PARISH DIARY – EASTERTIDE Wk 6, Psalter 2
Sun. May 9th -- SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Mildenhall - 9:00 am Mass
Brandon - 11:00 am Mass & streamed
Tues. May 11th -- Mildenhall - 10:00 am Mass & streamed
Wed. May 12th -- Brandon - 10:00 am Mass & streamed
Thurs. May 13th -- THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD
Mildenhall - 10:00 am Mass & streamed
Brandon - 19:00 (not streamed)
Fri. May 14th -- ST MATTHIAS
Brandon - 10:00 am Mass & streamed
Sun. May 9th -- SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY
Mildenhall - 9:00 am Mass
Brandon - 11:00 am Mass & streamed
Please remember to: Keep a safe distance, Keep talking inside Church to a minimum. Stay in your seats and leave at least 2 free seats between yourself and someone who is not of your household or bubble. Help us to keep you safe and to keep open!
Normally a Holy Day of Obligation, but Holy Days are currently suspended in the Pandemic. Mass will be at 10 am (and streamed) from Mildenhall and an extra Mass will be at 7pm at Brandon (provided only, if people turn up) This Evening Mass will not be streamed.
Praise God in his kingdoms,
extol him in his honours
acclaim him in his splendour.
Make every effort to praise him justly
when with assembled choirs
you sing to his honour!
Thus commences Johann Sebastian Bach’s Ascension Oratorio, a wonderful and devout piece of choral music, full of joy in Christ’s return to his Father and earnest, excited hope of meeting Him again. In this way it encompasses the whole meaning of the Ascension: it is not about mournful farewell, but the happy knowledge that Jesus does not leave us high and dry, but is both with the Father and us and will fulfil his promise to send the ‘Counsellor’ - the Holy Spirit – to advise and guide us.
Many remarkable things have been said about the Ascension, not least by those who deny it ever happened. It’s not surprising that there are doubters: the act of ascension sounds dubious and there are some myths about what happened. I remember being in Jerusalem many years ago and being shown the exact spot where Christ ascended. You knew it was the ‘lift off’ point, because he left his footprint on the ground. What I was shown was a hole in the shape of a 30” long foot and several inches deep, indicating that Jesus must have been 20’ high, at least.
Concern for proof that the Ascension happened is, in a sense, beside the point. If you accept what the Gospels say about it, that is sufficient. Why? Because it is a question of faith; that is, confidence and trust that something is true. Faith can be supported by our observations of the world about us and whatever evidence that can be got from the past. But it is no substitute for faith. When our confidence and trust rests in Jesus, our belief in what the Gospels say follows. Jesus’ size may be used as a metaphor for his greatness. The words of Bach’s Oratorio are the expression of feelings about the Ascension, not a historical account: but we can join in the joy and hope it expresses. TC
St Matthias was elected to replace Judas, after the latter had betrayed Jesus, according to the Acts of the Apostles. Not much is known about him and a number of different names is associated with him. We don’t know when he was born, we do know he died on 80 AD.
The first act of the apostles after the Ascension of Jesus was to find a replacement for Judas. But Jesus had chosen the original twelve. How could they know whom he would choose?
One hundred and twenty people were gathered for prayer and reflection in the upper room, when Peter stood up to propose the way to make the choice.
Peter had one criterion, that, like Andrew, James, John, and himself, the new apostle should be someone who had been a disciple from the very beginning of Christ’s mission, from his baptism by John until the Ascension. The reason for this was simple, the new apostle must become a witness to Jesus' resurrection. He must have followed Jesus before anyone knew him, stayed with him when he made enemies, and believed in him when he spoke of the cross and of eating his body -- teachings that had made others melt away.
Following a period of preaching in Jerusalem, he is thought to have established the faith in Cappadocia and on the shores of the Caspian Sea in what is modern-day Georgia, and he is claimed to have been buried in what is now Sevastopol in 80 AD.
We celebrate St Matthias on Friday May 14th. TC
Sources: Catholic Online. & Wikipedia
Friday May 23rd is St George’s Day, an occasion which used to feature a variety of celebratory events, especially in villages and the countryside generally. Games and shows, entertainment from Morris dancing to point-to-point horse races. Such celebrations have dwindled in the last fifty years, and St George has become more and more the patron of nationalists rather than the nation. Doubt also continues as to his existence.
Whether he did or not, whether he was a Roman soldier or a Greek farmer, whether the dragon existed or not – none of this matters. The symbolism of St George’s story rises from his rescue of the Maiden in Distress. This points directly to the duty each of us has to care for others: if that means rescuing a girl from the jaws of a dragon or helping to organise a street party or checking that our nextdoor neighbour is safe and well or helping someone to pick up something they’ve dropped or stopping to chat and cheer up someone who’s down – from the trivial to the fantastic we can honour St George by even small gestures of care for others.
In all of these ways of helping, we imitate Christ and follow him, just as St George did. In his case the reality was torture and death in defence of the faith. We may never be called to make this sacrifice, we can still humbly use the saint as a guide and model for service to Our Lord.
O GOD, you gave Saint George strength and constancy in the various torments which he sustained for our holy faith; we beseech You to preserve, through St. George’s intercession, our faith from wavering and doubt, so that we may serve You with a sincere heart faithfully unto death.
Through Christ our Lord.
This Years’ First Holy Communion class continue at the Church at 5:30pm on Wednesday.
For those who were in last year’s class: First Holy Communion Masses will take place as soon as reasonably possible. This is likely to be either just before the summer holidays, or if this is not possible, in the Autumn.
Looking for a volunteer(s) to help put together the weekly newsletter. If you feel you have the right skill set and would like to help please speak to Fr Luke.
