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.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Baptism Congratulations


Elizabeth Ellen Quinn was baptised on 17th February, the 2nd Sunday of Lent.


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Monday, February 18, 2008

Celebrating a half century

On Saturday 16th the parish celebrated its parish priest's 50th birthday. Thanks to all who organised the wonderful evening.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Aid to the Church in Need


Today we welcomed John Grieg from Aid to the Church in Need. He set up his stall and gave a brief talk at the end of Mass to introduce the parish Lenten Appeal that will be made in support of the work of ACN. Many bishops in troubled parts of the world depend on ACN's help to train seminarians and provide formation for religious brothers and sisters. The Church is being persecuted in many places, not least in China.

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St Blaise


My homily had several themes today: St Blaise and the blessing of throats, the indulgences available on the occasion of the Lourdes Jubilee, and the forthcoming Lenten Liturgy.

St Blaise was an Armenian bishop and martyr who died around 316. Not much is known about his life the story of which, inevitably, has been embelished by legends. But who's to say they're not true!

When he was imprisoned, it is said that wild animals came to him to be cured. So there arose the tradition of bringing holy water to and invoking the blessing of St Blaise upon sick cattle.

Also, a mother brought her son who was choking from a fish bone stuck in his throat. Blaise cured the choking lad and restored him to his mother, who came back to the cell with food and candles for Blaise. And so St Blaise's intercession is invoked for relief from afflictions of the throat.

Before being beheaded, Blaise's skin was stetched using a wool-comb, which wasn't very civilised! So he is also the patron of wool-combers.
The tradition is to receive a blessing with candles blessed on Candlemas the previous day. So after Mass today, all who wished came forward to receive a blessing.

The priest (or other minister) holds the candles under the chin of the person being blessed and recites the following formula:

Through the intercession of St Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

A priest or deacon makes the sign of the Cross over the person as he invokes the Name of the Trinity.

Given the large numbers, I enlisted the assitance of parish MC Guy Beresford and Reader/Extraodinary Minister of Communion John Barton, and made sure to get a blessing myself.
Some pics:

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New Year's Eve 2007/08

A bit of late news, but for the record: a New Year's Eve parish party was held in the Church Hall 31st Dec with live barndance provided by The Minstrels who called the dances, taught the routines and performed magic tricks as well.

The idea was to have an authentically English evening but with a multicultural aspect. Barndancing can unite people of all ages and cultures.

Some photos to give you a flavour of the evening:

A table of Iraqi food!

Lessons before the dance.

Tim (the large chap) danced for the first time - his wife said he didn't even dance at their wedding, but he danced tonight!


So, if you didn't come this time, you'll think about coming again. All who came enjoyed it and said what a good time they had. The Parish Council has reviewed it and recommends organising another one next year. A barndance is not cheap to organise on New Year's Eve, but if the whole parish turns out, pays something to enter and has fun, it'd be worth it.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Helping our Children Make Good Choices


All are welcome to this talk on Sunday 17th February. (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

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