Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The 'Year of the Priest' A & B Prayer Initiative

I was delighted to receive this beautiful prayer card in the post and an accompanying letter from Mary's Dowry Productions which says,

"For the 'Year of the Priest' we at Mary's Dowry Productions were inspired to organise a prayer crusade for all diocesan priests of Arundel and Brighton.

Each priest of Arundel and Brighton will have a person praying specifically for them every day of this 'Year of the Priest' - 19th June 2009 to 19th June 2010."

What a lovely idea and how good to know that someone has promised to pray especially for me every day during this special year.

Mary's Dowry Productions is an independent Catholic film production company created to present biographies of Catholic Saints and Martyrs, Shrines and churches in England using original film and music. If you'd like to find out more please follow the link here and have a look at their blog here.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Mass with Anointing of the Sick

This afternoon we had our annual Mass with Anointing of the Sick to which we invite our sick and housebound parishioners who are not able to get to Mass regularly.

It was lovely to see our housebound parishioners obviously enjoying being able to attend Mass in church and it was also very good to be able welcome carers and family members too.

Afterwards we all went into the parish hall to enjoy tea and cake and, very importantly, a good old natter. Here you can see what a good time we had.

Today at Mass we celebrated the Memorial of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, which was particularly appropriate for our honoured guests.

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, pray for us.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

The Immaculate Heart of Mary . . .

The Immaculate Heart of Mary, is called, above all, ‘the temple of the Holy Spirit’ (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 53) by reason of her divine motherhood and because of the continuous and all embracing inhabitation of the Holy Spirit on her soul.

It is very fitting that following yesterday’s feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus we celebrate today the Immaculate Heart of His Mother. Our Lady knows the Heart of her Son well and she knows how to reach it. Through her intercession, our poor prayers reach Our Lord sooner and most certainly better.

Let us today renew our love for Our Blessed Lady, let us also renew our trust in her maternal love for us. In Cana, at that first wedding, Our Lord worked that first miracle at the request of his mother.

We dedicate to her once again all that we are and all that we have. We place on her motherly lap the days that seem good and those that seem bad, our illnesses, weaknesses, work, our tiredness and our rest, together with the noble ideals God has placed in our souls. And we place especially in her care our journey towards her Son.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Friday, 19 June 2009

A Curé of Ars Prayer Book . . .

Family Publications have kindly sent me a copy of 'A Curé of Ars Prayer Book' to review.

The Holy Father has declared 19th June 2009 to 19th June 2010 'A Year for Priests' to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of the Curé of Ars - St Jean-Marie Vianney.

A man of great sanctity, St Jean-Marie Vianney attracted crowds and spent many hours daily hearing Confession he had a great love of the Eucharist and spent his life in leading souls to God through his prayer and example.

The book contains prayers and texts of St Jean-Marie Vianney together with a selection of prayers to him and by him.

In this Year of Priests, I recommend this beautiful book to priests and laity alike.

A Curé of Ars Prayer Book is published by Family Publications at £4.50.

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus . . .

This feast appears as a liturgical feast in 1675 following the apparition of Our Lord to St Margaret Mary Alacoque.

During these revelations the Saint was given to know with special depth the need to make reparation for the passed sins of the whole world. Our Lord asked her to extend the practice of frequent Communion especially on the first Friday of each month. He asked for the first Friday after the Octave of the Blessed Sacrament (Corpus Christi) to be dedicated to a special feast to the glory of his Heart.

Pope Pius IX extended the feast to the Universal Church and in 1928 Pope Pius XI gave it the splendour it has today.

This year in March Pope Benedict, meeting with members of the Congregation for the Clergy, announced that the Church will celebrate a special Year for Priests beginning on 19th June – today. The year commemorates the 150th anniversary of St John Vianney, Curé of Ars.

In his address, the Pope explained the continuous struggle for moral perfection that dwells ‘in every true priestly heart.’ During the year Pope Benedict XVI will proclaim St John Marie Vianney as the patron of all the priests of the world.

The year will conclude on 19th June 2010 with the Holy Father presiding at a ‘World Meeting of Priests’ in St Peter’s Square.

Concluding his address, he warned of the ‘dilution’ of priestly ministry. He explained that 'without priests, there would be no Eucharist, no Mission’ or the Church.

Today we pray for all priests that we will model ourselves on Jesus Christ, Eternal Priest.

St John Marie Vianney, pray for us.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Adoro te devote latens Deitas . . .

The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ dates back to the thirteenth century. It was established by Pope Urban IV in 1264.

It was faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Eucharist that led to devotion of the Blessed Eucharist outside Mass.

Our Lord and God is in the tabernacle, Jesus is truly present in the tabernacle of every Catholic church throughout the world. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. We should not be sparing in the time we spend in adoration but let us come to this many times to make reparation for the offences committed against Him in our world.

Today we should pray acts of love to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and may our adoration of Him never cease.

Thank you, Lord, for remaining with us.

‘O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine,
all praise and all thanksgiving,
be every moment thine.’

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Greetings from Ireland . . .

I just thought I'd drop by to let you know that I offered Mass for St Ann's Parish today. The days are flying by and my little break will soon be over.

Monday, 8 June 2009

A Pure Heart Create for Me . . .

I received in the post this morning from Family Publications a copy of ‘A Pure Heart Create for Me - Theology of the Body Today’ edited by Robert Colquhoun.

The book was inspired by a collection of lectures given in 2008 at St Patrick’s Church, Soho Square, London.

The lectures were given to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae.

The book is divided into two sections; the first part contains lectures specifically on the Theology of the Body and the second part addresses particular issue for today.

The authors of this book are clergy and lay specialists; a variety of subjects are covered in the book including Authority in the Church, Call to Holiness and Communion with the Lord, Aids, Truths about Homosexuality and Contraception and others.

The book is available from Family Publications, Oxford and sells for £12.50.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Tibi laus, tibi gloria, tibi gratiarum actio in saecula sempiterna . . .

Now that we have commemorated the mysteries of our salvation, that is from the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem to the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the liturgy asks us to consider the central mystery of God's own interior life.

The Blessed Trinity is the central mystery of our faith and is therefore constantly evoked in the prayer of the Church.

Each of us was baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and we are likewise absolved of our sins in the name of the Blessed Trinity. We begin and finish our prayers by invoking the Father, through the Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

Today and every day we can pray,

'Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit . . .'

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Tempus fugit . . .

I'm speechless! (I know that's not like me!)

I was overwhelmed by so many aspects of yesterday's celebration; the beautiful Mass; being surrounded by my some of my brother priests from the Deanery and further afield and the presence of some of the Friars of the Renewal who travelled all the way from Canning Town especially for the Mass of thanksgiving; by Fr Emmanuel's marvellous homily and by the sheer number of people who were there to celebrate with me.

Amongst the sea of faces I spotted many friends from my former parishes of St John the Evangelist, Horsham and St Joseph's, Epsom plus a huge number from our own parish and some of the ministers from the Banstead Five Churches.

I was very moved by the genuine warmth and affection of everyone present.

I have already thanked everyone of course but can never repeat if often enough. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who was involved in this anniversary celebration of this most special event in my life - my Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood.

Here is a slideshow of the photos taken last night which I think captures the spirit of the evening. Here's to the next 10 years!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Going Forth Mass . . .

We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day for our First Holy Communion 'Going Forth' Mass on Sunday. It was lovely to see so many of our First Holy Communion group come together again for this special celebration.

Here are a few photos taken on the day:

It's always a good idea to take a photo of the cake before it goes over to the parish hall - for obvious reasons - see below!

The cake is still intact . . .

Only just . . .