Newsletters

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – YEAR C – 12 MAY 2019

SCRIPTUREREADINGS

Acts 13:14.43-52         Psalm 99

Apocalypse 7:9.14-17     John 10:27-30

 

REPORT ON FARM STREET PARISH FORUM
The goal of the parish forum was to enable the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) to understand how parishioners view the parish: what we do well, and what could be improved on. The forum comprised group discussion and Q&A sessions after the 9:30am and 11:00am Masses on Sunday 24th February, and Sunday 3rd March, and a questionnaire which was available both in the pews and online between Sunday 24th February and Sunday 10th March; more than 400 copies of the questionnaire were distributed.

Group discussion and Q&A sessions: 36 attendees

Paper questionnaires: 31 responses

Online questionnaires: 9 responses

Community:

In general, people feel very welcome at Farm Street. People requested more activities for specific groups who are not currently catered for, such as children between First Holy Communion and Confirmation, or older couples. It was suggested that this could be led by parishioners, for example by setting up a Teams of Our Lady group to support married couples, or by organising activities where older children and the Younger Adults Group could mentor younger children.

Liturgy:

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, in particular the excellent relationship between the clergy and parishioners, and the quality of the music at Mass. It was suggested that readers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion might benefit from more support in the form of training, feedback and days of reflection.

Faith formation:

The quality of the available activities is seen as good, however in general people are not aware of what opportunities are available, or who to contact. Similarly, while people are keen to find and develop their vocations, they are generally not sure how to go about this, or who to speak to.

Outreach and social justice:

People generally felt that the parish is good at promoting and engaging with local and international programs such as CAFOD, however many people were unaware of all the parish charitable programs, or how they could get involved.

Stewardship:

People felt there should be better transparency between the PPC and parishioners; in particular people did not know the names of the PPC members, or how the PPC was formed. There is also a need for using more forms of communication, since not everyone looks at the website on a regular basis, and space in the newsletter is limited.

Action points:

  • We will make the names and photographs of’ PPC members available on the website and on parish notice boards.
  • We will make information about volunteering opportunities and contacts more visible, and we will improve support for existing volunteers (e.g. training, days of reflection).
  • We will look at ways to support groups within the parish who are currently not catered for, especially ways which build community through mentoring or mutual fellowship
  • We will work with the clergy team to enable parishioners to develop their vocations, both as individuals and as members of a welcoming faith community

The PPC would like to thank everyone who participated in the parish forum. We hope that this will be the first step in an ongoing process; if you have any further comments or questions, please speak to one of us, or email FarmStreetOffice@rcdow.org.uk.

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.

 

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.

 

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. All welcome.

 

Spain: The Loyola Experience

A ten-day Retreat Pilgrimage into the Heart of St. Ignatius Loyola with Frs. Thomas A. Kane, CSP and Julio Giulietti, SJ. This pilgrimage will trace the life and of St Ignatius across Spain’s beautiful cities and landscapes. It will run from July 4-14, 2019 For more information, visit http://www.paulist.org/pilgrimages/loyola/.

  

JESUIT MISSIONS APPEAL

A second collection will be taken today for the work of Jesuit Missions. More information about the work of Jesuit Missions can be found at https://jesuitmissions.org.uk/.

 

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 versus populum 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. The new altar will be installed in June and solemnly dedicated by His Eminence, Vincent Cardinal Nichols, on Wednesday 19th June at the 6pm Mass. A reception will follow in the parish hall.

 

GIFT AID

Your donation could be worth 25% more to us and it won’t cost you an extra penny. If you are a UK taxpayer, please consider using the Gift Aid donation envelopes available on the pews for your weekly offering.

 

CONTACTLESS PAYMENT

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

 

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: May 15th, 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

 

 

“WHO ARE YOU, LORD?” – ENCOUNTERING JESUS CHRIST IN THE GOSPELS

Facilitated by Brian Purfield

Saturday 18th May 11am-4pm

The gospels are filled with stories of people encountering Jesus. In these encounters, Jesus became identified and known in different ways, and those who came into contact with Him were transformed in that meeting. We will look at each evangelist’s view of who Jesus is and what that means for disciples and would-be disciples today.

 

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.

THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER – YEAR C -5 MAY 2019

SCRIPTUREREADINGS

Acts 5:27-41    Psalm 29

Apocalypse 5:11-14     John 21:1-19

 

OUR LADY OF FARM STREET

Have you taken time to gaze on our beautiful statue of Our Lady at the front of the sanctuary? We call it Our Lady of Farm St, a title of affection and love for the Blessed Virgin who watches over us in this beautiful place of worship.  But what do we do when we meditate on a statue of Mary?  Any statue, be it of a saint or of Our Lady, is there to inflame our senses, to awaken our affections, and so turn our hearts towards these holy ones and to the God they loved.  Thus we open ourselves to what that holy person wants to reveal to us about our own calling and we are drawn into a closer love of Christ Himself.  And what greater figure to teach us this than Our Lord’s mother.  For Mary knew Him and loved Him more than anyone else ever could.  Her own immaculate heart yearned for Him, gave up everything for Him, and followed Him in His mission without reservation.  Her heart truly beat alongside his human heart. She knew him in his human nature as fully as one can.  And yet she yearned too to be fulfilled in her loving, to realize her own divine destiny, to co-operate in his plan for salvation.   And so she teaches us, through the language of human longing and loving, of what it is to be called to transcend ourselves, to love more authentically without the stain of our own selfish pride, to co-operate more fully with God’s plan for our lives.

In the Easter Season the scriptures remind us constantly of the unblemished sacrificial love which Christ Himself showed us in His death and resurrection. This is what the New Testament calls agape, the perfect model of Christian loving which we are called to follow.  In his first Encyclical Deus Caritas Est Pope Benedict reflected on the perfect love of self-sacrifice Christ displayed, and on our flawed attempts to love as authentically as we can. Our imperfect human love, in Greek eros love rather than agape, engages our desire for fulfillment, for a purer more authentic loving, and reveals our longing for God.  In His human nature Our Lord also longs for us yet His desire is completed and transformed into agape in the drama of His death and resurrection.  In His giving himself fully He teaches us how in order to love fully we need to let go.  And in Our Lady we see a profoundly human model of this love which always lets go.

Surely mustn’t Mary have felt the need to cling to her Son in the temple, and at the wedding feast in Cana, and in His passion and death? Mary knows the yearnings of the human heart.  And yet she let Him be about His Father’s business.  Through the perfection which was bestowed on her we see what we are called to be in the purity of sinless humanity.  We see a real woman who loved deeply and gave her whole life to the plan Our Lord had for her.  She shows us that, despite the deep sorrows and sacrifices that brings, she can rejoice and she can embrace the glory prepared for her.

So when we gaze at the beautiful lady in our sanctuary we can pray that she teach us how we are called there too. Mary’s example of discipleship reminds us that Our Lord has redeemed us and wants to purify us of what keeps us from letting go. She shows us how we, like her mere human beings who are not God, can become channels of God’s love, through her saying always and unreservedly, despite the love which pierces the heart, ‘fiat’, ‘let it be’.

Fr Dominic Robinson, S.J.

From the Archive. First printed on the Third Sunday of Easter, 2011.

 

MARCH FOR LIFE

The annual March for Life will take place in London on Saturday 11th May. The march begins at 2pm outside the entrance to Westminster Church House on 25 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BN and finishes outside Parliament. Talks and pro-life activities take place in the morning before the march. For more information, visit www.marchforlife.co.uk. This is the largest Pro-Life demonstration in the UK and is an important witness to our belief in the sanctity of life and the rights of the unborn.

 

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.

 

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. All welcome.

 

EASTER PAINTING APPEAL

Please consider donating a potted flowering plant for our Easter painting at the St Joseph Altar. We hope that it will be as joyful and colourful as befits the celebration of Easter. If you would like to donate a potted flowering plant, please contact reception on 020 7493 7811 or hand in to a member of staff.

Spain: The Loyola Experience

A ten-day Retreat Pilgrimage into the Heart of St. Ignatius Loyola with Frs. Thomas A. Kane, CSP and Julio Giulietti, SJ. This pilgrimage will trace the life and of St Ignatius across Spain’s beautiful cities and landscapes. It will run from July 4-14, 2019 For more information, visit http://www.paulist.org/pilgrimages/loyola/.

 

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.

