Letter from Father Richard

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is not only religious people who will tell us that we are stewards of the creation in which we live. Today’s environmentalists try to get us to believe this too.

It is obvious I suppose that we created ones cannot dictate to the creator; no nation or person can own anything. We can exercise wise stewardship though and enjoy being part of the created.

We can learn to have mutual respect for persons, things and our creator. That’s what religion is about.

Have a good week.

Father Richard
Comments

Letter from Father Richard

Dear Brothers and Sisters

As we approach the end of the liturgical year, the themes of the readings are to do with judgement, the end of the world, our own eventual death and the second coming of Christ.

These themes remind us that we have a purpose in life, a task to be fulfilled. They give us a gentle reminder to reflect on how well we are pursuing the goal that God has set for us.

If you are married, what are you doing to keep your marriage alive? If you are a child, what are you doing to contribute towards family life? How alive are you? As Christians what are you doing to foster your growth in faith?

Life doesn’t just happen. We have freedom of will to make choices, and make things happen.

Jesus came to change the world for the better. He invites you and me to assist Him in that task. Stay awake!


Have a good week.

Fr. Richard
Comments

Letter from Father Richard

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Motivation and intention are at the heart of all our actions. In the life of Jesus we observe an internal struggle to do things for the right reason.

The temptation of Christ, at the beginning of His public ministry, is an example of that struggle. Why Jesus goes to the Father in prayer, and out to people in His public ministry, is so that He constantly touches base with His Father to make sure He is not going askew.

No matter how well we begin a task in the church, we too are prey to going astray unless we are constantly in touch with God in prayer. The gospel today gives us an example of how we can go astray.

Keep serving, but be God’s servant first, and others' thereafter.

Yours,

Fr. Richard
Comments

Letter from Father Richard

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Have you allowed yourselves to sunbathe this week? Have you relaxed in the presence of the sun’s brightness? Have you dozed in a state of contentment embraced by the warmth surrounding you?

Well, I don’t suppose many of you have, but I was not really speaking in a literal way; I was speaking in a metaphorical way. Have you allowed yourselves to relax in God’s presence this week? The first two commandments may be easy to remember, but they are difficult to accomplish.

We will be able to love our neighbour only inasmuch as we allow ourselves to be loved by God.

Afford Him some of your time – in prayer, meditation and reading.


Have a good week.
Fr. Richard

Comments

Letter from Father Richard

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Jesus is explicitly religious, explicitly spiritual and fully human. When I reflect on governments, even our own, they don’t reflect the humanity that is present in the teachings of Jesus. It is not so long ago that we transported seven year old boys to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread.

Not very advanced in our humanity.

Throughout the world we see the degradation of people and peoples by governments… ethnic cleansing is not a thing of the past, and neither does remembering past sins prevent future ones. I think here of the Holocaust.

In Jesus we are reminded that the author of the world and of our being is God. Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. If we would wish to raise up our fallen world in this generation let us engage in a meaningful partnership with our God in Jesus Christ.

Let us commit ourselves to Him and His Way rather than to the world, and its values, which tends to destruction.

Have a good week.
Fr. Richard

Comments

Letter from Father Richard

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Towards the end of the liturgical year the readings the Church puts before us are those to do with ‘endings’. Themes will be ‘judgement’, ‘death’, ‘accountability’. What we will discover is that God has a plan. We do not live in a random universe, without purpose or meaning.

Our history as Christians includes the history of Israel. It is HIS story. HIS being God. God’s story of His dealings with a people He has chosen for His own. That story continues in the individual lives of His people. His story is our story.

Our story is a reflection of our interaction with God and His people, our brothers and sisters. It is forever exciting, sometimes having us on a knife edge, sometimes monotonous, like being in a desert. Even the desert is not silent.

Do you want as part of your story or your history to include God or exclude Him?

“O that today you would listen to His voice, harden not your hearts.” Ps 94


Have a good week.
Fr. Richard

Comments

Letter from Father Richard

Retirement Party – Last Sunday

I cannot thank God enough for the wonderful afternoon that was my retirement party. I will begin by thanking Carolyn Blake and Ian Bond who co-organised the event. A lot of work went into the invitations, and who to send them to, and the general management of the event.

Ian and his wife Marilyn gave the venue for free. Marilyn was that lady at the party dressed in blue, who seemed to be organising things.

I did say that I would be paying for the catering, but in the event Ian and Marilyn bore the main cost as a gift. Thank you Marilyn and Ian.

Carolyn, thank you for sticking with it, getting the invitations printed etc. What an afternoon! The stars were all of you who came. How wonderful you are.

You have no idea how grateful my family were. My sisters, brothers-in-law – my nephews and nieces and great nephews and nieces thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was lovely to see so many people from previous parishes there, including 4 people from Kettering whom I hadn’t seen for 30 years. Quel surprise!

Thank you again.

Fr. Richard

Comments

Letter from Father Richard

Dear Parishioners,

For eight years I was the subject or victim of a stalker. She was a very plausible woman of professional status. She was not a parishioner. It is very difficult to imagine how persistent night time late ‘phone calls, personal daytime visits to my presbytery and all the madness that goes with stalking had an effect on my wellbeing.
If she was of sound mind, you could say she was sinning against me. She certainly damaged me emotionally and psychologically.

We have legitimate rights to defend ourselves against any person who sins against us, to remove ourselves from harm’s way if possible, to confront them with their wrong doing. What Jesus says to us is that, in spite of it all, we should not harbour a spirit of resentment or vengeance against our oppressors. This can be so difficult. I know at the time I didn’t hold resentment or a spirit of vengeance against the woman, but it did not stop her harming me.

Many people have been in similar situations within their families or places of work. An attitude of forgiveness does not mean that we have to be doormats. So often forgiveness is seen as acquiescence in someone wrongdoing against us. It is not. Further, forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. Well, there’s food for thought.

Have a good week.

Fr. Richard

Comments

Letter from Father Richard

Dear Parishioners,

For eight years I was the subject or victim of a stalker. She was a very plausible woman of professional status. She was not a parishioner. It is very difficult to imagine how persistent night time late ‘phone calls, personal daytime visits to my presbytery and all the madness that goes with stalking had an effect on my wellbeing.
If she was of sound mind, you could say she was sinning against me. She certainly damaged me emotionally and psychologically.

We have legitimate rights to defend ourselves against any person who sins against us, to remove ourselves from harm’s way if possible, to confront them with their wrong doing. What Jesus says to us is that, in spite of it all, we should not harbour a spirit of resentment or vengeance against our oppressors. This can be so difficult. I know at the time I didn’t hold resentment or a spirit of vengeance against the woman, but it did not stop her harming me.

Many people have been in similar situations within their families or places of work. An attitude of forgiveness does not mean that we have to be doormats. So often forgiveness is seen as acquiescence in someone wrongdoing against us. It is not. Further, forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. Well, there’s food for thought.

Have a good week.

Fr. Richard

Comments

Letter from Father Richard

Dear Parishioners,

At the time of writing, I am trying to find a supply priest for this coming weekend. For a number of weeks now, I have been unwell with infections in my teeth or now, an infection in my sinuses. I am on a course of antibiotics again, but feel really drained and unwell. I think too I have an underlying anxiety about my future. Although I stated to the Bishop that I intended to retire about October time (in February), as yet I have no certainty about future accommodation. I do have a meeting about this on this coming Monday. Please pray for a successful outcome.

Just as the future is uncertain for me, so it is uncertain for you. All I want to do is hand over St. Peter’s in good working order to you parishioners and your new Parish Priest Canon Noonan.

To this end could you please be aware of tidiness. Crayons and clipboards are given out to parents for use by their children. Could parents please make sure all the crayons their children use are gathered up and not left on the floor. There are always some to be cleared up after Sunday Masses but last Sunday was particularly bad. The best assumption to make is that this is a household without servants. This also applies to those who use the kitchen. Just lately, people are leaving used cups on the side of the draining board. There are loads of tea towels.

Cupboards

I am in the process of tidying up the cupboards in the Meeting Room. Please bear with me during this process. I have also been attacking kitchen cupboards and drawers.

I hope to see you next week on the 17th September at Shortmead House.

At the moment, I am uncertain about weekday Masses.

OREMUS PRO INVICEM
Fr. Richard

Comments