Today is the feast of St Anthony of Padua, the great thirteenth century Franciscan preacher and one of the most popular saints in the Church; his statue in our church (which replaces one which was smashed in an act of vandalism a few years ago) is shown here. While we associate him with supportive prayers when we lose something, his life as a friar in turbulent medieval Italy is important – he was actually from Portugal. Please pray for the people and Church in Italy at this time.
You will be able to see his statue in our church again from Monday when St Edmund’s will reopen for private prayer for set hours each day. Father Steve has written about the rules which have to be followed in the parish newsletter (available HERE) and I indicated what these were a few days ago. Please remember that they’re not for the most part guidelines or advice – they are rules which have been carefully formulated by the Bishops Conference and the Southwark Archdiocese, and you have to follow them. The negotiations which the Bishops Conference carried out with the Johnson government to enable churches to reopen were not easy – please pray for the bishops and their staff at this time and give thanks for their work for the Church in this country.
Please pray also for our neighbouring parish of Anerley, dedicated to St Anthony, for Father Sunith Nonis and his people, and for their primary school. As you may know the dedication of the church, and the street names nearby reflecting Italian cities (including Padua) illustrate the historic strength of the Italian community in Penge and Anerley.
God bless and take care