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.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Parish Mission - First Day & Night: God's Love

Team member Neil enjoys some Iraqi tea at lunch on Sunday with fellow team member Catherine.

Catherine, Breda, Neil and Matthew after Sunday lunch with Tim, his wife Maysam and son Alex who hosted us for lunch on Sunday.

Two morning Masses were celebrated today - Votive Masses of the Sacred Heart to ask for the grace of a greater awareness of God's love for us. Both were well attended. As well as a brief homily from me, Neil gave a reflection after Communion on the love of God experienced by St Therese of Lisiuex. After Mass Breda gave a brief personal testimony of how she came to a sure knowledge of the love of God after having been away from the practice of the faith.

The team visited the two Catholic primary schools in Ashford - St Teresa and St Simon - to talk about the Mission and to invite them to tonights Service. Breda taught them a lovely song which would be sung at the end of the service tonight and Matthew spoke to them about the Rosary.

Breda talks to St Simon's pupils about the Mass and Holy Communion

Matthew, Breda and Neil teach the pupils a song to be sung at tonight's mission service.

Fr John took Neil, Matthew and Breda up to the Stanhope estate where we chatted with people and gave them invitations to the Mission.

The climax of the day was the first service - a beautiful service of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with testimony from John Pridmore. He spoke about his broken family experience, his life as a gangster, having everything but true happiness, and his conversion. To know more you really need to read his book 'From Gangland to Promised Land' which was on sale this evening and will be available for the rest of the week.

The Church was filled to capacity, thank God. It was wonderful to see so many people turn out. We were delighted to see some of the people we had called on this afternoon including two sisters who had just finished reading John's book. I'm particularly grateful to our good parishioners who have volunteered on the welcoming/hospitality front. We continue to pray that the rest of the week will be blessed by God and be an occasion of rich graces for all who attend.

Unfortunately I have no photos of the evening as I was otherwise occupied in my priestly ministry. Hope to post a few illustrative photos soon.



Anonymous Dominic said...

Father, when you said: "As well as a brief homily, Neil gave a reflection after Communion....," you didn't surely mean that Neil gave that brief homily, did you?

I hope the parish mission bears much fruit.

9:42 am  
Blogger Felix Randal said...

God bless the mission. The St Patrick's Community are a great bunch!

10:29 am  
Blogger Fr John Boyle said...

Dominic: my sentence was not well constructed. As well as the brief homily that I gave, Neil gave a reflection... Will update. Thanks.

3:25 pm  
Anonymous Tim Shamoon said...

Dear Fr. John;

I usually have this negative view of missions being about a bunch of “sad or hurt” people who in the process of their own healing develop “their own theology” and almost become a cult and say provocative statements for nothing more than effect. Yet from the moment I met the team (Neil, Catherine, Breda, Matthew and later on John) I knew that far from them being sad they were very VERY HAPPY, at peace, content and somewhere that I would love to be in terms of my own faith and relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. The first night was truly marvellous gentle yet powerful, as powerful as God’s gentle breeze. Thank you Father John for inviting the beautiful St. Patrick’s Community and may Jesus bless and protect them. Anyone that can attend please do and if you can not then seriously consider attending their mission when it arrives at your or a parish near you. After just one day I have decided to remember not to give up on other people that I may not like specially after hearing the story of Mother Teresa.

5:53 pm  
Anonymous Dominic said...

I would have been a little surprised if you'd let a lay person give the homily! I'm not your parish - your people are very fortunate to have you.

9:09 am  

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