Catholic Church of The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady - Penzance - website - part of the Parish of The Holy Family ~ sitemap
hope you enjoy reading a selection of articles from the July 1998,
(Volume 1, Issue 2) issue
of our parish magazine.
The death of dear Joyce Seago has shocked us all. It seems so unfair that both Bernard and Joyce should have had such a tragic end to a little trip to mark Bernard's birthday. How often our days carry joy and sorrow, laughter and tears intermingled in a densely woven tapestry. Such rapid changes in our conditions are deeply mysterious. I simply note them. I cannot find words to explain them. Our thoughts, and our love, will go out to the Seago children and grandchildren and all related to them. We can only guess at the depth of their grief and by prayer and our love, humbly share in it. Actually this "sharing" in the grief of another is not as simple as it sounds. Many bereaved people report that they are made to feel isolated and alone, that people actually avoid them and thus reinforce their loneliness and sorrow.
I am sure that one of the reasons for this is that we are not very good at dealing with death or even the thought of it. I am certain that we would all benefit by opening ourselves to prayerful and sensitive thoughts on these matters. I hope to set such opportunities in motion in the very near future. Please pray that God may bless this and all other works of our parish.
I thank God that I had the privilege of meeting and worshipping with Joyce Seago. May she rest in the peace of God's kingdom.
A ship sails and I stand watching till she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says,"She is gone". Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all; she is just as large as when I saw her... The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her, and just at the moment when someone at my side says "She is gone", there are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout,"There she comes!"... and that is dying.
(used by) Bishop Brent see correct accreditation and more on this on our Bereavement Support Page
After three days of practising, had we got it right?
When we got to the church at 9:45 on 14th June 1998 we were all very nervous. Everyone said how lovely the girls looked in their long white dresses, and how smart the boys looked in their white shirts and red ties.
We processed out of the Sacristy into the church with Father. The First Holy Communion Children did the psalm, which was called 'Like a Child Rests In Its Mother's Arms'. Four of us (Bardan Johnson, Christopher Blewett, Adam Stevens and I) did the Offertory.
We went through the Mass as usual until we came to the Lord's Prayer. We
sang this with actions, while standing in an arc around the altar. We
stayed up in the Sanctuary until we took our first Body of Christ and
our first Blood of Christ. This was a very special moment for us. We had
been waiting for this for some time. The bread didn't taste of anything
but the wine was very sweet. At the end of the Mass we slipped red
ribbons on our fingers and sang 'Here I am Lord', again with actions. We
processed out and then came back onto the Sanctuary steps. We had to
stay up on the steps for what seemed like years while everyone crowded
round taking pictures from all angles. The professional photographer
came and got us all organised into height order and took even more
After the photography session we all went through to the Haven where we ate a lovely fried breakfast, which the Sisters had kindly made for us. After we had finished we all had single photographs taken and then some of us had family photographs taken. It was a lovely and most enjoyable day and I will remember it all my life. I feel proud to be one of God's family.
Twenty seven children took their First Holy Communion on 14th June. (names not given in this on-line issue) Let us pray for these children, their families, teachers and friends, that they may always accept the invitation of Jesus to receive him often in Holy Communion.
Thank You (1)
to our 2nd edition of the Rosevean Review. From the amount of copy we
have received for this we feel that some of you must have approved of
the 1st edition. We would appreciate any feedback or offers of help.
edition is early due to the summer holidays, (let's hope the weather is
good!). It is also the Fund Raising Committee's opportunity to say a big
THANK YOU to all the parishioners who have supported them so well in
their various fund raising efforts, and the Sisters who have managed to
help despite their commitments. Thanks also to all the people too
numerous to mention, who helped steward in the church during our Music
Festival. We were certainly on a learning curve and hopefully we will
have a bigger and better one next year! There seems to be a mass of
untapped skills within our community; you will be hearing from us.
We have been pleasantly surprised that the total banked since last September is £7,500. WELL DONE everyone! We now feel that people are due a long break on their time and purses. We look forward to seeing you all at the Barn Dance in September.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this magazine. Without you there is no magazine. However if we are to succeed in this venture we need a steady stream of material. All contributions would be welcome, whether they are complimentary or not! BUT please - no anonymous material. Please send anything you would like to be published to Ray Stevens or Pat French. Copy given in to the Parish house will be passed on. Hoping for lots of copy! Ray Stevens. P.S. If you work on a computer, just send a disk with your hard copy.
The editors take no responsibility for views expressed by contributors to this publication
"Hardly fun!" said an elderly priest from California, "cooped up like that in that long silver tube, all those hours". For our group of nine from Penzance, the journeys were much less onerous, flying as we did from Exeter airport. Some good 'Spiritual Direction' was given early on by Fr. Anscar (from Buckfast) as he nodded some of us towards real bargain offers in the Duty Free.
Pilgrimage to Medjugorje, with 22 people from lower Cornwall and 40 from
Devon was blessed with the company of five fine priests and a Deacon.
They were great fun apart from being really excellent spiritual leaders.
Our schedule was a fairly heavy one, but we still managed a lively
singsong and 'Knees - up' on the Monday evening, two days before
departure. It was pleasing to see many of the UN Peacekeeping troops in
this part of Bosnia, popping into church or attending the many Masses;
French, Spanish, Italian young soldiers and sometimes a colonel or two.
Our Lady's presence in this blessed place truly pervades, and no doubt next year's visit (also in May) will be just as well organised by David Howard from Devon. "So many new experiences!" commented the young twenty year old Dominic.
into Learning, which provides adult basic education skills, has extended
its premises at the Penlee Centre in Penzance and, as well as creating
space for more students, the extension offers access and facilities for
disabled people. The staff were delighted with the enthusiasm of the
volunteer tutors and students who did all the decorating.
into Learning was set up ten years ago in Penzance and began with just
two sessions a week. Currently it runs nine sessions a week and serves
about 200 students with seven staff and around 30 volunteer tutors and
courses are offered to unemployed adults free of charge, and they
include: maths from very basic to a range of qualifications; English,
from reading and writing for beginners to preparation for a college
course ; computers, an opportunity for maths and English students to
learn or improve computer skills; English language for those who do not
have English as a first language; job seeking, a range of skills
including CV preparation and interview techniques. Link into Learning
also has students under the government's New Deal program.
Richards, tutor organiser in the Penzance branch, said, people go to the
centre for all sorts of reasons. It is free, flexible and informal and
helps them improve their literacy and numeracy skills. It also helps
them to gain confidence generally in their abilities.
It also provides an opportunity for volunteer tutors, from a wide variety of backgrounds, to use their skills to help other people. They can put in as much time as they can manage and find it very challenging and fulfilling work. If you would like more information about becoming either a student or a volunteer tutor at the centre contact Melanie Richards
altar servers had received an invitation from the Bishop to go to
Plymouth - but had no idea what was to be in store. Were we going
ice-skating - or were we going to have to be holy for a whole day?!
intrepid servers gathered early on Saturday morning at Penzance station
- Louis and Dominic Carter, with their mum, Emma; Matthew Richards and
Debbie Lancaster with her mum Clare (and Thomas who was there for the
our arrival at Plymouth, our first task was to find the Cathedral. Once
there we were revived by a cup of squash and then given charge of the
albs - which we had to look after on pain of death! The mums then left
us - so no more nagging.
were quite a large number of servers from all over the Diocese - ranging
from eight year olds to adults. We went to the school hall and learned
our fate for the day…..uh oh!, we were going to have to be holy for
the day! We learned about the Guild of St. Stephen - he is the patron of
altar servers. Members of the Guild have to have been serving for over a
year and have to make three promises - to serve regularly; serve when
asked or when needed, and serve 'with your body and soul'. Members are
entitled to wear a medal - you may have seen some of our servers wearing
servers were then divided into those who were already enrolled and those
who were to enrolled later on in the Cathedral. The novices learnt how
to serve well - how to hold candles correctly, make the sign of the
cross and genuflect, when and how to bow. We also learnt what the priest
says when he is washing his hands, and how to hold our hands correctly.
