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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Thursday, October 21, 2010
Twenty Ninth Sunday –Year C – 17thOctober 2010

My name is Tony Thomas and I would like to tell you a little about myself. I have just arrived in Willesden Green where I will be spending the next year living and working here in St Mary Magdalen’s parish. Some of you may remember me: I spent a highly enjoyable couple of weeks here in 2008, getting a ‘taster’ of parish life.

Since I was last here my life has changed in ways both exciting and challenging! I left my job in the City at the end of last year to take a sabbatical and have spent much of this year abroad. In particular, I had a wonderful three months in Calcutta, working with the nuns of the Missionaries of Charity founded by Blessed Mother Theresa. The nuns' motto is ‘Only All For Jesus’, and they certainly live up to this calling. Being in Calcutta was a difficult but exhilarating experience. I would definitely recommend it!

Whilst I am working here in the parish I will be applying to Westminster Diocese to join the seminary to train as a priest, some seven years after I became a Catholic. Blessed John Henry Newman said that God has created each of us for some ‘definite purpose’, and it’s an exciting journey for each one of us as we try to discover what His purpose for us is. It can also be daunting at times, as I have found, as following God’s call can mean taking a step of faith towards an unknown destination. However, in doing so we can discover more about ourselves and hopefully draw closer to God, and these are great gifts.

Please pray for me as I continue my discernment here. I will pray for you all, and look forward to getting to know you better.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:57 am

Monday, October 11, 2010
Next two Saturdays: Humane Prayer and Action
Pope Benedict recently gave his blessing to a prolonged campaign of prayer for unborn children and their expectant mothers. This is called “40 Days for Life” and takes place across the world. It has, in previous years, borne significant fruit in the USA in saving lives and helping mothers, and is already doing so here.

40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life effort that consists of:
• 40 days of prayer and fasting
• 40 days of peaceful vigil
• 40 days of community outreach

We are praying that, with God's help, this groundbreaking effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in our city -- and throughout the UK.

While all aspects of 40 Days for Life are crucial in our effort to end abortion, the most visible component is the peaceful prayer vigil outside the local abortion facility. You can help make a life-saving impact by joining our local vigil at: 108 Whitfield Street, Marelybone, London, W1T 5EA. Nearest tube station: Warren Street.

Next Saturday (16th), here in our Church: 2:00 -4:00 pm – Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to pray for unborn children under threat and their mothers.

Following Saturday: (23rd) – Leaving form Church at 12:30 arriving at above address about 1:30 pm. We are going down to pray peacefully near to the abortion clinic (trained counsellors stand a little nearer to listen to anyone who wants to talk about or pray about good options for dealing with their problematic pregnancy). Please do come along.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 11:56 am

Saturday, October 02, 2010
Week of 3rd October 2010
N.b.: Next Saturday is the first ever official feast-day of Blessed John Henry Newman

This is great time make to do one or all of the below:
 firm up your use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
 buy and read one of the booklets on the wall rack near the newspaper stand
 buy and read one of the regular publications on our newspaper stand
 think of signing up for a distance learning course with Maryvale
 join our quality Bible study group
 think of becoming a First Holy Communion or Confirmation catechist
 Ask a question and/or read an answer at or

Why is it a good time for these things? See Pope Benedict’s words below from his Homily for the Mass of the Beatification of John Henry Newman two Sunday’s ago.

Newman’s “insights into the relationship between faith and reason, into the vital place of revealed religion in civilized society, and into the need for a broadly-based and wide-ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance for Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world.

“… Firmly opposed to any reductive or utilitarian approach, he sought to achieve an educational environment in which intellectual training, moral discipline and religious commitment would come together. … what better goal could teachers of religion set themselves than Blessed John Henry’s famous appeal for an intelligent, well-instructed laity:

‘I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it’ (The Present Position of Catholics in England, ix, 390).

“On this day when the author of those words is raised to the altars, I pray that, through his intercession and example, all who are engaged in the task of teaching and catechesis will be inspired to greater effort by the vision he so clearly sets before us.”

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:57 am