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Saturday 7th October 2023 – Saturday 14th October 2023


Twenty-seventh Week of Ordinary Time

Dear parishioners,


Catholic correspondents headed to Rome this week for the opening of the ‘Synod on Synodality’ but there may not be much to report as it gathers in strictly ordered secrecy with ‘a lifetime gag’ on participants. Just days before the opening however, the direction of travel was set with more confusion and ambivalence in the published response to the ‘dubia’ (i.e. questions) from five cardinals*. Keep in mind the words of the Apostle Paul from his second letter to Timothy:

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry’. (2Tim 4:1-8 RSV).

At a conference in Rome last week, Cardinal Raymond Burke said the purpose of the ‘synod on synodality’ was to "profoundly modify the hierarchical constitution" of the Catholic Church and to weaken its teaching on moral issues.

"Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our only Saviour, is not at the root and centre of synodality," he told the conference. "This is why it overlooks and, truthfully, forgets the divine nature of the church."

Much of Cardinal Burke's talk focused on similarities he found in Pope Francis' reform of the Roman Curia and the pope's vision of a "synodal church," both of which he said seek to "profoundly modify the hierarchical constitution of the church."

A weakening of the church's identity as "one, holy, catholic and apostolic" in favour of a "synodal" church, he said, "has as a further consequence a weakening of its teaching in moral matters as well as in church discipline.". This was pre-proven by the pope’s response to one of the questions from the cardinals, which on a grave moral matter **, seemed to delegate decisions to the discretion of the local pastor, with the potential that we end up making up our own moral laws in a religion tailor – made to suit ourselves: blessing sin in God’s name. At best, the priest’s words would be empty: God does not bless sin, at worst, this is sacrilege and would lead people away from God.

The response to the dubia gives away the direction of travel as do many of those chosen to attend. This has been noted by the eminent, Cardinal Zen in his letter to the Synod bishops ‘“The Synod Secretariat is very efficient at the art of manipulation,” Zen writes, adding: “Often they claim not to have any agenda. This is truly an offense to our intelligence. Anybody can see which conclusions they are aiming at.” He goes on to say that the organizers, while emphasizing the need to “listen to all,” are focusing on one group in particular: “Little by little they make us understand that among these ‘all’ there are especially those whom we have ‘excluded.’ Finally, we understand that what they mean are people who opt for a sexual morality different from that of Catholic tradition’***

Fr Gerard Murray, at the same conference with Cardinal Burke, said "The church of 'me, myself and I,' where each person recognizes himself in his personally curated set of beliefs, may promise satisfaction," he said. But "it's a make-belief, delusional religion of self-worship in which God is relegated to the role of the 'divine affirmer' of whatever each one decides to believe." We seem to be seeing the fulfilment of St Paul’s prophecy to Timothy: For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine instead they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths

"Bishops and cardinals today need much courage to confront the grave errors that are coming from within the church itself," Cardinal Burke said. "The sheep depend on the courage of the shepherds who must protect them from the poison of confusion, error and division."

Our own Archbishop John is attending this synod. May God bless him and we pray for all bishops present there, that they will keep their head in this situation, do the work of evangelists while correcting and rebuking requests for the embracing of falsehood. We pray that they will discharge their duties to keep and hand on The Way, the The Truth and The Life of our crucified and risen Lord to the next generation: the same faith given to St Paul the Apostle as handed down to us.

And let us in our little parish respond to news of sacrilege with more holiness, irreverence with even greater reverence, faithlessness with greater devotion and division with stronger bonds of unity. We shall endure any hardships for the sake of the Gospel on the narrow Way of the Cross at this critical station in the long history of the Christ’s Church.

* Five conservative cardinals submit new dubia

** Pope responds to cardinals’ dubia, says ‘maybe’ to blessing some same-sex unions, ‘no’ on women priests:

***Cardinal Zen expresses concerns about Synod on Synodality in leaked letter to bishops:



What is Prisoners’ Sunday?

‘Prisoners’ Sunday is a time to think about how we as individuals, as a Church and as communities are serving those affected by imprisonment. Prisoners, people with convictions, and their children and families often find themselves on the margins of our society. Yet Jesus challenges us with His words:

Our work at Pact draws on the values of our faith: dignity, solidarity, subsidiarity. We believe that everyone can make a fresh start whatever they may have done’

At St. Thomas More, we will remember prisoners and their families at this Sunday’s masses and hear about what life is like for prisoners and their families in our communities and about the work of Pact, the national Catholic prison charity. We pray for prisoners, their families and all who work in the prison service and there will be a second collection to support Pact's important work in the year ahead.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of Pact writes:

"As President of Pact, I invite you to join with me in supporting Prisoners’ Sunday on 8th October 2023. Pact is the national Catholic charity providing support to prisoners and their families. Pact works in court, in prison, on release and in communities in many parts of England and Wales.

