FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – YEAR C – 19TH MAY 2019

Acts 14:21-27  Psalm 144

Apocalypse 21:1-5     John 13:31-35

 

LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU

Gospel reading for this Sunday contains some of the most familiar and important words of Jesus. He tells his disciples that he is giving them a new commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you”. This will be how men and women will know they are his disciples, “If you have love, one for another”.

The kind of love we, as his disciples today, are to show one another is the kind of love with which he loved us. This is what makes his commandment a “new” commandment. This love of his was powerfully illustrated when at the Last Supper he removed his outer garments, wrapped a towel round his waist and washed the feet of his disciples. That’s the kind of love we are to have for one another: we are to give our lives in service to our brothers and sisters.

Thankfully, we have many examples of outstanding men and women who have done just that, examples which can inspire us. One such example died just two weeks ago, Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche movement which now has some 150 communities  around the world. Vanier’s life was given over in service to his brothers and sisters with significant special needs. He was a model of compassion. He taught that every human being, however great their needs may be, has been created by God and has a unique beauty all his or her own. One of his co-workers in this country said, on hearing of Vanier’s death, “Jean taught us that everyone has something to give something that the world needs. He taught us the importance of celebrating what makes each of us unique.”

But sometimes we learn most about what loving each other as Jesus loved us means from what happens to us.

The other day, I took the train up to Manchester to attend the blessing of a new centre, the Laudato Si’ Centre, at Wardley Hall, the residence of the Catholic Bishop of Salford. The Centre seeks to respond to the challenge of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment and human ecology, by creating a space for practical action to care for our common home, action which will help us leave a sustainable world for future generations. I knew from previous experience that Wardley Hall, set in spacious grounds, was not easy to find but knew it was located next to St Mary’s, a large Catholic cemetery.

Following the directions on the sat nav on my phone, I got off the bus and then followed the route my phone set out for me. I walked for a mile or so but, to my increasing alarm, the path took me deeper and deeper into an industrial estate full of warehouses and machine shops. The Hall, and the cemetery, were nowhere to be seen.  Realising that I would be late for the blessing, I went up to a group of men huddled around a roadside cafeteria and asked the way to St Mary’s. “It’s the other side of that fence, but to reach it you’ll need to walk all the way back to the main road”. Then, without hesitation, the cafeteria owner, who was busy making a bacon sandwich for a customer, said “Get into my car and I’ll drive you there”. I was so relieved and very grateful. But the only thanks this good man wanted for his kindness and generosity was for me to pray for him and his family.

Such spontaneous kindness which seeks no reward sums up what living the new commandment means for me. Such acts of generosity are within reach of us all and they can change the world, just as the love shown me has, I hope, in some way, transformed me.

Fr Michael Holman S.J.

The Hunted Priest: Fr John Gerard, the English Mission, and the Gunpowder Plot

A talk on Fr John Gerard SJ, will be held in the Farm Street Church hall on Wednesday 22nd May at 6.45pm. Landing at night on the Norfolk Coast in October 1588, Fr Gerard very successfully ministered to English Catholics for 17 years in extraordinary circumstances. After many daring escapes, he suffered imprisonment and torture, famously escaping from the Tower of London in 1597 to continue his work until 1605. The talk is by his ten greats nephew, Michael Maslinski, who last year persuaded the BBC to withdraw inaccurate allegations in a documentary that he had been a central figure in the Gunpowder Plot.

 

PETER BRIDGMAN ART EXHIBITION

A viewing evening of works by artist and Farm Street parishioner, Peter Bridgman, will take place at 7pm on Friday 31st May at 114 Mount Street. This is the opening night of an exhibition that will run through the month of June in the Ground Floor Art Gallery at 114 Mount Street. All are most welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided.

 

FARM STREET WALSINGHAM PILGRIMAGE 2019

Saturday May 25th: coach departs 114 Mount St 8:30am & returns there via drop-off at Victoria Station c 8pm. Please join us on our annual pilgrimage to England’s National Shrine of Our Lady in Norfolk. The day includes prayers and talks en route, visits to the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican shrines, walking the Holy Mile and free time. Cost: £35 inclusive of buffet lunch. To book please call at Farm Street Reception, e-mail farmstreetoffice@rcdow.org.uk or ‘phone Leslie Giltz on (020)-7408-1234.