We had a competition to find items in the Cathedral and name them -
tabernacle, altar, baptismal font etc.
was lunch - we were starving. I made a new friend from Plymouth, Megan,
who thought she was going on a day trip to Buckfast Abbey and had
brought extra food for a picnic!
lunch we went to visit the Bishop's house - he has a library and here we
did another competition. Vestments like cassocks and cotters (or
cossacks and catteries, as I thought he said!) and vessels used during
Mass had to be identified. This was followed by a friendly game of
football (but the Bishop didn't play!)
finale was Mass in the Cathedral. All the servers were to be enrolled in
the Guild of St. Stephen and be presented with their medals by the
Bishop. Sadly, our contingent could not take part in this lovely
service, as we had to leave to catch the train. We had kindly been
offered a lift back on the coach to Camborne - but didn't fancy the walk
was an interesting day, and we look forward to our enrolment by Father
Cormac at a later date -and we shall wear our medals with pride. Debbie
role does the Catholic faith play in the lives of young people today?
This is a question that needs to be addressed. It is no secret that
there is a minority of young people in our congregation each Sunday. Why
statistics for a variety of denominations show that church attendance
figures drop sharply in the 12 - 25 age range. This is due to the
external pressures that young people facing our modern world. Religion
no longer has the same influence over society that it did a few decades
ago and therefore, young people often feel that it would have no benefit
in enriching their lives. As fewer young people attend church, the
number of teenagers that want to acknowledge their religious beliefs
people do not receive the same spiritual guidance that is available to
them before they reach their teens. There is no Catholic secondary
education in Cornwall and therefore teenagers often lose touch with
religion as their exposure to it declines.
these are issues that we have little control over, and rather than
concentrating on the negative aspects of youth and religion, we should
address the positive issues. Young people are still celebrating Mass and
are taking an active part in the liturgy. The Catholic church is
addressing the needs of young people throughout the Dioceses.
such as inviting the rock group 'Revelation' to the parish has a very
positive effect on young people as it addresses religion in a concept
that they can relate to. It is true that it moves away from the
traditional way of celebrating the Word of God, yet it still reinforces
people's beliefs and this can only be positive. Young people respond
with enthusiasm to opportunities that are presented to them.
must be aware however, that as the needs of the adult congregation
varies significantly among individuals, this is also true of the young
people in our church. Each individual benefits from religion in their
own personal way and in return also benefits the church.
Young people do not have a role to fulfill, any more than the older generation do. We all make our own contribution that by working together we make up the Catholic congregation. The church should continue to address the needs of young people but it should also concentrate on addressing the needs of the individual. By joining together to celebrate the Word of God, and by offering support and friendship to everyone, then the Catholic faith is fulfilling its role. Pippa Higgins
When the editorial board of the Parish magazine asked me to write a
review on behalf of the fundraising committee, I thought 'Where shall I
begin - a daunting task'.
Well, the week started wonderfully in the Catholic style with the Festival Mass on Sunday 17th May at 11 am. The church looked glorious with its many flower arrangements and works of art displayed, helping to lift our senses heavenward.
The Mass was followed by a grand buffet in the Presbytery garden, and I think we numbered nearly 100 people. So popular was it that the caterers had rush off and purchase more goodies to eat -Sunday opening must have some uses! Well done ladies and men at the bar.
Beginning on Monday, the church was open daily after Mass for parishioners and visitors to wander in and out, to admire the flowers and admire the feast of work exhibited by many local artists and craftsmen and women - how rich in talent we are in this area, parishioners and non-parishioners alike. Many thanks go to the dedicated parishioners who stewarded the church and hall and made tea for all.
Monday evening brought the first concert of the week. The band were 'Lost Property', a mixed Christian Gospel Group drawn from various places across Cornwall. They played and sang many evangelical style songs for us and told some personal stories about their lives. The audience for the evening numbered 50 - parishioners and non-parishioners; however we were surprised that there were few of our young people there.
The following night, Tuesday, was well attended by over seventy people who enjoyed the wonderful talent of Truro Cathedral's Assistant Organist, Mr. Simon Morley. He played us a mixed programme including pieces by Elgar, Bach, Whit-lock and Venire. Not only was Simon's musicianship as usual first rate but he entertained us with some of his short stories before the concert and the second half.
He was due to finish the evening with Marche Pontificate by Widor only he had mislaid the music so he finished with an extemporisation on our well known Cornish Song - Trelawney which brought many a smile amongst the audience as the tune emerged.
Wednesday evening saw a concert by St. Mary's School. The children played their instruments for us and the school choir sang wonderfully a number of pieces. The children's standard was a great tribute to the school's music department - what talent for the future.
The second half was a performance by Western Wynde - a group of musicians including several teachers of the pupils, who played and sang mainly Early music for us. A great evening with the audience numbering about a hundred and ten.
After the evening Mass on Ascension Day there was an evening of 'Cornish and Irish Songs and Stories' in the hall beneath the church. Trev Lawrence told us some wonderful stories about the Mermaid of Zennor and others and sung us some great songs, including one about fake Cornish pasties and Pedigree Chum (I really don't know what he was implying!). Father Cormac told us stories about his own part of the Celtic World; the good and bad times and hopes for the future, and some of the great Irish songs.
An added surprise to the evening was several pieces played on the violin by Nicholas Johnson of the Bolitho School. Seventy five people squeezed into the hall for a great evening's informal entertainment. Friday night was another example of Penzance's musical gifts in the form of the Silver Band. A group of very mixed ages of exceptional talent in brass and percussion. Among their pieces was one based on the hymn tune Laudate Dominum (o Praise Ye The Lord) which was very exciting, together with several pieces by Cornish composers.
A wonderful evening's entertainment which was embarrassingly badly supported by parishioners - the audience numbered twenty five in total. Well done to the Silver Band.
We ended the week with a concert by some of our own parish musicians - the church choir and the Ecclesia sang us pieces from their repertoires -some well known and heard on Sundays down the year. The organist for the evening was Mr. Clive Ellison of St. Agnes who accompanied superbly and played Karg Elert's 'Nun Danket' beautifully as the organ solo. We were also proud to hear pieces by Sally Gilmour on the piano and Jenny Orpwood on the recorder - a great arrangement of Greensleeves.
The evening and week finished with a cheese and wine party in the hall. Thanks to the cheese gatherers and bar staff. Another work of art of great interest was the raffle prize - a bronze sculpture by Teresa Gilder called 'The Unborn Child'. Thank you for your generous gift. Many thanks go to all the stewards ticket sellers, artists and performers and members of the fund-raising committee who made this all possible. Thanks also to the parishioners who supported the events - some every night - well done. Lets hope that next year will be an even greater success.
David Gridley, Director of Music
wandering carpenter called stone, saw on his travels, a gigantic old oak
tree standing in a field near an earth-altar. He said to his apprentice
who was admiring the the oak "This is a useless tree. If you wanted
to make a ship, it would soon rot. If you wanted to make tools, they
would break. You can't do anything useful with this tree and that is why
it has become so old."
when the carpenter went to sleep, the old oak tree appeared to him in a
dream and said; 'Why do you compare me with your cultivated tree, such
as whitethorn, pear orange and all others that bear fruit? Even before
they ripen, people attack and violate them. their branches are broken,
their twigs are torn. Their own gifts bring harm to them, and they
cannot live out their natural span. That is what happens everywhere and
that is why I have long since tried to become completely useless. You
poor mortal! Imagine if I had been useful in any way, would I have
neared this size? Furthermore, you and I are both creatures and how can
one creature set himself so high as to judge another creature? You
useless mortal man, what do you know about useless trees?"
carpenter awoke and meditated upon his dream, and later when his
apprentice asked him why just this one tree served to protect the earth
- altar, he answered "Keep quiet, let's hear no more about it! The
tree grew here on purpose, because anywhere else people would have ill
-treated it. If it were not the tree of the earth - altar, it might have
been chopped down."
together all alone
without belonging is widely discussed today. But there is also a long
and splendid history of belonging without believing." (The Very
Reverend Dr Wesley Carr, Dean of Westminster. The Times, 19.7.97)
don't know about you, but I often read statements in the newspaper which
appear reasonable and straightforward, then later I find myself
questioning them. Let's spend a moment or two examining what Dr Carr has
to say here.
