St James the Great R.C. Church Peckham Rye , 45 Elm Grove London, SE15 5DD UK
Published on 13 May 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 16th May - Sun 22nd May 2022.pdf
"After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch. They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” They appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith." This reading today from Acts, is a very good model of how the church could/should work in any/this parish. People who will agree to take responsibility for different ministries and will be faithful. Great things happen in this parish because of a few people. Just imagine how much more effective it would be with everybody doing something. Are you up for it?
Published on 06 May 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 9th May - Sun 15th May 2022.pdf
Today is Good Shepherd Sunday. We all love the image of Jesus carrying a sheep around his neck and carrying him back to the fold. Just imagine yourself with that closeness. The Good Shepherd Jesus himself taking care of you. I hope after 50 years I have reflected some of that love in my parishes. Pretty demanding trying always to keep the bright side out. But a man can only do their best. I am sure there were many shortcomings and for that I trust in the mercy of God. The grace of God is a wonderful thing. How do I describe it? 50 years ago, I put on my souvenir card, "By the grace of God." Not sure what I really meant then, but now I know. That grace which has kept me faithful to the job for 50 years and close to the Good Shepherd. To God be the glory.
Published on 29 April 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 2nd May - Sun 8th May 2022.pdf
Today is a beautiful homily story. The apostles dejected, no fish to sell, no money to buy food for their family, not even a fish. Can you imagine them going home, the children running with excitement, "Daddy, Daddy what have you got?" Sorry children, not even a fish, not to mention the bread and sweets they would have bought with the fish they sold. The pain of a father watching his children go hungry. The sense of failure. Cold, dejected, and hungry after a long night. Jesus, a non-fisherman telling them what to do. Fishing in the daytime, never heard of. Then the success and the bar-b-que on the beach. I've done it many times. Wonderful. Then the challenge to Peter, "do you love me." The pain of being asked and asked and asked again. But no doubt in Peter's heart. Despite what he had done. He knew his Lord and master.
Published on 22 April 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 25h April - Sun 1st May 2022.pdf
The reality of life is death. And not death to be avoided but death transformed. This is the great news of the Resurrection. The only trustworthy pattern of spiritual transformation is death and resurrection. As Christians we must carry our cross. Death and life are two sides of the same coin; you cannot have one without the other. Each time you surrender, each time you trust the dying, your faith is led to a deeper level and you discover a Larger Self underneath. You decide not to push yourself to the front of the line, and something much better happens in the back of the line. You let go of your narcissistic anger, and you find that you start feeling much happier. You surrender your need to control your partner, and finally the relationship blossoms or ends. Yet each time it is a choice—and each time it is a kind of dying. It seems we only know what life is when we know what death is. Or try Paul’s famous one-liner: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Things change and grow by dying to their present state, but each time it is a risk. (R. Roher) As spring follows winter and summer follows spring = dying, budding and blossoming. May you blossom this Easter in the knowledge that Christ is risen and alive in you. "I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me."
Published on 15 April 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 18th April - Sun 24th April 2022.pdf
Thanks for all your good wishes and prayers. I hope you have a wonderful Easter and that the Lord shines in your heart. Amen HAPPY EASTER
Published on 08 April 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 11th April - Sun 17th April 2022.pdf
A Happy Easter to one and all!
Published on 01 April 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 4th April - Sun 10th April 2022.pdf
I love today's gospel: A very angry crowd. A very calm Jesus. That's how to do it. Jesus bends down, He doesn't want to look the woman straight in the eye and embarrass her. Such consideration. And then the finger of God writing on the dust just as it had written the 10 commandments on the tablets of stone earlier. He is the author of the law and as such he must respect it. The people thought they had him over a barrel. As ever Jesus is not out done and he puts the challenge back to the angry crowd. He challenges their own sincerity. It is easy for Christians to take a self- righteous attitude towards the world. It is much more difficult to take Jesus's attitude. "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." All of us have contributed to the darkness of the world, none of us can cast the first stone. If I have mis- judged you, please let me know.
Published on 25 March 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 28th March - Sun 3rd April 2022.pdf
The wasteful son. We know it backwards. One of Jesus' most famous stories. Often the problem we have in hearing it, is we tend to compare: The older son, the younger son, the father. The good, the bad and the kind. Useless exercise. If you want to compare, compare yourself with Jesus. Jesus, as ever, turns religion on its head as it should be. I hate the word. (religion) The ones who do wrong are forgiven, transformed and rewarded. And some of us good Christians do not like that. Some situations we cannot fix, understand or control. Up to that moment it has only been religion. Now faith has to take over. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me," A similarity of life. At that moment Jesus fell totally into the hands of the Father. That is faith/trust. And that is resurrection. (Comment is welcome)
Published on 18 March 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 21st March - Sun 27th March 2022.pdf
God is a wonderful gardener. Just look at the world he has given us and he also takes care of it. Some of us do a bit. I prefer God's Garden. Ours tend to be a bit too manicured. The joy of the forest, the variety of trees, plants and shrubs. Interconnected, feeding of each other, supporting each other and at times destroying one another. All part of nature and God's way. Not to mention the home it provides for millions of insects, animals. The roots holding water and avoiding floods and landslides. The music in the wind and the birds and the bees. Don't you feel truly blessed? And it runs in the family. It seems his son is an equally good gardener. Today he does not want to cut down a "useless" fig tree. Give it another chance. Don't you feel doubly blessed? Because He is talking about you and I. He gives us a million chances to find happiness and life. But we often do not want to appreciate what He is doing/has done. We still want to do it our our way. Frank Sinatra will never be dead. (only for the over 50's)
Published on 11 March 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 14th March - Sun 20th March 2022.pdf
The transfiguration of Jesus Christ was a powerful demonstration of His divine nature and manifestation of His glory. The transfiguration of Jesus was quite a dramatic event. We may not be capable of transfiguration but we can be transformed. Again, let Paul be our guide. In his letter to the Philippians, he says: - “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: even though he is God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped......" But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of all men: And being found in human form, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death on the cross. Or again: - "I live now not I, but Christ lives in me." "Him in whom I live, move and have my being. Yes, we are being continually called upon to be of the same mind as Christ. Through reading his word we form the mind of Christ in us, so the transformation at death will, I hope, be easier, but then again, "no eye has seen or ear heard what God has prepared for those who love him." Sounds spectacular. I pray and trust we have a wonderful future. Enjoy it in embryonic form here and now. Stay close to God.
Published on 04 March 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 7th March - Sun 13th March 2022.pdf
PRAYER The beauty of prayer is to be silent in the company of another person. Not having to talk but just to BE. Be yourself. Be still and know that I am God Be still and know that I am Be still and know Be still Be Confident that He is listening. FASTING Taking good care of your body. Eating good food and enjoying it. Maybe the food on your table comes from six different countries. Think of all the people who have provided this food for you. Cultivated, transported stored it. Say a prayer for them. It can be " Eucharistic.""Look good, avoid obesity and feel good. Our god is wonderful. ALMSGIVING Don't stuff yourself and put a few bob in the jar for Pecan. With a little thought, a little can go a long way for all of us.
Published on 25 February 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 28th February - Sun 6th March 2022.pdf
I would like to believe we are all good people and I am sure God does as well. However, we are all capable of so much more and that's what God wants, our best. "The glory of God is man/woman fully alive." And so, Ash Wednesday is coming. An opportunity for all of us to do better. The secular world cashed in on Lent. Stoptober, alcohol free January etc. Lent is our time to improve, change direction, look at God's plan. The pope has asked us to make Wednesday a day of prayer and fasting for Ukraine. Can we do every Wednesday and Friday? Looking at Kiev this morning on the BBC, I thought it could be London, New York, Tokyo. The thought made me shudder with fright. People going about their daily business, happy and self-sufficient. Tomorrow it could be a desolate country like Syria. Millions of displaced people cold and hungry. These are our brothers and sisters. Let's use our number one weapon, God, prayer and fasting, now, to prevent such a disaster and not be having collections for the next ten years.
Published on 18 February 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 21st February - Sun 27th February 2022.pdf
Be you compassionate, perfect or tolerant. Our God is a great God. Today’s mass just calls for each one of us to have a BIG HEART. There is nothing worse than a mean petty Christian. In fact, my language is a contradiction. Mean Christian??????????? yuk. When you have a problem, don't look at other people but look at our loving Father and just be grateful and wish everybody else the same. Why, when it comes to God, do we ask so many questions? We want to be equal and understand??? As if our mind could comprehend the mind of God. "No eye has seen or mind understood......" God defies logic and it is only with love that we can have a proper outlook on life. Find time to read the readings and try to deepen your appreciation of what is in the scriptures. Check out one of the zoom sessions on this newsletter when the time comes. BE INTERESTED IN DEEPENING YOUR FAITH, THERE IS A LOT OF HELP OUT THERE. Don't rely on Fr Jack on Sunday morning.