Fr Luke and a group of parishioners have been meeting regularly on a Monday evening (when covid regs and the weather have allowed) to fly model aeroplanes. Subsequently, the “Eagles Wings” Model Flying Club has been born. If you are interested in flying and/or building model aircraft or would simply like to find out more, you are very welcome to join us. Complete beginners, young and old are welcome. Help and advice can be given, and Fr Luke has a fleet of easy to fly models if you just want to try it out! If you would like to find out more, please contact Dan Longar on 07882 183112
See the announcement from the Vatican about the Pope's prayer initiative for May and a list of the shrines and intentions on the Prayer page, second section, of this website. Click here.
Did you know that you can buy Grace from John Lewis for £34?
Of course, when we talk about grace, or include it in our prayers, we are not usually talking about perfume. We can name children as Grace, talk about someone walking ‘gracefully’, tut-tut at ‘disgraceful behaviour’ and regret someone’s ungracefulness. But it is entirely different when we pray Hail Mary full of grace. As Catholics, then, what do we mean by ‘grace’ in praying to Our Lady or in talking about the Grace of God?
The Catechism is direct and transparent in explaining this to us. Here are the headlines:
Catechism of the Catholic Church paras.1996 -1999
Grace is given to us through baptism, reconciliation, communion and all the sacraments. It is a gift freely given. Why? Not because it is free, but, because of God’s love, we are worth it. TC
... at Little J&M’s Nursery, Felixstowe; please see diocesan website for more details:
A sincere thank you to all those parishioners who have generously contributed to helping to keep the Parish going financially since the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020. It is now a year since Sunday offertory collections ceased, and we have also had reduced rental income and fundraising. A number of parishioners have started making regular offertory contributions by standing order, electronic bank transfers or by cheque. Some have also responded by making extra contributions. This has been enormously helpful, not just as a vital source of income in place of Sunday collections, but also because social distancing requirements have made normal weekly counting and banking processes impossible to operate.
How you can help
If you would like to help further, please consider the following:-
Philip Kemp, Parish Treasurer. Contact: email@example.com Tel 075144304 68
The Book of Psalms is a treasure house of poetry through which we can talk and sing to God. The name itself derives from the Greek ψαλμοί, (psalms) meaning “instrumental music” and specifically “words for instrumental music”. The 150 psalms cover almost all aspects of our relationship with God: praise, thanksgiving; repentance; regret, lamentation and sorrow; requests for help and rescue from evil and more. About a sixth are psalms praising the Almighty and include what I consider to be some of the most beautiful poetry. These include Ps8 How great is your name, O Lord, Ps22 The Lord is my shepherd, Ps 62 Longing for God, Ps66 Harvest Song, Ps150 Final summons to praise.
Does God need all this praise? Not, at least, in the sense that he is needy! Praising God is not an act of satisfying a divine being’s appetite. Rather it is the other way around, as Psalm 62 points out:
O God, you are my God, for you I long,
For you my soul is thirsting.
Nor is praise about soothing the temper of an angry God, or wheedling him in order to gain something from him. That’s not the way our relationship with God works. He loves us: we return that love by following Jesus as our model, doing what God wants of us and by acknowledging his glory. It is there at the beginning of the Gloria:
“We bless You. We adore you. We glorify You. We give You thanks for Your great glory.”
The thought of praising anyone is perhaps not a natural part of the English temperament. We may prefer our admiration of “stars”, “celebrities” or “heroes” to be low key. We may be cautious in case too much praise goes to the head and breeds chutzpah. None of this can conceivably apply to God! Praise is a joyful act, a way of happily expressing our love of God, of demonstrating the energy and excitement we experience in God’s presence and in doing his work.
Be happy! Be joyful! Praise the Lord! TC
Psalm 8 (better known as the popular hymn How Great Thou Art rejoices in God’s glory and has a special message for mankind. It comes in lines 4-6:
When I see the heavens, the work of your hands,
The moon and the stars which you arranged,
What is man that you should keep him in mind,
mortal man that you care for hymn?
Yet you have made him little less than a god:
The last line here is a kind of knockout punch. It can be interpreted in a number of ways. For example it could be a reminder of mankind’s relative insignificance: Yet you have made him little, less than a god. This could be a great disappointment to those who think they are gods, or are treated as such (dictators, some celebrities, some politicians come to mind). Perhaps a more welcome interpretation is that mankind has abilities and privileges that come near to being divine and justify doing whatever he likes, whenever he likes, to whomever he likes. Unfortunately, there is solid evidence in mankind’s history, as well as in the present times, that this isn’t true – manmade climate change, the devastation of plagues, the cruel treatment of the human family (such as slavery) and the biosphere generally are all tributes to man’s ungodliness. What the psalmist is telling us is that God, in his love of us, his care for us, his pride of us as his children, is giving us the greatest gift we could have – responsibility for caring for God’s creation. We are his stewards, and our response to God’s love is to exercise with loving care our responsibility to look after and nourish this world. Perhaps it would help us to think along the lines: God’s world has not been created for us. It is we who have been created for the world. - TC
ST CATHERINE OF SIENA (25 March 1347 – 29 April 1380)
April 29th celebrates one of the most important women of the Church who played a significant role in the resolution of the Great Schism of the West, which had seen rivals for the papal throne supported by different parties within the Church. She died on 29 April 1380, exhausted by her rigorous fasting. Urban VI celebrated her funeral and burial in the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. The devotion around Catherine of Siena developed rapidly after her death. She was canonized in 1461, declared patron saint of Rome in 1866, and of Italy (together with Francis of Assisi) in 1939.      She was the first woman (along with Teresa of Ávila) to be declared a "doctor of the Church," on 4 October 1970 by Pope Paul VI. She was also proclaimed patron saint of Europe in 1999 by Pope John Paul II.
