newsletter 26th February 2017

St. Mary’s,


Newsletter: 26th February 2017

Mass times: Saturday: 6.30pm (first Mass of Sunday)

Sunday: 9.30 and 11am and 7.30pm

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10am

Tuesday, Thursday: 7.30am

Eucharistic Service: Tuesday 10am

There is a Mass at the Convent on Friday evenings at 6.30pm.

Confessions: Saturday 12 to 1pm

Welcome back to the Parish magazine after the January break and thanks for the editors for producing a cracking new edition.

There is a second collection today to help the poorer parishes in the Diocese.

Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday. There will be Masses in the Church at 7.30, 10 and 6.30 in the evening.  Ashes are blessed after the gospel and you are marked on the forehead as a sign of your spirit of Penance with the words “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return”.

Lent is a period of prayer and Penance as we prepare for Easter. There are special Mass readings on each day and normally we use purple vestments.  We do not use the Alleluia verse at Mass – this has to wait to the great Alleluia, celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord on Easter Sunday.  A period of penance, but do not forget it is also a period of prayer so try to find a space for some extra prayers or maybe a Scripture reading.

As a Lenten devotion, there will be Stations of the Cross at 6.30 on Lenten Sunday evenings. Starting off at the beginning of Lent, with dark evenings, but gradually as the weeks go by, there is still daylight in evening towards the end of Lent. I use a special stole – this has a history – it was part of a set made specially for use in the chapel in the Dome at Greenwich during the year 2000 – and I was able to keep one at the end of the year. It was designed by a woman in Bradford and is made from painted silk.

Friday is the Women’s World Day of prayer and I am sure that there will be some posters to tell you where the prayer will be celebrated.

A prayer of blessing at the beginning of Lent:

Have mercy on me. O God, according to you steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions; wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

I am always reading something obscure and recently I have been studying the ninth century. I was intrigued to read how the Pope, John VIII, anointed two emperors, Charles the Bald and then Charles the Fat. The great question must be the coronation of Charlemagne by Leo III. How far was it a ritual to strengthen the  authority of the Papacy  under the protection of the Emperor and how far was it an attempt by Charlemagne to legitimise his position as emperor of the West, particularly with the threats from Byzantium. Possibly it was a mixture of both. But enough of this.

It is good to see that the industrial dispute on the Southern Railway has been settled. None of these problems on our steam railway. There is normally a crew of three on the engine and also three train crew to make sure that we operate safely.  I must dig out my high viz jacket for my next turn of duty.

You will need a Lenten recipe: so here is an idea for a Lenten soup. You will need some pasta,  a can of chick peas or beans, a sliced onion, some mixed herbs, such as basil or thyme and some seasoning.  Add plenty of water and cook slowly until everything is cooked through and serve very hot with some bread. This might be allowed on a day of fasting and abstinence.

Just room to mention that a complete set of Mercedes Citaro buses seems to be operating on route 108.  When I was a boy, this route went through to Crystal Palace, with double deck buses with special domed roofs to cope with the roof contours of the Blackwell  Tunnel.

Best wishes to you all

Monsignor Nicholas Rothon




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