Newsletter 23rd August 2020

St. Mary’s Blackheath

Mass times: 6.30pm Sunday evening 9.30 and 11am and 5 and 7.30 pm Sunday

Weekdays: Tuesday and Thursday 7.30am

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am.

Due to the distancing regulations it is not possible to hold confessions at present

Sunday 23rd of August 2020.

Today we celebrate the 21st Sunday of the Church’s year.

I hope that you are enjoying the summer days. It is good to see many children in the garden during the week.  But where have you lost the football – I can’t find it anywhere.

Several feasts this week:

Monday is the feast of St. Bartholomew, also known in the gospels as Nathanael. There is a tradition that a relic – the bone from his arm, came to Canterbury in the 11th century and was considered to be a great treasure. This helps to explain the devotion to Bartholomew in our Land.

Thursday is the feast of St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine and Friday is the feast of St. Augustine himself.

Saturday is the commemoration of the death of John the Baptist.

Please remember to return any forms for the First Communion classes. I hope to be able to order the books this week. It is difficult to decide how we will be able to organise the classes. In past years we have enjoyed the artwork, reading the Scriptures at Mass and preparing the bidding prayers. These may not be possible, and I am thinking how we might be able to organise everything.

A recipe from Spain this week for a simple salad. Cook and slice some firm potatoes. Add a small and finely chopped onion. Mix well with a small tin of tuna in oil.  Season as necessary and coat the potatoes with some mayonnaise. Decorate with some capers.  You might look for a portion of this in one of my favourite bars in Valladolid, to be taken with a glass of fino.

Passing Euston the other day I noticed that part of the station has been demolished in preparation for the High Speed Line. When the “new” Euston was opened in 1968 it was one of the wonders of the age with the smart electric trains. The disputes over the demolition of the Arch and the Grand Hall were forgotten with the spacious new concourse and also the new Victoria line. St. Pancras station managed to survive to become the splendid terminus for the Eurostar trains.  The functional and dour building at Kings Cross has been transformed in recent years with the new extension. 

A prayer for today:

Look graciously upon is, O Holy Spirit, and give us, for our hallowing, thoughts which pass into prayer, prayers which pass into love, and love which passes into life with thee for ever. Amen.

The boy and his sister are beginning to think of the new term at school. Recently a trampoline arrived in their garden. Not as big as ours, but very popular. I shared with their mother the problem of grazed fingers as you insert the springs and the unending task of tying up the net.

It’s always good fun to have something from Pepys:

Up, and all the morning at the office busy. At noon home with my people to dinner, where good discourse and merry. After dinner comes Mr. Martin, the purser, and brings me his wife’s starling, which was formerly the King’s bird, that do speak and whistle finely, which I am mighty proud of and shall take pleasure in.

My pots are doing well. The leaf spinach has produced a good crop. I planted some more lettuce, and this started to appear within a couple of days, with good sun and plenty of water. There is a good pot of basil, but I am reluctant to plant it out as the birds will attack it. Also, I have a few tomatoes growing this year and I am waiting to see how these will turn out.

As its summer, hear is something crazy from Lawrence Durrell:

Ramon de Something who gave lectures

From an elephant, founded a society  

To protect the inanimate against cruelty.

He gave asylum to aged chairs in his home,

Lampposts and crockery, everything that

Seemed to him suffering he took in

Without mockery.

It is good from time to time to pick up the words of Cardinal Hume:

Monasticism is a “way of life” and the word “way” recalls the pilgrim character of this life and our monastic history. The scene changes, at one period slowly, at another rapidly. We ourselves change and must change. Sometimes our pace will be quick and sure, sometimes it is slow and heavy going.

Thanks to those who have used the card reader for their donations to the parish. Most of the time it works well but from time to time, the network server seems to cut out. I try my best to keep it in operation, but it is not easy.

The original style newsletter has appeared again, and I hope to be able to use them once again from the beginning of next month.

Best wishes to you all,

Monsignor Nicholas Rothon

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