Published on 11 February 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 14th February - Sun 20th February 2022.pdf
Jeremiah says: A curse on the man who puts his trust in men, who relies on things of the flesh whose heart turns from the Lord. You have often heard me say, “I have never met anyone who does not believe in God”. When they tell me they do not believe in God, I ask them to tell me about the God they do not believe in…. Then I usually say “Neither do I, because the God you describe is not the God of the Gospel, he is not the God of Jesus Christ”. He is a figment of their own imagination, often based on a little knowledge they received from their granny, their school, or their priest. Finish the reading from Jeremiah and bear fruit.
Published on 04 February 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 7th February - Sun 13th February 2022.pdf
Today we have this powerful story of the miraculous draught of fish. 153 in all. Reminds me of the feeding of the 5,000 people. And food left over. Also, of the changing of 180 gallons of water into wine. Joseph obeyed and took Mary as his wife. The generosity of God in all this is enormous. And we should be grateful. However, all four events happened after people OBEYED. I know many people do not like this word and it is not a word you often see in these pages. But listen. Peter fished all night and caught nothing but at your word "I will pay out the nets." Great catch. Get the people to sit down in groups of 50. All fed. Do whatever he tells you.The wedding was saved. Joseph became the foster father of Jesus. In all cases the people OBEYED and were amply rewarded. I think you get my drift. Need to listen and obey.
Published on 28 January 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 31st January - Sun 6th February 2022.pdf
Our parish presbytery next door is a large building. It contains too much space for the needs of a parish priest and costs a lot to keep maintained and in good condition. We have not spent much money on the building in my time here and as people who have visited me in the Presbytery over the last few years will know, it is in need of refurbishment and therefore considerable financial investment. I have been discussing this with my parish finance committee and the option of building a new Presbytery elsewhere within the church grounds has been put forward as a viable alternative. This would enable us to produce a smaller Presbytery that is fit for purpose and can meet the needs of all future parish priests. It can also be constructed using modern methods of construction meaning it can be more cost-effective to run and in the long term, provide environmental benefits. If we were to proceed with this idea, various options for the future of the current Presbytery would be taken by the Diocese, including sale, redevelopment, or repurposing. We would not like the costs of any such plans to be a drain on parish finances. For a purpose-built Presbytery to be constructed, it would require the use of funds available to St James’s. I therefore, welcome your thoughts and opinions on this proposal, this idea is in the very early stages of development. If the feedback we receive is positive, I would love to hear from Parishioners with construction industry experience or experience running projects of any kind to form a new committee to enable this idea to become a reality. Please call/text/email or come and see me to offer your views on this idea and let me know if you would be interested in joining the committee.
Published on 21 January 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 24th January - Sun 30th January 2022.pdf
The Spirit of the Lord brings seven glorious, eternal results: The Anointing with the presence of God Good News of Salvation for the Poor, Humble and Afflicted. People in need. Healing for the Broken-hearted. Stand with me. Liberty to the Captives. My mind is my own. Sight to the Blind. Knowing I am loved. Liberty for those Oppressed. Freedom of the children of God. The Year of the Lord’s Favour. Appreciation of what we have got. The spirit of the Lord has been given to all of us. I am capable of so much if I just trust in the Lord. Look back and thank God. Look forward and trust God. Blessed are those who believe without seeing.
Published on 14 January 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 17th January - Sun 23rd January 2022.pdf
The transforming of water to wine is a sign of how God will transform creation. Into a new creation beyond our wildest dreams. And Jesus does it by enlisting the cooperation of servants. The generosity of 180 gallons of wine is a foretaste of the ultimate generosity of God in heaven. This miracle was the first sign because it teaches us the first lesson. It wasn't the bride groom who discovered the water to wine miracle but the servants who knew where it came from. If you want to see miracles you must serve and with God there is always plenty. The wedding of Cana is a foretaste of the eternal wedding in heaven. With such anticipation we pray for broken marriages to be changed into the new wine of heaven. If you are in a bad situation, don't suffer alone. Talk to others, someone you can trust. And as the couple of Cana invited Jesus to their wedding make sure you also invite Him into your house to pour out the abundance of his love on you and your partner. And your children if you are blessed with some. When all you see is your pain, you lose sight of God.
Published on 07 January 2022
NEWSLETTER Mon 10th January - Sun 16th January 2022.pdf
Baptism, the sacrament of entry into the church. Many people believe in the importance of baptism for their children. I often wonder why it is not so important for themselves. Others want it done to get into a Catholic school. And some want baptism as the door to eternal salvation. And for most, John's baptism with water is sufficient. However, the same John tells us that Jesus' baptism was very different. He tells us that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Now these are two powerful and living things. We see how alive and frightening bushfires have been around the world. They just destroy everything in their path and are virtually unstoppable. How I wish our Christians were so on fire. But destroying only everything that is evil. And then there is the Holy Spirit; that inner dynamo who drives us on to do things we never knew we could do. The one who changes "the face of the earth." Who changes me? Who gives me energy and enthusiasm to live as Jesus wants me to live? Who tells me I am a "Beloved son”? That every other person is also a beloved son/daughter and that each one is my brother or sister, that we are family? This is what will change the face of the Earth.
Published on 31 December 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 3rd January - Sun 9th January 2022.pdf
Before we finish 2021, a very special thanks to all of you. In this year of Covid you have been faithful, respectful and supportive to keep our parish up and running. Thanks to God for being kind to us and if you feel otherwise don't lose heart. He will take care of us. Also, to all those great people who keep the parish running without much fuss, just get on with the job. You know who you are, be blessed. For your cards, gifts and financial support to the parish and me personally, sincere thanks. God bless you. WE ARE FAMILY. AND 2022 Here we go again…new beginnings. Any plans/resolutions. DAILY Pray every day (with others/family where possible) in your home/work. Join the rosary zoom group. Leave the table once a day saying no to that final bite. Walk to the next bus stop, or get off the bus a stop earlier. After a mistake, apologize immediately. WEEKLY Sunday Mass. Prepare for mass by reading the readings. Put a coin in the Red Box/jar for your special cause. Bring God into a conversation. YEARLY Join a team/Legion to visit the housebound, if only once a year. Clean the church, if only once a year. Be part of a hospitality team to welcome people to church. Make tea. Invite one other person to church and maintain a friendship with them.
Published on 22 December 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 27th December - Sun 2nd January 2022.pdf
A FEW TIPS FROM THE POPE ON FAMILY LIFE: 1. NEVER END THE DAY WITHOUT MAKING PEACE. 2. MAKE PEACE AND BEGIN AGAIN TOMORROW. 3. LEARN TO FORGIVE. 4. DIFFICULTIES? MOVE FORWARD. STRIVE. IT’S PART OF LIFE: 5. A LIFE FILLED WITH CHILDREN. 6. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN: 7. PRUDENT USE OF TECHNOLOGY: 8. SEEK WISDOM AND LOVE OF THE GRANDPARENTS:
Published on 17 December 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 20th December - Sun 26th December 2021.pdf
When time is going fast, they say you are enjoying life. If it is going slow, sorry you are probably bored. Either way Christmas is on us. Not Xmas... That would be Christmas without Christ, Christ is the centre piece. As I said last week, life can be like a wheel of fortune, when you spin it, the outside always changes; death, loss of job, new house, divorce, new baby etc. Always changing and often as a result my mood goes up or down. Don't live on the periphery. However, the centre always stays in the centre and for you and I, I hope that is Christ. My faith does not change with my mood swings, because Christ is my anchor. Right in the beginning God created Adam (men) and Eve (women) and so set up the family. Jesus comes into the world and comes through a family. I believe God is telling us something. THE FAMILY IS CENTRAL. If you want to change the world, go home and love your family. People keep blaming the social services, the police, the school, the council, the doctor, the church. The list is endless. Parents, accept your responsibility; if you make your bed lie in it. If you decide to have children make sure you are able and willing to take care of them. When I was ordained, the bishop asked me: "Jack are you ready and willing?" By keeping Christ at the centre, through Him, I have survived. Like Paul: "If I boast, I boast in Christ." Parents, make sure you have a crib in your house this Christmas and gather the family or yourself around and look into it. I am always impressed by what is there rather than what is not there.
Published on 10 December 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 13th December - Sun 19th December 2021.pdf
THE WORD OF GOD The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?” He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He answered them, “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.” Soldiers also asked him, “And what is it that we should do?” He told them, “Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone.” Fr Jack It would be stupid of me to try and do better than the word of God. I can't make it any simpler or better. Check your job and lifestyle and see who you let into your life. Be generous with your time, treasure and talent this Christmas. here are millions of needy people just around us.
