Newsletter 11th February 2019
Today is the Sunday before Lent, at one time known as Quinquagesima Sunday – fifty days before Easter.
There are cakes and coffee in the Angelus Room today after the morning Masses. This is for the benefit of Bakhita house which provides a refuge and support for women who have been victims of trafficking. Bishop Lynch has a special role in this work.
Today we are pleased to welcome the disabled fellowship which is coming to the Church for a special Mass at 3pm.
Lent begins on Wednesday with the blessing and distribution of the Ashes. There will be Masses in the Church at 7.30 and 10 am and at 6.30 pm.
A reminder that Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence.
I am afraid that St. Valentine is pushed aside this year with Lenten observance but maybe you can pick another day.
From Wednesday, on most days there will be the Lent Masses and the purple vestments will appear once again.
As a Lenten devotion, we normally have Stations of the Cross on Sunday evenings at 6.30 – they usually take about half an hour. At the beginning of Lent, it is still dark but as the weeks go by, the evenings become lighter.
Shrove Tuesday is noted for pancakes – usually in England they are sweet, served with sugar and lemon, but in Spain they can be savoury. The batter is prepared in the normal way but some potato is fried up with some onion and maybe some garlic – this is liquidised when cooked and added to the batter before it is fried in the pan.
I have mentioned the Bishop’s Visitation report. This is now on the parish website – St. Mary’s Blackheath – you will need to tick the “search” box and put in “visitation report”. Also the minutes of the parish council are now on the web site.
A Lenten prayer:
Direct our hearts to you, O Lord, so that we may follow you more closely this Lent and all the days of our life: in all our needs we turn to you for the help of your grace, and ask you to give us strength to work for the things we ask for in faith, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
I think that some Thameslink trains are beginning to use the new lines through London Bridge, though not as yet stopping at the station. The other week I saw a train with Bedford destination blinds on Brockley bank. I understand that this is taking place so the drivers can become familiar with the new tracks before the revised service is introduced.
We will have special cake days from time to time – but thanks to those who have agreed to help with tea and coffee after Mass on Sundays on a regular basis. We will see how this works out. As the spring days come, I expect the children will want to play in the garden. Thanks also to all those who are helping to keep the Angelus Room immaculate. Please make sure that as far as possible it is kept clean.
The trees planted by previous First Communion groups are doing well: the buds are appearing on the two cherry trees and the magnolia is well established – the olive trees are doing well and there are some quite large black olives on the big tree beside the house – so far the birds have not managed to take them.
Here is some George Herbert for Lent:
Yet Lord instruct us to improve our fast
By starving sin and taking such repast
As may our faults control;
That every man may revel at his door,
Not in his parlour; banqueting the poor,
And among those his soul.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon