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ST THOMAS MORE CHURCH, BEXLEYHEATH.

THE TWENTY- NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

OCTOBER IS THE MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY


Dear parishioners,

PRAY CONTINUALLY & NEVER LOSE HEART


‘Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart’ (Lk 18:1). These words open Sunday’s gospel and we could hold on to them in these times when the future doesn’t look too bright. There are times when we may feel like ‘losing heart’. Not only in national and world events, I experience this in the continued losses of the church: parish, seminary and monastery closures, the non-return of many parishioners all over England, Europe and America after the Covid ‘lockout’ from the churches, the dilution of catholic teaching in many schools, the drastic decline in numbers of marriages, the rejection of Christian teaching coming out of that novel ‘synod on synodality’ in some countries and in the many funerals and memorial requiems that take place at St Thomas More in which the church is a strange place for most people present.


At these services, the children of the deceased have not been to mass for decades, perhaps since they were children. Sometimes they might just about remember the old translation of the mass, not used for the last 12 years, and the grandchildren know nothing at all, for they are probably not even baptised. The church may be as strange to them as buddhist temple rituals would be for me. Since the early seventies, a time of great and consequential revolution in the church, we have failed to pass on our faith to so many children. Many of you have told me this with great sadness about your own families. Of course, I take some comfort from the fact that the grounding given our children in the family, in the weekly attendance at mass, in the catholic primary school provides a sure foundation and that in times of difficulty, especially at times of bereavement, people do remember God from their childhood and return to God and the Church.


But if parents have not brought their children to mass every week, what has this taught the children? They will not even have the practice of the Faith as grounding for later life. Does non-attendance at Sunday mass teach children that to honour God on a Sunday is to fulfil a command of God? That to miss mass on a Sunday is a confessable mortal sin? That the worship of God is a necessary way to start our week? That Mass is essential on a Sunday, not football or other activities?* Does not coming to mass pass on our faith, tell our children that our catholic faith is very important or teach our children that we absolutely need God in our lives especially when times get hard? Are we teaching our children that faith in God is at the heart of our family, that our family is a catholic family? Because a catholic family that doesn’t come to mass, is not a catholic family in practice any more than a club member who doesn’t ever go to the club is an active member. It’s membership in name only.


Thank God for all the families that do come to mass every week or when it is possible (because some parents out of economic necessity have to work at the weekend) and for the families who have recently started coming to St Thomas More. Praise God! This is the most important preparation for First Holy Communion, but also for all our lives, in which we fulfil our reason for being on earth, to give thanks and praise to Almighty God. That is the grounding all God’s children need in life.


And there are many young people who have re- discovered the heights, the depths, the beauty, the joy, the glory and the eternal mystery which is our catholic faith. In Pentecost this year, young catholics from many countries, walked the seventy miles from Paris to Chartres Cathedral and gave witness to their love of the Lord and Our Lady. The amazing Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartes contains one of Christendom’s most precious relics, the Veil of our Lady and the spires of Chartres cathedral still today point to Heaven and human faith and longing for God.


The pilgrimage was revived in modern times forty years ago with a mere 35 pilgrims taking part. Recent turnout has been about 10 -15,000 but this year 20,000 young people took part. It is growing, year by year. The late Michael Davies called the Chartres pilgrimage ‘the most important annual event happening in the Church today’. Have a look at this lovely hopeful and joyful short film about the Chartres Pilgrimage this year. It reminds us to heed the Lord’s words, to pray continually, and with these young people who are determined to make it to the end of the road (some even carried into Chartres cathedral they were so blistered and exhausted) we must never lose heart.


The film is called, ‘GUARDIAN OF TRADITION: world premiere’. On Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqowXajfXF0


* Attendance at mass on Saturday evenings fulfils the Sunday obligation leaving Sunday free for other activities .


FIRST CONFESSION & HOLY COMMUNIONS 2023. Application forms are available for collection from the priest at the end of all Sunday masses and returned to him after Sunday mass on a following Sunday. The deadline to submit forms is Sunday 13th November. Sun

Key dates:

Closing date for applications. Sunday 13th November 2022.

Parents Meeting: 7.00 p.m. Wednesday 23rd November 2022.

First Holy Communion Group Christmas Choir for the Christmas Vigil Mass. 24th December 2022

First Session: 10.30 a.m. Saturday 7th January 2023.

First Confessions: probably a Saturday morning in March: to be confirmed.

Children’s Stations of the Cross: 10.30 a.m. Good Friday, 7th April 2023

First Holy Communions: Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th June 2023.

The fulfilment of the Sunday obligation to attend mass on all Catholics (with obvious exemptions) is required for all families with their children preparing to receive their First Holy Communion.


THE MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY


This October, the month of the Holy Rosary…

i. If you are free in the day time, join us at St. Thomas More and say your DAILY ROSARY AT CHURCH (check newsletter) with us.


ii. Say your DAILY ROSARY AT HOME or on public transport on the way to work, when out for a walk.


iii. Parents: say THE ROSARY WITH YOUR FAMILY every evening: a family that prays together, stays together.


iv. Join the 37TH ANNUAL NATIONAL ROSARY CRUSADE of REPARATION on Saturday 8th October 2022.

v. Join us at St. Thomas More for our monthly devotions with The PARISH ROSARY & BENEDICTION on Sunday 23rd October at 4.00 p.m.


To watch Dr Taylor Marshall’s full broadcast on ‘EIGHT REASONS TO SAY THE ROSARY EVERY DAY’ visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3qjSVlGcMM

Sunday 16 October 2022 : World Mission Sunday. Second Collection.

Next Sunday is World Mission Sunday, when Catholics are invited to contribute to a special collection for Missio, the charity for world mission. Missio helps missionaries to work alongside communities throughout the world that are poor or in need, regardless of their background or belief. Join in on this special day, that unites Catholics all over the world in prayer and celebration of our Church’s mission to share God’s love with all people. Please call 020 7821 9755 (office hours) or visit Missio’s website to give a single gift, set up a Direct Debit and Gift Aid your donation if possible: missio.org.uk. or there will be a basket at the end of mass for collections.


DAY WITH MARY.

2. 9.30 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. Saturday 22nd October 2022 at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen. Please bring a packed lunch.


FEAST OF ST. JUDE, THE APOSTLE PATRON OF LOST CAUSES) This feast is the highpoint of the calendar at the shrine church of St Jude in Faversham. Many visit Faversham in devotion to the Apostle in the company of the Carmelites of Aylesford who run the shrine. In addition to masses, there is a piety stall, a display of Carmelite books and light refreshments.

Friday 28th October 10.00 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. St Jude Mass.

Saturday 29th October 10.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. St Jude Mass.

Sunday 30th October 12.30 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. St. Jude Mass.

Faversham is a fine Kentish town, well worth a visit, accessible by train from Bexleyheath or Abbey Wood, changing at Gravesend. There are some excellent old pubs and other places to eat. Prayers at the shrine of St Jude in Faversham have helped many people, including myself, and I recommend this to you.

The shrine of St Jude is at 34 Tanners Street, Faversham, Kent ME13 7JW.



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

This 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/


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


The relics will visit our 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.



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We invite you to submit articles/news and celebrations about your local parish activities

Please see link below for this week’s Universe Catholic Weekly.


‘Children’s Liturgy’ this Sunday at 9.00 a.m.


LATIN MASS SERVERS & CHOIR: CHANGE OF INSTRUCTION. Trip to St. Mary’s Twickenham on 22nd October for Open Meeting and celebration of mass of Pope St. John Paul II, with presentation and closing with benediction. Lunch included. Please let the parish priest know if you are coming or not. The day costs £15.00, children free. We are travelling by train, meeting at Bexleyheath Station at 8.20 for the train to Waterloo East then, taking the train to Strawberry Hill from Waterloo. The university is five minutes- walk from Strawberry Hill Station.

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 take place this coming Thursday 6th October, 1.00 p.m.


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:

Frances Anne Carter who died on Monday 5th September 2022. Her funeral was on Tuesday 20th September 2022.


Clare Cullen who died on Friday 23rd September 2022 aged 92. Her funeral requiem is Monday 31st October 2022 at 11.00 a.m. followed by committal at Camberwell New Cemetery.


Teresa Cooper who died on Wednesday 5th October 2022 aged 77. Her funeral is on Monday 7th November at 12.00 noon followed by committal at Eltham Crematorium at 1.45 p.m.


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- NINTH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME.

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


Saturday 15th October St. Teresa of Avila (N.O/ T.C.)

9.00 a.m. Confessions

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+10.00 a.m. (Latin 1962) Lucy Murphy R.I.P.

+ 6.30 p.m. TWENTY- NINTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C).Jack Fernandes and deceased family members R.I.P.


Sunday 16th October

8.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG. Mary O’Halloran T.G. on her hundredth birthday.

+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS (with English Readings/ missa orbis factor). Olivia Iyamu T.G. on her fifth birthday.


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


Monday 17th October St. Ignatius of Antioch, bishop & martyr, memorial.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary.

10.00 a.m. The people of the parish.


Tuesday 18thOctober St. Luke, evangelist, feast.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary.

10.00 a.m. Sylvia Townsend R.I.P.


Wednesday 19th October St. Paul of the Cross, priest.

The Daily Rosary at home.

NO PUBLIC MASS TODAY.


Thursday 20th October feria.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 10.00 a.m. Bernadette Hyacinth R.I.P.

1.00 p.m. LUNCH CLUB.

Friday 21st October St. Margaret Clitheroe, martyr.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+10.00 a.m. Wilhelmina McCahey R.I.P.


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


Saturday 22nd October Our Lady’s Saturday.

The Daily Rosary at home.

NO PUBLIC MASS HERE THIS MORNING.

+ 6.30 p.m. THIRTIETH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C). Vince & Helen D’Souza T.G.


OCTOBER PRAYER TO OUR LADY, QUEEN OF THE MOST HOLY ROSARY.

(This prayer was written by, St. Jean Marie Vianney, the Cure d’Ars)

O most holy Virgin, Mary, who evermore stands before the Most Holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to your most beloved Son; pray for me in all my necessities; help me, protect me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins. Help me especially at my last hour; and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, have me sprinkled with holy water and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; assure me with the promise of my salvation, never let me despair of the mercy of God and help me to overcome the temptations of the evil one.


When I can no longer say: “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul,” I ask you to say it to me; when I can longer hear human words of consolation, comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged, and if I have to atone for my sins in purgatory, pray for me earnestly; and lead my friends to pray for my speedy enjoyment of the blessed vision of God.

Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and lead my soul into heaven with you: that, united with all God’s chosen, I may there bless and praise my God - and you Mother Mary - for all eternity. Amen.

God bless,

Fr Jonathon


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