22nd May – Year C

Newsletters are written well in advance, but by the time that you read this I hope that I will have returned from one of my visits to the College in Spain. Almost the end of the year for the current group of students for the priesthood. They have completed their preparatory year and will be moving to different Colleges in September to continue with their studies. Jonathan, who was here in January, asks to be remembered to you. Already we are thinking of a new generation who will arrive in September.

Today is a special day in the parish. Bishop Lynch is coming to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to the young people. We send our prayers and congratulations to the candidates. After the Mass, if the weather is fine, we hope to have a small celebration in the garden.

The children from the St. Matthew Academy will be coming to the 10.00am Mass on Tuesday. We are always pleased to see them.

On Wednesday evening, there will be the inauguration of the new Mayor of Greenwich, Councillor Jim Gillman in the Painted Hall of the Old Naval College. I think that this is his third turn as Mayor. Both he and his wife have been much respected Councillors for many years. This is always a splendid event in a setting full of history.

May has been full of travels but I hope the next few weeks will be easier with a chance to catch up on a number of things.

Some English saints this week. Wednesday is the feast of St Bede the Venerable, the author of the history of the Early Church if England. Friday is the feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury. It is the anniversary of the Episcopal ordination of Archbishop Peter Smith for his first appointment as Bishop of East Anglia. We send him our prayers and best wishes.

Have you noticed that railings are gradually beginning to appear again in front of many of the houses. They were taken away during the war, to make tanks and airplanes. If you look at some of the older walls, the sockets remain from where they were cut away. There were originally railings in front of the Church. It might be worth asking the lottery fund for a grant towards their restoration. I will see if I can find some old photos to show that would be required.

A prayer for today:
God our Father, direct our ways and make us to increase and abound in love to one another and to all: that we may be established in goodness of heart and in holiness before you at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and all the saints; through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

A parody for summer days:
I must go down to the sea again,
To the lonely sea and sky,
Where half a million shoulder blades
Are oiled and ready to fry;
And bodies that winter has gratefully veiled
Como out and appal the eye.
(This is by Nigel Forde)

And some Theilhard:
When you make us your own, you do not annihilate us, but jealously preserve all that is best in our natural qualities, in order to make of it the axis, the kernel, the support, of your growth. Under your action – which transforms and does not destroy – all that is good in us passes, for all eternity, into the perfection of your body.

Gradually the works at London Bridge station are taking shape. The one building that remains is the ventilation shaft for the underground. Years ago, before escalators were put in, this used to be the housing for some very crowded lifts that went down to the Northern Line platforms – long before the Jubilee line was constructed. The big project of placing the bridge across Borough High Street has been completed. I am sorry that I missed it.

Time to think of a recipe now; season some rindless pork chops and cook very gently in some olive oil. Leave to cool. With a sharp knife, cut them into thin strips. Make a bed of lettuce and alternate the meat with slices of tomato, some small pieces of toasted bread and some chutney.

Just time to mention that with a bit of luck, I hope to be able to put up the pool in the garden once again this week. Let us look forward to some warm days.

Best wishes to you all, Monsignor Nicholas Rothon

Offertory: £1274.76
Cafod: £6

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