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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, June 27, 2011
From Martin Plunkett, Seminarian – Youth Worker at St Mary Magdalen's 2005-2008
Since leaving Mary Magdalen's I have been training in Allen Hall for the priesthood. I have just finished my third year and look forward to ordination to the deaconate next year and, God willing, to the priesthood in 2 year's time. Having finished the studies for this year I have been able to come back to Willesden for a few days and it has been lovely to see so many happy and familiar faces as they ask me how I am doing.

While I was in Willesden I worked mainly with the Youth clubs and young people and it gave me a good foundation for these seminary years. I do miss the contact with everyone though and it is a surprise to see that the young people I knew are getting older, going off to university and so on! It is great to see that many of them value the place of their faith in their lives and are allowing God to direct the choices they make. This is what we call vocation; that mysterious sense that God has created us absolutely free but calls us and guides us to make the best decisions for our life.

For me the pathway to priestly formation has been long and varied – earlier I wanted to be an actor but then became a teacher, at one time I was in a rock-band and wanted to change the world! Later I realised that God could, and has changed the world, through the gift of his Son. Today we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, to remember the gift of Christ's body for us on the Cross and with us in the Eucharist. May he help us all through our celebration to grow in love for him and our different vocations for his service.

This Year’s Summer Faith conference will answer this questions very well! The theme is “Love one another as I have loved you? The Vocation to Love.
Mon 1st August – Fri 5th 2011 Deadline 17TH July. Minibus goes from here
All in the usual holiday atmosphere which has attracted so many over the years.
We already have a\ dozen booked from the parish booked for it.
The full cost of a booking for the 2011 session is £145 with a reduced student/unwaged rate of £120.There are further subsidies for those who really need it. Talk to Fr Hugh
Parents please encourage your young people to go to this great event.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:02 am

Monday, June 20, 2011
The Most Holy Trinity – 19th June 2011
Corpus Christi: Procession Today 3:00 p.m. Feast Day Next Sunday

The Catechism states: “In the most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity, of Our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really and substantially contained …. It is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.” (n. 1374)

Cardinal Newman said: “Is there not in all Catholic churches that which goes beyond any written devotion whatever its force or pathos? Do not believe I n a presence in the sacred tbernacel not as a form of words, nor a notion, but as an object as real as we as real.. and … before the presence we need neither profession of faith nor even manual pf devotion.” (Cardianl Newman).

St Thomas Aquians wrote: “Godhead here in hiding who I do adore, masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more.”
From the leaflet for this afternoon’s procession.
“This is a procession in honour of Jesus Christ. May he bless you and your family and friends”.

These latter words will be on a small leaflet that will be available for any interested onlookers of our Corpus Christi procession next weekend. We will be literally, if briefly, bringing God into the community, through some streets and spaces where people live and work. We will be journeying with Christ. We will make Him really present amongst his people, that He may bless them. In fact we will bless the whole area from the top of Roundwood Park.

Over the centuries understanding of the real presence of Our Lord in the form of bread developed. It took on the desire to receive the blessing of Benediction in the thirteenth century and to actually gaze upon Him, through adoration or ‘Exposition” in the monstrance in the fourteenth century.

Juliana of Retiens (1192-1258) an Augustinian abbess in Liege campaigned successfully to have a feast in honour of the Blessed Sacrament. In 1264 Corpus Christi was instituted. The procession through the streets with the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance started at this place about this time. In some countries these processions took on a dramatic character, particularly in England in the fourteenth century. People used their particular crafts to dramatically illustrate a key aspect of our salvation history from Creation onwards. Boat builders did Noah’s ark, goldsmiths the adoration of the magi etc. etc.

Let’s offer our gifts for His use, by being with Him, in our community, for an hour next Sunday, 3:00 p.m.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 8:35 am

Monday, June 13, 2011
Pentecost Sunday – 12th June 2011

In this church there are over forty different groups involved in diverse forms of service to the parish and wider community. Without doubt one of the most important groups – because of their proximity to the Mass, which is the source and summit of the life of our parish – is our altar servers.

Altar servers play a most important part in the church’s liturgy. Good servers enable us all, priests and laity, to celebrate the Mass and other sacraments in a spirit of prayer.

