In the second reading of this 29th week in ordinary time, which is taken from the letter to the Hebrews, we will hear how we are invited to draw close to the Lord as much as He wants to be close to us. 'Indeed, For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.'
These words may help us to reflect on what real friendship is about. An old proverb states that 'A friend in need is a friend indeed.' It is in the moment of need that we can really discover when someone is really a friend to us or if it is not the case. One of the biggest 'illnesses' of our contemporary society as often mentioned by Pope Francis is the one of indifference. In one of his speeches, the Pope says how indifference can even affect and poison our friendships making them becoming superficial. We are friends with someone till there is a common interest. Till we share something together. When there is no longer something in common the friendship vanishes or becomes more and more artificial.
Unlikely our friends in the world, God never abandons us. He proves to us that He is a real friend because there is nothing of our life that he does not want to share with us. He wants to be with us always and not only when we are in need or we are looking for help. He is not just friendly but most of all He is compassionate which means that He suffers with us, He shares in our sufferings.
Indeed, even though many times we don't realize that we need the help of God, He still patiently and silently works in us through his grace to brings us close to Him and to each other.
The synodical path that we are all undertaking as a parish community is such a beautiful occasion to rediscover the gift of our friendship. Moreover, it's an opportunity to listen to the voice of those among us who are most in need and who are often left apart. On top of that, it's a fantastic occasion to grow together and share our experiences of faith, discovering our individual gifts and placing them at the disposal of each other.
This is what being a disciple a follower of Christ implies as Jesus reminds us in the Gospel: 'Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be a slave to all. For the Son of Man, himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'
May we never stop to walk in the way of the Lord and follow his steps.
May God bless you all,
Fr Marco Salvagnini
A call to listen and walk together: Synod 2022-2023
Communion, Participation, Mission
This Sunday we mark the opening of the synodal pathway.
The Holy Father Pope Francis has summoned the whole Church of God to journey together, to listen to the voice of the Spirit, and to reflect on what we have learnt about our vocation in these last 18 months. Next week we will detail how you can be involved.
Below you will find information and websites that can give you some ideas of the possible ways you can participate. Do use the prayer for the Synod in your daily prayer.
What and Why are the Synod and the synodical pathway?
If you are eager to find out more have a look at the following websites:
You can also read the pastoral letter written by Cardinal Vincent Nichols introducing the Synod by clicking on the button below:
“…the heart of the synodal experience is listening to God through listening to one another, inspired by the Word of God.” (Synod Vademecum)
What and Why?
From the Vatican Synod Office: https://www.synod.va/en.html
From our Diocesan website: https://rcdow.org.uk/synod/
Button links can be found at the end of this section.
What to expect:
After a time of preparation, including information and training events offered to Clergy, Parish Reps and others, parishes and communities will move into the ‘listening phase’. Resources will be provided to support this process on the Synodal Pathway launch weekend, 16th/17th October.
There will also be regional listening events and opportunities for people to engage online. It is hoped that there will be wide participation so that as many voices as possible can feed into the process.
Liturgical Opening of the Diocesan Synodal Pathway in the Cathedral: Saturday 16th October 6.00 pm (local launch in parishes on Sunday 17th Oct).
1) Synodal Pathway events and activities in parishes and other communities & Online diocesan listening events: Sunday 31st October – Sunday 5th December.
2) Area Listening Events with the Auxiliary Bishops: Late November/early December. Details to follow.
3)Return of parish and other community submissions, Friday, 17th December.
Pre-Synodal Diocesan Gathering at the Cathedral, Saturday 15th January 2022.
The Prayer of the Synod: Adsumus Sancte Spiritus
Attributed to St. Isidore of Seville (560-636), it has been traditionally used at Councils and Synods for hundreds of years. The version below was specifically designed for the Church’s Synodal journey from 2021 to 2023.
We have worked with our colleagues in the Parish Support Team towards procedures for processing the Gift Aid from contactless donations.
When signing a Gift Aid declaration on the device, you also will be asked if you would like your previous contactless donations to be Gift Aided as well.
As entering a Gift Aid declaration on the device can take a couple of minutes, we want to help reduce the amount of time you may spend on the device, and reduce the queue for it. Leaflets have been created and placed at the back of the church, and posters to be displayed in the next coming weeks. These contain a QR code that will enable you to use your smartphone to make your Gift Aid declaration. You can also leave your donation by scanning: the underneath QR code:
FRIDAY NIGHT GLASS DOOR HOMELESS SHELTER
Our Lady of Victories will again be hosting the weekly Friday Night Glass Door Homeless Shelter in our Parish Centre beginning Friday, November 5th until Friday, April 8th.
The OLV Homeless Team will be holding a meeting on Tuesday, October 19th at 7 pm in the Parish Centre for current and new volunteers who would like to join this season.
We will hear from Glass Door representatives regarding their experiences with the Homeless since March 2020 and how our Parish can provide continued support for the Homeless. The meeting will last one hour.
WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
Next Sunday is going to be World Mission Sunday, a day to pray and concretely support the Church's mission worldwide. The Holy Father has tasked Missio to coordinate the celebration of World Mission Sunday which will take place on the same day all over the world. All the faithful are called to take part in whatever way they can. Their prayers and donations will help to transform communities in faith and enable the Church to reach out to those most in need throughout the world.
