Jeremiah 31:7-9 Psalm 125
Hebrews 5:1-6 Mark 10:46-52
all need heroes, models we can follow not least in living our Christian faith. Even though we know, try as we might, it is far beyond our capacities to imitate them, they encourage and inspire us, in quite different circumstances, to live with the kind of generosity and integrity Jesus expected of his disciples.
The German Jesuit Alfred Delp is one such hero of mine. He was born in 1907 and converted to Catholicism when he was a boy if just 16. Three years later, he joined the Society of Jesus and stood out from the other Jesuit students as independent and somewhat self-willed, qualities that were soon to serve him and the Church in Germany well.
He was ordained in 1937, four years after Hitler came to power. “Whoever does not have the courage to make history”, he once wrote, “becomes its poor object”. True to his word, Delp was soon helping Jewish families escape to Switzerland and at considerable risk to himself, both in the pages of the Jesuit journal Stimmen der Zeit and from the pulpit of St George’s church in Munich where he ministered, he was openly critical of the Nazi government not least of its forced euthanasia policy. He was introduced by his Jesuit superior to the Kreisau Circle, a resistance group of intellectuals who began planning the future of Germany after the defeat of Hitler, itself a treasonable offence. Delp’s role was to explain Catholic social teaching to the members of the Circle.
In 1944, Delp was arrested and tried on the false charge of being implicated in the 1944 failed plot to kill Hitler. He was sentenced to death and was hanged in a Berlin prison on 2 February 1945.
What I admire about Delp is his capacity to see things as they really were. There were many like him, of course, but there were many others who did not have the eyes to read the signs of the times in the light of faith as he evidently could. Those others were no doubt blinded by the complexities of life and by the fear of what might happen to them if they openly opposed the regime as Delp was able to do.
This clarity of vision Delp himself thought was the result of coming face to face with God. As he wrote, “Many of the things that are happening today would never have happened if we had been living in that longing, that disquiet of heart which comes when we are faced with God, and when we look clearly at things as they really are.”
Which makes me think of the world in which we live and ask whether I have the clarity of sight to read the signs of the time in the light of faith, let alone to respond generously. What about the number of homeless men and women on the streets roundabout this church, the widening gap between rich and poor, the fact that in our wealthy country there are children who go hungry, or the shamefully large numbers of young people who are dying as a result of the knife crime on the streets of our city?
Our Gospel reading today features the blind man who called on Jesus to have mercy on him and to restore his sight, to open his eyes. This story is a metaphor for discipleship: we all need to ask Jesus to open our eyes, to see things as they really are, as he sees them, and then to respond generously.
May the example of Alfred Delp and his like inspire and encourage us in our discipleship today.
Fr Michael Holman, S.J.
All Saints Day
The Feast of All Saints will be celebrated on Thursday 1st November. This is a holy day of obligation and all Catholics are required by the Church to attend Mass. The vigil Mass will be celebrated at 6pm on Wednesday, and Masses on Thursday at 8am, 1.05pm and 6pm. The Thursday 6pm Mass will be accompanied by hymns. There will be a wine and cake reception in the hall afterwards to which all are warmly invited.
Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults
Our RCIA programme for this year is beginning. If you are an adult seeking baptism, a Christian of another tradition wanting to be received into the Catholic Church or an adult Catholic who has not yet been confirmed please contact Fr Chris Pedley as soon as possible.
Confirmation Programme 2019
The programme is for teenagers aged 14+ who want to prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in 2019 and will begin in January 2019. To register, collect a registration form at the parish reception. For more information, contact Leninha Assis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Slaves in our City
Caritas Westminster is hosting an evening raising awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery in our communities. Speakers include the Metropolitan Police, the Santa Marta Group, the Medaille Trust, and Caritas Bakhita House. The event will take place on Thursday 22nd November, from 6.30pm-8.30pm, at Farm Street Church. Refreshments will be available from 6.00pm. Please RSVP to email@example.com, or call on 0207 798 9030 for your free ticket. Alternatively, you can register your attendance on Eventbrite, by searching for ‘Slaves in our City’.
The new book of our Stations of the Cross, in full colour, is on sale at the bookshop and Reception for a £10 donation. 2019 diaries are also available for a £1 donation.
St Vincent de Paul Society
The St Vincent de Paul in this parish are looking for more volunteers to participate in their visiting/befriending programme. They receive referrals from social services about people living in central London who are elderly, lonely and often confined to their own homes. Volunteers are asked to visit someone regularly (e.g. an hour once a week or every other week). If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Sandra McNally: tel. 07779 078933. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PORTRAITS OF SYRIA
‘Portraits of Syria’, an exhibition of paintings by Syrian artist Farid Georges evoking the emotional realities of the Syrian conflict including the martyrdom of Fr Frans van der Lugt, SJ , will be held on our Ground Floor Gallery, November 1st – 29th, to coincide with the Aid to the Church in Need/ Christian Solidarity Worldwide initiative #Red Wednesday (Nov 28th) when buildings, including Farm Street Church, will be illuminated red to highlight the persecution of Christians and religious freedom. Please do visit.
