Thursday, 14 February 2008

Ss. Cyril & Methodius, Patron Saints of Europe

Yesterday I have been invited to speak to the Christian Union at Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls (crest above). I was impressed with the good turn out and encouraged to find so many young people who are committed Christians. I spoke about our relationship with Christ and the need of prayer. The questions afterwards showed how much Christ and the Christian faith is important for these people. I thanked them after the meeting and I thank them again from here. I left the school richer than when I arrived.

This is indeed an eventful week. Organising the Palm Sunday Procession with the competent authorities is no easy task but I have received overwhelming help and encouragement from them. Between funeral visits and other visits there was hardly any time left in the day but so far managed to produce a booklet for the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday and the sheet for the Stations of the Cross, wrote a funeral sermon and almost finished my sermon for Lent II. I am also putting the final touches for the Pastoral Visit by our Bishop at the end of this month.

Last Tuesday we had a very good turn out for our first in the series of Credo '08. Fr James Southward SSC was our guest speaker and we were all impressed by the research he had done and the engaging way that he delivered his talk. It generated some very engaging questions. We are truly grateful to Fr James.

Another good turnout happened last night for the Wednesday evening Stations of the Cross followed by Mass. The devotion of the stations is truly moving and so enriching during Lent.

Fr Mark is also hard at work this week and bravely fighting an ear infection. Today he took Communion in one of our nursing homes and at lunchtime he will speak to the staff of the home about preparing Christians for their death. This was by request from the staff at the home and shows how people engage with the church when they see the church engaging with them.

I now look forward for tomorrow as we prepare the pew sheets for Sunday and all the other devotions and duties attached with the day. For the Fridays in Lent we are reflecting on the stations held by Christians in the Holy Land which coincide with the five sorrowful mysteries and add Our Lady of Sorrows on the Friday before Palm Sunday: so the scourging at the pillar will be our meditation tomorrow. Some of the new chasubles and the monstrance will arrive tomorrow too.

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