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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, October 29, 2007
The week beginning 8th December we will be having an Advent Mission. John Pridmore (the author of “From Gangland to Promised Land”) and his St Patrick’s Community will lead us through various types of services, presenting the heart of the Good News in a powerful and inspiring manner.

As part of our preparation for this we would like to invite your participation in a special way. This will also form part of the English and Welsh Church’s “Come Home for Christmas” campaign.

This week: We would ask you to pray and to consider any people you know who are distanced from the Church, whether through, for instance, gradual lapsation, some painful experience, or just being a non-Catholic. Discern, through prayer, whether God might possibly want to use you gently to call one of those (back) into full Communion with Christ in the Church. Decide on one such person.
Next week (from 4th Nov): Start a three week campaign of praying for that person, and pray that god may create the opportunity for you to be a vehicle of his grace for them.
Three weeks’ time (Week beginning 25th Nov., at the latest): During the week present them with (or send) a “Come Home for Christmas” leaflet, inviting them to come to some or all of our mission and perhaps, if God wills, to say something else helpful to them. The leaflets will be available from 18th Nov.

St Mary Magdalen Pray for us at this time!

P.S. Remember we also have a Seekers group for those who just want to learn a little bit about our faith a regularly as they wish, and a Journey in Faith group for those definitely wanting to come into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

PARENTAL FOLLOW-UP TO TODAY’S CHILDREN’S LITURGY: The children learned the “Jesus Prayer”, a very old and simple prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ” have mercy on me, a sinner.” Encourage your child to repeat this prayer several times. Night prayers might be a good occasion for this.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:45 pm

Monday, October 22, 2007
Last month a ruling from Pope Benedict came into force. It stated that the old “Latin Mass”. which was the normal way Mass had been celebrated in the west up to the 1960’s, should be considered the “Extraordinary Form” of Mass in our ‘Roman Rite’, and thus made easily available for any “stable group” of parishioners who would like to hear Mass in this form. This Mass involves for instance the priest facing eastwards (that is the same direction as the congregation).

The form of Mass which we are all used to, with the priest facing the people using the vernacular language is to be known as the “Ordinary form”. The Pope was very insistent that we all grow in our love and reverence toward the Ordinary form, but also recognize that the earlier, ancient, Extraordinary form, is an important part of our tradition and identity as Roman Catholics. He is very insistent that lay people have the right to express an interest –and therefore to know of this right.

Since we mentioned this fact in this space last summer four people have expressed a very strong interest, and a few others a general interest. Please do let one of the priests know if you have an interest in a regular celebration of the Extraordinary form, in our parish, for instance on a Sunday.

PARENTAL FOLLOW-UP TO TODAY’S GOSPEL: Agree as a family on at least one thing you want to ask God to do for yourselves or someone else. Remember to pray for that intention together daily, and encourage your child to trust that God will answer the prayer in his own time, and according to His Will for our full and final happiness

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:06 am

Monday, October 15, 2007

1. SEEKER’S GROUP: A basic non-pressurized introduction to the basics of Catholic Faith and Spirituality, for any with any interest. Some Saturdays 2pm in the annexe. Currently running.
2. JOURNEY IN FAITH: An introductory course in the Catholic Faith for those interested in becoming a Catholic or coming back to the Faith. Currently running.
3. REFLECTION GROUPS : Sharing, discussing and praying aspects of our faith in friends small groups. Run in bi-annual series of six weeks. About to start this week, reflecting upon the Eucharist. See blue cards
4. FIVE GOLDEN THREAD OF THE CATECHISM: Being run on the third Saturday of the month 2 p.m. – 3:30 pm here in the Annexe., starting 17th Nov. This course is important for all Catechists, but all parishioners are welcome. Certificate given at end.
5. ECHOES COURSE: A deeper look at the key themes of Salvation History, mainly to support Catechists in their work. Run on alternative years with above. One-off retreat Day coming up at Ealing Abbey, especially for our parish. Sat 27th October. There are still some places left, so we are opening this to any parishioner interested. Please contact Clergy House. Certificate given at end.
6. MARYVALE CATECHIST TRAINING COURSE:Two-year distance learning, based at Ealing Abbey, sponsored by our diocese. Numerous parishioners have been doing this.
7. MARYVALE CERTIFICATES AND DEGREES IN CATECHESIS, PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY Distance learning, based in Birmingham. Sponsorship available. Several parishioners are already doing this.

