Wisdom 18:6-9 Psalm 32
Hebrews 11:1-19 Luke 12:32-48
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”. This striking line from this Sunday’s Gospel reading put me in mind of a visit I made just last week to a Catholic Church in Lahore.
I had been in Pakistan since the end of June. My job was to help the few Jesuits who based there in their summer ministry of directing retreats for religious and giving workshops to teachers in our schools. This was my second visit and I was struck once again by the beauty of the country, by the strength of its religious traditions and by the friendly welcome given me by all the people I met. Many were the hearty congratulations that came my way when England’s cricketers miraculously (or so it seemed) won the World Cup!
Towards the end of my stay, the mission superior suggested that another Jesuit visiting from Korea and I might like to see Lahore’s old city with its splendid Royal Mosque. But first we would go to St John’s parish in Youhannabad, the Christian district of Lahore which I had visited on my first trip. My second visit proved as memorable as my first.
We were given a warm welcome both by the parish priest and by the catechist and his wife whose eldest son is studying for the Jesuit priesthood. About 5,000 people of all ages attend mass on Sundays. Despite the fact that there is no shortage of vocations in Pakistan, both to the priesthood and to the religious life, the vitality of the Church is largely sustained by a network of lay catechists who administer the churches, lead some liturgical celebrations, teach the faith to young people and adults and visit families in their homes. It struck me at the time that this is a model of pastoral ministry from which we, in a very different context, might nonetheless learn.
On Sunday, 15 March 2015, tragedy had struck Youhannabad when the Anglican Church of Christ and St John’s were both the objects of terrorist attacks. When the story of what happened at the Catholic Church is told, the focus is on the young parishioner who volunteered to look after security at the gate to the church compound. His name was Akash Bashir and he was 18 years old at the time.
Akash had already heard of the assault on the Church of Christ when he saw a young man whom he did not recognise running for the gate. When stopped, this man said he needed to speak to the parish priest. Akash refused to let him proceed whereupon I was told that the man opened his jacket to reveal explosives. Akash then jumped on him, preventing him from moving beyond the gate and into the church crowded with parishioners waiting for mass to begin. Akash was told that if he didn’t let the man go, he would be blown up. Akash refused and the suicide bomber claimed his life and the lives of some 20 others.
Akash was a student at the Don Bosco technical institute in Youhannabad and the Salesian website records that many in the district regard him as a martyr: they visit his tomb and pray for his intercession. His courageous act inspires Christians in their everyday journey and motivates them not to be discouraged by the many challenges they face. He can inspire us as well. The numbers of casualties would have been much higher, possibly several hundreds, had it not been for Akash’s unhesitating, spontaneous act of great generosity prepared for, no doubt, by numerous smaller acts of loving generosity towards his Lord and towards others in the course of his daily life. Indeed, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”.
Fr Michael Holman S.J.
FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION
The Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady will be celebrated on Thursday 15th August. This is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass will be celebrated at the usual times of 8am, 1.05pm and 6pm. Refreshments will follow in the Parish Hall after the 6pm Mass
An exhibition of paintings by Victoria Brenninkmeijer will take place on the Ground Floor Gallery at 114 Mount Street from 1st August – 31st August. Victoria has had a lifelong interest in fine art, especially as a use for spiritual contemplation. After taking several short courses, Victoria completed the Art Foundation year, and is now studying at the Art Academy in London for a BA in Fine Art.
PROPOSED WALKING CLUB
It is well known amongst Catholics that walking a long-distance pilgrimage is both beneficial to physical health and spiritually uplifting, and an increasing number of regular worshippers at our church have participated in such pilgrimages over the past few years. In preparation for these, a small group of parishioners have also organized occasional one-day practice walks.
However, it has been suggested that the time has come to set up a more formal walking club for the church and arrange future walks in a more organized manner. Membership will be free and all worshippers at Farm Street are welcome to join. It is envisaged that a walk will be organized about four times a year, and each will be up to ten miles in distance within travelling distance of central London. We will consult with members to choose walking destinations, paths and dates which are suitable for the majority.
If you are interested in this new venture, please contact Hossein Zand for more information at email@example.com or Tel 07949 999881.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Preparation start date: 6th October 2019
Celebration: 14th June 2020
If you would like your child to take part in this preparation, please contact us to request an Application Form or collect one from reception at 114 Mount Street.