Published on 03 December 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 6th December - Sun 12th December 2021.pdf
Advent I often feel is the poor relation of the year. Who cares about Advent – it is just something we have got to get through on our way to Christmas. And especially nowadays when we are so used to having everything instant. Why wait? Who wants to wait? Patience is in short supply. We can easily get overwhelmed by the ‘fast lane of life.’ We are in such a hurry. We want everything now. We rush from experience to experience. We can’t cope with the bigness of life. Stop. Look. Listen. Waiting for the day to come. Waiting for buses. Waiting for an appointment in a hospital. Waiting in A&E. Waiting for the end of winter. Waiting for the sun to shine. Waiting to get well. Waiting for pain to go. Waiting to grow up. Waiting for visitors. The above are all Ok and have a degree of anticipation. Maybe waiting for a baby to be born has a greater sense of excitement. The real appreciation of nine months. The waiting has all been worthwhile with the arrival of a baby. And I am not talking about Christmas only. Or think of the excitement and sense of anticipation as you wait for the girlfriend to arrive. Checking your hair is right, the tie is straight and a shrug of the shoulders and yes, "I am looking good." I Am waiting and expecting.
Published on 26 November 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 29th November - Sun 5th December 2021.pdf
At 73, I begin to wonder how many more times I can start. I hear many of you saying the same thing, first Sunday of advent, time to begin again. And why not let us begin again with a sense of excitement! Christ is bringing a new and fresh dimension to our lives. With Christ all things are new. Don't waste your time wondering when the end will be. There has always been much vain and useless argument about the second coming. When will it be and what will it be like? No one knows only the Father. Just be ready. Have buckets of love to present to him because that's the only thing you can take out of this world. The Gospel today makes it clear that History is going somewhere: The Stoics (3rd century BC), believed that you needed to live an ethical life, but they also believed that history repeated itself every 3,000 years which meant that history was going nowhere and people were trampling around on an eternal treadmill. But Christians know that life has a goal and that all things are leading to Christ. That is all we know and all we need to know. Like Mary, we need to get pregnant by the Holy Spirit. We need to let the word take such root in us that it begins to become part of our actual flesh. Then, like any woman who’s pregnant, we have to lovingly gestate, nurture, and protect what is growing inside us, until it’s sufficiently strong so that it can live on its own, outside us. . .
Published on 19 November 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 22nd November - Sun 28th November 2021.pdf
When I, driven by the spirit, meet you driven by the same spirit. Then we can truly say the Kingdom of God is in us and among us. The Kingdom of God is a space. It exists in every home where parents and children love each other. It exists in every country that cares for its weak and vulnerable. It exists in every parish that reaches out to the needy. The Kingdom of God is a condition. Its symptoms are love, justice, generosity, simplicity, appreciation, peace. etc. Jesus Christ is king! We pray today that God may “free all the world to rejoice in his peace, to glory in his justice, to live in his love.” Jesus came into the world 2000 years ago and told us that the kingdom of God is very near us. Many people thought he was speaking about the end of the world, but no, he was talking about the Kingdom of God being within our hearts. The best version of myself is, being in touch with this Kingdom and trying to live in it and by it. It is not simply the promise of the future victory of God over sin and evil, but that this victory has already begun—in the life and teaching of Jesus and I can live in it and enjoy it here and now. This is surely the good news.
Published on 12 November 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 15th November - Sun 21st November 2021.pdf
With COP26 and the surrounding messages it could be a great time for prophets of doom..."The end is nigh." The end of many species and some countries and cultures will be wiped out. The ice cap will be gone, polar bears will probably have disappeared. And if we are lucky, that will be it. In today's gospel, Jesus could see something similar happening; the beautiful temple of Jerusalem will be destroyed, "and not a stone will be left on another stone." Jerusalem was being attacked from all sides. Jesus could see what was happening and "read the signs of the time." Many others also saw it, but never woke up, or did not like to admit it. Back to today, many people do not want to wake up, or do not want to admit what is happening. Are we being fair to future generations, to our children? Jesus and I are not talking about the end of the world. We are talking about the end of many things we take for granted. Because Jesus said, "The angels, even the Son, does not know when these things will happen. Only God alone knows the day and the hour." So, in case the reports from Scotland are too complicated, I give a few simple guidelines. But the end will come and we need to be prepared. So don't waste, consider others, try to save, protect and appreciate the wonderful world and facilities God has asked us to take care of. And teach your children.
Published on 05 November 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 8th November - Sun 14th November 2021.pdf
What an "exciting week!" What with COVID, COP26, the SYNOD and many more things. Is it any wonder there is global warming? A lot of hot air, or am I being cynical? Let me know your thoughts, I mean that, I would love to have a few comments or texts. Thank God for Sunday and mass. Today’s readings are very appropriate. Two words come to mind...... GENEROSITY and SIMPLICITY. A little bit of this from everybody could improve much in the world. It’s interesting that the woman in the first reading and the second reading is a widow. We have many widows in the parish. Ladies, do you have a hidden secret, or a direct line to God? Please come back to me and give me/us the answer for next week.
Published on 29 October 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 1st November - Sun 7th November 2021.pdf
One of the saddest things of my life as a priest is to find so many people who reject the gospel and say they do not believe in God or Christ. On further investigation I find that the God they reject is not the God of Jesus Christ, but the God of their own imagination, or some funny notion they got down the line from granny, a priest, parent, or someone else. Often there has been no growth in their faith. The God shown by Jesus exerts no dominating supremacy. In Christ, we see an image of a God who is not armed with lightning bolts, but with a basin and towel, who did not threaten, but preached good news for all; who rode not a warhorse but a donkey, weeping with people who do not know the way of peace. In Christ, God is supreme, but only in serving. God is the number one healer, the supreme friend, the perfect lover, the powerful life-giver who gives to the point of death. The king of kings and lord of lords is the servant of all and the friend of sinners. Exemplifying that the so-called weakness and foolishness of God, are greater than the so-called power and wisdom of people. Now (read today's second reading). "Think of the love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God's children. And that is what we are."
Published on 22 October 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 25th October - Sun 31st October 2021.pdf
We inhabitants of the earth are a people in exile. We are not at home on the very land we occupy, and so we rape and plunder it. We are not at home with each other, and so we violate each other’s dignity and kill. When one of us cries out prophetically to the Lord, as the blind beggar Bartimaeus did, the others “scold him to make him keep quiet.” G Darring. The above statement, if you agree with it, is a frightening reality. Are we so blind? Like Bartiemaeus we need to pray not for sight, but to see: To see the world as it is, to see myself, as I am.To accept the reality about myself, even if I do not like it. Turning to the lord and trying to borrow his eyes for a day. To see the world as he sees it, to understand the world as he created it. To read the scriptures and have a heart as big as Him. Now there is a statement: A heart as big as God's.
Published on 15 October 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 18th October - Sun 24th October 2021.pdf
Published on 08 October 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 11th October - Sun 17th October 2021.pdf
In a week's time Pope Francis will launch a process that has the potential to reshape the church in ways not seen since the second Vatican council. The global synod "for a synodal Church" begins in Rome this weekend, the 9th and 10th October and then a week later is scheduled to begin in every diocese across the world. The diocesan phase of this process will run until next April and will focus on listening to and consulting the people of God. Not every bishop across the world is eagerly embracing the opportunity for renewal and many are lukewarm or apathetic. Some leaders are ignoring the process and taking the view that it does not concern them. However in our own diocese we are enthusiastically open to the opportunity for renewal and I hope, here in our parish we will welcome this opportunity. As a church since the time of the Apostles we are a church on a journey listening to the Holy Spirit. Prior to Vatican 2, (1963/5) the church was seen as a hierarchical structure with the Pope on top and in charge and people were regarded as not having much to offer, apart from money. Vatican two stated that the church is the People of God and baptised people, share in the mission of the church, in their own right and NOT just as helpers for the priest. However this was very poorly embraced by powerful clergy. People, priests, bishops and pope are on a level playing field with Jesus at the centre; all of us around Him, who are in need of salvation. He is the way to the Father for all.
Published on 01 October 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 4th October - Sun 10th October 2021.pdf
We were made for love and outside of it we die very quickly. God does not love you because you are good. God loves you because God is good. We are all united with God but only some are consciously aware of it. Salvation is the ability to stay in relationship. When we don't give other people any power in our life and block them I think we are spiritually dead and not far from evil. God said: - "It is not good that man should be alone" in the first book of the bible. I've had a problem with my own position ever since. On my own and compulsory. Celibacy as a virtue is good for those who can carry it; sadly in the priesthood many could not carry it and opted for a different way of life. However I am not on my own and never have been. I've been lucky to have many good friends around me. I emphasise good over many. Yes good deep and lasting relationships, intimacy over sex. Friends that know understand and support you. Guide you when necessary and empathise with you in need. And in solitude, at last, we’re able to let God define us the way we are always supposed to be defined—by relationship: "The I-thou relationship, in relation to a Presence that demands nothing of us, but presence itself. Not performance but presence.” Be kind to yourself.
