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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
29th Sunday of the Year 21st October 2012
Waking the Dead When Deacon Michael read the obituary of Fr Barry Carpenter the other day he noted that it ended with the phrase, “He was a member of the Deceased Clergy Association.” Surely, as I am sure you will agree with our deacon, it should have read, “He is now a member of the Deceased Clergy Association.” Well, it may surprise you to know that I am a member of the Deceased Clergy Association. Now before you all grab garlic bulbs and stakes to drive through my heart as I lie in my bed, what that means is that I say a Mass for a fellow member when he dies. That way, when I die, all my fellow members will say a Mass for me. That’s a lot of Masses and extremely comforting as I’ll need all the prayers I can get. November is the month of the Holy Souls when we pray for those in purgatory. The Catechism states, “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification , so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven.” (CCC 1030) Praying for them is an ancient practice and even in the Old Testament Judas Maccabeus made atonement for the dead, “that they may be delivered from their sin.” (II Macc 12:46) And from the beginning the Church has honoured the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharist, to aid their purification. Therefore during November we will offer five Masses a week for those recalled on our dead list. Please write your loved ones’ names on the sheets available and return them (along with any Mass offering you might wish to include) to Clergy House. In his poem The Dream of Gerontius, Gerontius’s guardian angel says to his charge’s soul, “Masses on the earth and prayers in Heaven shall aid thee at the throne of the Most Highest.” And as he says this, Gerontius hears the angelic choirs and his loved ones back on earth joining together in praise of God for Gerontius’s purification by singing the great hymn Praise to the Holiest in the Height. It is a lovely thought that those we have loved and lost will hear our voices joined in prayer for them next month. Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 10:34 am

28th Sunday of the Year 14th October 2012
Our Manifesto The newly ordained Bishop Of Portsmouth, Philip Egan gave a rather magnificent inaugural address. He said, “We inhabit a remarkable century witnessing momentous advances in every domain of human knowledge and endeavour...all of which manifest the limitless self-transcending reach of human experience, understanding and judgement and the cloud of burgeoning possibilities for human deciding, undreamt of by those who’ve gone before. With all these exhilarating developments, the Catholic Tradition must engage, the old with the new, in a mutually enriching critical conversation.” He went on to observe that despite all these advances human needs remain essentially the same: “the need to love and be loved, the need for a purpose and vocation in life” and to belong, find mercy and forgiveness, strive for peace and justice, freedom and happiness and, “most profoundly , the need for immortality and for the Divine.” Observing that these desires are met through “salvation” which is found by following the Way of Jesus of Nazareth he commented that , “He alone can save us.” He concluded, “The message of Good News, and the civilisation of love it occasions, we Catholics must now communicate imaginatively, with confidence and the people of England. We must offer this salvific message to a people , sorely in need of hope and direction, disenfranchised by the desert of modern British politics, wearied by the cycle of work, shopping, entertainment, and betrayed by educational, legal, medical and social policymakers who, in the relativistic world they’re creating, however well-intentioned, are sowing the seeds of a strangling counterculture of death.” But if that sounds a bit negative, he finally called us to action: “Let us go forth with joyful vigour, resolved in the Holy Spirit, to bring about the conversions needed—intellectual, moral and spiritual—for everyone we meet to receive Jesus Christ, the Gospel of life.” What an extraordinarily prophetic voice and what a great challenge and plan for each of us as we begin this Year of Faith. Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 10:19 am

Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Year of Faith This morning at all the Masses you will hear Archbishop Vincent’s Pastoral letter telling us all about the ‘Year of Faith’ and how the Pope hopes that all of us make the best use of this year, to deepen our understanding of our faith. The reality is that for many of us we have had little formation in our faith and maybe we remember little of what we learned when we prepared for our First Holy Communion and Confirmation. At work many if not most professions now have ‘continuing professional development’ or ‘lifelong learning’ where people are kept up to date with new developments and reminded of skills and practices that they may have forgotten, especially if not used often. Our faith is no different. It is a lifelong journey where hopefully we progress and improve each week/month/year. The Pope has stressed that an area he wishes people to focus on is proper knowledge of what the Church taught during the Second Vatican Council (which was held 50 years ago). The Second Vatican Council was called by Pope John XXIII specifically to address how the Church needed to present its unchanging faith to the modern world. Unfortunately after the Council many people did and taught things ‘in the spirit of Vatican II’ which were completely opposed to what the Council had said, and were the personal ideas of individuals promoting their cause. Sadly many believed this was the official teaching of the Church. To correct these errors which had crept into people’s understanding of their faith, Pope John Paul II commissioned the production of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which was published in 1992 (20 years ago) The Catechism is structured in 4 related parts – the Four Pillars of our Faith. (1) What we believe (the Creed); (2) how we respond to that belief by our celebration of the Liturgy and Sacraments – especially the Mass, and (3) how then in turn we live our lives in accordance with our belief – our moral life based around the 10 Commandments and Beatitudes, and finally (4) our personal communion with God in prayer. As our Archbishop explains in his pastoral letter, we will divide the year into 4 seasons – each one concentrating on one of the four pillars of our faith. We are all different, and there can be no ‘one size fits all’ solution to how we deepen our faith. So in this parish we are going to provide several different modes of delivery of information about our faith. One method is that for the next 60 weeks we will be providing a leaflet explaining some aspect of our faith – following the 4 seasons. Please take these leaflets home and study them. Pass them onto others, especially if they have fallen away from the practice of the faith. Keep them and build up your own ‘mini-catechism’ to refer to if you have questions in the future. Deacon Michael

posted by Sinead Reekie at 10:23 am