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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Christian couple get a knock on the door for expressing their views on homosexuality


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Parish Newsletter Sunday 28th June 2009

Parish Newsletter 28th June 2009


Baptism today

Today we congratulate Emanuelle Maria Veronica Baldwin and her parents and godparents on the occasion of her baptism.

At the request of the family the Baptism was carried out using the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, i.e. according to the Ritual that was used before the reform of the Liturgy following the Second Vatican Council.

The Rite begins outside or at the entrance of the Church. The usual questionings are made directly to the child with the godparents answering in her name. There are many beautiful prayers over the child, but what is most striking is the exorcisms, the commands of the priest to the 'unclean spirit' to depart and remain far from the child to be baptised. These are not simply prayers to God that he might keep the devil away from the child, but actual commands made by the priest to the unclean spirit in the name of Jesus Christ. One can understand the need for preparation for such a ceremony for a priest who is in league with the 'unclean spirit' through dissolute living would not be able to give such a command to the devil. Is our newer liturgy weakened by the removal of these prayers?

After leading the child and godparents into the church reciting the Creed and Lord's Prayer, there is a further exorcism before we enter the sanctuary or baptistery, more or less telling the devil to keep out and to stay away from the child who is an image of God, called to be his holy temple.

Up to now the priest has been wearing a purple stole. Once he has anointed the child with the oil of catechumens, he changes to a white stole and all enter the baptistery/sanctuary for the renunciation of Satan and the baptism.

This is followed by the usual anointing with chrism, clothing and handing over of a lighted candle. The old ritual doesn't specify where the baptismal candle is to be lit from so we arranged for one of those mutual enrichments of the old by the new by lighting the candle from the paschal candle, as is directed in the newer ritual.

Afterwards we concsecrated Emanuelle to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and sang the Salve Regina by the statue of Our Lady.

With the parents and godparents.

And just the godparents.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Year of the Priesthood

As I mentioned in my homily today Pope Benedict has declared the year from the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart 2009 (19th June) to the same Solemnity 2010 (11th June) a year of the Priesthood.

Here are various links you can refer to for more information:


Farewell to Samuel

Last Tuesday we bade farewell to Seminarian Samuel Davy as he returned to St John's Seminary, Wonersh, to reflect on his experiences together with other seminarians who had been on placement. We keep Samuel and all his fellows in our prayers.

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Parish Newsletter Sunday 21st June 2009

Parish Newsletter Sunday 21st June 2009


Monday, June 15, 2009

You know I asked for help

In last week's newsletter I wondered if someone might volunteer to replace the lights above the altar. Well, on the eve of his departure, our seminarian Samuel Davy helped me do it myself.

We erected the scaffolding and up I went! Samuel is very keen on 'practical priesthood' lessons at the seminary. He got one today!

Happily, I was not immolated upon the Altar of Sacrifice!


Corpus Christi

Yesterday, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, we held our annual Blessed Sacrament Procession. Although it had rained during the night and the forecast was for overcast skies, the sun shone magnificently. The children who made their First Communion last Sunday led the way in front of the monstrance. Sorry, but no photos available as no one took any pictures. But see previous year to give an idea of what happens.

Afterwards there was a reception in the hall for parishioners. Here are most of our First Communion children (one or two had to be elsewheree) around the cake before tucking in.

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Parish Newsletter Sunday 14th June 2009

Parish Newsletter Sunday 14th June 2009 Parish Newsletter Sunday 14th June 2009 jboyle4027


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Diocesan Priests' Gathering at Merville

Because it is impossible to give a direct link to a particular post below is the post from the Archdiocesan website about the gathering I attended last week.

Merville II with the clergy of the South-West area

About sixty priests and deacons, mainly from the South-West area of our diocese, gathered with Archbishop Kevin at Merville in France from Monday, 1st June until Friday, 5th June 2009 for a week of prayer and reflection on their pastoral ministry.

Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, former Master General of the Dominicans, led a Day of Recollection and Fr Paddy Sweeny, a priest with responsibility for the welfare of clergy in the Dublin diocese, led sessions on the practical and personal issues facing the clergy today.

Mgr Gerry Ewing and the Ongoing Formation of Priests team have organised, at the Archbishop's request, three such weeks during 2009. The first, mainly for clergy from the South-East area, was held in February and was valued by all participants. The final week will be held in October, mainly for the clergy of the Kent area.

These meetings provide a welcome opportunity for the Southwark clergy to express their unity with each other and with their Archbishop - and to enjoy each other's company.

More photos of the gathering at Merville

Father Peter Geldard offered to fly me over in his little plane. Here he is preparing to board at Rochester.

Flying over Kent:

Approaching the French coast:

Preparing the approach to Merville airfield:


Father Peter disembarks.

Yours truly:


First Communions

Sunday 7th June, the big day arrived. Will try and get some better photos from parishioners but this is the best that I could find on my camera.

We had a packed church and it was wonderful to have so many family and friends present at their children's first Communion.

May they persevere in their love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.


Parish Confirmations

Last Friday, 5th June, eleven parishioners were sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit as Bishop John Hine conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Here are our servers with the Bishop:

After the Mass Bishop John met the newly-confirmed and their families and signed their certificates.

The Bishop and all the newly-cofirmed:

Involving the young in collaborative ministry as they cut the cake with Bishop John.


This is my body - a pro life song in prayer

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Parish Newsletter Sunday 7th June 2009

Parish Newsletter Sunday 7th June 2009 Parish Newsletter Sunday 7th June 2009 jboyle4027