CAFOD Volunteer, Sheila Faucher, reflects on her experience of Speaking at Mass for CAFOD this Harvest at St Mary’s, Blackheath Village:
The Beautiful Parish of Our Lady help of Christians also known as St.Mary’s sits within the heart of Blackheath Village London; I received a warm welcome at the 11’oclock mass, a week before I was due to give this years Harvest Fast Day Talk.
I was struck not only by the aesthetic beauty of the Church building which is of great historical significance but also, this beauty was reflected in the congregation and in particular; conditioned by the Latin liturgy ‘felt’ within the plainsong and polyphony sung by the cantor along with the choir’s richness in musicality and experience.
The following weekend, the 4th and 5th of October, I was given the opportunity to spread that important message of ‘charity’ which is so central to Catholic social teaching. A message of hope, of love and of Collective responsibility to our neighbour, it was a privilege to speak after the Gospel, Monsignor Nicolas Rothon who celebrated his Golden Jubilee in the summer read from the gospel of Mathew 21:33-43 which bought to life the parable of the ‘Wicked Tenants’.
Fair judgement and the image of ‘the vineyard’ also echoed in the first reading from the prophet Isaiah 5: 1-7 was a powerful hermeneutic for CAFOD’s Fast Day message, making a place at our table ‘through the Eucharist in which we all share we are transformed and called to share with others’ this includes ‘our brother and sisters worldwide that go hungry’
The last mass at 7.30 was proceeded by Benediction and The Rosary lead by Monsignor, I found my time spent at St.Mary’s deeply spiritual, and I feel blessed that the CAFOD parish contact Karen, who had put in palace a person to help and greet me at each mass welcoming and supportive throughout my visit this for me is what Pope Frances means by a ‘witness of fraternal communion’ when we as Christians ‘let everyone admire how you care for one another, and how we encourage and accompany one another’
God Bless All at St.Mary’s Sheila Faucher.