Parish of St Thomas More, Bexleyheath
Saturday 8th August - Saturday 15th August 2020 (A)
AUGUST IS THE MONTH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
NINETEENTH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME - SEASON AFTER PENTECOST
Nineteenth Week of Orinary Time (A)
THE FEAST OF ST. LAWRENCE, DEACON & MARTYR
Today, Friday (7th August), we have celebrated the memorial of Pope St. Sixtus II and his companions who died for their faith under the orders of the Emperor Valerian in 258. It had been the emperor’s hope that ‘by cutting off the shepherds he might disperse the flocks and he commanded all bishops, priests and deacons to be put to death without delay’. As a result of this command, the pope and his companions were beheaded.
As St Sixtus was led to his execution one of his young deacons, St Lawrence who had not by then been arrested, followed him pleading not to be separated from the pope in the sacrifice of his life. But Pope Sixtus comforted him with these words ‘a greater trial and a more glorious victory are reserved for you Lawrence… you shall follow me in three days’.
And so it was to be and in sacrifice and consequence in the conversion of many to Christ, the death of Lawrence would surpass that of Pope St. Sixtus.
The church of Rome in those days had accumulated many treasures for the glorious celebration of the holy mysteries and this caught the attention of the Prefect of Rome who ‘was no less a worshipper of gold and silver than of Jupiter and Mars’. He sent for St. Lawrence and demanded that he hand over these treasures for the maintenance of the emperor’s forces on the grounds that ‘according to your doctrine, you must render to Caesar the things that belong to him. Your god only brought words with him. Give us your money and be rich in words’.
St Lawrence agreed with the Prefect that indeed the church was rich, and asked for time to gather together the treasure to give to the Emperor. After three days Blessed Lawrence gathered together a great number of the decrepit, the blind, the lame, the maimed, the lepers, orphans, widows and virgins and invited the Prefect to behold the treasure of the church. The Prefect was astonished to see such ‘a number of poor wretches who made a horrid sight’ and threatened Deacon Lawrence to hand over the church’s gold. St. Lawrence replied ‘What are you displeased at? Behold in these poor persons the treasures which I promised to show you; to which I will add pearls and precious stones – those widows and consecrated virgins which are the church’s crown, by which it is pleasing to Christ: it has no other riches; make use of them for the advantage of Rome, of the emperor and yourself’
The Prefect considered himself mocked by St Lawrence and in fury said that our saint would not just die as he desired, but swore ‘I will protract your tortures, that your death may be the more bitter and slower. You shall die by inches’.
And so a gridiron was made ready, and live but cooling coals placed under it. Lawrence was stripped and bound with chains upon this iron grid over slow burning coals and died little by little as had been decreed. Through all this long slow torment, Lawrence prayed for the conversion of Rome and the empire.
Prudentius (a contemporary Christian writer) ascribes to the prayer of St Lawrence the entire conversion of Rome and indeed, several senators who had been present at the death, were so moved by it that they became Christians on the spot. These noblemen took up the martyr’s body on their shoulders and buried him honourably in the Veran field on the 10th August 258. Prudentius says the death of Lawrence was the death of idolatry in Rome. From that time, Romans frequented the Church of St Lawrence and commended themselves to his prayers. Many miracles occurred as a result of his intercession and still today St Lawrence is honoured with the Feast Day on August 10th, on Monday and through all the church’s history at every mass is named in the Canon, now also known as ‘the first Eucharistic Prayer’.
St Lawrence, pray for us! And may our prayers and good works for each other imitate him, who valued the poorest in the church as the richest of treasure.
(Quotations from Butler’s Lives of the Saints, volume III)
REGARDING STEWARDING AND TEST & TRACE RECORDERS
As you know we are facing many great challenges as a result of COV-19. Mass is currently restricted and protocols must be followed in order to keep ourselves and others safe.
With this in mind for Mass to go ahead during the week we must have the required amount of stewards for each mass and someone for Track and Trace. Claire Staden one of our parishioners has kindly been trying to set up a rota in order that all days are covered but we still have some vulnerability on certain days. Claire is returning to work after a period of furlough so she will be unable to assist on a week day come September. Is there anyone who could help out recording the name and phone number of those attending mass at a morning mass? You will need to be at church at 9:30am for mass starting at 10am. The sad reality is if we don’t have enough people to assist with track & trace or stewarding then the morning masses will have to be reduced to certain days when we have the people for these tasks. If you could assist at any of the weekday or weekend masses please let myself or Claire know. Claire can be contacted via her mobile on 07793107227 or I can be contacted through the parish office preferably by email. We need you to celebrate public mass in our church.
Mrs. Marie Anne Peters, aged 95. Funeral held on Thursday 23rd July 12.00 noon.
May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
CHURCH OPEN FOR PUBLIC MASS:
St Thomas More church has been open for public mass since 4th July at all the usual times. All hygiene and ‘distancing’ measures are in place and your church is clean, supervised and cleaned again after every mass. Deo Gratias! If you can’t come on a Sunday, think about coming with your family on a weekday: families will always have a pew to themselves and the pew in front and behind will be empty. I am available to hear confessions after any morning mass. The wearing of masks in places of public worship is now required by the government.
MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE COMING WEEK: NINETEENTH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME
Saturday 8th August NINETEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (A)
6.30 p.m. The people of the parish
Sunday 9th August
9.00 a.m. Santana Fernandes R.I.P.
10.30 a.m. John Asuen W.B. (for his eighteenth birthday)
Monday 10th August St. Lawrence, Deacon & Martyr, feast.
10.00 a.m. Gerry & Kathleen Meehan R.I.P.
Tuesday 11th August St. Clare, virgin, memorial.
10.00 a.m. Ferdie Rodrigues R.I.P.
Wednesday 12th August St. Jane Frances de Chantal, religious.
10.00 a.m. Lorna Lafferty W.B.
Thursday 13th August Sts Pontian, pope & Hippolytus priest, martyrs, memorial.
10.00 a.m. Helen D’Souza T.G.
Friday 14th August St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, priest & martyr, memorial.
10.00 a.m. Mary Kilgannon R.I.P.
Saturday 15th August Our Lady’s Saturday
10.00 noon. the priest’s private intention.
[THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.
6.30 p.m. Mary & Michael Barry R.I.P.]
Thank you for your mass intentions and offerings. Please note there are many masses available for intentions in August and September.
Untill next week, may God keep you in safety and peace.
The Catholic Church of St Thomas More.
|Tel: 020 8303 2189|
|Parish Priest Fr. Jonathon Routh
Hall Bookings: 020 83047909
|Sunday 09:00 Readers Rota|