Fourth Sunday of Easter

Download Bulletin 25th April 2021

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is known as Vocations Sunday or Good Shepherd Sunday, and is marked as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.  The purpose of this day is to shepherd for God’s people – vocations to Holy Orders (the priesthood and diaconate) and to the religious life – while encouraging all who are discerning their vocation to pray more earnestly that they may hear and respond to God’s call.  As the Bishop points out in his letter we have four people preparing for priesthood at the moment.  He mentions three in his pastoral letter and there is one more at an early stage.  Please keep them in your prayers.  You can read the Bishop’s letter here…..

Pastoral Letter for Good Shepherd Sunday 2021

Readings for 4th Sunday of Easter

Daily Prayers Easter Week 4

 

Third Sunday of Easter

Download Bulletin 18th April 2021

Fr Hugh’s Homily for 3rd Sunday of Easter

There is that moment in films where one side of the couple takes the glasses off the other and then suddenly realises the other person is beautiful.  It has to be said it is often the man taking the glasses off the girl, though you could count Lois Lane taking the glasses off Clark Kent a move in the opposite direction.  But this is all part of how we portray what is beautiful in people.  We have possibly taken the idea of ‘how people should look’ to an extreme now, and it is a very superficial view.  In ‘The Elephant Man’ film, the make-up to get John Hurt looking almost inhuman as an elephant man to many people took seven hours to apply each time.  During the film a couple do take him in but he is regularly put on show by others who use him to make money and at one point in the film he shouts out: ‘”I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I … am … a … man!”  Fortunately today we have got beyond walking round Bedlam to look at those with mental illnesses, or watching executions for pleasure, but there is still an element within us or among us that cannot help staring at what we think is odd, or people we think are different, or even commiserating with people because they are with someone who seems ‘different.’…..

Complete Homily for 3rd Sunday of Easter

Readings for 3rd Sunday of Easter

Daily Prayers Easter 3

 

 

Second Sunday of Easter

Download Bulletin 11th April 2021

 

Fr Hugh’s Homily for 2nd Sunday of Easter

There’s a convent of sisters at Ein Karem, where the Visitation is said to have taken place, just outside Jerusalem.  The sisters welcome people of all faiths to their guest house, they employ people from Israel and Palestine to work there.  When they go into the chapel they sing the psalms in Hebrew, just as they have been sung for many centuries.  In ancient times, when Jews came to Jerusalem on pilgrimage they prayed them together as they walked or as they entered the Temple, and you can imagine a cantor leading them in today’s psalm, a psalm for the Feast of Tabernacles, and then responding to each line, ‘His love has no end.’  As you walk in the garden at Ein Karem which is high up overlooking a valley, it is really a place of peace.  A place of harmony.  As Jesus begins his new Church in today’s gospel, he begins it with a gift of peace.  The Church has to be a place of peace (however much we have failed over the years.)  But this has to be our aim….

Complete Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Easter

Readings for 2nd Sunday of Easter

Daily Prayers Easter 2

Easter Sunday

Alleluia alleluia!  The Lord is risen!  Let the whole wide world rejoice, alleluia, alleluia!

HAPPY EASTER! 

Download Bulletin Easter Sunday 2021

Fr Hugh’s Easter Sunday Homily

Baptisms have changed over the ages.  Sometimes it is a chilly dip in the river.  In the old days the mother was not there.  Today quite often it is part of a great family and friends’ party.  But the heart of it has not changed.  At some point water is poured over you.  A white garment is wrapped around you.  A candle is held by you, or for you by another.  And the words are always similar. As we wrap the white garment round the new Christian we say:  ‘Now you have become a new creation, you have put on Christ.’  There used to be a TV programme where people were taught to be someone completely different.  A bouncer or chef, dancer, or air steward.  But this is not like that.  When we put on Christ, we are not becoming different people, we are entering into what it is like to be truly ourselves…..

COMPLETE Easter Day Homily

Readings for Easter Sunday 2021

DAILY PRAYERS EASTER 1

Palm Sunday

Download Bulletin 28th March 2021

Fr Hugh’s Homily for Palm Sunday

The angel, the messenger of God, comes to Mary and in that meeting God breathes the life of Jesus into this simple, wonderful human being. (That is the story of the Annunciation we celebrated on Thursday.)  God renews in Mary, in us, the potential that we have as his creation.  United in this one child, and then man, are both the holiness and the humanity that Adam and Eve first shared when they lived in Eden in peace with God.  And Jesus comes to us now to heal us, to unite us once more with that divinity we had lost….

