Newsletter 18th February 2023

St Mary’s Blackheath

Newsletter 19th February 2023

Sunday Masses: Saturday 6.30pm first Mass of Sunday

– Sunday 9.30 and 11am and 5pm.

Monday to Friday: Mass at 8am.

Saturday 10am and 6.30pm

Confessions: Saturday 12 to 1

Today is the Sunday before Lent, at one time known as Quinquagesima Sunday but now the Seventh Sunday of the Church’s year.

Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday. Many people like to come to Mass on this day and Masses will be at 8 and 10 am and at 6.30 pm. Instead of the usual penitential rite, Ashes are blessed and distributed after the gospel.  The prayer reminds of us of our mortality – Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.

Wednesday is a day of Fasting and Abstinence.  It is the beginning of a special period of prayer and penance as we prepare for the celebration of Easter.

Normally the weekday Masses are for the Lenten season with the use of purple vestments.  We do not recite the Gloria at the Sunday Masses and the Alleluia verse is not used and is replaced with a gospel acclamation.

Confirmation classes have come round again: the class is at 6.30 in Thursday evening in the big hall. We look forward to seeing you all again.

A special day on Tuesday with the episcopal ordination of Bishop Philip Moger as a new  auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese. We send him our prayers and congratulations.

You will need a recipe for Shrove Tuesday so here is my basic suggestion for a pancake mixture. Sift 8oz of plain flour with a pinch of salt and  beat in 3 eggs and a  tablespoon of oil. Add about three quarters of a pint of milk and leave to stand in a cool place for an hour. If the mixture has become too thick, add a little milk. The pancakes can then be cooked in some hot oil, turning them over with a knife, or if you are brave, tossing them in the air.

A Lenten prayer:

Direct our hearts to you, Lord so that we may follow you more closely this Lent; 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.

For reasons hard to understand, a second pillar box has appeared in Blackheath Grove. I thought that it might have the cipher CIIIR but it still has the cipher EIIR.  They must be using up old stock.

Something from Kipling again:

Till, first in face of Fortune,

And last in mazed disdain,

I am Diego Valdez,

High Admiral of Spain.

The boy and his sister are looking forward to the half-term. Their grandpa has acquired a new car and there are promises of trips to remote parts of Sussex as well as enormous meals. 

Gradually the steam railway is coming back to life after the winter break with a limited service at week-ends.  A long way ahead, but looking forward to Easter Monday with a chance to work on the train once again.

Best wishes to you all,

Monsignor Nicholas Rothon  

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