There will be a possibility to leave a donation either by cash by using the provided envelopes or by using the Dona contactless payment machines selecting the voice Missio.
WEEKLY MASS SCHEDULE:
Monday to Friday - 10.00 am
Saturday - 6.00 pm
Sunday - 9.00 am, 10.30 am, 12.00pm and 6.00pm.
ALL OUR MASSES WILL BE LIVE-STREAMED FROM OUR WEBSITE.
Each Wednesday, soon after mass, there will be the possibility to spend some time in prayer in front of the most blessed sacrament, immediately after mass. During that time a priest will be available to hear your confession. Adoration will finish at noon with the prayer of the Angelus.
Confessions are also available every Saturday from 5 pm to 5.45 pm.
BLESSING OF HOUSES:
For anyone who would like to have the house blessed, Fr Marco we will available to arrange it. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
CERTIFICATE OF CATHOLIC PRACTICE:
If you need a Certificate of Catholic Practice for Secondary Transfer please phone the parish office and ask to make an appointment to see Mgr Jim.
Please do keep an eye on the website: www.ourladyofvictories.net which will be updated on a weekly basis.
To all who are travelling at this time, stay safe and travel well.
Mgr Jim Curry & Fr Marco Salvagnini
Liturgy and Spiritual Life:Lecturer - Jean Khoury
Dates - Wednesdays: Oct13th,20th;Nov 10th, 17th, 24th; Dec 1st 2021
Platform - Zoom
Time - 6:00pm - 7:15pm
Pope Benedict XVI said that participation in the Liturgy “must be understood in more substantial terms, on the basis of a greater awareness of the mystery being celebrated” (SC 52). In these 6 exciting lessons, we will ask Spiritual Theology to help us experience the liturgy more personally from within.
For further details please see the website under upcoming courses.
Little Amal, a 3.5m puppet of a refugee girl, is walking from the border of Turkey / Syria to Manchester, 8000km, in search of her mother. On her journey she will visit Westminster Cathedral on Monday 25th October at 2 pm, where she will be welcomed by Cardinal Vincent. You are invited to join Cardinal Vincent for this Welcome Liturgy and to learn more about migrants and refugees. It is during half term week, an opportunity for families to come together. For further information about Little Amal's Journey please click on the button underneath.
Response to Afghan Refugees:
Caritas Westminster is co-ordinating the diocese’s response to refugees newly arrived from Afghanistan. In particular they are looking for :
Anyone who can help find accommodation, including homes for large families
Speakers of Pashtu, Dari or Farsi who could help with interpretations
Teachers of English (ESOL)
Co-ordinated groups of volunteers who can welcome and befriend Afghans arriving in your area.
The response will need to be well co-ordinated and you will need to work with your local authority. Please contact Caritas Westminster Volunteer Service if you or the organisation you are involved in might be able to help: go to https://www.caritasvs.org.uk/volunteer-to-support-afghan-refugees.php (see the button below) or email email@example.com
Write to your MP regarding the Nationality and Borders Bill
Caritas Westminster and the Jesuit Refugee Service are urging Catholics to write to their MPs about the Nationality and Borders Bill. The proposals in this Bill are unfair, unjust and will not work. They also do nothing to address the root causes of forced migration and trafficking.
A time of prayer for Lebanon, Sunday 24th October 4-5pm
Join us on line at ourladyofvictories.net for a time of prayer and reflection for the peoples of Lebanon.
Mgr Jim Curry KCHS and Dr Harry Hagopian will reflect on the current situation. Our music and songs will be lead by Mr Timothy Macklin.
Dr Harry Hagopian is an international lawyer who has lived in Lebanon. He is a respected commentator and advocate of dialogue in the MENA region
Novena to John Paul II
This month, October 2021, an ‘Assisted Dying’ Bill will receive its Second Reading, with full debate, in the House of Lords. If successful, it will enable terminally ill adults with less than six months to live, assistance to commit suicide. Pope Francis has said that, ‘Physician-assisted suicide is part of a “throwaway culture” that offers a “false compassion” and treats a human person as a problem…True compassion does not marginalise anyone, nor does it humiliate and exclude- much less considers the disappearance of a person as a good thing.’The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales invite all Catholics to respond in prayer, to this serious threat we face to the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person. Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues, said:‘Jesus told his disciples to pray at all times and not lose heart. Providentially the discussion of Baroness Meacher’s Bill in the House of Lords falls on the feast of St. John Paul II on 22 October. The novena, asking the intercession of St. John Paul II, who spoke courageously about the infinite worth of each human person and witnessed to the cross in his final illness, calls upon Catholics and all who share our view that assisted suicide is wrong, to pray with perseverance that this Bill will be defeated.St. John Paul II, pray for us!’From the 14-22 October, in the lead up to the Second Reading, the bishops encourage the faithful to unite for nine days of prayer, seeking the intercession of St. John Paul II, as part of our efforts to help defeat this attempt to legalise assisted suicide.