Church Opening Times for Wednesday 1st July.
St David and St Patrick’s, Haverfordwest 10am – 1pm.
Immaculate Conception, Narberth 5pm – 8pm.
Our churches are re-opening soon, but we need to have two stewards in place to offer assistance and to help clean the buildings. Are you under 70 years old and are neither shielding nor in quarantine? If so, and if you can help out, then please email with your contact details and let me know at what times you can help. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Provisionally the opening times are going to be…
St David and St Patricks, Haverfordwest:
Monday 10:00am – 1:00pm
Wednesday 10:00am – 1:00pm
Thursday 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Saturday 1:00 – 4:00pm
Immaculate Conception, Narberth:
Tuesday 10:00am – 1:00pm
Wednesday 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Saturday 11:00 – 2:00pm
These times are subject to revision. If there aren’t enough people to help at a given time, then the times may have to be adjusted. Advice sheets will be provided to volunteers to give support and direction, also PPE is available for your use.
The Diocesan Health and Safety Office has told us that they have to inspect the premises and issue a certificate before our churches can be re-opened. Our two churches are very ready, and I hope to have our certificates as soon as possible. Once I have the correct documentation in place I will confirm our opening times.
Keep safe and God bless, and I look forward to seeing you very soon,
Several requests have been received for a copy of today’s homily. I generally don’t post my homilies on-line, because they’re intended to be for a particular moment. When listening at Mass, the experience of a homily is quite different to reading a text book or listening to a lecture. Nevertheless, because of the requests, please find today’s homily below. It comes with a caveat though: it is not a text book excerpt and was not written to be studied, it was written as my notes to help me preach, so is not an exact reflection of what I said at Mass. I’ve tried to tidy it up a bit to make it easier to understand; I hope you find it helpful.
The Father is not the Son. The Son is not the Spirit. The Spirit is not the Father nor the Son.
The Father generates the Son in an act of the intellect, brought about by God’s never-ending thinking about himself. Let me explain: The Father, in thinking about himself, sees the Son who is God and is therefore: “God from God”. There was never a time when the Father didn’t have the Son, because the Father is always thinking.
The Son is God and the Father is God, because they are of the same substance. They are consubstantial.The Father, generating the Son, is called a Procession; so we say “the Son proceeds from the Father”.
The Holy Spirit is the bond of the Father and Son, and proceeds from them both as an act of their one single will: as an act of Love. The Father and the Son, in loving themselves in each other, give rise to the Holy Spirit.
There was never a time when the Father and the Son didn’t have the Spirit, because the Father and Son are always loving. And so the Spirit too is God. The Spirit proceeds from the both the Father and the Son. The Spirit is God, just as the Father and Son are God.
The Son proceeds from the Father alone as an act of generation (as an act of thinking). The Spirit does not proceed from the Father alone – otherwise God would have two Sons. And if God had two sons then the Holy Spirit would be identical to the Son. But the Holy Spirit is not Jesus Christ! The Holy Spirit and the Son are distinct.
The Son of God proceeds from an act of the Father’s intellect: God thinking. Therefore, the Son could be called the Wisdom of God. God thinking about himself generates the Son.
The Holy Spirit of God proceeds from an act of the will: God loving. Therefore the Spirit could be called the Love of God. Together, God the Father and God the Son, loving, give rise to the Holy Spirit. This proceeding from them both has a special name. It’s called a Spiration.
The Father Generates the Son,
The Son Proceeds from the Father
The Spirit Proceeds from the Father and the Son as a Spiration.
And the Father is God.
And the Son is God.
And the Sprit is God.
And there is only one God.
The God who is, the God who was and the God who will be, are one God. And God is simple and undivided in substance, but always existing in three persons. What I have said to you I understand (although it took me many weeks!) I know it – but I don’t comprehend it. No one can fully comprehend it; not even the great saints can fully comprehend it. For example, St Augustine.
