4th Sunday of the Year
“For His greater glory”, “To make His glory praised”; we find both of these phrases in St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. Where else have we heard something like that before? Surely it recalls the Jesuit motto: To the Greater Glory of God.
Many of you may have written that in an abbreviated form at the top of your homework at school: A.M.D.G. – in Latin, Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam. If you look at the statue of St. Ignatius Loyola beside the entrance of the Ignatius Chapel you will see those words written on the book he is holding up, either the Constitutions of the Jesuit order he founded or the Spiritual Exercises, the source of our Ignatian Spirituality you often hear about.
What is the glory of God? It is the wonder of God’s being, God’s power, God’s holiness, God’s love. In the psalms and the prophets it is described as a great light, shining in heaven, lighting up the whole earth. It is like the sun which gives light and warmth to all creation. This glory of God also shines in us, and through us to others, from the grace of our baptism. It grows in us through all the sacraments, and through our prayer and good deeds. To give glory to God is to give praise and worship. We hear that frequently in the psalms, like this one ( Psalm 33) : I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise always on my lips….Glorify the Lord with me, together let us praise his name.
But, surely, God does not need anything from us. God is all perfect, absolutely complete in His being. Yet He asks us to give Him glory. How can that be? How can God delight in us and in anything we do? It is because God loves us as His children, as a father loves his children, and calls for our love in return. Isn’t that truly amazing? Doesn’t it show the respect and care God has for us human beings? Doesn’t it show the dignity and significance of each person in God’s eyes, made for God, to give Him glory and praise? Our Lord puts it in a simple and endearing way: ‘Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why? Because every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; “you are worth more than many sparrows.”
A bishop who lived in the early days of the Church and wrote a very inspiring account of our faith, St. Irenaeus, has expressed it like this:
“The glory of God is the living human being (literally, man fully alive) and the human being has true life only in the vision of God.”
Put briefly, it is what we often hear at the end of Mass, a version in English of the Ite, Missa Est: “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.”
It is what Our Lord has said in the Sermon on the Mount: “Let your light so shine before men (and women) that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Fr. Tony Nye, S.J.
URGENT: CATHOLIC EDUCATION
Do you support Catholic schools and the right of Catholics to send their children to them? Then we need you to make your voice heard.
The Government is making a critical decision on whether to overturn the admissions cap which prevents Catholic schools from allowing all Catholic pupils to attend. They have acknowledged that this policy discriminates against Catholics and promised to abandon it; now we need you to tell them not to u-turn on their promise to Catholics.
Visit http://catholicnews.org.uk/ or search for ‘Catholic Education’ in your search engine to write to the Government and urge them to drop their policy which bans new Catholic schools.
THE “LAST SUPPER” BY ANDREW WHITE
We are delighted to welcome the epic work In Memoriam, of the Last Supper, a very important modern masterpiece on long loan by our artist in residence Andrew White. The painting has been displayed for a few years in Walsingham and is now available for viewing in the St. Aloysius chapel. You can read about this painting at http://www.jesuit.org.uk/blog/memoriam-spiritual-journey-painting
We invite parents, families and friends to join a Mass for the Unborn here in the church, as we remember our little ones lost in pregnancy and neo-natal care, on Friday 2nd February at 6pm.
BLESSING OF CANDLES
This Friday 2nd February is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. There will be the blessing of candles at every Mass.
BLESSING OF THE THROATS
On Saturday 3rd February at 8am, the traditional blessing of St Blaise for the protection of throats and for good health through the cold season will take place.
THE HURTADO JESUIT CENTRE
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre in Wapping has a series of talks in its ‘Post-Truth World’ series for early 2018, all 7 – 9 pm:
– February 6th. Baroness Susan Greenfield on ‘The 21st Century Mind: Blowing it, Expanding it, Losing it’
– March 8th. Pat Riordan SJ on ‘Taking Back Control: Illusions of Autonomy’
See website for more details:
Our area Bishop, Nicholas Hudson, will be with us next weekend on “Visitation” during which he will preside and preach at most of our Masses. The Visitation is primarily an expression of our unity with the diocese and gives the area bishop at first hand the opportunity to experience the rich life and diversity of our parish on a typical weekend. He has offered 4 – 5pm on Sunday February 11th to meet with any individual parishioner in confidence. If you would like an appointment please contact the parish office.
