Monday, 27 September 2010

No time for mediocrity . . .

No time for mediocrity! How true!

I saw this excellent video and thought how very appropriate for our 'Come and See' initiative.

There is no need to write much about it, the video speaks for itself.

Hooray for Doug - we need more like him!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Reasons for coming back to the Church - Part Two

Continued from yesterday; more reasons for coming back to the Church . . .

Reason Five
We want our children to have a solid faith. Sometimes parents return to the Church because they realise that bringing up their children in a culture which promotes 'doing your own thing' often leads to ruin and disaster. We need structures of belief and the sound moral grounding that goes beyond our logic and reasoning.

Reason Six
We return because we want to be healed. Some of us struggle as we carry around deep spiritual wounds. We have difficulty in having a relationship with God because 'bad' things happen; illness, a broken marriage, a bereavement and so. The Catholic Church, while it cannot change these events, can help in the process of spiritual healing.

Reason Seven
We return to the Church because we need to forgive. We often hold a resentment towards an individual how has hurt us; maybe it was a family member, someone who works in the Church or even a priest. The Catholic Church offers us an opportunity to ask God's help in forgiving others, even if the other person doesn't ask for forgiveness or perhaps does not deserve it. When we forgive our hearts are ever more open to God.

Reason Eight
We want meaning in our lives. In our daily busy lives we begin to ask the question, ' Where is my life going?' 'What is my destiny?' We live in a confused world; the Catholic Church offers us a beacon of light and hope and leads us to eternal life if we persevere.

Each of us will have our own reasons for being part of that great body of believers which is the Catholic Church.

The parish of St Ann's invites you to 'Come Home' . . . to 'Come and See'.

Sunday 24th October 2010

7pm - 8pm, St Ann's Church Hall

Friday, 24 September 2010

Reasons for coming back to the Church . . .

I wish to say at the beginning that using the crisis in the Church as an excuse for not practising one's faith is no excuse.

We will always be a Church of saints and sinners; Jesus Christ, on whom the Church is built is Holy and it is to Him we speak, 'Cor ad Loquitor', heart to heart.

Christ is at the heart of the reasons to come home, to 'Come and See'.

Here are a number of reasons that have influenced the decisions of a few people I know . . .

Reason One
Many people 'come home' to the Catholic Church because they have a yearning to receive Holy Communion. This yearning for Holy Communion triggers a recognition of the purpose of Jesus Christ in the other sacraments and this draws them ever more deeply into the practice of the faith. Therefore the Blessed Sacrament is without a doubt the principal reason that people 'come home' to the Catholic Church.

Reason Two
We wish to be part of a believing community. A Catholic community is a group of people who come together in the presence of Jesus Christ, to praise God our Father. We, Catholics, come together at Mass, to celebrate our joys, to grieve, to help each other, to pray and provide support and to gain strength for daily life. As a Catholic parish we offer all this and much more.

Reason Three
We have a desire to help others; Jesus commands us to love God and our neighbour; in helping others we become instruments of God's love.

Reason Four
The Catholic Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

'You are Peter and on this Rock I will build my Church'. The Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit and protected from error on issues of faith and morals for over 2,000 years.

To be continued . . .

The parish of St Ann's invites you to 'Come Home' . . . to 'Come and See'.

Sunday 24th October 2010

7pm - 8pm, St Ann's Church Hall

Thursday, 23 September 2010

An invitation . . .

'He said to them, Come and See.
They went with Him then and saw where He was living;
and they were with him all that day . . ' (John 1:39)

Fr Míċeál and Deacon Kevin invite Banstead Catholics to come home; to 'Come and See'.

No matter how long you have been away from the Catholic Church you can always 'Come Home'. You can start going to Mass again and become part of our parish community who are ready to welcome you with open arms. God is inviting you to 'Come and See', to begin again, to grow in your faith now more than ever before.

You may already be feeling a strong inner desire to look once again into the Church - that yearning, that desire is God Himself inviting you back. God NEVER forces, He ONLY invites. God will leave the decision to return to the Catholic Church to you.

