Newsletter – 18th March 2018 – 5th SUNDAY OF LENT


Jeremiah 31:31-34    Psalm 50

Hebrews 5:7-9     John 12:20-30

Farm Street SketchA GRAIN OF WHEAT

“Unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,

               it remains only a single grain;

               but if it dies,

               it yields a rich harvest.”

Well, yes, but the question I’ve always wanted to ask is: “how is the grain of wheat supposed to know that?” All that the grain of wheat gets to know is that it’s dying. It never gets to see the happy ending.

Twenty years ago I was sent out as a missionary for the first time to Guyana in South America. The plane brought me from Britain to Barbados and then I stayed over one night in Barbados before I could catch the plane into Georgetown, Guyana. That night I read a book called “Men of Faith”. It was an account of the work of Jesuits in Guyana – men who came from many countries in the world to give their lives to the service of the Gospel and the Church in Guyana. There were in the book many fine and inspiring stories of good and holy men giving great and sometimes heroic service to the Faith. Some names figured prominently – Cary-Elwes, Wilson-Browne, and – closer to our own time: Bernard Darke, Bryan O’Reilly, Bernard McKenna, Andy Morrison, Bernard “Breezer” Brown. You’ll never have heard of any of them, but in Guyana, those names are revered by people of faith. I had met some of them and been inspired by their example. These were stories of real men of faith and men of hope. For a young man, embarking on his first real work in the Jesuits, it was a rather heady mixture – a little like a young man’s first shot of rum! How could any red-blooded young Catholic not want to serve alongside such men and continue the work that they had done?

Then, when I got to the back of the book, there was something rather more sobering. It was a list of all the Jesuits who had come to Guyana for the last hundred years and what had happened to them. What was shocking to me was the large number of men who had come and who, within a few months had either died or had become so ill they had to be sent home. Thinking about that and wondering what I had got myself into, I didn’t get a lot of sleep that night.

It wasn’t until next morning that it occurred to me that the extraordinary thing was that, even with such a high death-rate, they never stopped coming. These men knew the risks they were running – that perhaps they would die or be incapacitated very soon having achieved little or nothing. Can you imagine that happening today? Can you imagine the scandal? Can you imagine the Health and Safety investigations? But those were risks they were prepared to take, because they believed that this was what God was calling them to. Suddenly, I realised that, whatever I did to try to help build the Church in Guyana, I would walk in the steps of many men who gave their lives to the same endeavour – men who knew that:

“Unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,

               it remains only a single grain;

               but if it dies,

               it yields a rich harvest.”

We all hope to be grains of wheat. We all hope that we too can contribute whatever gifts and talents we have in service of God and God’s people. Certainly, we all hope to stay alive and healthy in doing so. But each of us, in our own little way, hope to be grains of wheat that will be seeds for The Lord’s harvest. We do not know – we cannot know – exactly which of us will yield a harvest some sixty-fold, some a hundred-fold, some a thousand-fold. Some of our attempts may succeed. Some of them may fail. At this point, we cannot know –we are only grains of wheat. In times to come, some of us may be remembered; some of us may even have books written about us. But, if each of us is prepared to give of our best in whatever way is given us to do, then all of us will have contributed to the harvest.

Let us pray that in our day too, we may be given the grace to take risks for the Kingdom. 

Fr Paul O’Reilly, S.J.


PALM SUNDAY 25th March
Palms will be blessed and distributed at all Masses.
Mass: 8am, 9.30am (Family), 10.45am Blessing of Palms in Mount Street Gardens, 11am (Sung Latin), 12.30pm, 5.30pm (Music: Soul Sanctuary)

MONDAY IN HOLY WEEK 26th March    
Masses at usual times

Masses at usual times.
7pm Ecumenical Stations of the Cross (with music)

Masses at usual times.

ALL DAY: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Sacrament of Reconciliation

29th March    

No morning Masses.
Confessions: 6.30 – 7pm

7pm Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Watching at the Place of Repose until midnight

GOOD FRIDAY 30th March     
12noon: Stations of the Cross.

3pm: Solemn Liturgy of the Passion

7pm: Meditation on the Seven Last Words and Veneration of the Relic of the True Cross (Music: Lauda Young Adult Group with Bobby Chen, Piano)

Confessions: before each of these services.

HOLY SATURDAY 31st March  
Confessions: 7.30-8pm

8pm: Blessing of the new fire and lighting of the Paschal Candle, Easter Vigil, Adult Baptisms and First Mass of Easter.

EASTER SUNDAY 1st April   
Mass: 8am, 9.30am (Family), 11am (Sung Latin), 12.30pm, 5.30pm

Church closed until 11am. Mass at 1.05pm only, after which the church will be closed.


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, given last week’s great news that Bl.Oscar will be canonised later this year, or early next year, with Bl.Pope Paul VIth.  We Jesuits hold 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 or 074 3259 1117, or the parish office on 0208800 2121; or buy on the day. Address: 27 High Rd, London N15 6ND


There are Stations of the Cross on Fridays throughout Lent at 12:30pm

(this replaces Exposition on those days).


The LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council invites you to the 2nd Building A Bridge Reflection/Discussion Evening, based on  Fr. James Martin SJ. This monthly programme is to enable a relationship of respect, compassion, and sensitivity to be created between the LGBT community and the wider Church. Thursday March 22nd at 6.30pm. Refreshments from 7pm. For more infor mation please contact:



Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family,

Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ.

With special concern for persecuted Christians and suffering Christians

Donation requested, proceeds to the Church in need. All welcome

Please note that their monthly Liturgy in English at 4pm on the second Saturday of each month, which is a Sunday liturgy by anticipation, continues at the Cathedral of the Holy Family. It is now preceded by Great Vespers at 3pm.


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 18th.  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.



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.


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.  


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


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).


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”, 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.

Click here to watch a video Clip of Armel Paul Marie’s song “L’ennemi”

CD visual


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


MSJC logo

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 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 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



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