Wednesday, 26 August 2009

A lovely surprise at Mass today . . .

We had a lovely surprise at Mass today. Fr Paul Brandon who often celebrates Mass at St Ann's when he is in the area visiting family, brought with him a relic of Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God (Father Dominic Barberi, Passionist Priest).

Dominic was beatified by Pope Paul VI in 1963, during the Second Vatican Council. Later popes also admired Dominic; on his visit to England in 1982 Pope John Paul II described Blessed Dominic as
"One example of the countless other priests who continue to serve as models of holiness for the clergy of today"

Dominic is best remembered for his part in Newman's conversion, but is also commemorated for his exhausting work in the efforts to return England to the Catholic faith in the nineteenth century.

Naturally we celebrated the Memorial in his honour and after a beautiful Mass during which the relic had lain upon the altar, Fr Paul blessed those present with the relic.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

One for the ladies! . . .

I wouldn't want our young women to think that I'd forgotten them so here are two very good videos which I hope will give you some idea of the breadth and variety of vocations within the Consecrated Life.

Sometimes we feel called to a change of direction at a later stage in our life, maybe we are already qualified in a different profession. These earlier years are not wasted and can be built upon. As St Paul says, 'There is a variety of gifts, but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord.'

Monday, 24 August 2009

Possible Reforms to The Newer Form of the Roman Rite . . .

Amongst the many blogs that I follow, I notice that Fr Tim Finigan of The Hermeneutic of Continuity has recently posted a very interesting item on possible reforms of the newer form of the Roman Rite (i.e. the form of the Mass with which most of us are familiar, instituted by Pope Paul VI, and which has been used as the usual form of Mass in most parishes since the Second Vatican Council.)

As Fr Tim writes, 'Rorate Caeli has the translation of an article in yesterday's "Il Giornale" by the respected vaticanista Andrea Tornielli. Apparently a document with several propositions regarding the newer form of the Roman Rite has been submitted to the Holy Father for his approval. Some of the propositions deal with the use of Latin, communion in the hand, and the orientation of the priest.'

From time to time, people ask me about these points; I recommend this article to you here and hope that it might answer some of your queries.

Once again, I would be very interested to hear your reaction to the article.

Another Baptism - our numbers are growing! . . .

Another joyful day at St Ann's as we welcomed another new member into our parish community.

Here are the Meadows family proudly presenting the newest addition to their family - Alannah.

Alannah was baptised at the 10 O'clock Mass yesterday.

' And I'd like to have a picture of you too', says Liam.

And here they are with family and friends.

Just a reminder, if you have recently had a baby or are expecting a baby at the moment, that we have a Baptism Preparation Course here at St Ann's on the first two Mondays of the month at 8pm. Please contact the parish office for details.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Vocations Video - Part 2 . . .

Here, as promised is part 2 of the Vocations Video. Even more compelling than part 1, in my opinion.

I would be very interested to hear your reactions.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Quo Vadis? . . .

If you have teenagers in the family, you will know that this is not the easiest time for them - exam results loom! I hope that all our young people have achieved the exam results they were expecting, hoping for, or needed for the next stage in their education and indeed the next stage of their life.

I wonder how many young people when considering the future, have give even a few seconds' thought to the possibility that God may be calling them to quite a different future than most of their peers.

Perhaps the following excellent video might cause some people to allow themselves to at least consider the possibility. This is part 1 of 2 videos on vocations. Please watch this blog for part 2 in the next few days.

Talking of vocations, which I was (and hopefully many parents out there are too) there are several events coming up soon in our diocese organised by Fr Paul Turner, our Vocations Director.

Saturday 17th October at Christ the Prince of Peace, Weybridge.
'God's Plan 4 U' The day begins with Mass at 10.00am and finishes about 4.30pm.

Samuel Groups.
Monthly gatherings to support young adults (18-35) in discerning their vocation.

From October there will be Samuel Groups running on Tuesday evenings at The Friary Church in Crawley and on Thursday evenings at St Dunstan's Church in Woking. (7pm - 9.30pm)

For further information please contact Fr Paul Turner or via the website

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Liturgical colours . . .

A little while ago I posted a video from iPadre describing the vestments worn by a priest and the symbolism of each garment. Some of you may have missed this earlier video and others of you may like to refresh your memories by following the link here.

Here is another excellent video from the same source in which Fr Finelli explains why different colours are used in the Church at different times in the liturgical year.

