St Simon's Parish Blog

Welcome to the Blog of St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, UK. Our address is: Brookfield Road Ashford Kent TN23 4EU

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For nine years up till July 2010, I was parish priest at St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, England. From July 2010 until June 2011 I was Associate Pastor at St Peter's Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan USA and then Pastor at St Anthony Parish, Gwinn, MI until October 2013. I then transferred to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon to serve as Director of the Tribunal. And that's what I am currently doing. Since February 2015 I have also been serving as Pastor at St Stephen Parish, South East Portland. I miss "da UP" (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) but love being here in the Pacific North West.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Parish Mission Day Two: God's Mercy

John speaks with a pupil at St Anselm's after his talk.

Masses at 6.30 and 9.30am again! With brief homily from me, Communion reflection from John and Testimony after Mass from Catherine. These testimonies are really touching people's hearts.

We celebrated the Mass for Forgiveness of Sins which is found in the Roman Missal amongst the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, and I selected the Eucharistic Prayer for Reconcilation I. It's rather beautiful, and very explicit about the sacrificial nature of the Mass - the word 'sacrifice' is mentioned several times.

In the homily (Jn 8:1-11) I dwelt more on the men than the women. Perhaps they had already come to the temple prepared with stones under their cloaks. Perhaps they really wanted to stone Jesus once they had ensnared him in the trap the tried to set. Certainly, as Jn 8 starts with stones, so it finishes with stones. As Jesus goes on to speak of himself as the Light of the world, the fulfilment of the hope of Abraham and pre-existing Abraham, the Scribes and Pharisees pick up those stones to thow at Him. How hard of heart they had become. As they withdrew from His presence and left Him alone with the woman, so their hearts hardened. They should have stayed with her and heard the words of non-condemnation. As He told her to sin no more, so He would have given her the grace to avoid sin in the future. God does not ask the impossible.

After Communion John spoke about the forgiveness shown by Pope John Paul II to his would-be assasin. Apparently, the man was so moved by the Pope's gesture that he asked to join the Catholic Church! John was obviously encouraging everyone to attend tonight to celebrate the mercy of God and take the opportunity for Confession. Up to ten priests are expected to be available tonight.

Rather blurred image of John addressing St Anselm's school, holding the crucifix.

After the 9.30 Mass, John, Neil, Breda and I went to St Anselm's school where John adressed some 400 pupils. It was good to see some who had been at the Service last night, and others who know me from their days at St Simon's and who were happy to talk with me even if they don't come to Mass. What a lot of possibilities there are in these youngsters. Please keep them and all involved in their education in your prayers.

John's testimony was powerful as always and a number of pupils clearly identified with some of what he had to say. Please pray that the hurt some experience from broken family situations etc. may be healed by God's grace.

Further information on St Patrick's Community:

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