Upcoming Activities & Offerings


More about attending a ‘Virtual’ Mass: Top Ten Tips from Fr Luke

"Taking part in a virtual Mass can help us to keep the Eucharist, and thus Christ at the center of our lives. Like anything, however, the extent to which it will be fruitful in our own lives depends in no small part on us, so here are my top ten tips to help you participate in Virtual Masses!

1. Read the Sunday readings beforehand and pray with them during the week. Many people do this already and this is good to do anyway if you were coming to Mass physically on a Sunday or joining us through the internet.

2. Make a Spiritual Communion – Jesus can’t be received sacramentally via the internet but he can always be received in spirit (I lead this prayer at Communion at the Masses I stream and invite participants to say the prayer along with me at home)

3. Keep the Eucharistic Fast: The Church asks that we prepare for Holy Communion by not eating or drinking anything (except water) for a minimum of one hour before Holy Communion. Although you will be making a spiritual Communion and so technically this fast is not needed, it might be a fruitful way of preparing yourself, ahead of time, for spiritual participation at Mass.

4. Set up an altar/focus for prayer in your house. If possible, prepare a space where you can drape a cloth over a table, light some candles - if you are streaming to a portable device (laptop, phone/tablet) you could put this near or behind the altar

5. If you have space in your house (corner of a room/spare bedroom) set up a prayer space and ‘go to Mass’ in this room

6. If you have young children, consider doing your own children’s liturgy with them during the liturgy of the word.

7. Turn off phones (that you are not using to stream!) set notifications to silent turn off radios and TV’s on other parts of the house

8. Make sure you participate: i.e. don’t just watch but say the responses at the correct points

9. Send in Mass Intentions and ask for prayers to be included in the Mass

10. Invite friends (virtually) to stream along with you and participate in the Mass at the same time. Knowing that your friends and family in their own houses are participating in the same Eucharist and watching the same live feed can be enormously encouraging, especially in this time of social isolation."

Public Services suspended

Dear Parishioners 

Given the severity of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and the government’s response the 

Bishops of England and Wales haves suspended all acts of Public Worship from 

Friday 20th March until further notice. These are trying and difficult times for all of 

us and I encourage you to read the letter from the Cardinal which is available on the Home page of our website.

Our faith continues and the Mass will still be celebrated albeit without a public 

congregation, you are invited to participate spiritually in the Mass and instructions 

with prayers for at home, along with other resources to help you do this are found 

on our website (If you want hard copies phone me and I will get them to you) 

Daily Mass will be celebrated Moday – Saturday at 10 am and broadcast live from 

our Facebook Page and Sunday Mass will be streamed live at 11:00 am via our 

Facebook Page.

Important: You do not have to be signed up to Facebook to view the our Facebook 

Page – it will ask you to login in or sign-up but you do not need to do this to watch 

the live video, so you can ignore it and just click ‘Not Now’ when the box comes 

up. It will then function like any other website. 

It is better, however, to create a free account because you can interact with the 

page and we can keep in contact with each other (you don’t have to load any 

pictures up or use it for anything else) – so please do consider signing up for a 

Facebook account. To be clear, you do not need to sign up if you simply want to 

watch the video. If you can’t hear any sound, just either press the screen (if it’s a 

touchscreen) or hover the cursor (little arrow moved by the mouse) over the video 

window. In the bottom of the video a speaker icon with an ‘X’ will appear - tap that 

icon to unmute the sound. 

If you do not have the internet but you do have Sky, you can watch a daily Mass 

(usually at midday) on EWTN which is channel 588 on Sky. 

Other ways to stay in touch: The weekly newsletter will continue and be uploaded 

to the website as usual. If you or someone you know would like a hard copy 

delivered to you then get in touch and we will arrange this. 

If you need anything and or are struggling in any way, please contact me and I will 

support you in anyway that I can. I am on phone 01842 812200 and email 


Let us look out for each other, pray for one another and keep the faith!

Be assured of my continued prayers and affection for you all,

Fr Luke

Closures arising from the Coronavirus epidemic

All non-liturgical groups have now ceased to use St John’s until further notice. These include The Tuesday Lunch Bunch, Slimming World (Wednesday) and the Thursday Line Dancing Club.

This will mean a loss of income to the parish and you are asked to think about how the whole parish community can counter this by the contributions made through the weekly offertory via standing order please contact Fr Luke or Phillip Kemp for more details.

Spiritual Communion

At this time, it will not be possible for people to receive Holy Communion. Everyone is invited, however, to join in the ancient practice of making regular spiritual communions, this can be particularly fruitful when following the daily Mass in your Missals on online via the live feed.

Prayer of St Alphonsus:  My Jesus, I believe that you are present in this Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come spiritually into my soul so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever. Amen.

Confessions in Lent

As always, I will hear confessions by appointment.

Access to our Churches

There has been an inconsistent message from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government about the opening of churches for “solitary prayer”. However, it goes against the four specific reasons for a person leaving home and undermines the desire of the Government for people to remain at home. Many people who might be drawn out of their home to go to a church would be the most vulnerable to infection. 

Therefore in line with the Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Alan asks that we close our churches until we are told that they might be opened again. This must be right – it is for the benefit of others and will help to stop infection.

Please follow the link below which will give you a video message from Cardinal Nichols about this matter – a sober and wise message. 


Feeling Isolated?

Struggling with the coronavirus and social distancing measures? Scared? Need to talk? Struggling to get shopping or basic groceries?

Pick up the phone!  Your parish is your family and we are here for you, in the first instance feel free to call Fr Luke on 01842 812200 and he will do his best to help you, 

support you and put you in contact with others who may be able to help. If you don’t get an answer.  Leave a message and your number (Clearly) and he will get back to you. We may be socially isolating -but we are not on our own!

Coronavirus: Who can help

It is pleasing and hopeful to see how people are responding to the challenge of the virus by offering to help and support their neighbours – evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work in our community and that neighbourhoods are ‘pulling together’.

Remember too that our best friends ever are ready to help. Pray to Jesus and Our Lady of Walsingham, and your prayers will be answered.

You might also want to include saints who are patrons for those with medical problems:

  • St Luke is an obvious choice, but there are also:
  • Ss Adrian and Natalia of Nicomedia;
  • The Fourteen Holy Helpers of the Rhineland
  • St Hugh of Cluny
  • St Theobald of Provins


Sun. Apr 5th  --  Palm Sunday

Thurs. Apr 9th  --  Triduum: Holy Thursday -- The Lord's Supper

Fri. Apr 10th  --  Triduum: Good Friday --The Passion of the Lord

Sat. Apr 11th  --  Triduum:  Holy Saturday

Sun. Apr 12th  --  Easter Sunday

Many Thanks ...

To all who have contributed so far to keep the parish flourishing by participating in the streamed masses, keeping contact with fellow parishioners, helping neighbours and, most of all, following the government’s advice to protect themselves and others.

Other things to do during Lent

Slow Down – Set aside 10 minutes a day for silent prayer or meditation. It will revitalize your body and your spirit.

Pray – Especially for people you don’t like and for people who don’t like you.

Tune out – Turn off the television and spend quality time talking with family or friends.

Read a good book – You could choose the life of a saint, a spiritual how-to, an inspirational book or one of the Pope’s new books.

Be kind – Go out of your way to do something nice for someone else every day.

Other Resources ...

(especially if you are having trouble live-streaming Online)

Radio Stations: DAB (Digital) Radio: Radio Maria England, Premier Christian Radio (available on TV Radio as well and has Sunday Morning Worship) Radio 4 Has Sunday Worship on Sunday Morning at 8:10 am on FM and a Daily Service at 9:45 am on Long Wave (not FM)

TV: Sky TV 588 is ETWN (Catholic Channel) and has Daily Mass broadcast as well as other prayers and devotions 

Websites: https://pray-as-you-go.org/ https://shalem.org/programs/online/holy-interruptions/


Coloring prayer resources: If you would like adult-coloring sheets, to help with 

prayer/mindfulness/meditation please contact Fr Luke and he will try and source them for you.

Parish Finances

Funding the Parish

We are a small parish, as everybody knows and, unusually, we have to maintain three buildings. Fortunately, we have a congregation which, time after time, provides funds, through offertory payments, stole fees and donations. So we are very grateful. One way in which you can help the parish in the long term is to consider a bequest in your will. Talk to Fr Luke or Philip Kemp for further information about this.

Keeping the Parish Going

With Christ as our saviour and friend, this Parish can survive the COVID-19 disease attacking our community. We all have our part to play. We must carefully follow all government advice and help to care for others, if and when we can.

Some of that care is needed for the parish as a whole. For however long the crisis lasts, we still have commitments to meet. We still have heating and lighting bills to pay, we still have community charges to meet, we still have to pay our parish priest – his only source of income.

No public Sunday Mass means no offertory. As well as this the regular bookings for St. John’s are temporarily suspended, a loss of £670 per month. The only regular source of income that remains is from those few people who pay their offertory donations by Standing Order or Direct Debit. 

We are now asking everyone to consider how they can donate at least equal to their normal giving. Here’s how you can do this:

1. By Standing Order or Direct Debit. A form is included in the next section which you can use. Details of the parish’s bank account are

  • Bank Name: Lloyds Bank plc
  • Bank Address: Thetford (309858) Branch
  • Sort Code: 30-98-58
  • Account Number: 00489176
  • These details are already printed on the Standing Order form on page 5. You can set this up online or post this to your bank, if you are unable to go there in person.

2. By making a transfer from your bank account to the parish’s, using the details above.

3. By sending a cheque to the parish made out to Brandon & Mildenhall RC Parish.

Please do not send cash 

We suggest that you arrange these payments on a monthly basis, starting on Monday, April 6th and on the first Monday of each month thereafter.

These arrangements are temporary, or as long as the current crisis lasts. When it ends, you may continue with them if you wish. 

THANK YOU for helping in keeping the parish going.

                   Fr. Luke Goymour, Parish Priest 

                   Philip Kemp, Parish Treasurer

Gift Aid

Thank you to those who signed up to GA following my recent finance update after Mass. If you missed this and would like to discuss your GA, please let me know. If you pay UK tax the Parish can claim back 25% of your Sunday offering from the tax office. The only details required are your name, address and signature confirming you pay UK tax. Philip Kemp Tel 07514430468 Email pjkemp1@gmail.com

Support Our Parish 50/50 Club

The 50:50 Club is a major source of income to help keep this parish running.   ---  FACT 

The proceeds go half to winners and half to the parish   --- FACT 

You can join now!  ---  FACT 

Speak to David Thomas (St Thomas’); Janet Murphy (St John’s)  ---  SIMPLE! 


You can forget the chore of remembering to bring money for the Offertory by signing up to a Direct Debit. Talk to Philip Kemp. 

Reading: Tithing for Catholics

A new book by a local Catholic author Derek Williams is available at the back of the Church priced £7.99.

“Tithing for Catholics is an innovative piece of writing that cuts to the heart of Scripture and Church Teaching…. the author takes us on a journey of first-hand experiences that demonstrate how tithing is a real service of faith that won’t let you down because God cannot be outdone in generosity”

                                                                        - From the cover of ‘Tithing for Catholics

Please place money in CTS box or give to Fr Luke directly.


The Parish - whole Church – depends on its members for finance to achieve its mission. That is why we have first and second collections at Mass and welcome people’s generosity in making donations. 

Have you considered continuing your contributions after you have departed? 

You can do this by making a gift in your will. You can specify what it is to be spent on and the charity that will benefit.  Talk to our treasurer for more information: 

Philip Kemp: Tel 07514430468; Email pjkemp1@gmail.com 

Why leave a legacy?

Whether you want to support a local cause such as your parish or diocese, provide for vulnerable families in the UK or help overseas communities and parishes, a legacy could be the most far-reaching gift you ever make.

Go to https://www.yourcatholiclegacy.org for more information.

PDF Viewer

The Food Bank

One of the casualties of the recent panic buying of foodstuffs is that Food Banks across the country are experiencing a severe drop in contributions from the public. This leaves those in most need with healththreatening problems for themselves and their children. We can show the UK that Mildenhall is not and will not follow this trend!

Next time you shop – or have someone shopping for you – use two bags, one for you and one for those who cannot afford to find good food for themselves.

We can’t collect your donations as usual with the Churches not open, but you can

• Take your bag with you the next time you go shopping and drop it off at the Food Bank, or 

• Ask a neighbour who is going shopping to deliver your contribution, or

• Have your contribution put into the Coop’s or Sainsbury’s special basket for Food Bank donations.

The Food Bank is open from 10am - 12 noon each Monday and Friday. It is located on the ground floor of the King’s Project on the corner of Market Street and King Street, Mildenhall.

Useful items include:  Milk (UHT or powdered), Sugar, Long life Fruit Juice, Cereals, Tinned sponge pudding, Tinned Tomatoes, Tinned vegetables, Soup, Tinned rice pudding, Tea bags/instant coffee, Instant Mash, Rice, Tinned meat/fish, Tinned Fruit, Jam, Biscuits/snack bars 

Thanks to everyone

... who contributes to the Food Bank.  We thank God for this opportunity to comfort our brothers and sisters.

Re-dedication of England as Mary’s Dowry

On Sunday 29th March at 12 noon, the Rededication will take place throughout the country. As King Richard II once gave England as a gift to Our Lady, so we are invited to give ourselves, as the people of this country, to Mary. We respond to this invitation on the day of rededication in two ways; by making a personal promise and a communal entrustment. Our personal promise brings us closer to Mary, the first disciple of Christ.

In this we unite in her joy by following her openness to God’s call. Our communal entrustment unites us together as the people of our country in prayer, by renewing the vows of dedication made to Mary by our ancestors.

Please check out https://www.behold2020.com/ for more information.

Youth Pilgrimage to Malta

Following in the footsteps of St Paul 

Age 16 - 35, Come and join the Diocesan Youth Service Pilgrimage to Malta. From July 26 – 3st 2020. Places are limited and bookings must be received by April 13th.  

For more information see Fr. Luke.

What are you doing in September?

Are you leaving school or university this summer, in between jobs or would like to do something 'different'? The Diocesan Youth Service is looking for people age 18-29 to join the Ignite Team.

You would be working with young people in schools and parishes, developing your gifts such as in music, drama, art and tech. These are full-time positions, with food, accommodation and a monthly allowance provided. Ideal as a ‘gap year’. For more information see www.rcdea.org.uk/youth

Many Thanks ...

To Chris & Alan Burrell, Yolande & Tony Goode and the whole team for the success of our Magic Night Dinner on March 14th.  These fundraising and social events are crucial to the morale and financial survival of the parish.   Our Magic Night Dinner  raised £1,032.  Well Done!

Archbishop Peter Smith -- RIP

Please pray for the Soul of Archbishop Peter, former Bishop of our Diocese who died after a short battle with cancer on 6th March.

The God Who Speaks

The Bishops of England & Wales have declared this year a Year of the Word called ‘The God Who Speaks”. During this year we are encouraged to re-discover the Word of God in our Bibles and renew our love for Scripture. To help us do this I will make available each week a resource sheet called ‘The Wednesday Word’. The sheet contains the following: Sunday’s readings and guidance for a prayerful reading of scripture in order to prepare more fully for the. coming Sunday’s Mass.  

Sheets are at the back of the church and available at the website http//www.wednesdayword.org/

Please watch this space for news of other initiatives throughout the year. A deanery retreat day on the Bible is also planned for later this year.


7-Night stay and Airport Shuttle from Dubrovnik or Split for €266 per person sharing. Book any flight – any time and we provide guaranteed airport shuttle service. Call us for further information and book the dates that suit you.
Tel. 020 3239 8662 or email reservations@med-irishcentre.com

Listen to Homilies as a podcast!

Fr Luke’s Homilies are loaded up shortly after the Sunday they are preached, visit:

https://anchorfm/fr-luke-goymour/ or search on Spotify, Google, Apple and other major platforms.

Mass intentions

Having a Mass offered for someone’s intention is a good and holy thing to do. It is important to remember, however, that Mass is always offered in the first instance for all people. (For For God’s Glory and our sanctification) No one buys or owns a Mass. A Mass is always ‘our Mass’ - even if offered for a particular individual. Please also remember that in our parish only one Sunday Mass can be offered for an intention that someone has asked for. As people book up Masses, sometimes over a year in advance, there is no guarantee that you can have Mass offered on specific day. In this case, Mass will be offered on the next available Sunday (or weekday if that is what you originally requested.) Please remember, however that this can sometimes be several weeks/months after the specific date.

Confirmation 2019/20

If you or someone you know has a child in year 8 or above at school who would like to be confirmed this academic year, please contact Fr Luke, speak to him after Mass or email bmrcparishpriest@outlook.com .

A Pilgrimage for Christian Unity to the Holy Land

... with Fr Luke and Rev David Everett, 15th - 24th March 2021

Fr Luke is co-leading this pilgrimage next year.

Interested in becoming a Catholic?

Want to know more about the Church?  Perhaps you are a Catholic but missed out on making your confirmation as a youngster.

If this is you, please consider joining our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) programme. Please write to Fr Luke expressing your interest.

Son of God: The Daily Gospel Year A-2

Free e-book (with church imprimatur) for your computer/tablet/phone:

The new Liturgical Year begins on the First Sunday of Advent. This e-book may be downloaded free of charge to any computer/tablet/phone. It offers the Gospel for every day of the coming Liturgical Year A-2 (Sundays Year A, weekdays Year 2), together with a reflection of some 750 words on each daily Gospel. 

The e-book may be passed on for downloading to friends or acquaintances as desired, and may be accessed at the following URL address:  www.catholic-thoughts.info/ebook/

Fairly Traded

As a parish, we are dedicated to working for fair treatment of growers and suppliers in the Third World. 

Because of lack of support, we no longer have a Traidcraft stall at Mildenhall, but we are still obliged to use Fairly Traded tea and coffee. If these cannot be purchased from shops and supermarkets locally, Gillian Caple can order it from Traidcraft. Please ask her. 

Locally, Sainsbury’s have opted out of using the Fair Trade logo and, therefore, there is uncertainty about the status of their products. Non-fair trade brands such as Nescafe, Lavazza, etc. should not be used in St John’s. Please inspect purchases carefully for the Fairtrade logo. 


We have a number of ways of recording people for whom prayers are said, including, books at each church and this section of our weekly Newsletter. 

In the Newsletter we record the names of those whose anniversaries occur each month and sometimes those for whom special requests have been made. These names will, of course, re-appear the same time next year. Because of limited space, the anniversaries are for those who have died since 2010. 


Do you want to share our faith in everyday life here in the parish?

This autumn we have started a Proclaim! Group focusing on evangelisation. We are reading Sherry Weddell’s Forming Intentional Disciples together over six weeks and then we support each other to proclaim God’s Good News.  

Following the first presentation on Wednesday 25th September at St Thomas’ Brandon, it was thought that it would be good to share our prayers with the whole parish.  So a prayer pamphlet was enclosed in your newsletter on 29th Sep.

Please add these prayers to your own prayers at home. 

Pray for yourself; and for the group who are estabilishing the programme on Wednesdays; and for the whole parish: that we will have the desire and confidence to share the beauty of God’s love with others.  


In Western Europe, it has been customary for many centuries to include the name of a saint when naming a child– usually as the first personal name, and again after Confirmation. In the UK, there is a wide variety of first names given to boys and girls, but the most popular names seem to remain constant. 