Published on 25 September 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 27th September - Sun 3rd September 2021.pdf
Today's scripture makes for sober reading. Jesus challenges the Apostles about their tribalism. They saw others preaching in Christ's name but they did not recognise them as part of their group. So they wanted to stop them. Christ defends the outsider and rebukes the apostles for their display of tribalism/closed attitude. A closed mind is very difficult to get into. Usually it is wrapped up in itself. They may not be the full shilling as we say but Christ's view is he is still one of his. He may not be an official member but he still comes to the father through Christ. Judas was an official member of the group and look what happened to him. Jesus' real anger is reserved for those who draw children away from the Father. We can do this by bad example or equally by not teaching them the Way. Jesus then goes on to talk about the seriousness of sin. We are sanctified by the blood of the Lamb and not by severed limbs. This really was the Jewish way of speaking and asking us;- "What is most important to you?" What do I need to cut out of my life in order to follow Christ more closely? Gold as James says. Greed, selfishness, pride, lust, despair........... We are not perfect but we have a perfect High Priest.
Published on 17 September 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 20th September - Sun 26th September 2021.pdf
James is on the war path again this week with more practical advice. No jealousy, bad ambition, fighting, pride or being prepared to kill. All these things begin in the hearts of people and kill the soul. James tells us to be peacemakers, working for peace with the wisdom of God. Power kills, and absolute power kills absolutely. Which is the more powerful? A dictator who kills and destroys people and countries. A celebrity who outshines all others. An athlete whom we all admire, Emma. A brilliant politician. A baby in a pram. I think the last one is the most powerful. Powerless, helpless, dependent. And yet he/she is the one to steal our hearts. Jesus on the cross, powerless, helpless, dependent, could not even give himself a drink and there he changed world history.
Published on 10 September 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 13th September - Sun 19th September 2021.pdf
I would love to have met our patron St James. He seems to have been a no nonsense man. He also seems to have captured the mind of Christ very succinctly. Just check the last two weeks' readings and today. Pure religion in the sight of God is coming to the help of widows and orphans.How can you be a believer if you make distinctions between people?You say you have faith without good works to show. I will show my faith by my works. Now you show me your faith with no works to show. THIS IS VERY REAL FAITH IN THE FACE OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD TODAY. # When there are still about 40,000 people dying every day from hunger. # When a billion people, one fifth of the human race still do not have decent housing. # When there are still 20 million Latin American children sleeping on the street. # When one out of every four people still do not have access to safe drinking water. # When we are still burning down the rain forest, depleting the ozone layer that protects us from the sun depositing black crude oil along the delicate shoreline of the world, sending noxious gases into the atmosphere so they return to the earth as acid and pollute lakes and streams, playing games with radioactive materials that will be around to torture our children for centuries.
Published on 03 September 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 6th September - Sun 12th September 2021.pdf
What a beautiful image from Isaiah; the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery. "For waters gush in the desert, streams in the wasteland, the scorched earth becomes a lake, the parched lands springs of water." - The renewal of the face of the earth. My God, do we need deliverance today? Maybe not you personally but 60% of the world.... The terror in the hearts of people of Afghanistan, Taliban takeover, the earthquakes in Haiti, racism, climate change, Covid fallout, trafficking, migrants, immigration, poverty, class discrimination and a whole heap of injustice, the floods in the USA. It's up to us. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. With Christ we can change. He touched the man's ears and opened them. He wants to touch our ears and our eyes and our hearts and our minds and open them. Open them to new ways of seeing the world: To seeing things with the eyes of Christ. To seeing all people as my brothers and sisters and where there is need, helping them.
Published on 27 August 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 30th August - Sun 5th September 2021.pdf
As ever, the readings are a great challenge to us. Our mass should be a springboard for us to do the real thing -- "Coming to the help of widows and orphans." I am sure Paul would open that up and move us on to coming to the help of anybody in need today. And if our mass does not encourage, inspire, empower and move us onto coming to the help of those in need, then there is something radically wrong. Perhaps we need to reflect and search our hearts to find the weakness in our thinking and lack of feeling for others. Reflection, reflection, reflection has got to be the way forward. Again the question of evil raises its ugly head. Why is there evil in the world? There is no evil in the world, the only evil that exists, exists in the hearts of people. As Jesus says, "Nothing that goes into a man can make him unclean. It's the things that come out of a person that make them unclean." Evil thoughts and desires are created in the mind and in the heart. And when we reflect enough on them they become actions. Hence evil exists. Imagination is a good thing, but do not live there. At times it can drive us mad. As Paul says, "Fill your minds with all that is pure, noble and good. And let the peace of Christ reign in your hearts."
Published on 20 August 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 23rd August - Sun 29th August 2021.pdf
FIRST READING The people of Israel, 4000 years ago:- "We have no intention of deserting the Lord our God, and serving other gods. Did he not bring our ancestors out of Israel and out of slavery, he has done so much for us. He surely has done so much for all of us. SECOND READING "Husbands should love their wives just as much as the Christ loved his bride, the church. He died for the church/us." You lucky women. THE GOSPEL What a mighty statement:- "Lord to whom shall we go? We know that you have the message of eternal life." we believe you are the holy one of God." Such positivity coming from all three readings. There is also much negativity as there is in all our lives. But I want to enjoy life so I prefer to look for the positive. Look at the positive, think positive, do positive, be positive and enjoy life. Dare I say; "Life is what you make it."
Published on 13 August 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 16th August - Sun 22nd August 2021.pdf
CELEBRATORS OF HOPE A 12-year-old who is fighting plastic pollution. Many of you are passionate about finding ways to help to protect the planet. Tilly, 12, from Cheshire is on a mission to help to reduce plastic waste by getting local shops to sign up to free water refills. She spends her spare time persuading businesses in the town of Wilmslow to be part of a special app, which shows how people can top up their bottles without charge. She hopes it will encourage the town to reduce its reliance of single-use plastics. You can find out more about the issue of plastic waste on google. Greta Thunberg started protesting outside the Swedish parliament in 2018, when she was 15. She held a sign saying "School Strike for Climate", to pressure the government to meet carbon emissions targets. Her small campaign had a global effect, inspiring thousands of young people across the world to organise their own strikes. By December 2018, more than 20,000 students - from the UK to Japan - had joined her by skipping school to protest. A year later, she received the first of three Nobel Peace Prize nominations for climate activism. In 2019, Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic on a yacht to attend a UN climate conference in New York. Delivering what is probably her most famous speech, she angrily told world leaders they were not doing enough. "You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words," she said.Mary the mother of God was only fourteen when she proclaimed her great Magnificat. "He pulled down the mighty and raised up the lowly." What a vision. Young people are doing great things all over the world. Check them out on google. Don't let age or education hold you back. Jesus did not shy away from feeding the five thousand. He said put them sitting in manageable groups of 50. Do a little, do it well. You want a difference? Be the difference.
Published on 04 August 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 9th August - Sun 15th August 2021.pdf
The feeding of the five thousand is a challenge to us. There are thousands and the reaction of Jesus and the disciples is very different. The disciples say send them home. Not our problem. Jesus says you feed them. He told the disciples what to do. Tell them sit down in groups of 50. Then he blessed the meal. Now YOU give out the bread and collect the left overs. NOTHING IS TO BE WASTED. I am sure there must be a lesson here for all of us. I do what I can for a small group. But we just cannot pass wolf by on the other side. I would love to have some feedback on this; it may be a post pandemic way forward. Don’t forget much was achieved during the pandemic, the homeless were housed and the hungry were fed. Time we woke up.
Published on 30 July 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 2nd August - Sun 8th August 2021.pdf
Chapter six of John's Gospel is the great catholic chapter on the eucharist. Jesus very clearly tells us that He will give us his flesh to eat and his blood to drink. He did not say I will give you a symbol, or I will give you a reminder, no, I will give you the very real thing. For years the churches argued over consubstantiation and transubstantiation. I never succeeded in making much sense of it, opting instead to read chapter six. Here I encountered the real Christ and a person who cannot lie. This is my basis of celebrating mass about 25,000 times and making sense of it. A living encounter with a real person, and like any encounter it is always different. A person who passionately loves me and tolerates my shortcomings and can cope with me, as I hope I can cope with late comers, people on mobiles, noisy children, adults talking, all which go to make up the rich tapestry of the people of God here at St James’ to celebrate the Eucharist. Long may it live. Here we do in memory so that we never forget. Here I would encourage you to see the eucharist as an alternative lifestyle, rather than be too wrapped up in orthodoxy. An encounter with the Living God. Remember God loves you not because you are good, but because He is good.
Published on 23 July 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 26th July - Sun 1st August 2021.pdf
It is clear to all of us now that God sees after us body and mind. If we don't see it like this then we need new specs. Try to see things as God sees them. I think our picture says it all. Spend some time with this picture and count your blessings. Basically, "What other people think of you is none of your business." Or put another way, "Change the world today. Be yourself." Just remember you are not alone. We are all feeling a bit stressed/low. If you get a chance to get away, good for you, enjoy and come back refreshed. If you cannot get away just take time to relax and appreciate the positives in your life and in nature and in God. And don't forget there are good facilities in Peckham/Dulwich.
