Labels: Sick parishioners
Welcome to the Blog of St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, UK. Our address is: Brookfield Road Ashford Kent TN23 4EU
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.
Labels: Sick parishioners
I call on all politicians to answer one simple question: will you protect the right to life of all persons in our society from conception until natural death? And I call on you to hold these elected representatives to account.
For those unwilling to give this support we must be unwilling to give our vote. History will judge us on where we stood in this crucial issue. But there is a judgement more important than history. We shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.
I urge politicians to have no truck with the evil trade of abortion. For those at Westminster this means finding means of overthrowing the legislation, which makes the killing possible. For those at Holyrood that means refusing to allow our health services to participate in the wanton killing of the innocent. Peace cannot be built in the shadow of the abortion rooms.
In making this call, I speak most especially to those who claim to be Catholic. I ask them to examine their consciences and discern if they are playing any part in sustaining this social evil. I remind them to avoid cooperating in the unspeakable crime of abortion and the barrier such cooperation erects to receiving Holy Communion. As St. Paul warns us “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.”
I would be failing as a pastor not to highlight the gravity of this situation not just to law makers but to anyone: mother; father; boyfriend; counsellor who in any way leads a mother to abortion.
I would urge all Catholics, especially those who hold positions of public responsibility, to educate themselves about the teaching of the Church, and to seek pastoral advice so that they can make informed decisions with consistency and integrity... The Catholic Church believes that every life has been created by God in his own image and likeness. This means that all life is sacred, with value and meaning at every stage and in every condition, from the moment of conception to the point of natural death... It is for this reason that the Church strongly opposes abortion because it is the taking of an innocent human life... The long-standing tradition of the Church teaches that anyone who freely and knowingly commits a serious wrong -- that is, a mortal sin -- should approach the Eucharist only after receiving faithfully the sacrament of penance.
Fr Stephen enjoys a conversation with Suzy Gray after the talk.
In Christianity we have a religion that is both revealed and appeals to reason, as St Paul wrote:
Ever since God created the world, his everlasting power and deity — however invisible — have been there for the mind to see in the things he has made. (Rom 1:20)
Anthony (centre) with Mark and Margaret after the talk.
Noella Thiebaut poses by the icon of the Transfiguration in the Seminary UCR.
Joan Hazell and Catarina Beresford in the Seminary gardens.
Thereza Baker, Joan, Catarina and Noella in the chapel choir stalls.
Guy Beresford (to the left) going through his paces.
We don't have a cry chapel as such - just a children's corner with a box of children's books on such topics as The Mass, Noah's Ark, the Saints, etc:
Lisa receives a bouquet of flowers from Danielle:
Without Susan Radecka, the hall would not be as clean as it always is, and she prepared the kitchen for the reception. So Jack is presenting her with a bouquet:
Congratulations to all our first communicants.
Michael James Jerome is baptised with sponsor Eileen supporting.
Michael, wearing his baptismal garment, is confirmed. His confirmation name is Jerome.
Verity Mary Sophie Green is confirmed, taking the name Cecilia, with her sponsor aunt Helen.
Jessica Kate Holmes is confirmed, taking the name Therese, with sponsor grandfather Alan.
Fr John thanking His Grace for being with us.
Leaving the sanctuary.
Verity with some of her family after Mass, including her father Damian Green MP (2nd left - he represents Ashford in the House of Commons) and mother Alicia (on Verity's left).
Verity and Jessica with Archbishop Kevin.
Michael receives his certificate of Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion from His Grace.
Jessica receives her certificate of Confirmation...
and Verity hers.
Michael chatting with the Archbishop...
The Archbishop chats with local MP Damian Green, Verity's father.
Congratulations to all our newly initiated and thanks to all parishioners who helped make the Archbishop's visit such a success.