For example, the ten most popular name for girls in 2000 were, in order  of  popularity:  -Chloe,  Emily,  Megan,  Charlotte,  Jessica,  Lauren,  Sophie,  Olivia, Hannah, and Lucy

18 years later the ten most popular girls’ names were: Olivia, Amelia, Ava, Isla, Emily, Mia, Isabella, Sophia, Ella, and Grace

What seem to be significant changes are not so revolutionary, since all these names were in the top 50 list for both years. We may be in for some startling changes next year, if you accept Harper’s Bazaar’s forecast that the top ten will be Adah, Reese, Mika, Paisley, Amina, Teagan, Nova, Aura, Pearl, and Billie, completely different from what went before. 

So what is happening to the convention of naming children after saints? It seems that parents now resist pressures to name their children after their parents or relatives. Instead, a growing habit is to find attractive, or interesting, or ‘celebrity,’ names. This is a pity. The use of saints’ names has a purpose over and above carrying on a ‘family name’. By naming a girl Elizabeth, or a boy John, one is seeking a spiritual ‘sponsor’ and role model for the child. (That is not to suggest that choosing ‘Catherine’ brings with it a wish for the child to be martyred! Rather it offers St Catherine’s depth of faith as a model.) Getting to know about one’s patron saint is a splendid – and often exciting – way of learning about how Christians put their faith into practice and the spiritual strengths they have to support their actions. In a community where multiple faiths (and none at all) flourish, using a Christian name is a way of declaring our identity as children of God. Getting to know more about our patron saints can also lead to more reflection about whom we name when we say In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!


Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.Was your Christmas full of bounty and a time for rejoicing? Were you the beneficiary of abundant generosity, so much so that you have stashed away presents that you just don’t know what to do with.

Our fundraising group is extending an amnesty to you so that you can redistribute these gifts without fear of retribution and to help us raise funds.

We are happy to receive food, drink, clothing, jewellery, toiletries etc.  

Please leave donations at the back of the church. 

                                                                                                 Sinead Bruton

A free Calendar for 2020

The J&P group has produced a free calendar for 2020. The J&P group has produced a free calendar for 2020.

Each month is illustrated by prints created by Fr Maximino Cerezo Barredo, a Claretian

priest, much of whose priesthood has been in South America.  The calendar is designed to help you reflect on the liturgy’s meaning each month. There are  two pictures per month each designed to reflect the Readings and Gospel for the 4  weeks of Advent and for the Nativity.

Collect a copy from the back of the church. There’s no charge, though, if you would like to contribute to its production cost, a donation of £3 or more would be welcome.

Talking in Church and Silence before Mass

Fr Luke writes:  Many thanks for all who have contributed to keeping a respectful silence before mass. This is a joyful practice and creates the appropriate atmosphere for the celebration. 

Please also respect others, who may be trying to pray before and after Mass, by keeping talking to a minimum in and around the main body of the Church. (This does not apply so much to Mildenhall after Mass as we have a Blessed Sacrament chapel for people to pray in whilst teas and coffee continue at the back of the Church.) Silent and prayerful preparation is something that Pope Francis asks us to take seriously.

The Pope says: “Mass is the highest form of prayer and not an appropriate moment for small talk. At church, Catholics should spend their time in silence before Mass, preparing to meet with Jesus instead of engaging in "chitchat,”. Silence is so important…we are not going to a show. Silence prepares us and accompanies us." –           

                                                General audience Nov 15th 2017 


Pax Christi

Pax Christi (The Peace of Christ) works for:

  • Peace – based on justice. A world where human rights are respected, basic needs are met and people feel safe and valued in their communities.
  • Reconciliation –a process which begins when people try to mend relationships –between individuals or whole countries after times of violence or dispute.
  • Nonviolence –a way of living and making choices that respects others, challenges what is not fair or unjust, and offers alternatives to violence and war.

To do this Pax Christi works to:

  • Support teachers, chaplains and youth workers in promoting a culture of peace in schools and amongst young people.
  • Develop solidarity between people who are working non-violently for justice and peace. Pax Christi does this through joint actions for peace in Israel-Palestine, through events to encourage international efforts to abolish nuclear weapons and by celebrating the life and witness of peacemakers.
  • Promote an understanding of sustainable security where human needs are met and the environment is protected, rather than seeking security through weapons and warfare. Pax Christi campaigns against military spending, the arms trade and nuclear weapons.


Justice & Peace Group

Your local J&P Group brings together Brandon, Mildenhall and Newmarket as our two parishes work together to promote practical action in support Catholic Teaching. We: 

  • Arrange exhibitions & displays;
  • Organise peace vigils;
  • Provide resources to celebrate church festivals (from Easter chicks to Peace Poppies);
  • Run campaigns (e.g. “Share the Journey”) to support people in need in the UK and elsewhere round the world;
  • Raise funds for specific projects;
  • Keep people informed about J&P Matters.

We always welcome new members to the group. You don’t have to come to meetings! You can join by using Skype of Face Time or just receive and respond to our monthly Update. 


The Justice & Peace Group usually meet on the first Monday of each month. All are welcome.

Talk to Tom or Gill Caple for more information: 01638 716474 



O Lord Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, full of compassion and maker of peace, you lived in poverty and suffered persecution for the cause of justice. 

You chose the Cross as the path to glory to show us the way of salvation. May we receive the word of the Gospel joyfully and live by Your example as heirs and citizens of Your kingdom. Amen. 

Dealing with Climate Change

On Sunday, July 7th, the Justice & Peace Group facilitated a shared lunch and discussion on what a parish might do to counteract or reduce the effects of climate change. Here are some of the ideas that emerged: 


A. Become a Live Simply Parish 

B. Use Solar Panels/Raise money for Solar Panels 

C. Become a plastic-free parish? 

D. Educate the kids in the Children’s Liturgy 

E. Make a commitment as a parish to: 

     • Turn off lights when not in use 

     • Make sure all our lights are LED bulbs 

     • Check the lights 

F. Have a walk/cycle to mass Sunday (for those who can) 

G. Share cars to get to Church using less fuel.

Many other suggestions were made as well, some of which are already in place. There’s no doubting that more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of local action, and not just waiting for world leaders to solve the problem. 

