When St Ignatius of Loyola embarked upon the enterprise of establishing a new religious order for the Church, he intended its members to be available for mission wherever there was a need. The Society of Jesus was to be "apostolic"; disponibility and flexibility were to be its distinctive features. Nevertheless, the Founder saw from the beginning that this new mobility would need certain fixed centres and the model for one type of Jesuit centre was the church in Rome which eventually became the Gesu. Here he set up the administrative headquarters of the nascent Order. And significantly, here was a church at the heart of the city from which the work of the Society of Jesus could radiate. The "Formula of the Institute" (at the beginning of the Jesuit Constitutions) describes the purpose of the Society: "To strive especially for the defense and propagation of the Faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching, lectures and any other ministration whatsoever of the Word of God, and further by means of the Spiritual Exercises, the education of children and unlettered persons in Christianity, and the spiritual consolation of Christ's faithful through hearing confessions and administering the other Sacraments." Farm Street church is a continuation of this mission.
We have much to be thankful for and much to celebrate as we mark the occasion of the Feast of St Ignatius this week. Our church continues to build up the community of the faithful through the ministry of Word and Sacrament. Although Mayfair is not primarily a residential part of London, people come to this Jesuit church from all over, and in good numbers, for its preaching, its celebration of the liturgy, its pastoral support and its fellowship. They come also in order to be a part of the wider Jesuit mission to the world and to be involved in the charitable and apostolic works of the Society. We have tried to be true to the educational role of the Order and although there is no school attached to Farm Street, we do have ways of carrying out the vision of the "Formula": the programme of formation offered by the Mount Street Jesuit Centre and our parish programme of formation for the children and young people. It has been a delight to see these works grow over the years. Our young adults have also been energetic in building up the First Sunday Plus programme and in providing a focus of prayer and reflection through the Christian Life Communities as well as outreach to the needy through their very active work in the St Vincent de Paul Society. We have recently been developing a programme of pastoral support for the older members of the parish and for carers. The volunteering opportunities at Farm Street are greater than ever and a glance at the Parish Directory will confirm the variety of choices. In addition, we continue to support many charities, not just financially but through active engagement. It has been very gratifying to watch the Farm Street Helping Hand projects take off.
In carrying out the apostolic vision of St Ignatius, we are all called to an active collaboration, each according to our abilities. None of this work could be done without the extraordinary level of commitment shown by the members of the parish community. Of course, we want to thank the Jesuits themselves who have been the animating force of Farm Street since its beginning, both the parish Fathers and also the Superior and all those members of the Jesuit community who assist in this work. But they would be the first to express gratitude and admiration for the engagement of the "laity" in this common apostolic enterprise and in this partnership we see perhaps a model for the emerging Church. Here we must make special mention of the Parish Pastoral Council and its working groups; without them not much would get done! We remember also the hidden work of the Parish Finance Committee. And we acknowledge with gratitude all the volunteers and the co-ordinators of our many ministries of welcome, service and liturgical life. It would be impossible to name them all but their names are "inscribed in Heaven". We also want to thank those who are employed by the parish for their outstanding contribution to our life and mission: our music department (justly renowned), our accountant, our sacristans and those who look after the maintenance and cleaning of the church
Since this will (probably!) be my last appearance in the parish newsletter, let me at least include one name among all the credits: Anne Paolino, our parish secretary. She has been an invaluable help and support over the years and I thank her! And to all of you let me offer this final word: if you can give to my successor, Fr Andrew Cameron-Mowat, all that you have given to me, then he can look forward to the happiest days of his life.
Every blessing in Christ!
We celebrate the Feast of St Ignatius Loyola with a Mass at 6pm on TUESDAY 31st JULY. The choir will be singing Mozart's "Spatzenmesse" accompanied by our newly restored organ. The celebrant will be Fr William and the preacher will be Fr James Hanvey, Superior of the Jesuit Community here. There will be a reception in the garden afterwards (or in the Hall and parish rooms if really wet). This is not only our parish celebration of the founder of the Jesuit Order and father of a great spiritual tradition, but also a special occasion for alumni/ae of Jesuit schools worldwide. We invite all who were at a Jesuit educational institution to join us on the evening of JULY 31st to meet old friends, to make new ones and to deepen the call to be followers of Christ together. See the posters for more information. This will be our occasion to say good-bye to Fr William who leaves the parish on SEPTEMBER 1st and also to celebrate the Golden Jubilee (50th year of ordination) of two members of our community: Fr Tony Horan SJ and Fr Jack Mahoney SJ. Ad Multos Annos! For Alumni information, contact email@example.com.
We are now updating our website pages but we take this opportunity to announce that the new website will go live in September. We thank Dominic Keogh and Jim Rea for all the work that has gone into the new design. We also thank our parish donor for helping to make it possible.
Day for Life JULY 29th 2012 celebrates an extraordinary gift: the human body. It recognises the marvellous achievements of the human body in events such as the Olympic and Paralympic games to be held in London this year, and the Commonwealth Games to be held in Scotland in 2014. It highlights the importance of good health, the care of our body and the importance of exercise and sporting activity. Christians have been encouraged by Pope Benedict XVI to participate in such activity as 'a training ground of healthy competition and physical improvement, a school of formation in the human and spiritual values, a privileged means for personal growth and contact with society'. Day for Life invites us therefore to show respect for the dignity of our body in every moment of its existence, from conception to natural death. There will be a collection at the doors. Please be generous!
Nobel Peace Prize nominee, internationally acclaimed author and peace activist, Fr John Dear SJ is visiting the UK in August/September to speak on the non-violent teachings of Jesus and the universal search for peace. A Jesuit priest, pastor, peacemaker, retreat leader, and author, he travels the world teaching the active non-violent message of Jesus as epitomised in the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dorothy Day. His only London event will be at the London Catholic Worker on MONDAY 10th SEPTEMBER at 7pm, 49 Mattison Road, N4. For more details www.myddeltongrange.org.uk or www.johndear.org
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the planned weekend Living Faith Conference, due to be held at Heythrop College from September 14th – 17th, has been cancelled.
In its place, however, we are holding a 1-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 firstname.lastname@example.org
This new programme will begin after the summer but you might like to note these dates: OCTOBER 15th: the Roman Canon (Fr William Pearsall SJ), OCTOBER 29th: St Augustine's Confessions, Chapter 8 (Jonathan Day), NOVEMBER 12th: the Vulgate, prologue to St John's Gospel (Fr Nicholas King SJ). Details of these and the other evening sessions will be announced in SEPTEMBER.
We bid a temporary farewell to Fr James Hanvey, SJ who will be taking up a university Chair in San Francisco for a year. We wish him every blessing. Fr Chris Boles will be Acting Superior during that time and we look forward to being with him.
Our collection of classic religious art on the ground floor at 114 Mount Street has been replenished. Come and check out the new paintings. Our thanks to Susan Bingham.
The 1:05pm Mass on MONDAY JULY 30th will be offered for Breda Quinn, our faithful parishioner who died this spring. RIP.
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: email@example.com or feel free to come along
Information: Lynne Galloway 020 7495 1673 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.