Today is the feast of the Ascension of the Lord. After the reading of the gospel, the Paschal candle is put out. It then remains beside the font for the rest of the year.
May was a busy month, particularly with the First Holy Communions and the Confirmations. Congratulations to all the young people and thanks to all who helped to make them such happy and special days. The Bishop expressed his particular appreciation for the solemnity of the Mass and the welcome afterwards from the people of the parish.
Today, at 5pm we have the first meeting for the Film Club in the Angelus Room. You will have seen the posters, with promises of popcorn and pizza. So remember to complete all the homework in good time so that you can come to the film. Last week the magazine gave a list of possible titles and you will be able to add to this. My favourites such as Where Eagles Dare and The Titfield Thunderbolt were firmly rejected by the Selection Committee.
On Thursday evening there will be a meeting and a supper for the Readers at 8pm in the house.
I hope that it will be fine on Saturday afternoon. We are organising a party in the garden, particularly for young families from about 3.30 onwards, with some eats and some games. If you are new to the parish, it would be good to meet some of the others. The pool is now in use so you can bring swim suits, though I warn you that it is still very cold.
And now a question: how many pedants does it take to change a light bulb: none – the answer is that you do not change it, you replace it.
You will have heard the recent pastoral letter on the new Missal: the first stage in September covers the introduction of some of the permanent prayers such as the Gloria and the Creed. As an interim measure I will be providing some cards with the new texts. The complete new Missal including the proper prayers for each Sunday will be introduced in Advent. There will be some new editions of the parish Mass books with the new texts.
The new extension to the DLR is due to open very soon: the signs are already up with the details covered with tape. The extension will run from Canning Town through West Ham to Stratford and on to the new International Station at Stratford which serves the Olympic site. I think some of the trains from Woolwich will run through to Stratford. The new route utilises part of the alignment of the old line to North Woolwich.
I always try to bring back at recipe from the College in Spain. Make a béchamel sauce with some flour, margarine and milk and heat until it forms a cream stirring all time. Cook some spinach in a very small amount of water and leave to drain. Add a pinch of nutmeg and cut into small pieces. Combine the spinach with the sauce, reheat and serve at once. We enjoyed this at supper one evening.
News from Spain is that the Rector of the College, Monsignor Kujacz is to retire at the end of the summer and return to his home Diocese in Manchester. He has done a fantastic job over the past ten years and he is greatly respected. The task of appointing a new Rector has been put in hand. He will be my sixth so I look forward to the appointment with great interest.
A prayer before Holy Communion; May the Bread of angels, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords be received by me with such humble reverence and devout contrition, such faith, and such good resolutions as may help the salvation of my soul. Grant me the grace to receive not only the sacrament of the Lord’s body and blood but also its inward power and effect.
And now a poem: I always love these verses from Eliot’s Marina.
Bowsprit cracked with ice and paint cracked with heat.
I made this, I have forgotten
The rigging weak and the canvas rotten
Between one June and another September.
Made this unknowing, half conscious, – unknown,
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon.