The first reading this Sunday seems very simple; the disciples return from the experience of the Ascension: after a short stroll, they arrive 'at the Upper Room' and join in prayer. What is radical is that they joined in prayer 'with several women'. In most cultures, in many religious traditions, even today, men and women did not pray together, or in the same way. Prayer, itself, can be a radical declaration of the power of the Spirit to transform. As we prepare for the great feast of Pentecost, can we be open to the living, loving, transforming and radical presence of the Spirit of God in our lives?
Please remember in your prayers all our beloved departed, especially
Fr Timothy Njoku CM (one of the first Nigerians to join the Vincentians)
We also pray for those who died recently and those whose anniversaries occur at this time.
We continue to remember in our prayers all those who are sick and those who care for them. PARISH ADMINISTRATOR VACANCY For job description and applications, see jobs.rcdow.org.uk/. SUNDAY EVENING PRAYER AND BENEDICTION Continues this week, beginning at 7.30pm. CATHOLIC CERTIFICATE IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES Two-year, part-time, course beginning in September. Further information at email@example.com. SOCIETY OF ST GREGORY SUMMER SCHOOL 'Joyful Proclamation of the Gospel'; 26-29 July at Liverpool Hope University. Further details at ssg.org.uk. LONDON EUCHARISTIC OCTAVE, 3-11 JUNE Celebrating the Eucharistic Heart of the Catholic Church. See catholiclondon.org for further details. 'MY SON CARLO' An evening with Antonia Acutis, mother of Blessed Carlo, Wednesday 31st may, 7.30pm, Farm Street Church, W1K 3AH. CAFOD Church teaching says that we not only support those in poverty but tackle the root causes. To find out how CAFOD does this and to get involved yourself, contact cafod.org.uk. ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI EXHIBITION The National Gallery is holding an exhibition from 6 May to 30 July, exploring the life and legacy of Francis. Admission is free. Visit nationalgallery.org.uk DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM The pilgrimage will take place on Saturday, 23rd September. Further information later; if anyone in the parish is interested in going, please contact the Parish Office. COFFEE MORNING/CAKE SALE A reminder that our 2023 Confirmation group will be hosting a coffee morning/cake sale in the Bethany Room after all morning Masses on Sunday 21st May, to raise money for the parish. Please support them. SECOND COLLECTION This weekend, the collection will be for the Catholic Communications Network. Next weekend, Pentecost, there will be a special appeal by Fr Jaroslav Jasso CM, on behalf of the Vincentian Missions in Madagascar. He writes; Madagascar is a very poor country. We are in charge of several dozen communities that live in severe material but also spiritual poverty. We would like to continue our missionary activity and to start some systemic changes, within our own strength and abilities, with the help of the whole community. More concretely, we would like to start farming, vegetable growing and cattle breeding, where we could employ some people and help them to become economically better off. The fields need an irrigation system, several wells need to be drilled. We dream that we could start by building simple houses for these people and providing basic foodstuffs because many people are knocking on our door and literally starving to death. There is already an ecological catastrophe in some places. As some communities still do not have chapels, we serve under a tree or in the open air, we also have a church under construction in the central mission, which we would like to complete this year for next year, if the funds we receive will allow us to do so.
This Thursday, 18th, is the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord and a Holy Day of Obligation; Mass, as usual, is at 10 am. There will be no evening Mass. My favourite line from the Gospel of the Solemnity is 'why are you...standing here looking into the sky?' It is a reminder that our faith must be lived out in the present reality of our world, messy as it is, and not gazing into the heavens or living in the future. Jesus will come back...in His own good time.
With every blessing and good wish,
Rev Eugene Curran CM