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St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Bostall Park
Fr. John O'Donoghue 420a Long Lane, Bexleyheath, DA7 5JW (T: 020-8303 2189)

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Month of January 2016

Saturday 24th b Thursday 28th

09:00

10:30

Mrs. F. D’Costa (RIP) (Edna & Ignatius Pereira)

All Parishioners

10:00

12:00

William Hart (RIP)

St Thomas More Lunch Club

Monday 25th

Friday 29th

09:00

09:30

Morning Prayers

Carol Frances Tracey (RIP) (Timothy Kay)

10:00

John O’Hagan (RIP) (Ann Holland)

Tuesday 26th

Saturday 30th

10:00

Lucy Murphy (RIP)

09:00

18:00-18:30

18:30

Margaret (Peg) Gallagher (Kath McGowan)

Confession

Veronica Littlewood (anniversary) (Marie Glassion)

Wednesday 27th Sunday 31st b_14_14

10:00

Adam Sean Driscoll (Drisoll family)

09:00

10:30

All Parishioners

Molly Fuller (Dave Wright)

 

First Reading: (Neh 8:2-6.8-10). Ezra read out the law and interpreted it for the people, the law was the presence of God among his people and so the people could rejoice.

Second Reading: (1 Cor 12:12-30): Who are we who are gathered here? Are we just a collection of individuals? St Paul says we are all as intimately related as my arm is to my leg: parts of single body and that body is that presence of the risen Christ in the world.

The Gospel: (Lk 1:1-4,4:14-21). The gospel announces who Jesus is: he is that Anointed One, the Christ, he fulfils the promises God has made to his people, and he proclaims the new relationship with God.

Responsorial Psalm: Yours words are spirit Lord and they are life.

 

 

General Notices

 

 

 

Ladies Wednesday Club

For further information: Contact Mary Kearns 0208 304 2456.

 

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Variety Concert

There will be a variety concert in aid of the Fr. Francis Fund in St. Thomas More’s church hall on the evening of Saturday 9th April 2016. This is a joint venture with St. Stephen’s church, Welling. If you would like to perform (solo or in a small group) please speak to Helen Ratcliff after Sunday Mass or call her on 07917 061707.  We hope you will keep the date free and be able to come along.

 

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St Thomas More Club
Friday Night Entertainment - 5th February

Music by Duck Soup from 20.45 to 23.00. Please bring your own nibbles.

 

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Attention Readers

Your Sunday readers guide is awaiting you in the sacristy, please collect.

 

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Valentines Dance - 13th February - 20:00 - 23:00

St Thomas More Parish Hall, 420 Long Lane, Bexleyheath, DA7 5JW. Good music, good company, raffle and bar. For further details contact Lita on 07939 920848, Anne 07813 974161, Tony 07833 707016. See poster in porch for more details.

 

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Evangelisation Group

We met recently. Following reflection and discussion it was decided that we explore the possibility of organising a MINI parish mission on The Year of Mercy. It is hoped that two Redemptorist priests from Clapham will be with us. More information to come re: dates, etc.

 

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Moving On

The New Year is slowly getting a little older. Did we resolve to do something, make some change in our lives? I guess we did but maybe we never got started. It is never too late to start. Our God is patient. Begin today. He has been WAITING so choose to do one of the following:
I WILL DO MORE
I am only one, but I am one
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And what I can do, I ought to do.
And what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do.
I will do more than belong......I will participate.
I will do more than care..........I will help.
I will do more than believe......I will practice.
I will do more than be fair.......I will be kind.
I will do more than dream........I will work.
I will do more than teach..........I will inspire.
I will do more than earn...........I will enrich.
I will do more than give...........I will serve.
I will do more than live............I will grow.
I will do more than talk............I will act.

I will be more than good..........I will be good for somebody.

Forthcoming Opportunities

 

Jubilee Year of Mercy Prayer and Study Day

Saturday 30th January 2016, 10.30am to 4.00pm at the Centre for Catholic Formation, 21 Tooting Bec Road, SW17 8BS. (Cost:£5 including light lunch). Please register with CCF by phone 020 8672 7684 or by email: office@ccftootingbec.org.uk. Nearest Tube: Tooting Bec, ample parking. See post in porch.

 

Lift up Your Hearts

Tuesday 2nd February 2016, 7 to 9pm at the Centre for Catholic Formation, Toothing Bec, SW17 8BS. An evening for those interested in starting or sustaining small faith-sharing groups in the parish. The evening will also include an introduction to Lift Up Your Hearts, a Scripture-based resource for Lent 2016 on the theme of mercy. To register your interest in attending please call 020 8672 7684 or by email: office@ccftootingbec.org.uk.

 

The Sacrament of Reconciliation - Forgiveness, Confession

The sacrament of reconciliation or forgiveness is both a gift and a journey. First of all, it is a gift – a gift through which we experience God’s Mercy in a very tangible way – but secondly it involves a journey whereby step by step we open ourselves to the gift of that mercy and forgiveness. Many centuries ago the Celtic monks in Ireland describe that journey as one of four stages – ‘the piercing of the heart’, ‘the opening of the heart’, ‘the healing of the heart’ and ‘the freeing of the heart’.
First, there is the stage of the ‘piercing of the heart’ by God’s love and mercy. This involves allowing God’s mercy to pierce the hardness of our hearts and enable us to be genuinely sorry for the ways we have been selfish, the ways we have hurt others and the ways we have turned away from God. This piercing of the heart also helps us to realise how much we need God’s healing love and mercy. This is the element we usually call ‘contrition’. This is what happens to the youngest son when he is working on a farm feeding pigs wishing that he could eat the food they are eating.
Then there is the stage of the ‘opening the heart’ as we respond to that initial gift of God’s Mercy. Here we open our hearts in an act of self-disclosure acknowledging not just our faults and failures but also a changed attitude to God and others. This involves being open and honest with ourselves, the priest and the Lord at a number of different levels i.e. being open about our attitudes, being open about our feelings, being open about our relationships to God and others and being open and honest about what we have done and what we have failed to do. This means acknowledging to ourselves that we do need to change and more importantly, that we will need God’s help if we are to change. This is the element we usually call ‘confession’. For the youngest son this occurs when he says first to himself and then to his father, ’Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you’.
The third stage in the journey of experiencing God’s Mercy in the sacrament of forgiveness is the ‘healing of the heart’ when we experience the healing mercy and forgiveness of God through absolution. While there are times when it may be appropriate or even necessary to give general absolution it is important for all of us to experience the very personal nature of God’s healing mercy through personal absolution. I am sure that for the prodigal son nothing could replace the welcoming hug he received from his father when he returned home a scene brilliantly portrayed by Rembrandt.

Finally, for the Celtic monks ‘the penance’ was not simply a punishment for sin but an essential part of the process of ‘freeing the heart’ from all the attitudes and attachments that cause us to sin, to be selfish, to hurt others, to be blind to the needs of others and to turn away from God. For the Celtic monks ‘the penance’ was always focused on helping the penitent to free their hearts from those destructive attitudes and attachments so they could follow Christ more faithfully, more freely and more fervently.

 

Mass attendence on 17th January 2016: 429

Counters - 24.01.2016

Hugh Willan & Joe Bowman (Joyce Minah to observe)