2 Chronicles 36:14-16. 19-23 Psalm 136
Ephesians 2:4-10 John 3:14-21
A SEASON OF CONVERSION
Countdown to Easter. Almost unnoticeable in British culture. The Christmas rush is much more in evidence in our lives as we’ve got to deal with presents, office parties, getting ready for celebrations, Christmas lights, and commercialism. For non-Churchgoers Easter could in fact be easily missed. Perhaps like Sunday can. What a shame. These weeks of Lent are a wonderful opportunity to prepare over an extended period for the greatest feast of the Church’s year, Easter. As we prepare to celebrate again Christ’s death and resurrection we prepare to celebrate what is at the very heart of what we proclaim, how we live, what we celebrate together each Sunday. That Christ is risen and that this makes sense of everything in our lives. We’re called then to prepare well for it individually and communally, to witness to it together as Christians, and to live it out every day. Above all it is a call to conversion again to live by his values, to proclaim his Gospel through our lives. This is what Lent is about: a call to conversion, to Christ, his values, in our everyday lives.
There are plenty of traditionally tried and tested ways through which we can make good use of this sacred time of preparation. Prayer, works of charity, self-denial are the traditional categories, but they’re connected and invite constant assessment of what they really mean, how they move us to conversion. We can take more time to pray. Not just to say prayers but to take time to reflect on where I am on my life’s journey. To look back to the past, to see the present more clearly, and to ask myself where I am being called to proclaim and live out my resurrection faith. Being open to change and to always do more for Christ is what the call to repentance in Lent is all about. If we are to respond to the call to repentance we need to take time to ask ourselves what I have done to offend the Lord and my neighbour in whom Christ resides.
And so we’re called also to ask what more I can do for my neighbour, especially those most in need, be that in their need of material goods, precious time with someone who needs me, spiritual, emotional, human support. Repentance involves discerning sins I have committed and also how I have indirectly offended Christ by neglecting others made in his image. How I have neglected to serve others in using the gifts God has bestowed on me, by blocking grace, by not allowing the risen Christ to be lived out through me in my everyday life. Sins of commission and also sins of omission. Sometimes what I have done wrong is much easier to see. But where are the areas of my life where I have omitted to witness to the risen Christ I worship each Sunday? That is what it is to repent. To allow God to reignite those parts of my life where gifts have remained unused, potential left untapped, where God wants fruit still to be born through the gift of our very selves where Christ resides.
Prayer, works of charity, and of course self-denial. For many of us denying us something that gives us pleasure can be very hard but it often gets put first in the list of how we approach Lent so we take it quite seriously. It gives us something concrete with which we can evaluate Lenten observance. Concrete practical self-denial is a wonderful gift which enables us to take Lent seriously. But we need to see why we do it. We do it to give glory and thanks to God who has loved us so much he suffered in a way none of us can ever imagine suffering to be. And so we can witness to our faith as Christians.
Lent then, and Lenten devotion, can never be understood in isolation from the rest of the liturgical year and the Christian life. Lent propels us to Easter. Hopefully then we can come out of Lent more ready to joyfully proclaim he is risen and to show others around me. This makes all the difference to how I live my life and to the world in which he resides.
Fr Dominic Robinson, S.J.
There are Stations of the Cross on Fridays throughout Lent at 12:30pm
(this replaces Exposition on those days).
A PRAYER TO
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
O most kind and loving saint, in union with you I adore the most divine majesty. The memory of the favours with which God blessed you during life, and of your glory after death, fills me with joy. And I unite with you in offering to him my humble tribute of thanksgiving and praise. I implore of you to secure for me, through your powerful intercession, the all-important blessing of living and dying in a state of grace. I also ask you to obtain the favour I ask in this novena. (Here pause to ask the favour you seek.) But if what I ask is not for the greater glory of God, or the good of my soul, obtain for me what is most conducive to both. Amen.
O God, who was pleased to gather to your Church the peoples of the East by the preaching and miracles of St Francis Xavier, mercifully grant that we, who honour his glorious merits, may also imitate the example of his virtues, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Father – Hail Mary – Glory be to the Father
Having signed her name to be included in the Book of the Elect on February 4th, our Catechumen Celeste is now nearing the final stage of her preparation for Baptism. Please pray particularly for her as she will undergo the Scrutinies at the 5.30pm Mass TODAY Sunday 11th and next Sunday. Let us also hold in prayer, Yvonne and Daria who will be received into full communion of the Catholic Church along with Catherine and Jan who will complete their Sacraments of Initiation this Eastertide. These are all important steps for them as individuals and moments of great joy for us as a parish community. Let us hold them all in prayer.
