Blank Image
St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
Just some images of our church
blank image
blank image
blank image blank image blank image blank image blank image blank image
Previous Posts

Click here to go back


Tuesday, December 22, 2009
4th Sunday of Advent - 20/12/09 - Next Sun (27th): A Special Chance To Show Our Love For The Baby Jesus

“Next Sunday, Holy Family Sunday, the Devil is likely gently to invite many of us

not to be present at Mass!”

1. What does that mean?! Next Sunday, 27th, is just two days after Christmas day, when many of us will have “already” been to Mass. There will be many “reasons” not to go to Mass.

2. Isn’t it a bit dramatic to talk above about the “Devil tempting” us not to go, there are indeed many things from the weather to family that can stop us. Christ in the Church calls all Catholics to go to Mass every Sunday. Because the call is spoken to us very clearly by Christ we know that any temptation to refuse the call is definitely not from the Spirit of God, and is ultimately linked, to some degree, to the Father of Lies., that is the Devil.

3.Does it really, really matter if we don’t? Jesus wouldn’t ask us if it didn’t. Centring our week upon God is very important. At Sunday Mass we humbly offer our week to the Father through His Son by the power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of the Lord, with his whole Body, His family. This is the basis of all true fruitfulness. Unless we have a “grave” reason not to (e.g. illness, 24/7 care of others, etc), we should ‘drag ourselves out’ to be with Jesus.

4. But surely we are grown up, and can make reasonable decisions not to go. Christ speaks through his Body the Church - otherwise he doesn’t speak clearly at all. He doesn’t have a secret police physically to enforce it – He just requests.

5. But if the pressure not to go is so great surely God is merciful? If we fail to go (apart from a grave reason) it is definitely wrong, but our culpability can be very much reduced. And if we are repentant God will forgive.

6. Will it be worth it? Precisely because of the above reasons:

I.e.: 1. It’s only two days after Christmas

2. The Church is out of fashion, not least due to recent scandals; 3. Obedience is out of fashion

4. Belief in the Devil is out of fashion; 5. We can easily convince ourselves it’s not our fault

… getting ourselves to Mass next Sunday (27th), especially if it’s through snow, will be a great act of love for & faith in and sacrifice to Jesus. It’s a great chance to do something definitely right truly loving, but which we’re likely definitely to be tempted against. It will definitely bear fruit for us all.

Mass times will be as normal.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 1:57 pm

2nd Sunday of Advent-06/12/09 - Humanists Get Children Profoundly Confused

From The Times 21.11.09: The two children chosen to front Richard Dawkins’s latest assault on God could not look more free of the misery he associates with religious baggage. With the slogan “Please don’t label me. Let me grow up and choose for myself”, the youngsters with broad grins seem to be the perfect adver-tisement for the new atheism being promoted by Professor Dawkins and the British Humanist Association.

Except that they are about as far from atheism as it is possible to be. The Times can reveal that Charlotte, 8, and Ollie, 7, are from one of the country’s most devout Christian families. Their father, Brad Mason, is [a popular evangelical drummer, who has been …] providing photographs to agencies who sell them on […]. He said: “It is quite funny, because obviously they were searching for images of children that looked happy and free. [….]” He said that the children’s Christianity had shone through. “Obviously there is something in their faces which is different. So they judged that they were happy and free […] I reckon it shows we have brought up our children in a good way and that they are happy.” […]

The British Humanist Association said that it did not matter whether the children were Christians. […] “The message is that the labelling of children by their parents’ religion fails to respect the rights of the child and their autonomy. We are saying that religions and philosophies — and ‘humanist’ is one of the labels we use on our poster — should not be foisted on or assumed of young children.”

Children, in a child-like way do tend to follow their parents in regard to belief. It is natural and good. If we acknowledge this and the fact that they are their same religion as their parents, is that “foisting” beliefs upon children, disrespecting their rights? Surely only those parents and guardians, and indeed opinion formers, who are less than at peace with their own values are not at peace with them being handed on to those who love them, respect them, need them, look to them for answers & to those they have given life.

