NEWSLETTER, September 2020
St Paulinus' Church, The Avenue, Guisborough TS14 8DN - Tel: 01287 638233 - Fax 01287 637173

WELCOME, Fr Philip! And ...

profound THANKS to

Fr Michael

from the whole parish and the diocese for his many years of service

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BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL: Due to coronavirus safety measures, the maximum capacity of the building is much reduced.

To avoid disappointment, please ring 07925 029 176 Tuesday from 6-8pm or Thursday evening from 6-8pm, to reserve your place at mass.

You will need to give your name and contact details e.g. a phone number.

You must wear a mask in church unless you are legally exempt e.g. for health reasons.

A recording of the mass will be published later in the day, as we are not able to live stream from the church at present.

The church will also be open for private prayer on Wednesdays, 6:30 – 7:30pm

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school info

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If you don’t know much about Peter, he’s nothing less than a hero; with the courage to rise up against an unspeakable evil of his day, the widespread and cruel use of African slaves in the New World, even when it meant ridicule, hardship, and little hope for total success.

The situation was hideously bleak: businessmen were getting rich off the injustice, the government protected it, even some of his fellow Jesuits accepted it. But Peter took them all on.

“Servant of the Africans Forever”

Peter was born in Spain in 1581, just 70 years after African slaves had been introduced to the New World. After finishing his university studies, he joined the relatively new Society of Jesus (Jesuits). During his formation to become a priest, he met the porter and future saint Alphonsus Rodriguez. Known for his gift of prophesy, he urged Peter to serve God in Spain’s new colonies in the Americas.

Peter took Rodriguez’ advice to heart and in 1610 arrived in Cartagena, a slave trading hub for the New World. A thousand slaves landed there each month before being sold off and moved throughout the territory. They were bought for two, and sold for 200 écus. Though half the cargo might die, the trade remained profitable. Neither the repeated censures of the pope, nor those of Catholic moralists could prevail against this greed.

For his first six years there, Peter was required to live in a Jesuit house for theological studies in preparation for being ordained a priest. But he was deeply disturbed by how brutally the African slaves were treated.

Who would speak for them? Who would stand up to the systematic cruelty and dehumanization throughout the colonies? Though some of his fellow Jesuits simply accepted the plight of the slaves, there was at least one priest with a heart like Peter’s: Fr. Alonso de Sandoval.

Fr. Sandoval had served the slave population for 40 years before Peter arrived, learning their languages and customs, and Peter became an apprentice to his work. When the time came at last for Peter to sign his papers for final vows to the Jesuits, he knew exactly who he wanted to dedicate his life to: he signed his name as “servant of the Africans forever.” thenceforth his life contradicted egotism by its superhuman charity. Although timid and lacking in self-confidence, he became a daring and ingenious organizer.

Solidarity with the Least of These

Peter started his ministry on the wharf: he would wait for slave ships to arrive, immediately hop on board, and rush to where the slaves were kept. He offered compassion, whatever refreshments he could offer, and his cloak to whoever need it most. (A legend arose that whoever received the future saint’s cloak would be healed of any illness and have good health the rest of his life.)

After the slaves were herded off the ship, he offered them medicine, food, and tobacco, and would try communicate with them through interpreters or signs. His ministry to the slaves and others in the town was so effective, it’s estimated that over the course of his lifetime he personally baptized 300,000 people.

But his ministry didn’t stop with baptism. He kept tabs on where his new converts were sent as best he could, traveling around the country to plantations. He forcefully advocated that the slaves be treated as humanely as possible. As a show of solidarity, he refused to stay in the homes of plantations owners, preferring instead to stay in the slaves’ quarters.

A thorn in the side of anyone who mistreated the slaves, wielding a moral force built up through years of holy living, the treatment of the slaves in his area slowly improved.

He was also a frequent visitor of hospitals and prisons, often preparing condemned criminals for death.

Upon his death aged 73 in 1654, there was such a large public outpouring that the city’s governing officials, who had considered Peter a terrible nuisance, were forced to hold a public funeral. Only after his death was the incredible breadth of his ministry fully understood and appreciated.

Slavery in the New World continued for centuries after his death. So wasn’t he a failure?

Peter wasn’t able to single-handedly end the terrible evils of his day, but he helped countless people nonetheless. Every act of compassion, every refreshment he could offer to the slaves, every time he stood up against the cruelty being practiced around him – it all still mattered for those people and their souls, slave and slave-owner alike.

There are terrible evils in our own day, and it’s unlikely that any one of us will be able to stamp them out completely in the near future. So should we just stop trying?

No, we should follow in the example of St. Peter Claver, remaining faithful to God, doing whatever good we can, and saving as many souls as possible. St. Peter Claver, pray for us!

