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Twelfth Ordinary Sunday Sunday 21st June 2020
Orange Book Page 93
School days are supposed to be the happiest time of your life. I wouldn’t go back there! The years 14-18 were pretty crushing for me. Having trashed my G/CSE’s (mainly through laziness) I suffered a deep loss of confidence. It was an all-boys “dog eat dog” environment where the future looked bleak. Very little was expected of me. That was until, in defiance of the Head Teacher, I determined to become a priest/vicar. To everyone’s astonishment (my own included) I scraped into Kings College London to read Theology. In a new environment, life finally got under way. Prior to that, in the so called Sixth Form at Chace Boys school I had to suffer the humiliation of attending various remedial classes. That carried a certain stigma. I suppose it identified me as having “special needs”. Nothing to be ashamed of really. We all have “special needs” but as in George Orwell’s famous political satire “Animal Farm”, some are more equal than others, or shall we say special? There was one particular lad. I can’t remember his name but I see him clearly. A seemingly mild lad with jet black hair and slightly overweight. Whenever he appeared everybody would shout in chorus “FASCIST”! I have no idea what he had done to earn this title or whether or not he deserved it. Happily, I can boast that I never participated in this “Sport” but to my shame, neither did I do anything to defend him! This was for TWO reasons; Not really knowing the fellow I had no idea if perhaps he actually, was a fascist, but secondly, being myself a remedial class kid, I didn’t really know what a “fascist” was! I knew it related somehow to being a Nazi, but I was struggling to catch up with the basic subjects. I wasn’t like those “more talented students”, studying modern history & politics. At the same time, I was confused: Weren’t “fascists” people who did a lot of shouting and bullying to individuals in public?
Now, all these memories are flashing back, not only in the light of current social tensions, but also because of the Old Testament reading this week. It describes an episode in the life of the Prophet Jeremiah when his destruction looked imminent. He was caught in a situation of entrapment in the sight of the king.
“I hear so many disparaging me…
Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’
It was what we would call today “a stitch up in the face of authority”. It serves also as a prelude to what happened to Christ himself. Now, in the current social tension, where delicate personal psychological issues are made all the more acute by the mandatory isolation and lockdown, it is all too easy to say the wrong thing in an attempt to talk about what is right, especially as people run to claim the moral high ground. I think back to the lad at school. Whatever he had done to earn himself that unhappy name it was the other kids who had become the Fascists.
“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” I think what I am trying to say is, that in these very uncertain times, as social tensions threaten to boil over for many different reasons, can we all just try to be a little kinder to each other? Or to put it in the context of the eternal words of Paul McCartney’s 1984 “Frog Chorus”:
♬ Side by side, hand in hand ♫
“WE ALL STAND TOGETHER”
Mary died on 21st April. At last her funeral will take place on Monday 29th June when she will be laid to rest with her brother. Lockdown requirements are beginning to ease. The family expect to be able to welcome 25 people for an open-air service at 2.00pm at Streatham Park Cemetery SW16 5JG
‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Mt 11:28-30)
Archbishop John writes to the clergy Friday 19th:
Dear brothers in Christ
As we keep today (Friday) the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus we are called back to that love which will not let us go. The death defying love of Christ is so intimately personal that it touches our little, sometimes humdrum, lives. Yet His love is also so enormous that it has redeemed the world. The image of the Heart of Jesus captures the primary relationship we have with our Lord and God, namely merciful love. How great is the need for us to preach this saving truth; and how vital, too, that we also each hear and receive it. Every bishop, priest, and deacon needs to know that, before anything else, he is loved by God in Christ. The great French singer Edith Piaf was once asked if she prayed. She said ‘Yes, I pray.’ She was then asked why she prayed. ‘Because I believe in love,’ she said. Love is the source of everything in relation to God because God is love, and this love has a human face in the Lord Jesus.
It’s an interesting question to pose to ourselves: Do we really know ourselves to be loved by the Lord? It’s such an important question. The answer we give – and it this answer will need to be renewed each day – will shape our discipleship and our ministry; in fact, it shapes our whole existence. I know it might sound a bit soppy or lovey-dovey, but our answer to this question matters. Our heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus are fundamentally connected through love: His love for you, and your for Him.