ST JOSEPH THE WORKER
On Saturday, 1st May we celebrate one whose role was to support the Virgin Mary and the early years of Jesus. To foster deep devotion to Saint Joseph among Catholics, and in response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker in 1955. In his encyclical Laborem Exercens, Pope John Paul II stated: “the Church considers it her task always to call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to help to guide [social] changes so as to ensure authentic progress by man and societyy. Pius XII emphasized this when he said, “The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-man, Saviour of the world, but certainly, no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by it than the foster father of Jesus, who lived with Him in closest intimacy and community of family life and work.” Saint Joseph is held up as a model of such work, and reverence of him is relevant across the world today.
It is a great blessing that many people in the parish have now been vaccinated, and some even have had both vaccinations. It is important to remember, however, that vaccinations do not necessarily stop a person from transmitting the virus to someone who is not vaccinated.
A significant number in our parish, including the Parish Priest, have yet to be vaccinated.
Therefore, it is imperative both legally and for other people’s safety that social distancing continues at this time. It is important to remember that:
Talking in Church is kept to an absolute minimum (Evidence suggests talking in an enclosed space increases risk of transmission, even with a mask) Talk to God in Church and talk to others, safely outside!
You stay seated: When you arrive at Church you are either allocated a seat (on a Sunday) or you go directly to a spare seat. It is important that you do not get up and move around the Church building. Moving unnecessarily increases risk transmission around the Church.
Please refrain from touching unnecessary surfaces: Churches are cleaned after every Mass, however, with the best will in the world this is not 100% effective. Please help us to be safer my minimizing the surfaces you touch i.e., Statues, Dry Holy Water Font, Backs of chairs etc.
Please Remember to keep a safe distance from one another (2m where possible), especially before and after Mass and when entering and leaving the Church.
WE ARE GETTING THROUGH THIS! KEEP GOING!
Help us to keep you safe and to keep open!
“Fortunately, Easter in our hemisphere always coincides with the yearly arrival of spring – a season full of growth and promises. The magical glory of early spring speaks of warm, clear and sunny days, when our trees are dressed in their new foliage and when the splendour of a visible renewal is ongoing.
Nothing is so glorious to contemplate at this time of year than the gradual greening of the pasture fields. Nurtured by March rains and warming sun, the fresh new tender green appears slowly in our meadows. What a sight that is on a clear day with the sun shining up above it! As I walk through the nearby countryside, and gaze at all sorts of newness appearing in the trees and in the fields, I delight in the springing up in our gardens, meadows and woodland – a symbol of the springing up taking place in our hearts by the power of Christ’s Resurrection. Jesus, our spring-time Lamb, through His Paschal immolation, has planted the seed of divine life in our innermost being. This new seed now begins to germinate, to show forth its lustre. Spring and Easter harmonize to bring us from sorrow and death to the affirmation of life.”
Blessings of the Daily • Brother Victor-Antione d’Avila-Latourrette
Two Prayers for Easter
May the glory and the promise of this joyous time of year bring peace and happiness to you and those you hold most dear.
And may Christ, Our Risen Saviour, always be there by your side to bless you most abundantly and be your loving guide.
— Author Unknown
Better for you than all that chocolate?
Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty Christ is Risen indeed from the dead, the first of the sleepers, Glory and power are his forever and ever. — St. Hippolytus of Rome
St Gregory the Great’s Easter Prayer
It is only right, with all the powers of our heart and mind, to praise You Father and Your Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Father, by Your wondrous condescension of Loving-Kindness toward us, Your servants, You gave up Your Son.
Dear Jesus You paid the debt of Adam for us to the Eternal Father by Your Blood poured forth in LovingKindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin by Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled Heaven and earth. Our life had no hope of Eternal Happiness before You redeemed us. Your Resurrection has washed away our sins, restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness of Your Love!
We pray You, Lord, to preserve Your servants in the peaceful enjoyment of this Easter happiness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with God The Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen .
“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:21)
We read last week about the Annunciation to Mary of God’s wishes and her readiness to accept the mission He offered her. Mary was young, but not a child: she must have been aware of her people’s belief and acceptance that God often spoke to His people. She would also have known how people in her village would react to any claim she made that she was to. bear the Son of God. Raised eyebrows, sneers and nasty gossip awaited her. And that is probably what happened, once her pregnant condition became apparent. Even her espoused, Joseph, found it difficult to believe until God tapped him on the shoulder and told him to accept the truth – indeed, to accept that he had a pivotal role in the child’s upbringing.
So from the very beginning, Mary’s life became one of joy and pain: joy in God’s gift, in the way in which the boy grew to be wise and knowledgeable in her people’s faith, in the work he did when an adult, in caring for the poor and unprivileged, in getting the people to face up to sin and seek forgiveness: but also pain in the cost of her son’s work, in the enmity of the ignorant and the authorities and ultimately in His cruel death. Joy finally in His resurrection and, perhaps, some pain in his departure through the Ascension.
This, you might say, is the lot of all mothers: children bring joy and pain in differing proportions from birth onwards. Mary, as we read last week, is a model for all mothers. This is often translated into a model that suits men’s cosy picture of the perfect mother (all woman, even) – someone who may be resourceful, caring and protective, but, above all else, meek and compliant with other’s wishes. This picture omits perhaps the most important human quality Mary shows throughout her life: in addition to her trust in God, she was mightily courageous, with a strength that carried her through the pain of her sufferings and the meek acceptance of joy. That is the perfect mother.
There is no one, after God, who loves us as much as the most loving Mother does.
Furthermore, if we heaped together all the love that mothers have for their children, all the love of husbands and wives, all the love of all the angels and Saints for their clients, it could never equal Mary’s love for even a single soul.
Amen St Alphonsus Liguori
This is a time when the grief of parting with a loved one is increased by the difficulty in being able to show our love for them, or, as someone said to me recently, “celebrate their funeral properly”. Even though restrictions are easing slowly, the road back normality still seems a very long one.
Although we may not be present, or not taking part as we would wish, we can be comforted by the knowledge that neither the Covid 19 virus or government regulations prevent Jesus being by the side of our loved one This prayer by Denis McBride can help us too:
‘We ask you, Lord, to abide with all your people in the evening of their life.