There are many reasons for coming back to the Catholic Church. Christ is at the heart and centre of the many reasons to come home, to 'Come and See'. Every person's experience in returning will be unique, depending on what speaks to his or her heart . . . 'Cor ad Cor Loquitor'.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Monday, 20 September 2010

More photos from Cofton Park . . .

A little cold and damp but definitely happy pilgrims! Thank you Flick for sharing your photos with us.

Pilgrim photos . . .

Many thanks to Chas for sharing with us these photos he took at Cofton Park yesterday of the Beatification Mass for Blessed John Henry Newman. If any other pilgrims from the parish have any photos, we'd love to see them. Just email them to the parish office please.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman . . .

Just in case you missed it . . .

Blessed John Henry Newman,

Pray for us.

Happy, Smiling Pilgrims . . .

You'd never guess these pictures were taken at about 1.30 in the morning, would you? Here you see some of our parish pilgrims heading off to Cofton Park in the early hours.

I look forward to talking to them when they get back and hearing about their personal experiences and their impressions of this momentous occasion - the Beatification of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman.

By the way, if any pilgrims have any photos they'd like to share, do please email them to the parish office and we'll try to post them in the next few days. Thank you.
(Click on the photos above to enlarge)

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman - Well, almost!

Today, in case you've come from another planet, is the day of the Beatification Mass for John Henry Cardinal Newman at Cofton Park in Birmingham.

Along with parish groups from all over the country, 2o or so of our parishioners will join in this marvellous celebration. I'm sure it will be a day they will remember for the rest of their lives. I don't envy them their early start at 1.30am but I'm sure is will be a small price to pay to take part in this significant event.

We have been singing one of Newman's famous hymns, 'Praise to the Holiest in the Height', quite a bit in the parish recently; I though to celebrate the Beatification you might like to join in a chorus of another of Newman's well-known hymn, 'Lead, kindly light'

O My Lord Jesus

O my Lord Jesus,
low as I am in Your all-holy sight,
I am strong in You,
strong through Your Immaculate Mother,
through Your saints
and thus I can do much for the Church,
for the world, for all I love.

(John Henry Cardinal Newman)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Visitors . . .

It's been a busy time in the parish this week with one or two special celebrations - a Ruby Wedding Anniversary on Friday, an 80th Birthday and a Baptism today.

We've also been very pleased to welcome a couple of visitors to the parish this week.

We have a visitor in the presbytery. Don Michele Barone has been using the parish as his base whilst he's here for the Papal Visit. He flew up to Scotland for the events there and will go to London today and Birmingham tomorrow. I was pleased that he was able to concelebrate Mass in the parish this morning before he left for London.

Don Barone is a priest of the order of La Cassata di Nazareth in Italy.

Also, Sr Anastasia has been in the parish all week. She has been visiting her family and having a bit of a rest from her work in Sri Lanka with children and young people with special needs. Some of you may have met her at Mass.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Flying the flag . . .

I'm very grateful to John who braved the wet and windy weather yesterday evening to hoist the Papal flag outside St Ann's Church. As you can see from the photo John has made a return visit to make sure it's secure.

We are lucky that we are on a busy main road and so the flag will be seen by all the passers-by.

I think it looks great!

Our Lady of Sorrows . . .

Today the Church reminds us of the particular union that Our Blessed Lady shared with in the sacrifice of her Son on the Cross.

The love of Our Lady for her Son permits her to share His sufferings as though they were her own.

Today's feast is an opportunity for each of us to accept our little trials as personal purification. Our Lady teaches us not to complain as we know she never would; she encourages us to unite our trials and difficulties to the sacrifice of he Son for our own salvation and for the whole world.

'O sweet Mother, fount of love,
touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with yours accord.'

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross . . .

Today's feast has been celebrated since the fourth century. The Divine Office and the texts of today's Mass proclaim the Holy Cross as the instrument of our salvation. Inasmuch as our first parents sinned beneath the shadow of a tree, God accomplished our redemption on the wood of the Cross.

