Newsletter 15th January 2012
Today the second Sunday of ordinary time with the return of the green vestments for a few weeks until we begin Lent – this year it comes early, on 22nd February. The Scripture readings are taken from the second cycle, which this year means that the Sunday gospel is taken from Mark – at least for most of the year. Mark is the shortest of the gospels and so for a few weeks in the summer, we read from John’s gospel.
The week of prayer for Christian Unity starts on Tuesday. As part of this week, the Churches in Blackheath are invited to join together for Solemn evensong on 22nd January at St. Margaret’s Church in Lee Terrace.
Saturday is the feast of St. Agnes. By tradition the wool of the lambs is cut on this day to make the palliums. These are two triangular bands of wool in the form of a collar which are presented by the Holy Father to Archbishops as sign of their office.
I am working in London on Tuesday and there are meetings at the school this week. Also a visit to Greenwich on Thursday evening for a meeting of the Local Authority Education Committee.
Last Saturday the First Holy Communion children made their first confession. There are 29 of them this year so it took some organising. You might have seen the candles burning afterwards as a sign that they had received this Sacrament. Thanks to all the parents who work so hard to make the classes very special. We all enjoy them it is always good to see the children.
A recipe from Castile this week. First cook a finely chopped onion in some olive oil. Then add some minced beef and cook for a further 10 minutes. Season well. Place the mixture in an earthenware dish then carefully break some eggs on top. Put the dish on a hot oven for about ten minutes until the eggs have set and then pour over a good coating of béchamel sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese. Place back in the oven until the cheese is slightly brown. This is a real country dish to be eaten with a chunk of bread and a glass of tinto.
You might have noted that many of our local trains are now looking very smart. A programme of overhauls has been taking place at Wolverton and it said that they are now better than when they were originally built. Wolverton is on the main line from Euston and one of its tasks is to look after the Royal Train.
A prayer for today:
In our baptism, O God, you raised us out of the waters into the life of your compassion and peace. May your Spirit that descended upon us then continue to transform us into prophets of your peace; may your Voice continue to speak in our hearts, directing us in the work of discipleship and guiding us on the way to your eternal dwelling place.
At this time of year we always have some Keats:
And they are gone: ay, ages long ago
These lovers fled away into the storm.
That night the Baron dreamt of many a woe,
And all his warrior guests with shade and form
Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm.
Were long be-nightmared. Angela the old
Died palsy-twitch’d, with meagre face deform;
The Beadsman, after thousand aves told
For aye unsought-for slept among his ashes cold.
You may have noted that a tree in the garden fell across the roadway and it had to be removed. Later in the year we may trim some of the trees once again. The fir trees were last pruned three years ago and have grown a great deal since then. The monkey puzzle tree at the end of the garden is beginning to grow but it will take many years before it reaches maturity. I looked at the olive again recently and the new leaves are beginning to form. I hope that the crows and the magpies will not attack it.
I can’t spare you this one – about the overweight Egyptian who was in denial.
A few little jobs to be undertaken in the Church over the next few weeks. I am well aware that the door of the confessional tends to jam. We really need a new self closer for the side door as it tends to bang. Also there is some cleaning and sanding that we might consider. I am asking John to help me with all this.
Best wishes to you all.
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon