Solemnity of SS Peter & Paul

Gospel  (Matthew 16: 13-19)

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’


(c) McCrimmons


The lives of Peter and Paul “were not neat and linear. Both were deeply religious: Peter was one of the very first disciples (cf. Jn 1:41), and Paul was “zealous for the traditions of [his] ancestors” (Gal 1:14). Yet they also made great mistakes: Peter denied the Lord, while Paul persecuted the Church of God. Both were cut to the core by questions asked by Jesus: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” (Jn 21:15); “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4). Peter was grieved by Jesus’ questions, while Paul was blinded by his words. Jesus called them by name and changed their lives. After all that happened, he put his trust in them, in one who denied him and one who persecuted his followers, in two repentant sinners. We may wonder why the Lord chosen not to give us two witnesses of utter integrity, with clean records and impeccable lives? Why Peter, when there was John? Why Paul, and not Barnabas?”


“There is a great teaching here: the starting point of the Christian life is not our worthiness; in fact, the Lord was able to accomplish little with those who thought they were good and decent. Whenever we consider ourselves smarter or better than others, that is the beginning of the end. The Lord does not work miracles with those who consider themselves righteous, but with those who know themselves needy. He is not attracted by our goodness; that is not why he loves us. He loves us just as we are; he is looking for people who are not self-sufficient, but ready to open their hearts to him. People who, like Peter and Paul, are transparent before God. Peter immediately told Jesus: “I am a sinful man” (Lk 5:8). Paul wrote that he was “least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle” (1 Cor 15:9). Throughout life, they preserved this humility, to the very end. Peter died crucified upside down, since he did not consider himself worthy to imitate his Lord. Paul was always fond of his name, which means “little”, and left behind his birth name, Saul, the name of the first king of his people. Both understood that holiness does not consist in exalting but rather in humbling oneself. Holiness is not a contest, but a question of entrusting our own poverty each day to the Lord, who does great things for those who are lowly. What was the secret that made them persevere amid weakness? It was the Lord’s forgiveness.”

“How many times might Peter have thought back to his denial! How many scruples might Paul have felt at having hurt so many innocent people! Humanly, they had failed. Yet they encountered a love greater than their failures, a forgiveness strong enough to heal even their feelings of guilt. Only when we experience God’s forgiveness do we truly experience rebirth. From there we start over, from forgiveness; there we rediscover who we really are: in the confession of our sins.”

“Brothers and sisters, in the presence of these witnesses, let us ask: “Do I renew daily my own encounter with Jesus?” We may be curious about Jesus, or interested in Church matters or religious news. We may open computer sites and the papers, and talk about holy things. But this is to remain at the level of what are people saying? Jesus does not care about polls, past history or statistics. He is not looking for religion editors, much less “front page” or “statistical” Christians. He is looking for witnesses who say to him each day: “Lord, you are my life”.”

From Pope Francis’ Homily for SS Peter & Paul, 29 June 2019









Many thanks to Michele Walker and Gemma Caswell for these fabulous pictures. 

If you’ve got some photo’s to share, please send them to


The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (C)

Gospel  (Luke 9: 11-17)

Jesus made the crowds welcome and talked to them about the kingdom of God; and he cured those who were in need of healing.

It was late afternoon when the Twelve came to him and said, ‘Send the people away, and they can go to the villages and farms round about to find lodging and food; for we are in a lonely place here.’ He replied, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’ But they said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we are to go ourselves and buy food for all these people.’ For there were about five thousand men. But he said to his disciples, ‘Get them to sit down in parties of about fifty.’ They did so and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven, and said the blessing over them; then he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the crowd. They all ate as much as they wanted, and when the scraps remaining were collected they filled twelve baskets.



Lord Jesus Christ,
you ask of us to be your body for the life of the world.
Nourish us here with your word of life,
give us your body to eat and your wine of joy to drink,
that we may become more like you
and learn from you to live no longer for ourselves only
but for God and for the people around us.

Who live and reign with Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.


Synod Reflection

The Prophetic Community

I believe that the way ahead, the only way,
lies through our making ourselves what we ought to be.
When our sons and daughters,
our grandsons and granddaughters
can look at the Catholic Church and say:
‘There is the community
of reasonable and sensible people
who actually believe in this person called Jesus Christ
and his resurrection.
That is the community which is not obsessed with itself,
but puts itself at the service of humanity.
That is the community in which people pull together.
That is the community which has fire in its belly about justice:
doesn’t mind rattling the bars of people’s cages.
That is the community which clearly possesses a treasure
a hidden treasure which makes its members happy’.
When our children and grandchildren can look at us
and say that about us
they will also want to say:
‘And that is the community
I wish to belong to’.

