Though Our Church buildings are closed The Church continues to be Alive and Active
When the financial crisis of 2008 broke, I remember quoting the REM song it’s the end of the world as we know it. Well it remains to be seen how we will be changed by this pandemic. One thing is for sure, we are all in this for the long haul. For the moment our present is changed. We all need to find out how to live differently during this time. We have to establish new routines for ourselves, households and communities. We can learn a lot from monasteries. A monastery is a place set apart. Monks and Nuns have a rhythm of life, secrets worth knowing. Some insights they offer are : Keep it simple, have a routine, eat and talk together, (when you can) and know when to keep silence; give each other space . If you live alone make a point of eating/praying at a set time. Make it a habit not a chore. Contact someone at a regular time/day by e mail. face time, telephone call.
All suffering tests our faith. This pandemic is no different. All suffering also asks us to make choices and to ask ourselves important questions.
What is essential?
What can I live without?
Who or what matters to me?
Without sugar coating this crisis it does present an opportunity, to see what can we do better. As individuals, communities and as Christians. Can we keep faith with God, with each other, with our future? In the Gospel of Sunday we see Jesus weeping at the death of his friend Lazarus. God in Jesus Christ has entered in to the suffering of every human life. God is with us in that suffering. Faith also promises the resurrection, new life.
This winter, this crisis ,will pass. Spring will again visit the garden of our hearts.
We will see seeds grow, blossom, and bear fruit.
Then our sorrow will turn to joy, a joy no one can take away. Our Lady of Victories, Our Lady of Walsingham/Pray for us
We are acting as a HUB for pear drop delivering a meal to those in need. do you need a regular meal delivered to you?
contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
go to the news section for updates on parish and Church initiatives
Keep in touch: We have re-established our face book to see if this would be a useful way to keep in touch.
Face book: olv Kensigton - join as a friend
Dear Parishioners, Friends and Visitors,
Due to Covid-19 Pandemic the Bishops of England and Wales have decreed that there will be no public celebration of Mass or the Sacraments for the time being. The Church is now closed to the public in order to comply with the public health directives of the government. This decision has been taken for the common good of our community and with particular concern for those at risk.
The life of prayer of the Church does not cease. The priests of the Parish will continue to celebrate Mass with the relevant intention without a congregation on Sundays and weekdays. We will continue to pray the Prayer of the Church at the appointed hours. We will be praying for and with you.
What can I do? Stay connected
1. You can make a spiritual communion at the time you would have been at Mass.
2. If you can, visit the Church on Sunday for a time of personal prayer. Keep Sunday Special.
3. Pray together as a family/household or as an individual at the time you would have normally attended Mass. The Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be...
4. Read the Bible readings appointed for the day.( see: Catholic online-daily readings )
5. Choose a particular time of day to Pray every day with you family/household or on your own .Morning, evening /before meals, before going to sleep.
6. Pray for:
For the World and all in need
Those affected by Covid 19
For the healthcare professionals working to care for all affected.
For those researching a vaccine.
For those who have died and all who mourn for them.
For the Governments of the Nations.
You can join in Sunday and weekday online streaming of Mass
Search for :
¨ walsingham.org.uk The National Shrine of Walsingham, Mass live at Noon every day
¨ www. rcdow.org.uk Westminster diocese
¨ www.cbcew.org.uk Catholic bishops of England & Wales
¨ Daily Mass with Word on Fire:- website or You tube
¨ Daily TV Mass
¨ Catholic on line. For the daily Mass readings
Look at our website https://www.ourladyofvictories.net/
If you need to contact a Priest or need any help, let us know by contacting: Kensington1@rcdow.org.uk
Also available on the BBC:
BBC radio 4 LW the daily service every day at 9.45am
BBC radio 3 DAB/FM Choral Evensong/Vespers Wednesday at 15.30 or Sundays at 15.00 & available on BBCsounds /online.
Like Jesus we are called to go up the mountain this Lent, not a specific place, but a particular experience of the season.
As we journey through Lent and climb the mountain that leads to Easter, think about your own Spiritual journey. What state is your life in right now? What is going on that reflects the paschal mystery (that is the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ)?
How will the disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving (care of the poor) help you on your journey? In his seminal work the Great Lent Alexander Schmeman refers to Lent as the time of bright sadness and writes of a different form of sadness than most of us are used to. He states that as we make the first step into the bright sadness of Lent, we see far, far away the destination. Easter. It is the destination of our journey that sustains us. The night may be dark and long, but along the way a mysterious and radiant dawn waits.
