Newsletter 14th November 2021
The Vigil Mass on Saturday 13th November at 6.pm in the evening will be for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. On Sunday 14thNovember we keep Remembrance Sunday and our parish Mass at 9.30 a.m. will be a Requiem Mass in anniversario for all who died in the past two World Wars and all subsequent conflicts since. At this Mass there will be an Act of Remembrance before the Final Blessing and we shall keep Two Minutes Silence as we remember all who died in the service of their country and for our freedom.
On Sunday afternoon, 14th November at 3 pm, I invite you to join me at the local cemetery for the Blessing of Graves. This will be a simple liturgy of prayer and blessing with holy water of our Catholic graves. A chance too to pray for the repose of the souls of family members and friends buried in the cemetery. Please meet at the stone archway as you enter the main cemetery gates.
This Sunday, 14th November is also the fifth World Day of the Poor, initiated by Pope Francis in 2017. We are all called as Christians to follow the example of Jesus in loving God and our neighbour, especially the most vulnerable. Pope Francis reminds us that: “If we truly wish to encounter Christ, we have to touch his body in the suffering bodies of the poor.”
The theme for this year’s World Day of the Poor is: “for the poor you have always with you” taken from the words of Jesus at the anointing in Bethany just before his Passion. Jesus is not saying that we should not work to alleviate poverty, but the Christian tradition is realistic about human beings. We are good, but flawed, wounded by sin. We do not believe in utopia in this life. There will always be poverty and injustice of some kind, but we are called to reduce its impact whenever and wherever we can.
Our Holy Father goes on to say that the encounter with the poor is more than just charity, or acts of benevolence, important as they are. Our encounter with the poor should be a genuine sharing, an establishment of community, a desire to get to know those who may have been invisible to us. Pope Francis, in his writings, reminds us that it is not enough to work for the relief of poverty. In Fratelli Tutti, he calls upon us to challenge the structural causes of poverty. In our society there is widespread injustice, many people who do not have what is their due, what they need to live a dignified and fulfilled life, and many people too who have far more than they need.
Poverty comes in many guises. In England and Wales, we do not always see the desperate material poverty, which is evident in other countries, but it is there. In 2019, according to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2.4 million people in the UK, including 0.5 million children, experienced destitution at some point in the year, in other words they did not have enough to live on. The same report says that before the Coronavirus pandemic, 14.5 million people in the UK were caught up in poverty, equating to 1 in 5 people.
In our society, we also have people who experience the poverty of isolation and loneliness, homelessness, modern day slavery, trafficking, relational poverty, the experience of being abused or being the victim of violence. These circumstances are often drivers of material poverty, or the result of material poverty.
The Gospel calls us to a conversion of heart and this conversion of heart, as Pope Francis outlines to us in this year’s message for the World Day of the Poor: “consists primarily in opening our hearts to recognise the many different forms of poverty and manifesting the Kingdom of God through a lifestyle consistent with the Faith we profess.
The 1st Parish Meeting as part of the diocesan synodal process took place on: Tuesday 9th November in the link room after evening Mass, from 7.30pm -8.30 pm. My thanks to all who came to offer their support that evening. A reminder that the 2nd Parish Meeting will take place this coming week on: Tuesday 16th November in the link room or the upper hall depending upon numbers – after evening Mass from 7.30pm -8.30 pm. There will be a period of Exposition at 6 pm with special intentions for the Synodal Process, followed by Benediction at 6.45 pm and Mass at 7 pm. The meeting will consider:
1. As a parish do, we know who are the people who feel marginalised or separated from the parish and society?
2. How best can our parish respond?
3. Suggest at least 2 identifiable ways (an immediate action and a long-term change) in which, as a parish, we will reach out to, and listen to, the marginalised or separated.
With my prayers for you and for your families during the coming week,
Your friend and Parish Priest,
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2021 14th November – Newsletter – Download
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