THE PARISH PRIEST WRITES:
Today’s Mass: SEVENTH SUNDAY of the YEAR (Year A)
The First Reading is part of what is known as the Holiness Code in Leviticus. At God’s command, Moses gives some practical implications of what it means to be holy.
The Psalm is a song of praise to God, who is perfectly holy, forgiving, compassionate and loving.
Second Reading: St Paul underlines the countercultural character of Christianity: Godly wisdom seems foolish to the world, and vice versa.
Gospel: Jesus continues on from last Sunday’s Gospel, this week with hard sayings about non-violent resistance and love of enemies. If this all seems a bit impossible, Jesus’ last command seems totally impossible: “you therefore must be perfect”. Even more so when we recall Apocalypse 21:27 (“nothing unclean will ever enter heaven”). But we should remember that we are made in God’s image, that the availability of absolution in the Sacrament of Confession means we can remove our sins in this life, and that we shall go through Purgatory in the next life before we can become perfect and so enter heaven.
Today is also a Day for the Unemployed.
THE YEAR OF THE WORD: THE GOD WHO SPEAKS.
Br James Boner, OFM Cap is offering the Masses at Borough Green and West Kingsdown today.
Contactless giving trial
This weekend, at St Thomas’s, we are trialling a system of cashless giving: you can donate to the First Collection by
The best way of making your contribution to the work of the parish is by Standing Order, preferably Gift Aided to maximise your donation. Please fill in a Standing Order and Gift Aid form if you have not yet done so. But if you wish to make a supplementary donation - eg to a second collection - or have not brought any cash, or you are a visitor, you can use the new contactless machine in the Entrance. You can select one of the pre-set amounts or choose a specific amount (minimum £1), and you can Gift Aid your donation. Thank you for your generosity.
- contactless debit or credit card
- mobile phone (if you have the app)
- your watch (if you have the app).
The Music Group leads the music at today’s Mass.
As Magda is away on holiday the Parish Office will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. It will be open on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at the normal times.
Tuesday: Sycamore starts
Begins with a light meal at 7:45pm, ending at 9:15pm. Enter by the Parish Centre door (14 Granville Road). The subject this week is ‘The existence of God’. Do come along even if you have not registered. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore your faith, with community, friendship, welcoming conversation, and delicious food. Bring along a non-Catholic friend.
The season of penance - and especially almsgiving, prayer, and fasting - and preparation for Easter begins on Wednesday. During Lent, there is no Gloria, except on Feasts and Solemnities; the Altar is not decorated with flowers; the organ and musical instruments are used only to support the singing; ‘Alleluia’ is never said, even on Feasts and Solemnities. The time for fulfilling the Easter Precept of Holy Communion begins on Wednesday.
Please take a Lent 2020 leaflet if you have not already done so.
A good extra devotion during Lent is to attend a weekday Mass as well as Sunday Mass: see the list of days and times on page 2.
Holy Mass, with the Imposition of ashes:
There is also a Liturgy of ashing for the Nursery and Key Stage 1 Years in St Thomas’ School at 9:30am.
- St Thomas’s 8:00am, 2:00pm (School Mass), 8:00pm
- Holy Trinity: 10:00am
- St Bernadette’s: 11:00am
- St Joseph’s: 6:00pm.
We again welcome Fr Clement Eru, CM, assisting us by offering the two evening Masses this day.
Thursday: Otford Stations of the Cross
During Lent, and commencing this Thursday, Holy Trinity will hold their traditional Stations of the Cross on Thursdays at 7:30pm. This will replace the hour of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for this period. All are most welcome.
Friday: West Kingsdown Stations of the Cross
On Fridays in Lent, Stations of the Cross at St Bernadette’s at 7:30pm. If you live in that area of the parish, why not make a special effort to attend the Stations of the Cross, even if you don’t normally attend Sunday Mass there?
Friday: St Thomas’s Stations of the Cross
Every Friday in Lent at 8:00pm. The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Via Crucis or Way of the Cross, form the traditional Lenten devotions. The Stations represent the final path Jesus took on the way to His crucifixion. Pope Francis urges all Catholics to participate in the Stations of the Cross because they put us into the story, they remind us that Jesus suffers with us, they help us to make a decision for or against Christ, they give us certainty of God’s love for us, and they guide us from the Cross to the Resurrection. It is good for us to give up a small part of a Friday evening to unite ourselves with Christ in this way during Lent.
This is a diocesan collection for Poorer Parishes. This collection enables the Archbishop to make grants to some of the poorer parishes in the Archdiocese.
St Bernadette’s Committee
There will a brief meeting after Mass today to re-establish a St Bernadette’s local committee. This committee - like the equivalent committees at Holy Trinity and St Joseph’s - will meet a few times a year to discuss local matters and to advise the Parish Priest.
Diocesan Directories 2020
Southwark Directories for 2020 are now available from the Repository, price £3.00.
Advance Notice: World Day of Prayer
This year St Thomas’s is hosting the Sevenoaks World Day of Prayer Service, on Friday 6th March at 11:00am. The theme this year is ‘Rise! Take Your mat and Walk’. Refreshments afterwards.
Advance Notice: Parish Mini Retreat
Conducted by the Most Rev’d Kevin McDonald, Archbishop Emeritus, on Saturday 28th March, beginning with Holy Mass at 9:30am and ending at 12:30pm. The theme is ‘With Jesus in Scripture and in the Holy Land’.
This counts as the annual Day of Recollection Ministers of Holy Communion are required to undertake. It will also be of particular interest to all who read at mass, catechists, and those thinking of coming on the Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Parish Holy Land Pilgrimage
The Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land will be from 5th - 12th November. The basic cost is £1,430; single supplement £340. Contact Magda in the Office for a Booking Form.
Save the date
The Parish Garden Party will be on Sunday 28th June this year. Put the date in your diary now, as you won’t want to miss this popular event!
Guild of St Stephen-Southwark 43rd Altar Servers Rally
On Saturday 9th May, at The Friars, Aylesford (ME20 7PU) with Bishop Paul Hendricks. Altar Servers wishing to enrol in the Guild should take their cassocks and cottas and enrol at 10:15am. Holy Mass at 11:30am, followed by Lunch (picnic or local refreshments) and football. Email john. firstname.lastname@example.org beforehand to order bronze Guild medals.
40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil
From 26th February to 5th April, you’re invited to join other Christians for 40 Days for Life – 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion. You’re also invited to stand and peacefully pray during a 40-day vigil in the public right-of-way outside Marie Stopes, 10-16 Brewer Street, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1RU and also to help spread the word about this important community outreach. If you’d like more information and especially if you’d like to volunteer to help, please contact: Rebecca Luton 07956 111909 or email@example.com.