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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Saturday, July 24, 2010
Pope John Paul II wrote in his 1995 encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae that the darkness that took place at the time of Christ’s death on Good Friday, was ‘the symbol of a great cosmic disturbance and massive conflict between the forces of good and evil and between life and death.’ Pope John Paul II then immediately put it into the reality of today and wrote:- ‘Today we too find ourselves in the midst of a dramatic conflict between the "culture of death" and the "culture of life".’

From this grew the idea of a ‘Day for Life’ when we could pray about and meditate on the great Life issues, ranging from abortion through to euthanasia and examine our own lives and see in what way we can help confront these issues. How can we say that we are pro-life if we can’t at the same time do something positive to help those facing difficult pregnancies or problems at the end of life. How do you react when you hear about or meet a young unmarried women who is pregnant, wondering how she will cope; thinking how her dreams for the future are now in jeopardy; thinking that abortion may be her best available option? How supportive are we to such a person? Women who have abortions nearly always say ‘I had no other choice’. Sadly that may partly be because no-one pointed out that there were other choices. Do you know the contact details of local pro-life organisations (LIFE, SPUC, Good Counsel Network) where these women can be counselled and helped? What about giving them practical help? The Good Counsel Network always wants to counsel women knowing that there is someone praying for them in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Can you volunteer to be such a person?

What about lonely, elderly, housebound people? It may be that all that is needed is a regular visit / chat on the phone to alleviate the loneliness. What about those recently bereaved who suddenly find themselves alone? How well do we know each other in the parish to know who needs help. It may be that a housebound person lives near you, but could come to Mass if given a lift. Helping others does involve sacrifice, but little compared with the sacrifice Jesus made for us. You might like to get involved in our Bethany or Visitation groups.

The collection after Mass is for the Anscombe Bioethics Centre; the only Catholic bioethics centre in the UK and set up by the bishops 30 years ago. It is staffed by experts in the field and as well as giving advice to the bishops and healthcare professionals, it engages with the academics of the secular world, seeking to show them the true path of ethics. Our own deacon Michael is currently chairman of the Board of Governors of the Anscombe Centre.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 1:58 pm

It’s day 3 of the holidays and the weather is not looking promising .. your toddler is whining for something to eat ... your eldest has decided to make it his mission to annoy his siblings in any shape or form ... The house, which vaguely resembled some sense of order just a couple of hours ago, is now descending at break-neck speed into utter chaos. …
• Devise a plan Just like at school – divide the day up into sessions. ... A great idea is to list all the various possible activities for indoor or outdoor play. ... e.g. make a poster, have a music/singing session, go for a long hike, and have a water pistol fight.
• Boredom Busters Save a couple of surplus toys ... for rainy days – e.g. play-dough kit, pack of cards, jigsaws. ... ask the grandparents to bring such items instead of sweets when they visit ... go to the pound store one day and stock up on funky crayons, colouring books and plasticine....
• Sure-fire hits (for free) I’ve never met a child that doesn’t enjoy hide & seek or a good old tickle fight. You will be one popular parent if you’re willing to do some silly stuff with yr kids occasionally. Just remind them that this is a special activity ... get older ones to set up an assault course in the garden and have fun with a stopwatch ... Dressing up & role play can also be fun for all ages up to 10 ...set up “camp” in the living room or under the dining table!
• Always go out ... The day will go much quicker if you get out even for only half an hour. ...
• Go on a picnic You get fresh air, a chance for running off beans and all the crumbs cleared up in one easy move. Phone a friend to join you ...
• Bargain with the older ones... please put away XYZ first, or play with the baby for 15 mins first. Oh, you’d like an ice-lolly? ... first you need to clear up all those crayons &cut up piec-es of paper. Don’t just give them something for nothing all the time (apart from love that is)
• Make a ‘Play date’ with other families ... [discover] your kids are not the naughtiest
• Save the TV or DVDs For when you desperately need some peace and quiet or when a young one really needs to calm down from a busy day ... [or] 30 minutes before you go out ... – use TV time to suit YOU and your plans ...
• Say yes to offers of help that come your way And [... consider] holiday clubs
• ... AND at the end of each day make sure you reserve some time and energy for some child-free pursuit that you enjoy.
This is from Care for the Family website. Check out this website for some really good intuitive games, mainly for younger children but actually for all ages:

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:57 pm

Monday, July 05, 2010
Historic Change to a Brent Borough School
The Diocese of Westminster and the Governors have decided to re-launch Cardinal Hinsley Mathematics and Computing College with a new name, Newman Catholic College. Cardinal John Henry Newman was a very distinguished and wonderful Catholic Leader who wrote many important books and documents that had a huge impact in the Church. He was an inspiring person who did a large number of important things to improve education in the poorer parts of Birmingham in the nineteenth century. During Pope Benedict’s visit to England this September he will beatify Cardinal Newman, the first stage towards him becoming a saint. A very appropriate person as the main patron of our “new” college.

Report from our recent Finance and Premises meeting
We are now moving ahead with replacing the central heating in Clergy House. Many thanks to those who have supported the on-going fundraising for this project. Recently the diocesan head of finance joined our committee to look at the financial side of this project. He was very impressed with the fundraising of this parish over the last ten years in terms of the refurbishment and rebuilding of church and schools.

Notwithstanding your generous increase in giving in March 2009, and our higher gift-aid receipts, which have kept our cash flow in the black we have not been able to save in appropriate amounts. This partly follows from the recent upgrade to the Church boilers and now the house heating, as well our lack of a hall to rent out, and the fact that we have not been able to keep our per capita Sunday giving at a high enough level.

Whilst the Financial Secretary at Westminster appreciates that whilst we are still collecting for the School Fund it would not be feasible to ask for more from parishioners at this time. He does however feel that when the School Fund finishes early next year we will need to increase our income to build up a reserve for the future upkeep of the parish and its buildings.

See porch for Gift Aid Declaration Forms (for taxpayers who give regularly) and leaflets to remember the Church in your Will. Your legacies will help towards the parish, sick& retired priests, priests training programme and the Trinity Fund, or call 0207 798 9375.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:41 am