Newsletter- 27th Week of Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners,

October is designated by the Church as the “Month of the Holy Rosary” because in this month the Church celebrates the Marian feast of “Our Lady of the Rosary” on 7th October.   The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, also celebrated as Our Lady of Victory or Victories, was established by Pope St. Pius V in 1571 to celebrate the miraculous victory of the Christian forces in the Battle of Lepanto on October 7th of that year. Before the decisive battle, St. Pius V had requested all Western Christians to pray the Rosary; thus, he attributed the victory to the power of the Marian prayer being offered.

The dedication of the month of October to the Holy Rosary became common in the Church thanks to Pope Leo XIII, an enthusiastic promoter of the Rosary. In the span of only five years, Pope Leo wrote eleven encyclicals on the RosaryDuring the week and before the morning Masses, other than when a Funeral takes place, parishioners will be leading the Rosary in church. This normally begins about twenty minutes before the start of Mass. I invite you to join us, as together, we seek Our Lady’s gracious intercession for our parish and for other special intentions during the coming month ahead.

In today’s Gospel on the 27th Sunday in ordinary Time, we hear Jesus teach about faith and service to God. The context is a continuing dialogue between Jesus and his followers about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus has just finished an instruction on sin and forgiveness. There are two related teachings that Jesus offers to his disciples when they cry out for an increase in faith. The first is the familiar reminder that faith, even just a little, will enable the followers of Jesus to do wondrous things. But this uplifting and inspiring teaching is quickly followed by the second teaching, a caution about knowing one’s place in God’s plans. The disciples of Jesus are to understand themselves as servants to God and his plans. Even when God works wonders through us, with our mustard seed-sized faith, we must not seek praise. Our participation in God’s plans is God’s grace to us—nothing more, nothing less. When we are graced enough to cooperate with God, the work we do is nothing more than our obligation to God as faithful stewards. And yet, our faith enables us to believe that what we have offered in service to God, as his modern day disciples in the world, can be made to produce a hundredfold.

Replacement Parish Hymn Books: As I mentioned in the Bulletin last week, I was approached a few weeks ago by two of our parishioners who have very kindly, and generously, offered to replace the present hymn books with new ones. Going forward we have decided to replace the current hymn book with another hymn book also printed by Kevin Mayhew “Catholic Hymns Old and New” this is an excellent choice for a parish like our own as it contains a wide selection of over 936 hymns, both old and contemporary, chants, and a good selection of Mass Settings and Responsorial Psalms and Gospel Acclamations for use on all Sundays throughout the Year and all Major Feasts. At present we are still awaiting the delivery from the publishers, hopefully in a few days’ time now!  And God willing, we shall be able to begin to use them during the mid-part of October. 

Request for more servers: At present, we have a good and very committed group of young servers, who come weekly to serve at the altar, and I am very grateful to them for giving of their time to this important ministry within our parish. However, I am also aware that in a few years’ time some our older servers may start to think about moving on to college and university. It would be good to start now to plan for this by training up some of our younger members of the congregation, to ensure that the excellent standard of serving at St Mary’s continues into the future. If your child (girl or boy) has made their First Holy Communion, and they would like to come to learn how to serve at the altar, please in the first instance make contact with me. Serving is a wonderful opportunity to make new friends and to offer service to God and to our parish community. We also try to make it an enjoyable and fun experience! 

With prayer for you and for your families during the coming week ahead,

Your parish priest and friend,

Father Jonathan


2022 1st October – Newsletter – Download