Sunday, 31 January 2010

It's here!

Finally, after many weeks of anticipation, before Mass this morning, our musical director Flick handed me a copy of our choir's first CD. I'm sure you'll agree it looks very professional . . . and sounds equally so.

Copies will be available very soon. I think that the choir are suggesting a 'silent' donation (and I hope we all know what that means!) if you would like your own copy. Monies raised will go towards sending a pilgrim to Lourdes on our Diocesan Pilgrimage this year.

Meanwhile, Cindy has added the soundtrack to a slide show of photos taken during rehearsals for the recording of the CD. I hope you enjoy listening and watching our choir in action.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Theology of the Body for Schools . . .

One of the reasons for adding a blog list to the side bar of any blog is to make it easier for readers to access other blogs which the author thinks their readers might find interesting. I do hope that you 'dip in' to some of these blogs from time to time and see what other Catholics, both priests and laity, have to say.

One such blog is the excellent 'Love undefiled' written by Robert Colquhoun. I would highly recommend you to have a look at this blog where Robert has recently published a presentation of 'Theology of the Body for Schools'.

If you have school-aged children, I'm sure you naturally wish that they receive the best of everything in all aspects of their education. 'Theology of the Body for Schools' offers a genuine Catholic programme of PSHE which is true to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Friday, 29 January 2010

God's Grace . . .

In today's Gospel Our Lord tells us how a seed grows when it is sown in the ground. The seed will grow independently whether the sower is awake or asleep.

God's seed of grace will grow in our souls in the same way if we do not put up barriers or obstacles in its way. It's God who gives the growth. God always gives us His grace to help us to be faithful.

We must never become discouraged at our apparent failures; we will frequently have to start again and again with our good resolutions.

God may indeed permit our failures in order to help us to trust Him more.

Nothing is impossible for God.

Monday, 25 January 2010

The Conversion of St Paul

Today's feast marks the end of our Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. God's grace changed and transformed St Paul from a persecutor of Christians to a herald of the Gospel. This simple fact teaches us that our faith has its roots and basis in grace and the free correspondence of each human being.

In today's reading we have an account of the Conversion of St Paul when God stepped into his life. There are occasions in our daily lives when Our Lord want to attract our attention and step into our lives and tell us of the great plan he has for us. 'I stand at the door and knock'; so many times we are deaf to this knock, other times we are caught up in our own world and think we know best, and other times we are too busy, too busy with the trivia of life.

God's grace can work miracles in our hearts but He depends on our willingness to correspond to grace; 'my grace is sufficient for you'.

Let us ask Our Lord to help us to open our hearts to His grace every day.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament . . .

We resumed our usual 3-day period of weekly Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament after Mass this morning.

Anyone and everyone is very welcome to call in to spend a few minutes or longer in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. I'm sure we can all think of countless things we'd like to bring before Our Lord in prayer. It's a lovely thing to do on your way to or from work; after dropping the children off at school or before collecting them; or maybe on your way to the shops or to visit a friend.

Our Lord will be here to welcome you whenever you are able to drop by.

Times of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at St Ann's:

Tuesday: 10.00am - 8.00 pm

Wednesday: 10.00am - 7.00 pm

Thursday: 7.00 am - 8.00 pm

Friday, 15 January 2010

'Behold the Lamb of God'

I am grateful to Family Publications for asking me to review this book, 'Behold the Lamb of God' by Pope Benedict XVI.

This latest book from Family Publications complements Pope Benedict XVI's previous book, 'Priests of Jesus Christ'.

'Behold the Lamb of God' is divided into two sections, the first section contains extracts from the Holy Father's homilies and the second section contains extracts from addresses made between May 2005 and August 2009.

Written with great pastoral sensitivity, this beautiful book is filled with deep spiritual and theological insight.

The texts here have been specially chosen by Fr Gerard Skinner of the Archdiocese of Westminster. This latest book by the Holy Father will help both priests and laity gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Blessed Eucharist.

Copies available from Family Publications, price £8.95.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

News from across the Irish Sea . . .

I gather that you've been having a little bit of snow in Banstead! I'm sure you're all aware that I haven't escaped the bad weather by being over here for a few days. Luckily I got home before the snow arrived and the airport was closed for a while.

I just thought I'd write a few lines to let you all know that I was delighted to offer Mass for all at St Ann's today and ask God's blessings on the families of our parish.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The Baptism of The Lord

This feast of The Baptism of the Lord falls on the Sunday following the Epiphany; in it we recall the mystery of Christ's Person and mission.

It is also an opportunity for each of us to give thanks for the many gifts and graces we have received since our own baptism.

As the late Pope John Paul II reminded us 'I exhort the faithful to renew with deep faith those baptismal commitments we assumed through our parents and godparents, particularly our loyalty to the teaching of Christ and his church and our determination to struggle against temptation.'

Today we give God thanks for all the benefits each of us has received from the Sacrament of Baptism.

Let us renew our commitment to Christ and His Church by means of regular daily prayer and the reception of the Sacraments.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Solemnity of Mary Mother of God

The Christmas Octave concludes with the occasion of the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Whenever we venerate Our Lady as the Mother of God, we simultaneously claim her to be our mother.

Even though Mary was venerated as the Mother of God from the earliest days of the Church, the Feast was not established until the 4th Century.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read . . .

Mary, Mother of God
- Catechism of the Catholic Church 495

Called in the Gospels "the Mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord." In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God".

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.