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October 2017



Mission Sunday 22nd October 2017 – Reach Out and Spread Joy


The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. So begins Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangeli Gaudium on the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world. The Pope is encouraging every Christian to embark on a new chapter of evangelisation that is marked by joy. He is suggesting this as an antidote to the desolation and anguish born of complacency, the pursuit of pleasure and a blunted conscience.

When we are caught up in our own interests, there is no longer room for other people, the voice of God is no longer heard, the joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades away. Our technological society has succeeded in multiplying occasions of pleasure, yet finds it difficult to engender joy. Believers too can fall prey to such a mentality and end up resentful and angry.

The most beautiful and natural expressions of joy are often found among the poor or people who, amid a busy life, manage to preserve a heart full of faith.  These instances of joy follow from the love of God, revealed to us in Jesus Christ who gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. An encounter with Jesus liberates us from narcissism and self-absorption. If then we have received the love which restores meaning in our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others?

When the pope invites us to take up the task of evangelisation he is pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment. Paradoxically, there is more happiness in giving than in receiving. And so we pray that our world may be able to receive the Good News, not from evangelisers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from those who are aglow and radiant because they have first received the joy of Christ.




“It is from God’s love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigour of her missionary dynamism, ‘for the love of Christ urges us on’. Indeed, God ‘desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth’, that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way to salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God’s universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary.” Catechism of the Catholic Church 851





Opening ourselves to ideas, including those with which we disagree, this is what the good traveler should do. Happy are they who understand the words, “If you disagree with me you have something to give me.”

If those who are with you always agree with you before you open your mouth, they are not companions but shadows. When disagreement is not a form of systematic blocking, when it arises from a different vision, it can only enrich us.

It is possible to travel alone. But the good traveler knows that the journey is human life, and life needs company. “Companion” means, etymologically, the person who eats the same bread. Happy are they who feel they are always on the road and that every person they meet is their companion. The good traveler takes care of his weary companions. He guesses when they lose heart. He takes them as he finds them, listens to them. Intelligently, gently, above all lovingly, he encourages them to go on and recover their joy in the journey.

Become an expert
in the art
of discovering the good
in every person.
No one
is entirely bad.
Become an expert
in the art
of finding the truthful core
in views of every kind.
The human mind
abhors total error.

                                                              Dom Helder Camara, Essential Writings.




“There is no need to talk a lot in prayer, but stretch out your hands often and say, ‘Lord, as you want and as you know, have mercy on me.’ But if there is war in your soul, add, ‘Help me.’ And because he knows what we need, he shows us his mercy.”

Macarius the Elder, a Desert Father.



Important Date for your Diary

On Saturday 14th October Fr. Conor Mc Donough OP will give a talk entitled ‘Understanding the Eucharist’

'Every Sunday we come together to celebrate the Eucharist, but do we really know what we are doing?

The Mass is full of ancient gestures and words whose meaning is sometimes inaccessible to us. Why do we stand, sit, and kneel? What is the meaning of the altar, the tabernacle, the priestly vestments? Why does Mass begin and end the way it does? All of these questions and more will be answered during this close-up look at the Mass.’

Venue - St. Mary’s Pastoral Centre, 368 Rua do Murtal, São Pedro do Estoril.

Time -  10.30am – 2.00pm

Format - Talk & questions. Light lunch. Second Talk & questions

Cost – Free, including lunch.