Published on 16 July 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 19th July - Sun 25th July 2021.pdf
Years ago Tony Blair's publicity manager said, "We don't do God." Well I don't do busy. I feel we are in an age where it is important to be busy: "I'm so busy" "I'd love to help but I am so busy" or "Maybe next time." For all our busyness and stress, are we any further ahead? Years ago I tried to impress people by saying the same thing. "I'm very busy." But years and experience has slowed me down and I'm sorry I did not learn years ago. I did learn the following in school but never practiced it:- Leisure by William Henry Davies.
Published on 09 July 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 12th July - Sun 18th July 2021 - for merge.pdf
IT IS A FASCINATING IDEA THAT WE HAVE BEEN IN THE MIND OF GOD BEFORE EVER THE WORLD BEGAN. In Him we also have the Holy Spirit active in our lives guiding, encouraging, fixing, giving strength and helping us to be faithful. Truly we are a blessed people. All this help has been given to us, not for our own benefit only, but so that we may go out and evangelise. Make humanity new. Our care for the poor, the environment, those we meet especially the suffering, those on the margins. He does not give us much by way of help; a staff and a pair of sandals. But we are consecrated in the truth, we have Christ Himself as our help and guide and in Him all things are possible. Hospitality was a sacred duty in the East. When a stranger entered a village, it was not his duty to search for hospitality; it was the duty of the village to offer it. Now if hospitality was refused, if doors and ears were shut then they must shake off the dust of that place before they leave. Jesus is being very tough on the people, if they refuse hospitality there can be no fellowship between them. The mark of the true disciple was utter simplicity, complete trust and the generosity which is always to give and never demand.
Published on 02 July 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 5th July - Sun 11th July 2021.pdf
“Who said that”? “Fred, the guy from Peckham”. “Oh him! I wouldn't believe one word he said”. How often do we condemn something out of hand just because of the person who said it? “Oh, that's Fr Jack”. We really need to listen to what everyone said and decide on the strength of the argument. Just because I don't like you, should not mean I condemn what you say. Jesus lived with this problem, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Today, He is condemned again because we know his family, a normal ordinary boring family just like our own. And that is a problem; we cannot see even God in the ordinary. As I write this here in Folkestone, I can see the trees and flowers, hear the birds, bees and the traffic, feel the gentle breeze of the sea, enjoy the morning heat of the sun and yes with technology I can do my work. In fact I am surrounded by God in his work and man/woman also in their work; beautiful harmony between God, people and myself. Another name for God: HARMONY. "God speaks through the mouths of babies." Very true, but do we listen? Ezekiel tells us in the first reading, ‘Speak even if they do not listen. At least they will know there was a prophet among them’. And so I speak.
Published on 25 June 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 28th June - Sun 4th July 2021.pdf
DOCTORS TREAT, JESUS HEALS. Yes, our God is a living God. Wanting only what is the best for his children. He cures the woman with the haemorage and he raises Jairus' daughter from the dead. Even the first reading tells us that, "Death is not of God's doing, he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living.” TO BE -for this he created all. So let us get on with being; being who we are. Even at times when we do not like what we see, remember what your true identity is: You are a child of God, a son or daughter of the Father. You have a right to be here. So get up - Dress up - And show up.
Published on 18 June 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 21st June - Sun 27th June 2021.pdf
Our faith tells us that Jesus is always around. We just need to believe it and trust it. Today in the boat the apostles panicked, they forgot he was on board. And immediately He calmed the storm. Did He calm the storm, or was it their awareness of his presence that brought them security? Personally, I prefer this option. That's what prayer is, being aware that Jesus is about and all will be ok. There was an urgency. He does not always respond so quickly, but He does always respond. In his time yes and that is what we have got to trust. Paul tells us "The love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect." When we spend time in reflection, life changes. We see other possibilities. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.
Published on 11 June 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 14th June - Sun 20th June 2021.pdf
The excitement of Easter, Pentecost, trinity and Body of Christ are over for now. The seeds have been planted and now it is down to the very regular task of watering, nurturing and giving sunshine for the seeds to grow within us. So very appropriately we have the parables of the Kingdom today. The seeds are all within us in embryonic form, like the baby in the womb. The baby in the womb develops "automatically," over nine months but still needs much nurturing. The Kingdom within us needs more attention. We have got to work at it. Being decent people, loving everyone regardless of their situation, abilities or background, being willing to help, to share, to not spread bad talk or rumours, supporting and encouraging, rejoicing in their well-being. Breathing deeply and reflecting on the values of our life. (Plato once said, "An unreflected life is not worth living.") Being willing to promote people and make them feel good about themselves. Some of us have perfected this to a large degree and some of us not so well. But hopefully all of us are on the road to blossoming into mature loving, serene adults. And so the Kingdom has grown within us. Now when you get many people like this in a parish, you can say the Kingdom exists among us. God's presence is experienced and felt by those people who come into close contact with us. What a beautiful parish St James is. Many people who join us talk of the happiness and joy in our celebrations and in our hospitality. Long may it live. And like the individual above, we are on the road. How far down the road? God knows. But post Covid let us move forward with greater determination. So now we as the church are at the service of the Kingdom, trying to make this world a better place for all God's children.
Published on 04 June 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 7th June - Sun 13th June 2021.pdf
Today, Jesus gives us the greatest gift of all - Himself. No presents, no money, no wrappings but his very self. How honoured and privileged we truly are. Fed with this food we have a recipe and strength for life and happiness. To be happy - Follow His example. To be rich - Give. To succeed - Serve. To laugh - Make someone laugh.To prosper - Be honest. To excel - Be faithful. To change someone - Change yourself. To be great - Be disciplined. To be strong - Pray often. To live well - Forgive. To talk well - Bind anger. To sleep well - Work hard. To be loved - Love. To be respected - Be polite. To grow in faith - Meditate on the word of God. Deeply pause - To deeply reflect.
Published on 28 May 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 31st May - Sun 6th June 2021.pdf
From the beginning God made them male and female. He talked of a man and woman spending the rest of their life together, a tall order by any standard. But it spells out the need for good homes to rear a family, in an environment where children can grow up confident in the knowledge that they are loved and appreciated for who they are. Yes the need for the couple to be one spiritually, mentally, psychologically, emotionally and physically one. When it works it is wonderful to see and sadly, when it does not work there is a lot of pain for many people. I hope you know the joy of a happy home. Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity, a trinity of "Gods", bound by relationships. The Father and Son loving each other so much that they create a third person called the Holy Spirit; yet so closely united in a bond of love that they are ONE; A FAMILY. Parents, pray together and pray with your children every day and let them see that God is real for you. Also, I hope that in church on a Sunday morning you can feel the presence of the Spirit among us. Singing, praying and caring, so much, that we actually make God's Spirit present.
Published on 21 May 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 24th May - Sun 30th May 2021.pdf
Happy birthday! Yes today is our/your birthday. The Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles gave them the courage to go out and preach and so the church was born. Until now they were a frightened bunch of sad people locked away. Still didn't get the message. Yes the Holy Spirit empowers us all to go out and speak the truth without fear or shame. Are you afraid to go out and proclaim? I like to think of the apostles in the room; frightened yes, but praying and discussing and arguing about what Jesus had said and done and more especially the implications of it. What should they do now? And like the man who stayed up all night, it suddenly dawned on them. It became clear that they too should go and proclaim the Good News and probably die like their master. And so the church was born. I asked the first communion children to draw a picture of the church. --Some drew the building. --Others drew a group of people --And finally one drew a group of people gathered around the Eucharist. Wow!! She was only eight.
Published on 14 May 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 17th May - Sun 23rd May 2021.pdf
For those of us who grow up in a happy home many things in life can come easy. We are loved, we know it and we experience it. This is a great foundation for the future. So Jesus telling us, "to remain in his love," should be second nature to us. GOD IS LOVE. And whoever remains in love remains in God. Do you believe in God? Are you a lover or a fighter? Does tension surround you, are you easy to live with, or is there disturbance wherever you go? Maybe for some love is a confused word, overused and little understood. Why? Because it is self love. The dying prayer of Jesus, "Father may they be one. Father may they be one in us. As you are in me and I am in you, may they be so completely one, that the world will know it was you who sent me." Yes that the world will know that the only way is love. Jesus tells us that He has consecrated us in the TRUTH, his truth, that we may be faithful. We await the Holy Spirit to come this week and teach us everything. These next few days are a special time of prayer to be open to the Holy Spirit and let Him lead you. If you have been born into violence and division you have my full sympathy, but there is still a way forward. It is a greater challenge, yes and more difficult, but God loves all his children equally and you deserve all the more credit in your struggle. Find a trusted friend. If I can be there............?
