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Saturday 17th September – Saturday 26th September 2022

ST THOMAS MORE CHURCH, BEXLEYHEATH.

THE TWENTY- FIFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

SEPTEMBER IS THE MONTH OF THE SORROWFUL MOTHER (Our Lady of Sorrows)


Dear parishioners,


The End and the Beginning.


The country is at present going through its own death and resurrection. The great reign of Queen Elizabeth has ended. Our beloved Queen has died at the age of 96, having given her life in service to our country, to you and me. We thank God for the blessings she shared with us and at the two requiem masses we have had for Queen Elizabeth at St Thomas More, we have asked God to have mercy on her and forgive her sins. Praying for the dead is one of the great acts of Christian Charity, and we Catholics can show love and thanks to our late Queen in absolutely no greater way than praying for her at a Requiem Mass. Just one requiem mass is worth an infinite number of hours in a queue to view the Queen lying in state, however respectful that gesture may be. For who is like the Lord our God, who has risen on high to his throne, yet stoops down from the heights to look down, to look down upon heaven and earth? It is to God we must turn.


Although the country mourns, in the moment the Queen died, we had the news, the Queen is dead, long live the king! Immediately upon the Queen’s death, Charles became our king and there is barely a second between the end and the new beginning.


It tells us how life is. In one year in the parish I might lead the funeral for a grandparent and celebrate the baptism of his or her baby grandchild. Old parishioners go, new families and individuals come. At our school last term, we were sad to say goodbye to year 6 and now we have welcomed a new year 6 and new little ones in reception. As the English Benedictines proclaim: Always, we begin again. Every new reign, every new school or church year, every new civic year, indeed every day, we begin again. For one day ends and in the morning, it all begins again and as God’s Easter people we rejoice at the dawn of a new day and do not weep forever at the loss of yesterday. The Elizabethan era has ended and the Carolean era begun. But who is like the Lord, our God? Only God is forever. Only God can give us true perspective on these great beginnings and endings of human history.


One thing greatly celebrated about Queen Elizabeth is how she kept herself above divisions and kept us together. She was a unifying figure. That is a very Christian thing and fulfilled her vocation as a Christian monarch. It is now the calling of King Charles. On Radio 4’s 'Any Questions' there was this question: what piece of advice would you give the new king? It is the wrong question. Better to ask, not what he should do but what we should do now (to misquote Kennedy). Let’s listen to the advice of St Paul to Timothy in this Sunday’s second reading ‘there should be prayers offered for everyone – petitions, intercessions, and thanksgiving – and especially for kings’. In other words, let’s not waste time by discussing what the king should do, but turn to God and pray for our King. It is sad to hear sometimes about the past faults of our new, but quite old king, still held against him. Kings and Queens are sinful human beings as are we all, but following Jesus, the past faults of Kings and Queens can be forgiven too just as we must forgive one another. In the end, we all, high and low, kings and subjects, face God’s judgement and we will be judged on whether we have forgiven one another as Jesus commanded and taught us and showed us by forgiving us on the Cross. As in this Sunday’s psalm ‘High above all nations is the Lord. From the dust he lifts up the lowly, from the dungheap he raises the poor to set him the company of princes, with the princes of his people’


As we pray to God to have mercy on the soul of our greatly loved Queen Elizabeth, let us begin again as a nation in the new reign of King Charles and Queen Camilla by forgiving one another and ask God to bless them and us the people. And may the name of the Lord be blessed both now and evermore!


SEPTEMBER DEVOTIONS TO OUR LADY OF SORROWS.

The Rosary of Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows.


“As Christ was the ‘man of sorrows’ (Is 53, 3) through whom it pleased God to have ‘reconciled all things through him and for him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, when he made peace by his death on the cross’ (Col 1, 20), so too, Mary is ‘the woman of sorrows’ whom God associated with his Son as mother and participant in his Passion (socia passionis).” (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy)


The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows is an ancient devotion, originating with the Servite Order which was founded by a group called the Seven Holy Founders in 1233. From the very beginning, they sought to live a life dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows.

