Newsletter

St James the Great Weekly Newsletter

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 3rd AUGUST 2020 SUN 30th AUGUST 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 3rd AUGUST 2020 SUN 30th AUGUST 2020

The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for
we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s
poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 27th JULY 2020 SUN 2nd AUGUST 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 27th JULY 2020 SUN 2nd AUGUST 2020

Aleppo has long been a martyred city. In the nine years since the outbreak of fighting in Syria, it has been at the heart of the clashes. As a consequence, it has lost four-fifths of its diverse
Christian population. There are only about 30,000 people left from the various denominations. Most of them are elderly. Most of the younger Christians have fled the war torn country.
Despite this dramatic situation, Aleppo's newly restored Maronite Cathedral was due to be re-opened on July 20. St. Elijah's Cathedral suffered severe damage from bombings. Its roof had been totally destroyed. "It is a sign of hope after the feeling of having lost everything," rejoiced Archbishop Joseph Tobji, Maronite Archbishop of Aleppo.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 20th JULY 2020 SUN 26th JULU 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 20th JULY 2020 SUN 26th JULU 2020

A Catholic priest and staunch critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte fears he is being watched and could be arrested by the government after discovering videos and photos were taken of him and his congregation by police during a Mass in his Manila parish church. Activist priest, Father Robert Reyes of San Isidro Labrador Parish in Quezon City, said his parish’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera captured uniformed policemen taking photos of him during his Sunday Mass on July 12. Father Reyes said the discovery was disturbing and had left him fearing for his security and his parishioners. “Their behaviour was very suspicious. If they were on official business, they should have had the courtesy to ask permission,” Father Reyes said in an interview. Father Reyes is known as the “running priest” for bringing attention to social issues through running. In 2019, Father Reyes together with two other priests said they had received death threats
for speaking out against Duterte’s war on drugs. Father Reyes openly denounced extrajudicial killings saying they were contrary to the teachings of Christ.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 13th JULY 2020 SUN 19th JULY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 13th JULY 2020 SUN 19th JULY 2020

Thanks mum that was a lovely meal, I really enjoyed. Yes indeed! But much work went into that meal, shopping, paying, washing, preparing, cooking, serving and you enjoying. The soil that yielded a rich harvest in today’s gospel, only produce a full harvest because the farmer had done good work. Ploughing, harrowing, spraying, rain and sunshine. Yes a bumper crop. Think of any famous footballer/athlete, the immense training n they have to put in. During this time of lockdown we have plenty of time to prepare our Sunday readings. Reading, praying, thinking, discussing, meeting Jesus in his word. If your mum did not prepare you would go to bed hungry. And so as Catholics we go to mass on Sunday with no preparation and we leave hungry.  Very hungry.  And so we say mass is boring.  And I would agree.   No pain, no gain.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 6th JULY 2020 SUN 12th JULY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 6th JULY 2020 SUN 12th JULY 2020

A yoke is a bit of harness specially made for two particular animals. Made to fit, bespoke for the person wearing it.  And so to Jesus, His yoke is light, no more than we can bear, but more important He is the one pulling and working with us.  That is truly why it is light. As Paul says. “With God on our side who can be against us. ”Jesus is saying this to counteract the harshness of the attitude of the Pharisees.  And their problem was…. They were always looking in the wrong places. Jesus tells us to become like little children, with humility and simplicity. Listen to Him in this trying times, “Come to me all you who labour and overburdened and I will give you rest. Learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart.”

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 29th JUNE 2020 SUN 5th JULY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 29th JUNE 2020 SUN 5th JULY 2020

A feast of two great heroes of the Church.  Following Christ to the death. Peter, a fisherman and probably not to educated but with a heart as big as a house. Paul, a tent maker and a prolific writer. Like all of us they had their history/ humility. Peter who denied Jesus several times.  Paul who thought he was doing a great job for “god” by killing Christians. But both fiercely remained close to Christ and died for love of him. Our faith has to be a deep love rooted in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  And never more so than now.A few quotes from both of them. “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ.” “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 22nd JUNE 2020 SUN 28th JUNE 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 22nd JUNE 2020 SUN 28th JUNE 2020.pdf