Published on 07 May 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 10th May - Sun 16th May 2021.pdf
If you want a friend; be a friend! If someone said to you, you are my best friend, wouldn't you be really chuffed? We all like to be friends and we all like good friends; the type that won't let you down. We really should be over the moon; Jesus has called us his friend. With a friend in Jesus, we surely are made up. And because we are his friends He has told us everything He has learnt from his Father. Yes! Friends do not keep secrets from each other. As He says, He wants our joy to be complete. Pause for a few moments and think what Joy you experience in your life right now? Imagine the sheer peace of knowing that Jesus wants the best for you. If you want to make that joy even more real, help the Lord:- "To reveal his saving power to the nations." Giving love away is the way to increase it in our own heart. Truly it is in giving we receive. Enjoy being an active missionary.
Published on 30 April 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 3rd May - Sun 9th May 2021.pdf
Hello everybody, hope you are all keeping well. During the pandemic many people did great work not only in the country as a whole, but here in our own parish.. A very sincere thanks to all. Hopefully, with fingers crossed and prayer, we are on the recovery road, but still observe the necessary restrictions. Here in St James’ your faithfulness to weekly mass, from the beginning has been encouraging. Others have been more cautious and kept their distance. I would encourage you to read what our bishops said recently:- “At this moment, then, we need to have in our sights the need to restore to its rightful centrality in our lives the Sunday Mass; encouraging each to take his or her place, once again, in the assembly of our brothers and sisters. We face the task of seeking to nurture the sense of Sunday as ‘a weekly gift from God to his people’, and something we cannot do without; to see Sunday as the soul of the week, as giving light and meaning to all the responsibilities we live out each day; to see the Sunday Eucharist as food for the unique mission with which we have been endowed.” Today’s Gospel where we see Jesus as the vine and He Himself tells:- "Cut off from me you can do nothing." Please it would be great to see you all again and do encourage each other. As Cardinal Nicholas says:- "It's time to put Mass back in the heart of our lives." Lots of love and prayers.
Published on 23 April 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 26th April - Sun 2nd May 2021.pdf
Today is very much my feast day. I hope it is not presumptuous of me to say so and align myself with the great good shepherd, Jesus Christ. But then it was he who called me. If it were not for Him I would not be where I am today. 49 years ago He called me, why I genuinely do not know. But then He did call a lot of strange people. On my ordination card I wrote, "By the grace of God." And 49 years later I see no reason to change it. I have survived for 49 years by the grace of God. I am sure many of you feel the same way about yourself, that yes God has been very good to you. It is good to be grateful. As Paul says, "Who can know the mind of God?" Because of Archbishop Bowen I have been blessed with a very fruitful ministry: Five different parishes in Southwark, Balham, Gillingham, Sydenham and Rotherhithe.. Five years with the Catholic Missionary Society in Hampstead...a kind of hit squad going around the country, 12 of us. Seventeen years in Maasai land, Kenya with lions and elephants for breakfast and now, believe it or not, so far, eleven years in sunny Peckham Rye. I pray I'll make my fiftieth. Would I do it all over again...? Probably a silly question, but I certainly have enjoyed my life, I am still enjoying it and if I may say so; "The Lord is a great boss." I trust He finds me a worthy servant. Deo Gratias. Life is too short to argue.
Published on 16 April 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 19th April - Sun 25th April 2021.pdf
Happy Easter again! Hope you are all still enjoying the resurrection in your own life; that things are moving forward and upward. Don't forget God is good. Trust Him, Love Him, believe Him and let it go to Him.These weeks of Easter we see Jesus moving all over the place looking for his Apostles. Last week after one week he revisited the apostles to specifically see Thomas whom he had missed the first time. He goes to Emmaus to find two more. He went down to the Sea of Galilee to find the others who were making a very bad hand of fishing. He was searching them out because they had all lost the plot and were going back to what had been "normal" for them, with what they were familiar. He showed them that there was no going back. Life with the Risen Christ was now going to be different and so it was. They all took on the challenge of living the message and all, like the master Himself lost their lives. At this time and always Jesus is seeking you and I out. We think we are seeking Him and that He is being elusive. But we are the ones being elusive, we don't do our homework. Each time the Gospels tell us that Jesus had to explain to them the meaning of the scriptures, beginning with Moses etc. We too need to be familiar with the scriptures, to spend time with them. Only last Sunday a person asked me “What is the best way to read the bible”. And I said...."Yes! Follow the Sunday readings and prepare your mass. There you too, will find the Risen Christ”.
Published on 09 April 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 12th April - Sun 18th April 2021.pdf
Happy Easter again! Yes happy Easter, because Easter is not a day, it is a life. We are an Easter people, so every day is an Easter day. A day when we are positive, resurrected and happy that God is on our side. Stay close to Him. So, happy Easter again! The pandemic has isolated us and kept us apart. But congratulations, here at St James most of you were in church over last weekend. It was great to see you all. Stay with it. If we take a few of the Easter Gospel stories; Thomas went off home and cut himself off from the gang/church. Peter and another went back home to Emmaus and lost heart. And I'm sure the rest of them slunk out of Jerusalem, quietly, hoping they would not be noticed. The church could have died. Easter 2019, I "celebrated" if you could call it a celebration here in church on my own. I could have thrown in the towel. Faith is not a private affair. As St John Paul told the young people in Cardiff, "a private, personal and individual approach to our faith is not Christian and comes from total distorted view of Christianity." So the coming together last weekend was a real joy and I hope a real faith builder for all of us. We need each other, so let's stay together and build our parish into a parish to be proud of. Thanks. Thanks again to all who helped in any way with the liturgies over the Easter period. You did a great job under difficult circumstances. Also thanks for all you gifts, financial and otherwise and your well wishes. St James's is great. Be blessed.
Published on 02 April 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 5th April - Sun 11th April 2021.pdf
"Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ has come again." I hope you have met Him. Celebrating the greatest weekend in the church. Thursday at the Last Supper Christ must be very worried about the future of the Father's Kingdom. Peter whom He has chosen to be leader is about to betray Him. Judas will do the same with a kiss. At the supper the apostles are having a seminar about "who is the greatest." In the garden his three best friends are found snoring. At the cross they all run away apart from John and the three women. Why Jesus did not put women in charge, I will never know? Ladies take a bow. And we call it all Good Friday? We now make a quick transition to Easter, forward and upward. Again the women are to the front. They are the first ones to see New Life. Again I ask, why did Jesus not put women in charge, I will never know? The men don't seem to get it??????? The women wait, they expect, they hope they desire, they long. And they understand. Were they in Love? From Death to Life. From lack of forgiveness to total forgiveness. From selfishness to generosity. From negativity to positivity. From lies to truth. From hate to love. From COVID 19 to memories.
Published on 26 March 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 29th March - Sun 4th April 2021.pdf
This week as we celebrate the passion of the Lord, I am sure many of you feel you are having your own passion, some more severe than others. Let us all keep each other in our prayers and as I have so often said here, "Do not suffer alone." Many people have come to have a chat, outside, in church or wherever and I do believe, we all are the stronger for it. No magic solutions but like Jesus on the way to Calvary met different people: Veronica, his mother, the women of Jerusalem, Simon of Cyrene, even the soldiers; all different encounters, some brutal, some helpful and others helpless, but caring. We probably all feel a bit like that today, helpless but caring, just don't do it alone. Jesus on the cross could not even give himself a drink; helpless but caring. It was then He saved you.
Published on 19 March 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 22nd March - Sun 28th March 2021.pdf
Hope you are all keeping well? I said before and I say again, "Don't suffer alone." Please God the end is in sight. And hope springs eternal. Easter is a way of life and not just a day. We are now moving towards Good Friday and Jesus is reconciled to the fact there is no turning back. The only way out now is through the Cross. "Now the hour has come." St Paul says something similar;- "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, all that is left now for me is the crown of glory." Pick up my trophy. I hope when my time comes I can share in the above sentiments and make them my own. Such a noble way to face death.
Published on 12 March 2021
NEWSLETTER Mon 15th March - Sun 21st March 2021.pdf
Love is a much loved word. But how much do we actually know about love, or more especially about the experience of being loved. I love football, chocolate, a good movie. Fine, these things make me happy, but not much more. I can live without them. So when we talk about the love of God........what does it do for me? Do I really feel empowered to do, to be something, do I feel energised. That's how I like to imagine my marriage, my wife/husband energise me, empowers me, encourages me to go on and do great things.It/she/he gives me inner strength. Often when I ask in church, "who is in love?" I can see some people who actually radiate joy and enthusiasm. They clearly are in love. That's like the love of God within us. I radiate power and joy..
Published on 05 March 2021
NEWSLETTER MON 8th MARCH 2021 SUN 14th MARCH 2021.pdf
Hope you are keeping well and not suffering too much because of the pandemic. Please don’t suffer alone. Get in touch. It would be infantile to see the cleansing of the temple in today’s gospel as just a tidy up operation only. Jesus was throwing out the whole notion of offering sacrifices of animals and buying your way into heaven. Now there will be one supreme sacrifice of Himself and the only way to tap into it is through Love. “He offered himself once and for all.” Share in his love and share that love with the rest of the world. Get rid of the clutter in your own life that comes between you and God. Prayer/Screen. Accumulating/sharing. Selfish/helping, Happy/grumpy, Forgiving/unforgiving. Time/busy, Money/generosity. The clutter is endless.
