Public Masses start 3rd December
6pm Saturday Vigil Mass
10am Sunday Mass – Livestream on Youtube
12 Noon sunday mass at sedbergh
6pm Sunday Mass
See bulletin below for Weekday Masses and Church opening times
See bulletin below for Weekday Masses and Church opening times
CHRISTMAS MASSES 2020 – UPDATE: 6pm Christmas Eve and 10am Christmas Day are both full now. This leaves Midnight Mass and 11.30am Christmas Day. Please sign up by email or phone if you wish to attend either of these last two. (For Sedbergh there will be an 8pm Vigil Mass Christmas Eve but that will be for those in Sedbergh and people staying in the area.)
MASS SERVICES AND PRIVATE PRAYER – UPDATE!
Weekday Masses will commence on Thursday 3rd December at 12 noon. Weekend Masses from Saturday 5th December: Saturday 6pm, Sunday 10am & 6pm, and at Sedbergh, 12 noon. Church is still open for private prayer: 10am–12.30pm Monday to Saturday, 2–4pm Sundays.
Fr Hugh’s Homily for the First Sunday of Advent
Do you remember the first lockdown back in March. We were just getting used to the Covid 19 experience then, and just realising the many downsides; especially not being able to go and see elderly relatives, problems with employment and shopping and schooling, eating out and going to the pub, getting to the doctors. But at the same time, after a while, we began to see some of the benefits. Cleaner air, better views, quieter roads, but also much greater attention to each other, to the needs of neighbours who perhaps we had not really met. People doing shopping for each other. People really appreciating the work done by some of the caring services, some of whom were rarely thought of, even criticised, in the past. The clapping for the NHS for example. And at the time we said, we really have to hang on to some of these things. If only we could be a bit like this when we get back to ordinary life. The ‘old’ normal, you might say. But I am not sure that we have. I think we have forgotten that commitment. I think two things have changed. One is that we are tired of it. The pressure is getting to us, the worry about work and the like. But at the same time we see an end in sight. Or we hope so. And once we see that, then we tend to think, “Soon I can get back to life as it was, to booking my summer holidays, to going out as I used to. And if we are not careful the old ‘I’ overtakes all those things that can make us ‘we’. In a way, the gospel today is about this. It is about how we live our daily lives. How we live in the present….
Fr Hugh’s Homily for Christ the King
If you were asked what today’s gospel is about you would have to say, ‘Judgement’. Not a comfortable topic really. It is no fun being judged nor it is easy to judge (done properly). Early days of being judged stick in my mind. Stood on the playground or football pitch knowing that you have no skills, are not fast, a bit podgy, cannot see too well, and not at all without your glasses, and the popular sporty lads are choosing the teams. You adjust to being one of the last one’s standing waiting, but of course you get over it, or don’t. Or on the rugby pitch are chosen to be cannonfodder for the 4th Fifteen team to boot about (there being no 5th Fifteen for us) though we took a sort of pride in being the cannonfodder team. But then judging comes with its difficulties too. One or two stints at the Primary School judging the talent contest, ‘Deanie’s Got Talent,’ and you soon realise it is not just about talent, but there are a lot of other factors to consider if you are to escape the night unscathed (which is actually impossible). So a fair judgement on our lives, the sporty and unsporty, all of us equally, takes more than a human judge. It takes one who loves us, has the authority to do so (hence the name Christ the King as that was always a position of supreme authority in the old days), and it takes someone who can see us all as a whole, hence the title Universal too. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King….
Fr Hugh’s Homily for Thirty Third Sunday
Sr. Ella, the Salesian sister who used to work with me at the University, and I were sitting in the Chaplaincy one day and a very distraught young female student came in, who we both knew, in floods of tears. Bravely, I decided to delegate this to Sr. Ella and went to my office next door but could hear that the problem was her boyfriend had dumped her and what should she do. Sr. Ella’s response was, “Don’t you go chasing after any of those boys, you are far too good for that. Man is the hunter, let him hunt. Don’t you go chasing after them, it’s his loss.” You might not approve of Sr. Ella’s answer, but it made the young woman laugh. And it explains today’s first reading, which is about chasing a woman. This woman in particular in the reading is Wisdom. The Book of Proverbs often describes Wisdom as a woman, and much of her role we see as the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. Wisdom is that quality of God that enables us to be more like God, to live as God hopes, to be with God. Not a part of a Trinity, but an agent of God in Creation and in the lives of God’s people….
