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Letter from Father Richard

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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

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Letter from Father Richard

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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

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Letter from Father Richard

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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

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Letter from Father Richard

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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

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Letter from Father Richard

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

What a sobering gospel we have set before us this week. The following of Jesus does not necessarily lead to worldly success. However, it is not as bleak as it sounds in the first place.

You often hear parents wishing they could have suffered in the place of their children. Jesus’s suffering and death is for us; He is taking our place, He is suffering for us, so that we may not suffer the consequence of sin. He does this for us as parents do for their children, out of love.

Love certainly changes things.

Have a good week.
Fr. Richard
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