newsletter 7th April 2013

Newsletter: Low Sunday.

Today, the Sunday after Easter is known as Low Sunday. It is also known as Quasimodo Sunday from the first word of the Latin Introit antiphon at Mass. The famous bell ringer at Notre Dame took his name from the fact that he was born on this day.

A word of thanks to all who helped with our Easter ceremonies in so many ways so that they were solemn and prayerful – and on Easter Sunday – also joyful.

Also a personal word of thanks for your very generous Easter offerings.

What is happening with the works to the Church – we are continuing with the internal decorations of the walls and are now painting the central aisle at high level. Also, we will be oiling the floor of the Church. You may have noticed that a section was painted experimentally and it has come up very well. Also, the benches will be given a clean and a polish. When the works are completed, the interior of the Church will be transformed and we will be very proud of it.
The oiling of the floor will take place over four weeks, as it is necessary to move the benches. This means that we will continue to use the Angelus Room for some time during the week but we will be back in the Church at weekends.

The Paschal Candle, which was blessed during the Easter Vigil, is a symbol of the presence of the Risen Christ. It remains in the Sanctuary until Ascension Day and is lit at the Sunday Masses. The brass studs are filled with incense and represent the five wounds of the Lord. They were added to the candle during the vigil Service on Easter night.

The schools are closed this week but I am kept very busy at present with preparations for marriages. This year so far there are 27 in hand – many in the Church- but some taking place elsewhere. Best wishes and prayers for them all.

And now for some other news: it is remarkable to see how the old train shed on the Brighton side at London Bridge station is being demolished. The old station, in spite of a number of adaptations, never really recovered from the serious war damage so a new start is the best solution.
At St. John’s, you may have noticed that the connections are now in place for the additional track over the flyover.

Recently I have been using my Kindle to read the Pickwick Papers. At times Dickens can be infuriating with his elaborate descriptions and curious use of words. However, his style is well suited to a picaresque novel and he creates a vivid impression of journeys by stagecoach and the discomforts of the coaching inns. We need a modern Dickens to provide a similarly vivid account of travel by Ryanair.

A quotation the other week from Gide on the “posh” side of the newsletter. I was reminded that at one time his writings were on the index of forbidden books. I think that in particular “Les Caves du Vatican” upset a few people. I got out my copy, which begins by explaining how the hero, who was a freemason and an unbeliever visited Rome in 1890 during the pontificate of Leo XIII. A book, which begins in these terms, is looking for trouble.

I always like these lines from Eliot:
I made this, I have forgotten
And remember.
The rigging weak and the canvas rotten
Between one June and another September.
Made this unknowing, half conscious – unknown, my own.

And a prayer:

I offer you Lord, my thoughts to be fixed on you; my words to have you for their theme; my actions to be done according to your will; my hardships to be endured for your sake. Amen.

A reminder to look up the Ofsted report for St. Matthew Academy on the web site. It is now classified as a “good” school.

In preparation for the Confirmations on 28th April, cards are now available in the repository. First Communion cards and Rosaries will be available from the beginning of May.

Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon

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