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5th Ordinary Sunday 9th May 2020 (Dad’s Birthday)
Yellow Book Page 133
Go back to the year 1968. Imagine an autumn afternoon with darkness drawing in… You are a lad aged about 10. The air is damp, laden with forbidding chills. With my Dad and younger brother, we had explored long country lanes. Through woodlands and open fields, we had wandered circuitous pathways for several miles. We were only a mile or so from home but for the life of us we couldn’t work out which direction we should be heading. For part of the way we had been trapped behind high walls and fences. Then, looming out of the eerie gloom, in the middle of nowhere, in our pathway stood a monstrous decaying “Pagan Temple”. It had garish statues, like strange “gods” peering down. The old gates were rotten and tightly shut, the roof open to the sky. All around, owls, foxes and bats erupted out of the undergrowth. The three of us stood there transfixed and afraid: “What the devil is it?” Surely it was Dracula’s woodland hideout or the “Castle of Greyskull”.
We had wandered into the boundaries of the old Theobald’s Estate. This famous property had once been home to Cecil Lord Burleigh, High Treasurer, Secretary of State & Chief Advisor to Qn Elizabeth l. and we had found the “Temple Bar”. Down the ages the fortunes of Theobalds fluctuated. In Victorian times it came into the hands of Sir Henry Meux, (1856–1900) an English baronet who made his fortune with a famous brewery business. He had married one Valerie Langden, an American-born socialite re-creating her as the “Lady Meux”… To all accounts she was no lady! “She is believed to have met Sir Henry at a Casino in Holborn, where she worked as a banjo-playing barmaid and prostitute under the name Val Reece”. What a girl! She was never welcomed into “Polite Society” but this was all “water off a duck’s back”. She had enough money to occupy herself with the prestigious revival of Theobalds, breeding racehorses, and sponsoring Egyptology. Part of her plan had seen the purchase of Temple Bar. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and commissioned by Charles ll, for 200 years it stood in Fleet Street as the main gateway to the old City of London. The four statues depict the Stewart Dynasty: James 1st, Qn Ann of Denmark & Kings Charles 1&2. By 1874, with increased traffic, The Bar had sustained so much damage it was unsafe and an obstruction to the city. Stone by stone it was dismantled, stored in a yard in Farringdon. Then, in 1888, it was re-erected by Lady Meux as a back gate to Theobalds. For 30 years the estate flourished. The upper part of the building was used for lavish dinners. The young Winston Churchill is said to have been entertained there. But with the outbreak of the Great War and the advent of WW2, the estate went into decline. Temple Bar fell into dramatic dilapidation and neglect. In 2003 a project finally came to completion when, stone by stone, it was dismantled once again, and re-erected at Paternoster Square alongside St Paul’s Cathedral. Augustus Pugin would say that it completes the greatest pagan inspired monstrosity anywhere in London… Anyway, here’s something different to think about other than the Virus! Go and see it… If we are ever allowed out again!
Regrettably we are still prohibited from opening the doors of the church even for individual prayer & meditation. I am dismayed when I catch some forlorn soul walking away because the church is locked. These are not “normal” times. The contagious implications of the virus remain a reality. No doubt when you have visited a supermarket or some other essential public facility you have been conscious of the need for scrupulous repeated cleansing of the common shared surfaces. This is why the Catholic Church and all religious institutions must conform to the government health regulations.
Every week Archbishop John writes an extended letter of encouragement to the clergy of Southwark. It is appropriate to share a summary of his message:
Dear Brothers in Christ, Gaudia Paschalia!
We have celebrated a Holy Week and Easter this year unlike any of us have experienced before. In such unusual circumstances, the central truth of our lives, on which our existence and that of the world pivots, remains the same: Christ is Risen!
Thank you for sustaining the life of our parishes and communities. There has been incredibly creative use of live-streaming and social media for liturgy, devotions and catechesis, which I know is appreciated by so many people. The increase in the number of funerals, and the restrictions in their celebration, has brought strains and stresses and I thank you for the ways in which you are responding with sensitivity and care. Added to all this, of course, is the closure of our churches and the limitation of celebrating Mass without a congregation. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference is working to ensure that we are able to reopen our churches for private prayer at the first opportunity. As soon as I have information about this, I will communicate it to you. This will be the first step, with further guidance to come about the celebration of the Sacraments.