At Mass we pray,

'God Our Father, in obedience to you, your only son accepted death on the Cross for the salvation of mankind. We acknowledge the mystery of the Cross on earth. May we receive the gift of redemption in heaven.'

The Cross is present in our lives in different ways; it may manifest itself through illness, loneliness, bereavement and in many other human circumstances. In our prayer today we can examine our disposition as we come face to face with the Cross.

'Cross most faithful, you are the noblest tree of all!
No other tree can compare with your leaves,
your flowers and your fruit.' (Hymn, Crux Fidelis)

Saturday, 11 September 2010

'On yer bike . . . '

We are very grateful to Mary (2nd from right) for once again offering to take part in the sponsored cycle ride organised by Surrey Churches Preservation Trust on behalf of our parish.

This is an annual event and having recently widened it's scope to encourage walkers to join in the fun too it is now known as 'Ride and Stride'.

Participants set off at their own pace and are sponsored for the number of churches (of various denominations) they are able to visit in the local area. Last year Mary managed to 'tick off' an amazing 22 churches.

Spotted outside St Ann's Church after Mass this morning are some visiting cyclists alongside Mary.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

"I'm very much looking forward to my visit . . . "

The Holy Father has been speaking about his forthcoming visit to the United Kingdom. He says that he is very much looking forward to the visit and thanks the British Government; the Scottish Bishops; those of England and Wales and all who are involved in organising the visit for the vast amount of work they have put in to make the visit possible.

Friday, 3 September 2010

ACN Annual Mass - ' Hope Without Fear' Westminster

I have been asked by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to promote their Annual Mass and 'Hope Without Fear' event at Westminster which I am very happy to do.

The day begins with the Annual Mass (Sung Latin Mass) at Westminster Cathedral at 10.30am on 16th October.

Mass will be followed by an afternoon of talks from a variety of speakers in the cathedral hall including amongst others;

Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kassala of Tombura-Yambio, south Sudan.
Bishop Eduardo is leading his people in south Sudan through a time of great uncertainty. In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need in April, he warned of the likelihood of an outbreak of violence in the wake of political elections.

Father Michael Shields from Magadan, Siberia

Father Michael is a long-time friend of Aid to the Church in Need. An American from Alaska, he chose to serve in a former communist gulag camp in Magadan, Siberia. Millions died here.

John Pontifex, Aid to the Church in Need.
Aid to the Church in Need’s UK Head of Press and Information will speak about suffering, faith and hope in Pakistan.

Neville Kyrke-Smith, Aid to the Church in Need.
As UK Director of Aid to the Church in Need, Neville Kyrke-Smith has travelled extensively in Eastern Europe. At this year’s Westminster Event, he will give an update on the help you are giving to Christians in Ukraine, where he recently visited.

£5.00 Book online

Further details may be found ACN's website here.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

All change at Banstead - Ecumenically speaking, that is . . .

In the next few weeks we have to say a fond farewell to three members of our Banstead Five Clergy.

Rev David Chance, Vicar of All Saints, Banstead is retiring after 17 years in his parish and moving down to Margate with his wife and family to enjoy a well-earned retirement. I'm sure he will be sadly missed by his congregation and many others who have been used to seeing him at various B5 events and generally around and about in Banstead.

Rev Damian Miles, Vicar of St Paul's, Nork is also taking his leave from us as he moves on to a new appointment in Thorpe, near Heathrow. Rev Damian Miles, although not in his parish as long as the Vicar of All Saints, has nevertheless made his mark in his community and we're sure his successor will appreciate the work he has put into building up the community of Christians in Nork.

Finally, we must say goodbye to our local Methodist Minister, Rev Nigel Wright who has managed to juggle the demands of two Methodist churches, one in Banstead and one in Epsom, and still find time to join in Banstead Five events. After four years here Nigel and his family have already left Banstead to continue their ministry in Leighton Buzzard. We look forward to getting to know our new local Methodist Minister, Rev John Amankwatia, who took up his new appointment here just yesterday.

We wish them all well as they move on to the next stage of their ministry.