Newsletter 19th March 2023

St Mary’s Blackheath

Newsletter 19th March 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 fourth Sunday of Lent. We are half-way through the Lenten season, and we use the rose coloured vestments today. It is known as Laetare Sunday from the first word of the Latin Introit verse for the Mass.

There are Stations of the Cross at 4.15pm.  There has been some debate on the form  that we should use but the general opinion is that we should continue to use the traditional form, originally prepared by St. Alphonsus.

Normally 19th March is the feast of St. Joseph but this year the feast is kept on Monday.

We will need some readers for Holy Week – readers for the Passion as well as for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. If you are able to help, please see the list in the porch.

A debate on whether we should offer the Chalice again at Mass. Many saying “no” but a few saying we ought to see what might be possible.  A suggestion that we might try intinction. I will give it some further thought.

And a fine poem today:

We who with songs beguile your pilgrimage

And sweat that Beauty lives though lilies die,

We Poets of the proud old lineage

Who sing to find your hearts, we know not why,–

And a prayer from George Herbert:

Teach us, our God and King, in all things thee to see, that what we do in anything we do unto thee.

As part of the Lenten abstinence, I have been steaming a small piece of salmon in my fish kettle – it is quite bland and so I serve it with a gently browned onion and some potatoes with parsley from the herb pots.

In recent months, major works were undertaken to the railway tracks and the signalling in the Lewisham area. The works seem to have been far from satisfactory; many of us have experienced severe delays due to equipment failures in recent weeks.

I am hoping that the cold winter days are coming to an end. Not long now before we start thinking about setting up the pool once again in the garden. Also there is a need to clean out my pots and to sow a new crop of herbs for the summer.

Recent works include a servicing of the Church clock and also the organ.  This week there will be a new water heater in the sacristy. The present gas heater is very ancient and from time to time there are problems with gas leaks, so it is a job worth doing. We replaced a similar heater in the hall last year and it has made things much easier.

The boy and his sister are looking forward to a visit to their grandparents in Sussex during the Easter holiday. Always plenty to eat as well as some days out to unusual places.  The boy enjoys a trip round the circuit at Goodwood in Grandpa’s racing saloon.

Best wishes to you all,

Monsignor Nicholas Rothon

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