Category Archives: newsletter

Don’t forget the new PM

With the royal funeral, we may have almost forgotten that we have a new Prime Minister.

Here are some thoughts from the late Sister Joan Chittister OSB, written probably before a US presidential election, but relevant for us now too…

Give us, O God, leaders whose hearts are large enough
to match the breadth of our own souls and give us souls
Strong enough to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.

In seeking a leader, let us seek
More than development for ourselves - though development we hope for
More than security for our own land - though security we need
More than satisfaction for our own wants - though many things we desire.

Give us the hearts to choose the leader who will work with other leaders
To bring safety to the whole world.

Give us leaders who lead this nation to virtue
Without seeking to impose our kind of virtue on the virtue of others.

Give us a government that provides for the advancement of this country
Without taking resources from others to achieve it.

Give us insight enough ourselves to choose as leaders those who can tell
Strength from power, growth from greed,
Leadership from dominance, and real greatness from the trappings of grandiosity.

We trust you, Great God, to open our hearts to learn from those
To whom you speak in different tongues and to respect the life and words
Of those to whom you entrusted the good of other parts of this globe.

We beg you, Great God, give us the vision as a people
To know where global leadership truly lies, to pursue it diligently,
To require it to protect human rights for everyone everywhere.
We ask these things, Great God, with minds open to your word
And hearts that trust in your eternal care.

~ Sister Joan Chittister OSB

Mass with the sick – Saturday

In our return to some appearance of normality in the life of our 3 Churches, we put back this week a very important part of the annual timetable or, perhaps, tapestry of life. This coming Saturday (24 September) will celebrate a Mass with the Sick at 11.00am in Christ the King church.

When we read or hear of Our Lord’s life in the Gospels we can’t help noticing how much time he devotes to those who are sick or broken in mind, body or spirit. Time and again he reaches out, sometimes literally as with the leper, to touch those who are in need of healing. Sometimes he encounters them along the way, like blind Bartimaeus, sometimes he goes to visit them, like Peter’s mother-in-law, and sometimes they are brought to him, as in the man whose friends let him down through the roof in front of Jesus.

So ministry to the sick has to be an integral part of our parish life. On Saturday we will offer the Sacrament of the Sick to those who come, and we are very grateful to welcome Fr Allan Davies-Hale to assist us on this occasion.

However, this service of our sick neighbour is not only a ministry of the clergy. We all have a duty of care to our sisters and brothers in need. A visit, a call, our time, our presence, our prayers – these are among many ways that we, like Jesus, can reach out to them.

If you are in need of that healing touch please do feel welcome at this special Mass. 11 o’clock on Saturday at Christ the King. If you know someone who would like to come but may be short of transport, perhaps you can sort that out for them etc etc.

Take a moment to reflect on the words of the Sacrament. The pages of my book with these words on them are well stained with the oil from years of anointing…

“Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.
Amen.”

Fr Matthew

Requiescat in pace – may she rest in peace

I was born in the same month that Queen Elizabeth was crowned – June 1953. Like the majority, I cannot remember and have not experienced any other monarch. I unite my thoughts and prayers with those of Cardinal Nichols of Westminster in his statement issued on Thursday…

“On 21 April 1947, on her twenty-first birthday, Princess Elizabeth said, ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.’ Now, seventy-five years later, we are heartbroken in our loss at her death, and so full of admiration for the unfailing way in which she fulfilled that declaration. Even in my sorrow, shared with so many around the world, I am filled with an immense sense of gratitude for the gift to the world that has been the life of Queen Elizabeth II. At this time, we pray for the repose of the soul of Her Majesty. We do so with confidence, because the Christian faith marked every day of her life and activity.

In her Millennium Christmas message, she said, ‘To many of us, our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.’

This faith, so often and so eloquently proclaimed in her public messages, has been an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many. The wisdom, stability and service which she consistently embodied, often in circumstances of extreme difficulty, are a shining legacy and testament to her faith. “Our prayer is that she is now received into the merciful presence of God, there to be reunited with her beloved Prince Philip. This is the promise of our faith, and our deep consolation.

“Queen Elizabeth II will remain, always a shining light in our history. May she now rest in peace. We pray for His Majesty the King, as he assumes his new office even as he mourns his mother. God save the King.”

Fr Matthew