newsletter 7th February 2016

Newsletter 7th February 2016
Welcome to Mass today on Quinquagesima Sunday – the last Sunday before Lent – In theory at least it means that there are 50 days to Easter.
There is a second collection today to help the poorer parishes in the Diocese. At one time this used to take place at the beginning of October but it has now been moved to the Sunday before Lent.
Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. After the gospel, you will be marked with the blessed ashes as a sign of Penitence. Many of you like to come to Mass on this day so there will be extra Masses at 7.30 and at 6.30 in the evening.
A reminder that Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence.
There is a Lenten Mass on most days and we use purple vestments. There are special readings each day. We do not use the Alleluia verse until Easter Sunday. Thursday would have been the feat of Our Lady of Lourdes but the Lent Mass takes precedence.
The funeral Mass for Michael Fleming will take place in the Church at 12 on Monday. His family was very well known in the Parish here for many years. He moved to Tonbridge fairly recently, but Blackheath was really his home and so we are very pleased to celebrate his Requiem Mass in the Church.
Tuesday a very full day – the Regional Commissioner for Schools is making a visit to St. Matthew Academy in the morning and in the evening there is a meeting of the Governors of Christ the King College. I will need to get out my best suite and polish my shoes – as well as finding the necessary papers.
Another recipe from recent visit to Spain, though possibly you will need to keep it in mind for the summer. You will need some scoops of ice cream. Add some raisins and add a small portion of a very sweet wine such as Pedro Jimenez. In the summer months this is very popular at Sambuca.
I heard this poem form Hopkins on the wireless the other evening:
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
Here is a prayer to start you off for Lent:
Direct our hearts, so that we may follow you more closely this Lent and all the days of our life: in all our needs we turn to you for the help of your grace, and ask you to give us strength to work for the things we ask for in faith, through Christ Our Lord.
Before Christmas, the main works on the railway were to complete the new tracks at London Bridge station. At present extensive works are taking place to build the flyover at Bermondsey. Eventually the two tracks for the Thameslink trains will pass over the top, joining up with the Brighton fast lines, with lines underneath for the South Eastern trains to Charing Cross plus the down Brighton slow line. Also, the builders are now hard at work on the reconstruction of London Bridge station.
The boy appeared recently in, I think, the uniform of a Jedi, though I am not very good on Star War characters. It seems to me that he has to do these things to oblige parents and teachers but is slightly embarrassed by it all. He would prefer to spend the day in his normal jeans and T shirt.
First signs of spring now, and I will be replanting my herb pots soon.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon

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