SOLEMNITY OF OUR LORDJESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE. YOUTH DAY.
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
My 'Christmas cactus' has burst into flower - never has there been such a flowering of the said plant. I assume it will be somewhat denuded by Christmas Day!
So, we come to the last Sunday of the Church's year. It is a special day to celebrate our young people and their role in the church. Covid makes this rather difficult in practice this year. My own thoughts have been very much with university students. My five years at Keele University were, without doubt, the highlight of my Priesthood. As has been said so often in recent times, it is not natural for students to be solitary. The huge variety of societies,and sports facilities all encourage close involvement in a so many different ways. I remember the Cath. Soc. Christmas lunches in my house. We used to have around 120 students from near and far. It was quite impossible for most of them to sit down. Students don't mind as long as there is food!
The Christmas Tree display will be taking place as usual in St. Leonards. We are taking part for the first time. I was quite stunned by last year's event.
Have you bought your Christmas cards yet? Why not?
All good wishes and prayers,
Fr. Michael odcs
CHRIST THE KING
"This, then, is God's kingship - a rule of love that seeks and finds us in ways that are always new. For us, this means a trust that cannot be shaken. God rules as king over us still and, what is more, He rules over each one of us. None of us should be afraid and none should capitulate. God can always be found. " (Emeritus Pope Benedict)
YOUNG PEOPLE AND FAMILY LIFE
" So many young people do ot know how to pray! "(Pope Francis)" "The home represents the most precious human treasures, that of encounter, that of relation among people, different age, culture and history, but who live together and together help one another to grow. For this reason the 'home' is a crucial place in life where life grows and can be fulfilled, because it is a place in which every person learns to receive love and to give love. "
PRAYER FOR COURAGE IN HARDSHIP
Jesus, in these difficult times, We renew our faith and trust in You.
We believe in Your tender love for All people and Your absolute Sovereignty over world affairs.
Send Your Holy Spirit to protect the Church and console all believers, especially those Burdened with fear and anxiety.
We pray especially for all Bishops and Priests, may they shepherd Your people with wisdom and grace amidst uncertainty.
In this time of crisis, open anew the hearts of young people and raise up new saints to witness to Your everlasting love. Amen
Blessed Carlo Acutis. - Pray for us !
WATLINGTON : Christmas Eve 8pm. and Christmas Day 9.30am.
STONOR PARK: Christmas Eve 10.30pm and Christmas Day 10. 30am
Rick has kindly agreed to play the organ at the two Watlington Masses.
POPE FRANCIS ON POVERTY
"I encourage the financial experts and the political leaders of your countries to consider the words of St. John Chrysostom: 'Not to share one' s goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life. It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs.'"
We haven't heard from the nature writer Jonathan Tulloch for some time. Here is one of his reflections for autumn: "For everything a season. Tree planting time is here again. As I set off over the bridleway, the wind cut through me. Rain squeals rasped my face. Fallen leaves raced each other. Strange to be thinking of new life just when everything seems to be dying. "As I dug the holes, my trowel rang like a bell as it struck different objects. Mostly it was just ordinary stones. Ordinary? How long had they lain in the silence there? Ten years, twenty, two hundred, two million? I also excavated some fossils - relics of the Jurassic seas that once covered this land. And then there was the red brick rubble I disinterred. Had there been a building here in the middle of nowhere? "Even something as simple as digging a hole for a tree embroils you in mystery. At the woods I cut half a dozen willow whips. Planting them was easy enough, you just poked the wands into the prepared site. Each a yard long, eventually they will be taller than a house. If lucky, they might see the twenty-fourth century. "Goat willows are excellent at growing from such cuttings, provided you water them well for a couple of years. When their low - leaning branches touch the ground, they take root and become separate trees. If left to themselves, the goat willows would have 'walked' here in a century or so anyway. I was just speeding up the process. "
Glimpses of Eden by Jonathan Tulloch, Darton, Longman and Todd, 2018
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St Edmund Campion Roman Catholic Church, No.2 Watcombe Rd, Watlington OX49 5QJ T: 01491 612431