Through their spirituality, they developed the “Servite Rosary,” also known as the “Chaplet or Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.” It recalls seven events in the life of Mary when she experienced great sorrow. They are as follows:

  1. The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34–35)

  2. The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13)

  3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem (Luke 2:43–45)

  4. The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on his Way to Calvary (traditional)

  5. Standing at the Foot of the Cross (John 19:25)

  6. Jesus Being Taken Down from the Cross (Matthew 27:57–59)

  7. The Burial of Jesus (John 19:40–42)

Ideally, to pray this chaplet in memory of Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows, you need a special set of beads. It is commendable when praying the chaplet to say an Act of Contrition at the very beginning to recognise the role our sins have in Our Lady’s sufferings. After this, say an introductory prayer. Next, announce and meditate on the first sorrow, say an ‘Our Father’ and seven Hail Mary’s at each division and then repeat for each sorrow. At the very end, three Hail Marys should be prayed in honour of Our Lady’s tears with the concluding prayer. There are special beads produced for the Rosary of Our Lady of Sorrows with seven sets of seven beads. I have acquired some ,which you can purchase from me, Lorraine or Annette, if you don’t have a computer or easy internet access, or if you do, please go on-line to Amazon and type in ‘Rosary of Our Lady of Sorrows’ to hopefully arrive before 15th September or our last Sunday devotions. We are also working on a small booklet of devotions to Our Lady of Sorrows.


‘The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows' has the power to produce in our hearts an inner conversion to turn us away from sin. It is this sin that crucified Jesus. It is this human rebellion against God’s laws that inflicts pain on the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. When we pray this Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, we can reflect on the magnitude of her sufferings and the absolute strength of her love. This can give us the strength we need to we fight the spiritual battles of our own lives, beginning with the temptations we all face. Our Blessed Mother is on our side and knowing this means we do not give up the fight against the world, the flesh and the devil. See last week’s newsletter for more details.


1. Forthcoming Devotions to the Sorrowful Mother this month at St. Thomas More.

1. Last Sunday of the Month: Parish Devotions to Our Lady of Sorrows. With Stations of the Cross, Rosary of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows and Benediction. Sunday 25th September, 5.00 p.m.

2. Privately saying the Rosary of Our Lady of Sorrows or saying it together as a family. On-line, you can find some good meditations written on each of the sorrows of Our Lady which can be read aloud before each set of seven Hail Mary’s.


We particularly ask Our Lady of Sorrows to pray for the people of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and many other countries at this time of our loss of Queen Elizabeth II. We call on our Sorrowful Mother to join our prayers for the repose of our Queen’s soul at this time of national mourning.


DAY WITH MARY. 9.45 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Saturday 15th October 2022. Westminster Cathedral. Bring a packed lunch. Great venue for a great day of devotions to the Mother of God, Our Lady of Fatima. Recommended.


ST BERNADETTE RELIC TOUR. Wednesday 19th October - Friday 21st October 2022 at St. George’s Cathedral and Aylesford Friary from Monday 24th October to Friday 28th 2022

The apparitions seen by St Bernadette in Lourdes took place over five months, and over the course of time, an intimate relationship of trust, obedience, and love developed between Our Lady and Bernadette.


In September and October this year, the relics of St Bernadette will journey on pilgrimage from Lourdes to England, Scotland, and Wales for the very first time. This very special once in a lifetime event will provide an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the special gifts and charisms of Lourdes in a church or cathedral near to their home.


The visit will provide people across our community of faith with a valuable opportunity for prayer and healing. To ensure the comfort and safety of pilgrims, and to allow venues taking part in the Relic Tour to prepare for the large numbers who will travel to them, individuals and groups are strongly encouraged to register their attendance at their earliest convenience choosing a free, dedicated timeslot at their chosen church or cathedral, as demand is likely to be high.


The reservation system is now open and can be accessed here: stbernadette.org.uk/the-tour/


Such is the importance of this tour, and such are the gifts of grace that will flow from these days that we hope that all will feel encouraged to visit. Please be assured that pilgrims who have been unable to register will not be turned away.


Details of the itinerary can be found on this page and prayers to support the tour are also there at: stbernadette.org.uk/prayers. However, if you have any questions about the tour, please feel free to get in touch at: contact@stbernadette.org.uk


Cardinal Vincent Nicholls says, “The pilgrimage of St Bernadette’s relics offers us a welcome opportunity to bear active witness to our Faith, joining with one another across our many communities to encounter God’s love and find spiritual, emotional, and psychological healing and renewal.”


The relics will visit THE cathedral, St George’s, from the morning of Wednesday 19th October until the morning of Friday 21st October; they will also visit Aylesford from Monday 24th October until Friday 28th October. Please consult the website of each venue for further details.

If anyone would like to travel to the cathedral with me by train on Thursday 20th October please let me know. Otherwise, perhaps some mums and dads could organise small groups of families to go up at the weekend.


PARISH GOLF DAY 2022 We are just a few weeks away from the usual Parish Golf day which is on Thursday 29th September at Birchwood Park. There will, as always be a charity raffle to the day which will be available from Tony Brook after some masses.


Any enquiries, please call Tony Brooke 07833707016.