NEWSLETTER MON 22nd JUNE 2020 SUN 28th JUNE 2020

There are many things in today’s world that can make us fearful, the pandemic, the threat of terrorism, the fear of job loss, anxiety connected with our children and family, lack of money. Unfortunately God is not a Santa Clause to take away our fear and give us what we want. However in the Bible God tells us no less than 365 times not to be afraid. So I believe, now more than ever we are called to an intimacy with God, to live in the present moment.  This is holiness.  Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.  The only true reality is now.  Yesterday may be full of guilt and failure.  Let it go, God has.  Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, it is here, live it. Some of us may have grown up with the fear of God, this later became reverence.  I love the word of young people today, “God you are awesome,” and he has replied; - “Jack your awesome.”  Relax and enjoy his company.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 15th JUNE 2020 SUN 21st JUNE 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 15th JUNE 2020 SUN 21st JUNE 2020

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. Can this be true? Well a pie needs flour and if you make your own flour from scratch, you will need wheat and milling equipment.  To get that, you will need a farm and metal, soil and minerals and farming skills. You’ll need seed of course. Likewise for the apples –and don’t forget some bees for the pollination.  You’ll need to organise the climate also, else nothing will grow.

So throw in the clouds, sun, rain and seasons.  Invent electricity, add water and a few cloves and sugar to taste.  To truly say it was I who made the pie, you’ll have to make the primary elements which you would sweep up from the dead stars.  And don’t forget to create a dynamic order so everything happens at the right time and dovetails with everything else.

(Carl Sagan  and  I enjoyed it)

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 8th JUNE 2020 SUN 14th JUNE 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 8th JUNE 2020 SUN 14th JUNE 2020

Don’t just watch UK news only. You very quickly become isolated and forget there is a big world out there in need of our prayers. With God as Daddy we should never forget we are FAMILY.
While COVID-19 and the American disaster may unite us in a common bond, we need to be much more clearly united under the leadership of Jesus who loved us so much that He died for every single man, woman and child ever born. Who are we to think any less of any one? Let us stand as a generation that loves each other. July 4th has been a suggested day to going back to church. Got no details yet, but watch this space. Still need a few more volunteers/Marshalls for when it does happen. Don’t be shy.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 1st JUNE 2020 SUN 7th JUNE 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 1st JUNE 2020 SUN 7th JUNE 2020
The gospel is not idealism but realism plus. And we have got to hold the mystery without understanding it. At this time, I find that God can live in our emptiness. But staying connected as I said above and also “holding hands” with 2 or 3 other people, not just in service but in solidarity. As Jesus says; - “Where 2 or 3 people are gathered…….” Don’t forget the people in your own house partner, parents, children, brother, sister. Mother Theresa says: - “Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.” Let us go forward in hope but truly in humility.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 25th MAY 2020 SUN 31th MAY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 25th MAY 2020 SUN 31th MAY 2020
Dear Friends, I hope you, your family and friends are coping with the present crisis. I have been doing much facetime with individuals and groups. It is very supportive for all of us. Give me a call. Make the words of today’s psalm your own, “I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.”

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 18th MAY 2020 SUN 24th MAY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 18th MAY 2020 SUN 24th MAY 2020

...Because our minds are closed. I have been so used to doing things this way, I can't change now. An arrogance of refusing to listen. To hear and be converted to Jesus Christ. Humility is an essential virtue for the Christian. Lack of it keeps me trapped in my own way in my own little miserable, narrow world. Refusing to open up to new ways, to the spirit of God which we are awaiting at Pentecost. In this time of pandemic Jesus is not leaving us orphans...

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 11th MARCH 2020 SUN 17th MAY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 11th MARCH 2020 SUN 17th MAY 2020

ZOOM connection for Tuesday the 12th May at 7.30. Be encouraging to see you.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81151341409

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 4th MAY 2020 SUN 10th MAY 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 4th MAY 2020 SUN 10th MAY 2020

You can't run from trouble. There isn't a place that far. However, today's Psalm gives us a place. Whenever things seem to be hopeless I, personally repeat different lines over and over again. It does work and He is our refuge, our only refuge. This psalm ends with the line: “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Maybe here in the UK if I say dog instead of sheep, we will better understand. Think of the relationship between a dog and his owner, how well the dog knows the voice of the owner, the dog listens to instructions of ‘heal, sit, fetch, come here, no’. Think of the excitement of the dog in seeing his owner, going for a walk, listening for instructions, the joy of being patted and told "good boy/girl." Who loves the most, the dog or the owner?