In this charity’s 125th year, Pact continues to rely strongly on the support of volunteers as well as the prayer and generosity of parishioners.

In response to his appeal, Our Lord made a promise to the convicted criminal crucified beside him, ‘Today you will be with me in paradise’. The Gospel message on Prisoners’ Sunday reminds us that Jesus is the cornerstone of our lives and of our communities. Alongside our concern for the wellbeing of those in prison, we remember that families in our parishes and neighbourhoods may be enduring anxious worry, isolation and perhaps hardship while a love one is incarcerated.

It is good to know that Pact is there for people of all faiths and none, supporting prisoners and their families on our behalf and with our help. I encourage you to play your part in this work of the Gospel for the common good of all.’"


OCTOBER DEVOTIONS TO OUR LADY OF THE MOST HOLY ROSARY with PARISH ROSARY, LITANY OF LORETO, ENROLMENT OF SERVERS INTO THE GUILD OF ST STEPHEN and BENEDICTION. Sunday 15th October, 3.00 p.m. Followed by Servers’ party in the Church Hall with refreshments and games.



To make your donation, you can:

- pick up an envelope in church

- click CAFOD HARVEST APPEAL on the contactless payment device in the church

- give online at

- Use this QR code:

God bless,

Fr Jonathon



War On The Catholic Family Conference.

Saturday 14th October 2023 9am-5pm at Our Lady and St Peter Church 15 Victoria Drive, Wimbledon, SW19 6AD

This pivotal conference gathers seven distinguished Catholic voices to address challenges arising from poor catechesis and media misinformation. They bring rich insights, rooted in research and experience, to support today’s Catholic families. Tickets available for in-person and online Zoom attendance at: Tel: 020 88579950. Tickets: Single £10.00/ Family £20.00. Areas of exploration will include:

  • Methods to strengthen children’s faith amidst growing secularism.

  • Fostering the enrichment of children’s spiritual lives by guiding them in prayer, engaging with sacraments, and nurturing emotional well-being.

  • Strategies to counter ‘culture of death’ and ‘woke’ ideologies.

Download the brochure here:

For further information and tickets go to

Free tickets available from me, or just say at the doo


DIVINE MERCY APOSTOLATE PILGRIMAGE TO KNOCK The Divine Mercy Apostolate, London is hosting a Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, Co Mayo from November 9 to 14 to pray for the Holy Souls. It will be led by the Marian Fathers. Package includes: Return flights by Aer Lingus from Heathrow Airport, half board, 5 nights, accommodation in en suite twin rooms, hand-luggage (10 kgs), all transfers and Airport Development fee. The Retreat will include daily Mass and Hour of Mercy and retreats at Glendalough and Kylemore Abbey. Cost £800. All Welcome. Please call Millie Fernandez on 07957594646 for more information.


ST JUDE’S DAY (the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude) is celebrated on 28th October. The feast day is the high point of the calendar in Faversham, and hundreds of pilgrims come here in devotion to the Apostle. Although most come from London and the southeast, many others come from across Britain and even from abroad to celebrate this special time with God and with one another, in the company of the Carmelites.

The programme of activities during the feast includes regular celebrations of the Mass, blessings with the oil of St. Jude, and other devotions. During the celebrations there is a piety stall, a display of Carmelite books, and light refreshments available.

This year, St Jude’s Day falls on a Saturday and there will be celebrations on the Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday 28th October 2023 FEAST DAY

Saint Jude Mass at 12.30 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. and 4.30 p.m.

Sunday 29th October 2023

Saint Jude Mass at 12.30 p.m. – 3.00 p.m.

Please call 01795 539 214 or email or visit for more information.




Saturday 14th October 2023, 10.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m.

For Parishes in the Deaneries of Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich

Venue: St Stephen’s Church, 26 Deepdene Road, Welling, Kent DA16 3QL

If you are a lector or extraordinary minister you are encouraged to put this in your diary and attend it. Please let me know if you are going so I can let them know numbers.








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