A reflection for All Saints' Day by Isabella R. Moyer
I love saints. They are the spiritual superheroes of our church. The glorious communion of saints provides us with access to a massive list of prayer partners who pray with us and pray for us. The list includes the official "greats" of our church history. It also includes family and friends whose holiness and love directly touched and enriched our lives. We all have our favourite saints we relate to and who inspire us.
I need these heavenly models of holiness. I also need earthly models of holiness. Saints are all around us, women and men whose generous spirit reflects the Gospel call to love and serve God and others. Some do it by making the ordinary holy through a spirit of simplicity and humility. Some do it by showing extraordinary courage in sickness and adversity. Some do it by railing against injustice and working to bring equality and dignity to all.
In the beatitudes, holiness is equated with being poor in spirit, meek, mourning, hungering for righteousness, merciful, and clean of heart.
Interestingly, there is no mention of blessed are the rule-makers, the obedient, the self-righteous or the judgmental. We all know what Jesus thought of those who equated holiness with obsessive discipline and laws. Jesus was about reaching people in their hearts, giving them reasons for hope and joy, and encouraging true and lasting conversion.
We continue to be surrounded by prophets of doom who castigate and blame the women and men of today for succumbing to the evils of secularism and materialism. These pessimistic prophets seem unable to see holiness in the world, or acknowledge that saints are living among us in the messiness of life. Sadly, they see holiness only within the four walls of the church.
Yes, we need a strong and vibrant community where we can pray and be formed, but the church is not meant to keep us in. The church's role is to send us forth. Saints know this. They are women and men whose lives flow seamlessly from prayer to action. We need to hear their stories and be inspired by their witness.
We also need to hear the stories of holiness among our leaders, leaders like the martyred Archbishop Christophe Munzihirwa of Bukavu, Congo. We need to hear more from leaders like Cardinal Luis A. Tagle who provide a voice of optimism and hope in our church today.
We need our saints. Who are the saints, past or present, who inspire you?
Mass is celebrated every day - if you would like that we pray especially for an intention; a family; an anniversary or someone who has died, then please get in touch with the parish office and your intention shall be included in the parish prayers and offered at Mass.
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls' Day) Feast Day November 2nd.
Catholics believe that death can separate people who they love from them for only a while. We are still united with them in the Communion of Saints. On this feast of All Souls, and throughout the entire month of November, we recall our deceased relatives, friends, and all the faithful departed.
Activities for All Souls Day:
•Visit the cemetery. Some cemeteries have special sections for infants, and you might wish to pray especially here.
•Go to Mass.
•Pray the following:
Let perpetual light shine upon them, with your Saints forever, for you are merciful.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them,
with your Saints forever, for you are merciful. Amen.
DEATH We pray for the repose of the soul of the late George Alcorn who died on 21st October. We also remember his wife Kathryn, his daughters and grandchildren and extended family in our prayers. We pray for the repose of the soul of the late Tana Fletcher who died recently. We also remember her family in our prayers.
ZOOM COURSES Thanks to Fr. Kevin Hughes who once again is running church course online for the parish.
BLESSING OF GRAVES Our annual blessing of graves will take place on Remembrance Sunday, the 8th November. Braywick Cemetery at 2.30pm and Cookham at 3.30pm.
“SHIELDING” for those in our community who continue to join at the Eucharist via Zoom or YouTube on a regular basis, but for one reason or another, cannot physically come to the Church, and would like to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion, please let Fr. Liam or the parish office know. Fr. Liam will bring the Holy Sacrament to you whilst adhering to social distancing and a safe environment.
ZOOM is now live from 9.30AM to 11AM every day. This means you can connect for the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and 10AM Mass every weekday. Admission for Mass on Zoom will be stopped at 9.55, to allow the hosts to be present in the Mass.
SCHOOL NOTICE. ADMISSION INTO ST EDMUND CAMPION SCHOOL AND NURSERY is based on Mass attendance for some categories. In our parish, we have an attendance card available from the table in the church lobby. Every time you come to Sunday Mass please get your card stamped. You will need the Parish Priest’s signature on the SIF form, once your attendance in 2020 has been completed and attendance card stamped accordingly. For information on the current Admissions' Policy see the school's website, www.st-edmund.org.uk. Please be aware that attendance cards are available and must be stamped to record attendance from the weekend of September 5th/6th as Mass is now back 7 days a week.
TODDLERS GROUP Unfortunately, we can't run Toddler Group as normal. To stay in touch and keep everyone updated, There is a Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/731966510695904/permalink/731966520695903/) and a WhatsApp group (contact email@example.com to be added).
COVID-19 MEASURES WITHIN THE CHURCH. The windows will remain open during Mass to ensure ventilation. The heating will be turned on before Mass, but it is likely to be colder than usual, so please dress appropriately. The stewards are working voluntarily, and are cleaning all of the chairs used after every Mass. The Church and Parish Hall are also being deep cleaned once a month on top of the thorough daily cleaning. Please ensure that you don’t congregate outside the Church building after Mass. N.B. Concerning the public health emergency because of the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) pandemic, Government Guidelines remain under review and may be updated in line with the changing situation.
It is greatly appreciated that many of you transferred your ‘church offering’ from cash to direct debit and standing order over the last number of months. Our parish has had its financial income greatly reduced and this has impacted on our church activities, donations to various charities and parish maintenance. From September 1st, there will be an Offertory Collection Basket at the church entrance and exit each day if you wish to make a very welcome donation. There is also a contactless “tap to donate” machine, where you can contribute to the weekly collection.
NB: It would be helpful for the parish if the vast majority of our Weekly Collection could be done via Direct Debit / Standing Order. I ask that you reflect and, if possible, switch your donation from cash to bank. This would be invaluable and would give the Parish Council and Finance Committee more solidity in planning for the months/years ahead. At present, we are a vastly cash—giving parish, and with the dramatic decrease, it is very hard to plan and donate to those most vulnerable and in need, as well as care for our parish community..
Account name: St. Edmund Campion Maidenhead
Sort code: 309304
Account number: 00882551
APPOINTMENTS If you wish to speak to Fr Liam in confidence on any matter, please contact him by phone or e-mail
HOUSEBOUND If you know of anyone who is sick and/or housebound, please let Sarah (Parish Office) or Fr Liam know.
ADMISSION INTO ST EDMUND CAMPION SCHOOL AND NURSERY is based on Mass attendance for some categories. In our parish, we have an attendance card available from the table in the church lobby. Every time you come to Sunday Mass get your card stamped in the parish centre. You will need the Parish Priests's signature on the SIF form, once your attendance in 2020 has been completed. For information on the current Admissions Policy see the school's website, www.st-edmund.org.uk.
Please be aware that attendance cards are available and must be stamped to record attendance from the weekend of September 5th/6th as Mass is now back 7 days a week.