30th Sunday in OT – 27.10.19
Dear sisters and brothers, I want to share with you, today, something that I felt about last Sunday’s 11 o’clock mass at Cranleigh. It was wonderful! But why was it so wonderful? Why was it so different from the previous Sunday’s 11 o’ clock mass when I asked you to help me find a way to improve the experience for all of us, or whether you were even concerned at all, expecting the experience to be as it was? A bit down beat, lacklustre, and seemingly devoid of much enthusiasm of any sort.
I can’t answer for you, but I can answer for myself, and perhaps that might help you to reflect on what makes for a wonderful experience at mass where we feel the sense of community, prayer, joy, and the Spirit moving.
The first and most immediately obvious thing I noticed was that, because of the first Holy Communion families present, the church was almost full. It had everything and everyone from babies up to octogenarians (and, perhaps, beyond!). If all those people present last Sunday came each Sunday, we would have a kind of ‘critical mass’, which is to say a number of people present that becomes slightly self-generating. People come not only to worship God (the best and primary reason) but because they sense that they are part of a family. In other words, they belong and enjoy meeting their friends and acquaintances. The sense of community became a reality last Sunday, and it showed.
The second thing I noticed was the singing and the responding. Yes, I had chosen some well-known hymns and they were very well suited to the occasion, but once again a ‘critical mass’ enabled the singing to swell and fill the building in a most un-catholic way! The sound of the entrance hymn being sung was a most uplifting experience and gave me a real boost such that I felt uplifted and carried by a wave of praise and song. It was a lovely experience. Contrast that with the previous week when it felt like I was the only one singing, and to be honest with you, that I was the only one who cared.
One of the immediate effects of all this was that I felt spiritually energised and motivated. I felt joy and pleasure and, looking around I could see this in your faces too. All too often we impose a kind of ‘holy face’ on ourselves which I suppose can be interpreted as trying to feel holy when, perhaps, we are not. Last Sunday there were just open, smiling, expectant faces, and that made me want to give of my best – and here is the interesting bit – not just for you the congregation but for the Lord. In fact, always for the Lord first and foremost. But instead of wading through treacle to seemingly drag everyone reluctantly into his presence we were going together with a light and joyful step.
What can we take from this for the future?
It seems to me that one of the first things is to encourage you and your families to come to mass. Old fashioned I know! But instead of thinking about it as a duty and a way to avoid catholic guilt this time coming to mass can be because that’s where my family are. Just as if you threw a party, invited your friends and family but only a third of them came the party would be a bit of a let-down for you and your guests so it is with Church. Our experience is poor because our attendance is poor. We lose that important sense of community.
The second thing is to come as you are but with high expectations that you are going to participate in something. It will no longer be attending the most boring and repetitive play that you’ve ever been to. It will be a fresh, uplifting and engaging experience in which we energise each other in our worship and in our faith. So, I encourage you to a commitment of weekly worship together. If we all made that commitment, we would notice a difference straight away and be happier and more fulfilled Christians for it.
With my love and encouragement, Fr David
Friday 1st November Feast of All Saints and All Souls
This year the Feast of All Saints will be celebrated on Friday 1st November in Cranleigh at 10am and Mass at Bramley at 8pm. All Saints day is a holy day of obligation.
All Souls Day is the following day, Saturday 2nd November. The usual Vigil Mass will be a mass of All Souls, in accordance with the liturgical norms. So, there will be an opportunity at 6pm to remember the Souls of the Faithful Departed. There will be a supply of cards available from this Sunday on which you are invited to write the name of the deceased members of your family. These will then be bought up during the bidding prayers of the Mass and will form part of the general intercessions.
The Parish Lunch will take place in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room this Tuesday following a Cranleigh Mass at 11.30am. No mass at STM on 29/10. Sign-up sheets are in the porches, please extend this invitation to your friends and transport can be arranged if required. Please contact the Parish Office on 272075.
Through our worship in prayer and liturgy we seek always to become a
community of faith, hope and love, building inclusive
relationships with people of faith and none, reaching out to those in need
Parish Mission Statement
Our Parish is working towards a culture of safeguarding for volunteers and parishioners. If you volunteer for the church we invite you to attend an evening at which we can review, discuss and embed the principles to create a culture of safeguarding in your roles and our Parish. Please join us on Tuesday 29th October at 7.30pm in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room. There will be refreshments.