Grant that the failing powers of their body may be matched by an increase in faith in you, so that, trusting themselves to your mercy, they may live in quiet confidence and peace.”
CAFOD are looking ahead to their new campaign Reclaim Our Common Home.
Petition: As part of the campaign, please encourage as many people as possible to sign CAFOD;s petition to the Prime Minister ahead of the UN climate talks that will take place in Glasgow in November. You can find the petition on www.cafod.org.uk/reclaim.
Pray for Our Common Home: In collaboration with other Christian NGOs, CAFOD invites everyone to join a year of prayer for our common home. Prayer is at the foundation of our Christian life, and in such challenging times as these, prayer is needed more than ever. Joining the initiative is simple. Pick a day and time you want to pray and sign up at www.cafod.org.uk/Pray/Prayer-without-ceasing. From now until the end of the UN climate talks in November, we’ll be praying without ceasing to renew the earth.
... for Prayer, Special Occasions and more….
Anna Liwak who kindly makes our Paschal Candle each year makes and sells bespoke candles. If you would like one of her candles for you or a loved one please contact her on 07741209889 or check out her Facebook page:
Following Christ’s journey through Lent, we should be amazed at His generosity in teaching, healing and loving all he met: and we should experience our own humility that we can share these gifts too. But what is this humility?
“Taking the knee” has become a widespread symbol of opposition to racism. It is a genuflection with the specific purpose of committing oneself to a particular cause, to act in solidarity with others of like minds. The same action has been, and still is, used for a variety of purposes. People kneel to show respect for others and to acknowledge they are, in some way, higher in status to us (e.g. they have authority over us). We may kneel in making a commitment to others (as when someone is knighted). We kneel to ask someone to marry us, an act of commitment to loving that person.
We are used to genuflecting. At Mass, we “take the knee” before the tabernacle. When we do, we are signalling three very important things about the nature and depth of our faith:
Humility is something that gets a bad press in these days of so-called self-dependence. Fortunately, one blessing of the Covid 19 disease has been the way in which most people have moved away from such selfishness to help one another. That, though heartening, is not what is meant by christian humility.
True humility includes helping those who need it: however, it can lead us into self-gratification and a swift stroll down the path taken by Dickens’ Uriah Heap, who was proud of saying the he was “very ‘umble”, although all the while being a hypocrite.
For christians, humility is a fundamental act of giving – giving not just material things, but surrendering to Jesus everything – all of us. In the words of the old song, we act with humility when we can say to Our Lord “All of me, just take all of me.”
Tom Caple’s book of poems Stations of the Cross is available free. Each poem is a reflection for each Station. Contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org. Voluntary donations will go to the Parish.
Whatever Mary was planning for her life with Joseph, it did not include becoming pregnant outside that relationship. An unexpected word interrupts the routine of ordinary time and proposes a ground-breaking diversion from what is planned; nothing less than a startling new future is proposed. Will Mary stay with her own domestic plans or risk an uncharted adventure as God’s collaborator? Mary’s annunciation to the angel enshrines her response in consenting to the word of God happening to her. “I am the handmaid of the Lord … let what you have said be done to me.” (Luke 1:38). Mary gives up her own wishes an adopts God’s desire; she gives up personal control of her life in favour of God’s promise; in her response she pledges her body and spirit to the purposes of God. Mary welcomes the unforeseen and adjusts her life to this new adventure. [Mary] …… is the one who, when hearing the word of God, gladly allows that word to form her life. Later, her son will say during his public ministry: “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice (Luke 8:21). Mary is now presented as the perfect disciple who is the bearer of the word and a doer of the word. With that response the angel takes his leave. Thus, Mary becomes the literal embodiment of the promise of God: she conceives the promise, she becomes pregnant with the promise and she will give birth to the promise. The choice she makes and honours will earn her the first title she was accorded by the Church: theotikos, God-bearer. The promise will be called “Holy, the Son of God.
“Mary showed complete trust in God by agreeing to be used as an instrument in spite of her nothingness because she knew that he who is mighty could do great things in her and through her. Once she said ‘yes’ to him, she never doubted. She was just a young woman, but she belonged to God and nothing nor anyone could separate her from him.” Sr Teresa of Calcutta
From Throughout the Year with Mary • Denis McBride C.Ss.R. Diary 2021
Bury St Edmunds, has been selected by Suffolk County Council to provide education for children with moderate learning difficulties. This means a purpose-built unit of three classrooms will be built on site. This is a wonderful opportunity to develop education for the most vulnerable within our community and live our mission as a Catholic school. It will be the first unit in the Diocese. We hope the parish community will add their support to this exciting venture by going to the planning application and leaving a comment. http://suffolk.planningregister.co.uk/Planning/Display?applicationNumber=SCC%2F0013%2F21B
You can get the Universe delivered direct to your home every week, POST FREE. Please go to www.thecatholicuniverse.com or call them on 0161 820 5722 and they will arrange for you.
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It is, perhaps, too easy to treat Lent as a period of gloom as we follow the road to Jesus’ earthly death. True, it is a time for reflecting on Christ’s mission and sacrifice, together with our own relationship with God. But it is not a season for wearing sackcloth and ashes for 24 hours a day. It is a time for refreshing and developing our understanding of God’s love for us and for our role in His creation. Thomas Merton’s reflections on Life are helpful in increasing our knowledge of and faith in the world Christ came to save:
“[Our] creation in the image and likeness of God proclaims that the creation was indeed a triumph of life. When God breathed into the face of Adam, everything in man came alive: not only his body, not only his mind, but also his spirit in which the image of God was hidden. And the image of God was live with likeness to God, that is to say with contemplation. …… God lived in him and he lived in God. …….
