MARCH IS THE MONTH OF ST. JOSEPH
The Fifth Week of Lent – Passiontide.
PASSION SUNDAY 2023
As we veil our images and crosses this Passion Sunday, three catholic men are making a deeper commitment to the cross and follow the Lord through their prayer and good works in the Knights of St Columba. This Sunday at the Solemn 11 o’clock Mass, these men will be initiated into the Knights, one of whom is a parishioner here, one from our deanery and one from Greenwich deanery. The Membership and Development officer will say to them:
‘I ask you to recall that day on Calvary, when our beloved Saviour, Jesus Christ, shed his precious blood on the Cross for our Salvation. Since that day, the Cross has been the symbol of our Faith and has been carried to the four corners of the earth by fearless missionaries. The Church in carrying out that duty has, like our crucified Lord, been subjected to many persecutions, and although we do not now face the barbarities of earlier times, we do face the great enemies of indifference or mockery or open hostility, for those values, which we, as Christians, hold as being essential.
Through all this, the Cross has remained the symbol of that Divine Sacrifice suffered for the redemption of all mankind.
Let us, therefore, treasure this symbol, as a reminder of Almighty God’s infinite love for us who are his creatures, and may we do all in our power, to secure the return of our country men, to accept God as their loving Father under the banner of the Cross’
The new Knights will be handed the Knight’s Cross (pictured below) as the sign of their initiation. These crosses, fittingly, will be the only ones visible in the church. This is a reminder, that even though images of The Cross are veiled, we are all called to witness to the Cross in our lives through our self- sacrifices and to stand up for our Christian Faith which is increasingly under attack from within and without the Church. Many in The Church, including among the hierarchy in some countries, are falling to the Sin of the World and faithlessness. In some national ‘synods on synodality’, calls to abandon teaching on Christian marriage rooted in Holy Scripture itself have been expressed loudly and publicly. This is causing a distressing confusion in The Church. We can also see a lived- belief in the Holy Eucharist diminished through lack of reverence to the true Body of Christ which Christ gave us for our continued spiritual connection with his Sacrifice on The Cross of Calvary. We are in a battle for the soul of The Church.
The Cross is our weapon in this world of sin and darkness: this Sunday we ask God to bless our Knights as they fight and stand for The Truth of our Catholic Faith, with the Cross as their sword and shield, and hold fast to it when the Day of Battle comes. The Cross is also the sign of true life: for he who dies to himself finds true life in God. Without The Cross, there is no Resurrection and so no hope in the world. The Cross is our key to freedom from the mortal limitations of the self and when we take it up by dying to ourselves through prayer and good works, we may truly and fully live this life on our journey to the next.
Come along and welcome the new members into the order and give thanks for the work they do for our parish and the Church in the world. If you are interested in finding out more, are a man looking for more involvement in the parish and would like to get to know more people here, I encourage you to come along this Sunday, 26th March, 11.00 a.m.
FRIDAY LENTEN REFLECTIONS.
Join Patricia in the presbytery after mass on Friday mornings in reading the Sunday scriptures and sharing your thoughts with one another with Tea, coffee and even a biscuit.
WALK WITH ME Pick up your ‘Walk with Me’. Daily Reflections through Lent. £1.00 donation asked. Some junior versions may still be available, also available is the excellent ‘Day by Day’ for juniors and infants.
RECOMMENDED EASTER BOOK for CHILDREN
‘BEHOLDING BEAUTY – AN EASTER MIRACLE’ by Madeleine Carroll, illustrated by Pedro De la Puente.
‘’Where Jeremiah was born the sun glittered silver on a lake full of life. Crashing waves on the rocks in winter storms were always loud, and in spring the air was fresh with shore flowers. Each season brought its own smells, blowing in over the Sea of Galilee. Jeremiah was blind, but, although his world was dark, it was full of sound and love…..BEHOLDING BEAUTY is an Easter story of joy, healing and beauty, with excerpts from Scripture included at the back of the book.
Many of you have enjoyed previous books by Madeleine. They are beautiful and very fine presents to give your children to mark our Great Feast Days. Madeleine is a catechist with ‘Catechesis of the Good Shepherd’, as well as author and mother. Pedro is a freelance artist and illustrator, with his own YouTube channel ‘Little Lamplighters’. He loves teaching kids how to draw and is passionate about art. You can find out more about his work on www.littlelamplighters.com
If you would like to buy a copy of ‘Beholding Beauty’ or what like to buy one for a child in this parish, the author, Madeleine, will be with us this Sunday and will be presenting the book to us for purchase after mass. Price £5.00. Contactless, hopefully, available.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS.
We are doing the traditional Stations of the Cross of St Alphonsus Liguori every Friday in Lent concluding on Good Friday at 7.30 p.m. There will also be a Children’s Stations of the Cross on Good Friday at 10.30 a.m.
PARISH YOUTH NOTICES
MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT - PASSIONTIDE
MARCH PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH