Sunday 25th October marks the 50th anniversary of the canonisation of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales which honours the hundreds of British Catholics who suffered persecution and died for their faith between 1535 and 1679 following the dispute between the Pope and King Henry VIII. Although some have been canonised or beatified, the true number of those who died on the scaffold or in prison, or were tortured or persecuted for their faith, is not known. The cause of about three hundred martyrs was introduced in Rome in 1850. By 1935, nearly two hundred Reformation martyrs had been beatified but only two of these had been canonised: in 1936, Cardinal John Fisher and Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s chancellor, became the first Englishmen to be made saints since 1401. In 1970, the Vatican selected forty martyrs to represent the full group; on 25th October 1970 they were canonised by Pope Paul VI. The martyrs celebrated today came from every walk of life: rich and poor; married and single; men and women; priests, religious and lay people. They are remembered for their constancy of faith and courage in the face of persecution, which lasted almost a hundred and fifty years and left a permanent mark on English culture. Please see the parish website for more detailed information about the history of the Forty Martyrs. The Saints we commemorate: 1535 St John Houghton; St Robert Lawrence; St Augustine Webster; St Richard Reynolds. 1539: St John Stone. 1577 St Cuthbert Mayne. 1585 St Edmund Campion; St Ralph Sherwin; St Alexander Briant. 1582 St John Payne; St Luke Kirby. 1584 St Richard Gwyn. 1586 St Margaret Clitherow. 1588 St Margaret Ward. 1591 St Edmund Gennings; St Swithun Wells; St Eustace White; St Polydore Plasden. 1594 St John Boste. 1595: St Robert Southwell; St Henry Walpole; St Philip Howard. 1598 St John Jones.1600 St John Rigby.1601 St Anne Line; 1606 St Nicolas Owen. 1608 St Thomas Garnet. 1610 St John Roberts. 1612 St John Almond. 1628 St John Almond. 1628 St Edmund Arrowsmith. 1641 St Ambrose Barlow. 1642 St Alban Roe. 1645 St Henry Morse, 1654 St John Southworth. 1679 St John Plessington; St Philip Evans; St John Lloyd; St John Wall, St John Kemble; St David Lewis. Holy English Martyrs, pray for us.
GOOD COUNSEL NETWORK Tuesday 27th October is the 53rd anniversary of the Abortion Act being passed in England and Wales. Since 1967 over nine million babies have lost their lives to abortion. Millions of women and men have also had to deal with the suffering which so often follows an abortion. Please join us in praying and fasting for the end of abortion in this country on Tuesday 27th October. For Post Abortion help and to support Pro-Life counselling go to: www.GoodCounselNetwork.com. Please invite your friends and Family to join us via this Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/27399240729369 69.
TODAY IS WORLD MISSION SUNDAY World Mission Sunday supports missionaries who work alongside communities that are poor or in need, regardless of their background or belief. By supporting Missio, the Pope’s charity for world mission, you will help missionaries share the love of Christ with those most in need. Please pray for the mission of the Church throughout the world. Please call 020 7821 9755 (office hours) or visit Missio’s website www.missio.org.uk to give a single gift or set up a Direct Debit.
PRISONERS’ SUNDAY Today is Prisoners’ Sunday when we mark the National Day of Prayer and Action for Prisoners and their Families. It comes at a time of immense challenge for our Church, our Nation and our World. Today we are called to direct our thoughts and prayers to prisoners, their families and children. Canon Paul Douthwaite, Chaplain for Prisons writes: “From freely browsing in the shops to meeting friends for a meal, from partaking of leisure activities to practicing our faith and more besides, freedom was very much something we took for granted. Due to the coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown that was imposed upon our country in an effort to save lives, for a number of weeks everybody in some way has had their freedom curtailed. The removal of our freedom, albeit for a relatively short time, has resulted in many long-term consequences. As human beings it is only when something is taken from us that we can begin to see its value or miss it. Each and every one of us, having experienced the ‘lockdown’ now have a renewed sense of value for the freedom we enjoy as human beings and moreover the freedom we enjoy as the children of God. In today’s Gospel Jesus makes use of a parable to remind the people of Israel that they had begun to take for granted the freedom and generosity they experienced as the children of God. On this Prisoners’ Sunday, as a Church, we are invited to be aware of those whose freedom has been removed by the justice system; those whom society may regard as the less noteworthy. We are called to be mindful that, despite their wrongdoing they are still children of God. Whilst the events of this year have had an impact on society at large, prisoners and their families have not been exempted from the turmoil which we have all experienced. For the duration of the national lockdown and beyond prisoners have had removed what little privileges they had, including the freedom to practice their faith and family visits’. Canon Paul invites us, with a renewed sense of value for our freedom, on this Prisoners Sunday, to pray for those who have had their freedom removed and most especially for the families and loved ones of prisoners who feel the effects of their sentence. PACT, the national Catholic charity continues to support prisoners and their families and we are asked to commend their work to our prayers and support. PACT (Prison Advice and Care Trust) and it’s staff and beneficiaries will be grateful for any support you may be able to offer. Do contact their friendly team on 020 3031 6867 or email email@example.com for more information.
OCTOBER – MONTH OF OUR LADY OF THE HOLY ROSARY During this month we pray the Rosary in Church together at 11.30am on Wednesdays before the 12noon Mass. We pray especially for our world in this present Covid19 crisis. If you are new to the Rosary or haven’t prayed it for some time, there are Rosary sheets available in Church for you to take away (or see the parish newsletter)
POPE FRANCIS WRITES NEW ENCYCLICAL “I invite everyone to renewed hope” Pope Francis writes in his new letter “Fratelli Tutti,” addressed to his “brothers and sisters all” in this “wounded world” brought to its knees by the coronavirus pandemic and other crises, including poverty, racism and violence. The pope signed the encyclical letter at the tomb of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, on 3rd Oct, after celebrating Mass there. In the encyclical letter, whose English-language version will be titled “Fratelli tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendship,” Francis suggests ways in which we can build a more just, peaceful world, one in which we recognize each other as brothers and sisters of one human family. It is significant that the pope travelled to Assisi to sign the social encyclical at the tomb of St Francis. The pope noted that the saint used the phrase “Fratelli Tutti” as he “addressed his brothers and sisters and proposed to them a way of life marked by the flavour of the Gospel.” He said the saint inspired him to write the encyclical “Laudato Si’” in 2015, in addition to this new letter “devoted to fraternity and social friendship.” www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20201003_enciclica-fratelli-tutti.html