On hearing the sad news of the announcement of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, Archbishop John issued the following statement:
On behalf of the Catholic Community of the Archdiocese of Southwark, I wish to express my profound sorrow at the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
In union with the entire nation, we mourn the loss of not only an esteemed and respected member of the Royal Family, but also a man who exemplified the very best qualities of courage, fortitude and loyalty. Although born into a very different world, his example and witness leave us, here in this present age, with a lasting and enduring legacy of the timeless paradigm of duty and service.
In this season of Eastertide, when we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and his victory over death, we pray that His Royal Highness will rest in peace and rise in glory. We also remember in our prayers Her Majesty the Queen and all members of the Royal Family at this sad time, offering to them our sincerest condolences.
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to you all. It is very good news that the number of daily Covid infections is coming down. Of course, it is still high compared with numbers up to October last year. Sadly, our parishioners are still contracting the virus, although we believe not from attending Mass at St Joseph’s. Some of them are very poorly in hospital. We keep them all in our thoughts and prayers. Some of our parishioners have died of the pandemic and we pray God to grant them eternal rest.
It is my responsibility as pastor to keep all parishioners as safe from infection as possible, while still ministering to their spiritual needs in the most reverential manner as possible. This is by no means an easy task, especially with the Covid variants which we as we have seen are so much easier to catch. Since last summer there has been a small team of people working every day behind the scenes (including Christmas) on the practical side of achieving a safe worshipping environment for all; and a large team of stewards to whom I am very grateful for making it possible for parishioners to attend Mass in person, when legally permitted. There have been many difficult and complicated decisions to take. Often, they have had to be made very fast, with the health and safety of parishioners being the first priority.
Recently we purchased enough face shields for stewards and Extra-Ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist to use – this is not compulsory but strongly recommended, as it provides an extra barrier against infection. For the health and safety of all parishioners, please do not come to the church if you are feeling unwell, are awaiting a test result or if you have been near someone who has tested positive. And remember always when coming to Church to wear your face mask completely covering your mouth and nose. Each day, thanks to our technical team, we have at least one Mass livestreamed. Each one of us has a part to play in keeping infections down, especially for the sake of those most vulnerable among us. I am doing everything within my power and by the grace of God to keep safe and free from Covid 19 so that I can continue to discharge my duties as your pastor.
We are extremely blessed to have Masses live-streamed and reaching so many of you every day. We are still the same congregation of St Joseph’s, whether in the church or at home. Jesus is still present in the Blessed Sacrament in church and in our individual hearts. I am always saddenedeach time that I have to celebrate Mass alone in an empty church as was the case during Easter 2020. I hope and pray that by the grace of God, this will never happen again.
I am looking forward to welcoming you all back to our vibrant church once the lockdown is over. In the meantime, keep safe and be assured of my prayers.
You can now donate to St Joseph’s Parish in two ways during the coronavirus pandemic – by Paypal or using the handsets at the back of the church.
For those who would like to continue their regular or occasional giving to St Joseph’s Parish, we now have a PayPal Link that will enable you to do so. All you need is to have your own PayPal Account.
Thank you on behalf of Fr Uche and the Parish.
The Archdiocese of Southwark has successfully signed up to PayPal as a registered charity. The Fundraising Team can set up each church with a dedicated PayPal donate button. We have decided to take advantage of this set up and you will now be able to access our new donation page here. You can also click on the QR Code below if you have a smart phone:
When you donate you will be given an option to add a note, so please state there what the donation is for, eg. church donation, Mass Intention, Christmas Offering etc. Please email [email protected] or call 07488 241753 if you have any queries. Many thanks.
Contactless handsets in church
We are pleased to announce we can now accept cashless donations for the Parish by debit and credit cards from all the major card schemes, using the handsets at the back of Church.
On the handset screen are a number of amounts you can choose, but if these do not suit you, you can choose a different amount to donate.
You can donate contactlessly, or you can insert your card into the keypad where you can authorise your donation using your card’s PIN.
You will be asked to register for Gift-Aid, and you would only have to do this the first time you donate. NB. You will need register even if you are already registered as a Gift-Aider with the parish.
If you want to give your donation to the Parish Collection as cash, there are baskets at the back of Church. If you would like to give regularly by standing order, please contact the Parish Office.
The National Eucharistic Congress was a three-day event which took place in Liverpool in September. Because places had to be limited, very few of us in our parishes were able to attend. Many of those who went from Southwark parishes came together for the first of the follow-up meetings at the Christian Education Centre, Tooting Bec, on Saturday 6 October. It was immediately evident that they had brought back with them an excitement for what they had experienced and an enthusiasm to share it. Representatives from the furthest reaches of Southwark Diocese crammed into the room with some having to listen through the open door!
Adoremus – Latin for “Let us adore” – may have been a slightly misleading title for the event as it was not simply about Eucharistic Adoration. Rather, it was about our relationship with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist of the Mass, and in Eucharistic Adoration, and in the strength we draw from those encounters to go out and share that joy and peace with the world around us.
Fortunately, modern technology comes to our aid in hearing the message from Liverpool asvideo recordings of the keynote speakers are accessible on www.catholicnews.org.uk/Home/Videos.Here you can watch and listen to :
1. Bishop Robert Barron– The Mystery of the Mass,&Sainthood, Sanctity and what makes us Holy
2. Sister Margaret Atkins – Teaching the Eucharist
3. Canon David Oakley – The Eucharist in the life of the Church
4. Canon Mervyn Power – The Scriptural Context
All are worth viewing.
Southwark delegates to the Congress were asked to complete a report summarising their thoughts and ideas. These reports have now been studied by the diocesan “Listening Group” and themes summarised as follows:
We are the Body of Christ. Jesus present in Word and Sacrament
Centrality of the Eucharist.
Welcome that is open. Being able to read the signs of the times with wisdom.
Passionate and Compassionate. Using real language.
Witness that is personal. Recognition of the “Gifts of the Laity”/Lay Leadership
Catechesis very important. Building links: Parish/ Deanery/School/Dioceses/Wider Church/ Ecumenical/Wider World.
More awareness of what is going on in the diocese.So much wonderful work is going on especially with the various sodalities.
Must be mindful of outcomes.How do we go forward?
Devotional formation: Silence/meditation/Adoration/Importance of Sung Prayer/plus………..
Coming together of the Diocese/ Long term planning/Synod/Parish Missions/Parish Renewal.
The challenge for all of us now is to absorb the messages from the Liverpool Congress and find imaginative ways of putting the ideas into practice in our parish liturgies, catechesis, pastoral care and outreach. A further follow-up meeting is being held at the Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon on Saturday 10th November, 10.00 – 13.00hrs, where Fr Timothy Radcliffe will speak on “Discerning Mission and Legacy”
This year’s Christmas Fair proceeds will be going to a very poor school in a small village in Nigeria – Queen of Apostles Nursery, Primary and Secondary Technical School. Fr Uche had the opportunity to visit the school when he was in Nigeria last January, and he was horrified to see the state of the building and the dire conditions the poor students have to endure.
The building works necessary to turn this into a viable place of study has been estimated at around £2,500, which we hope to achieve during Advent with everybody’s help.
Apart from the proceeds of the Christmas Fair, we are also having 2nd collections during the four weekends of Advent to help raise this sum.
Please also consider sponsoring a child during their studies: £25 a year for a Nursery/Primary pupil; £50 to see a student through Secondary School.