St Augustine was walking one day along the beach and he saw a small boy dig a hole. The boy picked up a shell and walked down the beach to the ocean, where he scooped up some water. He took the water, walked back u the beach and poured the water into the hole. Then he did the same thing again and again. St Augustine asked the boy “What are you doing?” “Well sir”, the boy replied, “I’m moving the ocean from here to there.” “But that’ll take forever” said Augustine. “Yes I know. But by the time I’ve finished, you won’t even have begun to fathom the depths of the Trinity” And with that the boy – a vision – vanished, leaving St Augustine alone with his prayers and the contemplation of the Trinity.
Each one of us, from young children who are learning how to make the sign of the cross, all the way up to adults who can read about philosophy and theology, can come to learn more and more about the Trinity; about the three persons of God who are one God. And we can grow in wisdom, …but we will never fully comprehend it.
There are people who know much more than me. And people who know less than me. But we all can all comprehend that we will never fully comprehend. And so on that level, we’re all the same: Your Faith in the Trinity is the same as my Faith in the Trinity, because both of us share in the Trinitarian faith of the Church.
God the Father is God.
God the Son is God.
God the Holy Spirit is God.
God is one and God is three.
You are blessed Lord God of our Fathers. You are blessed in the Firmament of Heaven. To you glory and praise forever more! Amen.
The Welsh Government has recently launched a consultation concerning the provision of Religious Education for all schools in Wales. The proposal will effect RE provision for schools operated by the Diocese of Menevia. Our faith schools are classed as “Voluntary Aided Schools”, and explicit reference is made to this type of school in the consultation document.
If the proposals outlined in this consultation go ahead, then the effect will be to the detriment of Catholic schools. Instead of being able to guarantee the teaching of our faith alongside an understanding of other faiths, and instead of being able to teach a sound moral system for the benefit of all, we could be forced to adopt a syllabus whereby all moral systems and philosophies are handled in the same way – thus reducing the Catholic ethos to a minimum.
Archbishop George Stack has said of these proposals that “although the language is very carefully worded, the implications of such a curriculum for the teaching of R.E. in Catholic schools are enormous.” Archbishop Stack has written to the First Minister to express concern and, with the Catholic Education Service (and others), is working on a response which spells out the implications of the imposition of such draconian measures on our schools. Archbishop Stack says: “I believe I do not exaggerate when I say this is a crucial moment for our schools and our ability to provide Catholic education.”
I am asking the people of our parish to read a letter from the Education Office of the Metropolitan Diocese of Cardiff. The letter is titled “Christ at the Centre” and can be found in the link below.
Having read the letter I invite each of you to look at the consultation from the Welsh Government and to respond to it. It’s a 13 page document, but don’t be put off – the actual text of the consolation covers only 5 pages. These 5 pages are so important as they could mark the beginning of the end for Catholic Schools. Please do respond to the Consultation by sending in your replies no later than 28th July 2020.
For those of you who feel this may be a challenge, the Catholic Education Service (CES) has very helpfully prepared a page of notes which offers guidance to those who will make a reply. You must feel free to write what your own considered answer, but the notes are there to support you and to highlight elements which you may not have previously considered.
As Parish Priest and School Govenor, I’m asking you to please continue to support the principles of Catholic faith-based education, which gives a positive moral framework to our children, combined with a world-view which is compassionate to people of all faiths. What is distinctive, however, is that we do not see all moral systems as equal and all viewpoints as equally valid, nor do we want to have to teach that two or more directly contradictory viewpoints/faiths/beliefs are as good as each other – some things are either right or wrong, and we can demonstrate why.
Our faith does allow us to make clear distinctions and gives us a framework for living a good life. Catholic Christianity has provided a structure which, for hundreds of years, has shaped the culture of both Europe and the world; it has been foundational in the development of the modern jurisprudence systems we use today; has enabled access to education and healthcare to those who otherwise wouldn’t be in receipt of such goods; and served to transform the lives of many for the better by giving them a dignity which people of other moral systems (or none) would have eroded away.
The proposed changes being made, to my mind at least, throw all of the benefits of Christian culture to the wind and may force us to adopt a curriculum which goes against our better judgment and conscience.
If you have any questions, comments, then please feel free to write or speak to me personally, and I encourage you to make your replies to this consultation known.
With all good wishes,
Fr Liam Bradley