If you have suggestions about practical actions we can take, please contact Gill or Tom Caple 

Our Common Home

Ten years ago the UK Government took a global lead and passed the pioneering Climate Change Act committing us to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Recent research by climate scientists has stressed that this is no longer enough. We need to go further, faster. Unless we make dramatic changes, the damage caused by climate change will be irreversible. We need to reach ‘net zero’ emissions by 2045 at the latest. This is based on the science behind keeping global temperature rise below 1.5C. Several countries have already committed to reach this target. The UK as a global leader on climate change must join them to ‘revive’ our common home. So what can we do? 

For further information about the national campaign go to www.cafod.org.uk/climate 

Justice & Peace Recent Activities

Working with Adult Faith Formation (AFF) 

AFF is a group that has come together to work together in their spiritual development. They meet monthly on Thursday evenings and Tuesday lunchtimes for prayer, talks by invited speakers and study sessions. 

In February the J&P led an event on Intercessions.  AFF members took part in an interactive session involving discussion, practice in composing intentions and reflection.  The papers supporting the session can be obtained from Tom Caple.  Participants said that the session was helpful.

The session was repeated (with suitable adjustments) for the Tuesday Lunch Club.  It also got a positive response.

Stations of the Cross 

We led a poetry-based Station service at OLISE on Palm Sunday.   Each participant read a relevant poem at each station. Across the echoing church, each reading draped us with insights and reverence for Christ’s gift of sacrifice. It proved a very moving way of remembering Jesus’s journey. 

Nonviolence Works

Nonviolence Works is a network of Christian Peace Organisations, including Pax Christi, committed to furthering peace in communities. The network has evidence that there are ways other than violent intervention to resolve differences and bring an end to wars. It publishes cases that show how nonviolent approaches can and do work. We will publish examples from time to time. Here are three: 

Norway 1942 

Teachers refused to co-operate with the pro-Nazi Quisling regime and, although many endured prison, the obligation to teach Nazi doctrines had to be withdrawn. 

Mozambique 1989-92 

The Rome-based Community of Sant” Egidio brokered an agreement between RENAMO and FRELIMO forces, ending ten years of war. 

Guatemala 2007 

Young stilt walkers used circus acts and carnival in the streets to transform the climate of violence spread by brutal youth gangs. 

Learn more about your FAITH!

Fr Luke writes: I am gradually revamping the resources and CTS racks in our churches. New ‘CTS Essentials’ leaflets have been purchased dealing with a variety of subjects including: Contemplative Prayer, the Blessed Sacrament and Sunday Mass please feel free to take any of these leaflets. (These leaflets are free - even if they are priced at 20p!) 

Books and booklets remain as individually priced, but I will be updating the selection shortly – Please use this resource to help nourish your faith.


I made a choice

War changed my life. For us ordinary people of Croatia, the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia came so suddenly we were confused. The war and the logic of war spread like a violent fire. From a culture of nationalism to the fear-ridden images of the enemy, to being surrounded by Serbian forces bombing us… I started to think like others, there was no other way. It is them or us… While we were thinking and praying in a small group we spoke about the meaning of love for our enemy in this very situation. …. I started to think, what would it mean to love my enemy in this time of war? I could not find the answer. But then I made a choice, from my will. So, I chose to love my enemy as Jesus would. This choice was my first move from the logic of violence, and I felt I could breathe again. 

My next step was to think how would I defend life? I would defend life but not by killing. But what if I needed to defend the life of my children? I don’t know what I would do in such a situation. But this transition from the logic of violence opened my heart and my mind to ask: what could I do for peace and the end of the war? I met someone who was an ethicist and then a conscientious objector. … And this was the beginning of the peace movement, the Centre for Nonviolence and Human Rights in Osijek, from the middle of the war. 

                               Katarina Kruhonja, former Board member, Pax Christi International 

Pray as You Go PAYG

A superb free App from the British Jesuits. Lots on the App including a daily 10-12 min prayer meditation, as well as Stations of the Cross, Rosary meditations and other prayer resources. If you have a smart phone download the App, it could help develop your prayer life and your friendship with Jesus. Why not try it out for Holy Week? 

Interested in joining the Ignite Team?

Are you leaving school or university soon, in between jobs or would like to do something 'different'? The Diocesan Youth Service is looking for people age 18-30 to join the Ignite Team, sharing the Gospel Message with young people in a way they can relate to. These are full-time positions, with food, accommodation and a monthly allowance provided. Ideal as a ‘gap year’. For more information see www.rcdea.org.uk/youth .


CPW offers a chance to enrich and develop your faith, as well as warmly welcoming people from other faith traditions who are in sympathy with the catholic tradition. Events range from 1-day meetings to 7-day holidays, from retreats to conferences to walking holidays. They vary from activities for whole families (in school holidays) to 18+ events: and they are affordable holidays in comfortable accommodation. A limited number of leaflets are available. For details talk to Gill or Tom Caple. 

Your Red Box


THREE HUNDRED, FIFTY-NINE POUNDS AND NINE PENCE or £359.09 – that’s the amount of money donated through the Red Box Scheme for the first half of this year. Thank you very much! 

Thank you for helping their Missionary work. Please keep up this good work for 2019.

Not got a Red Box? Some spare boxes are at the back of the church. Take one and tell Sue Dean or Fr Luke. 

Newsletter Teaching Supplements “What we believe”

Fr Luke writes: I have decided to produce regular (or semi-regular depending on commitments!) articles which I shall include with the newsletter from time to time as a supplement entitled ‘what we believe’. I hope to explore with you some aspects of our faith that perhaps, we haven’t always (or at least recently) thought about too deeply. It is not always possible and not really the right forum to explore these themes in depth in homilies so I have decided to explore them in written form with the hope that we can go a bit deeper and, if you wish, read at your own pace and re-read as necessary. I may also in time have these available online as well.   

The third reflection on the Creed: ‘Creator of Heaven and Earth’.  

The fourth reflection: ‘Of all things visible and invisible’. 

The fifth reflection:  I believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son, Our Lord.’ 

The sixth reflection: "He was conceived by the Holy spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. "

Adult Faith Formation (AFF)

This is a programme of weekly sessions exploring understanding of our faith and spiritual development, held at Our Lady Immaculate & St Etheldreda after 7 pm Mass each Thursday.  All are welcome. Tom & Gill Caple have details. 

For a full programme see the OLiSE website - www.olise.co.uk. 

Parish Mission Advisory Team (P-MAT)

Fr Luke writes: In order to help me run our parish I am looking to appoint a group of advisors from both the Mildenhall and Brandon Community. I am going to spend some time next week praying over the mission and ministry of our parish and planning the way forward. A constitutive part of this team will be a new safeguarding rep as our current rep, Andy Watts has decided to step down. I am grateful to Andy for the work he has done. If I approach you over the next few weeks, please be generous in giving of yourself in service of our parish community. If you have any ideas or suggestions about how things are done in our parish please feel free to email me or to talk to personally, I want to hear your views. 