Please RSVP to the Parish Office using email: email@example.com. This is a vital workshop and especially relevant if you are DBS checked and work with vulnerable children or adults. It is also useful for those wanting to learn more about safeguarding.
Calling all Readers – Father David has asked me to arrange a meeting for all readers. If you are already on the list you will receive a personal invitation, but it is hoped that some new readers will offer themselves for this ministry, especially our young people. We are fortunate to have the help of Emma Burdon from Dorking who is an experienced trainer in this field. The proposed date is Saturday 9th November at 10.30am in the Cranleigh Parish Room and the meeting will last about 1.5 hours. Please contact Win Bracking on 275573 as soon as possible to reserve your place.
Educaid: Please note we will welcome Miriam Mason as a guest speaker during the weekend of 9th and 10th November informing us about Educaid which runs an educational network comprising of free schools, teacher training , and tertiary programmes in Sierra Leone.
Remembrance Sunday –The parade will begin for the churches at St Nicolas at 10.30am on 10th November and proceed to the War Memorial for the Remembrance Service. The 11am Mass with therefore take place at midday (12noon) and the blessing of graves will follow immediately after.
Blessing of Graves in Cranleigh will take place on Sunday 10th November after Mass (1pm). Candles can be bought from the Parish Office. Father David asks that if you would like a grave of a member of your family blessed that you might be present to guide him to where they lie.
There will be no Bramley Mass on the morning of 12th November, however there will be a Mass for Deceased Clergy at St Joseph’s in Dorking at midday if you would like to attend.
All members of our community – a date for your Diary – Join Parents, Staff and Governors to celebrate the Feast of St Cuthbert Mayne on November 29th. We will be celebrating a whole school mass at 10am.
Bereavement Mass at 11am and Lunch at midday will take place on Saturday 30th November. This is open to anyone who may be bereaved and have lost a loved one recently, or at any time in the past, to come together with members of the community for support. The lunch is open to anyone and we offer it out to the wider villages community if you know of someone who may like to join. Please extend the invitation and RSVP to the Parish Office so catering can be arranged.
The next CAMEO evening will occur on Tuesday 3rd December in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room. This is an informal gathering of the ladies of the Parish to come together for some spiritual prayer and then a cup of tea or glass of wine and an activity. On this occasion Joan M will be organising a quiz, so please come and join us. Further details can be obtained from the Parish Office
Reserve the date 8th December for 4pm Mass and the Parish Christmas Party including festive games and food in Cranleigh, Further details will be available shortly.
Missio Red Boxes I and the team of parish promoters would like to collect the monies from the Red Boxes during September/October. Most box holders should be contacted by their promoter direct but if you are not, could you leave your box in the Sacristy at Bramley or Cranleigh. Please ensure your name is on the bottom of your box for identification. Many thanks for your support. Fran Pickett. Tel. 01483 276614 Email firstname.lastname@example.org”
The Children Youth and Family Mission Team are investigating running a Toddler Group one morning, after school drop off, in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room. If you have an interest in this, please contact the Parish Office in order that we can garner interest.
NEWS FROM POKOT – Good morning Eugene
Many thanks for yours of last night. The Malaria ‘crisis’ is under control. We still await the official report from the investigations that 2 very professional groups of doctors did in 2 separate weeks in ROTU mission. However, malaria is a recurrent disease throughout Pokot.
I am still helping the unfortunate family that lost 2 children in a devastating fire. We are about to finish building a house for them. Not surprisingly they have moved from the scene of the disaster. I’ll send a few photos soon on that work.
I have also heard from Fr Paul who has replaced Fr David Conway as Director of the Barpello High School. Here is an extract from his report.
Warm greetings from Barpello High School.
Am Fr. Paul Kamau and am glad to make this contact with you, hoping you and your family are getting on well.
I was appointed in Barpello High School as School Director. I joined Barpello High School in January 2019 and I was welcomed by Fr. David Conway whom we stayed with until he departed last August for his sabbatical leave back in Ireland. I had previously been stationed in Holy Ghost Schools – Sultan Hamud which is in the Eastern part of Kenya. I was part of founding the school under the administration of our former superior to Kenya Fr. Martin Keane C.S.Sp.
Fr. Sean McGovern and Fr. David made me aware of the immense support that Pound A Week has been and is to Barpello High School and how your contribution has provided quality education and improved livelihoods in this region. Am personally very appreciative of this support, because its outcomes are real and helpful as i have experienced and seen since I reported in January. I do value and uphold highly your effort and contribution to Barpello High School and am witness that your contribution and support is making significant change to education in Pokot.
