Posted by The Parish

Advent Sunday Year A 1st December 2019
Yellow Book Page 83

 So, I took my Dad to the pictures. The JOKER! A little light entertainment would do us good. Holy Smoke, Robin. – KERPOW! – Batman has come a long way since those comical capers that we watched as children on B&W TV’s. Back then we ran around the playground dressed as the “Caped Crusaders” with jumpers tied round our necks. At lunch time we used to laugh and sing “♫ Dinner, Dinner, Dinner, Dinner”! And all those colourful villains who somehow got released every week to wreak yet more havoc on Gotham City. The Penguin, The Riddler, The Joker perhaps even Cat Woman. We never could quite work out if she was actually a goodie or a baddie but, much to the exasperation of his adolescent side kick, she engaged the attention of Batman to the bewilderment of us 7 year olds.

The first “Serious” Batman film made it to the silver screen in 1989. It went some way to explain matters to those of us who were now the parents of 7-year olds ourselves. The plot was dark. During infancy, all those fantasy villains had been exposed to some unidentified source of contamination. It had corrupted their minds and changed their normal thought patterns. This is what accounted for their disturbing psychotic behaviours. Batman himself had been subject to the same damage. However, whereas his compatriots surrendered to their disorders, Bruce Wayne had wrestled nobly with his inner demons. He turned his affliction to the pursuit of good. This is how he had such insight into the minds of his adversaries. Nevertheless, isolated in his “batcave” he had traits of autism and difficulty forming relationships. Batman was as much a victim of his past as all the others. We should feel sad for all of them.

That first film was deeply theological. This new offering is no less theological but it is also much more political. This “comedianJoker is no mere fantasy. He is real, home grown and there is nothing to laugh about. He is the product of a life time of abuse, deprivation, disadvantage, rejection and poor self-esteem. It is quickly evident that “the good that he desires to do turns into the evil he prefers not to do” (Rm7v19) You realise that if this damaged soul does not discover a reliable source of love, he will soon become the centre for the unleashing of a full blown “Apocalypse”. During 15 years of prison ministry I have met this “Joker” in person. I have spent long hours in his presence and known him by 100 different names. Todd Phillips’ “Joker” is very pertinent to the modern age. He is a sad exposition of the fragile complexity of the human personality and an indictment of social norms and city life. Other than the fact he is not fully responsible for his actions, this Joker bears no resemblance to his predecessor. He is real and tangible and there is an election…

As Gotham city burns it could be Venezuela, Hong Kong or London and there is no Batman to save the day. At the end, the film leaves you dangling: Was the Apocalyptic nightmare finally unleashed or was the whole episode just a fantasy in the tormented mind of a long-term psychiatric patient? Whatever, it all describes a world in need of redemption. Someone needs to quickly show this joker and all those like him… 

There is a Redeemer
Jesus God’s own Son
Precious Lamb of God
Messiah… Holy One 

Apocalyptic it may be… Let’s hope to God it’s not prophetic! 

Think deeply this Advent!
Fr Kevin 

Nessa RiP 

So many people will be distressed to know of the death of Nessa. Nessa has bravely struggled with treatment over the last year. She celebrated her birthday last Friday 22nd and was in good spirits. Quite unexpectedly, during the following weekend, she suddenly deteriorated and died as she was being admitted to the Greenwich & Bexley Hospice on Monday 24th. The family have long been associated with OLSS & are well known at Children’s Liturgy & other events. 

Funeral Arrangements are in hand TBC.  We keep Paul & the boys in the heart of our affection & prayers 

Click here for the programme for Christmas

Impromptu Christmas Choir 

We need cheerful singers for the impromptu Christmas Choir especially for Midnight Mass. Please see contact in the newsletter in the church.

2020: The Year of the Word 

Today is the first day of Advent, the beginning of the Church’s year. 2020 is dedicated as “The Year of the Word” Catholic’s are encouraged to rediscover the Bible. Join us at a special celebration at OLGrace Charlton at 7.00pm on Thursday 5th to launch this special year. 

Crooms Hill / West Greenwich Traffic Reduction Plans 

Information and survey, available via the webpage until Sunday, 8th December. 

“Restored Lives”
Helping & supporting people recover from relationship breakdown. 

Vanessa is a faithful member at OLSS. 

She would like to run a support group course in January 2020, on a weekday evening in The Parish Room. The aim is to help anyone struggling with a relationship breakdown including separation & divorce. She would like to start a small group with volunteer helpers (minimum 2). It will be for people of any faith or none at all. The course would run weekly over a period of six evenings, from 7-9.30pm. Each session will include short talks, covering topics such as conflict resolution, communication, followed by discussions. My passion is to help others recover completely from the impact that relationship breakdown brings. 

Vanessa will speak at OLSS this Sunday. 

Email: [email protected] 

Thank You for your Offering Nov 24th 

OLSS £535 Cath/Yth £149 St J’s TBC
Thankyou to all those who gift aid by D/D 

There are personal letters at OLSS for you to collect that will indicate the tax return at the end of the year 

Manna Centre Collections 

It is our custom to make collections of all kinds of preserved & tined foods, hats gloves & warm clothes which are given to the Manna Centre for the Homeless at Christmas. 

There are bins provided in the front entrance. 

Coffee & Cakes Etc 

After 11.00am Mass this week in support of Children’s HCPT 

Next Sunday 4.00pm OLSS (seats at 3.45)
The Ursuline School Carol Service 


Saturday 30th Nuptial Mass 2.30 Wedding of Wayne & Elizabeth 

Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Dcd Fmy & loved ones (RiP) Joan K 

Sunday 1st Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Brendan S (RiP) 

First Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Peter O (RiP/BD)

Of Advent Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Parish & People

Advent Service, Combined Ecumenical Service 6:30 p.m St Alfege Church 

Monday 2nd No Mass on Monday 

Tuesday 3rd Eucharistic Service OLSS 9.30 

Mass St J’s 7.00 Int: In Thg 

Wednesday 4th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Kathleen H (WB/GW) 

Thursday 5th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Frances D (95BD) 

Mass St J’s 11.00 Int: 

Friday 6th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Veronica K (RiP) 

Saturday 7th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Paul H (WB/GW) 

Sunday 8th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Jean F (RiP) – Agnes B 

Second Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Sean K (RiP) Holy Baptisms Saturday 7th 

Of Advent Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Aron W (RiP) at 12.30 OLSS 

The Ursuline School Carol Service 4.00pm OLSS (seated at 3.345) 

Maggie’s Christmas Hampers Maggie has prepared Hampers to be raffled at OLSS for restoration funds. 

How the English Learned to Hate Catholics Jane Lawson has drawn attention on her twitter site, to this excellent lecture which may be seen again on YouTube. “A truly excellent, scholarly and deeply sympathetic account drawing on recent scholarship”. Here is an Advent exercise that will help you to understand the story of Catholicism in England and the traumatic unfolding of events in Tudor times: All summed up in the last phrase: “In much of the English-speaking world, Anti-Catholicism is the last respectable prejudice”


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