• Fr Malachy’s Thought for the Day and Parish Update

    Dear Friends,

    This time of Lent is like no other. Yet, at its heart, all that we are experiencing now, brings us to understand the importance of a time like Lent in all our lives.

    To many people, Lent is an out-dated Christian exercise in meaningless self-denial. But self-denial, we may all come to realise, sooner or later, helps us to recognise what really matters in life. It helps us to identify and move away from what is superficial and empty.

    Lent is for a change of heart, a review of values. Jesus doesn’t disregard the need we have for food, wages, pleasures. He merely insists that these things will never be enough for us, they will never satisfy us. Our real need is much deeper. Real living for us all is more difficult to find because it means a change of heart and that involves risk and letting go, to some extent at least, of things that normally I rely on to “keep me going”.
    The new way of living forced upon us by this epidemic, is a kind of Lent. The real life that the Lord wishes to give us, cannot be ours without change taking place. All real change begins with some loss.
    We all tend to prefer what lies on the surface and what is superficial. We can even turn our Faith into a world of rules and regulations and blessings in exchange for the completion of prayers and deeds. Yet, deep inside each of us is a call from the Lord to journey with him into the mystery of his love, to risk following him into a world ruled by the love he offers to us.
    Individuals and Nations need their Lent. A lean time can be a time for better health. This terrible epidemic, in itself, is dreadful, cruel and heart-breaking. It could also be a time for healing and for gaining deeper understanding of why I exist at all. It could lead many to a new way of seeing and living. God brings good out of bad. This is the work of Jesus, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    May I mention two practical aspects of how we have to live for a little while:

    ✓ The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)
    This can be arranged but only by appointment at a specific time. At a specific time and day, arranged in advance, I will leave both the Parish Office door open and the side gate open. Please pass through the gate and the door and come into the Office. Please do not touch any locks or door handles. Immediately by the door, you will find a chair. Please sit in that chair. I will be at the far side of the room, some metres from you and there will be a barrier between us.

    ✓ Parish Finances
    It is proving difficult for parishioners to drop their weekly contributions through the presbytery letter box because of the restrictions caused by the limited opportunities we have for being out of our homes. May I suggest a better way of ensuring that you can continue to support your parish.

    Please would you create a Banker’s Standing Order in favour of our parish. It is easy to arrange. You simply fill in a Banker’s Order form and return it completed to your bank.
    If you use NatWest bank, you can download the NatWest Banker’s Standing Order form and send to your bank, click here to download the Banker’s Standing Order form.
    If you use a different Bank, like Barclays for instance, please could you obtain a Standing Order form from your bank. Just complete it and send back to your bank. The information needed to fill in a Standing Order form is:

    ⇒Name: NatWest Bank
    ⇒Name of Account: RCAS - A REGISTERED CHARITY RE SANDERSTEAD PARISH
    ⇒Account No: 34771271
    ⇒Branch Sort Code: 55-70-30

    If you bank on line, you can simply arrange on line a Standing Order. Thank you everybody for considering our parish finances in such a difficult moment.

    Holy Mass tomorrow and for the next few days, at 9.30 each morning, will be from the presbytery. The internet signal is much stronger in the presbytery and that means you will have a better picture that shouldn’t freeze or break-up on your device. We hope to run a special cable from the presbytery to the church so that we can return to the church but for the few days holy Mass will be from my office in the presbytery. Please tune in tomorrow and in future days and please tell as many people as possible about our daily holy Mass. Please help those who are not too familiar with IT to find our website and how to connect the link for the Mass.

    Here is the list of holy Mass intentions for this coming week:
    → Sunday 29 March People of the Parish
    → Monday 30 March Noreen O’Sullivan (Private Intention)
    → Tuesday 31 March. Albert Kingdom (Tony Charlton)
    → Wednesday 1 April. Eileen Connor (Patricia Connor)
    → Thursday 2 April. Jim Wheatley (Manuel and Anna Rodrigues and family)
    → Friday 3 April. Patrick Johnson (Maggie Bailey)
    → Saturday 4 April. Antonette D’Souza (Mario, Maria and Vanessa D’Souza)

    Your brother, your friend, your priest
    Fr Malachy