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Saturday 26th March – Saturday 2nd April 2022



Dear parishioners,

‘Father, what does INRI mean?’

I caught a programme this week on BBC Radio 4 about Wales. I have always admired this great little country. Conquered by the Norman English in the 13th century and even more fully integrated into a union with England under Henry VIII and the imposition of an English county system, Wales nevertheless maintained its own language and culture. Three hundred years later, the Victorians were even doing their best to destroy this with heavy handed attempts to beat spoken Welsh out of children. But they did not succeed. The juggernaut of imperial and now global English and integration into an English dominated United Kingdom has not destroyed the culture of this great people which is celebrated now through their own parliament, TV channels and production, theatres, music, festivals and among non- Welsh speaking residents of Wales an ever growing interest in fully embracing their country’s heritage by the learning of Welsh.

This comes to mind because last Saturday at First Holy Communion class a picture was shown me of the Cross in a child's book and I was asked about the inscription above it, ‘Father, what does I.N.R.I. mean? Good question. The child was asking about his very own religious cultural inheritance. For above the Cross was written in Latin ‘Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum’* and as a Catholic, that Latin phrase belongs as much to the First Communion child as to the pope in Rome as a Welsh lyric belongs to all Welsh people, whether or not they speak Welsh**.

As Welsh is the inheritance of all people in Wales, so Latin and all the wonderful prayers and music written to the glory of God over two thousand years is the inheritance of all Catholics, that is all God’s people throughout the world in the ‘Latin church’ as we still are. Latin is still the universal language of the Latin Church, and all Sacred Liturgy and papal documents are firstly written in Latin and then translated into the thousands of vernaculars. Just as the Welsh did not let the cultural bulldozer of England and the English language destroy the very expression of who they were in the Welsh Language, so we Catholics cannot let a global secular culture with its constantly shifting languages and changing popular music styles smother and bury our timeless and sacred Catholic culture. Ancient languages can only be kept alive if they are spoken and for Catholic culture this means Latin prayers and Gregorian chant need to be publicly said and sung frequently in the Sacred Liturgy; said and sung with a love of God and a love of who we are as his people, the Catholic Church.

Just as Our Lord himself used the ancient Sacred language of Hebrew at temple and synagogue but used the common language of Aramaic at home with Our Lady and Joseph, so at St Thomas More we are keeping our own sacred culture alive through the frequent use at particular times of Latin in the Mass, Benediction and the great Litanies. Come along to the sung Latin Mass and hear and sing along with our choir and organ which in the loving spirit of catholic choirs over millennia beautifully praise God with sacred Catholic chant. We also have a said Latin mass on Saturday mornings.

If you are a Catholic, this is your culture, a holy and beautiful treasure accessible to all. Let’s keep our Catholic culture alive and vibrant and so resist the juggernaut of transient modern pop culture and secular values which have done so much to erode our unique identity as Catholics. We have a rich inheritance of prayer and music going back to the early church and our music can trace its origins to the Temple of Jerusalem before Our Lord even came among us. As long as we praise God in word and song using our own sacred language and music, no worldly culture or values will ever take away what is yours and mine. This religious cultural inheritance is the great treasure of the church which is ours to pass on to our children as the Faith of our Fathers and Mothers was passed on to them by theirs.

For more information about the promotion of frequent use of Latin texts and music in the Liturgy of the Catholic Church of today, visit the website of:

THE ASSOCIATION FOR LATIN LITURGY, under the patronage of the Bishop’s Conference of England & Wales.

The Catholic Truth Society publication THE ORDER OF MASS IN LATIN AND ENGLISH is also available from St Thomas More parish after Saturday morning mass priced £3.50. This small book has all the texts of the mass in Latin on the left page and English on the right.

*Jesus the Nazarene King of the Jews

**On the Cross were also written the same words in Hebrew, the sacred language of the Jews used in the synagogue and temple. And those same words were also written in Greek, the ‘lingua franca’ of the day. Greek would also become a sacred language in the eastern church which survives still today in our mass with the words ‘kyrie eleison, christe eleison’


The Head Office of the Knights of St Columba, in Glasgow, runs several competitions for Catholic youths, aged from 4 years to 18 years, in England, Scotland, and Wales.

The competitions are primarily promoted via Catholic schools, but we also strive to promote them through parishes and parish groups, so that we can reach children not in catholic schools.

