When: Every first Saturday
Time: 9am until 9.50am
Where: Our Lady's altar
Every first Saturday we meet by Our Lady's altar from 9am until 9.50am. Our Lady of Fatima requested a set of five first Saturdays for reparation to her Immaculate Heart.
The Litany in honour of Our Lady of Fatima and the Fatima prayers are recited followed by our consecration to Our Lady of Fatima and Jesus present in the Eucharist. Finally we pray for the Pope's intentions followed by fifteen minutes meditation. The Mystery of the Rosary is done at home due to limited time before Mass. This is in accordance with what Our Lady requested at Fatima along with monthly Confession and Mass.
Why five? This is to console her because of the ever-inceasing number of offences committed against Her Imaculate Heart by insults, blasphemies and the ingratitude of mankind.
- Against Her Immaculate Conception.
- Against Her perpetual virginity.
- Against Her Divine and Universal Motherhood.
- Against Her Images.
- And above all the souls of the little ones being alienated from Her.
All are welcome to join this time of prayer.
When: 4th Thursday of the month
Where: Lower new hall
We meet monthly, to pray for and promote the Gospel of life in families and in the Parish, through the liturgy, sharing Catholic teaching of the family, praying for engaged couples and recalling wedding anniversaries in the parish bulletin.
When: Third Thursday of the month
Where: Upper new hall
All are welcome to an hour with the Lord combining meditation on Scripture with joyful praise and intercession. We meditate on the following Sunday's Gospel, share with one another what it teaches us and how it has touched us and join together in praising God in song, always open to His Spirit.
When: every Tuesday
Time: 7.30 pm until 9.00pm
Where: Lower new hall
This prayer group was started on the 13th of March 1999 at the request of Fr. William. It is open to everybody and the hall has a disabled access. There is a short break during the major holidays - Christmas and Easter - and a longer break for the whole month of August. The start and close of each period is advertised in the parish bulletin.
For those who attend the 6.15 pm Mass and do not want to go home only to return again - they are welcome to go into the lower new hall after Mass and have a cup of tea and some biscuits. At about 7.30pm - 7.40pm the Rosary is recited for all the intentions we will bring forward. Since everybody is not able to be there for 7.30pm the main part of the prayer group progresses from 8 pm until 9 pm.
We have a rotation of formal prayers, deliverance and protection prayers, and prayers from the heart relying very much on the Holy Spirit to lead us. Prayers are said for the Holy Father and his intentions, for our priests, for all the groups in the parish especially those in the R.C.I.A., Confirmation and First Communion groups and for all the catechists. We pray for all those who do not know the love of God as our Lady has requested. We pray for our nation, situations around the world and for any concerns in the news, also for any special intentions or persons brought to our attention, the sick and the housebound of our parish.
It is vital to give testimony to answered prayers if we are made aware of it and we spend a few minutes giving thanks and praise for all answered prayers. This also helps and encourages us in our prayer life, to persevere and pray with faith. A short passage from the Bible is read and discussed. We end with some spiritual sharing - good news or short stories on how the saints come to our aid to build on our faith. We end with a prayer for our protection.
Some time after the year 2000, we had a new member who joined us for a short while as he came all the way from Wimbledon. He was a 'God sent' as he lifted the prayer group at a time of discouragement. He had a particular gift of the Holy Spirit and often received a clear picture while we were praying or during a time of silence.
For our prayer group, he had an image of us all in the hand of God, praying in a circle. In the middle was a sword. We received the explanation that the sword was the word of God. Soon afterwards, God confirmed this vision when Laura, our prayer group leader at that time, acquired a book 'The Sword of the Spirit' - a book for intercessory prayer using the words of Scripture. We now use this book for our wider intentions. Steve bought a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes from Lourdes for the prayer group. Whenever there is a need the statue is taken home. Anyone who is ill, distressed or for any other need, may borrow the statue for a week.
