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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, May 09, 2011
Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) Year A 01 May 2011
During Sunday morning: Beatification ceremonies shown live in the Annexe
2:30 pm onwards: Divine Mercy service – with Confessions, in Church
Monday evening: Cake, wine and screening of the film “John Paul II” with Jon Voight, in Annexe
Next weekend: Issuing of polished versions of our 2005 leaflets: ”Explaining the Church’s teaching concerning the marriage act”

It’s as many as six years since Pope John Paul II died. Today Pope Benedict beatifies his predecessor. He proclaims that the Pope is in heaven. Deo Gratias. We hope to follow him there!

When John Paul II visited Holland, in response to some young people protesting against Church teaching on the maleness of the priesthood and the martial meaning of sex, he said “My dear young people, even if it were in my power to give you these things, do you really think they would bring you closer to God?” Six years since he died we could all ask ourselves a similar question. Over the last years have we become closer to our Lord and friend Jesus Christ? John Paul gave us and gives us some pointers – and as a result we offer the four things listed above to help us.

He was truly prodigious in the amount, range and originality of writing, initiative, travel and personal meetings he engaged in. Yet above all he was a man of prayer and penance, rarely letting, even calls from the President of the United States, interrupt frequent times of contemplation with God. He was a man who knew, experienced deeply the incredible love of God.

He really wanted others to share that experience. To this end, in what was perhaps one of the most important for him of his initiatives, he instituted, today’s universal feast, the day of his beatification. That is Divine Mercy Sunday. On this Sunday, through the inspirations of St Faustina, whom Pope John Paul canonised, he wanted the amazing mercy of God to be proclaimed. On this day we are especially enabled by the Holy Spirit to know how damaging the sin of Adam and our sin has been in knocking us off course, and how incredible God’s faithful live for us still is, through Christ crucified.

So at 2:30 pm onwards today we will have a special service, involving the chance to go to confession. The person availing themselves of this sacrament, with a deep sorrow and love of God, and of Holy Communion, is promised deep healing from God (i.e. a “Plenary Indulgence”). Also, in the annexe we are having large screen showings of the Beatification ceremonies live this morning and of the very well reviewed film “John Paul II” tomorrow night – 7pm for 7:30pm.

Finally, next weekend we plan to reissue slightly simplified versions of the special newsletters on the Church’s teaching on love and sex which we printed immediately after the death of John Paul II six years ago. They were in response to the very prominent media assessments of the Pope as great, except for his upholding of perennial Christian teaching on sex. Blessed John Paul - pray for us

posted by Sinead Reekie at 10:22 am