News items added on Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lesnes Abbey Blessed Sacrament Procession

The annual Blessed Sacrament Procession for Bexley and Greenwich Deanery took place this afternoon in glorious sunshine. There was a large group of children who had recently made their first Holy Communion; they had another opportunity, as Fr Scanlon, the Dean of Bexley put it, to "dress up for Jesus." The recently confirmed were also gathered together today, to reflect on this year's theme of "Discipleship". The choir and the readers led us in suitable hymns and gospel passages related to the theme and to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. As is our custom, a collection was taken up for the Greenwich and Bexley Cottage Hospice.

The numbers were down this year: when we fixed the date of the procession, we did not know that it would coincide with England playing Germany in the World Cup. Nevertheless, those who came enjoyed a beautiful occasion of the praise and worship of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Here is the text of the sermon I preached for today:
Disciples of Christ
May I give a special welcome to all the children who have recently made their first Holy Communion and to all the young people who have recently been confirmed. Today, we gather together in this beautiful place with God’s creation smiling on us and his sunshine making everything bright.

We could imagine that we are like those five thousand people who were sat around to listen to him and to marvel as he fed them all with the five loaves and the two fish that the little boy brought for his packed lunch. We can think of the times that the disciples sat and listened to his wonderful teaching which he gave them with great authority because He was the living God, present among them as a man.

We are also gathered around Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He is truly present in the Eucharist, our Holy Communion, as you learnt when you prepared for your first Holy Communion.

But that is difficult to understand, isn’t it? As you know, in September, we will have a very special visitor to our country. Pope Benedict is going to come and see us. We will see pictures of him on the television. Some of us will go to wave to him as he goes by in his special car which people call the “Popemobile”. Some lucky people will be able to go to the special events where he celebrates Mass or says prayers with people and speaks to them about our Catholic faith.

One time in Rome, Pope Benedict met with some children who had just made their first Holy Communion. They were invited to ask the Pope questions. One of them, called Andrea, said to the Pope:

In preparing me for my First Communion day, my catechist told me that Jesus is present in the Eucharist. But how? I can’t see Him!

The Pope kindly explained to Andrea that there are many things that we do not see but we know they are there – like our minds which we use to think, our souls which we use to love others. We can’t see thoughts or love. We can’t see electricity but we know it is there because the light is on.

So with Jesus – we do not see Him with our eyes but we see that wherever Jesus is, people change, they improve. Often the most important things are what we do not see.

Then another child, called Adriano asked the Pope:

Holy Father, they’ve told us that today we will have Eucharistic Adoration. What is it? How is it done? Can you explain it to us? Thank you.

The Pope said that we can see something of what adoration is because everything has been prepared, as it has been today. We say prayers, we sing, kneel down and place ourselves in the presence of Jesus.

Then he explained what adoration is – he said that it is to recognise that

“Jesus is my Lord, that Jesus shows me the way to take, and that I will live well only if I know the road that Jesus points out and follow the path He shows me. Therefore, adoration means saying: “Jesus, I am yours. I will follow you in my life, I never want to lose this friendship, this communion with you”. I could also say that adoration is essentially an embrace with Jesus in which I say to Him: “I am yours, and I ask you, please stay with me always”.

So today, yes, we are just like those disciples of Jesus – Peter, James, John and the other apostles; Mary, Salome, Mary Magdalen, Joanna, Susanna and many others. They felt the power of the personality of Jesus which attracted them to listen to him, to love him, to follow him and to remain true to him all their lives.

Those of you who have been recently confirmed have taken that further step forward in faith as disciples of Jesus. Strengthened by the Holy Spirit you are given power to stand up for your faith, to stand up for Our Lord as a loyal friend.

Dear children and young people. We all learn from you. Your faith reminds us adults of how we need to grow in faith – but also how we need to be simple, heartfelt, devoted and humble in our faith. Adoring him in the Blessed Sacrament and receiving his blessing, we ask him with confidence to draw us closer to him as his disciples – as his friends.

Labels: , ,

News items added on Saturday, June 26, 2010

Congratulations to Edmond and Emma

Congratulations to Edmond Lane and Emma Culling who were married today at Our Lady of the Rosary.


Papal Visit suggestions 2 - Read "Milestones"

Read the book "Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977" by Cardinal Ratzinger. This short and readable book gives an insight especially into the formative years of Josef Ratzinger and particularly the difficulties he and his family experienced during the years of the Nazi regime in Germany, as well as his work as a university lecturer until his appointment as Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977.

"Milestones" is 156 pages and available from at our parish Amazon bookshop for £9.95.


News items added on Friday, June 25, 2010

Young parishioners cycling to Rome

Three young parishioners, Anna-Marie, Joseph and Gregory Treloar, are planning to cycle from Sidcup to Rome this summer by way of holiday and pilgrimage. The distance is approximately 1200 miles. As you can see from the above map, they have planned the route meticulously.

The intrepid three have raised the money for the cost of the trip and want to use the opportunity to raise additional money for two excellent charities: the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative which is run by the Sisters of the Gospel of Life and Mary's Meals. They have set up a Facebook group for the event: Anna-Marie, Gregory and Joseph Treloar cycle to Rome. They also have a blog to give news about the trip: Via Romea.

The description is as follows:
This summer, we're cycling from our home in Sidcup to Rome, a total distance of 1200 miles, passing through France, Switzerland, and Italy before we finally arrive in Rome.

The trip is a holiday and a pilgrimage, but we'd like to take the opportunity to raise money for two fantastic charities. We're funding the trip ourselves, so all monies raised will go directly to the charities, in equal proportion.

Mary’s Meals provides a staple, daily meal in schools for children in some of the poorest countries in the world, thus fighting poverty through tackling malnutrition and encouraging education. The Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative provides non-judgemental practical, spiritual and emotional support for mothers in the UK, struggling with crisis pregnancy and the prospect of bringing up a child alone.

So please give generously- £1, £5, £10... Whatever you give will make a difference; Mary's Meals can feed a child for a year from just £6.15.

Thank you very much! We're very grateful for your support, it will get us up those mountains! We will keep all our sponsors in our prayers en route.
Here is the Fundraising page where you can make a donation. You wouldn't really want not to.

Labels: ,

News items added on Saturday, June 19, 2010

Papal Visit suggestions

Over the next 13 weeks, I will offer simple, short suggestions to prepare for the visit of Pope Benedict.

The first is the most obvious and the most important. Pray every day for the intentions of our Holy Father. (You can combine this with some prayer or good work to gain a partial indulgence.)


News items added on Saturday, June 05, 2010

An encounter with reptiles

Recently our youth group Cross Section had a visit from a favourite presenter whom I tend to refer to as "Reptile Man". He speaks about the care of reptiles and his talk is educative in terms of zoology. It is also an opportunity to cross the threshold of "ugh" as our picture shows.

Labels: ,

Lesnes Abbey Procession

Our annual outdoor procession of the Blessed Sacrament will be held on Sunday 27 June, starting at 3.15pm. This is a beautiful occasion to pray to our Lord and to witness to our faith in him. First Communion children are invited to come in their special clothes

At the Abbey, please find the parish sign and assemble there. First communicants may go in the special group or stay with the parish.

Labels: ,

School Fete

Our Lady Of The Rosary School will be holding their Summer Fete on Saturday 19 June from 1pm to 5pm. This year, the fete will have a World Cup theme. It is always a great afternoon for all the family and raises valuable funds for the school. I encourage parishioners to support the fete.