Newsletter 21st February 2021

St Mary’s, Blackheath


21st February 2021

Mass times: Saturday 6.30pm (first Mass of Sunday) 9.30 and 11am and 5 pm.

Please note there is no longer a 7.30pm Mass on Sunday.

The weekday Mass is at 8am each day Monday to Friday. There is no longer a 10am Mass on Saturday morning.

For the time being it is not possible to hear Confessions.

Today is the first Sunday of Lent – the period of prayer and penance as we prepare for the celebration of Easter.

The purple vestments appear once again: we do not recite the Gloria at Mass: and the Alleluia verse is changed to an acclamation before the gospel. The next time that we use Alleluia will be at the vigil Mass at Easter.

Today the gospel reading speaks of the temptations of the Lord in the wilderness.

A reminder of the CAFOD Lenten fast day next Friday. There are some envelopes at the back of the Church, and you can return them with your donation next Sunday.

Monday is the feast of the Chair of St. Peter but otherwise the weekday Masses are for the Lenten season.

I hope that you are keeping well. Prayers for those who are sick in these days. It does seem as if things are gradually improving but as yet, no firm guidance on changes for the present lock-down rules. It seems that this year the Good Friday service on the Heath has been cancelled. We await guidance from the Archbishop as to how we will celebrate the Easter services this year.

In a normal year, at this time I would be on my way to Spain for a visit to the College. It would be a busy week, visiting the banks, checking the accounts, and preparing the reports and the budgets for the Trustees. I was last there a year ago. I very much miss these trips and hope that it will be possible to take them up again in the autumn. Last week a three-way video conference between Madrid-Valladolid and myself. Quite impressive but not quite the same.

I had heard about parsnip and carrot soup and decided to try it. The ingredients were cooked until soft in a mixture of milk and water and then liquidised. The mixture was quite thick and required some more water. After seasoning it remained sweet, so I added some wine vinegar. At best, I would say that it was interesting can only be recommended for a Lenten penance.  

A Lenten prayer:

God our Father, your will is that everyone be saved, and no one be lost. You draw us to yourself by prayer and penance. Grant that we may so follow Christ in love that our lives may help others and weakness never hinder them. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Keats is always popular:

In right thereof; for ‘tis the eternal law

That first in beauty should be first in might.

(I must tell my great niece this)

From the Myra fund – we are thinking of a new slide for the garden. The problem is that, nowadays, for safety reasons, they are limited in height. The best one available seems to be 1.5 metres high which is not much for a good ride down.  I seem to remember slides of great height, but they are no longer available.

Gradually Crossrail seems to be coming together and some of the stations have been completed. There is just a possibility that some of the trains may be operating by the end of this year.  Woolwich to Heathrow direct will be a great step forward.

Best wishes to you all,

Monsignor Nicholas Rothon.

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