Saturday, November 29, 2008

Soul Food - Sons and Daughters of the Living God

A report of the recent Sons and Daughters of the Living God Course at Soul Food, by Magdalena Chrzanowska, a resident at Newman House

Recently I have been attending a series of seminars entitled: Sons and Daughters of the Living God run by the Catholic charismatic group ‘Soul Food’ which meets every Thursday evening at St Charles Borromeo Church in Ogle Street (8 minutes walking distance from Newman House).

The aim of the seminars is to strengthen all participants in faith and remind us that we are not Fatherless. It is an open invitation to come closer to God in a personal relationship with Him.

God loves each one of us with everlasting love and He will do a great deal in our life but He will never violate our freedom. To know his love is to be truly free.

Indeed we are not alone in the daily straggle to lead our lives as Christians. Through the Holy Spirit we become the Sons and Daughters of the Living God:

Romans 8: 14-17
‘’ because those who are led by the Holy Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive that makes you a slave again to fear, but you receive the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry: “Abba Father’’. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.’’

How has it been for me to take part in these seminars?

It has been like ‘diving into an ocean of love’, countless experience of joy, laughter, peace and an assurance of God’s presence in my life and the lives of others. The fellowship and friendship of other Christians has given me new courage, strength, and built me up.

We are indeed equipped for our journey: simply ask and you will be given.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Visit to the Central Synagogue

On Wednesday 12th November, a group set out from Newman House, led by Sr Mary, to visit the Central Synagogue, an Orthodox Jewish place of worship on Great Portland Street. Our guide showed us around the main part of the synagogue: we were able to see where the Torah scrolls are kept, and were shown how the scrolls are read, and where men and women sit during services. We also discussed with our guide what happens during services on the Sabbath, and on other days; in addition, during the tour, he was ready to answer all our questions and to explain various parts of the synagogue and the life of its community, as well as differences and similarities between Judaism and Christianity. All in all, our visit to the synagogue was a valuable opportunity to find out more about the practices and beliefs of another faith, and to see its links to our own.

Thomas J Szydlowski

The Academic Mass

The Academic Mass at Westminster Cathedral
Report by Maeve McCormack, Catholic Parliamentary Intern
Catholic students, staff and chaplains from the London Universities gathered on Sunday 23rd November 2008 for the Annual Academic Mass at Westminster Cathedral, celebrated by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. The readings and intercessions were read by staff and students from the different London Universities and from the different Catholic student residences in the city. The Choir of King’s College, London, sang the Mass Simile est regnum by Tomas Luis Victoria.
At the end of the Mass, Sarah Sandford and Chris Stringer, senior students from Newman House, the central Catholic Chaplaincy in London, presented the Cardinal with a portrait of the Chaplaincy’s patron, the Venerable John Henry Newman. Fr Peter Wilson, Senior Chaplain to the Universities of London, thanked the Cardinal for his continued support of the University Chaplaincy.

During his Homily, the Cardinal welcomed all of those present, making reference to St Matthew’s Gospel where it says, “I was a stranger and you made me welcome”, addressing the diverse and rapidly changing student population by saying, “There may be a number of you here today who come amongst us as strangers but we welcome you and treat you as friends.” He went on to remind all of those in the congregation, “To fulfill your life in the particular vocation you have it is also important to understand the underlying vocation of your life – to love God with all your heart.”

Monday, November 24, 2008

Birthday Wishes: 24th November

Happy Birthday to Mr Chris Castell - Newman House Pastoral Associate - who turns... 30 TODAY!

Chris through the ages....

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Invitation

Here I Am Lord
A Group Exploring Consecrated Life

First Meeting: Thursday 27th November @ 7:30pm
Newman House, Gower Street

Input - Discussion - Prayer

The group is for young adults - men and women - who wish to be supported in exploring a call to religious life or priesthood. Meetings will be monthly. For more information or to receive emails about dates of meetings, contact Jo Gilbert: or call 07595761483

Monday, November 17, 2008

A thought for November - the Month of the Holy Souls

All things change here below. I say it, O Lord; I believe it; and I shall feel it more and more the longer I live. Before Thy eyes, most awful Lord, the whole future of my life lies bare. Thou knowest exactly what will befall me every year and every day till my last hour. And, though I know not what Thou seest concerning me, so much I know, viz. that Thou dost read in my life perpetual change. Not a year will leave me as it found me, either within or without. I never shall remain any time in one state. How many things are sure to happen to me, unexpected, sudden, hard to bear! I know them not. I know not how long I have to live. I am hurried on, whether I will it or no, through continual change. O my God, what can I trust in? There is nothing I dare trust in; nay, did I trust in anything of earth, I believe for that very reason it would be taken away from me. I know Thou wouldest take it away, if Thou hadst love for me.