The school fees for the year 2020 for those students being sponsored by members of the Pound a Week Group are not due until 1st January but I will be in touch with sponsors as soon as I have confirmation from Fr Paul of the amounts as some members might like to pay their fees before Christmas spending takes over!! . However, it would be perfectly OK to wait until January if that would be preferable.
Best wishes, Eugene
PARISH PILGRIMAGE TO MEDJUGORJE 28th APRIL- 5th MAY 2020
Having been to Medjugorje this year Father David asked if I would arrange a Pilgrimage for next year.
Medjugorje is in Herzegovina and Bosnia the former Yugoslavia. Since 24th June 1981 Our Lady has allegedly been appearing to 6 then young people. The visionaries who had never heard of Lourdes or Fatima although from Catholic families prayed and went to Mass, were in their own words not very Religious. Since then their lives have been transformed. The apparitions began during the war in the then Communist Yugoslavia and the children suffered arrests and great hardship during this period but would never deny what they were seeing and the messages from Our Lady. This year Pope Francis gave his approval for Parish led Pilgrimages. The Church does not validate any apparitions until they end. Two of the visionaries Marijana and Vicka had audiences with Saint (Pope) John Paul 11 who had been following the messages from Medjugorje and declared ‘MEDJUGORJE IS THE HOPE FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD’.
Our Lady says she has come to tell the world that GOD EXISTS and loves each one of us. She continually asks us to pray with the heart and for peace. She has given us ‘5 stones’ The Rosary, Eucharist, The Bible, Fasting and monthly Confession. Medjugorje has been called the confessional of the world as witnessed by Priests from all over the world hearing confessions for many hours at a time. There have been numerous Spiritual conversions, vocations to the Priesthood and physical healings and Wintershall is one of the fruits of Medjugorje.
There is a wonderful sense of peace, quiet reflection, prayer and uplifting music at Mass and Adoration.
If you would like to consider joining the Pilgrimage for more information please contact me on 01483 272083 email: email@example.com. The cost £579.00 plus single room supplement of £125.00 with Aglow Pilgrimages. Joan.
PARISH LIGHT PARTY
All children of the Parish are invited to the Light Party on Friday 1st November 4.30pm to 6pm in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room. This is a lovely opportunity for the children of our Parish to meet and enjoy each others company with games and refreshments provided. In order to adequately cater please RSVP using the link www.cpcb.org.uk/events-and-courses.
St John’s Seminary – Open Afternoon
St John’s Seminary at Wonersh, near Guildford (GU5 0QX) has been forming Catholic priests for service in the Church in England & Wales since 1889. A warm invitation is extended to the Annual Open Afternoon taking place on Sunday 1 December 2019 (the first Sunday of Advent). 3pm onwards for afternoon tea and tours. 4.30pm Sung Evening Prayer followed by Mulled Wine and Mince Pies. All are most welcome and there is plenty of parking. Please join us.
You are warmly invited to a presentation by Fr John Seddon OSB of the third episode of ‘Catholicism – a journey to the heart of the faith’, by Bishop Robert Barron, on Saturday, November 9th, 2019. The film, is entitled ‘The Ineffable Mystery of God.’ Come to all or part of the day, which runs from 9 am to 4 pm. Bring a packed lunch and if you can, a friend. Tea and coffee is provided. St Augustine’s Abbey, Sample Oak Lane, Chilworth, Near Guildford. GU4 8QR.
You are warmly invited to join us for a CAFOD Faith in Action day. Previously known as retreats, the Faith in Action days are free and open to all; whether you are new to campaigning or you joined us a long time ago, you are very welcome.
From Trump to Brexit to climate, politics is everywhere. But when should we pray from the side-lines and when should we roll up our sleeves?
The Church here and around the world has a proud history of encouraging Catholics’ political reflection and action. With amazing results.
At this CAFOD day, we’ll explore the links between faith and politics.
Join us and reflect on Scripture and Church teaching. Be inspired by others and CAFOD’s campaigning and work overseas.
The day will be held at St John’s Wonersh on Saturday 23 November 10.00am- 4.00pm with lunch included.
Book your place at cafod.org.uk/events or call 0303 303 3030.
You are welcome to bring a family member or friend from your parish. If you can, please book well in advance to help us plan the retreat.
Places limited. Please honour your commitment if you do sign up. Someone may have benefitted from an unused place.