23rd Ordinary Sunday 5th September 2020
Orange Book Page 125
Can you remember when you first really started to think about “GOD”? I was a small child, maybe before the age of 5. I wonder now if this is “normal”? There again there is no such thing as “normal”! I attended a tiny CofE school with just 35 kids IN THE WHOLE SCHOOL! 18 in the “Infants” & 17 in the “Juniors”. Mrs F.E.O. Davies tried to be “strict & particular”. At the same moment that I graduated from the infants; she had the misfortune to be promoted as the illustrious “HEAD TEACHER”. She suffered the penance of being my only teacher throughout my primary education. The school was attached to an extraordinary little Church. It remains as fascinating today as when it was first built. Conceived in the wake of the “Oxford Movement” and in the legacy of John Henry Newman, it had all the fixtures & fittings of a Catholic Church. It even included Ave Maria in the stained-glass. In 1857, the Bishop of London refused to consecrate the place. When it was finally opened, circa 1860, it was purposely invested with a succession of very protestant clergy. Throughout my childhood, that tradition persisted. I was fated to listen to dreary, interminable preaching. Among the kids in the school, there was a contingent of Italian families. Their parents worked in the local wholesale nurseries and were very poor. There was Onorato, Salvadore, Dominic & Anna. They lived in caravans and little homemade bungalows. There was also the lovely Navana & Leila but their family had made good and were buying into the industry. Long before the advent of Multi-Culturalism, Mrs Davies was sufficiently progressive to recognise the spiritual needs of these children. They formed a large part of the school. Every morning & evening, as the day began and ended, she would set forward a little statue of Jesus at prayer-time. Being also conscious for the “Non-Catholic” families (this was after all a CofE school) she took pains to explain that we were not worshipping the statue! The statue was not actually Jesus. It would remind us of Jesus and help us to think about him. Even at 5 years old I was fed up listening to the same old saga. I wanted to tell Mrs Davies that we all understood and she need not tell us anymore! I feel the same today. If 5yr olds can understand why can’t some adults?
Nevertheless, something else was going on… Already at 5 yrs old I was confused: Sometimes we called him Jesus and sometimes we spoke about God… You can’t see God even though he is everywhere but you can see Jesus because he was a real man except you can’t see him now because it was a long time ago and anyway, he is with God. I remember trying to think these things through even when I was 5 and have been thinking about these things ever since. He is God. We call him Jesus because he is God’s Son. He came to us through the womb of his mother, and he reaches out his crucified hands to us every day in the name of the Father. Oh yes, and they are all mingled together with us, the human race, through the Holy Spirit who “blows where he wills” and sustains us in the mystery of that love. Got all that?
“Then he said, ‘In truth I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.” Mt 18v3
The only thing I still don’t understand is this? Why didn’t the other kids continue on that adventure? It perplexes me even now…
Canon John McNamara RiP
Cn John died peacefully on Monday 31st in the Antokol Care Home, Chislehurst. He was a kindly priest who remained active for many years after retirement and was widely known across the ArchDiocese. He served faithfully in pastoral ministry, and had continued to make significant contributions to education and catechesis.
This Parish Newsletter
The Parish Newsletter goes by email to more than 500 people. Last week many people were complaining that it was not received. It seems that some digital bug has attached itself to the mailing list. It may be that your emailed copy is going straight to your “Spam” folder. If so, you must click on the most recent copy and instruct your computer that this is “NOT SPAM”
Now while we are at it lots of people wanted to know about the recent visit to the colossal underground sewer project at the old Bazalgette Pump House near Greenwich station. Look online for Tideway-London-tunneling or click on the link that you will find with your digital copy that will start a little film on your computer.