Finally, in the Year of Faith, for about 10 minutes we decided to read through Acts and revise our Catechism in order to better defend or explain our Faith to others.
Laura is now in Devon, and during our time of prayer she intercedes for us. We originally had a core group of 3 to 4 people to pray for this group during the day time. As some members have moved away or unable to attend for various reasons, we are looking to reform the core group at some time.
There was a King and Queen of a region in Greece who longed to have a child. They converted to Christian faith, praying that when the people of their country saw this they too would convert and God would bless them with a child. Their prayer was answered and God blessed them with a baby girl. They named her Philomena which means the "light of Christ". She was brought up in the faith and by the age of 10 had promised her life to Christ, like a nun would do. By the time she was 13 years old she was so close to Christ and prayed to him everyday and to show her love to Him vowed that she would never marry and would always be His alone.
Rome which was a powerful country had a big army and wanted to take over this small part of Greece. To try and stop this from happening Philomena's parents went to Rome, taking their daughter with them. Upon seeing the beauty and light that shone from this young girl, the Emperor of Rome, who was very powerful and could stop the war, said, "lf l can marry your daughter I will not invade your country." Philomena's parents, thinking how fortunate they were that such a powerful person wanted to marry their daughter agreed. However, they were not aware that Philomena had such a love for Christ that she would not break her promise.
Philomena refused to marry the Emperor and so the Emperor convinced her parents to let him persuade her by showing her his kingdom and giving her many gifts. The parents agreed to this. The Emperor did this and Philomena would not agree, after seeing all of the worldly things she could have: gold, jewels, servants, anything she wanted she could have. But still, Philomena would not break her promise to Christ.
Finally the Emperor, feeling humiliated and embarrassed at not being able to convince Philomena, had her put in the dungeon of his castle prison. Still this young 13 year old girl would not break her promise to Christ. The people of the empire began to talk about how their Emperor could not convince this young Princess to become his wife because she made a promise to Christ, hence they were eager to know more about Philomena's God and her Christ - they were now asking who is this girl and who is her God! The Emperor became angry and mad at this and began to torture her.
Philomena's parents could not get to her now, and the Emperor made sure they where kept far away. She was tortured in many ways and they tried to kill her. During this time as she lay in the prison cell in pain feeling alone and afraid, Our Lady appeared to her and said "It won't be long now, when you reach forty days you will be taken into heaven." Our Lady sent the angels to her to heal her injuries. Each morning the soldiers would go to the prison cell and find Philomena well again, and this created more talk in the town about this girl. The Emperor was enraged and commanded her dead.
Two examples of the ways they tried to kill her: the soldiers were lined up with bow and arrows, they shot at her and the arrows came back around and killed the people who shot them.
An anchor was tied to her and she was thrown into the river Tiber in Rome, but the angels lifted her and brought her to the dry land even before the soldiers returned ashore. All of these things convinced the people of the empire how powerful the Christian faith is and how Powerful is God.
People began to covert to Christianity. But this made the Emperor infuriated and he commanded that Philomena be beheaded , because he could not be shown up any more in front of his people.
On the fortieth day Philomena was beheaded , and went to Heaven, just as Our Heavenly Mother had told her.
Now in heaven she hears our prayers, she takes our prayers to our Heavenly Mother Mary for us. This does not mean we can't pray to Mary ourselves and I think you all should do this every day. What it means is that we have a friend in heaven who is called St Philomena. When we have problems we ask her to help us like we would ask a friend. She is in Heaven and God has given her a special place there close to Him.
St Philomena is very Powerful with God, because God does not refuse her anything, since at a very young age she gave her life for the love of Him.St Philomena Prayer Group photo (2)
- St Philomena Powerful with God Pray for us.
- St Philomena to whom nothing is refused Pray for us.
- St Philomena Wonder Worker Pray for us.
- St Philomena Prayer Group meets after the 6.15pm Mass on Thursday from 7-8pm in Our Lady's chapel.