Published on Sunday 24 July 2016 | Posted by Julianne Chatfield
“Man does not live by bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
In our Old Testament reading we encounter the theme of hospitality. Hospitality has been important for many cultures across many years. St Paul talks of hospitality as a gift of the Spirit. Many argue that Sodom’s greatest sin was a sin against hospitality.
For the people of God they have the words of God echoing in their ear: “Remember that you were a stranger, an alien in a foreign land.” As God had been generous to them, they must be generous to others. Also, those who have shown hospitality to the stranger may well have entertained angels without knowing it. This is exactly what Abraham finds himself doing, providing hospitality for three visiting angels. His hospitality becomes a blessing for him with the promise of Sarah bearing a child by the following year.
In the light of this tradition, maybe we can have some sympathy with Martha as she rushes around trying to play the good host to those who were visiting. Many identify with Martha in the busyness of their lives and many might say we have too few ‘Marthas’- those willing to serve, clean, read and welcome. If we are short of ‘Marthas’ how many ‘Marys’ do we really have? You see Mary wasn’t just along for the ride. Mary was equally active in her participation but in a different way to Martha. Jesus’ gentle humour in response to Martha highlights the real danger of being Martha-like. We can be so busy about the work for the Kingdom of God that we miss the invitation that Jesus the King makes. He offers his hospitality to a banquet of spiritual food that feeds us in preparation for eternal life: “Every word that comes from the mouth of God.” How easy it is to be busy in prayer without times of silence to listen! How often do we take time to prayerfully read the scriptures? It’s all too easy to think if I am not actively involved in the mass, if I am not busy within it, I am somehow not present or don’t even need to be here. In so doing, we miss Jesus’ invitation to participate in a different way to hear his invitation to feed on heavenly food as he makes himself present in the mass, to sit at his feet, to hear his word and to receive him in this most blessed of sacraments.
Let our physical activity arise out of our time spent sitting at the feet of Jesus, not at the expense of it. “Indeed man does not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Jesus is that Word made present for us in the Mass.
Published on Wednesday 20 July 2016 | Posted by Julianne Chatfield
Following a very beautiful day in Arundel, on the 9th July, our special weekend continued as Mgr Keith Newton, our Ordinary, returned to Eastbourne for a visit. He celebrated the parish mass at Our Lady of Ransom Church, with the diocesan congregation there, before heading to St Agnes for our community meal. We were also joined by his wife, Gill. As usual, the food all came together, with more than enough for everyone (the leftovers reappeared after our 4pm mass.) We are blessed with some very talented cooks, who all provide an amazing array of foods for these types of occasion. Mgr Keith celebrated our mass, and we returned to the hall for more time together. In the evening we had compline with Benediction, back at Our Lady of Ransom. By then the evening light was pouring through the windows and the monstrance, lit by the spot light above the altar, glittered. It was very beautiful. A few finished off the weekend by going for a Thai curry. All in all this weekend in July is one we will remember for food and fun and a deep awareness of God’s presence. It was a joy-filled couple of days.
Published on Friday 15 July 2016 | Posted by Julianne Chatfield
For the Year of Mercy, the Ordinariate has held a variety of Pilgrimages. Many of our group and plenty from others met at Arundel to have a day, focused around the Shrine of St Philip Howard. In fact we counted representatives from at least 8 groups, many from Kent and Sussex and from as far a field as Walthamstow. Some pilgrims had crossed the water from the Isle of Wight.
The day began with confession in the Fitzalan Chapel, inside the grounds of Arundel Castle. Those who waited outside got to enjoy the White Garden in front of the church.
Following this we processed from the chapel to the Cathedral, where the Shrine is situated for Mass. This ended with prayers at the shrine.
Fr Neil stopped the cars!
After lunch we returned to the Cathedral for Benediction to end the day.
A huge amount of effort went into making the day from clergy, musicians and servers. The latter get a special mention as some had to step in at the last minute. Both the Cathedral and castle staff were very helpful both before and during the day. To all these people and to all the pilgrims a big “Thank you.”
The day was undoubtedly filled with many graces. One of these was the opportunity to again meet others from different parts of the country. Over the last 5 years we have slowly got to know Ordinariate members from other groups. We share so much of our spiritual journey and heritage. We have been formed in a particular way, both during our time in the Anglican communion and in the process of joining the Church via the Ordinariate. Over the last 5 years the mission of that Ordinariate has taken shape and this too has formed our spirituality and sense of mission. Yet being non-geographical often laity can only get together infrequently. When we do it is lovely and slowly we get to know more and more people. It will make the next get together even more special when we see now familiar faces!
(Please note, there are more photographs on our Facebook page.)
Published on Friday 8 July 2016 | Posted by Julianne Chatfield
Tomorrow many people from the Ordinariate, especially those from the Kent and Sussex groups will be traveling on pilgrimage to Arundel. This is part of the Called to be…programme for this year.
This is the timetable for the day:
Confessions start at the Fitzalan Chapel. We will access the chapel via the High Street Lodge, which will be staffed from 10.30am.
We will make our way, singing the penitential psalm, through the Cathedral’s holy door, via St Mary’s Gate and the Priory Courtyard.
Mass will be celebrated at the main Altar in the cathedral, following the pilgrim manual. Mass will be completed with devotions at the St Philip Howard Shrine.
We break for lunch, a look around Arundel town, and a castle gardens. You will be issued a badge that identifies you as an Ordinariate pilgrim and will get a half price entrance to the castle grounds (£4.50). To enter the Castle ground after lunch you will need to go via the main entrance as marked on the map.
We gather again for adoration and benediction to complete the day.
If you have difficulty finding your way around Fr Neil will be at the Cathedral from 10:30, with maps and copies of the timetable.
Published on Wednesday 6 July 2016 | Posted by Julianne Chatfield
Several of our group travelled up to Norfolk for the Ordinariate pilgrimage to
Walsingham on 25th June. (We forgot our camera so the official pictures can be found on the Ordinariate Flickr page)
At our arrival at the Shrine, having walked the Holy Mile out of the village, we
were welcomed by Mgr John Armitage. He spent a few moments saying how this place
was very much our place.
It made me remember the January day, 5 years ago, in Westminster, when Vincent
Nichols announced the name and patronage of this new Ordinariate. For us from
Eastbourne, there was a sense of the ‘rightness’ of the name. Walsingham has
been a key part of the journey to full communion with the Church. Pilgrimages
from Christ Church, along with a Walsingham cell had been begun by Fr Neil’s
predecessor, the late Fr Philip Fordham. Fr Neil continued this parish
tradition, which became ecumenical. Many from St Agnes, where our group now
meets joined Christ Church for these.
For us as a family, Walsingham became a key part of our children’s faith
upbringing, firstly with parish pilgrimages and then with the yearly Family
Pilgrimage at the Anglican shrine. Incidentally this is the place where our
children witnessed Sr Wendy play the drums! It is a place we all love.
For me, coming from an Evangelical background, Walsingham was not always a
comfortable place to be. It was also the place where discomfort turned to
understanding and understanding turned to valuing this part of the catholic
tradition. Walsingham has become a place which challenges and which feels like
home. This was no different when we returned as Catholics and members of the
Ordinariate. Some found the shift difficult but I, who had once been
uncomfortable never lost the home-coming feeling I had gained during my time as
an Anglican. Now, after several years of Ordinariate pilgrimages this process
has deepened. Walsingham provides a continuity to our spiritual journey. It is
part of our identity as members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.