As we reflect on the scriptures this Sunday (John: 15;1-8) we are reminded that there is no such things as a solitary Christian . We are all linked to Christ and to all other Christians. As branches to a vine. We take this opportunity to share with you a reflection from our bishops:
Gathering as Bishops in Conference this week, we wish to pay tribute to all in the Catholic community who have shown such courage, generosity and understanding in the face of adversity this past year. Across England and Wales, families and parish communities have risen to the challenge of sustaining one another through times of great isolation, loneliness and grief in an impressive variety of ways, spiritual, emotional and practical. We thank all who have worked tirelessly in prisons, in hospitals, care-homes and across the medical profession for giving of themselves so generously. We thank all who have worked valiantly in our schools, facing unforeseen demands and meeting them with characteristic professionalism and dedication.
We wish also to pay tribute to those who have given of their time and energy to keep open our churches as havens of peace and prayer. Churches up and down the land have realised the vision of Pope Francis that they be like village-wells where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey; and centres of “constant missionary outreach.” We thank all who have developed diverse new patterns of outreach - of prayer, catechesis, study and spiritual solidarity; all who have made participation in the Mass possible through the internet.
Also prominent in this tribute should be thanks to all who have contributed to the immense effort of providing food for those most in need. The generosity shown in the distribution of so very many meals has given eloquent expression to the mercy, love and compassion which are at the very heart of God. Many have been touched by the joy of meeting Christ in the poor; and many of the poor by the joy of meeting Christ in selfless parishioners. The provision of food is often the first step into a deeper relationship of help and accompaniment, including the sharing of the gift of faith in our Blessed Lord.
‘Vibrant’ is a word which seems to have characterised so many of our parishes throughout the pandemic. We wish to salute our priests in particular for the leadership they have shown in this time of crisis. We thank them for their deep devotion to both the liturgy and to their parishioners. We commend every priest who made of his parish "a 'sanctuary' open to all” and with a particular care for the poor; and the many Deacons who have exercised with such generosity their mission of charity. What will be the pace of our emerging from this pandemic remains as yet unclear. What is clear is the challenge we face of bringing our communities and the practice of the faith to a still greater expression and strength.
The Daughters of St Paul who ran the Pauline Book Centre for over 40 years in Kensington High Street are returning to the High Street.
In order to maintain a presence in London, we have invited the sisters to establish a pastoral outreach hub in our repository. For the next 12 months the Sisters will continue their work of evangelisation in partnership with our parish.
We are delighted to cooperate with the Pauline Books and Media in this exciting venture. The sisters are currently preparing stock and will let us know in the coming weeks when it aims to open.
CAFOD in India
Our Catholic Agency For Overseas Development, CAFOD, has already pledged £200,000 to our partners Caritas India.
To support the work of CAFOD in India use the button bellow.
Thank you for your generosity to the Priest Training Fund collection last weekend. It is not too late to make a donation if you wish. Envelopes are available in the back of the church, or by contacting the parish office. Please continue to pray for vocations to the priesthood. For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.rcdow.org.uk/donations