Thursday, 9 June 2016

DZIEŃ DZIECI - CHILDREN'S DAY

Last Sunday we gathered with our Polish Community to celebrate Children's Day.  Here are a few photos from the celebration.




Tuesday, 7 June 2016

A FEW RANDOM THOUGHTS


Was ever another command so obeyed? To do this in memory of Him?  For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance, for every conceivable human need from infancy and before it to extreme old age and after it, from the pinnacle of earthly greatness to the refuge of fugitives in the caves and dens of the earth. Men have found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for the proclamation of a dogma or for a good crop of wheat; for the wisdom of the Parliament of a mighty nation or for a sick old woman afraid to die; for a schoolboy sitting an examination or for Columbus setting out to discover America; for the famine of whole provinces or for the soul of a dead lover; in thankfulness because my father did not die of pneumonia; because the Turk was at the gates of Vienna; for the repentance of Margaret; for the settlement of a strike; for a son for a barren woman; for Captain so-and-so wounded and prisoner of war; while the lions roared in the nearby amphitheatre; on the beach at Dunkirk; tremulously, by an old monk on the fiftieth anniversary of his vows; furtively, by an exiled bishop who had hewn timber all day in a prison camp;  gorgeously, for the canonisation of St. Joan of Arc……… One could fill many pages with the reasons why men have done this, and not tell a hundredth part of them. And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of Christendom, the pastors have done this just to make the plebs sancta Dei—the holy common people of God.

We find ourselves this weekend with the Green Sundays of Ordinary Time stretching away from us towards Christ the King. We see the signs, miracles and teaching of Jesus, doing what He intended they should, drawing a community of disciples around Him personally, attaching them to His own person and thus to each other. We shall see Him establishing the ministry of the Twelve to guard and guide His community when His work is done and He has sent the Holy Spirit. This community of faith is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in which we say we believe Sunday by Sunday.

Yet truthfully, what many of us actually believe in is the bricks and mortar, the stained glass and the pews of our own buildings. The buildings have an importance, but it is entirely based on the community that makes its home in it and upon the Eucharist they celebrate in it. Catholics in this country have been dispossessed of their churches in the past and survived for several centuries on secret celebrations of Mass in unusual and un-consecrated places. The attachment was as it should be the person of Christ Himself in the Mass.

We live in times where it is becoming ever more important to maintain that attachment to Christ and His community of faithful disciples, not to the buildings. They have come and gone and they will continue to do so, and yet the nature of the Church itself will not change. Much as we love and invest emotionally in our church buildings and sacred spaces, they are nothing without us, the Holy Common People of God, gathered with our pastors to celebrate Mass and the other sacraments.

As some churches close and parishes band together under one priest, we must focus afresh on what we have always been, Eucharistic communities, rather than canonical entities or piles of stones and brick. May we be centred on Christ, the raiser of the dead and healer of souls, the Father’s beloved Son, the Word made Flesh.  


Sunday, 29 May 2016

CZARNA MADONNO

There is now a part of Bury that will be forever Jasna Góra.  On a regular basis we sing that lovely hymn in honour of Our Lady of Częestochowa.  Here is a little video of us singing it at the end of Mass this morning.  A full transcript of the English version appears below.


video

On this earth our souls are restless
'til they find that special place
Where there reigns the Queen of Poland
Bearing scars upon her face
Sad but gentle as she gazes
almost begging one and all
that they ask for her protection with this call.

Madonna, Black Madonna
Hear your children, Lady of Grace.
O hide us, Black Madonna
in your gentle loving embrace.

In her arms you'll find protection
and her peace does not depart
For her children will find love
in her Immaculate Heart.
She is always there to help you
when you give your heart to her
and invoke your Blessed Mother's name with love.

Madonna, Black Madonna
Hear your children, Lady of Grace.
O hide us, Black Madonna
in your gentle loving embrace.

When the cares of life oppress us
We can flee to her to hide
To our Blessed Mother Mary
for she calls us to her side
So we ask you Queen of Poland
turn your eyes of love to us
hear the prayers your children offer now with joy.

Madonna, Black Madonna
Hear your children, Lady of Grace.
O hide us, Black Madonna
in your gentle loving embrace.

VESTMENTS

No trip to Poland would be complete without a visit to the vestment suppliers.  The cost of vestments and church items is so much cheaper (and usually better quality) than in England.    Here's a few pictures of the latest additions.


A NEW CASSOCK
AS THE ONE I CURRENTLY HAVE
APPEARS TO HAVE 'SHRUNK' IN THE WASH!!!


A NEW COTTA - A THIRD OF THE PRICE YOU WOULD PAY IN ENGLAND!!!
A STOLE

A SAINT JOHN PAUL II STOLE


A BEAUTIFUL MARIAN CHASUBLE (BACK VIEW)

THIS CAME TO ME COURTESY OF A VERY KIND BENEFACTOR
THANK YOU VERY MUCH OR AS THE POLISH PEOPLE WOUL SAY
BÓG ZAPŁAĆ - GOD REWARD YOU

FRONT VIEW








FIRST MASS


On Monday I had the privilege of being the Assistant Priest for Father Mateusz First Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Latin, Tridentine).  This was celebrated in a neighbouring parish thanks to the kindness of the Parish Priest.  The Mass was a Votive Mass of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.





 








Friday, 27 May 2016

SELFIES

Just a few random selfies taken on our trip

Little Michael and Big Michael who were with us last summer


Kamil (on the left) will visit our parish in August

Michael who will enter seminary this year

OH HAPPY BAND OF PILGRIMS

FIRST MASS

On the Sunday morning Fr. Philp and I went to concelebrate at the 9:00am Mass in the local parish church in Rogów.  This Mass was offered for all the people of our parish - as is my privilege and duty to do each Sunday.  It was a lovely celebration and I was much encouraged by the devotion of the people.  A full to overflowing church of old people, teenagers, young families and children. 

Fr. Mateusz was to offer his First Mass at 11:00am in the church where he had been baptised and where his family attend each week.

The celebration began with in the family home where the Parish Priest blessed the vestments Mateusz was to wear and them vested as a priest Mateusz knelt to receive the blessing of his mother and father before beginning the procession to the church.  This simple yet moving ceremony in the family home reminded me that it is from the home and the family that good vocations come.

Fr Mateusz nephews gather at the family home  ready for the procession

They are joined by their fellow altar servers and First Communion Children

FATHER MATEUSZ!!!

Priests, people and cameraman gather for the procession

And a brass band!!!

 At the end of Mass it is the tradition that the newly ordained gives his First Blessing to family and friends.  It is also customary to kiss the hands of the newly ordained as a sign that they are consecrated to God and it is those hands that will give us the Body and Blood of the Lord

Here are some of the pictures of the blessings.  In blessing me the blessing was extended to the whole of our parish, but Father Mateusz will be with us in July to celebrate Mass and to give us his blessing.

A blessing for priests

A blessing for priests

A blessing for his sister and niece

A blessing for his brother in law

A blessing for family members

Priest and servers prepare for the procession at the end of Mass


A blessing for seminarian and our future priests

Please Father, can I have one?!!!!

A car was provided to take Father Mateusz to the reception