When we say that the creation of the first son of God was a triumph of life, we mean that every aspect of human living was exalted and sanctified at the dawn of man’s history. Man’s whole existence, not only in his relations with his own kind (Eve) and with the rest of the created world, were transfigured by divine insights and by an awareness of the inmost reality and value of everything that had come from the hand of God.”
The New Man Thomas Merton Burns & Oates 1962
Lent can be a time when we mourn how Adam and Eve lost this divinity; but, much more important, we can reflect on how Jesus offers to restore these gifts of God. In his mission amongst us, in his suffering on the Cross, in his death and resurrection and his ascension, Jesus invites us to follow him to a life in paradise. This is the joy we can take from Lent. This is how we can mourn death and, at the same time, celebrate life, as we put our lives in the service of our beloved Saviour.
“Friendship …. Should be a wonderful kind of togetherness where each of the friends encourages and liberates each other into the fulness of their own potential. Friends very often become habitual with each other and they limit the potential of their friendship. If you feel with your friend that you are called to the outer frontiers, then the friendship is in growth, and it also has a bit of danger in it, and risk; and without risk in the world of the soul, nothing really grows.”
Walking on the Pastures of Wonder John O’Donohue • Veritas 2015
Do not fall into the trap that, because we are physically distanced from our friends, whether by yards, miles or continents, we fear that friendship will languish. I don’t need to list the variety of ways though which we can keep in touch with others. Even if we have to adopt a holding position during this period of lockdown, we now have some strong indicators of when we will be hugging them again. First among these friends, and unaffected by lockdown, should be Jesus. Now is the time to begin preparing for that closer re-union:think about what you can do to take friendship further to the “outer frontiers”.
“Silence is something sacred. It ought to be greatly respected and avidly cultivated, for God abides in eternal silence. It is in that eternal silence that the Father uttered a Word. And the Word became flesh to communicate to us the meaning, the mystery of that divine silence. It is our duty, therefore, to keep a silent space within our hearts, so that we may be able to hear the Word.
In spiritual life, the practice of exterior silence and that of interior silence have always been intimately connected. One does not exist without the other. When the heart, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, … [is[ …truly silent and pacified , the divine life hidden within is revealed. …… an ancient monk used to encourage in his disciples the practice and necessity of silence by telling them ‘The love of silence ultimately leads to the silence of love.’ “
Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette • Blessings of the Daily
Whatever trials and tribulations the Covid 19 Pneumonia and government regulations and advice may bring us, one gift is the opportunity to be silent. This is important. Many lead isolated lives at present: all of us may fear those times when we have no-one to talk too, or when others are too absorbed in their own fears and worries to listen to us or to express their anxieties. Yet for us, it is a golden opportunity to ask for the support of the Holy Spirit in adopting the silence that leads to peace of heart and the recognition of God’s love.
You might start with reading the Gospel of the day in your missal, or silently praying the Lord’s Prayer or saying a Hail Mary to seek her intercession. Think about the words of these prayers. Don’t try to analyse them but allow them to float around in your head, until they fade into silence. You are now on your way to the spiritual silence that, by leading to peace of soul, brings with it peace of mind and body. TC
Walking from Mildenhall to Eriswell the other day, I was reflecting on the fact that I have slowed down. I used to be able to walk four miles an hour; I now can only do a little over three miles. Age is catching up on me, I thought; then realised that was silly. Ageing is a good, though not always accurate, indicator of what we can do or no longer take for granted, a reminder that nothing stands still and that change is a persistent and personal experience.
As we realise that there are some things we can no longer do, or do as often or as frequently or as competently, we need to face up to the importance and difficulty of being patient. This is a Christian issue. Jesus practised patience each minute of his life – in loving his parents and disciples and waiting for their slowly growing grasp of who he was and what he was doing. He needed patience to deal with the tricks of scribes and pharisees who tried to trip him up regularly. His love of the sick and poor made him patient in coping with the not necessarily grateful demands of those who came for his help; the fatigue and tiredness he experienced day by day in pursuing his mission required patience as did his suffering during his Passion.
Our commitment, our responsibility, our burden and joy, as Christians, is to follow him. As St Polycarp often said to his disciples “let us be imitators of his patience.” St john Chrysostom wrote: “Patience means that we should endure as Christ endured ……. Also, we should wait for him, that is, we should be prepared …... For this is to love God, to endure and not to be troubled”
Today as we prepare for Lent and continue to cope with the challenges and demands of living with a deadly virus amongst us, let us practice patience: patience to wait for the decline of Covid 19 and its effects; and patience to follow Jesus to his death and resurrection knowing that such loyalty will bring the joy of redemption.
Lord Jesus, give us. the grace to hear your voice.
And the strength to continue working for your kingdom in this time of pandemic.
Do not allow us to be indifferent to those who today suffer the loss of a loved one, or who suffer because of the absence of work.
But give us the courage to accompany and side with those who suffer violence or injustice.
CAFOD: Javier Edwardo Martinez Rueda
... reached retirement age some time ago, but Pope Francis asked him to stay on as our Bishop until such a time as his successor would be appointed. Bishop Alan would now like the diocese to join together in actively praying for his successor and our future Bishop. He suggests the prayer below:
O God, Eternal Shepherd, who govern your flock with unfailing care, grant in your boundless fatherly love a pastor for your church who will please you by his holiness and show to us watchful care. Through our Lord Jesus Christ your son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.
Our Lady of Walsingham, Pray for us.
St Felix, Pray for us.
All Holy Martyrs and Saints of East Anglia, Pray for us.
To offer support during the pandemic while many are unable to get to Mass and communal Mass books and missalettes are not permitted, CTS are offering The CTS New Sunday Missal 2021 for just £1.99 while stocks last.
This liturgical companion for Catholics is beautifully designed for every churchgoer and runs from the First Sunday of Advent 2020 to Christ the King 2021.