Carr is referring to the fact that people in the northern hemisphere are
no longer going to places of worship in anything like the numbers they
once did, across the various denominations of Christianity. But among
non-churchgoers there is a large number who cite a more personal belief
and a rejection of formalised religion. In the age of the individual,
they are not happy to share the same god with others. And in the age of
freedom to choose, there is no pressure on the individual to belong to
any denomination without believing.
have a look at Dr Carr's second sentence. His ironic use of the word
'splendid' implies that, through the ages, millions of people have been
members of religious groups, participating in religious practices for
reasons other than real belief in God. Dr Carr seems to be indirectly
criticising the insincerity of those who have used the mantle of
religion for their own political, social or personal ends. We are asked
to conclude that religious communities, although now pared down, are
more likely to be made up of people sharing a sincere belief, and
therefore healthier than, say, a hundred years ago.
belief in God is on the menu, but you don't have to choose it. The
attitude of many modern parents is that their children can decide for
themselves when they grow up. Many say that they were "put
off" formal religion when they were children, so do not want to
insist on their children following a religion. Add to this the modern
diffidence in talking openly about religious belief and observance, and
the position of God on a child's menu is very low.
still, as modern educational theory favours more of a discovery process
of learning, it is unlikely that a child will arrive at a belief in God,
left to lone discovery at school. If the present adult generations who
grew up surrounded by religious messages have ended up with few
adhering, it is doubtful that those messages will get through to, and
remain with, the generations of the future.
Princess Diana's funeral, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Carey,
clearly impressed at the national response to the service, started anew
the regular onslaught on the language of religion - that it is all too
"stuffy" for the modern age. But if we examine the service,
apart from its location in a church and a minimal amount of religious
reference, it was a predominantly secular affair, its centre pieces
being Earl Spencer's valediction to his sister and Elton John's revamped
hit single. People were moved by the human-centred celebration of the
life, and by the untimely death, of their beloved princess.
think that Dr Carey is clutching at straws. Practically every activity
that we participate in has its own specialised vocabulary. If we want to
further our involvement in the activity, we learn the terms necessary,
however arcane or off-putting they may seem.
Archbishop may have it completely wrong. Perhaps people associate
simple, everyday Ianguage with simple, everyday things of no great worth
- certainly not appropriate to the creator of heaven and earth.
truth that Dr Carr side-steps in his article is that belief in God is
seldom acquired in one go. It may take years, a lifetime, to arrive at a
considered, firm faith. He asserts that believing without belonging is
"widely discussed" today. Where? Round the family table?
in our individual-centred, materialistic world we manage to find faith,
that faith needs support, encouragement and feeding in order to develop,
grow and endure. Yes, the individual can do it alone, but it helps
greatly to belong.
about the personal benefits to the individual of belonging? We are all
worried about our ever more fragmented society where divorce, broken
families, homelessness and loneliness are rife and extremely
debilitating. Being part of a religious group helps greatly to fill some
of these gaps and to provide a constant sense of belonging, whatever
else may happen in life.
there is the overwhelming benefit to our world derived from people who
belong. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, dying shortly after the Princess of
Wales, shone out as a prime example of the many who devote their lives
to helping others through religious communities. Universally admired,
such people restore our faith in humanity and, hopefully, encourage us
once again to belong.
won't have failed to notice the introduction of a monthly retiring
collection for this Society newly formed in the Parish.
you may wish to know a little about our work. This may be best explained
by giving you the text of a letter which with some variations which were
individually necessary, has been given to organisations, charities,
doctors and Social Services, in fact to anyone we believe may learn of
the needs of the poor described in the letter. So here it is:
local conference of this society, founded in 1635, has been newly formed
in Penzance. The aim is to seek out, find and console the poor with
christian solicitude and appropriate relief. In this context the poor
are recognised wherever people lack the facilities necessary for living
a truly human life. Those we perceive may be in need of any of the
Or they may be afflicted with serious distress or illness or suffer exile or imprisonment or loneliness.
may be occasions when you will recognise that the usual avenues for the
relief of such peoples needs may have been exhausted or that they need
to be supplemented by such help as we may be able to offer. This would
follow a discreet and confidential visit. No enquiry will ever be
initiated by us into religious, political, racial or sexual orientation.
In the event that you may with their agreement, wish to place us in
touch with anyone please contact one of the following:- Tony
Knight, Nick Tarbet, Diana Barnes.
we are happy to say, has already brought to our notice a number of cases
where we have been able to relieve both material and financial need.
