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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, June 29, 2009
The Year of St Paul, celebrating the 2,000th anniversary of his birth, closes over the next 24 hours wtih ceremonies in Rome, ending at 17:30 tomorrow.. Did you manage to read a letter of his cover to cover? – there’s still time, and Philemon is very short!

We are now just into The Year for Priests to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the death of the Curé d'Ars, St John Mary Vianney. Our new Archbishop Nichols made the following introduction to the Year:

“The Year for Priests, called for by Pope Benedict XVI, is to be a year, in which, as a Church, we say that we are proud of our priests, that we love them, honour them and recognise with gratitude the witness of their lives and the generosity of their pastoral work.
During this Year of the Priests, as a Diocese, we will centre our effort around a renewed practice of prayer. In every parish we will centre this effort around prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary. I hope that every parish will devote an hour each week to prayer for priests before the Blessed Sacrament and that a rhythm of Forty Hours devotion can be established around the Deaneries. I hope that this renewal will reach to our schools too.
This practice of prayer, as well as study, will sustain us in our life together […]

The Diocese has proposed ST JOHN SOUTHWORTH as a further patron for the year. He was a 17th century priest whose body is in our Cathedral near to where he ministered as a further patron for the Year. During the plague of 1636, he tended the sick with outstanding devotion and courage.
After a series of imprisonments for ministering as a Catholic priest, Southworth was apprehended for the final time and sent to be tried at the Old Bailey in 1654. Although encouraged to do so, he would not deny that he was a Catholic priest.
On 28 June 1654 Southworth was dragged on a hurdle to Tyburn where he was to be hung, drawn and quartered. Unusually Southworth was allowed to wear his vestments at the place of execution and, the executioner having pity for him, he was allowed to hang to death, rather than having to endure the yet more terrible ordeal of being quartered whilst still alive. His last recorded words which he spoke from the gallows were, "My faith and obedience to my superiors is all the treason charged against me; nay, I die for Christ’s law, which no human law, by whomsoever made, ought to withstand or contradict . . . To follow His holy doctrine and imitate His holy death, I willingly suffer at present; this gallows I look upon as His Cross, which I gladly take to follow my Dear Sav-iour . . I plead not for myself . . . but for you poor persecuted Catholics whom I leave behind me."

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:22 pm