SOCIAL EVENING Due to the death of Her Majesty the Queen the social evening on Friday 9th September was cancelled. The next social evening will take place on Friday 14th October with Annie Gee who will supply the music from 8.00 pm till 11pm, Admission - Adults £3 at the door, Jenny 07710 527692 Mary 07749 197957


COFFEE, CAKE & BAKE MORNING. IN AID OF GREENWICH & BEXLEY HOSPICE


From 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Sunday 2nd October in St. Thomas More Hall. There will be tea, coffee cakes, and stalls of high -quality hand knitted infants’ clothes (for excellent Christmas and birthday gifts) and religious items.

If you can help in any way on the day or donate your own home baking for the support of Bexley Hospice, please speak to Annette who will be available in the porch after all masses this Saturday evening and Sunday morning selling Seven Sorrows Rosaries.


‘Children’s Liturgy’ Church for our little ones resumes this Sunday at 9.00 a.m.

FOOD BANK. Don’t forget the Food Bank collection crate in the Church Porch! People are not managing to afford the basic essentials of life. If you can contribute some long- life milk, canned food, packets of pasta, toilet rolls or any other non-perishable basics, you will be helping our neighbours in great need.


THURSDAY LUNCH CLUB will be taking a break this Thursday and resume next week, Thursday 29th September.


Deaths

For all our brothers and sisters who ate the Body of Christ, the bread of Life, that they may be raised up on the Last Day. (Drawn from the intercession of the Funeral Mass)

Please pray for the souls of:

Judith Cooke, who died on Saturday 20th August 2022 at the hospice. Her funeral was on Thursday 15th September.


Hammond Macaulay who died on Saturday 27th August at Bexley and Greenwich Hospice aged 53. Her funeral was on Tuesday 13th September 2022.


Frances Anne Carter who died on Monday 5th September 2022. Her funeral requiem is at 10 o’clock on Tuesday 20th September 2022 followed by committal at Hillview Cemetery. ( moved from Monday)


May the divine assistance remain with them always, and may their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.


MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE TWENTY- FIFTH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME.

Instaurare Omnia in Christo: "to restore all things in Christ."


Saturday 17th September Our Lady’s Saturday.

9.00 a.m. Confessions.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary.

+10.00 a.m. Low Mass [Latin 1962] REQUIEM FOR THE HER LATE MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II.

6.00 p.m. Confessions.

+ 6.30 p.m. THE TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME. SAID. Luiza & Saluzinho Fernandes R.I.P.


Sunday 18th September

8.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG. Mrs Santana & Mrs Seby D’Silva R.I.P. With Church for little ones in the hall.

+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS (with English Readings/ missa orbis factor). Gabor & Bernadette Nagy T.G. for their tenth wedding anniversary.


7.00 p.m. Parish Social Evening in the Hall? All welcome. No bar.


Monday 19th September St. Theodore of Canterbury.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary.

10.00 a.m. Angela Snashall T.G.


Tuesday 20th September St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, priest & Paul Chong Hasang and companions, martyrs, memorial.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. Funeral Requiem of Frances Anne Carter followed by committal at Hillview Cemetery.


Wednesday 21st September St. Matthew, apostle & evangelist, feast.

The Daily Rosary at home.

NO PUBLIC MASS TODAY.


Thursday 22nd September feria.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. Ann & Frederick Brown R.I.P.

NO LUNCH CLUB TODAY.

Friday 23rd September St. Pius of Pietrelcina, priest, memorial.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+10.00 a.m. Ida Mitchell R.I.P.


6.00 p.m. Choir Practice. New members welcome.


Saturday 24th September Ember Saturday of September (with com. of Our Lady of Ransom) T.C.

9.00 a.m. Confessions

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+10.00 a.m. Low Mass (Latin 1962) Frances Anne Carter R.I.P.

+ 6.30 p.m. TWENTY- SIXTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C). Ann & Sean Gallogly W.B.


SEPTEMBER PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF SORROWS


Let us pray.

Our Mother of Sorrows, with strength from above you stood by The Cross, sharing in the sufferings of Jesus, and with tender care you bore Him in your arms, mourning and weeping.

We praise you for your faith, which accepted the life God planned for you.

We praise you for your hope, which trusted that God would do great things in you.

We praise you for your love in bearing with Jesus the sorrows of His passion. Holy Mary, may we follow your example, and stand by all your children who need comfort and love. Mother of God, stand by us in our trials and care for us in our many needs. Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

Amen.


Prayer from our bishop, Archbishop John on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

We beseech you Almighty God, that your servant Elizabeth, who by your mercy received the government of this realm, and who dedicated her life entirely to the service of her people, may now rest from her labours in the peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


With my blessings to you all in our shared loss of our gracious Queen. God save King Charles III.


Fr Jonathon.




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