 

ECUMENICAL PENTECOST SERVICE

The annual Churches Together in Westminster Pentecost service will take place at St Martin-in-the-Fields on Sunday 9th June at 6.30pm. This follows on from Thy Kingdom Come, an ecumenical Christian festival in Trafalgar Square on the same date from 12 noon to 4pm, and will involve live music, workshops, seminars, dance, spoken word and an opportunity to pray and worship together. All are most welcome.

 

 

PRIEST TRAINING FUND

A second collection will be taken today to support the Priest Training Fund. This fund pays for the priestly formation of men for the Catholic priesthood. The fund also supports the ongoing enrichment and formation of our ordained priests. Your gift ensures we can provide training for these men responding to Christ’s call to dedicate their lives to serve God and His people. Please be as generous as you can. Please also pray for vocations and for all our priests. You can also donate online anytime at http://www.rcdow.org.uk/donations.

 

JESUIT FUNDRAISING CONCERT

There will be an evening reception and concert by pianist Bobby Chen at The Polish Club on Thursday 30th May at 6.45pm. Money will raised will go to The Langlands School and College in Pakistan and other Jesuit charities.

Tickets £75 (concessions £45 on application) – collect an invitation form at

Mount Street reception or book at by e-mailing bjact@btinternet.com.

 

NEW FRONT ALTAR

The front altar will be replaced in June this year. The new altar will be of a simpler design which will allow a clearer view of the magnificent original Pugin altar. It will be installed in June, and a Solemn Mass of Dedication will be celebrated by Bishop Nicholas Hudson, auxiliary bishop of Westminster, on Wednesday 19th June at the 6pm Mass. A reception will follow in the parish hall.

 

CONTACTLESS PAYMENT

Farm Street Church is now able to process donations via contactless payment. Terminals for this can be found in the church and at reception.

 

JONATHAN MOORE: IN CONVERSATION

On Sunday 16th June at 12:30pm in the Upper Room, Farm Street parishioner Jonathan Moore will be in conversation with broadcaster Mark Lawson. Jonathan will speak about his work in theatre and opera, and how it is an expression of his faith.

 

 

MOUNT STREET JESUIT CENTRE

114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH

http://www.mountstreet.info  

Book online for any of these events

Information: 020 7495 1673 or

admin@mountstreet.info

 

 

Why not come to our Regular Events? (No need to book!)

 

• Drop-in Prayer

Every Monday 6.30-7pm

• Wednesdays at the Well – Come to Rest & Be Refreshed

3rd Wednesday of each month 11.30am-3.30pm (Next: June 19th, 2019)

 

• Book Club

2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm

(Next: June 13th, 2019)

Book: “The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner” by James Hogg

 

 

 

PRAYER WITHIN A BUSY LIFE

Facilitated by Chris Chapman

Saturday 1st June 11am-4pm

Many of us find it difficult to fit times of prayer into daily life – especially when demands of care for others, or of work are great, or when the pattern of each day is different, lacking a regular structure.

 

This day will explore ways of weaving prayer in and out of daily activities so that even within the most taxing of days there are points of prayerful meeting, conversation and rest.

 

BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS GROUP

Facilitated by Maria Shapero

Thursday 6th June 11.30-1pm

Grief is a particularly isolating experience that can affect all aspects of your life physically, emotionally and socially. There are many kinds of grieving…

 

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 June 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.

 

Sadhana: A Way to God

Facilitated by Lynne Galloway

Wednesdays, 12th June – 17th July 2-3.30pm

An opportunity to be guided through a series of exercises taken from Anthony de Mello’s book, Sadhana – A Way to God.

 

Beginning with developing stillness and awareness, we then move on to the use of our imagination and into opening our lives more fully to the love of God. Most people, he believes, are asleep. They need to wake up, open up their eyes, see what is real, both inside and outside of themselves. The greatest human gift is to be aware, to be in touch with oneself, one’s body, mind, feelings, thoughts, and sensations. Sadhana helps you to do this.

 

RECONCILIATION COURSE

Wednesdays, 12th June – 10th July 6.30-8pm

How can our faith make an impact in a divided and hurting world? This new course explores a scripture-based approach to reconciliation and offers practical tools to help Christians apply this in their everyday experiences of conflict. This 5 week evening course runs on Wednesdays 6.30pm–8pm, June 12th–July 10th at Mount Street Jesuit Centre. Booking and enquiries via the website: www.pathwaystogod.org.