SOLEMN NEW FRONT ALTAR

The versus populum front altar will be replaced in June this year. The new altar, whilst being beautiful in its own right, will be of a simpler design which will allow a clearer view of the magnificent original Pugin altar. The new altar will be installed in June and dedicated by His Eminence, Vincent Cardinal Nichols, on Wednesday 19th June at the 6pm Mass

 

PUGIN SOCIETY

Would you be interested in learning more about AWN Pugin, the eminent Victorian architect who designed the High altar for this church and the interiors of the Houses of Parliament? The Pugin Society, founded in 1995, offers a lively range of events, study tours, talks and publications. Details: www.thepuginsociety.co.uk

GIFT AID

Your donation could be worth 25% more to us and it won’t cost you an extra penny. If you are a UK taxpayer, please consider using the Gift Aid donation envelopes available on the pews for your weekly offering.

  CONTACTLESS PAYMENT

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

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER – YEAR C -21 APRIL 2019

SCRIPTUREREADINGS

Acts 5:12-16    Psalm 117

Apocalypse 1:9-19     John 20:19-31

WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THE RESURRECTION MAKE?

Our first reading today, from the Acts of the Apostles, gives us a picture of the first Christian community. These are the ones who had believed the good news of the resurrection of Jesus. What were the things that were
Important to them? Firstly it tells us they remained faithful to the teaching of the Apostles, those who had proclaimed the Good News to them. They were also faithful to the community which had formed around the Apostles and formed the beginnings of the Church. Key parts of the life of this community were “the breaking of bread” and “the prayers”. In this we can recognise our own life as a Church, centred on the Eucharist, remembering Christ’s breaking the bread and sharing the cup at the Last Supper, and a community which prays. Through all the changes which have happened in the transition from that small community gathered around the Apostles to the world wide Church these basic elements remain. That is history is a checkered one. In our own time we are only too well aware of those who might most have been expected to exemplify the values of Christ have abused their position. If we think back to the sixteenth century when St Ignatius and his companions were first seeking to understand how God was calling them to serve the Church and the peoples of the world, it was a Church marked by worldly power and corruption. However, through all these vicissitudes the Church still hears the words of Christ in today’s Gospel, “As the Father sent so I am sending you”. It is still called to preach that “faith and hope in God” which comes from Christ’s resurrection.

One other characteristic of that early community did not last, at least for the Church as a whole, that is the owned everything in common. That can be found in various communities in the Church. The idea of sharing everything in common and using the gifts of God for the benefit of a common mission was one of the most important things in my own decision to join the Society of Jesus. The vow of religious poverty is one way which the way of life of the early Church is still present today. However, only a few of us are called of religious poverty. Looking at life from the perspective of the resurrection does, however, make a difference. All of us, like the early Christians, can see that the gifts we are given are just that, gifts of God. They are not to be used just for our own comfort and enjoyment but in the service of God.

Two thousand years on we may not have the perspective of the community Peter was writing to in our second reading, expecting the second coming of Christ was just round the corner. However, the point of view of the resurrection does mean that our own immediate concerns are no longer the fundamental things in our lives. What really matters is living our the values of Christ, who gave his life for us and calls us to share in the new life he offers us. As Peter says, we, unlike Thomas, do not see Christ but we love him and, because we celebrate the resurrection, we should be filled with a you so glorious it cannot be described. Let us ask to let that joy fill our lives so that we truly live as people of the resurrection.

Fr Chris Pedley, S.J.

 

MARCH FOR LIFE

The annual March for Life will take place in London on Saturday 11th May. The march begins at 2pm outside the entrance to Westminster Church House on 25 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BN and finishes outside Parliament. Talks and pro-life activities take place in the morning before the march. For more information, visit www.marchforlife.co.uk. This is the largest Pro-Life demonstration in the UK and is an important witness to our belief in the sanctity of life and the rights of the unborn.

 

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.

 

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. All welcome.

 

EASTER PAINTING APPEAL

Please consider donating a potted flowering plant for our Easter painting at the St Joseph Altar. We hope that it will be as joyful and colourful as befits the celebration of Easter. If you would like to donate a potted flowering plant, please contact reception on 020 7493 7811 or hand in to a member of staff.

AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED

SRI LANKA APPEAL

Now is the time for us to stand in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters. For too long the world has widely ignored the persecution of Christians, with much of the media playing ignorant to this global issue.

The horror of the suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter morning has ricocheted across the globe, this is the only positive to come from such tragedy – the world is now waking up to Christian persecution.

We cannot fall silent or turn to face the other way. We hope you will join us in standing in solidarity for all those suffering because of their faith.

