The assumption

Wednesday is the Feast of the Assumption of our Lady.

It is a Holyday of Obligation, with Mass at St Paul’s 9.30am; Christ the King 12.45pm; St Brigid’s 7.30pm.

This is an occasion for us all to pause and consider this most extraordinary woman, and what messages she holds for us. Once more, let the poetry of Malcolm Guite help us delve more deeply into the graces of Mary. This is called “Theotokos” – Greek for “Bearer or Mother of God”.


You bore me for the One who came to bless And bear for all and make the broken whole. You heard His call and in your open ‘yes’ You spoke aloud for every living soul.

Oh gracious Lady, child of your own child, Whose mother-love still calls the child in me, Call me again, for I am lost, and wild
Waves surround me now. On this dark sea Shine as a star and call me to the shore. Open the door that all my sins would close And hold me in your garden. Let me share The prayer that folds the petals of the Rose. Enfold me too in Love’s last mystery.
And bring me to the One you bore for me.

“Sounding the Seasons” Malcolm Guite, Canterbury Press

A modern miracle?

In 1964 Fr Rick Thomas was appointed to El Paso in Texas. Around 1969/1970 he was deeply touched by God and started prayer meetings in the parish. Sr Maria Virginia, was also assisting in the parish.
During a prayer meeting in 1972, they read the passage in Luke 14 which says, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relations or rich neighbours, in case they invite you back and so repay you. Now when you have a party, invite the poor7 for they have no means to repay you and so you will be repaid when the upright rise again.”

The prayer meeting decided that on Christmas Day that year, 1972, they would give a Christmas lunch to the poor who lived and worked in the dump in Juarez, just across the border in Mexico. The poor people in the dump used to separate the trash into various kinds, cans, bottles, cardboard etc and then sell it to a co-op which would in turn sell it on. They lived in the dump and worked 7 days a week for $5.
The prayer group prepared food for 125 people on Christmas Day, but when they got to the dump Fr Rick and the group discovered that 350 people turned up! Fr Rick explained that there was not enough food for everyone but they would share what they had. All 350 had enough food7 The dump people took some food home – and then came back to take more home. They returned and took more home again. There was still lots of food left over, so much that Fr Rick and the prayer group took the leftover food to three orphanages.
The miracle of the loaves and fishes was repeated in the dump in Juarez, Mexico in 1972. On another occasion they didn’t have enough cartons of milk for everyone, but when they came to the end of handing out cartons, everyone had a carton of milk. After the miracle on Christmas Day 1972 a beautiful Christian community grew up in the dump and many wonderful events have taken place since then.

Fr Matthew – See “Miracles in El Paso” by Rene Laurentin, 1982.


This week I was reflecting with my sister on the fact that all four of our grandparents were dead before we were born, and how unusual this is. I think we missed out a lot…

Thursday is the Feast of Sts Joachim and Anne, parents of Mary and grandparents of Jesus. Here is a prayer written by Pope Benedict in 2008 specially for grandparents.

Lord Jesus, you were born of the Virgin Mary,
The daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne.
Look with love on grandparents the world over. Protect them!
They are a source of enrichment for families, for the Church and for all of society.
Support them!
As they grow older, may they continue to be for their families strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardian of noble domestic ideals,
living treasuries of sound religious traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on to future generations the fruits of their mature human and spiritual experience.

Lord Jesus,
help families and society to value the presence and roles of grandparents.
May they never be ignored or excluded,
but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed in all the years of life which you give them.
Mary, Mother of all the living,
keep grandparents constantly in your care,
accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity for the great embrace of life without end.


Fr Matthew