Newsletter 12th February 2017
Today is the Sixth Sunday in ordinary time. In days gone by it would have been known as Septuagesima Sunday i.e. seventy days before Easter and purple vestments would appear in preparation for the Lenten Season. This year Lent begins on 1st March.
There is a second collection today to support the work of the Church for Racial Justice.
Confirmation classes come around again this week on Wednesday evening at 6.30. I know that for some it will be half term – but not all the half terms are at the same date – and just possibly not everybody will be away on Wednesday. If you cannot come you will be able to catch up with the chapter in your course book.
A busy week ahead with two marriages – on Thursday and Saturday. Also there is a meeting of the local priests in Deanery on Tuesday.
Tuesday is anniversary of the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Lynch and we send him our prayers and best wishes.
I always try and bring back a recipe from Spain. Here is a “caldo” or broth served in the Plaza de S. Fermin at Sanlucar. Stew some small pieces of ham, some pieces of chicken, some chick peas and maybe a sliver of onion in plenty of water and season well. Serve very hot and maybe add some pieces of hard-boiled egg and some tarragon leaves. The Rector of the College and Bishop Drainey enjoyed this as part of our lunch. It was warm enough to sit outside.
Have a look at the windows in the Church. Edwin cleaned them recently: I had not realised how badly they needed a clean. They are much brighter and the colours show up well.
A request to turn off mobile phones when you come to Mass. We have a loop system in the Church for those with hearing aids and even if phones are in a silent mode, the transmission of incoming calls and messages interferes with the loop transmission.
The repository is well stocked with items for Confirmation and First Communion.
Travel to Madrid recently in the cramped seat in an Airbus with no food. This brought back memories of travel many decades ago – in a spacious Iberia DC8 with a formal meal. I worked out that in real terms, the fare was about a twelfth of what I paid 45 years ago so really it is a matter of choice.
One of John Donne’s Holy Sonnets:
By the leave I can look, I rise again;
But our old subtle foe so tempteth me
That not one hour I can myself sustain.
Thy grace may wing me to present his art,
And thou like adamant draw mine iron heart.
A letter from the boy the other day: he is now writing quite well. Tucked away in books from time to time I come across letters from his mother and her sister – when they were small and later when they were at school. Memories of things passed.
The spring flowers are beginning to appear in the garden. The first buds are appearing on some of the trees. When the days get warmer I must start some work on clearing the flower beds and replanting my herb plots. The temptation is to keep the stems from last year but I think I will start again this year with some new compost and some new planting. Already the snails are lining up to attack the basil.
A prayer from Jane de Chantal, the friend of Francis de Sales:
My Lord, I am in a dry land, all dried up and cracked by the violence of the north wind and the cold; but as thou seest, I ask for nothing more; thou wilt send me both dew and warmth when it pleaseth thee.
Con un abrazo fuerte
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon