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, December 29, 2008

Our church at Christmas

Feast of the Holy Family - weekly newsletter

Parish Newsletter 28th December 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What did the Pope really say?

Following recent controversy in the media concerning Pope Benedict's end of year address to the Roman Curia in which he is alleged to have said that saving the world from homosexuality is more important than saving the rain forest, here is his speech in full - English translation thanks to Bishop Campbell, Co-adjutor of Lancaster.

Address to Curia Dec 2008

The relevant section towards the end reads as follows:

Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian Credo, the Church cannot and should not confine itself to passing on the message of salvation alone. It has a responsibility for the created order and ought to make this responsibility prevail, even in public. And in so doing, it ought to safeguard not only the earth, water, and air as gifts of creation, belonging to everyone. It ought also to protect man against the destruction of himself. What is necessary is a kind of ecology of man, understood in the correct sense.

When the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected, it is not the result of an outdated metaphysic. It is a question here of faith in the Creator and of listening to the language of creation, the devaluation of which leads to the selfdestruction of man and therefore to the destruction of the same work of God. That which is often expressed and understood by the term “gender”, results finally in the self-emancipation of man from creation and from the Creator. Man wishes to act alone and to dispose ever and exclusively of that alone which concerns him. But in this way he is living contrary to the truth, he is living contrary to the Spirit Creator. The tropical forests are deserving, yes, of our protection, but man merits no less than the creature, in which there is written a message which does not mean a contradiction of our liberty, but its condition. The great Scholastic theologians have characterised matrimony, the life-long bond between man and woman, as a sacrament of creation, instituted by the Creator himself and which Christ – without modifying the message of creation – has incorporated into the history of his covenant with mankind. This forms part of the message that the Church must recover the witness in favour of the Spirit Creator present in nature in its entirety and in a particular way in the nature of man, created in the image of God. Beginning from this perspective, it would be beneficial to read again the Encyclical Humanae Vitae: the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against sexuality as a consumer entity, the future as opposed to the exclusive pretext of the present, and the nature of man against its manipulation.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Photo competition

What do you think of this photo I took just less than a year ago?

Where was it taken?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ashford Invicta Singers Concert for Christmas

Sunday evening a most enjoyable concert of Christmas music was provided by the Ashford Invicta Singers in our church hall. The programme was the following:

Deck the Hall (An old Welsh Carol)
From a distance (Music and Lyrics by Julie Gold)
All this time (An early English Carol, Music by William Walton)
The Boar's Head (Traditional English Carol, Arranged by Elizabeth Poston)
Guest soloist Tom Vafildis - Saxophone (Accompanied by his father Barn. Vafidis)
Sound the Trumpet (Music and Lyrics by Henry Purcell)
Selection for "Les Miserables" (Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boubil)
Angels' Choir (Music and Lyrices by John Rutter)
Amazing Grace (Traditional Air, Arranged by Bill Stevens)
Jingle Bells (Music and Lyrics by J Pierport, Arranged by Edgar LaMance)
Little Jack Horner (By J Michael Diack, with apologies to Handel)
O Little Town of Bethlehem (Music by Ian Hubbard, Lyrics by Bishop Phillips Brooks)
Guest soloist: Georgina Finn - Flute (Accompanied by her father Duncan Finn)
The Three Kings (Carol by Peter Cornelius, Arranged by Ivor Atkins)
Away in a Manger (Music by Alan Woods)
A Selection from "My Fair Lady" (Music by Fredrick Loewe, Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner)
A Merry Christmas (Traditional, Arranged by Arthur Warrell)
O Come all ye Faithful (sung by all present)

Some photos from the evening:


Newsletter for Sunday 14th December (Gaudete Sunday)



Saturday, December 06, 2008

Night of Prayer

Our Night of Prayer is in progress as I write. It began at 10.00pm with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and prayers of intercession and Consecration to the Sacred Heart. It will conclude in the morning with a Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Mass at 6.00am. It seems somehow appropriate to have it covering the night of the First Friday and morning of the First Saturday.

The idea came from a parishioner who felt that, just as there are people working eight-hour shifts during the night, so we could do an eight-hour shift of prayer.

The intention of this Night of Prayer is "The Needs of our Parish." We might have futher "Nights of Prayer" if people request it. Those who have kept vigil in the church up to now have been delighted to have had the opportunity to pray before the Lord.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Servers Day at New Addington

On Saturday, 22nd November 2008, The Good Shepherd, New Addington, hosted a day for altar servers led by pairsh priest Father Stephen Boyle, together with Father John Boyle and Matthew Charlesworth SJ.

Two servers from St Simon's joined about 60 servers from the Croydon Deanery and other parishes including a large group from group from St Ignatius, Stamford Hill, led by Brother Matthew.

It was an opportunity for a reunion of those who had attended the Altar Servers' Rome trip in October and 'Summertime 2008'.