This Sunday Confirmation

This Sunday we welcome our area bishop, Paul Mason who is here Cjzjo3zUYAA7t9Dto confirm some young people of our parish. Confirmation is one of the three sacraments of initiation and is intimately linked with Baptism and the Eucharist.
Let us pray especially for the candidates for Confirmation, Ethan Tighe, Charles McMenemy, Edouard Paul de Vitry d’Avaucourt, Maja Coben, Emily Onuh, Anna Poddi, Max Olszowski, Bon Hee Koo, Sara Razanadimby, Dawid Zochowski, Alexander Royle, Edward Pollock, and Joanne Howes. Today they are to receive the Holy Spirit that seals, strengthens, confirms and perfects what has already been given to them at Baptism. Today they will be brought into a deeper unity with the Church. Something new happens to them at confirmation. We see this sacrament as a commissioning by the Risen Christ in his Church for “official”, public witness to the Good News in the world. As it says in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “by the sacrament of Confirmation, (the baptised) are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.”
What I pray for today is that our young people will be “truly aflame with a Pentecostal passion for proclaiming the Good News of the Risen Jesus outside of their cosy “upper rooms”. These are words from Bishop Michael Evan’s book on Confirmation.
Hopefully they will be part of a parish and a church that is called to share in the mission of Christ and the mission of the Holy Spirit, the mission of God himself. “There is no room for a vision of a church as simply a community of believers who pray and worship together, and love one another, but who have no desire to be drawn into the continuing work of the Risen Lord to bring his saving love to every human being in every time and place.” (Bishop Michael Evans).
I would like to thank Fr. Daniel and the catechists on their dedicated and hard work in preparing our young people for this important day in their lives. Also thanks go their parents for bringing children to the fullness of faith and finally I would like to assure our young people of the prayer and support of the people of St Thomas of Canterbury parish.

Through the fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit today may your inner self grow strong and may you be rooted and planted in love so that you will be able to bring the power of God’s love to others and help change their lives, and so renew the earth

Hungarians bring Becket week to Canterbury

Hungarians bring Becket week to Canterbury

A fragment of bone believed to come from the arm of Thomas Becket is being brought back to Canterbury Cathedral this weekend.

The relic is coming from Hungary, where it is held in the Basilica of Esztergom, to be the centrepiece of a week –long pilgrimage which finishes in Canterbury during the weekend of 28 May and 29 May.

Note: The relic will be on public display in the Cathedral’s Crypt ONLY on Sunday morning from 9am until 12noon (special opening time) prior to a Mass at 1.30pm in the Western Crypt 

After services and public events in London beginning on Monday 23 May, the reliquary in which the piece of bone is set (pictured right),  is being brought to Rochester and then to Canterbury on Saturday (28 May). The pilgrims, including Hungarian Ambassador, Mr Péter Szabadhegy and other Hungarian delegates, are planning to walk and carry the relic from Harbledown on the outskirts of the city to the Cathedral.

Welcome service

The pilgrims will be greeted at the Cathedral by the Dean, the Very Revd Dr Robert Willis; the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott and the Lord Mayor of Canterbury Councillor George Metcalfe. A short service of celebration will then be held and all are welcome to attend.

The relic will be on display in the Cathedral’s Crypt on Sunday morning from 9am until 12noon (special opening time) prior to a Mass at 1.30pm in the Western Crypt which is being celebrated by Canterbury’s St Thomas’ Roman Catholic Church. All are welcome at this service after which the relic will return to Esztergom.

There are various theories as to how the relic came to be in Esztergom in 1220 but it later became a symbol of Hungarian Catholic resistance to communism and is therefore of considerable importance for the Hungarian people.

The pilgrimage is happening during the same weekend as the Cathedral opens its private gardens to visitors as part of the National Gardens Scheme and to raise money for charity. Normal Precincts charges will apply during the weekend for visiting the Cathedral, including for visiting to see the relic and there is more information on our website about the Open Gardens. There is no charge to attend Cathedral services.

For more about the week-long pilgrimage visit the Hungarian Embassy website.

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Confirmation pictures 2016

Inline image 1Please find attached the pictures​

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Christian Together in Canterbury

“We are putting on an event in Costa’s in Marlowe Arcade, every third Sunday of the month. The doors open at 7pm and the live music starts at 7.30pm. The main aim is to draw non-Christians into a non-threatening environment, where they will hear the gospel in the form of an interview with the singers and musicians.”

The website is: www. sundaynightlive.org.uk

And Robin can be contacted as follows:   Email: robin.crosby@acfchurch.org.uk

Work phone: 01233 334007    Mobile: 07958066876

The first communion day – 1 May 2016

In every Catholic child’s life their first communion day is a day to remember. I can still recall exactly where I knelt in my church of St Bedes on the day of my first communion. I also have some sweet black and white photos of a group of us from the local estate posing in the local park after the Mass and breakfast. For this celebration the child is the centre of attention, and is often the recipient of religious gifts and other presents. After months of catechesis they receive Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine for the first time. They have reached a new stage in their journey of faith and are now able to participate in a fuller way in the one event that defines them, nurtures them and forms them. The Eucharist, also known as the Mass, is what Jesus has left us He has asked us to celebrate this liturgy in memory of him. The Church teaches that it is the source and summit of the Christian life.

Congratulations to all our children who are receiving Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time. Thank you to parents and catechists who have accompanied them on their journey. As a parish we have a responsibility to celebrate the Eucharist each week as well as we can. If we sing half heartedly, listen inattentively, respond without meaning in what we say then perhaps it is an indication we do not value this wonderful gift. It can become familiar and routine. These are some words written by Pope Benedict XVI in his document on he Eucharist.

pope-benedict-1-sized“At the beginning of the fourth century, Christian worship was still forbidden by the imperial authorities. Some Christians in North Africa, who felt bound to celebrate the Lord’s Day, defied the prohibition. They were martyred after declaring that it was not possible for them to live without the Eucharist, the food of the Lord: sine dominico non possumus. May these martyrs of Abitinae, in union with all those saints and beati who made the Eucharist the centre of their lives, intercede for us and teach us to be faithful to our encounter with the risen Christ. We too cannot live without partaking of the sacrament of our salvation; we too desire to be iuxta dominicam viventes, to reflect in our lives what we celebrate on the Lord’s Day. That day is the day of our definitive deliverance. Is it surprising, then, that we should wish to live every day in that newness of life which Christ has brought us in the mystery of the Eucharist?”