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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
Just some images of our church
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Thursday, June 28, 2007
Thirteenth Sunday 1st July 2007 Year C
“Blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
See blue leaflets at the back, produced by the Bishop’s Conference, and see the purple A5 newsletter insert explaining the below:

for the intentions of our parish, that we may grow in our awareness of
the wonder of human life, from the womb to the tomb.
Please say the prayer at the back of the blue leaflets each day from today until Monday 9th July. We will say it at the end of each Mass, at our Group Leaders Holy hour this Friday evening, and at our parish feast day Mass a week today, see below. The Novena will finish the day after.

In the new stadium of the new Donnington Rd Sports Centre, starting with Mass
Bring your picnic/beach chairs/blankets – enjoy the sun!

 Junior Fun Run: one lap of the stadium (U-10’s: Parents/guardians also
encouraged: e.g. pushing buggies)
 Senior one mile Fun Run (four laps of the stadium)
 Tuck and Tea shop.
 Bouncy Castle, Netball, Long Jump, Hop, Skip&Jump, Egg&Spoon Race, Football

Changing facilities and lockers are available. Access to stadium through main entrance.

Allow plenty of time for parking – surrounding roads can be very busy at this time.
FREE ENTRY ALL DAY - All other proceeds to the British Heart Foundation.

Any Gazebos (especially pop-up) also gratefully received on the day

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:52 pm

Monday, June 25, 2007
Questions and Answers on the Mass- continued.
How does the priest respond to our offering of ourselves?
The offertory is a particularly powerful moment. During the offertory we offer ourselves to God too and join ourselves spiritually to Christ's sacrifice which is made present to us at Mass. After the offertory the priest bows and quietly prays that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God.
As we shall see later, this is an important moment because it reminds us that the Mass is a true sacrifice in which the merits of Christ's passion are offered in an “unbloody” manner. He then washes his hands. In ancient times this was probably just a practical matter of cleanliness, but it symbolises for us the purity of soul of the priest who offers the sacrifice of the Mass.
After the Offertory, there is a dialogue between the priest and people that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God. This is followed by the Preface

What is the Preface?
It is a prayer of thanksgiving and the first part of the Eucharistic prayer. It begins with the words “Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks...”. The Preface explains why we are giving thanks to God at a given Mass so it varies depending on the season or the feast day. The preface is another very ancient part of the liturgy and is found in records dating from the First Century. In the ‘New Rite’ of Mass, which we have celebrated since the 1970’s liturgical reforms, there are nearly 100 Prefaces for many different feasts and seasons explaining the meaning behind them.

Why the hymn Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Domine...?
The Preface concludes with the prayer “Holy, holy, holy Lord...” (Isaiah 6:3) followed by “Blessed is he who comes...”, the acclamation made to Christ on Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:9). In Latin these are called the Sanctus and the Benedictus respectively. The exclamation “hosanna” during the Sanctus is from Hebrew and literally means “oh help” but is used as a triumphal acclamation of God. The Sanctus has been included at Mass from as early as the second century AD. The mention of angels during the end of the Preface is very significant – according to the prophet Isaiah the angels praise God using the words “Holy, holy, holy...” and during Mass the angels are present (though invisible) around the sanctuary adoring Christ who is with us under the outward appearance of bread and wine.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:33 am

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Mother Teresa pointed out that the second victim of each abortion is the mother. This is particularly true in our society where there is an immense cultural pressure upon and subtle anaesthetization of the consciences of mothers with ‘problem pregnancies’.
Catholic have particular responsibility to encourage the people of this land to move towards that day, which will surely come, when historians and people of good will look back at this era of late-twentieth century onwards with horror and amazement. For we apparently sophisticated and civilized people currently condone the killing of 600 of our most weak, and innocent brothers and sisters, with hardly a grumble. Whilst the breakdown of the traditional family is most certainly linked to the ‘anti-life’ mentality the full price which our civilization is paying morally, socially and spiritually will be more easily capable of assessment by future generations, perhaps future civilizations born out of the rubble of our own – and of course by God
As well as supporting the numerous Catholic-inspired efforts to support mothers with problem pregnancies (e.g.: LIFE, Good Counsel Network, Pro-Life Initiative and Sisters) we have a chance to do something, perhaps significant, by supporting the below diocesan request. History, and god, will judge us on our actions.
Ann Winterton MP - with the support of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs - will be introducing a bill on Tuesday 5th June as a first step in curbing the present abortion law. The aim is to ensure that women receive proper counselling, warning them of possible dangers to their physical and mental health, informing them of alternative help available, and providing them with a delay of seven days before making a final decision.
The Bill will also require doctors to state on the notification forms whether the abortion was carried out on physical or on mental grounds (instead of grouping the two together as at present and thus obscuring the real reasons for the abortion).
You can encourage your MP to attend the debate on the 5th June and vote in support of the Bill. Please write to your MP at the House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA. Or you can telephone him/her at 020 7219 3000. Ask for your MP (by name) or his/her secretary. Give your name and address to show that you are a constituent.
For further information, please contact ProLife Alliance at 020 7581 6939 or email Postal address PO Box 13395, London, SW3 6XE.