Monsignor Tony Philpot

The Most Holy Trinity (C)


Gospel  (John 16: 12-15)

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I still have many things to say to you
but they would be too much for you now.
But when the Spirit of truth comes
he will lead you to the complete truth,
since he will not be speaking as from himself
but will say only what he has learnt;
and he will tell you of the things to come.
He will glorify me,
since all he tells you
will be taken from what is mine.
Everything the Father has is mine;
that is why I said:
All he tells you
will be taken from what is mine.’



At Mass this weekend, we will listen to “The Deer’s Cry” by Irish composer, Shaun Davey, and sung by Rita Connelly.  It’s based on St Patrick’s Breastplate.  You can listen to it by clicking on the link below:

I arise today
Through the strength of Heaven
Light of sun
Radiance of moon
Splendour of fire
Speed of lightning
Swiftness of wind
Depth of the sea
Stability of earth
Firmness of rock

I arise today
Through Gods strength to pilot me
Gods eye to look before me
Gods wisdom to guide me
Gods way to lie before me
Gods shield to protect me

From all who shall wish me ill
Afar and anear
Alone and in a multitude
Against every cruel
Merciless power
That may oppose my body and soul

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise, Christ to shield me
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me

I arise today.

Lyrics © David Platz Music, Bucks Music Group Ltd.


Pentecost Sunday (C)

Gospel  (John 14: 15-16, 23-26)

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.
I shall ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you for ever.

‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him and make our home with him.
Those who do not love me do not keep my words.
And my word is not my own:
it is the word of the one who sent me.
I have said these things to you while still with you;
but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all I have said to you.’



Today, let’s read through the Sequence for the Solemnity of Pentecost, also known as ‘The Golden Sequence’ because of its beauty.

Holy Spirit, Lord of Light,
From the clear celestial height
Thy pure beaming radiance give.

Come, thou Father of the poor,
Come with treasures which endure
Come, thou light of all that live!

Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow

Thou in toil art comfort sweet
Pleasant coolness in the heat
Solace in the midst of woe.

Light immortal, light divine,
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill:

If thou take thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay
All his good is turned to ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew
On our dryness pour thy dew
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will
Melt the frozen, warm the chill
Guide the steps that go astray.

Thou, on us who evermore
Thee confess and thee adore,
With thy sevenfold gifts descend:

Give us comfort when we die
Give us life with thee on high
Give us joys that never end.

Pentecost Novena

After Jesus had returned to his Father in heaven, the Scriptures tell us that the disciples went back to the Upper Room in Jerusalem and waited for the gift of the Holy Spirit. During this time, we’re told that they joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary, the mother of Jesus. Here lies the origin of the first Novena.


Between now and Pentecost, let’s join Christians across the world in praying for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the Church.  There will be a short prayer posted below each day.

Saturday 8 June

Intention – The Gift of Self control


Holy Spirit, take hold of the reins of my life, so that I may always follow the direction that will bring me closer to you this day and always.

Friday 7 June

Intention – The Gift of Gentleness


Holy Spirit, help me to meet the challenges of each day, not with brute force, but with gentleness. May I seek a godly resolution to every conflict.

Thursday 6 June

Intention – The Gift of Faithfulness


Holy Spirit, may I faithfully fulfil the tasks which I am called to do. Deliver me from the urge to gossip, belittle or betray others. Help me treasure all my relationships.

Wednesday 5 June

Intention – The Gift of Generosity


Holy Spirit, fill me with gratitude for the all the good things in my life, that I may in turn be willing to give freely of myself to others in time of need.

Tuesday 4 June

Intention – The Gift of Kindness


Holy Spirit, broaden the space in my heart to recognise the suffering of others this day. May I see Christ in them and react with kindness and compassion.

Monday 3 June

Intention – The Gift of Patience


Holy Spirit, grant me the grace to bear the inescapable irritations of daily life without anger. Guard me against overreaction and give me the strength to choose patience.

Sunday 2 June

Intention – The Gift of Peace


Holy Spirit, help me to remember that you, not I, are in charge of my life. Grant me the wisdom to step back from my frantic pace; refresh me with the cool breeze of your peace.

Saturday 1 June

Intention – The Gift of Joy


Holy Spirit, teach me to find inspiration, not boredom, in my daily life. Open my eyes to the wonder of every moment and make my soul an overflowing well of joy that energises others.

Friday 31 May

Intention – The Gift of Love


Holy Spirit, shape my outlook through love and in charity. Help me always assume the best, not the worst, in every person I meet. Guide my every word and deed in love.

Adapted from ‘Pentecost Novena’ copyright © 2017 World Library Publications. Reprinted with permission.