Newsletter 29th January 2012
Newsletters are written well in advance: if all has gone well, by the time that you read this I should have returned from a visit to the chapel at Sanlucar de Barrameda David has been looking after the house for me and I appreciate his help. He now returns to the College at Valladolid to continue with his studies – with our prayers and best wishes.
Tuesday of this week is the feast of the Presentation: 40 days after his birth the child was presented to the Lord in the temple at Jerusalem. It is also known as Candlemas day, as we bless the candles that we will use in the church during the course of the year.
Thursday is the fast of St. Blaise. After Mass there will be the traditional blessing of the throats. I think that this blessing is badly needed this year.
Due to my absence in Spain, it was necessary to postpone the meeting for the Eucharistic Ministers and this will now take place on Thursday evening at 8m.
On Thursday there will be a funeral Mass for Bill Smith at 12.15. He had unwell for some time. Bill was a retired railwayman and I enjoyed visiting him – not an amateur – and if I could persuade him, he could tell me some fascinating stories.
Next Sunday there is a Second Collection for the Catholic Education Service.
On Saturday evening there is a quiz night and a curry supper in the hall. Tickets will be available after Mass today. I hope that you will be bale to come along. The hall is clean and smart and I will make sure that it is warm for you. We have some new plates and cutlery for the food. It is not a very good idea to ask me to join your team: I usually give the wrong answers.
A reminder also about the parish retreat on 3rd March. A list is available in the porch. Places are limited so if you would like to come, please remember to add your name as soon as possible.
All is going well with the First Communion classes. Thanks to the parents for all their help. The children have now made their first confession and we are concentrating on the Eucharist. The big day is Sunday 13th May so already some prayers for a fine day.
Another Spanish recipe, this time from the Basque country. You will need some beans and some chopped potatoes. Fry four cloves of garlic in some olive oil and crush them. Add to the beans and potatoes with some salted water and little more olive oil and stew gently. Fry some pieces of brad in oil and cover with grated cheese. Place them in a tureen and pour the hot liquid over them. You can decorate this with some stoned olives cut into rings.
Laurie Lee wrote some wonderful poems: I hope that you will like this.
If ever I saw blessing in the air
I see it now in this still early day
Where lemon-green the vaporous morning drips
Wet sunlight on the powder of my eye.
And now a prayer
Father in heaven you have given us a mind to know you, a will to serve you, and a heart to love you. Be with us today in all that we do, so that you light may shine out in our lives. We pray that we may be today what you created us to be, and may praise your name in all that we do.
A bit late to report it but we set a time limit for taking the crib down. Tom and Jonathan work to ensure that the crib is dismantled and stowed away in the garage in 20 minutes. This year we made it in 19 minutes without any injuries. There is a promise of a fir tree from a farm next time so that we can plant it in the garden afterwards.
By now you will have seen the shoots of some of the spring flowers in the garden. The winter has been kind to the trees and I am looking for the first buds on the apples. Last year there was not a lot of fruit, but as they become established, I help that this will improve. Our own apples are much better than the part frozen ones from the supermarket. The parsley in my herb garden has grown well: I must remember not to be too savage in harvesting so that it can survive. The roses outside the house need tidying up and I will try to attend to this if there is a warm day.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon