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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Saturday, January 30, 2010
Here is what they are Patron Saints of:

St Andrew – feast day 30th November - of Scotland
St Anthony of Padua - feast day 13th June - of the poor, the oppressed, elderly, amputees, starvation, expectant mothers, fisherman, harvest, sea travels, travel hostesses, boatman, waterman, mariners, sailors and shipwreck
St Benedict – feast day 11th July of kidney disease, poison sufferers, dying people, fever sufferers, farmers, Europe, civil engineers, people in religious order, and students
St Bernadette – feast day 16th April – of the sick people, poverty and family
St Christopher (meaning Christ Carrier) – feast day 25th July - of safe travel
St Dympna – feast day 15th May – of those who suffer mental, mental health professionals, nervous system disorders, epileptics, incest victims, and runaways.
St Gerald Majella – feast day 16th October – of motherhood, &women trying to conceive
St Joseph – feast day 19th March & May 1st – of the universal church and workers
St Jude Thaddeus – feast day 28th October – of hopeless and desperate cases
St Francis of Assisi - feast day 4th October – of Animals and the environment
St Francis Xavier – feast day 3rd December – of missionaries and sailors
St Martha – feast day 29th July - of cooks and servants
St Martin – feast day 12th November – of vintners and alcoholics
St Michael the Archangel – feast day 29th September – of the Christian church
St Paul – feast day 29th June – for us all and for catholic for truth
St Patrick – feast day 17th March – of Ireland
St Peregrine – feast day 1st May - of cancer patients.
St Peter – feast day feast day 29th June – of popes, fishermen, for all of us.
St Rita – feast day 22nd May – of impossible cases
St Theresa of Lisieux– feast day 1st October – of Aids sufferers, aviators, bodily ills, florists, illness, loss of parents, missionaries and tuberculosis
St Teresa of Avila – feast day 15th October – of headache sufferers

posted by Sinead Reekie at 2:04 pm

Monday, January 25, 2010
A few days ago, through their partners Caritas, CAFOD had some significant success in trying to distribute food and water. Here’s their on the ground report:

Caritas had its first major aid distribution on Tuesday 19 January. So far distributions have been on a small scale because of security. But if you can secure an area you can scale up. […] in the end seven trucks arrive on the site. Two trucks come straight from the Dominican Republic, the other five from the Catholic Relief Services (Caritas USA) warehouse.

The distribution is at […] the golf club in Port-au-Prince […] There are about 25,000 people there who have lost their homes and are surviving under plastic sheeting. When we arrive, there are about 1,000 people […] They are behind a line of US soldiers. […] and soon there are about 5,000 people […]

The seven trucks bring about 1,000 family food kits in large buckets, each good for one family for two days, packages of water, and other items including plastic sheets. All the items are handed over by the Caritas volunteers to women only. It may not be enough for everyone present, but it’s a good start.

Last week we outlined the inappropriate argument put by one of the BBC’s most prominent journalists on prime time radio against the all-powerful and good God. He made clear that perennial Christian answers to these perennial natural tragedies were woefully inadequate (to him at least, that is). He went on, as if on a political issue, against the Anglican Bishop he was ‘interviewing’, “What you seem to be arguing for is the slot machine God ... the suffering that has been imposed upon the people of Haiti, many of them clearly innocent, is random.” The morning after the earthquake he made the centuries old point that, in the light of serious suffering, God cannot be both all-powerful and merciful.
And the perennial answer is: He is both, but not in the pre-conceived way that such secularists imagine. Not in the way that He would stop them, for instance, being relativists, or libertarian in their moral life. And they presumably would hate it if He did. Even God cannot stop us the results of human mistakes In belief and sin in action over the ages, which would be a contradiction of man’s defining freedom to love. And the poverty of Haiti which is rooted in the founding of the nation as a place of escape from the horrific Slave Trade (which, incidentally, the Church condemned from its beginning) is rooted in sin. Also humans’ lack of being in tune with the natural movement of our environment and the primitive state of our early warning systems are also probably linked with the fallen, wounded state of man. The wounded radio-receivers of our conscience and environmental sense has resulted from the first spiritual earthquake, and its fall-out across the generations, of the first human sin, and the after-tremors that follow subsequent sin.
Human freedom gives the opportunity to love, at the awful price of sin and some terrible suffering. We are fragile creatures loved by our creator. Even God cannot change that, but, through Christ on the Cross he is with us in it, and ensures that, in the end, it will have been worth it all.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:00 am

Monday, January 18, 2010
ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE- 17th January 2010
Today we pray for the souls of those killed in the appalling Haiti earthquake, and for the comfort and healing in mind and body of the survivors. Next weekend we will have the chance to give monies towards these newly needy in an “Emergency Retiring collection” through the auspices of CAFOD.

