to Fr Tomasz from Woolwich who will supply the Sunday Masses at OLSS and to Fr Peter Kucera who will supply the Sunday Masses at St Josephs. 

On weekdays it will not be possible to have Mass each day, but Fr Peter will provide a Mass on Tuesday Mornings at 9.30. (The Church open from 8.45) and a Eucharistic Service will be provided on the other days both at St Joseph and OLSS. Susan Elderfield (the Chaplain at the Ursuline School) will ensure that OLSS is open on Tuesdays & Thursdays and the Ursuline Sisters will welcome you at the Convent on Wednesday’s & Fridays, so the usual pattern of weekday worship can continue, likewise also at St Joseph. My wife Frances will be at the Presbytery (she is not alone as my nephews are there in the evenings and at weekends). 

God Bless
Fr Kevin 

Should You Need A Priest 

Please contact the Clergy either at: Charlton 020 8858 0401 Email: [email protected]
Or Woolwich 020 8854 0359 – 020 8333 8954 

There will be a New Years Day Celebration Mass (Our Lady – Mother of God) at 12.00noon at St Joseph’s. 

Welcoming friends & Visitors from both congregations bring whatever you have left over from Christmas to bring and share. 

Other Programmes will run as usual: 

The Childrens FHC Group at St Josephs Begins after Mass on Saturday 13th January 

And at OLSS resumes at 10.45 on Saturday Mornings in the Parish Rooms on Saturday 12th. 

The Young People’s Confirmation Group Resumes Sunday 13th at the Ursuline Convent 

Marriage & Wedding Administration. Maeve will continue to provide wedding and marriage paperwork at St Joseph’s Church on Tuesday Evenings after the Service at 7.00pm 

Baptism Preparation 

There will be no Baptism Preparation Meeting during January. If you are seeking the Baptism of a child at either church please attend the meeting at OLSS on the evening of Wednesday 13th February at 7.00pm.

The Adult RCIA Group 

Sr Alice will resume the little adult instruction group meeting in the parish rooms at OLSS from Wednesday 9th January.

Items for the Manna Centre 

May still be received by weekend 5-6th in the New Year 

Mary RiP 

Mary’s Funeral is arranged. Sung Requiem at OLSS at 12.00noon on Wednesday 9th January & cremation at Hither Green. (Fr Tomasz –will conduct this Mass) 


Check Jane very lively twitter page: stellamaris @mariscrooms 


30th DECEMBER 2018 – 6th JANUARY 2019 

Saturday 29th 11.00 Sung Requiem Aron W St Joseph’s 

12.30 Baptism OLSS Leo, Valentina, Mario, Charles 

(Fr Richard Plunkett will conduct this in lieu of above) 

Mass OLSS 6.00pm : Dan & Kath (Wed An) 

Sunday 30th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Hynes Fmy (RiP)

Holy Family Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: William D (RiP) Fr Kevin at St Josephs 

Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Peter R (RiP) Fr Malcolm King at OLSS 


Tuesday 1st New Years Day 2019 A Mass at 12.00noon at St Josephs (NO Mass OLSS 9.30)
Bring your left-over Christmas Cake, wine, cheese & whatever needs using up! (Int: Sr Reetha Paul FSM)
NB No evening Service at St Josephs and No wedding administration on this night 

Wednesday 2nd Eucharistic Service 9.30 at the Ursuline Convent 

Thursday 3rd Eucharistic Service 9.30 in the Church OLSS 

Eucharistic Service 11.00am in St Joseph’s 

Friday Eucharistic Service 9.30 at the Ursuline Convent 

Saturday 5th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Pamela C (WB) Fr Tomasz at OLSS 

Sunday 6th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Parish & People Fr Peter at St Joseph’s 

Epiphany Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: In Thanksgiving anon. 

Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Bernard T

Winners Christmas Hamper Raffle OLSS 2018 1st Ticket 769 Pale Green No details/Unclaimed. 2nd Ticket 181 Pink Alessio 3rd Ticket 270 Pale Green Tony M. 4th Ticket 286 Pink Carmichael. 5th Ticket 537 Pale Green Frances M. 6th Hamper Ticket 273 Pale Green Eileen. 7th Ticket 932 Pink Jenny D The Crib will remain in place at OLSs until Sunday “Baptism of the Lord” marking the end of Epiphany. 

Post expires at 7:40am on Saturday February 2nd, 2019