Lord, in asking for fervour, I am asking for Thyself, for nothing short of Thee, O my God, who hast given Thyself wholly to us. Enter my heart substantially and personally, and fill it with fervour by filling it with Thee. Thou alone canst fill the soul of man, and Thou hast promised to do so. Thou art the living Flame, and ever burnest with love of man: enter into me and set me on fire after Thy pattern and likeness.

My God, I take Thee for my portion. From mere prudence I turn from the world to Thee; I give up the world for Thee. I renounce that which promises for Him who performs. To whom else should I go? I desire to find and feed on Thee here; I desire to feed on Thee, Jesu, my Lord, who art risen, who hast gone up on high, who yet remainest with Thy people on earth. I look up to Thee; I look for the Living Bread which is in heaven, which comes down from heaven. Give me ever of this Bread. Destroy this life, which will soon perish—even though Thou dost not destroy it, and fill me with that supernatural life, which will never die.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

An Invitation: Called By Name Groups

Sign-up to join a small group to explore vocation, identity and calling.

Called By Name Groups offer the opportunity to journey with others over 4 sessions, with input, discussion, prayer and fellowship.

You can join one of the following groups for their first meeting:

Group 1: Thursday 13th Nov @ 7:30pm in the Interview Room at Newman House


Group 2: Sunday 16th Nov @ 5pm in the Sitting Room at Newman House

The groups will support you in discerning your unique calling, allowing a space to ask questions and to reflect on themes such as 'The Call to Love', 'Knowing God's Will', 'Discovering Our Mission'.

For more information, or to join a group, contact Jo Gilbert:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Academic Mass

His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, will preside and preach at the Academic Mass in Westminster Cathedral on Sunday 23rd November at 12noon. Students, Staff and Chaplains are all warmly invited to come and take part in this celebration of Christian witness to the Academic Community in London.

For enquiries please contact Chris Castell
All welcome. If you would like to let us know you are coming, you can email, or join the Facebook event here:

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Diocese of Westminster Vocations event

"Come and See"

An evening for men considering a Vocation to the Roman Catholic Priesthood on Tuesday 18th November, 7.30pm - 9.00pm, at Our lady of Grace and St Edward Church, 247 Chiswick High Road, London W4 4PU (nearest underground - Turnham Green/District Line). For more details of this and other events please contact the Diocesan Vocations Director, Fr Chris Vipers, 020 7798 9083.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Old Testament with New Eyes

Chris Stringer, a senior student at Newman House, offers an update on the Bible Study group that has been meeting this term.
On Thursday evenings at Newman House, we have been running a Bible study group. It’s theme is ‘The Old Testament with New Eyes’ and as the title suggests, the study attempts to deepen our understanding of the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. We have just finished working through Genesis and have discovered the symbolic ways in which God foreshadows his mercy and message of Salvation to us. We are discovering the ‘living word’ and how the Bible is so much more than mere words on a page. As a result the study has become an exciting and lively evening demonstrated by a 10-15 strong group who are really encouraged and enthusiastic to learn more. This has been made crystal clear through their intelligent and thoughtful contributions that are brought up every week in group discussion. I really enjoy leading the study in a relaxed environment with our Bibles (and tea and biscuits) in hand!

‘The Old Testament with New Eyes’ Bible Study Group meets Thursdays @ 8pm in the Sitting Room at Newman House. All are welcome!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A thought for the week from Cardinal Newman

Sunday, 9 November is the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. This is the Cathedral of the Pope as Bishop of Rome. In celebrating this Feast we are celebrating our unity with the Apostolic See of Rome. This week’s reflection from Cardinal Newman comes from a Sermon he preached in the Birmingham Oratory in 1866.

We in this country owe our highest blessings to the See of St. Peter,—to the succession of Bishops who have filled his Apostolic chair. For first it was a Pope who sent missionaries to this island in the first age of the Church, when the island was yet in pagan darkness. Then again, when our barbarous ancestors, the Saxons, crossed over from the Continent and overran the country, who but a Pope, St. Gregory the First, sent over St. Augustine and his companions to convert them to Christianity? And by God's grace they and their successors did this great work in the course of a hundred years. From that time, twelve hundred years ago, our nation has ever been Christian. And then in the lawless times which followed, and the break-up of the old world all over Europe, and the formation of the new, it was the Popes, humanly speaking, who saved the religion of Christ from being utterly lost and coming to an end, and not in England only, but on the Continent; that is, our Lord made use of that succession of His Vicars, to fulfil His gracious promise, that His Religion should never fail. The Pope and the Bishops of the Church, acting together in that miserable time, rescued from destruction all that makes up our present happiness, spiritual and temporal. Without them the world would have relapsed into barbarism—but God willed otherwise; and especially the Roman Pontiffs, the successors of St. Peter, the centre of Catholic Unity, the Vicars of Christ, wrought manfully in the cause of faith and charity, fulfilling in their own persons the divine prophecy anew, which primarily had related to the Almighty Redeemer Himself: "I have laid help upon One that is mighty, and I have exalted One chosen out of the people. I have found David My servant, with My holy oil have I anointed him. "