Forms must be returned by:
30th September 2019.
We are in need of catechists to help on Sunday mornings with Children’s Liturgy of the Word & Holy Communion & Teenage Confirmation preparation. If you wish to share your faith with young members of our Parish, please join our team of catechists. No special qualification is required. We will provide training and faith formation. Please contact Fr Chris Pedley SJ (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Leninha (email@example.com)
Bookings are open for this year’s Farm Street Camino in the Steps of St Ignatius, walking this year in the steps of the founder of the Jesuits through the Basque Country from Alda on the Rioja border to Loyola, the birthplace of St Ignatius. The Camino is a spiritual as well as physically challenging experience, with prayer and Mass each day and a day’s retreat in Loyola followed by a final day of sightseeing in Bilbao. September 23rd – October 3rd 2019. For more information please speak to Fr Dominic or, to request a brochure and to book, contact Pax Travel direct on (020)-7485-3003; firstname.lastname@example.org For full details visit www.paxtravel.co.uk or request a brochure at Reception.
All young people of the diocese are invited to ‘The Summit’ at Westminster Cathedral on Friday 18th October 2019, 6.30pm to 8pm, for an evening of inspiring reflections, contemporary worship music and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Cardinal Nichols and Brenden Thompson from Catholic Voices will be leading the reflections and the evening promises to be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our faith together. Please come along and encourage your friends, families, classes, youth groups, confirmation groups and any other young people you know to join us. More information at https://dowym.com/events/the-summit-westminster-cathedral/
CLIMATE CHANGE TALK
Jesuit Missions invites you to an evening in conversation with the Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland QC on Friday 13th September, 18.30 at Farm Street Parish, 114 Mount Street. Lady Scotland will be speaking about climate change in the Commonwealth. The talk will be followed by a Q&A and teas and coffees. All welcome.
AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED PILGRIMAGE TO EGYPT
All are invited to join Fr Dominic on this pilgrimage to Egypt from Monday 4th to Tuesday 12th November 2019. The pilgrimage itinerary offers the chance to visit ACN projects, meet with local Church leaders and Christians as well as visit places of historic importance as we trace the steps of the Holy Family in exile. For more information, please speak to Fr Dominic or contact Pax Travel on 020 7485 3003 or by emailing email@example.com
MOUNT STREET JESUIT CENTRE
114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH
Book online for any of these events
Information: 020 7495 1673 or
OUR 2019-20 PROGRAMME WILL SOON APPEAR AT THE CHURCH DOORS. IN THE MEANTIME VISIT www.mountstreet.info
FOR NEW EVENTS!
FOR YOUR DIARY: OPEN EVENING AND OPEN DAY!
Thursday 5th September 6-8pm and
Saturday 7th September 11am-1pm
Come and meet the team, see what we do, sample workshops & ways of praying, etc. Drop in anytime. There will be friendly faces and cake!
CONTEMPLATIVES IN ACTION
Facilitated by Theodora Hawksley CJ
Thursday 19th September 7-9.30pm –3rd Thursday of each month
Seeing the world through God’s eyes leads us to loving action for justice, and action leads us back to prayer. These sessions provide an opportunity for those engaged in work or volunteering in social justice to reflect on their practice, and deepen their understanding of Catholic social teaching. Each session has some short input followed by time for reflection and sharing.
INTRODUCTION TO IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY
6 Tuesdays, September 17th-October 22nd, 6.30-8pm Facilitated by Andrew Kerr-Jarrett & Mary Dodge.
Repeated 6 Thursdays, September 19th-October 24th, 11.30am-1pm
Facilitated by Lynne Galloway
For those who are new to Ignatian spirituality, from any background. During each session you will be introduced to a different aspect of Ignatian spirituality or prayer, guided through a prayer exercise, invited to share your reflections in a small group and at the end of the session gathered together again in the larger group. You will be invited to pray the prayer exercise during the week, for just like physical exercise the more you ‘practice’ the more benefits you will feel.
WHY NOT COME TO OUR REGULAR EVENTS? (*: NO NEED TO BOOK!)
Mindfulness and the Alexander Technique
2nd and last Wednesday of each month (except August) 11.30am-3.30pm
Book Club *
2nd Thursday of each month (except July & August)
Book for September: “The Brothers Karamazov” Dostoevsky
Contemplatives in Action *
2nd Thursday of each month (except July & August)