16th July – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Fr Morty O'Shea

Normally (apart from Sundays) July 16th is the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the foundation day of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in 1958.

This was my Sunday homily for today. Gospel follows.

sowerparableAt Denis Hanlon’s funeral last Tuesday I spoke about going to his house and giving the Last Rites. This was Saturday evening, a few hours before he passed away. To anoint his hands I had to pull back the bed clothes. I was touched to see that he had wrapped his Rosary beads around his left hand, maybe his last conscious action before becoming unconscious.

Fr Peyton who did much to promote the Rosary in the last century said that holding Rosary beads in our hands is a way of holding Mary’s hands in ours. What a holy and beautiful thing it is for us to leave this…

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11th July – St Benedict, Patron of Europe.

Fr Morty O'Shea

Today is the feast day of St Benedict, patron of Europe. Here is the gospel followed by thestbenedict Bishops’ website commentary.

Gospel                            Matthew 19:27-29
Everyone who has followed me will be repaid a hundred times over.

Peter spoke to Jesus. ‘What about us?’ he said ‘We have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I tell you solemnly, when all is made new and the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory, you will yourselves sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life. Many who are first will be last, and the…

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22nd June – Ss Thomas More & John Fisher

Fr Morty O'Shea

jesusThe following is an article I wrote for last Sunday’s newsletter. Even if you are not from Ireland, it gives a sense of the general difficulties involved in maintaining our Christian culture in secular age.

Public Fairness: David Quinn of the Iona Institute is a columnist with the Irish Independent and Irish Catholic. This is a recent article of his: Church bashing is the new Brit bashing. The hard left never stop. I am not sure I can think of a single time during his six years as Taoiseach (Prime Minister) when Enda Kenny had a good word to say about the Catholic Church or Ireland’s Christian heritage. So why the continuous negativity about the Church? Why are we presented only with the misdeeds while the good it has done over the centuries is kept hidden from view? (Emphasis added.) Because that makes it all the easier to…

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7th July.

Fr Morty O'Shea

When Jesus was before Pilate, he spoke about his mission to reveal divine truth: “In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me”. (John 18:37.) A substantial dimension of this truth is the moral law of the Ten Commandments. Here is a related article from the ALIVE newspaper about the unfortunate results of the Commandments being downplayed within the life of the Church.

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6th July – St Maria Goretti, Virgin & Martyr

Fr Morty O'Shea

st maria gorettiOur saint of the day Maria Goretti (*1890 +1902) was the third of seven children of a poor peasant family in the province of Ancona in Italy; owing to extreme poverty the family later migrated to a village near Anzio.

In order to make ends meet, Maria’s father entered into partnership with a man called Serenelli, and shared a house with him and his two sons, one of whom was called Alessandro. Her father died in 1900, when Maria was ten.

Maria impressed everyone with her radiant purity. She was naturally pious, kind, and helpful. She was also outstandingly beautiful – and Alessandro Serenelli was an outstandingly passionate and undisciplined man. She resisted his attentions, which only made her the more desirable, and narrowly managed to escape a serious sexual assault, which he made her keep secret by means of threats of murder.

A month later Alessandro arranged things so that…

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Who is He

Who gives any authority to a ruler. Through the ages, countries have been ruled, by various forms of government.

However is it man who gives this authority. There have been royalties, when kingships were handed over from one generation to another. Many other countries have witnessed dictatorships and others with elections.

The form of rule varied depending on the various countries and their cultures, and way of life. Rulers have come and gone. Some with fame and others infamy. With every passing generation it is always felt that, “ how did we survive a bad ruler” or after a good ruler has left “ why did this happen?”

True if one accepts that ultimately the Creator of this world, is a living person, then He does indeed have knowledge of His own creation. Can a creature know more than his creator?

So we can accept that authority…

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The Mayflower Tree


There she stands in full bloom. The leaves in lush green and all the grandeur of flowers in a riot of colours. How old  will it be.  I have no idea. All I know is that it has been there since I was a child.

The  tree made its presence felt,  when we saw the roof above our kitchen strewn with the bright orange flowers. However, besides its beauty on the tree, it was not very helpful to my Mum, who had to get the roof cleared off all the fallen flowers. Invariably someone had to climb the roof to do this. We liked the tree as it gave such joy at summer to see it in full bloom. Mum looked at this differently. It was a tiresome task to clear the roof every time.

Years have gone by. Now we have a terrace over the kitchen instead of the roof…

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Good Measure, Running Over!

Malcolm Guite

The Chelmsford Conference Prayer

For the next couple of days I am poet in residence at ‘Refresh’ the Chelmsford Diocesan Conference. this morning I read out a poem called ‘Good Measure, from my most recent collection Parable and Paradox. Its a poem about the pleroma the sheer overflowing abundance of God’s generous love. and it was written in response to those beautiful words of Jesus in Lukes Gospel:

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.

Here it is, together with a recording which you can hear by clicking on the title or the ‘play button’

Good Measure

More than good measure, measure of all things

Pleroma overflowing to our need,

Fullness of glory, all that glory brings,

Unguessed-at blessing, springing…

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3rd July – Feast of St Thomas, Apostle

Fr Morty O'Shea

stthomasToday is the feast day of the apostle Thomas who is famous for doubting the Resurrection of Jesus when his fellow apostles told him about it. But if he is the sceptical apostle, he is also the believing apostle, for having seen and touched a risen man, he made the immediate leap of faith and so became the first apostle to call Jesus, God. Nothing is known about Thomas’s later life. A well-known apocryphal document called the Acts of Thomas relates his missionary journeys to Persia and India. The journey would have been easy enough – important trade routes lay that way – and if some of the apostles went west, to Rome, the centre of the world, there is no reason why some others should not have chosen to go east, to the edge of the known world.

We will probably never know for certain; but the Christians of Kerala (India)…

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2nd July – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Fr Morty O'Shea

Yesterday I travelled to Dublin for the pro-life Rally which drew an attendance of 70-80,000. Here are some photos of the occasion from various vantage points.

photo 1photo 2

This is today’s homily which is based on the second reading – copied at the end.

In Jan 1997 I was transferred to Brockley parish in SE London. Soon thereafter I was on for the 7.30am Mass. Like most mornings, I was not on top of my act. During Mass I looked down at the intention and saw ANNIVERSARY of (we will say) John & Mary Smith and I assumed it was a death anniversary.

holy spirit 5I got to that point in the Eucharistic prayer when we remember the dead, so I said: “Remember John & Mary, in baptism they died with Christ, may they also share in his Resurrection.” As soon as Mass ended and I entered the sacristy, I was closely followed by…

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