Fr Hugh’s Homily
I don’t know why, but we have only one name in the church of a soldier who died in the First World War. There must have been more, but only Private Robert Williams is on the wall. Every year the family still remember him with a Mass and in other ways. There is nothing remarkable about him as soldiers go. No VC, no medals, no mention in despatches. In fact he was not right at the front when he died but killed by a bomb in Zuydcoote near Dunkirk, in 1917. He was an ordinary soldier. He was in the Medical Corps, an orderly in the Sergeants’ Mess, always cheerful apparently and he used to cut hair for the others and do shaves, those were his gifts. You could fill the wall with names, some no doubt much better known even famous, but just to have his name is somehow fine. He represents so many ordinary people for us……
INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO CHILD ABUSE (IICSA): On Tuesday 10th November, IICSA will publish its report into the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Whilst the Church with its different dioceses and religious orders will be the focus of the report, our hearts go out to anyone who has suffered abuse in a Church setting. To read more please click on the link IICSA REPORT
Fr Hugh’s Homily
I was standing looking at the dead body of a young guy in a glass case, and slightly wondering why. This was in Assisi recently and it was the body of a new saint, Carlo Acutis, (he was being beatified, the stage before full sainthood,) which was being displayed in a church. He died in 2006 at the age of 15 of leukemia. Before I had thought to myself, “Do I want to go and see his body? Why would I do that? Was it goolish?” But in the end I decided to queue up, almost because it was there. (As you can imagine there was not a lot of social-distancing being done in the Italian queue.) Who was in the queue? All sorts of people, but a lot of young people, many people probably like me with all sorts of different motives for doing so. And there his body was, just as if he was still 15. In the evening, the night before his beatification, we had a wander round Assisi, really to see the view of the valley and all its lights below the town. But what we came across was all the churches open, well into the night, and little chapels and rooms everywhere, light slipping out through the doors into the dark street, where people were praying before the Blessed Sacrament. We stopped outside a small church and prayed outside. Being English we did not want to disturb them by going in, but we could stand there praying quite happily. Again there were lots of young people praying too….
Fr Hugh’s Homily for 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Great answers from Year 4 at school about, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ The person sitting next to me, the person across the room. The people living next door. The people in our block (of flats). Bit by bit expanding their thoughts on who their neighbour is. Plus the fact that of all the countries they came up with in Africa, one was Madagascar, which, whether they were thinking of the film or not, was pretty impressive. How far are we ready to expand our idea of who is my neighbour, not just theoretically but lived in our lives? The children also new all the details of ‘The Good Samaritan,’ which is the parable Luke uses to complete this passage of Matthew’s in today’s gospel. They knew he was an outcast and an enemy (in their words) of the Jews. Their knowledge was impressive. It is also this parable that Pope Francis examines in his latest letter ‘Fratelli tutti…’ which I was talking about last week. In 1977 the Bee Gees were asking, ‘How deep is your love,’ Jesus and Pope Francis are asking ‘how broad is your love?’ One of the points that the Bible starts from is, ‘Do you remember when you needed love?’ Will you forget this when dealing with others who need yours? …..
Sunday 18th October is World Mission Sunday. Missio, the Holy Father’s charity for world mission, helps Churches too poor or too young to support themselves. Your support will make a difference to struggling communities throughout the world and help missionaries work alongside communities that are poor or in need, regardless of their background or belief. You can donate through the website missio.org.uk.
Fr Hugh’s Homily for 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
St. Francis going to meet the Sultan of Egypt in an attempt to make peace
The gospel is again about discipleship. How should Christians live their faith in this world? So let’s begin by asking the question that the gospel figures are facing in their time. What would you do if you lived in an occupied country? Would you collaborate? We British have sometimes been pretty scornful of the French level of collaboration in the 1940s. But then books like SS-GB and Fatherland have all tried to be realistic about what it would have meant for us. The film ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ does the same thing. Most of us are not that brave, so how do you survive and how do you keep your pride?…..
CAFOD FAMILY FAST DAY: FRIDAY 9TH OCTOBER: This week our parish is marking CAFOD’s Family Fast Day to help people facing the worst of the coronavirus crisis. We’ve all felt the impact of this terrible disease – let’s come together to help the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world survive, rebuild and heal. Please pray for all those affected. You can donate online at cafod.org.uk/give. Thank you.
…We will work with each other; we will work side by side… Why is the host so upset over this man’s clothes? After all, he’s a traveller, why would he have brought a fine wedding garment with him? However, that question misses the point. The parable isn’t about wearing clothes but about wearing Jesus Christ. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, St Paul tells us so many times. The one without the proper clothes is the Christian in name only; the one who refuses to put on Jesus Christ throughout his or her life. This is the person who accepts the invitation of the Lord but refuses to exercise any responsibility in the Christian community, the one who chooses not to give witness to Jesus in his or her life. We are invited to share the intimacy of the Banquet of Heaven. We are invited into God’s presence. God doesn’t ask a lot from us to be with Him; but He does expect us to wear our Christianity confidently. The way we respond to His love must be evident to the world. People should know that we are Christians by the way we live our lives. Today we pray for the determination, for the perseverance and for the courage to be active in our Christian faith. … and they’ll know we are Christians by our love!