RESTORATION OF THE ALTAR
Following the successful restoration of the colours and gold leaf to the Pugin high altar, plans have been submitted to the Historic Churches Committee for permission to replace the front facing altar in the sanctuary (which is made from concrete blocks faced with marble and fibreglass), clean and repair the marble floor thus revealed, and provide a new altar of carved stone. You can read about this project on the noticeboard near the Martyrs’ Chapel.
BUILDING A BRIDGE
The LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council invites you to monthly reflections using Building A Bridge, a book by Fr James Martin SJ. These will take place in the Hall, 6.30pm – 8.30pm on Thursdays. The dates are: 22nd February, 22nd March, 26th April, 24th May, 21st June, 26thJuly, 20th September, 25th October, 22nd November, 20th December and 24th January 2019. Light refreshments available from 6.30pm, sessions start promptly at 7pm. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 8986 0807
LANDINGS LECTURE 2018
Dr Austen Ivereigh, papal biographer and Catholic Voices co-founder will address the subject:
‘Close and Concrete: Pope Francis on how to Evangelise in a World in Flux’.
Tuesday March 6th at 7pm in the Hall. Mass in the church at 6pm; buffet reception to follow.
All most welcome.
VISIT OF FARM STREET CHURCH
All are invited to come and “Meet the Neighbours” here at Farm Street Church on Monday, 12th March at 6.45pm (following 6pm Mass to which all are welcome).
The visit will include
- Welcome & Introduction to “Farm Street today”
- The Mount Street Jesuit Centre
- Farm Street & the English Jesuits in History
- Tour of the church
- Evening Prayer in the Roman Rite
This is an initiative of Churches Together in Westminster called “Meet the Neighbours”. For catering purposes, if you are attending, please contact Scott McCombe at email@example.com
tel (020) 7529-4829 by 7th March.
JESUITS SAINTS PILGRIMAGE
Bookings are open for the 2018 Landings UK & Farm Street Jesuits Saints of England Pilgrimage, visiting Lindisfarne, Hexham, Durham and York. June 8th – 13th. For more information please speak to Fr Dominic or, to request a brochure and to book, contact Pax Travel direct on (020)-7485-3003; firstname.lastname@example.org For full details visit http://www.paxtravel.co.uk/landings-uk
FARM STREET CAMINO
Bookings are open for the Farm Street Camino in the Steps of St Ignatius, walking 200 km in the steps of the founder of the Jesuits through Catalonia, visiting the Shrine of St Peter Claver in Verdú, Igualada, the Abbey of Montserrat and Manresa, followed by a 3-day retreat and visiting the Ignatian sites in Barcelona. September 23rd – October 6th. For more information please speak to Fr Dominic or, to request a brochure and to book, contact Pax Travel direct on (020)-7485-3003; email@example.com For full details visit http://www.paxtravel.co.uk/robinson-fr-dominic
REDEMPTION: MUSIC ALBUM
“REDEMPTION”, a bilingual English/French music album by our parish secretary and sacristan, is now available here at Farm Street in the bookshops, Sacristy and at Reception. In Côte d’Ivoire, it is already played on national television and radios. Please visit Armel Paul Marie on Facebook or YouTube to watch his stunning video and rediscover familiar places in London. Thank you for supporting his evangelisation project.
CD of the newly released album is sold here in the sacristy, the bookshop and at Reception.
CD: BOTH GOD’S & MARY’S SON
A musical portrait of Farm Street Church celebrating fifty years as a Parish. The album includes favourite selections from the choir’s repertoire, along with special commissions composed for the choir by Gabriel Jackson, for which the choir gave the premiere performances. Compact Discs available in the BOOKSHOP and at RECEPTION
Would you be interested in learning more about AWN Pugin, the eminent Victorian architect who designed the High altar for this church and the interiors of the Houses of Parliament? The Pugin Society, founded in 1995, offers a lively range of events, study tours, talks and publications. Details: www.thepuginsociety.co.uk
NEW ALTAR SERVERS NEEDED: 9.30 AM MASS
We appeal for volunteers to serve at the altar for the 9.30am Family Mass. You don’t need to have prior experience serving, and there is supervision provided. Simply turn up in the sacristy by at least 9.15am on Sunday if you would like to serve. All are welcome!
PAINTINGS IN THE CHURCH
As many of you will have noticed, we now have two modern religious paintings in the church. The artist, Andrew White, has kindly allowed us to exhibit them. Andrew is our ‘Artist in Residence’ and one of the foremost painters of this age.
Andrew painted a twelve foot long canvas of the Last Supper, which is now here from Walsingham, and then he then re-painted the central panel of Christ Breaking the Bread which we can presently view in the St Aloysius Chapel. The painting could easily be misunderstood for the Supper at Emmaus, but the bowl in front of the Disciples with the bread and inverted hands may refer to Matthew 26:23.
Andrew’s other painting of the Pieta has resonated deeply with many of our parish community. The faces of Jesus and Mary are in shadow and we are drawn to the intimacy of Mary laying her hand on her dead Son’s hand. One suggestion for further reflection: look very closely at Mary’s hand in the painting.
Fr Geoff Wheaton SJ
FRIENDS OF FARM STREET CHURCH
If you would like become a “Friend of Farm Street Church” to support our ministry and the care of this beautiful building please pick up a leaflet or see the application information online at www.farmstreet.org.uk/friends.php
We now have access for wheelchair users to gain access into the house and so will be able to participate in courses, meetings, etc.
The Bridge Club meets here every Tuesday evening, starting at 6.30pm, all levels are welcome. Funds raised go to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).
EASY WAY TO DONATE
You can now use your mobile phone to make donations to our Weekly Offering:
just text FARM02 £[enter your donation amount] to 70070
You will receive a reply text immediately, with an invitation to register the donations from your phone for Gift Aid.
Our Regular Events
• Midday Meditation
Every Tuesday 1.40-2pm
• Wednesdays at the Well – Come to Rest & Be Refreshed
3rd Wednesday of each month 11am-4pm (Next meeting: February 21, 2018)
Living in the Milieu Divin
Facilitated by Mike Smith SJ
Tuesdays, February 6th-20th, 7-8.30pm (repeat of the workshop held on January 27th)
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ was a scientist. This course will begin with an introduction to his work, and how it led to an understanding of creation as a manifestation of Jesus Christ.
We will try to understand Teilhard’s insight into the presence of Christ in creation, and how it affects the way we live our lives.
Ignatian Retreat Day
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 10th February 11am-4pm
These are retreat days of prayer run in an Ignatian way, in which there is talk, time for personal prayer and the opportunity to listen to each other.
There is no need to book for these days, just come along.
Mental Health Awareness
Facilitated by Malachy Keegan
Saturday 17th February 11am-4pm
In today’s world, mental health is increasingly being seen as of equal importance as physical health. The course will be a Beginner’s Guide to Mental Health Awareness. It will also help those who already have a sense of the importance of psychological development, to deepen their understanding and their appreciation of how human beings grow, change, become unwell, become better and meet the challenges of life. The course will explain, in simple terms, the process of healthy and happy human development from early to later life, what might go wrong and how the damage can be repaired. It will be of particular use to anyone who works with people in a pastoral or caring situation.
Lent Retreat in Daily Life
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Launch on Saturday 17th February 7-8.30pm
An opportunity to become more aware of God in your day-to-day life and in your prayer. Whether you find it difficult to pray; can never find time for prayer; are not sure what prayer is; would like to discover more about different ways of praying; or would like to deepen your prayer, this retreat is for you.
You will meet your guide and arrange the specific time and room to meet each week.
The retreat will end with a gathering of everyone on Saturday 24th March 7pm.
Another Look at Why Jesus Died: At-One-Ment
Facilitated by David Cherry
Saturday 24th February 11am-4pm
People wonder why Jesus had to die. It seems implausible that there is a God who demands a price for sin who you could actually love. As Holy Week draws near here is an opportunity to reimagine salvation, to think and begin to feel your faith in a freer way.
Dorothy Day: Following Christ to the Margins
Facilitated by Martin Newell
Saturday 3rd March 11am-4pm
After Dorothy, no one can say that they do not know how to combine faith and politics in the modern world.
Learn what it means to follow the poor Christ where he led, to the margins, which is a great place to be, to pray, and to read the Gospels, the Scriptures and the lives of the Saints.
More upcoming events. www.pathwaystoGod.org