“But who do we pray to? The God who allowed all these people to die?“ rang out the first question of the prominent BBC journalist’s prime time question on the popular Radio 4 Today programme, the very morning after the horrific earthquake. A gallant Anglican Bishop had gone into the lion’s den to witness to our loving, all powerful, God against an apparently incredulous BBC. “Why did God allow this to happen?” was the next of a series of unrelenting and morally outraged questions from the BBC’s link man of their main news discussion programme.

A less charitable Christian leader might have alluded to the inappropriateness of such unsympathetic taking sides. For this is a truly delicate and painful issue which has been much discussed and struggled with over the course of the many natural disasters which have publicly afflicted human communities, over the centuries – as well as those much more private freak tragedies and accidents that have so wounded particular families and individuals. We do have things to say on this, and a Saviour who has died upon the Cross in tragic, painful, apparently hopeless circumstances. Is this long-term reflection to be regarded as of little value in order to make an exciting, hard-hitting interview?

Even if the Today programme’s anger at the good God is truly the righteous indignation they seem to present it as, this wouldn’t disprove the existence of an absolute, all powerful intelligence behind the cosmos – just his goodness. Moreover if the materialists view that there is no final meaning in the universe is right then on what basis do they have any “righteousness” or outrage at us believers or our God at all, why should suffering matter, on what basis do they propose any right and wrong, except in a purely relativist manner?

Then the questioner argued that this “imposition” of suffering in Haiti is clearly “random”. The journalist argued against the traditional God of monotheism as both good and all-powerful. As mentioned above this issue has been much discussed over the centuries, in sermons here and in this space (see our website!) Given the relentless nature of the incredulous secularism that engulfs us we’ll probably try again next week. Meanwhile, let us pray, hope & be compassionate.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:17 am

Saturday, January 09, 2010
TWO GREAT TALKS HERE: On the basics of our faith explained for today

Come and gain a fresh vision of our beloved faith.

By speakers from the catechetical FAITH movement, which Fr Hugh is involved with, and through which he gained his vocation to the priesthood. The first time priests from that movement have spoken here!!!

Two Tuesdays, 7:30 pm, the Annexe

26th January: 'Jesus - Is He the meaning of creation?'
Fr Roger Nesbitt, Dean of Dover and Chairman of FAITH Movement.

2nd February: 'God - Can we know that the universe is created?'
Fr Stephen Dingley, Professor of Theology at Wonersh seminary, Guildford, and Publications Editor of FAITH Movement

From the Faith website:
The Universe was spawned from his royal decree, in the first seconds of the 'Big Bang' . This makes Christ the King of Science, as well as of Religion.

In his image as Son of God, the Father's contemplation of Himself, the Angels were made. He is Lord of the realm that is Invisible.

In his image as Son of Man we creatures of body and soul, flesh and blood are made. This flows from God's intention to make us men and women to His likeness in Jesus Christ. Christ is Lord of the visible... in all its beauty.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 10:58 am

The Catholic Church in Britain has some interesting things to look forward to this year. The below are all very likely to happen, though dates, in most cases, are not firmed up:

• The first ever State Visit of a Pope (likely to be in the Autumn)
• The Beatification of Cardinal Newman (likely to be at Coventry airport).
• A new English translation of the Mass, which will be both more faithful to the official Latin prayers as more beautiful and dignified than the words we use at present.
• The vast majority (probably hundreds of thousands) of the worldwide “Traditional Anglican Communion” (which is not the C of E) publicly to state their intentions to become Roman Catholic, along with numerous English and Welsh Anglican groups.(The first deadline for them to declare their intentions is 22nd Feb next).

We should have confidence that one day the oft said “Prayer for England” for the “Conversion of England”, “Mary’s Dowry”, will be answered. We should indeed expect for special fruit from the seed sown by the blood poured upon our soil by the many Reformation martyrs. Each of the above, in its own way, might appear to be a partial fulfilment of the below beautiful prayer of Cardinal Newman, written concerning those friends he painfully left behind in the Anglican Church after his own conversion.

“I gather up and bear in memory those familiar affectionate companions and counsellors, who in Oxford were given to me, one after another, to be my daily solace and relief; and all those others, of great name and high example, who were my thorough friends, and showed me true attachment in times long past. ... And I earnestly pray for this whole company, with a hope against hope, that all of us, who once were so united, and so happy in our union, may even now be brought at length, by the Power of the Divine Will, into One Fold and under One Shepherd”

The fulfilment of all these prayers of course depends particularly upon our own conversion of heart this year. Let us base all our New Year Resolutions upon a yearning for the Grace of God to enable us to keep them.
P.S.: see the very relevant, very good new resources below:
 DVD Reviving Catholic Britain Telephone 01834 812643
 EWTN Interview with Raymond de Souza, then, click on ‘Archive video’ column, ‘EWTN Live’, click on either 100k or 300k Mr de Souza spoke here last yr

posted by Sinead Reekie at 10:55 am