Fr Sean used these descriptions of grief from author Edgar Jackson in his holily at our annual Mass of Commemoration for those who have died in the past year on November 18th 2016:
Grief is a young widow trying to raise her three children, alone.
Grief is the man so filled with shocked uncertainty and confusion that he strikes out at the nearest person.
Grief is a mother walking daily to a nearby cemetery to stand quietly and alone a few minutes before going about the tasks of the day. She knows that part of her is in the cemetery, just as part of her is in her daily work.
Grief is the silent, knife-like terror and sadness that comes a hundred times a day, when you start to speak to someone who is no longer there.
Grief is the emptiness that comes when you eat alone after eating with another for many years.
Grief is teaching yourself to go to bed without saying good night to the one who had died.
Grief is the helpless wishing that things were different when you know they are not and never will be again.
I also found this thought while I was seaching for an image to accompany this post:
The beginning of the Jubilee Year is always solemnly marked by the opening of a Holy Door by the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. However, for this Jubilee of Mercy Pope Francis also wanted a Door of Mercy in each diocese so that everyone throughout the world may be able to celebrate the Jubilee.
In the Diocese of Westminster there will be a Holy Door at the cathedral and there are also Holy Doors at: Brook Green; the Italian Church, Clerkenwell; Enfield; Haverstock Hill; Hounslow; Kingsland; Lincoln’s Inn Fields; Marylebone; Soho Square; Stanmore; Waltham Cross; Our Lady’s, Welwyn Garden City; Our Lady of Willesden. Continue reading The Holy Door
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.
When we asked parishioners for their recollections or old pictures of the inside of the church, we did not know what, if anything, we would get. A number of parishioners loaned us pictures from the 1980s which showed things much as they are today. However this week Winnie Elkins, an ex-parishioner whose family were involved in the founding of the parish, loaned Fr Sean some old postcards showing the interior of the church.
Unfortunately there are no dates on the cards but the company producing them appears to have been around in the 1930s. Though the pictures are grainy, they show there were once paintings on the arch above the Sanctuary as well as on the wall behind the altar and, it appears, on the side wall above the tiling in St Joseph’s Chapel. There is also a picture of the altar that was once found in the Lady Chapel. The pictures of the High altar and Nave show the arrangement of the Sanctuary and altar rails as well as the pulpit.
With modern technology we have been able to scan the pictures and you can view them by clicking on the thumbnail images below.
When we finalise plans for the Sanctuary, we will see if anything remains under the wallpaper and paint!
With many thanks to Winnie and the other parishioners who have helped us with our research.