“Let’s Go To Mass” A Booklet for Children and Their Parents

An anonymous donor has given the parish 10 copies of this Redemptorist booklet, which can be used by children (with or without their parents, depending on age) to follow and learn about the Mass. Users can colour in and wipe off again and again. 

Five of the copies will be available in each church. You may use it, but please clean and return it after Mass. If you want to take it home for study between masses, please do so, but return it the following week. Thank you. 

Mass Intentions

There is a bit of a back log with Mass intentions: If you would like Mass offered for a particular intention on or near a specific day, (and at a specific location) please give as much notice as possible – some people book days a year in advance. If the date that you would like is unavailable Mass will be offered at the requested location, on the next available free-day. The current schedule, however, means that this could be as long as six weeks after the proposed date. If you are not too-concerned about where Mass will be offered (Brandon or Mildenhall) then it is often possible to fit a Mass in sooner than this. 

Discipleship Days

A new series of day-retreats entitled 'Discipleship Days' aimed at those aged 16 - 35, are now being launched around the Diocese of East Anglia. These days are for those who wish to grow in their faith through a day of fellowship, formation and prayer. The first one took place on the 23rd of February in Brandon. These events are free of charge. If you are under 18, please go to www.rcdea.org.uk/youth for a parental consent form. 

New St Thomas Of Canterbury Books for sale

Gracewing has just published a beautiful little book Devotions to St Thomas Becket by Fr John S. Hogan, a priest of the Diocese of Meath in Ireland, with illustrations by a monk of Silverstream Priory. As well as the Christmas Novena to St Thomas, Fr John's book offers an 'armchair' pilgrimage to Canterbury with the Seven Stations of St Thomas of Canterbury. The book retails at £7.99 St Thomas Becket, a popular little life of the saint, at £6.99 - you can find copies of these books at the back of the Church in Brandon. Please put money in the CTS pamphlet box on the wall. 

Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham

A new statue of the Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady of Walsingham has been donated to our parish for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at St Johns. Please have a look at our new statue and take a moment to ask the prayers of Mary, Mother of God of Walsingham. 

Walsingham is our National Shrine and the centre of the New Evangelisation as designated by the Bishops of England and Wales, we are blessed to live so close to this beautiful and important site for Catholicism in our Country. 

Stole Fees

There is sometimes confusion about what stole fees are and who receives them. 

They are amounts of money given to priests for various services (Baptisms, Marriages, funerals, etc.). In some countries, the priest keeps the fee. In East Anglia, because priests receive a modest stipend (salary) each month, Bishop Peter Smith decreed that fees should be part of the parish income. This is still the situation. 

Lost or Left Property

Items left behind or lost are now accumulating. If you have lost anything please check what is in the narthex. We will keep abandoned items for one month, but will then have to dispose of them. Items of value may be kept longer, but we cannot take responsibility for these or anything else left behind. 

Takeaway Sunday Lunches at the Orient Express (Great Eastern Hotel) Brandon

If you are struggling to get a roast dinner ready after Mass at Brandon, consider taking one home with you from the Orient Express Carvery! For £9:99 they give you a takeaway tin and you fill it with freshly cooked food and locally sourced meats. 

New Altar Cloth

Thank you to Lina Busuttile, a member of the Mildenhall community who kindly created the new altar cloth for St Thomas’. Mass goers at St Thomas’ will also notice the new icons around the Church. These were purchased with the remaining funds that with given to the parish by an anonymous benefactor of the Divine Mercy Pictures 

Paschal & Prayer Candles


Anna Liwak, the parishioner from Brandon who created out beautiful Paschal candles is now taking commissions for Candles.


Her candles are handcrafted and can be personalized for First Communion, Baptisms, Memorials, Anniversaries or any other important occasions. Individual prayer candles are also available.


For more information please contact Anna on 07741209889 or check out her facebook page: ‘Artistic Heart.’ 


Masses & Flowers

Having a mass said or paying for flowers in the church are practical ways supporting the work of the parish. Please give your donations to Fr Luke or Philip Kemp. 

House Blessing/Visit

Has your house been blessed? Would you like a home visit and a blessing for you home and family? 

If you would like Fr Luke to visit you in your home and invoke God’s blessing upon your home and family, please speak to him after Mass or call the presbytery. 

Even if your home has been blessed in the past we can still pray together and ask for God’s blessing upon our lives. It’s also an excellent way for priest and parish to get to know each other! 


Just Traid, the Fair Trade shop next to St John the Baptist Church, St John’s Street, Bury, has launched an exciting new menu in their café and a wide range of goods in their shop. Well worth a break to rest your legs and your pocket, when Christmas shopping! 

  • Just Traid are also looking for volunteers to help in the shop and the kitchen. For more talk to Gill Caple. 

What is the St Edmund Fund?

The Fund deals with emergency grant applications from families or individuals in need. It also considers support for young people wishing to explore a third world project in their gap years or long vacations. 

The fund is administered by Caritas East Anglia. All applications come from the parish or endorsements from professionals working with applicants. 

Over the past year, the Fund has supported families and individuals facing homelessness or job losses resulting in rent arrears. Others helped have been dealing with the sudden onset of terminal illness. 

For more details go to:  https://www.rcdea.org.uk/caritas-east-anglia/ 

Book of the Dead

November is a traditionally the month when we pray for the dead. In both of our Churches you will find a ‘Book of the Dead’. 

Please put the names of your loved ones who have died in the book and they will be prayed for throughout November. I will also offer Mass for the Holy Souls at various points in November and they shall be remembered in those Masses. 

To add a name, simply find the page which corresponds to the month that they died and write the name in. Any name of any deceased person can be added, they do not need to have died in this last year nor do they need to be a Catholic. All people alive and dead can benefit from our prayers! 

You too can help our community -- We Need YOU!

Children’s Liturgy

Children’s Liturgy

Children’s Liturgy

 If you would be willing to help run a children’s liturgy group at Mildenhall or Brandon please speak to Fr Luke. 

Alter Servers

Children’s Liturgy

Children’s Liturgy

If you have made your first Holy Communion and would like to serve at Mass at either Brandon or Mildenhall, speak to Fr Luke. We need you! 

Mary’s Month

May -- Mary’s Month

The Lord knows full well how His children have limited the time they have for each of the many tasks they put upon themselves to the point of exhaustion. This seems especially true today when life seems lived at breakneck speed.

