Saturday, 28 March 2015

Holy Week & Easter 2015

Holy Week & Easter 2015

Holy Monday 30th March Chrism Mass at our Mother Church of Our Lady of the Assumption with St. Gregory, Warwick Street W.1. London at 11.30am. Papal Nuncio presiding.
Holy Tuesday 31st March at St Peter’s Eastwood, Mass 9.30am followed by Rosary and Confessions. Adoration until noon
Holy Wednesday 1st April at St Peter’s Eastwood, Mass 9.30am followed by Rosary and confessions. Adoration until noon. 
Holy Thursday 2nd April. at St. Peter’s Eastwood The Holy Triduum begins –the great three days of the Lord’s Passion Death and Resurrection. 7pm Confessions.
8pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper with ceremonies and watch until Midnight at the Altar of repose.
Good Friday 3rd April. St Peter’s Eastwood, 9.15am Office of Readings and Morning Prayer 10am Stations of the Cross with our children. 3pm the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion.
6pm Maria Desolata (Stations with Our Lady)
Holy Saturday 4th April at St Peter’s Eastwood, 10am  Office of Readings and Morning Prayer
Confessions 6pm.
7.30pm The Easter Vigil at St Peter’s Eastwood, –First Mass of Easter with reception of adults into the Catholic Church, followed by celebratory drinks in the narthex. Easter Sunday 5th April Sung Mass of the Day in thanksgiving of the Resurrection 10.30am at St. Pius X Hockley.
Masses at Eastwood 8.30am of the Dawn 10am of the Day 6pm Evening Mass

The holiest of weeks…

Dear friends,

Today ( Palm Sunday) we enter Jerusalem, as our church becomes that place for the liturgies of the holiest of weeks. Jesus arrives, riding on a donkey; such great humility displayed so lovingly by the Son of David who comes in the name of the Lord, hosanna in the highest!

This is the week, above all others that we put all earthly priorities aside to journey with Jesus. We will share in his Last Supper, his agony in the Garden, arrest and trial, the scourging, the carrying of the cross and finally his death at Golgotha. If we neglect to accompany our Lord on this journey then I’m afraid the Glory of Easter Day will be void of its true significance and meaning? Therefore I urge each and every one of you to attend the solemn  liturgies of the great three days that make up the Triduum, at St Peter’s.

Sharing these great events in communion with each other will help us to really participate in the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. We affirm our own Baptismal promises at the Easter Vigil to recall that we too will die and rise as a new creation. This theme is central to the Pasch that we celebrate. Before that we are reminded at the moving mass of the Lord’s Supper on the evening of Holy Thursday that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as an example of loving service to all.

 Our Holy Father, Pope, Francis, is a living witness and Apostle to the truth, teaching and reminding each and every one of us just what it means to be a true servant and disciple in today’s self-centred world. May we learn from his humility and actions, for they are nothing but the actions of the great Servant King himself, Jesus Christ, of whom we are called by name to follow?

And so please spend time with Our Lord this holiest of all weeks? Come and enter into the very mystery of our salvation by watching and praying with him who came from heaven to share in our humanity, to suffer and to die, so that we might live: Hosanna in the highest!!
Wishing you all, a very blessed Holy Week.

Your priest and friend, Fr. Jeff

Friday, 20 March 2015

Sunday 22nd March 2015

5th Sunday of Lent
The Hockley Ordinariate Mission
10.30 am Solemn Mass at St. Pius X.
Celebrant & Preacher Fr. Bob White

The “Hour” Comes: 

Our Friend,Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fifth Sunday of Lent


Our readings today are filled with anticipation. The days are coming, Jeremiah prophesies in today’s First Reading. The hour has come, Jesus says in the Gospel. The new covenant that God promised to Jeremiah is made in the “hour” of Jesus - in His death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father’s right hand.
The prophets said this new covenant would return Israel’s exiled tribes from the ends of the world (seeJeremiah 31:1,3-4,7-8). Jesus too predicted His passion would gather the dispersed children of God (see John 11:52). But today He promises to draw to himself, not only Israelites, but all men and women.
The new covenant is more than a political or national restoration. As we sing in today’s Psalm, it is a universal spiritual restoration. In the “hour” of Jesus, sinners in every nation can return to the Father - to be washed of their guilt and given new hearts to love and serve Him.
In predicting He will be “lifted up,” Jesus isn’t describing only His coming crucifixion (see John 3:14-15). Isaiah used the same word to tell how the Messiah, after suffering for Israel’s sins, would be raised high and greatly exalted (see Isaiah 52:3). Elsewhere the term describes how kings are elevated above their subjects (see 1 Maccabees 8:13).
Troubled in His agony, Jesus didn’t pray to be saved. Instead, as we hear in today’s Epistle, He offered himself to the Father on the cross - as a living prayer and supplication. For this, God gave Him dominion over heaven and earth (see Acts 2:33Philippians 2:9).
Where He has gone we can follow - if we let Him lead us. To follow Jesus means hating our lives of sin and selfishness. It means trusting in the Father’s will, the law He has written in our hearts.
Jesus’ “hour” continues in the Eucharist, where we join our sacrifices to His, giving God our lives in reverence and obedience - confident He will raise us up to bear fruits of holiness.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Sunday 15th March 2015