For many years ACN has funded projects in Sri Lanka, supporting the building of churches, children’s education and more. As we continue our vital support in the country, we ask you to give what you can to help Christians in Sri Lanka. For more information, please visit http://www.acnuk.org

 

JESUIT FUNDRAISING CONCERT

There will be an evening reception and concert by pianist Bobby Chen at the The Polish Club on Thursday 20th 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 https://www.eventbrite.com/bobbychen

 

GIFT AID

Your donation could be worth 25% more to us and it won’t cost you an extra penny. If you are a UK taxpayer, please consider using the Gift Aid donation envelopes available on the pews for your weekly offering.

EASTER SUNDAY – YEAR C -28 APRIL 2019

SCRIPTUREREADINGS

Acts 10:34, 37-43        Psalm 117

Colossians 3:1-4                 John 20:1-9

 

HOW THE RESURRECTION SETS US FREE

Many years ago, when I was in the very first years of my training to be a Jesuit priest, I was sent to work at St Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham, south east London. For six weeks or so,  I was a volunteer assistant on a ward and got to know many patients in the last stages of terminal illness and the doctors and nurses who cared for them.

 

The director of the hospice at the time was Dr Cicely Saunders who is often credited with founding the hospice movement in this country. Now almost every town has a hospice nearby and many are the families who thank God for the care their loved ones received which enabled their last days to be as pain-free and as comfortable as they could be.

 

While I was convinced  this work was very worthwhile, and just what the followers of Jesus should be doing, bringing His compassion and mercy to those who needed Him most, I cannot pretend that I found it anything other than challenging. As we know, being present to people who suffer and grieve means that we will ourselves be touched in some way by their suffering and grief as well.

 

I clearly recall how on one afternoon the volunteers were invited to the hospice chapel to join the medical staff in an afternoon of prayer led by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, the Russian Orthodox archbishop whose books on prayer were widely read and who regularly featured on television all those years ago.

 

His theme was Christ calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. A vivid and colourful depiction of this Gospel scene was one of the many paintings on display around the hospice. Metropolitan Anthony explained that just as Christ was present with His disciples in the midst of their storm, calming that storm, so the vocation of each and every doctor, nurse and volunteer was to be present with those who were sick and their with families and friends, in the midst of their storms, thereby pointing to the presence of Christ with them.

 

I have been thinking about that now far off episode in my life this past week as it speaks to me of an important aspect of our faith in the risen Jesus.

Jesus rose from the dead and assured His disciples that those who follow His way of love, with the suffering and death which in some way this will entail, will certainly follow him to eternal life. No matter what may happen to us, if we follow him in life, we will share His resurrection too. This was St Paul’s faith when he wrote in the Letter to the Romans, “ For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

 

This certainty can set us free to bring the compassion and mercy of the Lord where it is so much needed: to be with those people in those places where doing so means we may share their pain and suffering and where we may find ourselves tossed about in the storms of life they are experiencing. It was surely this certainty that enabled Cicely Saunders to overcome the many obstacles she encountered as she established her first hospice.  I wonder too whether it wasn’t this certainty that enabled Fr Frans van der Lugt, whose martyrdom five years ago we have been remembering this past week, to stay on in the city of Homs in Syria during its bombardment, bringing food and comfort to the elderly and housebound, even though he knew this put his life at risk. I confess that the lives of both are for me an additional, powerful witness to the reality of Christ’s resurrection and the impact it has today .

 

May our faith in the resurrection of Jesus set us free to live His Gospel of mercy and compassion for those most in need and to do so with the warmth of His love and with generosity. In this way, may our lives too be a powerful witness to the reality of His resurrection to men and women today.

Fr Michael Holman S.J.

 

ON BEHALF OF THE PARISH TEAM AND THE JESUIT COMMUNITY,

A HAPPY EASTER TO EVERYONE!

 

MARCH FOR LIFE

The annual March for Life will take place in London on Saturday 11th May. The march begins at 2pm outside the entrance to Westminster Church House on 25 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BN and finishes outside Parliament. Talks and pro-life activities take place in the morning before the march. For more information, visit www.marchforlife.co.uk. This is the largest Pro-Life demonstration in the UK and is an important witness to our belief in the sanctity of life and the rights of the unborn.

 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.