Published on 26 February 2021
NEWSLETTER MON 1st MARCH 2021 SUN 7th FEBRUARY 2021 .pdf
Go up your own Mount Tabor with Jesus and your two best friends. Imagine the impossible and enjoy being cradled by the heat of the sun. Enjoys the comfort of being cuddled by God. Enjoy the light wind on your face, the beauty of the mountainside and the sheer peace of just being away from everything. Let your imagination go crazy. Tell Jesus about you and your thoughts and ask him how he is feeling. Do wait for an answer.
Published on 19 February 2021
NEWSLETTER MON 22nd FEBRUARY 2021 SUN 28th FEBRUARY 2021.pdf
Hope you got off to a good start for Lent. If not start again. The Kingdom is within you. You are the most valuable thing on this planet. Enjoy it.
Love and prayers,
Published on 13 February 2021
NEWSLETTER MON 15th FEBRUARY 2021 SUN 21st FEBRUARY 2021.pdf
I hope and pray that you and yours are all ok under God’s protection. I pray for you every day at the altar. Spring is in the air, the days are getting longer, many are vaccinated and the kingdom of God is within us and among us. Lent is on the horizon and again the call of the Gospel is, “REPENT.” Mortification and penance are about being in charge of body and soul. The thing is, if I am eating too much chocolate, drinking too much alcohol, munching too many crisps, consuming, too many biscuits, feasting on too many cakes and sweet thing, not bothering about others and their wellbeing, just basically being self-centred, being lazy and careless with my prayer life, not bothering with mass/communion. Then you are not in charge of your life. So repent, change your ways, get in control of your life, body and soul and be a divine person ruled by your head and God and not just following your basic instincts.
Published on 05 February 2021
NEWSLETTER MON 08th FEBRUARY 2021 SUN 14th FEBRUARY 2021.pdf
“The fever left her and she began to wait on them.”In this time of pandemic let us wait on each other.Please we are our brother and sisters keeper. If there is anything we/I can do please talk or forever hold your peace.Love and prayers,
Published on 30 January 2021
NEWSLETTER MON 01st FEBRUARY 2021 SUN 07th FEBRUARY 2021.pdf
Today is Racial Justice SundayThe second collection today is to support the Catholic Association for Racial Justice who promote racial justice in our schools, parishes and wider society. Racism is a hateful vice in the heart of any man or woman.We are all brothers and sisters made in the image of our Father.
Published on 24 January 2021
NEWSLETTER MON 25th JANUARY 2020 SUN 31st JANUARY 2021.pdf
*I AM THE "7%"*
_This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!! Make sure you read to the end!!!!!!_
Written by *Regina Brett*, 90 years old, of the Plain b Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio_
*To celebrate growing older, I once wrote few lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.*
Published on 15 January 2021
NEWSLETTER MON 18th JANUARY 2020 SUN 24th JANUARY 2021.pdf
What a beautiful scene above by the sea of Galilee. Wouldn’t I love to be there in such a setting? But I have been there. That’s me standing in the background. An old photograph 2019 I think. What a most ordinary common question, “Where do you live?” How many times have we all asked? Then the wonderful invitation, “Come and see.” Jesus does not tell them, He actually brings them. Like in a supermarket, you ask where the malt loaf is and the staff says I’ll show you. Two things to notice:-
1. They were just going about their daily work when they met Jesus. Not in prayer, not in church.
2. He was prepared to spend time with them.
As you go about your life have your eyes and eyes open. Spend time with people and you will see Jesus.
Published on 08 January 2021
NEWSLETTER MON 11th JANUARY 2020 SUN 17th JANUARY 2021.pdf
Christmas has come and gone but Jesus remains. Don't pack Him off with the decorations. Keep the joy and hope of the season alive. Brexit has come and gone we will see the fall out. And please God Covid will be gone in the not to distance future. Keep your heart up and your faith alive. Mass is still on as normal. Don't just dismass it as being oportune. Keep your faith immunity alive.
Published on 01 January 2021
NEWSLETTER MON 04th JANUARY 2020 - SUN 10th JANUARY 2021.pdf
For all your gifts, financial, cards and otherwise. For your love, cooperation, friendship and support over the year, I believe we have all grown stronger in the Lord.
Thank you for all you do for the building of God’s Kingdom here in Peckham Rye. May we grow stronger and more prayerful in 2021.
Lots of love,
Published on 26 December 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 28th DECEMBER 2020 - SUN 10th JANUARY 2021.pdf
As we say goodbye to 2020, we look forward to 2021. 2020 probably tested our hope and our joy, but thank God we are alive. If any of your family or loved ones have died, we trust that they are happy with God in heaven. Sincere thanks to all the people who helped in St James’ parish over the past year, people with their time, talent and treasure have made this parish what it is, sincere thanks to you all. We look forward with hope to 2021 and with God there is joy in your hearts. Stay safe, lots of love, prayers and blessings.
Published on 18 December 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 21st DECEMBER 2020 - SUN 27th DECEMBER 2020.pdf
"God our Father, you loved us so much you sent us your only Son, Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, to save us and lead us back to you. "We pray that, with your blessing, these images of Jesus might be a sign of your presence and love in our homes. "Good Father, give your blessing to all who gather with us this Christmas, family and friends. Open our hearts, that we might receive Jesus in joy, do always what he asks of us and see him in those who need our love. And we ask Him now to throw his mantle around each one of us during this pandemic. Keep us and ours safe and may we be faithful servants. "We ask this in the name of Jesus, your beloved Son, who came to give peace to the world. You, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen."
Published on 11 December 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 14th DECEMBER 2020 - SUN 20th DECEMBER 2020.pdf
There has been bad news with Covid, sad news with deaths and fake new with Trump, but like John the Baptist I come with Good News. Yet so often people do not want to hear it; the simple message is, "we all hear what we want to hear." As a cliché tells us in another place, "there is none so deaf as those who do not want to hear." So do we all in our own way add to the misery of the world? Each one of us adding a little bit of selfishness here and there, making up to a pandemic not necessarily Covid but a pandemic of selfishness and "I'll do it my way." Jesus came with a simple message of peace to all people of good will. And I do believe the more I see Christ in my own life, the more I see him in others.
Published on 04 December 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 7th DECEMBER 2020 - SUN 13th DECEMBER 2020.pdf
As we move through advent, preparation to receive Jesus at Christmas should be top of our agenda. The gospel calls on us to move on, grow up, confess our sins, repent. The twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, all ask us to go contrary to our natural desires . . . they all deflate our egos. When it comes to ego deflation, few Steps are harder to take than Step Five. But scarcely any Step is more necessary to long time sobriety and peace of mind than this one step "ADMIT WRONGS." Once I admit, I can begin to grow. Accountability and healing is very necessary in the life of us all, especially the life of a Christian. So often I settle for, "I'm OK." I need a human mirror so that I can dump, ventilate, release, and be forgiven. Someone has to be prepared to sit in the “mercy seat” (Exodus 25:17-22) and declare with authority that what God forgives, they dare not hold against themselves, or one another. In short, admitting our wrongs in confession and not only moving on, but growing.
Published on 27 November 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 30th NOVEMBER 2020 - SUN 6th DECEMBER 2020.pdf
As we move into Advent we remember Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. But today Jesus tells us, "Be on your guard, stay awake." Stay awake, HERE and NOW. Yesterday is history and gone, tomorrow may never come, so make the most of the here and now. Life is a journey and an adventure. Bur many people live with the obsession of wanting to arrive. I hope to go to heaven eventually but I WANT TO ENJOY THE JOURNEY here and now. That's why I enjoy being a member of the church, travelling together, helping each other along the way, support when you're under pressure. As you travel along, notice your neighbour, the smell of a flower, the beauty of the sky, the crispness of the autumn weather, the breeze on your face and in your heart the HOPE of spring/vaccine. So "stay awake," or so Jesus says.
Published on 20 November 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 23rd NOVEMBER 2020 - SUN 29th NOVEMBER 2020.pdf
Jesus said, “What good is it to love your friend? Even gang members do that.” Okay, He really said tax collectors… but I figured gang members would be a modern day equivalent of the cliché bad guy.Jesus routinely calls us to do more than love our friends. In Matthew 25 He tells us, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me.” We have to go beyond our comfort zone. We have to have charity that’s wider than our social circles. It doesn’t do us any good to only love the people we know. We also have to love the stranger and not just the well-to-do stranger, who could turn into our benefactor, who can pay us back. No, we’re called to have charity towards the least of these strangers. We’re called to love the invisible person. The person who means little to us, the person we hardly even think of; whose existence we barely notice. Instead of overlooking these individuals, we need to challenge ourselves to see Christ in them. To serve them as we would serve Christ Himself. "Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me."