In 2010, addressing a pilgrimage of altar servers to St Peter’s, Pope Benedict XVI said: “Every time that you approach the altar, you have the good fortune to assist in God's great loving gesture as he continues to want to give himself to each one of us, to be close to us, to help us, to give us strength to live in the right way. With consecration, as you know, that little piece of bread becomes Christ's Body, that wine becomes Christ's Blood. You are lucky to be able to live this indescribable Mystery from close at hand! Assisting your priests in service at the altar helps to make Jesus closer, so that people can understand, can realize better: he is here!”

You may be surprised to hear that we have over seventy altar servers in this parish, who work together in ten teams covering each of our Sunday Masses. We also have a group of ten youngsters who are currently taking part in a five-week training programme to become new altar servers later this summer.

In recognition of their service to the parish, we are holding a “Fun Day Out” for our servers on Saturday 25th June. We will celebrate Mass and have a talk on the martyrs at Tyburn Convent, followed by boating, a picnic and games in Hyde Park. If you are a server and haven’t yet signed up for this event, there are forms in the sacristy. Please come if you can – it promises to be a great day!

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:41 am

Monday, June 06, 2011
Sixth Sunday of Easter Year A 29th May 2011
Little Sisters of the Assumption –
After next Sundays 10:30 Mass, we will say au revoir.
The little Sisters of the Assumption are leaving our Parish after 25 years dedicated service. We wish them and their community health and happiness and extend our grateful appreciation for their invaluable support to the parish over the years.

A Brief history of the Sisters in London
Four Sisters came to London from Liverpool in 1985 as the Administrative House for the Sisters in England and Scotland. Some of you will remember Sister Kay, who was here from 1985 to 1988, who sadly died in 2008. The other Sisters were Sr. Ursula, (now being cared for in their Birmingham House), Sr. Josephine who passed away in 1991, and Sr. Valerie. Sister Winifred came in 1988 and was here for 12 years. She played the guitar at the Family Mass on Sundays. She then spent four years in South Africa – very kindly supported there by this parish - returning to look after elderly sisters in Birmingham where she suddenly passed away in January 2011. Sister Margaret Lonergan was the community archivist until her sad passing away in 2008.

Who are the Little Sisters of the Assumption
They were founded in Paris in 1865 by Fr Stephen Pernet and dedicated woman called Antoinette Fage, to look after sick and needy families. They came to England in 1880 going to anyone, of whatever creed, colour or belief, who needed them. They continued working in this way, and have spread to many parts of the world.

Sisters Valerie and Margaret say Farewell:
As the time has come for us to move, we would like to say how sad we are to be leaving the Parish after more than 25 years. It is a busy, warm and welcoming parish, and all the visitors who have been with us have experienced this welcome from the priests and parishioners. You are welcome to come and visit us in Birmingham. Please keep us all in your prayers, as we will remember you in ours.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:44 am

Fifth Sunday of Easter Year A 22nd May 2011
A Conversation in Caritas
meetings this week and sheet available for feedback to diocese.

During his visit last year, Pope Benedict called for solidarity with the poor and needy of society. The Archbishop is aware that much Catholic social action happens in the diocese, usually done quietly and without fuss. However the Archbishop is keen to reinvigorate what we understand by “caritas” - the practical work of love. How can we respond to the Pope's message? How can we best support and encourage each other? One aspect is thinking about how each parish can enrich and enhance its response. But he also recognises that the Diocese could support, encourage and facilitate this work.

To this end he has started A Conversation in Caritas to find out in more detail what parishes already do and how they can be helped further, to serve those in need – not forgetting the most vulnerable and, in some ways those most under threat, the unborn – without whose protection attempts truly harmonious and healing social advance will always be profoundly flawed and hindered.

You can attend an open meeting, this week– see list; give your views online, or by post (pick up leaflet from Clergy House or one of the priests).
Parishioners are encouraged to participate.

London Meetings: 7.30pm-9.30pm with tea and coffee from 7pm
Mon 23rd May: Golders Green: St Edward the Confessor, 700 Finchley Rd, NW11 7NE
Tues 24th May: Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue, SW1P 1QJ
Wed 25th May: Ruislip: Most Sacred Heart, 73 Pembrooke Rd, HA4 8NN
Thursday 26th May: Victoria: Vaughan House, 46 Francis Street, SW1P 1QN

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:34 am