6pm Saturday Vigil Mass
10am Sunday Mass and Livestream on Youtube
6pm Sunday Mass
See Bulletin below for weekday Mass times and new instructions for Masses
See Bulletin below for weekday Mass times and new instructions for Masses
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!
Fr Hugh is writing his blog (personal website) and sending photos every day during the Rome pilgrimage. This morning Fr Hugh and some parishioners had an audience with Pope Francis and you can read about the Pope’s teaching and see more photos by clicking on the link below:
Fr Hugh’s Homily for 27th Sunday
Bilbo Baggins, an old hobbit at the start of The Fellowship of the Ring, gazes at the ring and says:’ It’s mine, all mine, my precious.’ His greed for the ring was caught from Gollum, (I won a prize for my drawing of Gollum many years ago, which was nothing like Gollum in the film,), Bilbo’s greed was contagious as sin often is. In the parable today I wonder who first thought up the idea of killing the landlord’s servants, who instigated it, and then persuaded the others, and once they were all involved there seemed to be no way out but to go for the son too. From greed to murder, the greatest of crimes/sins, in easy steps. ‘We want the vineyard for ourselves.’ Jesus of course is talking to the Chief priests and the elders, and in the parable the vineyard is Israel, (and more widely creation), that God has built, provided for and then protected from outside threats too. But the real threat comes from within (in which there is a message for us too.) The cancer of tenants’ greed eats away at the peace of the vineyard. The servants are the prophets, whose then leads to the death of the Son, God’s Son. But where the message changes from an ordinary tale is that it is the weakest of all in the story, the dead Son, who then overturns the greed and murder of the tenants, who becomes the corner-stone……..
Fr Hugh’s Homily for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Do you remember the Kipling poem ‘If.’
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, or being hated, don’t give way to hating, and yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;”
Then it ends in good Empire-building Victorian language:
“Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, and—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”
He wrote this in 1910 to encourage his son, John, at the end of the Edwardian era. Little did they know it, but the First World War was soon to break out in four years time which would hasten the end of the Empire, and in which his son would die. St. Paul’s piece today is not really for reading. We tend to think of him sitting down and writing convoluted passages that would baffle anyone, and are hard to read in church, and perhaps the letter to the Romans is a bit more like that. But, in fact, he dictated his letters and wrote them as if he was speaking directly to his congregation. So in today’s passage he is speaking to the small church of Philippi on the northern Aegean shore, and trying to encourage them in their new faith and the new experience of knowing the Risen Christ…
Fr Hugh’s Homily for 25th Sunday
Back in the day, many years ago, when there were five priests in a parish, there was a strict order in the diocese of who was to be promoted next to ‘parish priest’. The one who reached the top of the list was called ‘The Head Waiter.’ If, for whatever reason, the Bishop decided not to promote him, then there was a good deal of muttering and questioning as to why he had been ‘passed over.’ After all wasn’t it his ‘right’ to be next. So why had he been by-passed? What was up? And why was the other guy promoted over him? Now, every set of workers has its own ideas about what is fair. What we often fail to think about, when the gossip is flying around, is what decision is right for the good of the firm, which it is in everyone’s interest to make successful. Dioceses too. So it is in our parable. We always concentrate on how unfair the boss seems to be, and know that if we were the first one to be hired then we would be pretty miffed as well. But, as ever, what Jesus is trying to get us to do is not concentrate on ourselves but on the work in hand, and that is spreading the Good News of the gospel. In Graham Greene’s ‘The Power and the Glory’, the whisky priest’s focus is on his own sins, he hates himself for how he is, but in fact he achieves great good, even heroism. This is what God knows we are capable of, sinners or not, that is what God looks at and hopes for from us….
Homily for 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Today’s gospel is a parable on forgiveness and debt. What about one for our own time? “A rich man with lots of money, we could say he was a man who ran a bank, had so much money he just needed to make more. So he looked around for people to lend it to at good interest rates so that he would get wealthier. A found a few dictators of very poor countries who said, ‘Lend me money and you can have all my people’s wealth.’ So he did and all went well until the dictators were thrown out, and had to flee to the South of France with all the money, and the people refused to pay. But a very powerful World Bank demanded they pay, and so the poor country got poorer and the rich richer. Then the rich man found another group of very poor people in his own country who wanted to buy their own houses and it looked such a good source of money that he leant so much money even he could did not have enough, so he borrowed more money to lend even more, and that made him even richer.
Fr Hugh’s Homily
I got used to meeting young enthusiastic, very evangelical, members of the Christian Union at University who would have a pleasant chat and then say, “But of course it is a pity you are not going to heaven, Father.” (Had I known this earlier I could have taken up a life of crime or perhaps worse.) They were very keen and I took it with a pinch of salt. But one day one of the other Chaplains, not a Catholic, decided that he would invite the Christian Union to do their Church Search, from the Chaplaincy. It was a way of introducing students to the local churches in Lancaster. The chaplain’s aim was to see if he could integrate the Christian Union with us a bit more. I had my doubts, because, lovely as they all were, they were never going to want to join up with Catholics. So we met one morning and they began to speak about the churches in Lancaster that gave good Bible teaching, none of them Catholic of course, and I listened, and the young man giving the talk said, “We will find you good churches, with good Bible teaching, that will lead you well, and if you fall out of line, will expel you.” It was the last line that struck me. This was all very well-intentioned, and the guy was really sincere, and I think he had this reading in mind……