Newsletter - September 9th, 2012


Year B


Isaiah 35:4-7
Psalm 145
James 2:1-5
Mark 7:31-37


Yesterday, on September 8, we kept the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, a day on which many Jesuits take their first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Her birthday takes place exactly 9 months after the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. She was not only born without original sin, she was conceived without it. The only other post Adamic person like her was her own divine son, Jesus Christ. She owed her sinlessness to the power of her divine Son, so she was, as Saint Augustine points out on his treatise On Virginity, at the same time mother and sister of her son. As we are daily reminded in the Hail Mary she combined her being full of grace and being Theotokos, Mother of God. What more could we want?

Yet wonderful though all this was, it was, as the gospels remind us, a challenging vocation. She had to go through a lot as a consequence of the privileged position she occupied. In this respect she was not unlike other human beings with talents and positions of responsibility. The words of Simeon at Luke 2:35 make this point very forcibly, 'And thy own soul a sword shall pierce'. The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, which is kept a week after her birthday, brings this point home, as does the altar in the church in her honour. What a mother and what a son!

Even so utterly unique though they were and are, this does not mean that they have nothing to teach us in our differing walks of life. One translation of the Our Father replaces what we usually read as 'Lead us not into temptation' with the words 'Do not put us to the test'. We should learn to know ourselves - not always a comfortable experience. Over and above that we should be alert for the unexpected. Even Mary was taken by surprise when she thought she had lost her only son. Her vexation is expressed with the words, 'My child, why have you done this to us?', [Luke 2, 481]. We cannot predict the future. Anything may happen, so 'Be prepared'.

We have much to learn from Our Lady. We, though not in so marvellous and unique a way as she, have also received a vocation. Christ's yoke is not always easy to bear nor is his burden always light as at Matthew 11,29. He can also be very demanding as is the case with the rich young man at Matthew 19, 16 ff. It is wonderful to have privileges, gifts and talents, but we need to use them. They do not exempt us from the demands of self-knowledge and hard work. Mary is not only our queen and mother, she is also a model for us. She was indeed mother of God and sinless, but her life was not always easy.

Fr Anthony Meredith SJ

TODAY the churches of England and Wales unite in prayers and action for Racial Justice. We focus not only on good relations in our land but specifically the worldwide issue of ethnic minorities. A collection at the doors will go to support the Catholic Association for Racial Justice (CARJ).

The children's liturgy (for children of school age) resumes TODAY at the Family Mass. There will also be a meeting for parents of First Holy Communion children on SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 16th following the 9.30 Mass. Contact the programme co-ordinator Caroline Copsey for details:

We welcome this week-end our new Parish Priest, Fr Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ. Fr Andrew grew up in Scotland and was educated at St Aloysius College and the University of St Andrews before joining the Jesuits in 1980. He studied at Heythrop College and worked at Clifton Cathedral (liturgical music) and at St Ignatius College (Enfield) before undertaking theology studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After ordination he worked at Sacred Heart Parish, in Blackpool, and then spent five years in doctoral studies in liturgy in Berkeley, California, for part of which time he was director of music at St Ignatius, San Francisco. He has lived in Brixton for the past nine years, as superior of the Jesuit Community, helping with ministry in the local parish. We wish him every blessing in his new post! Also, we welcome for the year Fr Charles Gagan SJ. Fr Charlie was for many years the Pastor of St. Ignatius Church, San Francisco, and is spending a much deserved sabbatical here with us at Farm St. He has a great love for London and looks forward to his time with us enormously. Welcome Fr Charlie!

Nobel Peace Prize nominee Fr John Dear SJ will be speaking on MONDAY 10th SEPTEMBER at 7pm at the Catholic Worker offices, 49 Mattison Road N4 on the theme: "The cost of peace: violence or the non-violent Jesus?" For more information:

Don't forget to fill in a registration form (available at the doors) if you are a regular worshipper at Farm Street. If you have already done so in the past but have new contact detail please let us know. The information is for administrative use only.

This is a chance for exhibiting schools to showcase what makes Catholic independent schools special. Striving for academic excellence, enjoying and achieving in sport, music and art all play an important part in providing an all-round education. This event is an important platform to show parents the benefits of an education that's not only in the classroom but also one that prepares their children for life beyond school. Westminster Cathedral Hall, SATURDAY 17 NOVEMBER from10.30am-4.30pm Visitor admission free. For more information about the Catholic Independent Schools Show 2012, contact Sue McCann or 0759 833 1065.