Parish conference meets on a regular basis to further the Society's aims
and we most readily invite any one who may feel called to help in these
endeavours, to come to one of our meetings where they will be most
who contribute to the monthly collection which is a necessary source of
funds, may be sure that their generosity is not misplaced. It is most
gratefully received and will be put to good use in the service of the
poor and needy.
Mother Teresa's advice was : "To children, to the poor, to all who suffer and are lonely, give always a happy smile - Give them not only your care but also your heart.". These words echo those of our founder Blessed Frederick Ozanam which we strive to follow. Thank you all very much.
This was the first musical event of the Festival of Music & Art and I was looking forward to it - but I ended up feeling ill at ease. The members of the band were very talented, the pieces they played and sung were good and they came across as being sincere Christian people. It was very unfortunate that the acoustics in the Church caused the sound to reverberate; but apart from that I was "uncomfortable". I believe our Church is a refuge of peace and I could not get rid of the feeling that this event was invasive and disrespectful. I eventually consoled myself by thinking that our Dear Lord was a man of the people and if He had lived in our modern wodd He would have sat down with us and enjoyed the music. I am not making any criticisms because I was fully aware of the arrangements - you don't really know until you try things out - but I now feel, with hindsight, that the Church was definitely the wrong venue for this performance. (What we really need is a big Parish Hall!) Clare Wilson
this rock, Lord Jesus said,
we keep changing rituals;
This Church Magazine was the idea of a young, busy, Mum of three
children who is also Chairwoman of the Parish Fund-Raising Committee.
Celia Mount deserves much credit and praise for all her efforts
and time she has put into organising events and actually getting this
idea of a Magazine into print. It must have been very difficult for
her on numerous occasions to find childminders for her children, (her
husband is often abroad), and to find the time to do all she has done
for us, but she has done it all with good spirit - "just to
help". Celia's reasoning behind this Magazine was for members of
the Parish to have a means of passing on information to each other, - so
that we could get to know each other and have more awareness of what is
happening in our Parish. Everyone, therefore, is welcome to make a
"contribution" to this magazine - so please use the
opportunity - you just have to get in touch with one of the members.
suspect there are many parishioners who would also be willing to help
raise funds for our Church, either on a personal basis or to take part
in an organised function. This is not a "difficulty"! Anyone
is welcome to come to the Fund-Raising Meetings (forthcoming dates are
published in the Weekly Bulletin), so please come along, we need all the
help and support we can get. -
message for everyone who helps with our letter-sending campaigns.
Bertha Oliva is a human rights worker in Honduras and wife of Tomas...
was Tomas? A Honduran with fresh ideas, renewing ideas, a teacher, a
union leader, who loved his country, his people and his wife. He
'disappeared' on June 11th 1981 - not just one day for me, a moment
relived every time I think of him, and every time I hear of other cases
all over Latin America my wounds are reopened. Tomas was kidnapped by
six men, heavily armed, wearing hoods. But I could identify them. I was
witness to his capture, I can give names, and the positive
identification of those who kidnapped him.
worker for human rights my commitment to the search for truth and
justice goes from strength to strength - even though I have to give life
itself to live up to that commitment. I do not want other families in
Latin America to suffer what we have suffered, for children to be
without a father, wives without husbands, husbands without wives.
search for Tomas, and the thirst for justice, I met many, many other
families in a similar position to mine. I shared their pain and their
tragedy, and that was how CODAFEH, the Committee for the Families of the
'Disappeared' of Honduras first gained shape.
people like you and organisations like Amnesty International who will
stand up against the kidnappers, the torturers, the violators of human
rights, and let them know the entire world has its eyes on them and
their actions. Our work is your work too. Do not feel downhearted when
replies do not come back when you take urgent action for cases that we
raise with you, because it does have a great effect. You know that the
murderers and the violators of human rights are cowards. The acts they
perform are done in darkness, and not in daylight, and they do it with
hoods on, disguised.
this anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, do not
lower your guard, do not let that candle out, it must be kept
Our Advertisers in the printed version of this issue.
Very many thanks indeed to all our advertisers. Please mention seeing their advertisements in this magazine and recommend them to your friends. Anyone wishing to place an advertisement please contact us for details.
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