Newsletter Sunday 19th July 2020
Welcome to Mass today, the Sixteenth Sunday of the Church’s year.
Gradually we are getting used to the new rules for the celebration of Mass and I hope that you are not finding it too difficult.
I will continue with the 5pm Mass on Sunday afternoons until the end of July but will then see if it is still necessary.
Wednesday is the feast of St. Mary Magdalen and Saturday is the feast of St. James, the patron of Spain.
The rules do not allow for hymns and singing but we will play the organ at the 11am Mass today. Apart from anything else, it is necessary to make sure that it remains in good working order and so it should be played from time to time.
Next Sunday at 11am we will have a special memorial Mass for the repose of the soul of Father Francis Hartley. I am sure many of you will wish to attend.
In recent days, many messages have been exchanged regarding the First Holy Communion celebration on 20th September. The booklet for the Mass has been prepared in draft form and the young people are beginning to choose their tasks on the day. I must order the cake soon and remember to buy some wine so that we can celebrate in the garden afterwards.
Times move on and I have put out the inscription forms for the First Holy Communion class for 2021. Please complete them and return them to me as soon as possible. I need to know the numbers so that I can order the course books for the children. There will be a meeting for the parents in mid-September and the first class at the end of the month.
Normally at this time of year we would be thinking of the end of school terms and the beginning of the holiday season. Things are different this year. Holiday trips have been postponed and gradually many people are returning to work.
I have optimistically booked a trip to Spain at the end of October as I need to visit the College to attend to the accounts and the budget for the year. I hope that all will be in order. For many years it has been possible for me to take a group with me, but I think that this year it would be prudent not to arrange anything. I hope things will be better next year.
My new pot of parsley is doing well, and I now have a large pot of basil shoots. I hope that the birds will not recognise these as they like to peck at the leaves. I have harvested some leaf spinach a couple of times but find there it is quite coarse and does not cook well. Time now already to cut back the early roses.
Recently I made some custard: something that I had not done for a long time. Memories of years ago when a favourite pudding was stewed apple and custard. There are a lot of cooking apples on one of the trees this year. Remember to mix up the custard powder with some sugar and a little milk to make a thin cream before adding the milk and stir all the time as you heat the mixture to ensure that it does not burn and stick to the pot. Years ago, during the summer in Spain, this was a great favourite, cooked over an open fire using some pine branches.
Thank you for your help with the various systems to cover the collection: the box at the entrance to the Church and those who have made standing orders.
Recently, some old tram tracks have been uncovered in Charlton near the flyover. At the one time there was a large factory where the trams were overhauled. The entrance was in Felltram Way, which still exists. Mr Fell was the Secretary of the tram company. Also, there was a large yard where the trams were dismantled, and the remains burnt when the system was closed in 1952.
An ancient prayer: Bless all who worship you Lord, from the rising of the sun to its setting: from your goodness enrich us, by your love inspire us, by your spirit guide us, by your power protect us, in your mercy receive us, now and always. Amen.
Tennyson on the Kraken:
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the later fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by men and angels to be seen,
In roaring he small rise and on the surface die.
(I always think that this is quite horrid!)
Something quite profound from Thomas Merton: When I am liberated by silence, when I am no longer involved in the measurement of life, but in the living of it, I can discover a form of prayer in which there is effectively, no distraction. My whole life becomes a prayer. My whole silence is full of prayer. The world of silence in which I am immersed contributes to my prayer.
I like this comment about the London Underground Map: There is no concern with streets or scale, and yet the diagram is terrifically powerful. This is because it presents the logic of the London Underground and is total – it ‘comprehends’ so to speak, the entire system, which is enormous.
Of late there has been some concern that the originally simplicity of the map has been lost with the addition of the Overground lines, the DLR and to come, Crossrail. I treasure an old card map from before the advent of the Victoria and Jubilee lines, when the District line still went to Hounslow and the Metropolitan line extended to New Cross in the South and Aylesbury in the north.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon