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
- Name: John Boyle
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.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Syro Malabar Baptism
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Parish Mission - Final Day
Parishioners who waited till the very end to get a photo with the team:
Thereza, Sarah, team members Niall and Catharine, Pat, team members Breda and Matthew with Pat's children Joseph and Danielle and his wife Tracy.
Saturday morning, the team left early to travel to Falmouth in Cornwall for their next mission. The house was strangely quiet as they left and, I have to say, I have been missing their presence and company throughout the hours of this day. We remain united in prayer. Pray for all the members of this wonderful community.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Parish Mission Days Two, Three and Four
John with the Head Teacher and Head of RE at Christchurch School
Margretta and her daughters Emily and Jessica chat with Mission Team member Catharine after the service.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Parish Mission Day Two: God's Mercy
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.
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: http://www.stpatrickscommunity.org/
Monday, October 08, 2007
Parish Mission - First Day & Night: God's Love
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.
Labels: Parish Mission
Parish Mission 2007
Labels: Parish Mission
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Rosary Sunday Baptism
Saturday, October 06, 2007
A busy day today - our annual Autumn Fayre took place after much preparation by co-ordinating committee Anne Bulpin, Margretta Holmes, Eileen Conn and other supportive parishioners.
Sisters Emily and Jessica in mid-flight
Labels: Autumn Fayre