News this week
Please do read the Newsletter, follow the link above.
This week, at a special Mass on Saturday 9th, 11:00, we welcomed to our Parish an Icon featuring St John Henry Newman. This event had been postponed by COVID to this date and was followed with a celebration buffet in St Gregory's School Hall. A fine opportunity for the whole Parish to worship and celebrate together. The Mass was recorded and this is available on the newsletter page.
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Please use the form below to make ad-hoc contributions to the work of the Parish.
This system does not yet allow you to set up an account for the Gift Aid system, but is the same payment system as the terminals in church ("tap and go" terminals). You will soon be able to register here for gift aid giving, and then your contributions made on the terminals will also be gift aided.
Most Recent Page Changes
- Home Page Sat 16 Oct
- Newsletter for the Catholic Community in Cheltenham Sat 16 Oct
- Cheltenham Welcomes Refugees Wed 13 Oct
- Rota for Stewarding Private Prayer Wed 13 Oct
- Our Parish Tue 05 Oct
Changes in how Church operates.
Guidance for Parishioners
In line with the recent announcements regarding the easing of restrictions, St Gregory’s will adopt the following from Sunday 18th July:
The sanitizing stations will remain in situ for your use at the South Porch entrance and the West Doors (rear exit).
Although not obligatory, it is recommended that the wearing of face masks continue and parishioners should endeavor to position themselves 1 meter apart, wherever possible, from those with whom they are not in a bubble or household.
Parishioners wishing to receive Holy Communion can now revert to forming 2 lines (starting from the front pews). Those who wish to receive “on the tongue” with in tincture are to present themselves to the principal celebrant, who will have a ciborium that has an integrated chalice. The sacrament of confession will no longer be “open” but will revert to the confessionals. Penitents are requested to keep the door open on the confessional stall they occupy.
St Luke (18th October): II Timothy 4.10-17; Psalm 144; Luke 10.1-9
Luke, alone among the four Evangelists (the writers of the canonical Gospels), was born of a ‘pagan’ (non-Jewish) family. He was possibly trained as a medical doctor (though the Greek word is at best ambiguous) and was possibly a companion of St Paul on some of his missionary journeys. Strikingly, when he set out ‘to draw up accounts of the events that have taken place among us’ [Luke 1.1] he considered that telling the ‘good news’ [4.18] required two books: the first a narrative of Jesus’ life on earth, the second a narrative of the continuing animation by the Holy Spirit of the followers of Jesus. Thanks to him in his book of the Acts of the Apostles (the second volume of his Gospel) we have an account of the spread of the good news into Africa and into Europe.
Despite the suggestion that he was a medical man [Colossians 4.14] Luke displays no particular interest in healing miracles (as compared to, for instance, St Mark). He joins St John in providing details about the Blessed Virgin Mary; legendarily he is said to have been a painter (and he is the patron saint both of doctors and of artists) and to have painted her portrait whilst she recounted stories of Jesus’ birth and childhood. We know nothing of his life after his arrival in Rome with St Paul [Acts 28.14]; traditionally he is believed to have died a martyr’s death.
St Jean de Brébeuf & Companions (19th October): Romans 5.12,15,17-21; Ps 39; Luke 12.35-38
Eight French Jesuit missionaries who devoted their lives to preaching the Gospel among the indigenous peoples of North America in the early 17th Century are commemorated on this day; they were captured by several of the native American tribes (including the Mohawks, the Iroquois and the Algonquins) and tortured to death in a variety of unspeakable ways. They demonstrated both extraordinary zeal and perseverance and also practical wisdom. They were, for example, the first Europeans to become fluent in tribal languages. ‘It is to souls like yours’ St Jean admonished the Jesuit priests who had come to join him in his work ‘that God has appointed the conquest of many other souls…. Fear no difficulties; there will be none for you, since it is your whole consolation to see yourself crucified with the Son of God.’
Thursday in Week 29 Per Annum (21st October): Romans 6.19-23; Psalm 1; Luke 12.49-53
A key word in Paul’s vocabulary is sanctification: being made holy. Sanctification, as the -tion suffix suggests, is a process, not a singular event. It is less like a light-switch being activated and suddenly flooding a room with light than it is like the experience of watching the sun rise, the world gradually and all-but-imperceptibly becoming brighter and brighter.
Sanctification is in a sense a description of the course of human life. Day by day, in a manner unique to each individual, we are being made holy. ‘You shall be holy’ [Leviticus 19.2] the Torah proclaims, as much a promise as a command. By the circumstances of our lives, the challenges and conflicts that confront us, the gift of God within us enlivening us and empowering us, we are in the process of being made what God intends us to be. Sin severs the connexion betwixt us and God, but God’s own immutable intention works constantly to restore us to himself.
This process, for most of us, continues beyond the end of our earthly life. Purgatory is the continuation of God’s work to prepare us for life with him. The saints are those in whom, we have become convinced, the process of sanctification has been brought to its perfection. The saints enjoy the fulness of life in the presence of God. There they are our advocates and ‘cheerleaders’, urging us along as we are being made ready to join them.
St John Paul II (22nd October): Romans 7.18-25; Psalm 118; Luke 12.54-59
Born in Wadowice, Poland, in 1920, Karol Wojtyla, after a distinguished academic and ecclesiastical career, became in 1978 Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope since the 16th Century Pope Hadrian VI. His death in April 2005 ended the second-longest papacy in modern times (his time in office was only exceeded by that of Pope Pius IX, 1846-78). (At his election Pope John Paul II was 58 years old, the youngest man to be elected Pope apart from Pope Pius IX, who was 54 years old at his election.) The process of his canonisation began within a month of his death, the customary five-year waiting period having been waived. He was canonised after a Colombian man testified that he had been healed of Parkinson’s disease by the intercession of John Paul. His feast day commemorates the anniversary of the inauguration of his papal ministry.
Pope John Paul II’s pontificate was characterised by teaching and travel. He was instrumental in bringing down Communism in Central and Eastern Europe. His series of addresses known as the Theology of the Body served to explain and instil the Church’s teachings on human sexuality. He oversaw the reform of the Code of Canon Law and published the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He fostered improved relations with other Christian Churches and with the leaders of the world’s religions. As we give thanks for his pontificate, we ask his intercession for the Church and for the world.
St John Capistrano (23rd October): Romans 8.1-11; Psalm 23; Luke 13.1-9
Born in Capistrano, Italy, in 1386, John was a successful lawyer and became Governor of Perugia in 1412. In 1416, he and his wife mutually consented to separation so that he could become a Franciscan. He travelled extensively through Italy, Germany, Austria, Bohemia, Hungary, Poland and Russia preaching penance and establishing numerous communities of Franciscan renewal. When Mohammed III was threatening Vienna and had captured Constantinople, St John was commissioned by Pope Callixtus III in 1453 to preach a Crusade against the invading Turks. At the age of 70, marching at the head of 70,000 Christians, he gained victory in the battle of Belgrade in July of 1456. Three months later he died of the plague in Ilok, Hungary (today part of Croatia). He is the patron saint of jurists.