Sunday, 29 November 2009


Please pray for Olivia Grace Walsh and Hannah Kay Rothwell who were baptised recently at Saint Marie's. Please also remember their parents and godparents.


Today we begin the season of Advent. The word "advent" comes from the Latin "adventus" meaning, "to come." But what is it that we are waiting for? The world would have us think that we are waiting for the birth of the Child Jesus at Christmas - after all, we've had Christmas decorations up in the shops for a while now. In fact, some in the Church would tell you that this is what we are waiting for.

But the reality is quite different. We have already had the birth of Christ. He was born some 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem. The Church reminds us of a cycle of life over the course of the year. This cycle begins with the anticipation of the birth, the birth itself, the death and the resurrection of Our Saviour - all within the space of a few months. The remainder of the year is when the Church has us live out these special events.

But what is it that we are awaiting? What is to come?

Our Gospel today speaks of "signs" in the heavens - the sun, the moon and the stars in dismay. People will be confused and wandering, looking, searching for something. Anything that will provide them some comfort, something that they can hold on when everything seems so precarious, so perishable, so petty.

These are the signs of the second coming. They are also the signs that the enemy uses to confuse and conflict us. Think back to the fear and uncertainty as we neared the end of the 20th century. So many were afraid that the world would come to an end before the arrival of the 21st century. Yet here we are, living and breathing.
So what is it that we are awaiting? What is to come?

We await the Second Coming, This Second Coming will mean the full establishment of the Kingdom of God. And we need to be ready but one of my friends said ‘Oh Father, we’re nor ready for the Second Coming yet. We’ve just had new curtains!’ The problem, of course, is that we don't know when the Seconding Coming will be. So, we remind ourselves of our need to wait while remembering what has already come to pass.

But we do look at the birth of the infant Jesus, not as if it were to happen, but because of what it means for us. A child needs to be cared for, nurtured, fed, bathed, held and loved. This is, in fact, our task. While we await the Second Coming we are to care for the Kingdom that is already and not yet. We are to serve each other and the Church faithfully. We are the ones who will feed and bathe and clothe and love. We are the ones who will teach the Faith, who will build up Christ’s Kingdom, who will share our faith with those who come after us.

On this First Sunday of Advent we are reminded that we can spend all our time waiting and doing nothing, or we can be about our Father's business while we wait. It is on this that we will be judged. It is on this that our very lives depend.

The last three words of the Alexandre Dumas novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ present for us a summary of our attitude: wait and hope. But while we wait and hope, we must also work!

Monday, 23 November 2009


Of your charity please pray forthe repose of the souls of those who have recently died:
Audrey Holt
Georgina Fediak
Veronica Armstrong

Christ the King Homily

We do not often read from the Fourth Gospel outside of the Purple and White seasons of the year, but Today’s Solemnity is an exception. John’s Gospel loves showing contrasting opinions and situations. It uses irony as an art form. There is the Gospel of the Man Born Blind who could clearly see better than the Pharisees. There is the Gospel of the Woman at the Well who was thirsty and the thirsty Jesus who himself was a Living Well. There is the Gospel where the soldiers came to arrest Jesus and fell on their faces before him.
The highest point of this use of irony is this Sunday’s passage about Jesus before Pilate. Pilate was the representative of Rome. His palace, his garb, his demeanour radiated the power of the Roman Empire. Jesus was a commoner, an itinerant preacher, a carpenter. So here was this weak Jesus, standing before the powerful Pilate. Was Pilate mocking Jesus or intrigued when he asked him, “Are you a king?” We don’t know. But we do know that Jesus’ answer bowled Pilate a googly: “You yourself say that I am a king. For this I have come, to testify to the truth.”
To testify to the truth. That is what true royalty is about. As servants of Christ the King we are to testify to the truth. It is all about integrity.
There is a great scene in the play A Man for All Seasons , a play about the determination of St. Thomas More to stand for the faith against the persuasion and eventually persecution of Henry VIII. In the scene I’m referring to Henry VIII is trying to coax his second in charge, Thomas More, to agree with him that it is proper for him, the King, to divorce his wife Queen Catherine. After the King made all his arguments, Thomas More said that he himself was unfit to meddle in this argument and the King should take it to Rome. Henry VIII retorted that he didn’t need a pope to tell him what he could or couldn’t do. Then we come to the centre point. Thomas More asks the King, “Why do you need my support?” Henry VIII replies with words we would all love to hear said about each of us, “Because, Thomas, you are honest. And what is more to the point, you are known to be honest. There are plenty in the Kingdom who support me, but some do so only out of fear and others only out of what they can get for their support. But you are different. And people know it. That is why I need your support.”
In the presence of integrity, Henry VIII knew who was King and who was subject.
Thomas More and so many others followed Jesus Christ in being people of integrity. The powerful Pilate could have Jesus tortured and killed, and he did, but Pilate himself remained a prisoner because he lived a lie. And Jesus remained a King because he testified to the truth to his last breath. He testified to the truth in the face of danger, power and opposition. So did the martyr Thomas More. As citizens of His kingdom we must do the same. “Then you are a King?” Pilate asked. And Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this was I testify to the truth.”
This gospel, this feast of Christ the King reminds us that each of us was born for this same reason: to testify to the truth. And what is the truth? Jesus Christ is the Truth, and the Way, and the Life.

Saturday, 7 November 2009


It has been sometime since I posted photos of our Extra Ordinary Form Masses. So with this post are a few pictures taken at our Mass last night.
I would like to record my thanks to everyone who was involded in last night's Mass. The Choir for singing so splendidly Faure's Requiem. Our Altar servers and MC and the faithful souls who came to this Mass to pray for those gone before us marked with the sign of faith.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


Of your charity please pray for the souls of those who have recently died and whose funeral rites have been celebrated recently:

Mandy Deakin
Ryszard Szfranski
Veronica Armstrong


Holy Mass will be offered on Friday Evening 6th November at 7:30pm for all our deceased relatives, benefactors, friends and parishioners. At this Mass the names of those who have died will be read out so that we can remember them as we offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of their souls.

The choir will be singing Faure's Requiem Mass. All are warmly welcome to attend this Mass and pray for all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith.


On the 1st November I went to visit the cemetery to bless the graves of the Italian Community who are buried in Bury Cemetery. The weather was not kind to us but none the less we prayed for and blessed the graves of those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith.

Dio omnipotente
che con la morte in croce del tuo Figlio
hai vinto la nostra morte.
Con il suo riposo nel sepolcro
hai santificato le tombe dei fideli
e con la sua gloriosa risurrezione
ci hai ridato la vita immortale.
Accogli le nostre prehgiere
per colore che morti e sepolti in Cristo
attendono la beata speranza
e la manifestazione gloriosa del Salvatore.
Concede O Signore
a coloro che ti hanno servito fedelemente sulla terra
di lodarti senza fine alla beatitudine del cielo
Per Christo nostro Signore.