Our Lady Queen of Heaven
Catholic Church, Harwich, Essex

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 9 September 2018

Fr Frank writes:  


My Dear Friends,


The healing of the deaf and dumb man, which we hear of in today’s Gospel, occurs immediately and the confirmation of the healing is shown in the man’s ability to speak. Jesus orders the crowd not to divulge the news, but is disobeyed and his reputation keeps spreading. The comment of the crowd indicates that they are becoming aware that with Jesus the messianic age has dawned, since according to Isaiah (35:5f), healings of the blind, deaf and the disabled are signs of its beginning.


The ability to hear and speak are great gifts from God. We can use these gifts for good or for bad. The choice is ours, God’s gift of free will imposes responsibility!


During the last two years both parishes have enjoyed interesting Autumn Outings (Pilgrimage Lite!); the first to Norwich where we celebrated Mass in the cathedral and finished the day at the Julian Shrine; and last year to Cambridge, celebrating Mass at the church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs and finishing the day with Choral Evensong in the stunning chapel of King’s College. This year will be slightly different. We will travel to Huntingfield, a tiny Suffolk village, to see the remarkable painted ceiling in the village church (the church is known as Suffolk’s Sistine Chapel). At the church we will hear a talk about the painting of the ceiling and about Mildred Holland, the amateur Victorian artist who executed it, and have been given permission to celebrate Mass in this wonderful medieval church (now used by Anglicans, but run very much as a pilgrimage centre open to all…..it is a very welcoming place). In the afternoon we will travel to Southwold before returning home. This ‘pilgrimage’ is designed to appeal to all ages and for this reason will take place during the October half-term, on Thursday October 25th. To prepare for this experience, which I guarantee you will find interesting, uplifting and joyful, you could visit the Church’s web site and see the paintings on line, or (and I would recommend this) you could read the novel ‘The Huntingfield Paintress’ by Pamela Holmes.


Details of timings and a sign-up sheet for the coach will appear soon.


May the words and actions of Christ prompt us all to words and deeds of kindness.


Frank ofs


Sunday Smile:

A church deacon really enjoyed playing golf. His loyalties were divided when an important tournament was planned for a Sunday morning. Phoning his rector to apologise for his absence in church he explained. ‘Sorry I can’t make it this morning. I am spending a few hours with some handicapped people.’