Published on 13 November 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 16th NOVEMBER 2020 - SUN 22nd NOVEMBER 2020.pdf
We are all gifted in one way or another and some of us may feel we have been dealt a poor hand in life. Whether it be 5, 3 or 1, appreciate what you have been given. The real beauty of talents is not how many I have, but how well do I use my talent. We see many less well able people achieving great things with very little. But they are mega in their determination. We admire and congratulate people like them. As a young person growing up I was a fluent Irish speaker. I did not use it after leaving school and so I lost it. As we say; "Use it or lose it." So the land owner, Jesus is going off to a distant land, heaven. He has totally trusted us and given us, as his people, everything we need to make the world a good place for everyone. He has given us the tools, wonderful creation, sacraments, prayer, each other and he has given us all different gifts, talents to take care of it. Some of us could not manage five talents so Jesus, very kindly has given us what he knows 4, 3, 2, 1, according to our ability to be fruitful.
Published on 06 November 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 9th NOVEMBER 2020 - SUN 15th NOVEMBER 2020.pdf
We now live in what the New Testament call the present age and we look forward to the age to come. But we already live in the age to come which began with the Death and resurrection of Christ. It is what you might say, “Already but not yet.” The new age has begun but its fulfillment is in the future. This is what we say every Sunday in the creed- “I look forward to the resurrection from the dead and the life of the world to come.” Look at what Paul is saying in the second reading. So start living the new life here and now if you have not already started.
Published on 30 October 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 2nd NOVEMBER 2020 - SUN 8th NOVEMBER 2020.pdf
A woman was taking her child around a very fine church in Paris. When her child saw the stained glass windows, she got very excited and asked her mum what they were. Mum replied that they were saints. The child, not to be daunted, asked, "And what is a saint Mammy." "They are very good people who have died and gone to heaven," mum replied. The child was not impressed. As they continued with their tour, the child got very excited and shouted mammy, mammy, I know what a saint is. Mammy is all ears. "A saint is someone who lets the light in." I don't think I can give you a better answer- They are people we all know who were a breath of fresh air when they were about, they brought light, joy and fun to our lives. As Pope Francis says. "A sad Christian is a bad ad for our faith." These are the fruits of the Holy Spirit: joy, love, fun, harmony, enthusiasm, generosity, co-operation and togetherness. I hope you are blessed with many of these gifts and that we will all be saints one day.
Published on 23 October 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 26th OCTOBER 2020 - SUN 1st NOVEMBER 2020.pdf
Our readings today are straight talking and if we read carefully there is no ambiguity about what we should do. The Book of Exodus originated in the exiled Jewish community of 6th-century BC and was written a lot later, around 1450 to 1400 BC. The need to take care of the stranger / migrant / immigrant, the widow and orphan, we could add many more to that list.The Gospel talks about loving God and each other and again we could add in the planet. I have included with the newsletter, an open letter on the protection of the Amazon to the world leaders from Ecuador Indigenous leader Nemonte Nenquimo. The Amazon is one of the most vital landscapes on our planet: it not only contains 30% of the world’s rainforest but it is also home to 10% of all known species. More crucially, the Amazon plays a critical role in regulating global climate, the water cycle as well as its role in system resilience which is fundamental for planetary health. We also recognise that it is also a crucial economic resource for Brazil, for both now and in the future. Last year, widespread fires and destruction in the Amazon made news across the globe.
Published on 16 October 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 19th OCTOBER 2020 - SUN 25th OCTOBER 2020.pdf
Today's gospel is a classic approach of a non-genuine person. I'm sure we have all met them. They come and patronise Jesus "We know you are an honest man........." Then they lay their trap. But Jesus can see their skulduggery. So he more or less ignores their question. The Pope sums up beautifully the answer:- "Christians are called to commit themselves concretely in the human and social spheres without comparing 'God and Caesar; comparing God and Caesar would be a fundamentalist approach. Christians are called to commit themselves concretely in earthly realities, but illuminating them with the light that comes from God. The primary entrustment to God and hope in him do not imply an escape from reality, but rather the diligent rendering to God that which belongs to him. … To live earthly life to the fullest, and to meet its challenges with courage. Pope Francis, The Angeles, Oct.22, 2017.The image of Cesar may be stamped on the coin, but the image of God is stamped on each one of us. Be confident and hold your head up high, "You are worth more than many coins."
Published on 09 October 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 12th OCTOBER 2020 - SUN 18th OCTOBER 2020.pdf
Another familiar parable.Let us just take a few simple lessons from today's gospel. How you dress coming to church is not important, you may say, Christ is more interested in the spirit in which you come. True. “But the dress often proclaimeth the person." Church going must never be a fashion parade. But there is a garment of the mind and of the heart and of the soul – the garment of expectation, the garment of humble penitence, the garment of faith, the garment of reverence - and these are the garments of which we ought to approach God. It is too often the case we go to God's house with no preparation at all; if every man, woman in our congregation came to church prepared for worship, after a little prayer, a little thought, and a little self-examination, then worship would be worship indeed - the worship in which and through which, things happen to people's souls and in the life of the church and in the affairs of the world.
Published on 02 October 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 5th OCTOBER 2020 - SUN 11th OCTOBER 2020.pdf
A great parable to teach us many things: It tells us about God. It tells us about God's trust in people. The owner of the vineyard gives out the land and goes abroad.He totally trusts them to get on with the job.It tells us about God's patience with us. He sends messenger and messenger to tell us the truth and we refuse to listen. He even sent his own son and we refused to listen. It tells us about God's judgement. He eventually takes the job away from the people. What a horrible indictment?It tells us about people.How privileged we are. We are given everything necessary to do the job.The freedom we have got. We are left to get on with life as we can.We have got to be answerable for what we do or don't do.Tells us about the deliberateness of human sin. It tells us about Jesus.Tells us about Jesus' willingness to die for us. Jesus claims to be unique. He is the Son.
Published on 25 September 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 28th SEPTEMBER 2020 - SUN 4th OCTOBER 2020.pdf
Two sons, two stories: It would be easy to criticise the rights and wrongs of the two, I'm good at that; the whole world passes every day before my tribunal. I've found plenty of guilt in politics, economics, slums, alcohol and the film industry. I see it in so many people, Christians, priests, politicians; all in all, in just about the whole world except me. Because of this many people pack up their faith, their going to church etc. The great pity about all of this is that people throw out the baby (Jesus) with the bath water. Paul wants people to believe in Christ so that they will be united in their love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing that would make us completely happy. We were made for love and outside of it we die very quickly.
Published on 18 September 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 21st SEPTEMBER 2020 - SUN 27th SEPTEMBER 2020.pdf
Life is not fair but it is wonderful.Looking at today's gospel that is all I can say, because most of us would think it is unfair. A few thoughts to guide us. I do not have a right to salvation. It is a free gift from God.Everybody needs a just wage to live. The guy in the morning had 5 kids but so also did the guy who came in the evening have 5 kids, so..? This spells out the fairness of Jesus: Concern for ALL people.
Published on 11 September 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 14th SEPTEMBER 2020 - SUN 20th SEPTEMBER 2020.pdf
Many of us have been hurt by the actions or words of another. Perhaps a parent, teacher or coach constantly criticised you growing up; a friend sabotaged a project, or your partner had an affair. Or maybe you've had a traumatic experience, such as being physically, emotionally or sexually abused by someone close to you.These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger and bitterness — even revenge. But if you don't forgive, you might be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. The real beneficiary of forgiveness is myself.
Published on 04 September 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 7th SEPTEMBER 2020 - SUN 13th SEPTEMBER 2020a.pdf
Hello Everybody, Great to see so many of you today, I hope we can go forward on a positive note and continue to be an active part of God's family here in Peckham. If you did not make it, today, we hope to see you soon. Post Covid there will be many experts and know-alls in hindsight, easy to be wise after the event. Why is true joy harder to access and hold onto rather than anger, bitterness and fear?
Published on 31 July 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 3rd AUGUST 2020 SUN 30th AUGUST 2020.pdf
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
Published on 24 July 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 27th JULY 2020 SUN 2nd AUGUST 2020.pdf
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 diverseChristian 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.
Published on 17 July 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 20th JULY 2020 SUN 26th JULU 2020.pdf
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.
Published on 10 July 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 13th JULY 2020 SUN 19th JULY 2020.pdf
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.
Published on 03 July 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 6th JULY 2020 SUN 12th JULY 2020.pdf
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.”
Published on 26 June 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 29th JUNE 2020 SUN 5th JULY 2020.pdf
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.”
Published on 19 June 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 22nd JUNE 2020 SUN 28th JUNE 2020.pdf
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.
Published on 12 June 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 15th JUNE 2020 SUN 21st JUNE 2020.pdf
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)
Published on 05 June 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 8th JUNE 2020 SUN 14th JUNE 2020.pdf
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.
Published on 29 May 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 1st JUNE 2020 SUN 7th JUNE 2020.pdf
Published on 22 May 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 25th MAY 2020 SUN 31th MAY 2020.pdf