newsletter 17th March 2013

Newsletter 17th March 2013

Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent. From today the statues in the church are covered with purple veils. These remain in place until the Easter Vigil. The Church encourages us to concentrate our thoughts at this time on the events of the passion of the Lord.

There will be an additional Mass at 5pm today. It will be a Latin Mass celebrated with the music from Faure’s Requiem. This is the Lenten devotion provided by the choir this year. It replaces the Lenten stations of the cross today. The lessons from the Scriptures will be sung in Latin. We used to do this many years ago, and to my surprise, when I practised, I found that the chant came back without difficulty.

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday. The Palms will be blessed in the Garden before the 9.30 Mass and we will then process into the Church. The First Communion children will have the special responsibility of sharing the readings, distributing the palms and leading the singing as we make our way into the Church. At all the Masses we will read the Passion from Luke’s gospel. You are asked to join in with the crowd responses.

Tuesday of this coming week is the Feast of St. Joseph. I am off to Douai Abbey to Chair a meeting of the Historic Churches Committee so there will not be a 7.30 Mass on this day. I hope that the Bishop will be able to celebrate Mass at 10 but if not, there will be a service of Holy Communion.

To the Children’s Society on Wednesday and to Greenwich Town Hall on Thursday so once again the week is full.

And here is the last verse of Adrian Henri’s poem

If you weren’t you, who would you like to be?
Stephane Mallarme and Alfred de Vigny
Ernst Maykovsky and Nicolas de Staeli
Hindemith Mick Jagger Durer and Schwitters
Garcia Lorca
And last of all me.

After this you are going to need a prayer:
O Christ, my Lord, I pray that you will turn my heart to you in the depths of my being, where with the noise of creatures silenced and the clamour of thoughts stilled, I shall stay with you where I find you always present.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

A simple recipe from Spain to help as a pudding during these Lenten days. Choose some firm bananas on the green side and cut them in half lengthways. Fry in plenty of hot olive oil, drain them and coat with castor sugar. Serve hot sprinkled with some lemon juice.

It is good to see how well most of the planting that we undertook last year has survived the winter and is now producing shoots. The silver birches in front of the Church have done well and indeed we may need to prune them soon. I did not plant any bulbs last autumn so there are not so many spring flowers. Not long now before all the trees are in blossom. My olive tree is looking much happier these days.

I am very pleased with the works to the steps at the entrance to the Church. The newly carved stones are a great improvement and the bricks have been cleaned and re-set. It is all very elegant if you are going to get married here this year – so remember to take lots of photographs.

The works taking place at Victoria station at present are extensive. An enormous drill was making a hole for a concrete core the other day with lots of noise and lots of mud. At present the station has to be closed from time to time if the platforms become too crowded so an improvement is long overdue. At present one of the problems is to find the right bus stop.

Something from Cardinal Hume when he was Abbot:
You should be devoted to prayer. This does not mean that you are good at prayer or that you have a taste for prayer. It does mean however that you want to pray – not emotionally but in your will; that you know what you want to do and are determined to keep on; that sometimes – say within the last year – there has been a nostalgia for prayer, a real desire for prayer which, even though at times it can become faint, almost obliterated, does nevertheless present you from giving up . ( I hope that you find this helpful as you continue to struggle with your Lenten prayers)

Best wishes to you all,

Monsignor Nicholas Rothon .

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