Deuteronomy 4:1-8 Psalm 14
James 1:17-27 Mark 7:1-23
A CHURCH OF JUSTICE AND COMPASSION
In our scripture during the past week and again in this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus condemns scribes and pharisees as hypocrites – religious leaders put in positions of authority who misuse their power and greatly harm the faith of ordinary God-fearing people.
Over the past month the universal church has been subject to particularly upsetting media reports, especially in the United States, rocked by revelations regarding the covering up of abuse scandals by bishops and Vatican officials. The recent visit by Pope Francis to the World Meeting of Families in Ireland gave him the opportunity to make a sincere apology for the abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church there.
I have been struck by two statements by Pope Francis, by the letter to the priests and people of the diocese by our Archbishop, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, and also by a remarkable article in the Jesuit online journal “Thinking Faith”, written by Fr. James Hanvey SJ, the outgoing Master of Campion Hall, Oxford.
In his 2014 address to the Curia, Pope Francis invited its members to an examination of conscience: “A Curia that doesn’t criticize itself, that doesn’t update itself, that doesn’t seek to improve itself is a sick body… We tend to rely on our own thinking and strength and not on the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us. We often think we know best when if we stepped back and asked the Holy Spirit, we might see things in a different light. Lord, I repent”. Pope Francis intensified this call for greater openness to dialogue and sincere self-examination in the recent letter to the whole church: “It is impossible to think of a conversion of our activity as a Church that does not include the active participation of all the members of God’s People. Indeed, whenever we have tried to replace, or silence, or ignore, or reduce the People of God to small elites, we end up creating communities, projects, theological approaches, spiritualities and structures without roots, without memory, without faces, without bodies and ultimately, without lives.” Pope Francis calls for an end to the damaging culture of clericalism, where an elite group rules over everyone in a manner that is exclusivist and ultimately destructive. “To say “no” to abuse is to say an emphatic “no” to all forms of clericalism.”
Our Archbishop, Cardinal Vincent, has given his full support to the Pope’s initiative and acknowledges failures in the local hierarchy in the past in dealing with the safeguarding of children and other vulnerable people from predatory behaviour. In his recent letter to all the clergy of the diocese, which he wished us to share with the people of our parish, he writes: “I am utterly ashamed that this evil has, for so long, found a place in our house, our Church. This evil has particular abhorrence because not only is it a terrible abuse of power, but also because, in its evil, it both employs and destroys the very goodness of faith and trust in God. As a Father in this House, I bear this shame in a direct way, for it is the direct responsibility of a father to protect his household from harm, no matter how difficult and complex that might be.”
Fr. James Hanvey SJ’s thought-provoking piece in the Jesuit online journal Thinking Faith contains too many important insights to be summarised adequately here. Please take the time to read it. This passage struck me as particularly relevant as I say farewell to this parish and move to my next one: “Francis is asking us to go much further than safeguarding programmes, procedures and disciplinary structures, essential though they undoubtedly are. The pope, servant of the Council, recognises that we must renew ecclesial culture, creating a priesthood and episcopacy that are conformed to the sacrament upon which they are based. New structures will need to be developed that give this expression, embody justice and compassion, and protect all parties from falsehood and exploitation… There can be no flight from the reality that now faces the Church. Those who think that they can restore the Church’s dignity or that of its priests by dressing in ever more extravagant vestments, confusing liturgy with theatre, thinking that God is somehow more attentive to a ‘sacred language’ than to the unadorned prayer of the anawim, risk being the guardians of an empty tomb. They are deaf to the words of the angel: ‘why do you seek the living among the dead?’ They have forgotten the common dress and language of the God who comes pro nobis, transcendent in his very poverty and simplicity; whose dignity lies in the washing of our feet.”
I leave here confident that the people that make Farm Street such a wonderful parish are particularly well disposed to further the Holy Father’s vision of the future of the Catholic Church. Wishing you and your loved ones every blessing for the future, and with immense gratitude for the generosity and wisdom you have shown me over the past six years.
Fr. Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ
WELCOME to our NEW PARISH PRIEST
This weekend marks the handover of duties as parish priest of Farm Street Church to Fr. Dominic Robinson SJ. We pray for him as he takes on this new responsibility. Enormous thanks to Fr. Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ who has led the parish community so effectively over the past six years and is moving to take up the role of Parish Priest at St Ignatius Church, Stamford Hill, in North London. The 11am Mass today includes music specially chosen for the occasion, and there will be a reception in the hall after the Mass. All are welcome.
THANKS and FAREWELL to Sister ANOUSKA!