THE CARDINAL VAUGHAN MEMORIAL SCHOOL
Are you considering a career in teaching? Train to teach with the CVM School. Visit their website www.cvms.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. Their next School Direct Information Event will be on Wednesday 14th March, 5pm to 8pm at The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, 89 Addison Road, London W14 8BZ.
ROMERO – HEARTBEAT OF EL SALVADOR
St. Ignatius parish, Stamford Hill is delighted to offer Romero – Heartbeat of El Salvador, a highly-acclaimed drama about the life and martyrdom of Blessed Oscar. This is a production of RISE Theatre. It is particularly timely as there are high hopes that Bl. Oscar might be canonised later this year – and hopes too for the beatification of his martyred Jesuit friend and colleague, Fr. Rutilio Grande SJ. The play begins on March 20th at 19.15; running time about 75 minutes, it’s suitable for adults and children above 11. Tickets are £7 or £5 for under-16s and concessions; purchase in advance from Fr. David at email@example.com or 074 3259 1117, or the parish office on 0208800 2121; or buy on the day. Address: 27 High Rd, London N15 6ND
CARDINAL’S LENTEN APPEAL
A few weeks ago, you may have heard the Cardinal’s Pastoral Letter, in which he spoke of the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal in support of key areas of work in our Diocese.
Please take a Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal donation leaflet as you leave Mass today. During Lent, and in the spirit of sacrifice, sharing and almsgiving, please consider designating your Lenten sacrifice to the Cardinal’s Appeal.
CONGRATULATIONS TO BROTHER BEDE OSB!
Bede (Karl) Grey will make his simple profession as a Benedictine monk next Saturday 17th March at 11am at Ealing Abbey. Bede was a much loved member of our parish and the MSJC for many years and we are delighted that he is taking this important step in his religious life. All are invited to the ceremony.
FRONT RECEPTION VOLUNTEER NEEDED
We need help at the front reception on Thursday evenings between 5pm and 8:30pm on a once a month commitment. Supper provided. Please call Leslie Giltz on 0207-408-9250.
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.
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
114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH
Book online for any of these events
Information: 020 7495 1673 or
Our Regular Events
• Midday Meditation
Every Tuesday 1.40-2pm
• Wednesdays at the Well – Come to Rest & Be Refreshed
3rd Wednesday of each month 11.30am-3.30pm (Please note change of times)
(Next meeting: March 21, 2018)
Preparing to Pray the Triduum (for Young Adults aged 18-35)
Facilitated by Anouska Robinson-Biggin fcJ
Saturday 24th March 10.30am-2.30pm
The Easter Triduum is the high point of the Church’s year, one celebration in three very distinct phases. Before entering into this year, join with other young adults and take time to reflect and share on what it means for you.
Growing in Awareness – A Taste of the Ignatian Exercises
Facilitated by Helen Davies and Lynne Galloway
Saturday 24th March 11am-4pm
This one day workshop, designed for those with little or no experience of praying the Ignatian examen, or those who wish to look at other ways in which it can be used, will give a brief overview of the prayer, as well as providing the opportunity to practically use this approach and share our experiences with others.
Bereavement and Loss Group
Thursday 5th April 11.30am–1pm
Grief is a particularly isolating experience that can affect all aspects of your life physically, emotionally and socially. There are many kinds of grieving… Sr. Catherine Quane RSM facilitates this welcoming and understanding group that meets on the first Thursday of the month from 11.30am to 1pm. You are welcome to just come along or contact Sr. Catherine firstname.lastname@example.org or 0190 323 3904 for more details.
After Jesus, What? Celebrating the Acts of the Apostles in Eastertide
Facilitated by Peter Edmonds SJ
Wednesdays, April 11 – May 16, 11am-1pm
How did the first Christians see themselves? How did Peter present Jesus to his world? How do we account for the transformation of Paul from persecutor to hero? How did the first Christians welcome strangers and foreigners? How did they deal with the non-believing intellectual? How did they ensure responsible leadership and future survival? Luke wished to hold up before his readers a set of Christian ideals which would show them what their own Christian life should be and offer them a strong motivation for following the example. His words can still challenge us today.
Ignatian Retreat Day
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 14th April 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.
Beginners’ Guide to Ignatian Spirituality
Facilitated by Andrew Kerr-Jarrett & Mitzi James
Tuesdays 17th April – 22nd May 7-8.30pm
This course is for those who are new to Ignatian spirituality, from any background. Its focus is primarily on Ignatian ways of prayer, within which we come to know more about the God who created us, who we are and who we were made to be. Just as there are a great variety of physical exercises for increasing our physical health, St. Ignatius believed that what he called the Spiritual Exercises would develop our spiritual health, our relationship with God and the world.
More upcoming events on www.pathwaystoGod.org