Tag Archives: pentecost

Pentecost today

This is Pentecost Sunday! It is the end and the climax of the Easter season that began at the beginning of March. We journeyed through Lent, slowly following the last journey of Jesus to the Cross on our Stations of the Cross. We waved our palms, broke our bread, washed our feet and venerated the Cross in Holy Week, before celebrating the great feast of Easter. Then on Ascension Day the Lord left the physical presence he had shared with us, not to abandon us, but to take on a universal presence so that he could be available to us at all times and in all places.

Now, one with the Father, Jesus pours out on us his Holy Spirit. The apostles – and the world – had never experienced anything like it. The nearest they could come to describe it was that it seemed like fire and wind. They were melted in that fire and blown by that wind out into the world to bring Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life to its four corners.

These last years have been astonishing – unlike any others in a long while. Covid and now the war in Ukraine have been something of a car crash. Just as we perhaps thought we in Europe had settled down in our comfortable civilization, sickness tore through our world, and war broke out in our continent of Europe. We have been pulled up short, forced to ask ourselves where we all are and where we are going. The Synod has, in a strange way, come at the right time to show us that this applies to us in the Church too, we are not immune from this false security.

During this period I have been challenged like everyone else, we priests do not have any slick answers to the questions raised by wars and pandemics. What has given me particular strength and sustenance is you, the people of our 3 Churches. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through our little part of the Church. I cannot count the number of times I have been touched by the faith you have proved in all sorts of circumstances, the hope that has kept you going despite the often seemingly insurmountable problems, and then what Pope Francis would call the tenderness of love that you have shown in so many ways.

On this feast of Pentecost, the feast of the Church, thank you to all who have shown to me the meaning of Pentecost, not just in an Upper Room in Jerusalem, but right here in the suburbs of Cardiff.

Fr Matthew


Dear parishioners and friends of our 3 Churches:

Happy Easter! No, Fr Matthew it’s Pentecost, not Easter… But today is the last day of the Easter Season! We do that double Alleluia again at the end of Mass. Yes, we reach the end of this part of the Church’s year, that we began way back on 26 February with Ash Wednesday. Remember then, the old days, before lockdown? Well, here we are at the feast day of the Holy Spirit, powerhouse of the Church, and the feast of Us as well, who are the Church. Though not together physically I encourage us all to celebrate today in whatever way you can (Fr Andy asked me what I wanted special for lunch!) Reach out to a few members of our parish families with an email or better a phone call or neighbourly shout. Most of all, pray for a renewing outpouring of the Spirit on all of us, wherever we may be.

Don’t forget, I’m celebrating Sunday Mass at 10.30am live streamed via 3churches.org or Youtube channel “frmhj” when we’ll be praying for the out pouring and for the needs of the parishes, including your needs too.

By the way on 3churches.org you will also find Archbishop Stack’s recent statement on the reopening of our churches.

Fr Matthew

We’re all Pentecostal really

This Thursday I found myself at BBC Llandaff, not for my usual few-times-a-year “Wednesday Word”, but as part of a panel to record today’s edition of “All Things Considered”. This weekly programme goes out on Radio Wales just after the 9 o’clock news on Sunday morning.

Appropriately for Pentecost, the topic was “The Holy Spirit”, a subject that I’m very comfortable with. Then I saw that two of the other three panelists were to be a Baptist minister – well I’m OK with Baptists as my father was from that tradition originally – and, uh oh, an Elim Pentecostal minister.

And not any Pentecostal minister, but Rev Christopher Cartwright of the City Temple, currently serving as General Superintendent, i.e. boss of the whole denomination which counts 550 congregations across the UK and Ireland. I’ve known, and on the whole had good relations with, folks from most parts of the Christian Church, but never the City Temple. For many people they would seem to be at the far end of the spectrum from us.

Anyway we got going – and all went well, in fact very well, thank God. Then I noticed that while I was speaking Chris (friends now, see!) was taking notes. I thought ‘Oh, he’s loading his ammunition to fire at me’. But no, as he told me afterwards, he was taking notes because I was using some approaches to this difficult subject that he had never thought of and very much approved of. I have to say I felt a little glow of Catholic pride, that I should be teaching the leader of Elim Pentecostals a few things about the Holy Spirit.

But in reality you could say that we are all Pentecostal – Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, and the Holy Spirit is the very life-force of that Church and of Creation itself. If you would like to celebrate the feast today, I invite you to our Pentecost Praise this Sunday evening. We start at 7.15pm in St Brigid’s Hall with refreshments – bring a bit of finger-food – then move to the Church at about 8.30 to

honour the Holy Spirit in prayer, praise and reflection, ending with a Benediction.

Fr Matthew