Thursday, 20 July 2017

(back of) newsletter, 23rd July 2027

Saturday, 22nd July, 6pm: Ellie Clarke & Daniel Di Francesco, Wedding Day
Sunday 23rd July, 10am: Ana Francesca & Vicente D’Souza RIP
Tuesday 25th July, St James, Apostle, 10am: John Andrews RIP
Wednesday 26th July, Ss Joachim & Anne, 10am: Margaret O’Hara RIP
Thursday 27th July, 10am: Joan Halpin, special intention                                          
Friday 28th July, 10am: John Andrews, RIP
Saturday 29th July, St Martha, 10am: Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion

Forty five years ago I spent the summer working in London. It was my first time hearing Alice Cooper, and ‘School’s Out’ was big that year.
Today in Hastings school’s out again and I was up in Sacred Heart to celebrate the Leavers Mass – the senior boys and girls who are mostly moving on to St. Richards Catholic School in Bexhill.
I love children. And the whole school of them was there, plus the parents of the leavers. Yet still I have to brace myself when going into a school. Brace myself and stretch myself beyond what I think I’m capable of. It must be something unresolved from my own childhood, though I won’t be going into that too much.
Asking the children what they remember from their first day at school, one lad said that he felt scared. And I said that’s what I felt on my first day. And they all laughed when I told them that I spent the whole day screaming. Which is true! I never liked school from the first moment to the last.
At the start of Mass I asked the children, “are you all happy?” and they responded with a resounding “yes”. “And why are you happy?” I asked and one boy put up his hand and said, “because you’re here!” What more could you ask for!
It’s a Catholic school but most of their faces and those of their parents are unfamiliar. And I wonder why it is that people are so eager to have a Catholic education but don’t participate in the Eucharist. I ask the question, not as a criticism but, my love for Jesus in the Eucharist, my experience of Jesus in Holy Communion makes me want everyone to experience it.  In the words of Bishop Richard, “all of redemption is in Holy Communion!” That’s a reality I like and I would love everyone to be in touch with all of the redemption that is available to them at Mass. Not just redemption for the next life but for now in this present reality.
I’m wondering how to get this message across and I look down and see some of the children with hands joined, eyes shut and focused. You know that something profoundly spiritual is going on inside them, that they somehow “get it” and, maybe that’s it – that some people get it and others don’t and it can’t be forced. Maybe we who get it are meant to live it on behalf of those who don’t, as a kind of leaven in the world.
So school’s out for Summer! One last thing! I went to get my hair cut the other day. The pricelist on the window said £9 and that seemed not too bad for the little bit I have left. He’s a Turkish barber and an artist who would leave Edward Scissorhands in the shade! He flew around my head with such speed, yet not in a hurry. He took quite a while getting me in shape. And the “piece de resistance” was something I never saw or felt before. He had what looked like cotton wool on top of a longish stick, dipped in something, set it alight and came at my ears with the flaming thing. He said it was to get rid of the fuzz on my ears. And I’m all for getting rid of fuzz on every level of life!
Eamonn Monson SAC


A vacancy exists for a part-time (.5FTE) project worker to assist with the diocesan Parish Family Groups Project, which is a part of the national Celebrating Family project and is being funded through the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales. The post is fixed-term (18 months from appointment) and will involve working with parishes which have Parish Family Groups and others seeking to introduce them. The post-holder will be based at the Christian Education Centre, Crawley. For further information please contact Dcn Andrew Bayes at or on 01293 651150

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