Posted by The Parish

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time July 21st 2019
Dark Red Book page 111

 I was watching the classic Disney film Sleeping Beauty with my Grandchildren. You know the plot: A wicked spell is cast on the beautiful princess so that she will die, in want of true love, by pricking her finger on the needle of a spinning wheel. Although the king banishes all the spinning wheels throughout the realm (is that like the cross?) the evil witch entices the innocent girl with one intriguing relic. Before she dies, the angelic Fairy/Godmother casts the whole palace into a deep sleep. They will only awaken by the touch of a prince (is that Christ?).

Now if we can just set aside all the sexist, stereo typecast, nonsense, let’s look at the story again: The original fable can be traced as far back as the 1300’s. It was first published in 1634 and made popular by the Brothers Grim in the early 1800’s. Watching the film I could not help to think that the fable must have influenced St Teresa of Avilla’s great Spiritual Classic “The Interior Castle” (1577). Here, we are given the image of Christ, imprisoned at the centre of every human soul: He is forgotten, literally walled up in a stronghold of our own making, behind human sin and sorrow.

As with Sleeping Beauty, to find Christ, we must tear our way through inner tangles of thorny regrets, unhappy memories and psychological obstructions. But, if we persevere, we will find Christ, luminous and alive at the heart of our being while all the time we were the ones sleeping!

In the Disney film, the moment when the palace falls asleep reminded me of something else:  For hundreds of years, in the Catholic liturgy, July 27th commemorated “The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus”. Although in modern times the celebration has been removed (perhaps to make way for more recent saints) it remains in the calendar of the Orthodox churches. In this story, during the persecution of the Emperor Decius circa 250ad, seven young Christians were trapped and walled up alive into a cave. They fell into a deep sleep but two hundred years later the cave was opened. The Empire was now Christian! They thought that they had slept just one night but, as they emerged and walked the streets, they were mystified that their coins were out of date and they marvelled at the number of so many churches with great crosses.

The most likely explanation is that these seven martyrs actually were walled into the cave and their relics were discovered and venerated when the cave was opened by the Christian Emperor Theodosius circa 447ad. Their bones are believed to have been taken by the Crusaders to Marseilles. It is a fascinating legend surviving from the 5th century in various writings. In a contrived form, 200 years later, it even appears in the Qur’an (Surah of “The Cave” 18.9-26)! There are various later literary references (e.g. John Donne’s Sonnet “Good Morrow”). Now there is one other connection; Of all the historic variations of Heretical Christianity for me there is only one that remains strangely attractive: Messalianism! Messalianists were a big problem in 5th century Syria. They held that spiritual revelations are most frequently given during dreams and dreaming only happens when you are asleep. Therefore, the holiest state of being would be to spend as much as your life as possible sleeping and they slept everywhere all day! Sounds good to me!

Fr K 

Thank You for your Offering 

July 7th OLSS £474
July 14th £458 Sea Sunday £41.50
July 14th St Josephs £TBC
(Cash Collections exc D/D’s) 


Kenneth P, Sarah W, Celia J, Rosaleen D, Anne S, William & Margaret H, Sr Gabriel OSU, Ellen M, Lillian M, Mary S, Margaret G, Thomas F, Charles C 

May they Rest in Peace 

Installation of The Most Rev. John Wilson as Archbishop of Southwark 

The Installation is at St George’s Cathedral next Thursday, 25th July 2019 at 12.00noon. There will be a live-broadcast of the event to enable everybody to engage with this important new beginning for Southwark. 

The broadcast will take place via the RC Southwark YouTube Channel. 

Parish Auction 

Sincere thanks to everybody who contributed and supported the Parish Auction last week. The event raised a clear profit of £2005. 

Special thanks to Peter & Pat for so much hard work. 

There are Two unclaimed Raffle prizes:
• £25 Cinema voucher – won by Marie
• Meal for two at Greenwich Tavern – won by Imogen


Icons of the British & Anglo-Saxon Saints 12th July – 2nd August 2019
All Hallows by the Tower
Byward Street, London EC3R 5BJ
Monday to Friday 10 am to 6pm.
Saturday 10 am to 5pm. 

Canonisation of Blessed Cardinal Newman 

The Vatican has announced that Bl Cardinal Newman will be canonised in St Peter’s Square on Sunday 13th October 2013 at 10 am (local time). All are welcome and registration for canonisation tickets opens this Thursday at 12 noon (BST) To hear podcasts on Newman’s teaching visit: 

Design & Communications Officer 

Salary: £25,000 – £28,000 pro rata P/T – 3 days per week. 

An exciting opportunity exists for an enthusiastic and energetic Design and Communications Officer to support the work of the Ursulines in England. If you have high-level design skills and can exercise independent judgment with discretion and hard work then we would like to hear from you. The Ursuline Sisters belong to an international order of catholic religious women who for over four hundred years have worked in education. 

Closing date: 30th July 

email [email protected] 

Strike the Marqee 

Help needed from 6.00pm Monday evening to dismantle and store the marquee for another year before the grass dies in the garden at OLSS. Beer and Cocktails provided. 

MASS CALENDAR FOR 20th – 28th JULY 2019 

Saturday 20th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Dan & Kathleen B (RiP) 

Sunday 21st Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Parish & People 

16th Sunday in Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: John O (RiP) 

Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: John W (WB) Kitty (BD) 

Monday 22nd No Mass on Monday 

Tuesday 23rd Ursuline end of School Masses St Bridget 

OLSS 9.30 & 11.00 All Welcome 

Mass St J’s 7.00 Int: Anthony O 

Wednesday 24th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: David M (WB/GW) 

Thursday 25th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Our New Archbishop 

NB NO 11.00am Mass this Thursday at St Joseph owing to the installation of Ap John Wilson at Southwark 

Friday 26th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Peter D (RiP Ann) 

Saturday 27th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Fr John Lavery (2ndAnn 26th) 

Sunday 28th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: 

17th Sunday in Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Justina O (Thg)
Inc Baptisms Jason, Ugonna, Paola & Shianne 

Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Rolf (WB) Anna B 

Sr Mary & Sr Leela FSM will be away from the parish from Sunday 28th until Thursday 8th attending a conference of their sisters in France. 

Vincent McNamee RiP Vincent was a kindly man who lived for many years in Caltock Way. His wife Vicky was buried from St Joseph’s some three years ago. He was well known locally especially among friends at the Hardys PH in Trafalgar Road. Funeral at St Joseph August 9th. 

Max has a seriously ambitious project, already in hand, to recover the anchor of HMS Windrush for permanent display in central Brixton as a tribute to that extraordinary generation. Check the petition at: for info see 

Post expires at 7:58pm on Saturday August 24th, 2019