PARISH LETTER: For some months I have been hinting that I plan to offer you some food for thought in an ‘open letter’. Well it has come to fruition and is available to you this weekend. In the past couple of weeks I launched it at my meetings with the parents of our First Communion children and I look forward to having a conversation with them about it in the coming weeks. Please do take the trouble to read it and talk about it. My sincere hope is that it will provide the springboard for new ideas and new initiatives in both our parishes.
CARDINAL CORMAC MURPHY-O’CONNOR RIP:
As you know the Cardinal’s funeral was last Wednesday in Westminster Cathedral. We give thanks for his life of service to the Church in this country. I have written a short personal tribute, which is on the website. May he rest in peace. please St Julie’s
Funeral of Cardinal Cormac-Murphy O'Connor
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION: An invitation to the parents of children in Year Four: please come to an initial meeting in the Fisher More Hall on Monday 18 September, at 8.00pm. I will send a letter through Bishop Eton School, but it is important that those of you who have children at other schools and wish to join the programme, take note of this meeting. The programme itself will not begin until nearer Christmas, but I wish to have an initial discussion with the parents/guardians and the catechists about how we will approach this year’s preparation. It will be part of the wider conversation I am hoping to have with the whole parish.
BE Alive: I have prepared a short reflection in this month’s magazine as a prelude to the more inclusive conversation I want to begin across the parishes this autumn, however Due to the move at St Julie’s there are currently problems with the printers and we are therefore unable to issue September’s edition until next week.
Fr Tim on Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
Fr Tim would like to put on record his appreciation of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor:
I had the pleasure of meeting him on a number of occasions, but one stands out in particular. At Redemptorist Publications Jane Williams, the wife of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, had just taken on the role of editor of our Anglican publications. I was duly invited to Lambeth Palace for a Christmas reception and when introducing me to her ten-year-old son, Pip, she was trying to explain the difference between Catholics and Anglicans. She decided to give him a clue by introducing Cormac's name into the conversation. The bemused child only made the connection when Jane continued to try and describe Cormac to him, whereupon he cried out: "Oh, you mean the one whose laugh can be heard all over the house." As luck would have it I bumped into Cormac at couple of days later and asked him if his ears had been burning. He was clearly delighted with the description.
He was a good man, who radiated the joy of the Gospel. He was entrusted with much responsibility throughout his long life and served the Lord and the Church with great dedication, coping with some of the serious challenges with genuine grace and humility. We owe him a great debt of gratitude for the influence he brought to bear among the College of Cardinals prior to the election of Pope Francis.
May he rest in peace.
Tim Buckley, CSsR
Comings and Goings:
Fr Burns has returned from Spain, but he and I will be away at the beginning of the coming week for Provincial Council meetings in London.
On Friday 1st September, we will welcome to the Bishop Eton community Fr Michael Henesy and Bro Michael Duxbury. For over a year they have been keeping an eye on our former pastoral centre at Hawkstone Park, but at last the new owners are due to take possession of the property and we can leave it with a clear conscience.
Certificates of Religious Practice for Faith Schools
I understand that the Archdiocese has revised its position with regard to these references and left it to the discretion of the parish priest. I have resolutely followed the previous diocesan policy that I should give only factual information regarding the reception of the sacraments, which protects me from the potential conflict of having to determine what is meant by religious practice and therefore I do not intend to start giving personal testimonials now. If particular schools are willing to accept others as referees, then there is nothing I can do about that, but I insist that such references DO NOT carry any form of official approval from the parishes for which I am responsible: e.g. parish letter-headed notepaper or an official stamp.
Barcelona: Once again we have been faced with terrorist atrocities in Europe during the past week. We pray for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives and all those suffering the effects of these outrages. Let us never grow weary from praying for peace and striving to be peacemakers.
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