WALSINGHAM

The annual parish pilgrimage to Walsingham takes place on Saturday 25th May. Departing from Farm Street at 8.30am we will visit both Anglican and Catholic shrines arriving back at 8pm. Cost is £35 including lunch. Book via farmstreetoffice@rcdow.org.uk or by calling Leslie Giltz on 0207 408 9250. Cheques payable to Farm Street Church (marked Walsingham). If you have never been to this historic pilgrimage site, this is a great opportunity.

BRIDGE

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).

EASTER GARDEN APPEAL

Please consider donating a potted flowering plant for our Easter Garden. As you would have noticed, all flowers are customarily removed from the church during the penitential season of Lent. In contrast, we hope that our Easter Garden will be as joyful and colourful as befits the celebration of Easter. If you would like to donate a potted flowering plant, please contact reception on 020 7493 7811 or hand in to a member of staff.

 

LGBT CATHOLICS WESTMINSTER

On the weekend of 26th- 28th April, LGBT+ Catholics Westminster will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Admiral Duncan pub bombing, and mark the 20th anniversary of Masses welcoming LGBT+ Catholics, their parents and families. An information stand in a Farm Street Church side-chapel will feature various aspects of hate-crime and how we can respond. There will be a prayerful history walk on Saturday, 27 April, 14.00-16.30, visiting West End sites significant in the history of LGBT+ Catholics, from Oscar Wilde to the present day. All are welcome – further details: lgbtcatholicswestminster@gmail.comwww.lgbtcatholicswestminster.org

 

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.

 

EASTER MONDAY to EASTER FRIDAY

 April 22nd to April 26th

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

FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT–YEAR C–7TH APRIL 2019

SCRIPTUREREADINGS

Isaiah 43:16-21 Psalm 125

Philippians 3:8-14  John 8:1-11

 

NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU

In the year C Gospel for this Sunday we have the story of the woman taken in adultery. It is one of the great examples of Jesus compassion and forgiveness, which stands in stark contrast to the attitude of those who bring the woman to Jesus.

All of us need to hear Jesus words of forgiveness addressed to ourselves. We are all aware of ways in our lives we have not lived up to the standards the Gospel demands of us.  Even if we are not conscious of having broken one of the ten commandments in a serious way, we still unlikely to feel comfortable at Jesus command to “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” or “love your neighbour as yourself”.  Perhaps we are a bit like those men in the Gospel, ready to condemn others but less mindful of our own sins and weaknesses. On the other hand we may be like the woman in the story, aware of something serious in our past and not sure how to bring it to God and ask for forgiveness.

A couple of weeks ago we reprinted an article by the late John Edwards, S.J. on confession. This Sunday we will offering extended confessions before and after each Mass and from 2.30pm to 5.30pm, when there will be Exposition.  This gives us a chance to hear the words of forgiveness spoken through the Church.

I may be five days since I last went to confession or it may be fifty years. In each case this time of Lent is a good time to go.  In each case I will receive the same welcome.  If it has been a while then here is an opportunity.  Perhaps spend a moment thinking about today’s Gospel and noticing if there are particular things which may be weighing on your mind.  When you go in:-

Ask the priest to pray for you because you have sinned.

Let him know how long it is since you were last at confession – there is no right time. If it has been a long time he likely to very happy that you have summoned up the courage to come.

Tell him the things that want to acknowledge before God. Do not worry if it sounds serious, you will not be first, or if it sounds trivial or if it is the same old stuff over again.

He may say a few words and will suggest something for you to do by way of penance and then invite you to say an Act of Contrition (you will find the words in front of you in the confessional).

The priest will then say the words of absolution and tell you to go in peace because your sins are forgiven.

Why go to priest and celebrate this Sacrament of Reconciliation. Yes, we can acknowledge our faults to God in our hearts, but there is a great psychological value in sharing these things with another person in a safe environment.  Also we are not on our own in our relationship with God, we are part of his body the Church and it is the Church which was entrusted with this great gift.  This is indeed a great gift to receive God’s forgiveness, through the death and resurrection of Jesus.  We can go in peace, knowing that our sins are forgiven.

 Fr Chris Pedley, S.J.

 

Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse, Friday 12 April 2019

 

Cardinal Vincent writes: “In February 2016, Pope Francis asked each Bishops’ Conference to establish a Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse. In response, the Bishops of England and Wales designated the Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent to be observed as this Day of Prayer. This year, therefore, the Day of Prayer is Friday 12 April.