So, in May we have the chance to slow a little, take time out from the daily hustle. This is because May is the Month of Mary, Christ’s Mother and, thus, the Mother of the Church. 

She is the example, as well as the guide and inspiration, of everyone who, in and through the Church, seeks to be the servant of God and our sisters and brothers, and the obedient agent of the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

We have no evidence that Mary rushed about trying to do an impossible number of things all at once; nor that she scolded anyone; nor that she gossiped, argued or nagged to get her way. She took Time and did not let Time take her.

For Mary, God’s way determined her way (as in the Annunciation): she also knew that what she could not do, her Son would (Cana). Most of all, she understood that love - not the overbearing pressure of time - is the foundation and framework of a satisfied life,. Love springs from Faith and Mary lived a life of faith and piety. Piety is the virtue that protects us from reducing faith to unfeeling, loveless dogma and mindless praying.

So May is the time to renew our acquaintance of and love for God’s Mother. Saying one Hail Mary thoughtfully, or the Litany of Mary, are simple ways of renewing our reverence for her and reminding ourselves of the selfless, patient and faithful way she responded to God’s plan for her.

May this be the example we can follow in peace, freed from stress, now that the earth yields its fruits for us once more.

Our Lady of Walsingham

According to tradition, in an apparition to Lady Richeldis, the Blessed Virgin Mary fetched Richeldis’ soul from England to Nazareth during a religious ecstasy to show the house where the Holy Family once lived and in which the Annunciation of Archangel Gabriel occurred. Richeldis was given the task of building a replica house in her village, in England. The building came to be known as the "Holy House", and later became both a shrine and a focus of pilgrimage to Walsingham.

In passing on his guardianship of the Holy House, Richeldis' son Geoffrey left instructions for the building of a priory in Walsingham. The priory passed into the care of the Canons Regular of S Augustine, sometime between 1146 and 1174.

An immensely popular place of pilgrimage during the middle ages, the shrine was destroyed during the Reformation and restored in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

The Slipper Chapel is now the centre of what has become the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady and is regularly visited by people from the English dioceses and beyond. In mediaeval times this was the last staging post, where pilgrims began a 1 mile barefoot walk to the Shrine in the village. (Hence ‘Slipper’)

Our Lady of Carfin

Carfin Lourdes Grotto, is a shrine in Scotland dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, and was created in the early twentieth century. The "Carfin Grotto", as the shrine is locally referred to, was the brainchild of Father, later Canon, Thomas N. Taylor (died 1963), parish priest of St. Francis Xavier's Parish in the small, mining village of Carfin, two miles east of Motherwell. 

Following a trip to Lourdes, Canon Taylor's vision was to build a religious memorial in honour of Our Blessed Lady. Since its opening in the early 1920s, the "grotto" has attracted pilgrims in the hundreds of thousands. For the past 90 plus years, the grotto shrine has offered a pilgrimage season with Sunday processions, rosaries, outdoor masses and dedicated Feast Day events which runs annually from early May until late September. 

Our Lady of Knock

The evening of Thursday, 21 August 1879, was a very wet night. At about 8 o'clock the rain beat down in driving sheets when Mary Beirne, a girl of the village, accompanying the priest's housekeeper, Mary McLoughlin, home, stopped suddenly as she came in sight of the gable of the little church. There she saw standing a little out from the gable, were three life-size figures. She ran home to tell her parents and soon others from the village had gathered. 

The witnesses stated they saw an apparition of Our Lady, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist at the south gable end of the local small parish church, the Church of Saint John the Baptist. Behind them and a little to the left of Saint John was a plain altar. On the altar was a cross and a lamb (a traditional image of Jesus), with adoring angels 

This is now Ireland’s National Marian Shrine, and is a popular pilgrimage centre, especially for those with illnesses or disabilities. 

Our Lady of the Taper

Legend tells how, in the Middle Ages, a beautiful statue of Our Lady, her Son on her lap, and a burning taper in her hand, appeared on the banks of the River Teifi in Cardiganshire. Any attempt to move the statue to the parish church in Cardigan resulted in its reappearing at the spot where it first appeared. It became a place of pilgrimage and St Mary’s church was built on that spot in 1158. The original statue was destroyed in the Reformation. 

At the beginning of the 20th century, monks from Brittany gave their abbey church the name of Our Lady of Cardigan and revived the devotion. They made the same dedication to the small church they built in Cardigan in 1912 The monks left in 1916 and the devotion lapsed. 

In 1952, Bishop Petit learned that there had once been a shrine in Cardigan and decided to restore it. He commissioned a new statue, which was blessed in Westminster Cathedral in 1956. 

The Shrine of Our Lady of the Taper is now the national shrine for Wales and parish for the people of Cardigan and surrounding areas. 

Lectio Divina

A personal search for dialogue with God

Time set aside for Lectio Divina enables us to discover in our daily life an underlying spiritual rhythm. We discover an increasing ability to offer more of ourselves and our relationships to the Father, and to accept the embrace that God offers us in the person of his son, Jesus Christ. We can attend "with the ear of our hearts", listening for God's presence in our lives. 

How to Practice Lectio Divina as an individual

• Choose a text of the Scriptures that you wish to pray. This could be a reading for that day’s mass, or a particular book from the New Testament. The amount of text covered is in God's hands, not yours. 

• Place yourself in a comfortable position and allow yourself to become silent. This could be a few moments focused on your breathing, or a favourite prayer. Use whatever method is best for you and allow yourself to enjoy silence for a few moments. 

Turn to the text and read it slowly, gently. Savour each portion of the reading, constantly listening for the "still, small voice" of a word or phrase that somehow says, "I am for you today." In Lectio Divina, God is teaching us to listen to him, to seek him in silence. 

• Take the word or phrase into yourself. Slowly repeat it to yourself, allowing it to interact with your inner world of concerns, memories, and ideas. Memories or thoughts are simply parts of yourself that, when they rise up during Lectio Divina, are asking to be given to God along with the rest of your inner self. 

• Speak to God. Whether you use words, ideas, or images--or all three--is not important. Interact with God as you would with one you know loves and accepts you. Give to God what you have found within your heart. Experience God by using the word or phrase he has given you as a means of blessing and of transforming the ideas and memories that your reflection on his word has awakened. 

• Rest in God's embrace. And when he invites you to return to your contemplation of his word or to your inner dialogue with him, do so. Learn to use words when words are helpful, and to let go when they no longer are necessary. Rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you in both words and silence. 

How to Practice Lectio Divina as a group

 Many prayer groups find it a useful approach to collective study and prayer. 

