Friday, 29 July 2011

Confused? You're not the only one . . .

We've had one or two occasions recently when we've wanted to fly the Papal Flag outside our church. One of our parishioners kindly set up a temporary flagpole for us which did the job quite satisfactorily but we thought maybe if we had a proper flagpole we might be encouraged to use if more often, on special feast days for example.

Having erected the flagpole yesterday, we are having a 'dry run' with the complimentary flag of St George that came with it.

I think it confused a few parishioners when they came for Mass this morning. It's certainly not St George's Day but I hope St Martha appreciated it!

It also looks as if our magnolia tree thinks it's April too. One or two blooms have suddenly appeared amongst the greenery.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Feast of Sts Joachim and Ann . . .

A very happy feast day to all!

We celebrated our feast day in the parish with a lovely Mass this morning followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Adoration throughout the day.

We also had a little social gathering with tea, coffee and cakes after Mass for those who were able to stay.

Lord, God of our fathers,

through Saint Joachim and Saint Ann

You gave us the Mother of Your Incarnate Son.

May their prayers help us to attain the salvation

You promised to Your people. Amen.

St Joachim and St Ann, pray for us.

Social Media . . .

We're trying to follow our Holy Father's advice here in Banstead and use all types of media to reach out to people and spread the Good News of the Gospel.

To this end, we've just created a parish Facebook page. We hope that if you have your own Facebook account, you will search for the page and 'like' it so that you'll receive status updates directly to your account.

These are just our first faltering steps into social media, but if Pope Benedict XVI can use an iPad, I think it must be acceptable for us to follow in his footsteps, albeit on an 'old-fashioned' computer.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

School Confessions . . .

Top marks to The John Fisher School in Purley!

This afternoon I spent an hour or so at the school hearing Confessions. This session had been arranged to give the boys an opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance before the end of the school year. How fortunate the boys are to have Mr Dan Cooper arranging this and other opportunities for Confession throughout their time at the school.

It's always a pleasure to visit the school and very encouraging to see that such care is taken to provide good pastoral and spiritual development for the pupils.

Happy holidays to staff and students alike!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Youth in our Parish . . .

It's a bit late to start blogging but we had such a good meeting with Ray Mooney this evening, I just thought I'd put down a few of my thoughts whilst they're still fresh in my mind.

Just a small group of young people, mainly those who have just been confirmed but also some of our new Confirmation group, came along to hear what Ray had to say about youth activities in our diocese.

It was quite cosy as we decided to move into our small meeting room rather than in the large parish hall.

We were very fortunate that Ray brought with him the special National Symbol for Youth Ministry that was blessed by Pope Benedict outside Westminster Cathedral during his recent visit.

Once that was set up and the candle lit, display boards arranged around the room, Ray showed us a very well put-together video presentation produced by last year's Lourdes Redshirts.

I don't think any of us present could fail to catch the enthusiasm of the young people in the video. It was quite inspiring and I hope that it inspired some of our young people to seriously consider applying to be a Redshirt next year.

As well as talking about the A&B pilgrimage to Lourdes in some detail, Ray also gave an overview of other youth activities such as Youth Gather, World Youth Day and the Flame Youth Congress to be held at Wembley Arena in March 2012.

You can find out all about youth activities in our diocese by checking out the special Diocesan Youth web site.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A Week in the Life of a Priest . . .

I saw this interesting video on the Our Sunday Visitor blog.

I don't think I need to add anything else, the video says it all.