 

I ask that this Day of Prayer is observed in all our parishes and chapels. It is important that we do so. Day by day, the pain of those who have suffered abuse, and its lasting corrosive impact, are brought more fully into the light. The pain of that betrayal of trust is all the more profound when the abuse took place within the community of the Catholic Church. We also see so clearly the failures in leadership in the Church that have exacerbated the sufferings of those who have been abused. We have plenty of reasons to pray.

 

We pray for those who bear this pain. We pray for their strength and perseverance.

We pray for those who have been caught up in the circles of mistrust, silence and complicity which emanate from this abuse.

We seek repentance and renewal for all who have failed in their duty to protect and respond to the victims of these crimes.

We pray for a renewal in the life of our Church that has become a lodging place for this evil.

We pray in confidence that the Lord does not abandon His Church but constantly calls us to purify our ways of life.

We pray with Mary, our holy Mother, and finest expression of our Holy Mother, the Church.

 

For my part, I will keep the day with extra simplicity and self-denial and will celebrate the 5.30pm Mass in the Cathedral with these prayers constantly in my heart”.

 

We will be praying this prayer at all Masses on Friday April 12th.

 

Fr Dominic Robinson SJ

 

 

Lenten Exposition

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will take place at Farm Street Church between 2.30pm and 5.30pm today. Priests will be available in the church to hear confessions during this time.

 

Novena for Syria

A Novena for Syria will be prayed at every Mass at Farm Street Church starting on today, the 4th anniversary of the martyrdom of Fr Frans van der Lugt SJ and ending on the 16th April. The Novena will be offered for the release of Fr Paolo dall’Oglio SJ. Farm Street Church is home to the Middle East Shrine which is a focus of prayer and solidarity for the region.

 

LANDINGS LECTURE 2019

Dr Gemma Simmonds, CJ will address the subject:

‘Happy Landings: Accompanying the Return to Faith and Practice’. This will take place on Thursday April 11th at 7:00pm in the parish hall. Mass in the church at 6:00pm; buffet reception to follow

Suggested donation: £10

All most welcome – to book e-mail landingsuk@gmail.com or ‘phone Fr Dominic Robinson SJ on (020)-7529-4802

 

LGBT CATHOLICS WESTMINSTER

On the weekend of 26th- 28th April, LGBT+ Catholics Westminster will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Admiral Duncan pub bombing, and mark the 20th anniversary of Masses welcoming LGBT+ Catholics, their parents and families. An information stand in a Farm Street Church side-chapel will feature various aspects of hate-crime and how we can respond. There will be a prayerful history walk on Saturday, 27 April, 14.00-16.30, visiting West End sites significant in the history of LGBT+ Catholics, from Oscar Wilde to the present day. All are welcome – further details: lgbtcatholicswestminster@gmail.comwww.lgbtcatholicswestminster.org

 

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

• 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: April 17th, 2019)

 

• Book Club

2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm (Next: April 11th, 2019)

Book: “Man’s Search For Meaning” Viktor Frankl

 

IGNATIAN RETREAT DAY

Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team

Saturday 13th 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.

THE LOVING KINDNESS OF OUR GOD – WHO SETS US FREE

Facilitated by Michael Smith SJ

Saturday 27th April 11am-4pm

Jesus said “I have come so that you may have life and have it to the full” John 10:10

Now we are in Eastertide it is a good moment to reflect on the New Life that the Risen Lord offers to us, what we mean when we say that in his life, death and resurrection Jesus redeemed the human race.

This day based on Scripture, and later on Christian church teaching, will look at the meaning of the words redemption, salvation, atonement, and being freed from sin. Reflecting on how this work is being carried on today, focusing on what that means for each of us individually, and for the whole human race.

 

BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY

Facilitated by Andrew Kerr-Jarrett & TBC

6 Wednesdays, May 1st – June 5th, 7-8.30pm

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.

 

BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS GROUP

Facilitated by Maria Shapero

Thursday 2nd May 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.

JOURNALLING AS PRAYER

Facilitated by Andrew Kerr-Jarrett

Saturday 4th May 11am-4pm

Journalling is one of the best ways of deepening our prayer life, recommended by St Ignatius himself. In this workshop, we will try out and explore a variety of different journalling techniques as ways of deepening our relationship with God and our spiritual life.

Please bring notebooks and pens or your laptop with the battery well charged.