History, but more importantly God will judge us on our actions at this dark hour.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 1:19 pm

Monday, June 11, 2007
As you may know our increasing local community of Polish Catholics has recently been loaned St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church between Dollis hill tube station and Gladstone Park for two years, increasing possibly to five. They had their first Mass there on Maundy Thursday last, the first Christian service in the property for about five years.

This is a moving moment of ecumenical cooperation. Coming up to five hundred years ago the Roman Catholic Church in England lost most of its Churches to the reformed community. Now the Anglican diocese of London has very kindly allowed a Eucharist community in communion with Rome to take it over. We congratulate the lively, committed, flourishing Catholic community from Poland. We are confident that the graces received from this providential development will flow into our own community of St Mary Magdalen’s.

Many Poles have come to our land following Poland’s entry into the European Community. Those in North West London could not be accommodated in their small Walm Lane Chapel. Fr Scott Anderson, Vicar of St Andrews and St Francis, has commented that “I was happy to see so many people attend Easter celebration from the surrounding area and am assured that we did the right thing in giving the church to the Polish community.” Fr George Bialek, the Parish priest of the North West London Polish parish commented “We could never pray together as a whole (at Walm Lane) … now we can turn to all our brothers and sisters and offer the sign of peace”

A member of the Polish community, Iwona Minor, has written a letter to our community that will be published in a forthcoming Magdala. In it she tells us of the Maundy Thursday Mass: “The time finally arrived. The congregation began to arrive and slowly fill the flower scented church. This was our church. The emotion felt by everyone was overwhelming. At 6.50pm the church bell rang. Tears of joy and pride welled up in everyone’s eyes. This was truly a spiritual home-coming.

“Each part of the celebration was filled with emotion, spirituality and gratitude. Everything seemed perfect from the altar servers to the beautifully scented flower arrangements. Could this get any better? When mass was ended people stayed in and around the church not wanting to retire to their homes, an amazing experience.”

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:40 am

Friday, June 08, 2007
We continue our series on the Mass by looking at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

What is the Offertory?
The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the offertory. This is the rite by which the bread and wine are presented (offered) to God before they are consecrated, and the prayers and singing that accompany it. The collection of alms is made during the offertory as this is another offering to God.

What does this presentation signify?
First and foremost it is the actual provision of material food from our lives, which matter will become one with the flesh of Christ during the Eucharistic Prayer, which flesh is the best food-stuff and medicine for our own flesh, and so ourselves. It is all in order that our lives may be united to his life of self-giving (Sacrifice) to the Father for us. The bread and wine then also signifies our lives, joys and sorrows which will be transformed and swept up by becoming more part of the vine which is Christ.

Why the Collection?
This is also a provision of something real from our lives, earned by the sweat of our brow, to be transformed into spiritual fruit. Monies collected go towards the upkeep of the Church and Presbytery, any expenses from parish groups, and the wages of anyone employed within these parish structures. Direct financial support of clergy is through the Christmas & Easter offerings, & stipends for baptisms, marriages, funerals & daily masses. Full accounts are published each year, scrutinized by the diocese and our own finance committee. Recently we were successfully audited by external accountants.

In what manner does the priest offer the bread and wine?
The priest holds up the bread with the prayer “Blessed are you, Lord God of all cre-ation, through your goodness we this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made, it will become for us the bread of life”. It is similar with the wine.
Before the wine is offered, the priest adds a few drops of water to it. This is derived from the custom practised in Jesus' time of always drinking wine mixed with water. While doing this he quietly says, “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity”. Hence the mixing also represents the divine and human natures of Christ in his one person.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:39 pm

In 1957 our parish priest. Fr Byant helped to set up our Union Of Catholic Mothers foundation. Last Thursday we celebrated the golden anniversary of our still thriving Union of Catholic Mothers Foundation.

In attendance were the diocesan president Mrs Norrie Fox, our own president Mrs Breda Kelleher, as well as members of nine other local foundations. Our Previous parish priest Fr Tony Dwyer and assistant priest David Barrow were present. Fr David Irwin the former Anglican Vicar of St Andrews and St Francis preached on the dignity of always striving for and witnessing to, with God’s help, for faithful marriage and family, even when it is beconig unfashionable, such as in our own society.

Four young mothers were enrolled. Congratulations got to Eileen Bannis, Kathleen Reddington, Maureen McHugh and Denise Pambakian.

At the reception afterwards we saw photos on an inaugural boat trip which the ladies went on with Fr Bryant.

The Aims and Objectives of the UCM state:

1. To help Catholic women to appreciate the sacramental character, responsibilities and permanence of marriage and to live in unselfish love, observing the laws of God and his Church.
2. To assist them to bring up their children as practicing Catholics and public-spirited citizens.
3. To teach and defend Christian values in family life and to ensure for their children Catholic education.
4. To offer love, sympathy and practical help to the family in difficulty.
5. To foster vocations in Life, especially in Christian Marriage and Family Life and in the Priesthood and Religious Life.

Membership of the UCM is open to all Catholic women, married and single - also non-Catholic wives of Catholic husbands, and may be extended to other women in sympathy with its Aims and Objectives.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 11:47 am