29th Sunday in Ordinary Time October 20th 2019
Dark Red Book page 151
Any book that starts in a 1st Century rubbish dump, somewhere on the outskirts of Rome and observes this to be an ideal place to discard the body of a dead slave, is likely to take the reader on an unexpected journey. Such is the opening scene of Tom Holland’s new work “Dominion” (5thSept2019). The purpose of such a shocking scenario drives home the unavoidable reality of the Christian faith: For those on the outside, the story of an outcast, everyone’s “servant”, who died as a criminal “under Pontius Pilate”, and then buried without ceremony was absurd. “To Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness” (1Cor1v23). This was about as promising a start for a new religion as something unwanted that you might stumble across on a rubbish dump. Yet within 300 years, it was the official religion of the Roman Empire. The faith had spread in the same period, to faraway lands in East Africa, Persia, Central Asia, Armenia and Southern India. The singular unavoidable reality of the Christian faith was the crucifixion of a condemned Jew. Concise and meticulously researched, Holland’s book has a subtitle; “The making of the Western mind”. It takes us down the dark alleyways and backwaters of Christianity only to resurface in every period with the discovery of something utterly world changing. I am only on Chapter 5. Already we have covered, Paul, Nero, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Origen and Constantine.
Meanwhile, we have surveyed the landscape from Rome, Carthage, Athens, & Alexandria to Jerusalem. Looking ahead I see that we have yet to cover the advent of Islam, the “Reformation” “Enlightenment”, Science & Slavery. All this and modern history too, in the wake of the two great wars! The most engaging thing is that Holland is not even a Christian! He is a secular writer and an academic historian. Yet the closer he investigates Christianity, the more he is unable to avoid the conclusion that, despite it’s various past errors, Christianity has been an undeniable force for good on the world stage. At it’s core is something transforming. It all relates to Jesus Christ! Christianity has created the definition of Europe and continues to shape the modern world. Now, methinks that Mr Holland “Doth protest too much!” He is deferring something that is personally inevitable. Nevertheless, if this is the conclusion of someone who does not even profess a faith in Christ, what does it say for people like you and me who do…?!
This weekend is “Mission Sunday”.
What does Jesus say?
“Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words… of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in glory” (Mark 8:38). I used to be embarrassed about the Baptismal Rites in the CofE: “Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified”. And the people responded: “Fight valiantly under the banner of Christ against sin, the world, and the devil, and continue his faithful soldier and servant to the end of your life”. Now, I have never been much of a one for “fighting as a Christian Soldier”. Nevertheless, the Catholic rites make it clear that we should be bold:
“This is the Faith of the Church.
This is Our Faith!
We believe in One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit”
And we all say: AMEN!
People will be sad to hear of the passing of Abp Michael in the early hours of Thursday 17th at St Peter’s Home in Vauxhall. He will be remembered as a gentle pastor and a kindly Bishop. I owe him a debt of gratitude. He welcomed me (some would say courageously) into this Diocese as a former Anglican and forwarded my cause to the Holy See allowing for my ordination as a Catholic priest in Sept 1996. ABp John was with him on Tuesday. Although he had seemed tired, he did not give any cause for immediate concern.
Abp Michael be remembered in the Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses this weekend.
Susan V, Elizabeth M, Anthony S, Darcey W, Sean K, Arthur B, Frank L, Alfred G, Willie O, David W, Nicola H, Michael H
May they Rest in Peace
Welcome again at the Dominican Convent in Hyde Vale from 2.00pm this Thursday
NB No Mums and Tots this Week
The Mums and Tots group will meet next at the Ursuline Convent on Thursday 31st from 10.30 at 66 Crooms Hill
Among the Sick
Please remember Jean & Bill. Jean recently fell at home and is in Lew Hsp
Paul, Michael (Guys Hsp)
Len (Barnet Hsp)
John was the surviving brother of Paddy. He had been unwell last week. Tom & Mary flew to visit him in Ireland. He died on Friday evening 18th. The 11.00am Mass will be for the combined intention of: Victor and John.
Thank You for your Offering Oct 13th
OLSS £656 Pact £229 Cafod £29
St Joseph’s £352 Pact £71 Cafod £15
St Ursula’s Convent School
Requires a (Lay) Chaplain for 3 days per week. The successful candidate will be a practising Catholic with excellent interpersonal, communication and organisational skills. A background in Education and/or Youth Ministry desirable. Info at: www.stursulas.com/vacancies
Children’s First Holy Communion OLSS
I am grateful to Elisabeth who will run a shorter programme from the New Year. If any child has been overlooked please get in touch. 15 children are now registered at OLSS. I am anxious to encourage new leaders to become catechists for the Young Children. I have asked Caz to form a group of leaders to look more carefully at a new programme during the coming months and prepare for a larger group from next Autumn.
Petra & Isabelle
Wanted to say thank you to everybody who supported the beautiful concert last week. They raised £100. Currently the pair are performing the same recital in Majorca!
Or am I being naïve?
This Tuesday – A Free Recital
Two young women are bringing a musical recital to OLSS at 1.30. Rosie & Francesca are studying at Trinity Laban School of Music. They must complete a number of hours in public performance. Come and form an impromptu audience for them on Tuesday.
MASS CALENDAR FOR 19th – 27th OCTOBER 2019 (2nd Collections MISSIO)
Saturday 19th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Sadie C (RiP) World Mission Sunday
Sunday 20th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Archbishop Michael Bowen (RiP)
29th Sunday in Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Tran & Nguyen GP
Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Victor M & John C (RiP)
Monday 21st No Mass on Monday
Tuesday 22nd Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Parish & People (Lieu of Sunday)
St Pp John Pau1 ll Mass St J’s 7.00 Int:
Wednesday 23rd Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Gam N (RiP)
Thursday 24th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Ann C (RiP)
Mass St J’s 11.00 Int:
Friday 25th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Patricia M
Saturday 26th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Parish & People
Sunday 27th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Alachka S (RiP)
30th Sunday in Mass St J’s 10.00 Int:
Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Gary D (RiP)
St John Paul II (Thursday 1920-2005 canonized 2014) The first non-Italian pope in 455 years. His pontificate was the third longest in history. He promoted greater understanding between nations and religions. Campaigned against political oppression and materialism and issued unprecedented apologies to groups that had been wronged by Catholics, notably Jews and Muslims. His emphasis on nonviolent political activism aided the Solidarity movement and ultimately contributed to the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. He advanced the cause of human dignity throughout the world.
Two Websites that I follow: Big Clive runs an eccentric website examining all kinds of electrical products and inventive projects. He also has some random cookery ideas! Following her recent death, he has made an unexpected and poignant video on how two brothers nursed their mother with progressive dementia. It has some very good advice and reassurance for families coping with Alzheimer’s disease. Search YouTube: Big Clive A proper Alzheimer’s video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRltbhRO-sY&t=3s
Patrick Dickenson is another favourite. He explores underground rivers and shows you how to live up a tree! He has also made a poignant video on Coping with Cancer: Search: Patrick Dickenson Thyroid Cancer my Biggest Challenge yet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAMSeM4mCdI
Post expires at 6:46pm on Saturday November 23rd, 2019