A warm welcome to the website of the
Roman Catholic Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury, Fulham
in the Archdiocese of Westminster
For this Sunday 20th May 2018
Letter from Fr. Emmanuel to our community
This weekend, the church celebrates the feast of Pentecost. Etymologically, the word ‘Pentecost’ is derived from the Greek word ‘Pentecoste’ meaning fiftieth, celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover. The feast is an event commemorating the day the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles as they observed the ancient festival called the ‘feast of weeks’, which comes up seven weeks after Passover, marking the gift of the law to Moses on mount Sinai.
Originally, Pentecost is one of the annual Jewish religious festivals. The Jews were required by law to go to Jerusalem three times a year to celebrate their major Festivals, namely, the feast of the Passover, the feast of the Pentecost and the feast of the Tabernacles. It was on the day of Pentecost, people gathered from all over the world that the holy spirit descended upon the apostles of Jesus.
The first reading of this Sunday, from the book of the Acts of the apostles, describes vividly the Pentecostal event: the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the form of a powerful wind and tongues of fire, resting upon the head of each person. The Holy Spirit gave them the power to speak in foreign languages that everyone heard the disciples in their own language. They converted many people about three thousand.
The feast of Pentecost is an important event of the church because on this day, all the nations of the earth gathered, cutting across language and cultural divides. The most significant and interesting thing about this day was that irrespective of the linguistic and cultural differences, there was mutual understanding. This was a miracle of the unity of different races, tongues, tribes, and people in proclaiming the marvels of God. That drops a lesson for us today – to break all barriers sep- arating us from one another. This can be achieved by living in accord with the Holy Spirit by acquiring these attributes; “Spirit of love, joy, peace, forbearance peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).”
Fr. Dennis Touw – Tempelmans Plat. Parish Priest
Fr. Emmanuel Onwu. Assistant Priest