COLLECTION VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Volunteers are needed to assist with the parish collection count on Tuesday afternoons from 2pm. If you are interested in assisting with this, please contact the Parish Accountant, Patricia Morgan, on 020 7529 4801 or at email@example.com. Her office days are Tuesday to Thursday.
GOOD COUNSEL NETWORK
In this month of the rosary, the Good Counsel Network are requesting people to pray a decade of the rosary for their work in protecting the unborn and for the prevention of further ‘buffer zones’ being imposed by local councils against pro-life vigils. For more information on how to support their ministry visit www.goodcounselnetwork.com.
MONTH OF HOLY SOULS
For the month of November, Jesuits in Britain have made it possible to light a virtual candle in memory of those you remember and submit their names for prayer on their website. To light a virtual candle in memory of your loved ones, send us their names using the link below.
The names will be added to the book of remembrance in church where they will be prayed for during Masses throughout November.
Catholic History Walks
The King’s Good Servant, Sunday 21st October, 4pm. The story of heroic St Thomas More, as we walk around his Chelsea estate. Meet at the Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer and St Thomas More, Cheyenne Row, SW3 5HS. Nearest Tube: Sloane Square or South Kensington.
A Royal Walk, Sunday 18th November, 3pm. A walk around Westminster to see Catholics and Royalty, from Henry VIII and his break with Rome to the present day. We walk towards Buckingham Palace. Meet on the steps of Westminster Cathedral. Nearest Tube: Victoria
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
• Guided Prayer
Every Monday 6.30-7pm
• Lunchtime Lectio
Every Tuesday 1.40-2pm
• Wednesdays at the Well – Come to Rest & Be Refreshed
3rd Wednesday of each month 11.30am-3.30pm (Next meeting: 20th November, 2018)
• Book Club
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm
(Next meeting: 8th November, 2018)
• Something on a Sunday
1st Sunday of each month 2-5pm (Next meeting: 4th November, 2018)
Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet – Our Story Too?
Facilitated by Brian Purfield
Tuesdays 30th October-27th November 11am-1pm repeated on Wednesdays 31st October-28th November 7-8.30pm
Jonah is the only prophet who needed to be called twice. We will reflect on his story: his struggles with his identity and his purpose in life, as well as his struggle to understand the meaning of God’s merciful love. His story can speak to us and can challenge us to reflect on our own story.
BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS GROUP
Facilitated by Maria Shapero
NOVEMBER MEETING CANCELLED
SEEING IN THE DARK: MEETING GOD IN TIMES OF STRUGGLE AND UNCERTAINTY
Facilitated by Chris Chapman
Saturday 3rd November 11am-4pm
Life is joyful, beautiful and a rich blessing, but also difficult, painful and mysterious. Today we will draw on imagery from the Christian spiritual tradition to explore the part struggle plays within human growth and our experience of God.
SOMETHING ON A SUNDAY
Facilitated by Audrey and Eamonn Hamilton
Sunday 4th November 2-5pm
Enjoy a reflective walk around public sculptures. Meeting point announced on the website. Booking necessary.
IGNATIAN RETREAT DAY
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 10th November 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.
SCRIPTURE IN COLOUR – PRAYING WITH ICONS
Facilitated by Audrey Hamilton and Liz Waldy
Saturday 17th November 11am-4pm
“These selfless images that we call icons have one function only, to put us in touch with the world of grace. We are taken out of our own world as we contemplate, and are drawn into this holy world where God is free to love us as he desires” Sr Wendy Becket
St John Damascene (675-749) taught that icons tell us in pictures what the Gospel tells us in words.
We will explore this in our workshop as we briefly consider the history and theology of icons and, more importantly, let them lead us into prayer and silence, “a window on the kingdom” which “does not just open onto the world beyond, but lets in that vital air which refreshes our hearts” (Michel Quenot).
CHRISTIAN YOGA – PRAYING WITH YOUR BODY
Facilitated by Róisín McGrogan
Saturday 24th November 11am-4pm
This workshop will include breathwork, an exploration of physical representation of Christian prayer and scripture, a strong energetic yoga practice and a final Ignatian contemplation exercise on the Gospel. Bring water, bring a mat (and any other yoga props you usually use) and wear comfortable clothes you can move and stretch in. Namaste!