newsletter 2nd December

Newsletter Sunday 2nd December 2012

Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday in the Church’s year. It is a time of prayer and of penance as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas. The vestments at Mass are purple the penitential colour. We do not recite the Gloria. The new cycle of readings begins today – this year they are taken from cycle C.

New Mass books have been provided: please take care of them and do not take them away.

Today after Mass we will be signing Cards to Prisoners of Conscience in the Angelus Room.

There is a second collection today to support the maintenance of the Cathedral.

The Film Club meets today in the Angelus Room at 5pm. This time the film is “Bruce Almighty“. If you arrive early, you may be lucky and you will be able to see one of my railway films.

Next week there is an Advent Service of Readings, Music and Carols. After the service there will be hot wine and mince pies in the Angelus Room. I hope that you will be able to come.

Thursday is the feast of our holy patron St. Nicholas. You will know that his relic is kept in the casket under the altar.

Saturday is one of the major feasts of Our Blessed Lady, the Immaculate Conception. In England this is not a Holy Day of Obligation, though it is in some other countries. It was said that it was not necessary to make it a day of obligation in our land as people would come to Mass to honour Our Blessed Lady on this day in any event.

In think possibly there may be some further Christmas cards available after Mass today. Many of the cards were very popular and it was necessary to order further supplies.

The charts for parts in the Christmas plays are still available in the Angelus Room. There are still quite a few parts to be filled so please add some names today.

A Governors’ meeting at the School on Monday, to Lewisham Town Hall on Tuesday and a meeting at Westminster on Wednesday.

Some new train sets are being delivered for Ligne 4 of the Paris Metro. A few of the older sets dating from 1970 remain in service presumably until all the new trains are delivered. The line is a pneumatique so with new motors and larger wheels, the acceleration – and also the braking are exhilarating. The catches on the doors have disappeared together with the notices about aveugles civiles and mutiles de guerre. Remember to hold on tightly.

Also from France you will need a recipe for onion soup, which is very popular at this time of the year. Cook some onions gently in some oil until slightly browned. Add water and some pieces from yesterday’s baguette. Cook until very hot and served with a helping of grated cheese on top. Usually it is served in an earthenware bowl. It was a popular dish in the early morning at Les Halles, when these served as a vegetable market rather than as a dismal shopping centre.

A familiar Advent prayer:
Stir up our hearts, we beseech you, O Lord, that we may prepare the way for your only begotten Son: so that by his advent we may be enabled to serve you with pure hearts and minds, through the same Christ Our Lord.

An old English poem in praise of Mary:
Of one that is so fair and bright,
Velut maris stella,
Brighter than the dayes light,
Parens et puella,
I cry to thee; thou see to me!
Lady, pray thy son for me,
Tam pia,
That I mote come to thee
Maria.

Some building works have been taking place at our schools in recent months. A new gym for St. Matthew Academy is nearing completion and should be ready for use at the beginning of the new term. Also the frontage of Christ the King College is being remodelled including a new main entrance. Again the works are due to be completed by January.

Just room to report a visit from the great nephew last Sunday. He is most amiable and enjoys his food. Conversation is a bit limited at present but before long he will be able to settle down on a winter’s evening to some Jane Austen.

Best wishes to you all,

Monsignor Nicholas Rothon

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