This is the final weekend at Farm Street Church for Sr. Anouska Robinson-Biggin fcJ, who leaves us to take up ministry as chaplain at Goldsmiths, University of London. Sr Anouska has been an important part of parish life since 2008, looking after the various aspects of the well-development ministry to Young Adults, as well as participating fully in RCIA and teenage Confirmation catechesis. We will miss her very much and wish her well in her new ministry.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Next Programme 2018/19
Start date: 7th October 2018
Celebration: 9th June 2019
If you would like your child to take part in this preparation, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form or collect one from reception at 114 Mount Street. Forms must be returned by September 30th 2018.
The new book of our Stations of the Cross, in full colour, is on sale at the bookshop and Reception for a £10 donation.
31 DAYS OF ST IGNATIUS
We are inviting you to join our third annual 31 days of St Ignatius, a month long celebration of all things Ignatian with a series of 31 daily messages guiding you through the different Ignatian ways to pray throughout July culminating on St Ignatius feast day on the 31st. Each week in July, we explore a different style of Ignatian prayer into help and guide you into a deeper relationship with God. To take part in the celebrations, simply sign up to receive the 31 Days of St Ignatius daily email at www.pathwaystogod.org/31-days-st-ignatius and each day in July, you will receive an inspiring prayer-centred message straight to your inbox. You can also view the messages and follow the celebrations on twitter using the hashtag #31DaysofStIgnatius and on Facebook at JesuitsinBritain.
ST VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY
The St Vincent de Paul Society organises a soup run in the local area every Monday night for the homeless. They need more volunteers to help with soup run, starting at 8:15 from Farm Street Church. If you might be able to help, please contact Yasko Kurahachi on email@example.com or 07932 784 999.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO HELP SYRIAN REFUGEES
The Parish is looking for volunteers to help the integration of a Syrian family, who will be resettled in North London from June. We are looking for Arabic speakers, education professionals, HR experts, medical staff, and mental health specialists. Also, if you know about any accommodation that could be rented by the Parish to welcome other Syrian families, please do let us know so that we can make contact(s) with landlords. For any queries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
RUN FOR SYRIA
A huge thank you to those who supported Fr Dominic, Sebastian, John, James and Harriet who took part in the British 10K London run on Sunday, 15th July. They raised £1,192.22 in sponsorship. This is in addition to the £3,034,71 collected in the 7th – 8th July appeal at Farm Street led by Fr Dominic. The money will go in support of pastoral and emergency work in Syria carried out by Aid to the Church in Need, the Catholic charity. For more information, visit www.acnuk.org or contact 020 8642 8668.
WHAT ARE YOU READING?
Fr Peter Edmonds SJ who regularly assists in our church, reminds us of three books he has written, all available in the Bookshop and in Reception.
– To help you with the Sunday readings; “an informative and accessible guide” for every Sunday of the year, “The Way Companion to the Sunday Missal” (£10)
– A memoir of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land informed by a reading and course on St Luke: “A pilgrim’s guide to the land, personalities and the language of Luke”. “Rediscover Jesus” (£10)
– Just published: “The Way Companion to Synoptic Gospels”, an invitation to recognise the distinctive voices of Matthew, Mark and Luke and to make them our friends (£12)
RENOVATION OF THE SANCTUARY
Work to renovate the marble floor and steps in the sanctuary is well underway. During the works the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the Sacred Heart Chapel, and Masses are celebrated there during weekdays. It is hoped to complete the work in the next couple of weeks. Your patience is greatly appreciated.
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 Armel Yoro 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: 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: 3rdWednesday of each month 11.30am-3.30pm (Next meeting: July 18, 2018)
Women Encountering Jesus
Facilitated by Gabriela Flores and Liz Waldy
Wednesdays, 5th-26th September 7-8.30pm
Learning from Mary, Martha, Elizabeth, the woman with a bent back, and others, may offer us the possibility of awakening our own sensibilities in new ways, along with the chance to learn from their compassion, spirit of service, and openness to intimacy with Jesus.
Bereavement and Loss Group
Thursday 6th September 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… Maria Shapero 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 Maria Shapero Mariashapero@hotmail.com or 0755 324 2322 for more details.
Ignatian Retreat Day
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 8th September 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.
For your diary: Mount Street Jesuit Centre Open Day!
Saturday 15 September, 11am-4pm
Come and meet the team, see what we do, sample workshops & ways of praying, etc. Drop in anytime between 11am and 4pm. There will be friendly faces and cake!
Our new brochures for 2018-19 are now available at the church doors and our website will be updated throughout the summer.
SCRIPTURE READINGS Amos 7:12-15 Psalm 84 Ephesians 1: 3-14 Mark 6:7-13 PROPHETS OF THE GOOD NEWS Many years ago, when I was very young, I used to walk along Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow, Scotland, on my way to school. I walked along that street every day for six years. On that same street I would see… Continue readingNewsletter – 15th July 2018 – 15TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B