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Articles

Opłatki Blessing at St Patrick’s

6 January 2017

oplatki blessing 1

The breaking of the Christmas wafer or opłatki, (pronounced op-wat-kee) is an ancient Polish custom which was first practised a thousand years ago. On the 18th December, St Patrick’s hosted a gathering of the Polish members of the community who brought their Christmas wafers to the church to be blessed.

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Does it matter if we don’t say “Amen” when we receive the Eucharist?

22 July 2016

When we were children, we were all taught how to receive Holy Communion. I, like many others, was taught to make the sign of the cross after receiving the host. There is no rule written down about making the sign of the cross – it is optional. It doesn’t really affect or make a statement about what we believe about Holy Communion.

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Jesus, God’s Mercy Incarnate

8 July 2016

Sin, has to a large extent become “down-graded” as far as popular culture is concerned. The word is used to sell many things, from cream cakes to underwear, so “Sin” becomes something “naughty, but nice”. However, sin is a state of human existence in which the individual is estranged from God. There is nothing “nice” about sin, which is unfortunate as we are all so prone to cutting ourselves off from God.

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The Father’s Mercy

6 May 2016

Over 1500 years ago, St John Chrysostom said: “If you wish to receive mercy, show mercy to your neighbour.” The mercy and understanding we show to others is the degree of mercy and understanding we will receive in turn. The motto of the Jubilee Year of Mercy is that we are to be “Merciful, like the Father.” But to be merciful like the Father we have to understand how the Father is merciful. Scripture helps us to understand this quality of God.

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The Precepts, or Commandments of the Church

4 March 2016

We are all familiar with the Ten Commandments, laws given to the Hebrews by God that we have inherited. Many of us are less familiar though with the Precepts, otherwise known the Commandments of the Church.

These commandments are important. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that these precepts are obligatory, not because it wants to control our lives but because they constitute the minimum participation of a Catholic in the moral and sacramental life of the Church.

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The Spiritual Works of Mercy

19 February 2016

The motto of this Jubilee Year of Mercy is to be “merciful like the Father”. We have seen that the Church gives us guidance as to how to be merciful. We have reviewed the corporal works of mercy. Now we will consider the Spiritual Works of Mercy, through which we collaborate with God in order to help save souls for Heaven. Like the Corporal Works of Mercy, there are seven listed Spiritual Works of Mercy. These are to: Admonish the sinner; Instruct the ignorant; Counsel the doubtful; Comfort the sorrowful; Bear wrongs patiently; Forgive all injuries; Pray for the living and the dead.

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The Corporal Works of Mercy

5 February 2016

One of the themes of this Jubilee Year of Mercy is to be “merciful like the Father”. But how can we be merciful to others, especially at times like our own when there is a well-developed welfare programme organised by the state, and a number of charities that also do sterling work amongst those in need of practical mercy?

Fortunately, the Church provides practical guidance for us all. The guidance is divided into physical things we can do – these are the “corporal works of mercy” and the spiritual things we can do. This week, we will consider the “corporal works of mercy”.

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