St John Vianney once said: ‘The priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus.’ This speaks to me in two different and complementary senses. The priesthood is about loving the Heart of Jesus, which it certainly is; and the priesthood is loved by the Heart of Jesus, which it also certainly is. On this World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests may our grasp of the Lord’s love for us help us to love Him; and though holiness of life may it bear fruit in love for the people we serve.
With every blessing and the assurance of prayers
Yours devotedly in Christ
The prayer to make a “Spiritual Communion”
Oh Jesus, I turn towards the Church where You dwell for love of me hidden and silent in the Tabernacle.
I love you, O my God. I cannot receive you in Holy Communion at this time. Come, nevertheless, and visit me with Your grace. Come spiritually into my heart. Purify it. Sanctify it. Render it like Your own most Sacred Heart.
Towards the Re-opening of The Churches for Private Prayer
I am grateful to all those who attended meetings at both churches in preparation of reopening for Private Prayer. Similar schemes have been co-ordinated allowing for one or other church to be open for two hours or so on weekdays. At OLSS the scaffolding must remain for at least a further TWO weeks while certain works continue. I do not propose to re-open OLSS until the scaffolding is removed, hopefully week beginning July 21st. I must also be away from Greenwich from 12th-18th July to care for my Father. Risk assessments have been submitted to Bishop Patrick. If all is well, we can begin with St Joseph from 7th July. The constraints are quite specific allowing for a maximum of FIVE people at any one time and ensuring social distancing and sanitisation in specific areas of the buildings. We are prohibited from any activity that will draw people to gather as a congregation. Meanwhile I am still pursuing the hope that Open Air Masses may begin in the School grounds at sometime in July.
While the Church remains closed Saturday & Sunday Masses
are livestreamed to Facebook search “ Our Ladye Star of the Sea ” also visible on YouTube later in the week.
Mass will be offered Privately Each Day for the following intentions:
Saturday 20th OLSS 6.00pm Int: Salako Family (Ints)
Sunday 21st St J’s 10.00am Int: Paddy C (RiP) “CJ” Faucher (RiP)
12th Ord Sunday
Monday 22nd OLSS Int: Agnes F (95th BD 14th)
Tuesday 23rd St Js’ Int: John O (BD/RiP today)
Wed 24th OLSS Int: Lisa R (BD) Rosemary B (RiP)
Thurs 25th St J’s Int: Sr Leela (BD)
Friday 26th OLSS Int: Jane O (BD)
Saturday 27th OLSS 6.00pm Int: Well Being of All the People
Sunday 28th St J’s 10.00am Int: Anne S (RiP)
13th Ord Sunday
“No Place for Racism” This is a wonderful Message to Young People published by our own Bishops to be distributed throughout the Archdiocese and available here.
Meanwhile here is a special project appeal from Max Holloway:
As many of you will know, my beautiful soul-mate Alice Faucher passed away in August 2017. Prompted by the fabulous 23 years I was fortunate to spend with her; in January 2018 I initiated a project seeking to recover the stern anchor of the ship Empire Windrush and get it permanently displayed in the UK as a memorial to post-WW2 British multiculturalism. It’s been a long journey and more than a little emotionally draining, but I’m happy to say that THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED. There is now a GoFundMe page which needs the support of PEOPLE. This is an independent project. We believe the Government should not use taxpayers cash for our project. There are far better causes requiring funds in respect of social welfare, etc. not least the Windrush Scandal compensation payments.
So PLEASE DONATE & SHARE THE LINK
An anchor is the universal sign of hope, celebrating strength, stability, permanence and belonging… values which are very much associated with Windrush Generation, their descendants and indeed a host of migrants who have brought rich cultural diversity to our shores. This is a one-off opportunity to actually get something tangible and symbolic from the ship and ensure that the catalytic event of June 1948 gets a national platform for future educational narrative. The transparency of British history is currently receiving detailed scrutiny due to a prevailing ‘wind of change’ and this is the time to stand up for national heritage with greater integrity.
There is an ONLINE PRESENTATION OF THE PROJECT ON WEDNESDAY 24 JUNE, led by Patrick Vernon and shipwreck hunter David Mearns PLEASE JOIN THE EVENT FOR FREE BY REGISTERING AND PLEASE DO SHARE TO YOUR NETWORKS.
Last weekend we had a small column in The Sunday Times and this week has seen interest from mainstream media with some interviews conducted. My grateful thanks to you all.
Post expires at 10:09am on Sunday July 26th, 2020