I can report that a pupil of St Thomas More School, Miss Askshara Nesan, came second, in her age category, in the just concluded National Nativity Scene Painting Competition.

There are 3 youth competitions for this academic year.

The competitions are:

  • Easter Scene Painting (Deadline – 15/04/2022)

  • Prayer Competition (Deadline – 06/05/2022)

  • Essay competition (Deadline – 06/05/2022)

The 3 competitions are:

· Easter Scene Painting:

o Junior Group (year 3-6): – ‘Paint a scene that portrays Easter from Palm Sunday and through the Easter Season’. 1st Prize - £30 and a winner’s trophy to keep, 2nd Prize - £20, 3rd Prize - £15.

o Intermediate Group (years 7-9): 1st Prize - £75 and a winner’s trophy to keep, 2nd Prize - £50, 3rd Prize - £25.

o Senior Groups (years 10-13)– ‘Paint a scene that portrays Easter from the start of the Easter Triduum, (Feast of the Lord’s Supper), to the Feast of Pentecost’. 1st Prize - £75 and a winner’s trophy to keep, 2nd Prize - £50, 3rd Prize - £25

Easter Scene Deadline for submissions– 15/04/2022.

All winners will receive a signed certificate.

A cash award of £200.00 will be presented to the school or group of which the winner is a pupil or member.

The overall winner of the 2 senior groups will receive an engraved Trophy to be held by the school or group, of which they are a pupil or member, for approximately one year.

  • Prayer Competition – ‘Prayer for our Earth, your People and our Faith’.

    • Junior Group (year 3-6): 1st Prize - £30 and a winner’s trophy to keep, 2nd Prize - £20, 3rd Prize - £15.

    • Intermediate Group (years 7-9): 1st Prize - £100 and a winner’s trophy to keep, 2nd Prize - £50, 3rd Prize - £25.

    • Senior Group (years 10-13): 1st Prize - £100 and a winner’s trophy to keep, 2nd Prize - £50, 3rd Prize - £25.

All winners will receive a signed certificate.

A cash award of £200.00 will be presented to the school or group of which the winner is a pupil or member.

The overall winner of the 2 senior groups will receive an engraved Trophy to be held by the school or group, of which they are a pupil or member, for approximately one year.

Prayer Competition Deadline for submissions – 06/05/ 2022

· Essay competition – ‘Our Faith: Climate Change and its effect on Our Environment, locally and in our Country’.

  • Intermediate Group (years 7-9): 1st Prize - £75 and a winner’s trophy to keep, 2nd Prize - £50, 3rd Prize - £25.

  • Senior Group (years 10-13): 1st Prize - £75 and a winner’s trophy to keep, 2nd Prize - £50, 3rd Prize - £25.

All winners will receive a signed certificate.

The overall winner of the 2 senior groups will receive an engraved Trophy to be held by the school or group, of which they are a pupil or member, for approximately one year.

Essay competition Deadline for submissions – 06/05/202

All submissions should be sent to:

Bro. Leo –Kennedy Azodah, The order of the Knights of St Columba, 322 Brampton Rd, Bexleyheath, Kent DA7 5SH

Becoming a Knight of St Columba

In the Church, many men have found friendship and support for one another in the Order of the Knights of St Columba and in this parish the order is long established. It is open to all Catholic men, married, single or separated, young and old. The order is a way of deepening your involvement in the Church in a social group which offers fraternity in a world in which our religion is the most wonderful thing in it, but ‘not normal’ for the majority we live among. Being a catholic husband and father and indeed being a catholic celibate too in the world is constantly challenged and tested. Belonging to a particular social group in the Church can help give courage and motivation to face the world and bring the joy of fellowship, fraternity and friendship that is a fruit of our Catholicism when fully lived and shared with others.

To find out more about joining the Knights of St Columba, contact Leo on: telephone: 07793 109204 or email: <>

Friday Lent Group. Sentence of the week:

‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’.

All are welcome to The House after Friday morning mass for a short time of reflection on the Scriptures. Every Friday in Lent.


Next meeting on Sunday 1st May, 12.00 noon.

The Repository.

We currently still have no-one to manage the repository. Is anyone interested in this job? It involves a little stock-taking, ordering supplies and attending the repository on a Sunday morning. It is quite possible, that in another sign of the times, that a repository is no longer needed as many of you tell me you get your cards and religious items through online ordering. This is clearly the case with newspapers and other publications. There is now almost zero interest in catholic newspapers and magazines, or at least the paper versions. For a long time now the exact same quantity of papers is binned as is put out earlier, so really there is no need to bother with them anymore as ‘The Universe’ and ‘The Catholic Times’ sadly realised.

