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.

Thinking things through...

The Ordinariate: A Model of Realised Unity

Addressing a plenary meeting of Ordinariate clergy in Westminster Cathedral Hall on Thursday 12 February, Mgr Mark Langham, who was until recently the Secretary to the Anglican and Methodist Dialogues at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and who is currently the Catholic Chaplain to Cambridge University, said that the Ordinariate is "a model of realised unity." He also urged the personal ordinariates for former Anglicans to continue in their exemplary witness to "prophetic" and "truthful" ecumenism.
Describing the current rifts within Anglicanism, in which some Anglican bishops "refuse to accept the authority of [other] Anglican bishops... and declare themselves out of communion with them", Mgr Langham said that both "consistency" and "communion" are "essential qualities of ecumenism." They are concepts that "...the Ordinariate can help reinvigorate, reapply and retune," he added.

Thinking things through

Reflecting on the recent consecration of the first woman bishop in the Church of England, and the "more significant event" of the consecration of the Bishop of Burnley, Mgr Langham highlighted that "one of them, significantly, does not recognise... the ministry of the other." He then recounted his attendance at the 2008 Lambeth Conference, when the situation of Bishops refusing to celebrate the Eucharist with other Bishops was admitted to indicate a lack of 'thinking through' the consequences for communion. "Thinking through what communion means", Mgr Langham said, "is the crux of the situation." He added, "I would suggest that the Ordinariate is what happens when you think things through."
Describing the Ordinariate, Mgr Langham said that it is "...a truthful response to the claim to be Catholic, a realistic expression of the unity of the Church. It is contributing to a more honest ecumenical project, by demonstrating the need, to our partners, to draw a rigorous theological conclusion from the claims of communion."
By not shying away from the difficulties that the "journey" of ecumenism involves, and by bringing into the Church a distinctive identity and heritage, Mgr Langham said that the Ordinariate is an example of "realised ecumenism", a "prophetic sign" and a "commitment to faithfulness."

A model of diversity in unity

He also said that the Ordinariate "...has much to offer the wider Church. It holds out a successful, viable, model of diversity in unity – a visible sign that proclaims that shared communion does not mean uniformity of worship, traditions or government.... [It] needs to be broadcast wider in ecumenical circles, [as] an assurance to other ecumenical partners that the price of unity is not too high."
Later in his address, Mgr Langham also said that the Ordinariate " a catechising tool, and example of methodology" and that "it has resources ... which the wider Church needs." The Ordinariate, he added, "...can show how to go about exploring and representing one's own tradition. Here, I think, [the Ordinariate] can make a most significant contribution to modern ecumenical dialogue, both directly and indirectly. You not only model realised unity, but you model how to get there."

Friday, 13 February 2015

Sunday 15th February 2015 & Ash Weds

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
'Quinquagesima Sunday'
Hockley Ordinariate Mass 10.30 am. at St Pius X
Celebrant & Preacher Fr Jeff Woolnough
Mark 1:40-45. Jesus heals the leper...

Lent begins 18th February, ASH WEDNESDAY
Masses at Eastwood 9.30am & 7.30pm with imposition of Ashes
Confessions before Ash Weds - Saturday 14th February
10-11am & 3-4pm at St. Peter's.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Sunday 8th February

5th in Ordinary Time
10.30am. Ordinariate Sung Mass at Hockley 
Celebrant Fr Bob White -Preacher Fr Peter Walters from Let the Children Live!

Let The Children Live! is a charity registered with the Charity Commission No.1013634 through which people can respond to the needs of children from the streets and shanty-towns of Colombia’s cities, and in particular the city of MedellĂ­n.  It aims both to safeguard the lives of children from the violence and poverty of the streets, and to make their lives worth living by giving them love, education and a future.

Sunday 8th February at the 10.30am Ordinariate Mass at Hockley we welcome Fr. Peter Walters who will preach and tell us more about this extraordinary mission of mercy and charity.
The BBC ESSEX team may also record part of the service for broadcast in the near future so make sure you are all in good voice! Do please come prepared for a second collection to support Fr Peter’s work? Many thanks in anticipation!
 The charity was founded in 1992 by Fr Peter Walters, who first became involved with the street-children in 1982 when they helped him after he became temporarily stranded in Colombia. It is a charitable ( not-for-profit ) organisation and does not engage in political activity. “We recognise that the phenomenon of the street-children is the product of complex social problems to which there are no easy answers. Our aim is to support the Colombian people as they take the initiative in caring for the most disadvantaged of their children,” says Fr Peter. “They are making the most of their limited resources, but they need support from abroad for this work to continue and grow. Because the children have no-one, they really belong to us all. Unless we help them, these children will remain ‘disposable ones’: throwaway kids with no future at all.”
We look forward to welcoming Fr Peter at both Hockley and Eastwood this Sunday!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Sunday 1st February 2015 & Candlemass

 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
10.30 am Ordinariate Sung Mass
Celebrant & Preacher Fr. Bob White

Jesus teaching in the Synagogue

Monday 2nd February
The Presentation of the Lord

Nunc Dimittis
7.30pm. Sung Mass with ceremonies
St. Peter's Eastwood Celebrant & Preacher Fr. Jeff