4th Sunday of Lent-  Laetare Sunday
( Mothering Sunday)
10.30 am. Ordinariate Mass at Hockley
Celebrant & Preacher Fr. Jeff Woolnough

IV Station of the Cross,  Jesus meets his Mother

Living in the Light: 

Our Friend Scott Hahn Reflects

 on the Fourth Sunday of Lent


The Sunday readings in Lent have been showing us the high points of salvation history - God’s covenant with creation in the time of Noah; His promises to Abraham; the law He gave to Israel at Sinai.
In today’s First Reading, we hear of the destruction of the kingdom established by God’s final Old Testament covenant - the covenant with David (see 2 Samuel 7;Psalm 89:3).
His chosen people abandoned the law He gave them. For their sins, the temple was destroyed, and they were exiled in Babylon. We hear their sorrow and repentance in the exile lament we sing as today’s Psalm.
But we also hear how God, in His mercy, gathered them back, even anointing a pagan king to shepherd them and rebuild the temple (see Isaiah 44:28-45:1,4).
God is rich in mercy, as today’s Epistle teaches. He promised that David’s kingdom would last forever, that David’s son would be His Son and rule all nations (see 2 Samuel 7:14-15;Psalm 2:7-9). In Jesus, God keeps that promise (see Revelation 22:16).
Moses lifted up the serpent as a sign of salvation (see Wisdom 16:6-7Numbers 21:9). Now Jesus is lifted up on the cross, to draw all people to himself (see John 12:32).
Those who refuse to believe in this sign of the Father’s love, condemn themselves - as the Israelites in their infidelity brought judgement upon themselves.
But God did not leave Israel in exile, and He does not want to leave any of us dead in our transgressions. We are God’s handiwork, saved to live as His people in the light of His truth.
Midway through this season of repentance, let us again behold the Pierced One (see John 19:37), and rededicate ourselves to living the “good works” that God has prepared us for.
Binding Isaac, Crucifying Jesus
In the second and fourth Sundays of Lent (Cycle B), we see an ancient symbolic reading of the Old Testament - Abraham’s “binding” of Isaac as a symbol of God’s love for the world in giving His only son.
In Genesis 22, Abraham brings his firstborn, his only son, the one he loves, to offer him as a sacrifice. On the third day (see Genesis 22:4), an angel gives him his son back - not dead as expected, but alive. And this sacrificial offering leads God to promise to bless all the nations of the earth.
The New Testament writers read this story as symbolizing the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
In fact, God’s praise of Abraham for not withholding His only Son is echoed by Paul (seeRomans 8:32) and John (see John 3:16). Hebrews says Abraham believed in the resurrection, and that Isaac’s release was a “symbol” of Christ’s resurrection (see Hebrews 11:17-19).
Jesus is the true heir promised to Abraham (see Matthew 1:1Galatians 3:16). Abraham rejoiced at Isaac’s birth because he could foresee the day when Christ would be born (seeJohn 8:56). Like Isaac, Christ carried the wood of His sacrifice (see Genesis 22:6John 19:6).
And by His sacrificial death and resurrection the blessing of Abraham was extended to the nations (see Galatians 3:14Genesis 22:16-18).

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Sunday 8th March

3rd Sunday of Lent
10.30 am Ordinariate Sung Mass at Hockley
Celebrant & Preacher Fr. Bob White

Sunday Gospel: John 2:13-25

Spiritual Sacrifices: 

Our Friend, Scott Hahn Reflects on the 

Third Sunday of Lent

Please visit his site:
Jesus does not come to destroy the temple, but to fulfill it (see Matthew 5:17) - to reveal its true purpose in God’s saving plan.
He is the Lord the prophets said would come - to purify the temple, banish the merchants, and make it a house of prayer for all peoples (see Zechariah 14:21Malachi 3:1-5Isaiah 56:7).
The God who made the heavens and the earth, who brought Israel out of slavery, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands (see Acts 7:482 Samuel 7:5).
Nor does He need offerings of oxen, sheep, or doves (see Psalm 50:7-13).
Notice in today’s First Reading that God did not originally command animal sacrifices - only that Israel heed His commandments (see Jeremiah 7:21-23Amos 5:25).
His law was a gift of divine wisdom, as we sing in today’s Psalm. It was a law of love (see Matthew 22:36-40), perfectly expressed in Christ’s self-offering on the cross (see John 15:13)
This is the “sign” Jesus offers in the Gospel today - the sign that caused Jewish leaders to stumble, as Paul tells us in the Epistle.
Jesus’ body - destroyed on the cross and raised up three days later - is the new and true sanctuary. From the temple of His body, rivers of living water flow, the Spirit of grace that makes each of us a temple (see 1 Corinthians 3:16), and together builds us into a dwelling place of God (see Ephesians 2:22).
In the Eucharist we participate in His offering of His body and blood. This is the worship in Spirit and in truth that the Father desires (see John 4:23-24).
We are to offer praise as our sacrifice (see Psalm 50:14,23). This means imitating Christ - offering our bodies - all our intentions and actions in every circumstance, for the love of God and the love of others (see Hebrews 10:5-7Romans 12:11 Peter 2:5).