To order go to https://www.ctsbooks.org/product/cts-sunday-missal-2021/ or call 020 7640 0042
There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances, noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings, and that the reasons for this may not be visible to others. This includes (but is not limited to):
A reminder that at this current time Holy Communion can only be received on the hand. Please place your hands flat (do not try and take the host from the priest) so that the host can be placed on your hands without the priest touching your hand. Holy communion should be received in silence, understandably many of us go into ‘auto pilot’ and say “Amen” without thinking. However, where possible please try and remember to refrain from saying “Amen”. Please also, where possible, stretch out your hands over the barrier as to keep maximum physical distance from the priest at the moment of Communion.
News of success in testing a new vaccine with which to fight the Covid-19 disease comes at the right time, when many are confused, frustrated or downcast as the coronavirus continues to spread and restrictions aimed at halting it seem more and more to turn houses into prisons and homes into cells of isolation.
We should therefore rejoice in the optimism that the New Year will hopefully bring the beginning of a nationwide vaccination programme and that we will see the threat posed by Covid-19 reduced to the same manageable level of Flu and other viruses. But the battle is not over yet! In the meantime, we must continue to observe government regulations and guidance, wear masks, keep our distance and cautiously safeguard and respect the safety and dignity of others and ourselves.
A daily prayer for this might help:
Lord: Help us to control our impulses and maintain discipline safeguarding the health and wellbeing of those around us and others we encounter today. Amen
We are currently unable to hold any second collections at Mass and we are not obliged to do so for the remainder of this year. If, however, you would like to donate to one of these collections, please make a bank transfer to the parish with the relevant charity as the ‘payee reference’, alternatively you can send a cheque to the parish with the name of the second collection written on the back of the cheque. The collections that are listed are mandatory collections for the first half of this year; the parish, therefore, will make a donation to these. If you would like to give to these causes (even retrospectively) then please donate either via bank transfer or cheque as outlined above.
VOCATIONS - Sunday April 25th – Vocations Sunday
CATHOLIC COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK - Sunday May 16th – World Communications Sunday
BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE LIFE CHARITIES - Sunday June 20th – Day for Life
PETER’S PENCE - Sunday June 27th – Peter’s Pence
John Wyclif, in Of Prelates in 1382, wrote “Charite schuld bigyne at hem-self” and others, such as John Marston (1610) and Sir Thomas Browne (1642) have proved authors of its use as “Charity begins at home.” It is, in my view, used too frequently to discourage charitable giving to others, especially foreigners: that is, “charity should begin at home and end there.” That’s a pity, because it shows ignorance of the origin of the saying. The notion that family should be one’s foremost concern is in 1 Timothy 5:8: “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
This is not a recommendation to have compassion only for one’s nearest and dearest. It and the proverb itself are much deeper in meaning than an exhortation to meanness. For me, an Australian Baptist Minister, Melinda Cousins, summed it up in a blog, six years ago:
“… my understanding is that the saying as it was originally taken up …. was meant to refer to the fact that virtues are cultivated in the everyday – that is, we learn to be compassionate and charitable people at home; [and] that capacity within us as human beings begins to develop there, and then grows as we exercise it outside the home.”
‘Can we please stop saying ‘Charity begins at home?’ Thinking Aloud 2014
The word ‘charity’ entered the English language to mean ‘Christian love for others’, especially the poor. It has often been linked to agapé, or unconditional love, the most Christ-like love there can be. That’s a far cry from restricting compassion to just your aunty.
As we learn to love God through experience of His love for us, so we learn how that kind of loving can be the route to helping those in need, wherever in the world they are, and thus demonstrating, with the humility and tenderness agapé requires, God’s love and His Son’s offer of salvation.
CHARITY AND THE POOR
Last week we saw that charity does begin at home, when “home” is your heart stirred by God’s love into having compassion for others, that is, the poor, whether poor in spirit or in material things. Let us look at the latter.
Pope Francis has summed up the issue succinctly, as usual: “Jesus tells us what the ‘protocol’ is, on which we will be judged. It is the one we read in chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel: I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was in prison, I was sick, I was naked and you helped me, clothed me, visited me, took care of me. Whenever we do this to one of our brothers, we do this to Jesus. Caring for our neighbour; for those who are poor, who suffer in body and in soul, for those who are in need. This is the touchstone.” From Papa Francesco: Questa economia uccide (Pope Francis: This economy kills) by Andrea Tornielli &. Giacomo Galeazzivia
This will be news to few of us. There are an estimated 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, every one of whom will have heard this extract from Matthew’s Gospel. One in twelve people in the UK are Catholic – that’s 5 million people in our country who have heard this bit of Good News. There are 736 million in the world in extreme poverty, who have little or no access to fresh water or adequate health care and, if they are employed at all, earn less than £1.42 per day. What could you do with only £1.42 a day or the equivalent of £9.94 for a seven day working week?
Here in England it has recently been revealed that some workers in the garment industry are working for less than £3 per hour. Again, how would you manage on £150 (gross) for a 50 hour week? It is mystifying why these inequalities continue, when there are so many of us charged by Jesus to aid the poor. What to do? We’ll look at that next week. [Statistics about global poverty are attached to this Newsletter.] TC
CHARITY & THE POOR – HOW TO CREATE A TSUNAMI
In 2015, more than 700 million people, or 10 per cent of the world population, lived in extreme poverty, struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation. Until 2019, That figure dropped dramatically to less than 5 per cent.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic is reversing the trend of poverty reduction, with tens of millions of people in risk of being pushed back into extreme poverty - people living on less than $1.90/day - causing the first increase in global poverty in more than 20 years. Given the scale of the problem, it seems that ordinary people, like you and me, can do little to stop this trend. That is not true. There is much that we can do locally, and for the world
There is much we can do:
These may be small acts of generosity, but small gestures build up to create tsunamis of love for our neighbours here and across the world. TC
Although we still cannot use our churches as a collection centre for the Food Bank, people’s needs remain. You don’t have to be unemployed to get help from a Food Bank. Those in low paid jobs, including those still furloughed, struggle to provide themselves and their families with the basic essentials of daily living, from food to hygiene and health products.