I hope you find it helpful.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

"It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."

Following on from yesterday's Gospel, Jesus speaks to his disciples about material possessions.
As the rich young man went away 'sad' the disciples looked on with sorrow in their hearts. Jesus chose that very moment to say to the disciples, 'it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven' and He repeats it saying, 'it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.'

If we fill our hearts with the material things of this world it is impossible to have a real and meaningful relationship with Christ. Material possessions may help us to reach Christ but we cannot make our possessions our god.

'Our hearts are restless until they rest in Christ.'

Do I value the needs of my soul more than the needs of my body?

Monday, 17 August 2009

"Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

The scene pictured in today's Gospel is when a young man comes and kneels before Jesus and asks that question, 'Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'

This rich young man had a desire to give himself, to love more . . . maybe he was unhappy with his life.

Jesus tells him to keep the commandments, and the young man replies that he has obeyed them, and asks what he is lacking. This is indeed the question that many people ask when they recognise that something is missing in their lives.

Jesus is instructing the young man to leave behind all of his possessions, that is the invitation to empty his heart of its possessions and to fill it with things of God; in other words to exchange a love of worldly possessions for love of Christ.

But the young man was not generous and went away sad; he chose to keep his riches which he could enjoy for a few years and lost his opportunity to have Jesus whom he would have forever.

Jesus meets us very often at the pathways of life, He asks a lot from us so as to give us more.

It may happen that Our Lord will invite us to follow Him more closely, without leaving our position in this world. Our Lord asks us to give of our best at all times no matter what our vocation.

Vocation is the most important aspect of our lives. When we've found our vocation it should occupy all our energies with the help of God's grace.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Letter to a Non-Believer . . .

Thanks to Family Publications for asking me to review this book by Fr Thomas Crean OP, 'Letter to a Non-Believer'.

In this book Fr Crean offers basic facts, precise and clear arguments and much common sense; he deals with the Catholic aspects of Christian belief; namely, Christ's death, his Resurrection, the question of evil, suffering and man's free will and finally, the need for the Church and the Sacraments.

If you have read his best seller, 'A Catholic Replies to Professor Dawkins', then you will enjoy this excellent book.

Fr Crean is a Dominican friar, a hospital chaplain and a tutor at Maryvale Institute.

'Letters to a Non-Believer' can be purchased from Family Publications and is available now at £9.95

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Demolition - Day 3 . . .

It's amazing how quickly the demolition men have achieved their task. In just two days we have gone from this . . .

to this . . .

Or to put it another way, 'Now you see it . . . Now you don't'

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Feast of St John Vianney . . .

Today we celebrate the Memorial of St John Vianney, patron saint of all priests.

Once again, I would like to quote from St John Vianney himself taken from the little booklet, 'A Curé of Ars Prayer Book'

"St Bernard tells us that everything has come to us through Mary; and we may also say that everything has come to us through the priest; yes, all happiness, all graces, all heavenly gifts. If we had not the Sacrament of Holy Orders, we should not have Our Lord. Who placed Him there, in that tabernacle? It was the priest. Who was it that received your soul, on its entrance to life? The priest. Who nourishes it, to give it strength to make its pilgrimage? The priest. Who will prepare it to appear before God, by washing that soul, for the last time, in the blood of Jesus Christ? The priest - always the priest. And if that soul comes to the point of death, who will raise it up, who will restore it to calmness and peace? You cannot recall one singly blessing from God without finding, side by side with this recollection, the image of the priest."

Please pray for me and all parish priests,

Lord, we give thanks for priests who bring You to us.
We give thanks for all the graces and gifts we have received
through their ministry during our lives.
Grant us holy priests, entirely devoted to the service of souls,
in teaching the faith and ministering the Sacraments,
so that we may be led to your heavenly Kingdom.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Demolition - Day One . . .

In days gone by, there was a flourishing Scout Group in the parish. Sadly, however, gradually over recent years the numbers in the various groups have dwindled and when I arrived in the parish, Scouting had ceased in the parish.

It can't have escaped your notice that the building was in a sorry state and indeed many have commented on the condition of the Scout Hut and it's 'tilt'! After much discussion, and having reached the conclusion that the Hut was beyond economical repair, it was decided to demolish it, and work began today.

We hope to replace it in the not too distant future with meeting rooms for small parish groups which is something that the parish lacks and is sorely needed.

Here are a few photos of day one - more to follow later.