Chaplaincy & Services | Posted 19.05.2016

Mass times – revised

Please note that several Mass times have changed slightly from those given in the Calendar, as follows:

Sunday 29 May  

Mass at 11am in the College Chapel.

Sunday 5 June  

Mass for pupils returning after half-term at 7pm (rather than 5.30pm)

Sunday 26 June

Mass will be at 10.30 in St Peter’s (not on Saturday at 5pm).  At this Mass we will focus on leavers who are not from Rhetoric.

The Dawn Mass on Longridge Fell is on 12 June, as in the Calendar.


The homily for Sunday, May 15th

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”   (Acts of the Apostles 2:4)

Central to the faith of Muslims is the pilgrimage to Mecca where the worshippers solemnly walk around a cube-like temple called the Kaaba, and it is to the Kaaba that all Muslims face when they pray, from whatever part of the world.  Without denying the sacredness of that building, it is nevertheless the case that it is in no way divine; it is but a building, reminding believers of their faith, and doubtless increasing their devotion, but only a building.

So too for those Jewish pilgrims going to the temple in Jerusalem at Pentecost from all over the world.  Their sacred temple was truly magnificent, the very heart and centre of their religion.  Yet it was still in essence a building; it led them to God, but it was not divine.

What a surprise then for that small group of disciples in a room, that the divine presence itself should come among them in the form of the Holy Spirit, even enter into their very hearts.  Here was something quite new, almost as though God who had dwelt in heaven for ages, had now come among men and women, and could dwell within them.

The small group went out to the astonished crowd outside, and found they could communicate with any of them, regardless of their origin or language.  The old barriers had been broken down and a heavenly communication had made connections with people of all types.

It would be a great mistake to suppose that this extraordinary gift of the Holy Spirit is available only to the Christian Community. As Peter explained to the crowd, this was the fulfilment of the prophecy in the Scriptures:  “This is what I will do in the last days, says the Lord, I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.”  The Holy Spirit is divine, and cannot be confined to any human group; the Spirit can go where the Spirit chooses, rather as the wind blows where it blows.

But all too often people fail to notice the gentle influence of the Holy Spirit.  Perhaps they are pre-occupied with other things, maybe they are too interested in pursuing their own agenda and not listening to a different voice; or indeed it can be that a person is simply confused and cannot make out what is going on inside them.   Remember that Saint Ignatius lived for 30 years when, recovering from his shattered leg, he had the strange sensation that something was going on within him; something that gave him an enduring strength.  He then began to rely on this inner influence, and found that he could be guided to a truly valuable life.  At last he had noticed the presence of the Holy Spirit.

So let us make it our business to find God in all things, yes, but first and foremost to discover that God is there within us.

Fr. John Twist, SJ (Stonyhurst chaplain)