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CALENDAR - September 2020

Tue 1 Tuesday of week 22 in Ordinary Time

Wed 2 Wednesday of week 22 in Ordinary Time

Thu 3 Saint Gregory the Great, Pope, Doctor

Fri 4 Friday of week 22 in Ordinary Time

Sat 5 Saturday of week 22 in Ordinary Time

or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sun 6 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mon 7 Monday of week 23 in Ordinary Time

Tue 8 The Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary Feast

Wed 9 Wednesday of week 23 in Ordinary Time or Saint Peter Claver

Thu 10 Thursday of week 23 in Ordinary Time

Fri 11 Friday of week 23 in Ordinary Time

Sat 12 Saturday of week 23 in Ordinary Time or The Most Holy Name of Mary or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sun 13 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mon 14 The Exaltation of the Holy Cross Feast

Tue 15 Our Lady of Sorrows

Wed 16 Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

Thu 17 Thursday of week 24 in Ordinary Time or Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Doctor

Fri 18 Friday of week 24 in Ordinary Time

Sat 19 Saturday of week 24 in Ordinary Time or Saint Januarius, Bishop, Martyr or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sun 20 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mon 21 Saint Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist Feast

Tue 22 Tuesday of week 25 in Ordinary Time

Wed 23 Saint Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)

Thu 24 Thursday of week 25 in Ordinary Time

Fri 25 Friday of week 25 in Ordinary Time

Sat 26 Saturday of week 25 in Ordinary Time or Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs

or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sun 27 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mon 28 Monday of week 26 in Ordinary Time or Saint Wenceslaus, Martyr or Saints Laurence Ruiz and his Companions, Martyrs

Tue 29 Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels Feast

Wed 30 Saint Jerome, Priest, Doctor

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Pope Francis

The root of every spiritual error is believing ourselves to be righteous. To consider ourselves righteous is to leave God, the only righteous one, out in the cold. Aug 25, 2020

Today is the tenth anniversary of the massacre of 72 migrants in Mexico. I express my solidarity with the families of the victims who today are still asking for truth and justice. The Lord will hold us to account for all of the migrants who have fallen on their journey of Hope. Aug 24, 2020

To pray is to allow yourself to be looked at by God without illusions, excuses, or justifications. Because from the devil come darkness and lies, from God come light and truth. Aug 24, 2020

Let’s not forget the victims of the coronavirus. So much suffering, so many people who lost their lives; and so many volunteers, doctors, nurses, sisters, priests, who also lost their lives. Let us remember the families who have suffered because of this. Aug 23, 2020

In the #GospelOfTheDay, we hear Jesus’s question directed to each one of us: “And you, who do you say I am?”. It is a question of giving not a theoretical answer, but one that involves faith, that is, life, because faith is life! Aug 23, 2020

God does not love you because you behave well. He loves you, plain and simple. His love is unconditional; it does not depend on you. Aug 22, 2020

God has no need to be defended by anyone and does not want His name to be used to terrorize people. We call upon everyone to stop using religions to incite hatred, violence, extremism and blind fanaticism. #HumanFraternity. Aug 22, 2020

Amid so many passing things, the Lord wants to remind us of what will remain forever: love, because “God is love”. Aug 21, 2020

May the Holy Spirit make us grow constantly in knowledge of God so that we might spread His love and His truth in the world. Aug 20, 2020

The response to the pandemic is dual: we need to find a cure for this small which has brought the whole world to its knees and we must cure a larger virus, that of social injustice. #GeneralAudience Aug 19, 2020

Wealth can force us to build walls. Jesus, instead, invites His disciples to transform goods and riches into relationships, because people are worth more than things, they are more valuable than any riches we possess. Aug 18, 2020

It is not the wealthy who bear fruit in life, but those who build and maintain many friendships through various "riches", namely, through the various gifts God has given them. Aug 17, 2020

If we present our poverty to the Lord, with an existence marked by tears and suffering, but with the tenacious faith of the Canaanite woman (see Mt 15:21-28) then the Lord cannot but welcome our prayer with His paternal eyes and heart. #GospelOfTheDay. Aug 16, 2020

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the threshold where we can hear God’s voice

To a certain extent we’re already free, but at the same time we’re not as free as we can be. Becoming free to love more fully doesn’t happen automatically; it’s a struggle to ready ourselves to receive the gift of freedom. And although we lack freedom in various ways, we can be blasé about it, and so our faith becomes stunted.

Freedom is fragile and is easily threatened. For instance, if we lead frenetic lives and have little time to nourish our souls through periods of quiet and prayer, our lives will shrink and our faith will weaken. If we get hurt in relationships, the resulting wounds can make it more difficult for us to trust others, and also to trust God. If we live too much in our heads, it will be hard for us to get in touch with the hunger in our hearts. If we take what others do as the norm for our own lives, God will become distant and irrelevant.

In challenging moments like these it doesn’t make sense to spend our energy and time speculating about the meaning of faith while we neglect to look at our lack of freedom. We have to come back to where the problem is, to our struggle for freedom ...

Growth in our own freedom marks the beginning of faith. We must become free of our surface selves in order to reach the threshold where we can hear God’s voice.

(Excerpted from Wisdom at the Crossroads: The Life and Thoughts of Michael Paul Gallagher SJ by Thomas G. Casey SJ, p.134)

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Coronavirus has affected us all. This CAFOD Family Fast Day, we can help people facing the worst of the coronavirus crisis. We’ve all felt the impact of this terrible disease. Let’s come together to help the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world survive, rebuild and heal. let’s stand alongside them. Let’s hold them in love and prayer.

Thank you for your support! With your help, we will be able to support more local experts like Sister Consilia in Zimbabwe who gives vital medication at her health centre. During this time of coronavirus, we pray for everyone who is ill and for health care professionals around the world.