This form of Lectio Divina works best in a group of between four and eight people. A group leader coordinates the process and facilitates sharing. The same text from the Scriptures is read out three times, followed each time by a period of silence and an opportunity for each member of the group to share the fruit of her or his Lectio. 

• The first reading is for the purpose of hearing a word or passage that touches the heart. When the word or phrase is found, the group's members take it in, gently recite it, and reflect on it during the silence that follows. After the silence, each person shares which word or phrase has touched his or her heart. 

• The second reading (by a member of the opposite sex from the first reader) is for the purpose of "hearing" or "seeing" Christ in the text. Each ponders the word that has touched the heart and asks where the word or phrase touches his or her life that day. Then, after the silence, each member of the group shares what he or she has "heard" or "seen." 

• The third and final reading is for the purpose of experiencing Christ "calling us forth" into doing or being. Members ask themselves what Christ in the text is calling them to do or to become today or this week. After the silence, each shares for the last time, and the exercise concludes with each person praying for the person on the right of him or her. 

Those who regularly practice this method of praying and sharing the Scriptures find it to be an excellent way of developing trust within a group. It also is an excellent way of consecrating projects and hopes to Christ before more-formal group meetings. 

 Based on “How to Practice Lectio Divina” Rev. Luke Dysinger OSB www.beliefnet.com 

Happenings in our Church at Large

Canonisation of Bl. John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman (1801 – 1890) was one of the foremost churchmen and theologians of his day. He studied and then taught at Oxford University, and became the Vicar of St Mary the Virgin, the University Church; he was known for his intellect, his pastoral care, and his preaching. 

A leading light of the Oxford Movement, which was seeking to move the Church of England in a Catholic direction, Newman left his considerable prospects and many friends behind when he converted to Catholicism in 1845, at a time when there was still widespread prejudice against Catholics in Britain. 

Founding the first Oratorian community of priests in Birmingham in the late 1840s, he continued to write major works of theology and philosophy as a Catholic. He founded a university for Catholics in Ireland and, in 1859, The Oratory School in Edgbaston, Birmingham. 

He was made a Cardinal in 1879 and he died in 1890. 

Pope Benedict XVI beatified him in 2010. 

Cardinal John Henry Newman is to be canonised after a second miracle in his name was confirmed by the Pope in February 2019. The canonisation (which has been welcomed by the Church of England) took place on October 13th 2019. It will make Newman the first English person who has lived since the 17th century to be officially recognised as a saint by the Church. 

Pope Francis ... on Prisoners and Prisons

"I think to myself, 'I, too, could be here.’ That is, none of us can be sure that we would never commit a crime, something for which we'd be put in prison." 

"We all make mistakes in life.  And we all must ask forgiveness and make a journey of rehabilitation so we don't make them again."

“It must be kept in mind that penal sanctions have the aim of rehabilitation, while national laws should consider the possibility of establishing other penalties than incarceration. In this context, I would like once more to appeal to governmental authorities to abolish the death penalty where it is still in force, and to consider the possibility of an amnesty." 

"Losing our freedom is not the same thing as losing our dignity.  That is why we need to reject all those petty clichés that tell us we can't change, that it's not worth trying, that nothing will make a difference."

“Prisoners who are re-entering civic society ought not be punished anew by neglect, indifference or, worse, contempt.” 

Pope Francis ... on our Catholic Church's Mission

 If one’s work as a Catholic is not united to Christ Jesus, it is no longer the “mission” to which the Church is called, Pope Francis told a group of religious brothers on Monday 29tth October. 

“Let us not forget that the condition of every mission in the Church is that we are united to the Risen Christ as branches to the vine. Otherwise what we do is social activism,” the pope said Oct. 29. 

“This is why I repeat to you the exhortation to remain in [Christ],” he continued. “First of all, we need to let ourselves be renewed in faith and hope by Jesus alive in the Word and in the Eucharist, but also in sacramental forgiveness. We need to be with him in silent adoration, in lectio divina, in the Rosary of the Virgin Mary.” 

Pope Saint Paul

On October 14th Pope Francis canonised Pope Paul VI (1963-78). Pope Saint Paul oversaw the Vatican Council, making numerous reforms. 

St Oscar Romero

On October 14th, Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917 – 1980) was canonised by 

Pope Francis. St Oscar lived almost all of his life in El Salvador. 

On 23 February 1977, he was appointed Archbishop of San Salvador. Welcomed by the 

government, many priests were disappointed, especially those openly supportive of 

liberation theology. Progressive priests feared that his conservative reputation would 

negatively affect commitment to the poor. 

However, just 17 days after his appointment, something happened which had a profound effect on him. Fr. Rutilio Grande a personal friend who had been creating self-reliance groups among the poor, was assassinated. St Oscar later said: "When I looked at Rutilio lying there dead I thought, 'If they have killed him for doing what he did, then I too have to walk the same path.' Romero urged the government to investigate, but they ignored his request. Furthermore, the censored press remained silent. 

He devoted the rest of his life to defending the vulnerable against the violence and cruelty of what became a Civil War. His sermons and broadcast speeches created many enemies in a country where assassination was commonplace. In March 1980 he urged soldiers who were Christians to keep to their faith and not follow orders to unjustly persecute and kill. The next day, saying mass at a hospital chapel, he was shot and killed. The revulsion and demands for justice raised by Salvadorans and the International Community have not yet led to the murderers being identified. 

When he was beatified, Pope Francis said of him: "His ministry was distinguished by his particular attention to the most poor and marginalized.” Hailed as a hero by supporters of liberation theology, St Oscar, according to his biographer, Jesus Delgardo, "was not interested in liberation theology" but faithfully adhered to Catholic teachings on liberation and a preferential option for the poor, desiring a social revolution based on interior reform. 

St Oscar agreed with the Catholic – and not the materialist - vision of liberation theology. A journalist once asked him: 'Do you agree with Liberation Theology' And Romero answered: "Yes, of course. However, there are two theologies of liberation. One is that which sees liberation only as material liberation. The other is that of Paul VI. I am with Paul VI… The most profound social revolution is the serious, supernatural, interior reform of a Christian. The liberation of Christ and of His Church is not reduced to the dimension of a purely temporal project. It does not reduce its objectives to … a material well-being or only to initiatives of a political or social, economic or cultural order. Much less can it be a liberation that supports or is supported by violence." 

A Prayer 

St Oscar Romero, pray for us that we too will model our lives on Christ and have the courage to face evil and work for justice. 


 If you want to be confirmed this academic year (usually in school year 9 and above) please fill out a form expressing your interest and return to Fr Luke.