This campaign is another example of humanists and their fellow-travellers very effectively pushing their belief that children have “rights” enabling them to be “autonomous” of parents and their Creator in learning about important truths and values. Presumably they approve of the obvious fact that children today are indeed picking up on this sense of autonomy, on the supposed lack of need to respect or obey elders, let alone to listen out for divine revelation. The children who will read their poster are just receiving one more reinforcement of the fashionable materialism being powerfully taught to them. They are being encouraged to disrespect the wisdom of ages and of the aged, and to despair of being made for the gift of true life.

Teaching that children should not receive information about life, the universe and everything is not just contradictory, it is inhuman. Children ask questions and naturally imbibe values, beliefs and priorities from their elders. In today’s increasingly post-Christian society an increasing amount of children imbibe the crazy conviction that they shouldn’t have to imbibe any conviction – especially about important things. We are becoming a society of confused and self-contradictory individualists intent on producing more.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 1:55 pm

1st Sunday of Advent-29/11/09 - Having Your Say On 'Assisting Suicide'

There is an important consultation now taking place about when cases of 'assisted suicide' will be prosecuted. The law on 'assisting suicide' has not changed but the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has issued 'interim guidelines' about when to prosecute people who do it. We have until 16 December 2009 to respond. It is essential that as many people as possible concerned about safeguarding the value of life should respond. The guidelines are defective. If left unchanged, they are likely to encourage attitudes and practices that will greatly increase the pressures on vulnerable people to kill themselves. Suicide is a terrible act and typically the act of a desperate person. Those contemplating suicide should be treated with compassion, but suicide should never be promoted or assisted. Promoting or assisting suicide is a serious offence, not a 'victimless crime'. It leaves someone dead.

What are the most important defects in the guidelines?
First, that the guidelines give the impression that a person with a disability (or a serious illness or a history of suicide attempts) has less protection under the law than the rest of us. Second, they may well encourage people in certain categories (spouses and carers) to think they are immune from prosecution for advising or assisting suicide. Sadly, not all spouses and carers are caring people, and vulnerable people need the law's protection here. Third, the guidelines fail to give enough weight to preventing systematic promotion of suicide by pro-suicide and pro-euthanasia groups or individuals.

What can we do?
You can respond to the consultation and make your views known. Unfortunately the consultation document produced by the Crown Prosecution Service is confusing and not easy to follow. Advice on how to respond is on the Bishops' Conference website. ( If you write a response the key point to make in your reply is that the factors "against prosecution" should not include: (1) that the victim had a terminal illness, severe disability or chronic illness, or (2) that the suspect was a spouse, partner or close relative. It is right that there should be some discretion for the DPP when there are exceptional circumstances which mean prosecution would not be in the public interest. But including these key categories in guidelines could allow the practice of assisted suicide to quickly become very common.

To make your response go to or phone the Crown Prosecution Service (020 7796 8000) and ask for a copy of the consultation document.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 1:53 pm

Monday, December 21, 2009
34th Sunday-22/11/09 - Farewell from Niamh - Our Parish Youth Worker
I've been working here in St Mary Magdalen's for just over a year now and I have to announce that sadly I will be moving onto a new job in Birmingham. I have had a wonderful year here in Willesden Green and I feel like I'm part of the parish family. I have loved getting to know the young people and working with them. I have had the opportunity to work with individuals in the post-confirmation youth group and I must say that they are a remarkable bunch of young people who have a great generosity of heart about them. They have taken me into their hearts and I care a great deal about each one of them.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the adult volunteers and catechists who have supported me over this past year, without them we would not be able to run the youth clubs or catechesis programmes and I am so grateful to them for their support and friendship during this year. I'd like to thank some people in the parish who have been real friends to me, fed me and supported me during this year (you know who you are). I'd like to give a special thanks to Fr Hugh, he is truly very devoted to work with young people and I could not have got through this year without his support and advice.

I am very sad to be going and hope that you will keep me in your prayers and I will continue to make regular trips to my second home here in Willesden Green.

Next weekend we are having a “youth Mass” on Saturday at 6:30pm with some "youth-friendly" music for all ages followed by a social for young people in year 7+. Please try and dig out those recently Confirmed and members of youth clubs from previous years and get them along- I'd just love to see them again. This will be my last event as parish youth worker so I'd like to invite all volunteers and parishioners who have been involved in the past year to come along and enjoy some games and cake and say goodbye.

I'll be outside most of the masses this weekend so please come over and say hello and goodbye!
Thanks so much for everything and I will keep you all in my prayers.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:49 pm