Our Film Club has put together a wonderful autumn programme on the theme of Captivity and Freedom. Introductory talk at 6.45pm, followed by screening at 7pm, and discussion with wine and refreshments afterwards. Everyone is welcome and it is free!
Our first film is on 20 September at 6.45pm - The Lady (dir. Luc Besson, 2011) – the story of Aung San Suu Kyi as she becomes the core of Burma's pro-democracy movement, and the price she has to pay in terms of her relationship with her husband, writer Michael Aris, and two sons. Highly topical in the year in which "The Lady" has finally been permitted to take her seat as an elected politician in Burma's parliament – after two decades spent mainly under house arrest. Earlier this year she travelled to Norway to collect her Nobel Peace Prize, 21 years after it was first awarded in 1991. This first screening is followed by: 11 OCTOBER: Dead Man Walking; 25 OCTOBER: Goodbye Bafana; 8 NOVEMBER: A Man Escaped; 22 NOVEMBER: Nowhere in Africa; 6 DECEMBER: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; 20 DECEMBER: Bergman's Magic Flute.

The wonderful service of welcoming people in at Mass is a relatively easy and quite enjoyable way of contributing to Parish life and we thank our team of greeters at the 9:30am and 11am Masses for their faithful presence. We currently need help at the 9:30am (family) Mass as we say goodbye to some of the team. There is also a need for new readers, especially for the 6pm on Saturday and the 8am and 6.15pm Masses on Sunday. There are plenty of other opportunities for service. Contact Leslie Giltz 0207 408 9250 for ideas: We have the skills – let's put them at the service of the Lord!

A Mass in honour of the Sacred Heart for the repose of the soul of Fr Hugh Thwaites SJ will be celebrated by Fr John Edwards SJ at Farm Street Church on TUESDAY 11th SEPTEMBER at 2pm. The ceremony will be a Low Mass of the Forma Extraordinaria. All are welcome.

There will be a one-day Living Faith conference on SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15th at Vaughan House, offering 3 lectures focussing on catechesis and faith formation, serving as part of the preparation for the forthcoming Year of Faith to be inaugurated by Pope Benedict in October. If you would like any more information please do not hesitate to contact us at

Latin has been used in the Church in many different ways over the centuries. We begin a programme this autumn to explore the richness of this heritage. You might like to note the dates of the first three talks: 15 OCTOBER at 7pm: Language and theology in the Canon of the Mass (Fr William Pearsall SJ), 29 OCTOBER at 7pm: St Augustine's conversion, as recounted in Book 8 of the Confessions (Jonathan Day) and 12 NOVEMBER at 7pm: "In principio erat Verbum" - Jerome's translation of the Prologue to St John's Gospel (Fr Nicholas King SJ).

Father William Pearsall SJ can be contacted on:
As of SEPTEMBER 11th his mailing address will be:
Campion Hall
Brewer Street
Oxford OX1 1QS
He will keep us informed of his future moves.

We are very fortunate in the UK to receive an automatic 22 % tax refund on every gift-aided donation to our church. It makes such a difference yet less than 10% of our Sunday donations are put in gift-aid envelopes. Please take a moment to put your offering in an envelope and fill it in. In the present economic climate, every penny counts!


114 Mount Street , London W1
Bookings: or feel free to come along
Information: Lynne Galloway 020 7495 1673 or

The new Mount Street Jesuit Centre programme brochure for September 2012-July 2013 are now available.

Here is a taste of what is to come during the month of September:
Just come along to any of the following, no need to book.

  • 8th Ignatian Prayer Day – 2nd Saturday of each month 11am-4pm An opportunity to listen to a talk/reflection, pray in silence and then share with others.
  • 10th Prayer in the City - Every Monday and Wednesday 6.30-7pm an opportunity to develop stillness, awareness and pray reflectively and imaginatively with Scripture.
  • 12th Poetry Appreciation Group - second Wednesday of each month 7-9pm, bring along a poem to share.
  • 13th Ignatian Prayer - Every Thursday 7-8.15pm Deepening stillness, awareness, silent prayer and sharing.
  • 20th Farm Street Films – every two weeks on Thursdays 6.45pm

    It is important to book for the following events.

  • 21st -23rd Little Big Silence – Silent Retreat at the House of Prayer East Molesey
  • 22nd Discovering New Ways of Praying – 11am-4pm Lynne Galloway An opportunity to be lead through a variety of forms of prayer that could open us more fully to God's love.
  • 29th Defending the Church without Raising Your Voice 11am-4pm - Dr Austen Ivereigh of Catholic Voices - A help for anyone who regularly finds themselves explaining the Church's positions on contentious issues – which is almost everybody.
Contact information

114 Mount Street

Tel. 020 7493 7811
Fax: 020 7495 6685


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