Complete Homily for Palm Sunday

Daily Prayers holy week

Read the April Catholic Voice here

 

Fifth Sunday in Lent

Download Bulletin 21st March 2021

Fr Hugh’s Homily for 5th Sunday in Lent

In the Magnificat, during her pregnancy, Mary says to Elizabeth that she is blessed because God ‘has seen me in my lowliness’.  She wonders that God has paid attention to her, chosen her, even though she would see herself as of no importance at all.  In the gospel today Jesus says something similar about his own life.  It’s through God, his Father, that he, Jesus, is glorified and through what he is about to do.  The recognition of him as Son.  But why does Jesus accept this task?  What to him and his Father is the purpose of this?  What is their being glorified about?  And the answer is us.  Each of us, each of those we pass in the street.  Jesus ends this passage in the gospel by saying: “When I am lifted up I shall draw all men, all people, to myself.”  What he is doing in this action, that we are about to celebrate at Easter, is about us, and our world, his creation, but here in John’s gospel he is speaking specifically about his people…..

Complete Homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent

Daily Prayers Week 5 Lent

Readings for 5th Sunday in Lent

Fourth Sunday in Lent

Download Bulletin 14th March 2021

Fr Hugh’s Homily for Fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetare Sunday)

In the days when you could nip down to London for a quick visit, I always tried to get to the British Museum.  I would make one of my stops the Ancient Middle Eastern section.  There you will find in a case of its own one of the seals that Cyrus sent out to all the parts of his Empire telling them that as a new king he was offering them an amount of autonomy. This is what the first reading ends with. This is small, about a foot and a bit across. Covered in the message in cuneiform (wedge style writing) and a bit cracked as well.   Part of this new freedom for all the people was allowing one small people, pretty insignificant in the Empire’s make-up, to return to their homeland and rebuild their place of worship.  And so the Israelites set off once more, back across the desert and via the usual trade routes to Jerusalem.  For Cyrus this trek of a small people was probably not of any great account. But through the history of the Israelites/Jews in the most read book in the world, their scriptures, The Bible, Cyrus’ became famous throughout history……

Complete Homily for 4th Sunday in Lent

Readings for 4th Sunday in Lent

Daily Prayers Week 4 Lent

Third Sunday in Lent

Download Bulletin 7th March 2021

 

Fr Hugh’s Homily for 3rd Sunday in Lent

The Young Christian Workers (YCW) and others have taken for their rough guide to a life of faith, See, Judge, Act. But to be able to do this you have to be free. If you cannot be physically free, and many in our world can’t, then free spiritually, free within. But there are things that prevent us taking on this freedom. One is our reluctance to take responsibility. We might be very good at taking responsibility in our workplace or home, but responsibility for our faith is often another thing.  The actual event of the Exodus in the Old Testament, the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt, is the most important occurrence in the whole set of books. (Portrayed graphically by Cecil B. DeMille in 1956 in the originally named film, ‘The Ten Commandments’, again with Charlton Heston.) For Jews the Exodus stands alone, for Christians it looks forward to Jesus’ liberating us from sin. So at the Easter Vigil, the celebration of our liberation, one of the Old Testament readings we have to read is the hymn of liberation sung after they have crossed the Red Sea. This prepares us for the Resurrection of Christ, our gateway to freedom….

Complete Homily for 3rd Sunday in Lent

Readings for 3rd Sunday in Lent

Daily Prayers Week 3 Lent

Read the Catholic Universe here

Second Sunday in Lent

Download Bulletin 28th February 2021

Read the March Catholic Voice here

Fr Hugh’s Homily for 2nd Sunday in Lent

Did you know that this is London Fashion Week?  Apparently 5000 journalists turn up for this, or I guess, watch online this year.  Looking at the clothes, it is hard to see how, unless you were a model or a certain age and size, you would be able to wear much of it, but it makes a lot of money, so plenty of people must be interested.  I have to admit that I have never been at the height of fashion, unless somehow fashion has come round in full circle.  I don’t think my 70s velvet jacket that I was so proud of then has ever made it back though.  Yet what we wear is important to the extent that it says something about us, even if we do not realise it or want it to.  People judge us by it, and comment upon it.  Sometimes fairly, sometimes not.  Did you have to wear that?  Could you not have made a bit more effort?  Or, like my Mum, ‘I am not taking you to town in those trousers.’ (That was some years ago I have to say.)  All of these I have had said to me.  We can see whether people are interested in looking smart.  Does it matter?  In some cases it does, it is a matter of respect.  It shows that we have made an effort for them.  Then sometimes we wear clothes as a statement about ourselves, to make a point that this is me.  Perhaps as a protest.  So clothes can be important.  The Bible refers to Jesus’ clothes at certain important moments.  They become an outward expression of what is happening to him….

Complete Homily for 2nd Sunday in Lent

Readings for 2nd Sunday in Lent

Daily Prayers Week 2 LenT