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 27th MARCH 2020 SUN 3rd MAY 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 27th MARCH 2020 SUN 3rd MAY 2020

The two disciples are leaving Jerusalem. They had known Jesus for many years and had followed Him. No doubt they were devastated by his crucifixion. Furthermore they were undoubtedly frightened by the prospect of what might happen to them as followers of Jesus. On their way home, they meet a STRANGER. They begin with small talk but quickly they realise this man knows a lot about scripture. BUT SADLY THEY MAKE NO CONNECTION BETWEEN WHAT HE SAYS AND WHO HE IS. (could be any Sunday morning) Then in the house they recognise Him and RUSH BACK TO JERUSALEM TO TELL THE GOOD NEWS. Christ cannot be contained in our churches or homes. They may very well have headed straight into death like Jesus. Here we see the power of the resurrection.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 20th MARCH 2020 SUN 26th APRIL 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 20th MARCH 2020 SUN 26th APRIL 2020
Fear is fear and it can be very frightening, even paralysing. At the moment people are afraid to go out. Many parents tell me, that their children are afraid to go out. People are afraid of hospitals, even to go for a routine checkup. Fear of an operation, fear of exams, or no exams. Fear of dying. Many parallels with today's readings. The apostles are locked in the room, for fear of the Jews. They are probably also afraid of Jesus and recriminations. They had abandoned Him at the time of his death. One of them had turned him over to the authorities. Another had denied he even knew Jesus. The others ran away, apparently in fear. That same fear still gripped them and the disciples stayed behind locked doors, like many of us now...

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 13th MARCH 2020 SUN 19th APRIL 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 13th MARCH 2020 SUN 19th APRIL 2020

If you love you will get hurt, probably killed. If you do not love you are probably dead already. Christianity is the door to infinity and that was never more true than today, Sunday of the resurrection. We are called out of the darkness of the tomb and to infinity. Jesus is preparing the future. True courage is not being unafraid, it is not being prisoners of ones fear. Peter and all the apostles denied and abandoned Jesus on Good Friday, but today they are transformed into men and women of courage and vision. Mary Magdalene rushes back, with love to tell the good news. They now are people of excitement, enthusiasm and energy. They will go on to change the world.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 6th MARCH 2020 SUN 12th APRIL 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 6th MARCH 2020 SUN 12th APRIL 2020

Dear Friends in Christ, so much has been said and so much to do. Words and apps can become very meaningless, at best empty. Tomorrow as we move into the Passion of Jesus, we have some chance of Light. The Passion was never more timely.Jesus endured the sense of being abandoned by the one He loved most, his Abba. He chose to experience all of humanity’s worst suffering. What does this tell us? Even though he couldn’t access their love, do you think the Father and the Spirit were there with Jesus on the cross? Given that this is immeasurable love, how do you respond to it? The Cross of Christ bears the suffering and the sin of mankind, including our own. Jesus accepts all this with open arms,bearing on his shoulders our crosses and saying to us: “Have courage! You do not carry your cross alone! I carry it with you.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 30th MARCH 2020 SUN 5th APRIL 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 30th MARCH 2020 SUN 5th APRIL 2020

For all those who have died from the present virus, we pray that they are with God in heaven. Our hearts go out to their families and loved ones. I celebrate mass for all of you and for the world every day. I walk around the church three times, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, asking God to embrace you all in your absence and keep you in his love wherever you are. We fight at times but it is lonesome without you. We all are the poorer. Whether you live or whether you die, you are in my hands says the Lord. If only I could trust Him. Many people are now living in very confined spaces for long periods. Parents may find they are not able to provide, money may be scarcer, nerves may be frayed and tensions could be mounting in these situations. Look out for each other, help where you can and remind your children to keep an eye on their friends too, friends are needed now, more than ever.

And trust in Him.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 23rd MARCH 2020 SUN 29th MARCH 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 23rd MARCH 2020 SUN 29th MARCH 2020

Let us pray,
God is good all the time and all the time God is good.
The psalmist today tells us - "The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want."Let these be our mantras as we go through this trying time for all of us. Like the footballer who never takes his eyes of the goal mouth, we must never take our eyes off God, otherwise we won’t win. When we take our eyes off God, we begin to see all sorts of funny things, like the people in today’s Gospel: Is this a wicked man since he is blind? Was he born blind because his parents were sinners? God has got the whole world in his hands, even in our crises. Of this we are sure. Don't blame him for one little bit of what is happening. Be strong in his name, He will conquer. Let us work together for the good of all.