Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Happy Birthday to us ...

Our parish blog is one year old today.

Very many thanks and God's blessing on all who dip into this blog from time to time, and special thanks to everyone who takes time to add a comment.

I hope you have found it interesting and helpful; and will continue to look in now and again.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Lent begins tomorrow ...

'Remember, man, that you are dust,
And unto dust you shall return.'

Following on from today's feasting, comes tomorrow's Fasting. The other two ingredients which the Church recommends for Lent are Prayer and Almsgiving.

All of these three things are within everyone's capability. We can all, for example, abstain from that extra spoonful of sugar in our tea or that piece of cake with our elevenses; make time to say an extra prayer or a decade of the Rosary; or attend Rosary and Benediction in the parish (see below for times). As for almsgiving, there are many deserving charities to support.

To help us on our way, there are several additional things happening in our parish during Lent:

Ash Wednesday (25th February)
Mass at 9.30am (when we will be joined by the junior children from St Anne's School)
Mass at 8pm
There will be imposition of ashes at both Masses.

Rosary and Benediction - 4pm every Sunday during Lent

Stations of the Cross - 7.30pm on Fridays during Lent.

Shrove Tuesday ...

Here in the presbytery, we all enjoy pancakes as I'm sure you do too.

I'm sure you also know the origins of the custom of eating pancakes on the last day before the beginning of Lent. The practice of using up all the fat and eggs which were, originally at least, forbidden during Lent gave rise to all those delicious pancakes that we enjoy on the last day before Lent.

The word, 'shrove' comes from the old verb, 'to shrive' which means to hear confessions. It is part of our Easter Duties to go to confession before receiving Holy Communion at least once during the Easter Season.

We feast today and fast tomorrow on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. There are only two days in the year when the Church asks us to fast and practice abstinence - Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Parish Helpers' Lunch

We had a super lunch party today. Over 60 people who help in the parish in all sorts of different ways came together for lunch in our parish hall. Our social committee worked extremely hard to provide a delicious meal. I am very grateful to them for making this possible. It is a real pleasure to be able to thank people personally like this.

Without this 'army' of willing volunteers the parish just wouldn't be able to function. It looked to me as if everyone enjoyed the occasion. It's also lovely for people to have a chance to chat to other parishioners they might not usually get to meet as they don't attend the same Sunday Mass.

These are just a few photos of the event. If you would like to see more please click here to see the web album.

Monday, 9 February 2009

We are Lifesavers!

For the first time this year, we decided to send our Crib Collection to the Good Counsel Network to help them with the excellent work they do with women facing difficult pregnancies and helping them to choose life for their unborn children.

I was delighted to received this certificate in the post today along with a letter of thanks from their Fundraising Coordinator.

Our parish donation, we are told, will enable the Good Counsel Network 'to be God's instrument in saving at least one of His little ones.'

Our retiring collection in a couple of week's time will also be for the Good Counsel Network so I hope that we will be able to send them another donation enabling them to save another of 'His little ones.'

Very grateful thanks to all our parishioners who generously contributed to our Crib Collection.

It is also worth mentioning that we will be remembered in a Mass offered regularly in the Centre for members of The Lifesaver's Circle. What more could we ask for?

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Stations of the Cross ...

I have recently received two new booklets to review from Family Publications; one by John Henry Newman and the other by Dominic Allain.

I’m always happy to review books for Family Publications and with Lent starting in a few weeks time these are timely publications.

The first booklet is prayerful and meditative. The book contains John Henry Newman’s original text while on the opposite page are medieval illustrations from previously unpublished manuscripts.

It is suitable for private use at home, by the housebound or in church at a parish Stations of the Cross.

The second booklet is by Fr Dominic Allain who is a regular contributor to the Catholic Herald.

In Lent, the Stations of the Cross is a popular devotion in parishes throughout the country.

This a beautifully compiled, meditative and prayerful booklet. One is led from Christ’s condemnation to His burial in the tomb to witness the immense love of Christ portrayed in the action which each station calls to mind. Under each beautiful medieval illustration is a verse from the Stabat Mater.

Another ideal gift for Lent to use at home.

Both are available from Family Publications and are reasonably priced at £4.50.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Tu es sacerdos in aeternum secundum ordinem Melchizedek ...

Here's another great video from 'That Catholic Show'. I hope you enjoy it.

Even if the thought of Priesthood has only ever fleetingly crossed your mind you might like to go along to this Enquiry Evening in Redhill to find out more:

Tuesday 17th February at 7 pm

St Joseph's Church, Ladbroke Road, Redhill RH1 1LF

The evening begins with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and is followed by a talk, discussion and Night Prayer. Light refreshments will be available.

Further details from Fr Paul Turner, the Diocesan Vocations Director, on 01293 603 773 or

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Laborare est orare ..

Even a humble priest has to get out there with his shovel and clear a pathway.

Despite the snow a few courageous souls managed to make it to Mass on Monday and Tuesday. Today we celebrated the optional Memorial of St Blaise and we followed tradition with the blessing of throats at the end of Mass.

As there were only a few at Mass and they had made such an effort to get here, we all enjoyed a cup of coffee together afterwards to help them on their homeward journey.