News items added on Saturday, June 24, 2006

Congratulations Paul and Rhianne

Congratulations to Paul Meredith and Rhianne Trill who were married today at Our Lady of the Rosary.


News items added on Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Our deceased children and young people

Tonight we have a Mass to commemorate our children and young people in the parish who have died. This is my sermon for the occasion. If you have lost a child, know that we are praying for you also tonight.

We commemorate today all those children and young people we know who died in their youth. As we remember them, we can be tempted to remember the anguish, the horror of seeing them taken from us through accident or illness. As a priest, their funerals have been for me the most difficult acts of my priestly ministry. With a full Church of people crying with the psalmist “Why O God do you stay afar off?” it is terrifying to stand as the representative of God and try to bring some crumb of consolation or meaning to such an occasion.

Just as a physical wound cannot leave the body in torment indefinitely, so with a spiritual and emotional wound, the pain does not go away but remains a dull ache, sometimes flaring up into unbearable hurt. We need each other at such times, to share the suffering, to lighten each others’ spirits. And that is why today’s Mass is such a good idea and I want to make sure that we have such an occasion every year. Don’t let me forget!

We must remember that this Church, where we celebrated those awful funerals, is also a room in the home of each of us. We must not allow it simply to be a reminder of sorrow but also a reminder of our solidarity. Here, we have the support of others who do really understand because they have shared the same sadness. Here, we remember our beloved children not only being commended to the Lord but also receiving their first communion, being confirmed, growing up in our community.

And most importantly of all, it is here that we are closest to our departed children and young people. As we gather to offer the holy sacrifice of the Mass, the Church teaches us that the court of heaven also gathers because Jesus Christ is here. That court of heaven includes the holy angels who are our guardians, praying for us unceasingly. It includes the saints of God – including St Aloysius whose feast day it is today.

St Aloysius was from the royal family in Spain. He renounced his title to join the new “Society of Jesus” which had recently been founded by St Ignatius and would later be called the Jesuits. As a young man, he worked tirelessly with those afflicted with the plague. Eventually, he caught the disease and died at the age of 23. In his illness, he wrote to his mother
May the comfort and grace of the Holy Spirit be yours for ever, most honoured lady. Your letter found me lingering still in this region of the dead, but now I must rouse myself to make my way on to heaven at last, and to praise God for ever in the land of the living; indeed I had hoped that before this time my journey there would have been over. If charity, as Saint Paul says, means "to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who are glad," then, dearest mother, you shall rejoice exceedingly that God in his grace and his love for you is showing me the path to true happiness, and assuring me that I shall never lose him.

Take care above all things, most honoured lady, not to insult God's boundless loving kindness; you would certainly do this if you mourned as dead one living face to face with God, one whose prayers can bring you in your troubles more powerful aid than they ever could on earth. And our parting will not be for long; we shall see each other again in heaven; we shall be united with our Saviour; there we shall praise him with heart and soul, sing of his mercies for ever, and enjoy eternal happiness.
As well as St Aloysius, the patron of teenagers, the communion of the Church gathered with us at the offering of the Holy Mass includes also the children and young people. They are closer to us here at the Mass than at any other time. If they are already in heaven, they are rejoicing in the presence of Christ whom they see not under the appearances of bread and wine but face to face in all his glory and majesty. Enraptured by his presence, their desire and prayer is for all of us to join them in their happiness.

And if they are in that time of purification which we call purgatory, they are still blissful because they are sure of their place in heaven. They undergo joyfully any preparation which was left incomplete here on earth for the full possession of eternal joy in heaven. And more than that, they rejoice in our prayers which console them, assist them and contribute to their happiness. They are not lost to us, they are in some ways closer to us than they have ever been.

In the Church, we must turn our eyes to heaven. In Holy Communion, we have a foretaste of that heaven. Whenever we receive our Lord, let us try to receive him knowing that we do so in union with all the holy souls and with the whole communion of saints in heaven – including our beloved children and young people.


News items added on Friday, June 16, 2006

Patricia Malcolm RIP

Please remember Patricia Malcolm in your prayers, as well as her husband Keith, and her children, Nancy and Scott. Patricia was 44 and died after a long battle with cancer. She was a learning support assistant at Kidbrooke school and the Headteacher there has gone out of her way to arrange for colleagues to attend the funeral on Monday at 10.30am at Our Lady of the Rosary.


News items added on Friday, June 09, 2006

Congratulations to Kellie and Rob

Congratulations to Robert Quinn and Kellie Regan who today celebrated the Sacrament of Matrimony at St Mary's Chislehurst.


Patricia Malcolm RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Patricia Malcolm who died recently, aged 44yrs. Please also remember her husband and her children in your prayers.

May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

The Requiem Mass will be at 10.30am on Monday 19 June 2006 at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, followed by committal at Eltham crematorium.


Peter Murdoch RIP

Please remember Peter Murdoch in your prayers. His funeral took place this morning. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


News items added on Thursday, June 08, 2006

Lesnes Abbey Blessed Sacrament Procession

The Lesnes Abbey Blessed Sacrament Procession will be on Sunday 25 June, starting at 3pm.

Each year, the deaneries of Bexley and Greenwich organise a procession of the Blessed Sacrament at Abbey Wood, finishing at the site of the High Altar of the ruined Abbey Church. This year’s theme is Jesus Christ With Us Here.

Children who have recently made their first Holy Communion may wear their special clothes to take part in the procession. Altar servers may bring albs from the parish and join the other servers at the Ministers’ tent. Extraordinary Ministers may also assemble at the Blessed Sacrament tent.

A coach will be going from the parish, leaving from the Church at 2.30pm. Please sign the list in the porch if you would like to reserve a seat.

We assemble at the parish marker at 3pm. Please make an effort to come along to this event which offers us an opportunity to adore the Blessed Sacrament together publicly and to witness to our faith.

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Feast of Corpus Christi

Next Thursday (15 June) is the feast of Corpus Christi and is a Holyday of Obligation. This means that we must go to Mass on that day. Masses in the parish are at 9.30am, 4.15pm and 8pm.

The 4.15pm is especially scheduled for the convenience of children and young people to come to Mass on their way home from School or College. Parents are reminded of their duty to ensure that their children are able to attend Mass.



Kevin Meehan has very kindly arranged for some work to be done to the driveway. The lamp-post has been moved back slightly and "keep left" signs will be put on the island. There will be a coloured pedestrian walkway from the Church to the car park and more space for people to walk when cars are entering or exiting the car park. Many thanks to Mr Riney for his generosity.


News items added on Saturday, June 03, 2006

Congratulations to James and Polly

Congratulations to James Izzard and Polly MacPherson who today celebrated the Sacrament of Matrimony at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen.