News for Sunday 4th September: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September 2022: The Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Only three more weeks to wait until we can celebrate the arrival of Fr Richard as our new vicar. Several people have commented how lovely it was to hear from him in our weekly news on the Feast of the Assumption, so we are delighted that he has written again:

As part of my preparations to begin with you in Kenton, I recently bought a new diary. Among the first entries I make in a new diary are always the birthdays of family and friends. These notes remind me, as their birthdays come around, to think of them, to be in touch with them, and to buy for them a present, as a representative token of my love.

Having so far this summer celebrated Our Lady's Assumption, this week coming we will celebrate another of her special days: Thursday, 8 September is the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady – her birthday, in other words. And, just as with anyone we love, Mary's birthday is a time to think of her, to be in touch with her, and to offer her a little gift, as a token of our love.

We can perhaps do these things in the following ways: first, by making time for Mary amidst the busyness of our day. Just as at Sunday Mass, we might choose to pray the Angelus – bringing to mind Our Lady's central place in the story of our salvation; or otherwise, before bed, perhaps we might pray the prayer, “Salve, Regina”. Through the Church, we have been given a wonderful way in which to be intimately in contact with Our Lady – and this is through the Rosary, which I – on Thursday – will pray for you. Might I be so bold as to ask you to pray your Rosary for me in turn at some point that day?

Finally, a little gift – although, in this case, a gift of infinite worth. If at all possible, try to make it to Mass on Thursday, which will be celebrated at St Mary's at 6pm. You may be aware that Masses can be offered for particular “intentions” – but so too can our own Communions: we can receive these not just for ourselves, but for others, or for any intention of prayer. The great Marian saint St Louis de Montfort explained how we can offer our Communions not for but to Our Lady – for her to apply these graces in the ways that she thinks best. Just as we might give someone a gift token on their birthday, for them to spend as they see fit – so we can offer Our Lady the graces of our Communion, for her “to spend” according to the warmth of her maternal love. So offer Mary your Communion, even if just a “spiritual communion” if you are unable to be at Mass. Let her apply the graces of that holy encounter with Jesus according to the plans and purposes of her Immaculate Heart.

A thought, a word and a gift – and a blessed birthday for Our Blessed Lady, whose intercession I will be seeking on Thursday for all of you.

Fr Richard

Thank you, Father. We are beginning to understand why St. Mary's will be such a special place for you, as it is for us who already worship here.

The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 3rd September at 6.00pm. Parish Mass is on Sunday 4th September at 10.30am.

We have often set aside the first Sunday in September as our “Stewardship Sunday”, to consider and pray about our gifts to the church, to the glory of God and to his Mission here in Kenton. Our gifts are both financial and the giving of our time and talents. There are some roles we are looking to fill such as our PCC Treasurer and also our Parish Safeguarding Officer. Please speak to the Churchwardens if you feel called to either of these Ministries. And if, amongst the astronomical rising costs of fuel and costs of living, you can see clear to increase your financial stewardship, that would be amazing. Remember, the costs of heating the church will rise just as the costs of heating our homes will increase! Please give generously.

David Griffiths