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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Friday, May 11, 2012
Sixth Sunday of Easter 13.05.12
O Come Let Us Adore Him…

You’re probably thinking that your parish priest has finally lost the plot when he entitles a May editorial with the opening line of the chorus from a Christmas carol. But you’d be wrong – I lost the plot a long time ago. On a serious note, you may remember that some months ago I spoke about a church on the Wirral called the Dome of Home, a beacon for sailors returning to the port of Liverpool. Its official name is the church of St Peter and St Paul and St Philomena and it was reopened by Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury in March. The church, while it has a primary school just next door, is not intended to function as a parish but is the first shrine to the Blessed Sacrament erected in this country which will celebrate the sacraments in the Extra-ordinary Form or as some people call it, the “Old Rite.”

Last week I had the great privilege of visiting the church and while it is in desperate need of repair – there is much damage due to damp, the pointing needs attention, some glass is broken and so on – the church itself is beautiful and obviously loved and cared for by the priest and people. And it got me thinking…
The Forty Hours (Quarant’Ore) is a great tradition of the Church which was revived when Pope John Paul II encouraged us to rediscover devotion to Christ truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Moreover, this year sees the International Eucharistic Congress take place in Dublin. In preparation for this, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged “a rediscovery of the essential role that the Eucharist must have in the life of the Church. The Eucharist [is] the source and summit of Christian life, [and] builds the Church, strengthening her in her unity as the Body of Christ. No Christian community can be built up if it does not have its root and core in the celebration of the Eucharist.”

That said I got to thinking about our patronal feast which falls on a Sunday this year. St Mary Magdalen was devoted to our Blessed Lord and would wish us to have the same love for him. So in preparation for the Eucharistic celebration on her feast, we will have the Forty Hours leading up to it – 18, 19 and 20 July from 10am until 8pm (concluding each evening with devotions) and from 8am until 6.30pm on Saturday 21 concluding with the first Mass of Sunday, the Solemnity of St Mary Magdalen.
While watching before the Blessed Sacrament in silence is a wonderful thing to do (a parishioner said to the Cure of Ars, “I sit here and look at God and God looks at me,”) I would be delighted if various groups would take responsibility for leading devotions during one or more of the hours. Please think about that during the coming weeks and I will put out a list in the near future giving you the opportunity to sign up for various days and times.

And in this stream of consciousness concerning saints and devotions, I’ve noticed that there are at least two pillars in the church which could have a statute by them. Do you have any thoughts about who we might add to our already beautiful devotion to those who intercede for us in the presence of God? I’m open to suggestions. By the way, if you are on the Wirral and wish to visit the dome of home its on Atherton Street in New Brighton. But you won’t need a satnav – just keep going up and up until you get to the highest point and there it is. That is where devotion to Christ should be in all our lives. God bless you all. Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:04 pm