Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Parish Church of St Augustine of Canterbury in Kilburn, London.

After the morning round of religion, Fr Mark and I caught the train for London; we shared the journey with a delightful member of our congregation. Whilst we were on the way, Jackie, our Pastoral Assistant, led the worship for our Jolly Tots in church. Today they focused on the Annunciation and Jackie had a little one dressed as an angel, she also took the children round the church looking for all the images of Our Lady, and at St John’s images of Our Lady there are plenty. Jackie tells me that both the young ones and their parents enjoyed the worship and this is a cause of rejoicing as we consolidate our links with this group.
At London we went to Gordon Square for the Fulham clergy meeting. It is a joy to be united with brother priests around our bishop – it gives a sense of collegiality and unity which at this time is sorely needed. Bishop John is truly a Father in God who knows his priests and their congregations – we look forward to have him with us on Sunday for our big day.
After the meeting I had the joy of sharing some time with a priest friend, catching up on what we are doing, our hopes and aspirations.
This was followed by a visit to Billy, my barber. He is from Damascus and after about five years going to him monthly we have become friends – he has a wonderful family. Every time I go, at some stage of the proceedings, he lifts up his arms in the air, looks at my hair and says: “Father, I don’t do miracles!” It isn’t comforting but there you go, this receding tide, as all tides, can not be stopped.
I then went to that splendid church in Kilburn dedicated to St Augustine of Canterbury. If you have never been there it is well worth a visit. Today I was invited by Fr Rowlands of Kentish Town and Fr Yates of St Augustine’s to talk to their Society of Mary Ward. The listeners put up with me and showed me extreme kindness. I am delighted with people who give up their evening to come and learn about Mary our mother.
On the tube back, a young gentleman approached me and spoke to me about what he is going through. He asked for my prayers and I promised them. Most probably we shall never meet again, but he has seen a priest and came to talk and open his heart. Another reason to be thankful as this young man, in what he said, was also a blessing for me. On the train back I offered the Rosary for him.
Another day spent in the company of Our Lord – there is nothing like it. Laus Deo!

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