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Sunday 1st March

2nd Sunday of Lent
10.30am Ordinariate Mass at Hockley
Celebrant: Fr. Jeff Woolnough

What is the call of the mountain?

Dear Friends,
On this second Sunday of Lent we hear the account of the Transfiguration according to the Gospel of Mark.
 “Transform us as you transfigured.”  Transform and transfigure are very similar words.
 Transfigure is external, transform can have a connotation of internal change. This line also makes me ask the question, who was the “event” of the Transfiguration for?  An argument could be made that it was for Jesus especially when we read the version from Luke.  Luke tells us of the conversation between Moses, Elijah and Jesus being about his Exodus, the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus about to take place.  But then why bring Peter, James and John with him?  They were apparently really tired; however, Jesus wanted them to witness his glorification.  He wanted to give them hope over the coming weeks but also to invite them into his glorification.
Remember what happens when they come down off the mountain?  They meet up with the other disciples who were not able to exorcise the demon.  In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, Jesus gets perturbed.  It seems he is saying, what do you mean you can’t do it?  Don’t you get it yet?  He was sending the apostles out but they had not been transformed, changed in their being, to a state of belief that would allow them to exorcise the demon.   The Transfiguration is, among many other things, an invitation to us for transformation.  So how do we answer that invitation?
First, we must acknowledge that we cannot transform ourselves.  Jesus is the only one who can transform us.  We can only be open to being transformed.  The reading from Genesis has a key to help us be open.  The messenger from God tells Abraham:
“… because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly . . .” 
I hear in this phrase the question, what do I withhold from God that could get in the way of transformation?  Said differently, what do I hold on to, what am I attached to, what is binding me?  Is this not the call of the Lenten season?  To become aware of and let go of all that gets in the way of our relationship with God?  To let go of what prevents us of being transformed?
As we enter the heart of the Lenten season, let’s take some time to reflect on how Jesus is calling us to transformation and ask ourselves, what are we withholding from God? What is keeping us from being open to the love of Christ which will transform us if we let it?
With my love and prayers as ever
Your priest and friend

Fr. Jeff

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Richard Cerson

Wednesday 25th February 7pm at Holy Family RC Church Benfleet,
Richard Cerson will be admitted to the office of Reader and acolyte by our Ordinary and make solemn vows before his forthcoming Ordinatation to the Diaconate.
 Please support him by attending the mass,if you can?

Richard Cerson, (far right), 4 years ago at the Rite of Election in Brentwood Cathedral

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Sunday 22nd February 2015

First Sunday of Lent
10:30am. Ordinariate Mass at Hockley
Celebrant: Fr. Bob White

Scott Hahn reflects...The New Creation
Lent bids us to return to the innocence of baptism. As Noah and his family were saved through the waters of the deluge, we were saved through the waters of baptism, Peter reminds us in today’s Epistle.
And God’s covenant with Noah in today’s First Reading marked the start of a new world. But it also prefigured a new and greater covenant between God and His creation (see Hosea 2:20Isaiah 11:1-9).
We see that new covenant and that new creation begin in today’s Gospel.
Jesus is portrayed as the new Adam - the beloved son of God (see Mark 1:11Luke 3:38), living in harmony with the wild beasts (see Genesis 2:19-20), being served by angels (seeEzekiel 28:12-14).
Like Adam, He too is tempted by the devil. But while Adam fell, giving reign to sin and death (see Romans 5:12-1417-20), Jesus is victorious.
This is the good news, the “gospel of God” that He proclaims. Through His death, resurrection, and enthronement at the right hand of the Father, the world is once again made God’s kingdom.
In the waters of baptism, each of us entered the kingdom of His beloved Son (see Colossians 1:13-14). We were made children of God, new creations (see 2 Corinthians 5:7Galatians 4:3-7).
But like Jesus, and Israel before Him, we have passed through the baptismal waters only to be driven into the wilderness - a world filled with afflictions and tests of our faithfulness (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-49,13Deuteronomy 8:2,16).
We are led on this journey by Jesus. He is the Savior - the way and the truth we sing of in today’s Psalm (see John 14:6). He feeds us with the bread of angels (see Psalm 78:25;Wisdom 16:20), and cleanses our consciences in the sacrament of reconciliation.
As we begin this holy season, let us renew our baptismal vows - to repent and believe the gospel.