None of us expected 2020 to unfold as it has; and there is still a journey to be made before we return to previous and new ways of living our faith. We are continuing to assess the impact of the lockdown on the life of the Archdiocese and this includes the financial implications.
Once we have some indication about how and when the present restrictions will be lifted, we can begin to plan, both at parish and diocesan level. I will delegate the faculty to parish priests who request it for parish celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation. We will also hold a memorial Mass for Archbishop Peter, and for the priests who have died in recent months.
I look forward to a gathering of clergy for Mass together in the Cathedral at the first opportunity. I remain proud of the service you are giving in love of Christ, of His people and of His Church. Please continue to look after yourself and each other
To each of you, thank you most sincerely.
Most Reverend John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark
An International Ecumenical Bible Study
If you would like to join this group at 3.pm UK tomorrow I will forward a link at around 2.30.
Thaddeus is the group host who will send an invitation on Sunday to share in the discussion. Or search YOUTUBE “Reasoned Answers Apologetics”
Annette 12th May Eltham 12.15
Nicolette 4th June Honor Oak
Mary Monday 29th June Streatham 2.00
Saturday & Sunday Masses continue to be livestreamed to Facebook search “Our Ladye Star of the Sea” and are also visible on Youtube later in the week.
Mass will be offered Privately Each Day for the following intentions
Saturday 9th OLSS 6.00pm Angel A
Sunday 10th St J’s 10.00am Len R (BD)
Monday 11th OLSS Int: Barbara R (RiP)
Tuesday 12th St Js’ Int Sr Jean Capistran FSM (RiP France)
Wed 13th OLSS Int Mary W (RiP)
Thurs 14th St J’s Int Lizzy D (RiP)
(11.00am Live Stream for McInerny Family)
Friday 15th OLSS Int: Robert N (RiP)
Saturday 16th OLSS 6.00pm The Well Being of All the People
Sunday 17th St J’s 10.00am Mary L
Happy Birthday Len My Dad is 94 today (Saturday May 9th) and is supposed to be walking around the garden raising £6million for OLSS restoration fund, not just lounging about drinking Sr Mary’s Champagne & eating cake. My brother isn’t getting him organised properly while they watch old episodes of “The Sweeney” & “Minder” every morning during the lockdown instead of doing useful things. It was the same on VE. day when aged 19 he was languishing at Catterick barracks. For every body else the war was over but for Dad it was just beginning. He went out to Palestine for the next three years as a Paratroop/Radio Operator with the 6th Airborne. That’s why he has no problem operating the TV. He had an illustrious career attaining the dizzy heights of a Lance Corporal, which stripe he lost for dancing on a lavatory roof! Nevertheless, he did make Eight military jumps and was there when “They blew up the King David Hotel”!
Dear Father Kevin,
First of all, thank you so much for doing the Mass on Sundays and during the Easter time. It really have helped us to strengthen our faith and keep going in this difficult times. My mum is in Mexico with my bother at home like everybody else in the world and she has been specially sad that she couldn’t do a mass for my father who passed away in London on the 29th of July last year (Thank you again for helping us to go through it time). She was organising a mass for him every 29th of each month but she couldn’t do it in March and April this year. All churches in Mexico are closed. This is why I’m writing to you to ask if it was possible to name my father and send him all the light possible during this coming Sunday mass. His name is Angel Ciro Moran Arenas. We miss him very much. Thank you so much
Evelin (Francisco & Zara)
Work is finally underway on the tower at OLSS. The costs are likely to run away but a conservative price, just to ensure that the tower is safe is in the region of £64.000.
Please call me at home if you are in any anxiety or difficulty using the number at the front of this newsletter. If you need to leave a message on the answer phone please say your number very slowly and clearly.
Post expires at 7:18pm on Tuesday June 9th, 2020