CORONAVIRUS INITIATIVE: CAFOD has joined with the UK Disasters Emergencies Committee to help millions of people whose lives are at risk, as coronavirus spreads across refugee camps and countries suffering conflict.
COVID -19 has swept cross the world. Over 1,450,000 people have died and more than 43 million have survived it. Western nations have the highest survival rates. Poor countries have the worst.
Please remember and join in CAFOD’S Coronavirus Campaign. Go to www.cafod.org.uk/coronavirus
You can donate at www.cafod.org.uk/coronavirus to help CAFOD scale up its coronavirus response through our Global Church family. Or use CAFOD’s Summer of Hope fundraising ideas with your family and friends to transform lockdown and raise money for the appeal: for more information go to www.cafod.org.uk/summerofhope .
CAFOD Beirut Emergency Appeal
The explosions In Beirut have left hundreds of families with NOTHING.
Local organisations and volunteers are already on the frontlines, assisting hospitals and attending to the injured.
YOU CAN HELP: go to https://cafod.org.uk/donations/one-off?_Amounts=25&_Appeal=121949
CAFOD’S REACH. Here’s a short list of their campaigns. Click on each to get an up-to-date report.
If you have an APF Red Box, you can now leave or have it delivered at one of our churches. Sue Dean will arrange its collection and processing
TO BE A CHRISTIAN IS TO BE A MISSIONARY - YOU CAN HELP BY PRAYING FOR THE MILL HILL MISSIONARIES AND DONATING THROUGH USING A RED BOX.
Our Red Box (Missio) collection for 2019 amounted to £1318.56 and the parish was 15th out of 56 parishes - a very good result. Well done!
Thank you for helping their Missionary work. Please keep up this good work for 2020.
Not got a Red Box? Some spare boxes are at the back of the church. Take one and tell Sue Dean or Fr Luke.
The first series of talks have finished for the time being, but the full catalogue is available below.
Topics covered thus far:
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 email@example.com .
(Please see the Church Services page for updates.)
Mass is now celebrated with a congregation in both of our churches and is also available to view and follow online live on this website and on Facebook.
With the return of public Masses, both churches need to be cleaned after every Mass. Stewards are also needed for both churches to help with seating and moving around the church for Holy Communion. Please do volunteer (we cannot do this without you) to help by cleaning or stewarding. Special disinfectant spray has been ordered so cleaning between Masses will only really entail spraying seats and surfaces and wiping door handles. (PPE can be provided.)
Altar Servers: whilst restrictions are in place no Altar servers are allowed at this time.
A reminder that at this current time Holy Communion can only be received on the hand. Please place your hands flat (do not try and take the host from the priest) so that the host can be placed on your hands without the priest touching your hand. Holy communion should be received in silence, understandably many of us go into ‘auto pilot’ and say “Amen” without thinking. However, where possible please try and remember to refrain from saying “Amen”. Please also, where possible, stretch out your hands over the barrier as to keep maximum physical distance from the priest at the moment of Communion.
My newspaper informs me that we are now a divided nation, between those who comply with the government’s requirement to wear masks and those who don’t. I have never trusted implicitly what the papers or other news media say. They each have their own agendas and I have learned to step carefully between fact and fiction, propositions and prejudices, truth and lies.
Even so, it is worth thinking about what a mask does that is acceptable to some people and intolerable for others.
A mask, of the type we have to wear in close contact, hides the mouth and jaw and the more prominent part of the nose. As such, Masks make it difficult to recognise people and just as difficult for us to project the kind of person we are.
One way of justifying not wearing a mask was summed up in something I overheard. “Well, Jesus never wore a mask, did he?!” True, as far as we know. However, Christ the Man was not facing an epidemic of the sort we face today.
The Son of God was dealing with a much more virulent and deadly disease – sin, the loss of faith in salvation, hope of rescue, and love of our neighbour. His mission to restore and deepen faith, strengthen hope and keep love’s flames burning was rooted in the truth of the psalms that remind us we are “a little less than god” (Ps.8.6) and “sons of the most high” (Ps.81.6). As such we are servants of God (Ps.133 and servants to others.
To be children of God, His servants and of service to one another, it seems to me at least, to justify a small act – wearing a face mask to protect those whom we meet and to avoid the plague so that we can continue to do His work. TC
Please note that at this time, our buildings will only be used for public Mass; no other groups will meet in the Churches. Anyone accessing the building other than for Mass or to clean must clear this with Fr Luke first.
Sacristy: Sacristies are strictly out of bounds to all people, without exception (Fr Luke will act as his own sacristan for the time being) (Mildenhall parishioners must not use back door to enter church.)
Toilets: If necessary one toilet will be available for everyone to use in each of our churches.
Time in buildings: Please arrive just before Mass and leave shortly after (unless you are cleaning).
Thetford has a new Rosary group and with that an email address has been set up for intentions. Please feel free to email Thetfordrosary@gmail.com and your intention will be offered on a specific date. You will receive an acknowledgement, and this can be for your own personal intention or for someone you know. The intention will be prayed by someone from the rosary group and all details will be confidential.
Fr Luke writes: My rest-day (day off) is usually on a Monday. This means that (except of course for emergencies) I will not usually respond to phone calls, messages, or emails from Sunday late-afternoon/evening until Tuesday morning at the earliest. For non-urgent matters and general parish admin I would most grateful if you can contact the presbytery between Tuesday and Saturday. Thank you for help and understanding with this. God bless you.