A Day with Mary

Saturday 2 April 2022 at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Addiscombe, Croydon from 9.30 a.m.

First Holy Communion 2022

Next class: 10. 30 a.m. Saturday 4th April in Church Hall.

Obligation of attendance on

1. GOOD FRIDAY, 15th April, 11.00 a.m. ‘CHILDREN’S STATIONS OF THE CROSS’ in Church.

2. EASTER SUNDAY MORNING 9.00 a.m. or 11.00 a.m.

Please read the newsletter every week and listen out for notices at the end of Sunday mass. Don’t forget to bring your mass attendance cards to Sunday mass!


Next session: Sunday 27th March, 4.00 p.m. in the house.


This Sunday at 9.00 a.m.


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:

Mrs. Patricia Cassidy who died on Sunday 16th January. Her funeral was on Monday 7th January followed by committal at Hillview.

Paul Joseph Desmond McGilligan who died in Australia on 17th December 2021. There will be a Sung Requiem followed by the Burial of Ashes at Hillview on Monday 7th March at 10.00 a.m.

William Churchill, husband of Rita, who died on 24th February, aged 55. A Requiem will be said on Tuesday 15th March and his committal will be on 30th March.

Fr Jean Icher, died in France on Friday 4th Marcy aged 92. Fr Jean used to come to St Thomas More parish with French exchange students and said mass here. Mass was offered for him here.

Michael Gilmer who died on the 17th of February just three days after his 80th birthday.

Michael worn born in Plumstead and moved to Bostall Park in the 1970s.In the mid- 1980s Michael settled in Erith. He was a very close friend of the Etheridge, Leahy, Lonergan and Bowman families. Michael was in the Knights of St Columba for over 45 years and attended many functions at St Thomas More’s.

Michael sadly had a stroke in 2000 which seriously affected his mobility.

His body will be received into Our Lady of the Angels, Erith at 7pm on Tuesday,22nd March. His Requiem Mass took place on Wednesday,23rd at 11.30 a.m.

Deacon Michael Baldry, who died 23rd March 2022. Deacon Michael was the permanent deacon at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen. He will be deeply missed in his parish and our deanery, which he served with such warmth, kindness and grace. Funeral details to follow.

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.


Saturday 26th March FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT ‘Laetare Sunday’ (C)

6.00 p.m. Confessions

+ 6.30 p.m. SAID Frank Mercieca R.I.P. (1st anniversary)

Sunday 27th March

8.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary.

+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG with ‘CHILDREN’S LITURGY’ in church hall. Patricia Corbett R.I.P. (30th anniversary)

+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS (with English Readings/ missa XVII In Dominicis Adventus et Quadragesimae) Maria Josephina Da Silva R.I.P.

7.30 p.m. Parish Social Evening in Church Hall.

Monday 28th March Lenten feria.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 noon. Eileen Budd W.B.

Tuesday 29th March Lenten feria.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. The deceased members of the Farrell family R.I.P.

Wednesday 30th March Lenten feria

The Daily Rosary at home.


Thursday 31st March Lenten feria.

11.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 noon. Mary Bass T.G.

1.00 p.m. Thursday Lunch Club. Church Hall.

Friday 1st April.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. Mary Theresa Kilgannon, ‘Maisie’ R.I.P. (2nd anniversary)

10.45 a.m. Lenten the House.

6.00 p.m. choir practice.

7.30 P.M. St. Alphonsus Ligouri’s traditional Stations of the Cross.

Saturday 2nd April Lenten feria with collect of St Francis of Paola, hermit.

9.30 a.m. Confessions/ The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m.[Latin] Catherine Hanley R.I.P. (for 1st anniversary)

[ + 6.30 p.m. FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT ‘Passion Sunday’ (C) Paul & Val W.B.)


O chaste spouse of Mary,

great was the trouble and anguish of your heart

when you were considering quietly sending away your inviolate spouse;

yet your joy was unspeakable,

when the surpassing mystery of the Incarnation

was made known to you by the angel.

By this sorrow and this joy,

we beseech you to comfort our souls,

both now and in the sorrows of our final hour,

with the joy of a good life and a holy death

after the pattern of your own life and death

in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

Blessings and God’s peace to you all,

Fr Jonathon

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