PARENTAL FOLLOW-UP TO TODAY’S CHILDREN’S LITURGY: We exhorted the children to thank the person who did something loving for them today (or yesterday). Receive their thanks warmly if you are that person, or encourage them to express thanks to someone else.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:12 am

Monday, October 08, 2007
NEXT SUNDAY’S COFFEE: speak to someone new
Recently we sent out 67 letters to those who had filled out one of our green registration forms from January 2005 up to the present day. We sort of assumed that they were (at least a signify-cant majority of them) new parishioners. We are inviting them to come into the Annexe next Sunday between the 10:30 and 12 noon Masses for some mutual introductions. So pray for good weather.

Whilst, sadly for us but hopefully happily for them, a number of our parishioners have moved out of London and even to other shores (particularly across the water) in recent times. Very happily for us quite a number, particularly from the Indian sub-continent have joined, but also from the Caribbean, Africa and other places. It’s not always easy to settle in and meet other parishioners, so we hope next week will be good for them, and many of the rest of us, in mak-ing new acquaintances. So do come along and speak to someone you haven’t met before.

We plan to present a booklet to our ‘new’ parishioners, with short description of the 40 or so groups in the parish. Our parish is an active one.

Parish life and activity is of course centred upon our celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist. All our lives, inasmuch as they are fruitful for others, flow out from this.

Here in St Mary Magdalen’s we also have many initiatives running in the areas of prayer, adult catechesis, youth formation, service of those in the wider community, social life and direct support of the daily life of the parish, her Church and priests house. We hope that next week will help all to grow in their spiritual life. We hope that quite a few parishioners may get more involved in our groups. Together may we grow in the knowledge and love of God, and of each other.

PARENTS: To link in with our Children’s Liturgy theme next Sunday parents this week could help their children to make an act of faith. You can teach them the traditional words in most prayer books or below, or encourage them to express in their own words their desire to know Jesus better and to love him and his bride The Church more.

An ACT OF FAITH: Lord Jesus Christ, we believe in you and all your Church teaches, because you are truly the Son of the living God. Confirm and strengthen our faith.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:08 am

Monday, October 01, 2007
Sign up for one off our six week reflection groups

This weekend we have put out cards offering the chance to sign up for a new series of parish reflection groups which will soon be starting. The title of the sessions, which have been prepared by the diocese, is ‘Sharing His Life’. These will also be running in other parishes. They offer parishioners an opportunity to grow in understanding of the mass and the importance of the Eucharist in the Catholic faith.

When leaving his disciples Jesus said “I leave you my peace, my peace I give to you.” (Jn 14, 27). This is his gift to us as the Prince of Peace. Jesus also told his followers; “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (Jn 6, 51). These are great promises from Jesus; to receive his peace into our lives by receiving him and to be able to live forever simply by sharing in his true presence in the Eucharist.

We also learn from John the Evangelist that “God is love” (1 Jn 4, 8), so to share in the life of Jesus is to share in the very source of love. When we look at our own lives, our work and our family, we can see the need for peace and love in many circumstances. Also, as we ponder the world around us and see the political and social challenges present, we may wonder what solutions could be found to such complicated affairs. Jesus promises that it is his peace and his love which are the only definitive answer for all life’s questions.

What an invitation! Our good God calls us to share his life every day and most especially through the life of the Church and our parish community gathered around the Eucharist. Take a chance and sign up for one of the groups. It is only six weeks and it may reap great rewards as well as providing a chance to deepen in love for God and others.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:09 am