Fr Luke writes:
Would you like a personal visit from the Risen Lord? Although restrictions prevent people receiving Holy Communion and gathering in Church. As a ‘religious worker’ I am key worker and so can come to you and assist you. I can bring the Blessed Sacrament to your home, expose the Host in small monstrance at your door, window or back garden if there is a side entrance (keeping 6ft away) lead prayers with you and then give you Benediction.
So how about it? Are you missing Jesus? Want to pray together in person? Contact me now and we’ll book in time for a visit from the Risen Lord! I will remain at your door/garden/front window with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I will not come in, social distancing will be observed at all times.
“This course is dedicated to helping you get the facts you want with regard to Catholic teaching and history, so you can have your questions answered in your search for truth. As you study the Church’s teachings, practices and history, you may find—as many others have—that there’s a lot you never knew about the Catholic faith! Like training for a race or sporting event, it requires time, commitment, discipline and friends but we know that the fruits of the labour will better equip us on our journey.”
Please consider joining a group of people via ZOOM for about 30 mins each morning to pray and explore our glorious Catholic faith. TASTE and SEE START: THURSDAY 3 rd of SEPTEMBER via ZOOM at 7am Email for more details: MOSJ@olise.co.uk or Declan on 07853140355
Don’t worry you can now just visit our website!
The Facebook live steam in now integrated with our parish website, this means you can simply go to the parish website and see the live stream. The video will appear in a screen below the main logo (active while services are being streamed live). If it doesn’t appear after a few minutes refresh the page. If still having problems, click on the link in the box below the live stream place holder.
For those of you who are using Facebook and commenting, please continue to do so as you can only interact with the page through Facebook.
The Irish station Radio RTE, which is based in Dublin, is broadcasting to the UK on long wave 252kHz. Every other Sunday they broadcast Mass at 11am.
Radio Maria England, which is based in Cambridge, broadcasts on DAB+ in Greater London and on DAB (Band 11C 220.352 MHz) in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding areas. You can also listen to it from across East Anglia online at https://radiomariaengland.uk Broadcasts include Masses, the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, and morning and evening prayer.
EWTN, which has a base in Walsingham, Norfolk, produces a wide range of radio programmes and can be reached on https://www.ewtn.com/radio
Premier Christian Radio is on DAB, Internet and can be also accessed via TV Freeview 725.
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.
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!
(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.
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.
There can be a bit of a back log with Mass intentions:
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.
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/
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.
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
IF SILENCE IS GOLDEN, PLEASE GIVE JESUS A LITTLE OF YOUR GOLD
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.
Thank you all for helping to keep the parish going, your generosity means we are surviving as a parish. Although we have returned to public Masses, we are still not able to take a collection at Mass, so we still rely on your giving:
Please consider how you can donate at least equal to your 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
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 the first Monday of each month.
Thank you to all those who have been making bank transfers or forwarded cheques as offertory donations to the Parish since the lockdown commenced. Bank transfers are preferred but if you do make cheque payments please note that the payee details for the Parish are "Brandon and Mildenhall Catholic Parish".
THANK YOU for helping in keeping the parish going.
Fr. Luke Goymour, Parish Priest
Philip Kemp, Parish Treasurer
New Gift Aid envelopes have arrived but are not being distributed until Sunday Mass collections resume. Parishioners who are in the Gift Aid scheme are encouraged to make their offertory contributions preferably by bank transfer, or by cheque, as indeed many are doing so already. Your contributions are still being collated for Gift Aid claim purposes. Many thanks.
Thank you to those who have signed up to GA. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
I am obliged to inform existing members of the Gift Aid Scheme that I will be claiming tax rebates for 2019-20 tax year on your behalf unless informed of the contrary. You are also requested to advise me of any changes in address, post code or name in the last 12 months.
Philip Kemp, Parish Treasurer & Gift Aid Organiser
Tel 07514430468; Email email@example.com
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!
50:50 Club Winnings
I will hold on to the monthly winnings until after the lockdown. Alternatively winners can email me their bank details to facilitate a bank transfer.
Winners for July and August 2020 were published in the Parish Newsletter for the week of September 6th, 2020.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
The Easter Mass Offering is normally an important contribution to annual income of the Parish Priest. If you are considering making a BACs (online transfer) for this purpose please reference it 'Fr Luke'.
Fr Luke writes: Thank you so much for all your kind offerings, gifts and cards all appreciated, I hope that despite everything you are still able to enter into the joy of season and celebrate our faith in the Risen Lord.
Needs our help!
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 at this time, 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
... who contributes to the Food Bank. We thank God for this opportunity to comfort our brothers and sisters.
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.
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?
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.
Pax Christi (The Peace of Christ) works for:
To do this Pax Christi works to:
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:
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.
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
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
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 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:
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.
The Rome-based Community of Sant” Egidio brokered an agreement between RENAMO and FRELIMO forces, ending ten years of war.
1996 -- The movement to oust Serbia dictator Slobodan Milosevic, which began in November 1996 with Serbs conducting daily parades and protests in Belgrade and other cities. At that time, however, Serb democrats lacked a strategy to press on the struggle and failed to launch a campaign to bring down the Milosovic dictatorship. In early October 2000, the Otpor (Resistance) movement and other democrats rose up again against Milosevic in a carefully planned nonviolent struggle.
1999 to Present -- Popular protests of corporate power & globalization begin with Seattle WTO protest in Seattle, 1999. This is what set the trend for the Occupy movement which is still alive.
2001 -- The “People Power Two” campaign, ousts Filipino President Estrada in early 2001.
Young stilt walkers used circus acts and carnival in the streets to transform the climate of violence spread by brutal youth gangs.
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
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. "
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.’
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.
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!
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/
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!
were donated to the parish and have come from the shrine at Krakow. To find out more about this devotion please take a leaflet from the rack at the back of Church.
If you would be willing to help run a children’s liturgy group at Mildenhall or Brandon please speak to Fr Luke.
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!
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.
• 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.
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
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