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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, September 28, 2009

, Monday 12th October 7:15pm at Library 52 southbound bus stop

(let Clergy House know if you can’t take the bus and NEED a lift down.)

Being close to the remains of someone who has died is a real physical way of being close to them. Although they are not now one with that person, they were, and so are still closely related to that person.

The relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux arrived in England via Eurotunnel on Tuesday 15 September 2009 in a specially adapted hearse for an historic first visit to England and Wales. The relics of the beloved, Catholic Saint are in the middle of visiting 28 different venues, including many Catholic cathedrals and parishes, an Anglican cathedral, a university chaplaincy, a prison and a hospice for the dying.

As a child Thérèse drew a map of England and on this map she named two cities, the cities where the official tour begins and ends; Portsmouth and London. Huge crowds have flocked to St. Thérèse in every country her relics have visited – over 42 to date. Wherever they have gone, many people have experienced conversion, healing, a renewed sense of vocation, and answers to their prayers. All are welcome and there is a special invitation to the sick, young people seeking their way in life and those from any faith or none.

One of St. Thérèse’s sayings was that she would “let fall a shower of roses on earth” after her death. Consequently, many people will be bringing roses to the venues and asking for them to be blessed and to touch the reliquary.

We hope to have copies of her best selling autobiography Story of a Soul in our repository soon. To receive daily updates from each venue, visit

posted by Sinead Reekie at 10:54 am

Monday, September 07, 2009
Caritas in Veritate, on human development today: The Beginning of Chapter Three “Fraternity, Economic Development And Civil Society”

Charity in truth places man before the astonishing experience of gift. Gratuitousness is present in our lives in many different forms, which often go unrecognized because of a purely consumerist and utilitarian view of life. The human being is made for gift, which expresses and makes present his transcendent dimension. Sometimes modern man is wrongly convinced that he is the sole author of himself, his life and society. This is a presumption that follows from being selfishly closed in upon himself, and it is a consequence — to express it in faith terms — of original sin. The Church's wisdom has always pointed to the presence of original sin in social conditions and in the structure of society: “Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals” [Catechism407]

In the list of areas where the pernicious effects of sin are evident, the economy has been included for some time now. We have a clear proof of this at the present time. The conviction that man is self-sufficient and can successfully eliminate the evil present in history by his own action alone has led him to confuse happiness and salvation with immanent forms of material prosperity and social action. Then, the conviction that the economy must be autonomous, that it must be shielded from “influences” of a moral character, has led man to abuse the economic process in a thoroughly destructive way. In the long term, these convictions have led to economic, social and political systems that trample upon personal and social freedom, and are therefore unable to deliver the justice that they promise.

As I said in my Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi, history is thereby deprived of Christian hope, deprived of a powerful social resource at the service of integral human develop-ment, sought in freedom and in justice. Hope encourages reason and gives it the strength to direct the will. It is already present in faith, indeed it is called forth by faith.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 11:05 am