Further Traffic Discussions
I have been very grateful to local Councilor Mr Mehboob Khan for his care and assistance concerning funerals and weddings at OLSS in conjunction with the new barriers recently introduced preventing traffic in Crooms Hill. I was pleased this week to receive a key for the barrier from the Greenwich Local Authority Traffic Team. This will enable funeral corteges and occasional celebratory wedding vehicles such as Route Master Buses to have access to the church as normal. I am sworn to keep this exclusively for such purposes and must respect the concession that has been given to the church in these circumstances. It was good to speak further with Cllr Khan concerning the ongoing traffic arrangements in other parts especially central Greenwich. The current traffic flow restrictors are not intended to remain long term at the junction with Trafalgar Road. These are now causing hold ups right the way back to Tunnel Avenue and St Joseph’s. Their temporary function is to provide safe social distancing for pedestrians during the ongoing effects of the virus. Greenwich is subject to the London wide traffic proposals of the Mayor of London. Central Greenwich continues to be reviewed for everybody’s interests. Various possibilities are now being considered. One of these is to restore two-way flow of traffic at the beginning of Trafalgar Road without having to pass all the way around the market square. These roads would then be reserved for buses & public service vehicles allowing passengers awaiting and alighting in a safe space. That proposal would seem to make good sense! Councilor Khan continues to invite polite comments and will be available at further public meetings in the Autumn: A feedback link is now available on Greenwich Traffic Website.
MASS CALENDAR FOR 6th 13th September 2020
SUNDAY SERVICES CONTINUE TO BE LIVESTREAMED AT WEEKENDS
Search Facebook: Our Ladye Star of the Sea
Saturday 5th 6.00pm at OLSS Int: Lt Col Dick P (RiP)
6th 10.00am at St J’s Int:
23rd Ord Sunday 11.00am at OLSS Int: Fr Kevin St Aubyn (WB)
Tuesday 8th 7.00pm at St Js Int: In Thanksgiving (Anon)
Wednesday 9th 9.30 at OLSS Int: Sue F
Thursday 10th 9.30 at OLSS Int: Noel D (RiP)
11.00am at St Js Int:
“Auntie June” reception into St Josephs at 4.00pm
Friday 11th 9.30am at OLSS Int: Josephine G (RiP)
Funeral Veronica L RiP 10.00am St Josephs Cremation at Eltham/Falcon Wood 11.30
Saturday 12th 6.00pm at OLSS Int: Mrs M Flood (RiP)
On Sunday 13th 10.00am at St J’s Int: Maria B (RiP)
24th Ord Sunday 11.00am at OLSS Int: Anthony & Anna (Renewal of Wedding Vows)
Children’s First Holy Communion I am grateful that the Children’s FHC groups that should have had their celebration in June, are gathering again both at OLSS & St Josephs with Thanks to Elisabeth, Sr Mary, Rosalynn, Jessica and all other parents and helpers. We are meeting in smaller groups with care for safe social distancing on Saturdays throughout September. FHC celebrations are planned on a smaller scale at OLSS on Saturday 3rd October at OLSS and at St Josephs on Saturday 10th. If any child has been overlooked for First Confessions please contact Elisabeth or Sr Mary who are making arrangements meanwhile.
September 8th Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Birthday of the BVM falls significantly 9 months after the Immaculate Conception celebrated on Decemeber 8th. This is a universal celebration of the Church including all the eastern Orthodox churches going back to antiquity. The earliest document commemorating “Marymas” comes from a hymn written in the 6th century. The feast may have originated somewhere in Syria or Palestine, when after the Council of Ephesus, the cult of the Mother of God was greatly intensified, especially in Syria.The first liturgical commemoration is connected with the sixth century dedication of the Basilica Sanctae Mariae ubi nata est, now called the Church of St. Anne in Jerusalem. The original church built, in the fifth century, was a Marian basilica erected on the spot known as the shepherd’s pool and thought to have been the home of Mary’s parents. In the seventh century, the feast was celebrated by the Byzantines as the feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since the story of Mary’s Nativity is known only from apocryphal sources, the Latin Church was slower in adopting this festival. At Rome the Feast began to be kept toward the end of the 7th century, brought there by Eastern monks.
Post expires at 9:19am on Sunday October 11th, 2020