newsletter 2nd 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

Newsletter 2nd of August 2020

Today is the Eighteenth Sunday of the Church’s year.

Normally on the first Sunday of the month we would have a Latin Mass at 11am but it is not possible to hand out booklets at present so we will have an English Mass this week.

I hope that you are all keeping well. We have now reached the traditional holiday month of August, but it is certainly unusual this year.

Thanks to all who came to the Mass last Sunday in honour of Father Francis Hartley. In many ways a very moving occasion.  It was good to see many familiar faces from the past.

Also it was good to have our first wedding since the virus recently. Gradually things are coming back to normal.

This week Tuesday is the feast of St. John Vianney, Thursday the commemoration of the Transfiguration and Saturday the feast of St. Dominic.

A reminder please to the parents of Children who are due to make their First Holy Communion in September to let me know details of the tasks that the children would like to undertake on the day. I need these so that I can prepare the service booklet.

Also please return the forms for the classes for the 2021 First Holy Communions.

The card reading machine is provoking a great deal of interest – it took a great deal of patience – to make it operational. You need to decide on the amount of our donation, press the button  marked “card” on the screen and then touch you card on the top.

Opinions on the new lights in the Church are mixed.  When it becomes dark, at present for the late evening Mass on Sundays, the lighting is greatly improved, but some find them too bring during the day.  I will see how they work when we come to the autumn days. I they still seem too bright, maybe I can reduce the wattage.

Thank you also for ideas on changing the Mass to a fixed time each day during the week. This is quite difficult as there are good numbers on the 7.30am days as well as on the 10am days. So, I have decided to make no change for the time being. 

We are required to keep the attendance cards for three weeks – and then we can destroy them. Thank you for your help with these.

I was intrigued to find this recipe in a book on Sicily. Fry some onions gently in some oil until they are just golden. Combine with some unsalted sardines. It is difficult to find some, but I managed to find a tin. Continue to fry the onions with the sardines. Slice and cook some, fennel and cook until it is soft. Mix and possibly add some raisins or even pine nuts.  It can them be added to some thin pasta.  It sounds to me like something which could be interesting, or possibly disastrous.

My days as an amateur railwayman are limited.  The railway is operating but with strict rules for passengers and train crew.  There will be no buffet cars and travel for staff who are not working is not permitted.  I am waiting to see if I might be required for station duties at Alton on the Bank holiday.

Two birthdays this week – for the boy and his sister.  I have been looking out for presents for them and hope to make a visit.  Wednesday seems to be best as this is the day when their mother is not working. The boy is and now eight and his sister is six. I think that they will be both back to school in September.   

A prayer for today: Teach us, O Lord, to fear without being afraid; to fear thee in love that we may love thee without fear; through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

There are plenty of apples on the trees in the garden: you are welcome to take some if you wish. We planted six different types of apple trees but only two seem capable of producing fruit.  The bird like them and there are a lot of windfalls.  There has been time to undertake some further works in the garden: my pots are doing well with some new planting. I have managed to deter the birds with a wire grill over the pot of basil.  They do not seem to like the spinach.

Some Eliot this week:

you are here to kneel

where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more

than an order of words, the conscious occupation

of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.

The Easter eggs are gradually disappearing each week. They kept quite well in the cupboard during the lock-down, but they would not survive for a further year: so it is best to use them up. It is odd to be eating Easter chocolate in mid-summer.  There may be some chocolate rabbits available this week if you know where to look for them.

Here is something from Betjeman: Pugin is sometimes supposed to have joined the Church of Rome for aesthetic reasons only. It is true that he saw in it the survival of the Middle Ages to which he desired the world would return. But the Roman Catholics of his time were not whole-heartedly in favour of the Gothic style he advocated, and to his annoyance continued to build in the classic style of the Continent. The Church of England took more kindly to his doctrines.

A quiz – what begins with four questions for which the answer is almost certainly “no” – continues with a battle and ends with a construction site. Answer next week.

Best wishes to you all,

Monsignor Nicholas Rothon

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