This coming Wednesday the Church begins the time of Lent with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. Many of us have, at more than one moment in our life, felt self-conscious walking along the streets or going to work or school after Mass on Ash Wednesday with a huge black spot on our forehead. Seeing people staring at you as they try to figure out how that dirt could end up in your forehead. The truth is that this simple gesture of putting ashes on our head or forehead is in fact very deep in meaning because the meaning and the symbolism of the ashes and dirt in Biblical language is very rich. The hearts of sinners are many times compared with ashes “Ashes, his heart; more vile than earth, his hope; more wretched than clay, his life!” (Wisdom 15:10). Also riches and temporal goods are compared with ashes, for the low real value that they have: “He hankers after ashes, his deluded heart has led him astray; he will not save himself, he will not think, 'What I have in my hand is nothing but a lie!'” (Isaiah 44:20). By extension the result of sin and wrongdoing is only an illusion, a bubble, nothingness and ashes. That is why the sinner who refuses to repent is humiliated by God to dust and ashes: “By the immense number of your crimes, by the dishonesty of your trading, I have reduced you to ashes on the ground before the eyes of all who saw you” (Ezekiel 28:18). Dust and ashes are as well a symbol of human frailty: “Abraham spoke up and said, 'It is presumptuous of me to speak to the Lord, I who am dust and ashes'” (Gen 18:27). Finally, pouring ashes on oneself or seating on ashes is, in the Bible, a common penance that expresses the sorrow and the humility of the sinner who repents and decides to bring changes to his life. “When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes (Jon 3:6) It was a way to make present God´s future judgement in order to attract his mercy. “The spirit of Lord is on me for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the news to the afflicted, to soothe the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, release to those in prison, […] to comfort all who mourn, to give them for ashes a garland, for mourning-dress, the oil of gladness, for despondency, festal attire” (Isa 61:1-3). So, yes, Ash Wednesday is a day to remember the little value of the many things in which we put our heart, the shortness and precariousness of human life, our sinfulness and also our need to convert and make changes in our life. But all this having Easter and the resurrection of Christ in mind, always remembering that our frailty, sorrow, precariousness and sinfulness will be transformed into joy and strength and new life. Fr Daniel Herrero Peña
“Its easy to be a Saint and a Sage in your room. You should go out into the market place and try to be a saint there” Now there’s a challenge. We are all heroes in our own minds and thoughts. But putting the good we desire into practise is the real challenge. Be the change you want to see in another. We all want to save the world, but not just yet! We are all just one more unrecyclable product away from change, from making a difference.
The call of Jesus to be salt to the earth and light is quite a call.
Sr Joan Chittister OSB in her book The Time is now, a call to Uncommon courage offers some insights about how we might begin to rise to the Challenge . Sr Joan asks …
How do we really get out of the swamp we are in?
By Confronting it.
But what will it take?
A model, a vision, a commitment ,courage, and
What else is needed to fix a muddled world?
What is the first commandment of the Law? Somebody asked Jesus. The answer is easy because it is contained in the most ancient and important prayer in Judaism: The Shema. “Listen Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might…” We too are the people of God and we too are called not only to love the Lord but to LISTEN. On the 30th of September, feast day of St Jerome, Pope Francis established the third Sunday in Ordinary Time as the Sunday of the Word of God. A day, in the first place, to draw us closer to the Jews – our elder brethren in faith – and our Non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters with whom we share a big part of the Scriptures. And secondly to discover the particular importance and relevance that the Word of God has for us Catholics, especially at Mass, when we celebrate and participate in the death and resurrection of Christ. The unbreakable unity between the Scriptures and the mysteries of the life of Christ, which Pope Francis so clearly emphasizes in his last motu proprio: ‘Aperuit Illis’, is not his own invention but has been there ever since the beginning. Right on the day of his resurrection when two of his disciples were walking towards Emmaus, Jesus appeared to them and “beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Lk 24:27). But the story does not end there, because as the lecture on the scriptures finished, they agreed to stay together, and Jesus broke the bread for them. It was only then that their eyes were opened and they were able to recognise him. This is still the dynamic of our Eucharist in which, we are fed from the “table” of the Word of God and then from the “table” of the altar. Always remembering that the bond between these two “tables” cannot be broken without the detriment of both. In the words of Pope Francis: “Apart from the Scriptures, his death and resurrection cannot be rightly understood”. Let us open our ears and our heart to LISTEN more attentively to the Word of God in the liturgy and in our private prayer, that we may come to understand and participate better in the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection made present for us in the sacraments. Fr Daniel Herrero Peña
This Sunday the Church closes up the Christmas season with the celebration of the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. A feast day to celebrate and contemplate on a more than puzzling event in the life of Jesus. Why did Jesus go to John to be baptised? Mark’s gospel says: “John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mk 1:4). But, if there was something Jesus did not need was forgiveness, so why did he do it? When we look at John’s baptism a little closer then we realise that it made a lot of sense. We know from the Gospel of John that John the Baptist exercised his ministry in “Bethany, beyond the Jordan” (Jn 1:28). That is, the eastern bank of the river – today’s country of Jordan. With his baptism John was inviting people to re-enact the Exodus. Passing from the desert, where Israel wondered for 40 years, back into the Promised Land. This Baptism was, as John himself said, only a preparation for the coming of the real Messiah, the One who would lead the whole of humanity in a new Exodus – not from the slavery of Egypt as in the past – but from the slavery of sin into the freedom of the Kingdom of Heaven. So, what we see in the Gospel is that Jesus, appears at the bank of the river Jordan to be baptised by John. Not to re-enact the Exodus, as John was doing with the other people, but to bring that baptism to its fulfilment. To take the lead of the universal and final Exodus. And as he crossed the river and he stepped to the other side the heavens opened as a sign that the way was now open for the rest of humanity to pass with Christ to the Heavenly Kingdom.
Fr Daniel Herrero Pena