Thursday, 7 December 2017

Novena to the Holy Infant of Prague

Our novena to the Holy Infant of Prague starts on 17 December and can be prayed over the next eight days until Christmas Day on 25 December 2017. You can pray the novena in private, with your friends or family, or in a group:

God of endless ages,
Source of all goodness,
we celebrate the dawn of salvation
in the birth of your Son,
Jesus, the Holy Infant.

With gratitude we recall his humanity
when he became like us
in all things but sin.

May the power of his divinity
help us to answer his call
to forgiveness and new life.

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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Saint Andrew - Feast Day

As the National Shrine of Saint Jude, we always remember special saints of these isles at our daily Mass. However, Saint Andrew is all the more special because he is a fellow Apostle to Saint Jude. Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland and we wish our friends in Scotland a happy Feast Day.

The New Testament tells us that Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter. He was born in the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. Both he and his brother Peter were fishermen by trade, and Jesus called them to be his disciples by saying that he will make them "fishers of men". At the beginning of Jesus' public life, they occupied the same house at Capernaum.

Tradition states that Andrew was martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patras in Achaea, on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. A tradition developed that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross, or "saltire"), now commonly known as a "Saint Andrew's Cross" — at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been.

About the middle of the 10th century, Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland. Several legends state that the relics of Andrew were brought by divine guidance from Constantinople to the place where the modern town of St Andrews stands today.

Like Saint Jude, Andrew was one of the first messengers of the Good News. At the Shrine, we thank him for that and pray for all the Apostles on this special day.

St Andrew, pray for us. Saint Jude, pray for us.


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

#GivingTuesday 2017

Today is marked as ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬, which is a global day of giving. After the sales of the weekend, #GivingTuesday is an opportunity to come together to show the world why it’s good to give. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering your time or just spreading the word at the start of the Christmas shopping season, #GivingTuesday is a call to action for everyone who wants to give something back.
Donations to the Carmelites enable us to support our ministries in the UK, and to support many special causes around the world. Recently, the British Province of Carmelites have supported: famine relief in East Africa; helping the Carmelite Friars in Mozambique; a regular program of ongoing grants to support the costs of the formation of Carmelite students around the world; the work of the Divine Providence hospital for cancer patients in El Salvador; and so much more.
If you want to donate towards the work of the Carmelites in Britain and the UK, you can do that here:; or directly to the Missions, here: Or alternatively, you can simply, buy something from our online shop:

For other ways, visit our website, here:
All money raised will go towards the work of the Carmelites in the UK and abroad.
Saint Jude, pray for us


Monday, 20 November 2017

Christmas @ the Shrine

Please join us for our Christmas at the Shrine.
From 12pm - anointing with Saint Jude oil; mince pies, mulled wine, teas and coffees and fruit juice; a tombola full of prizes; and carol singing!
Everyone who attends will need to get their voices ready for a good and celebratory singalong! 
The whole day will be a great Christmas celebration. 


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Fr Elias Lynch, O.Carm - 50 year anniversary

It was fifty years ago today that Fr Elias Lynch, O.Carm - founder of the National Shrine of Saint Jude - died, a few weeks after his seventieth birthday. In his last letter to the friends of Saint Jude, Fr Elias wrote:

"On September 25th, I celebrated my seventieth birthday. In the religious life we hardly ever celebrate our birthdays, but it seemed to me that on that day, I would be three score years and ten, that God would have given me grace to live so long. It isn't a long time perhaps in your estimation, but we are a short lived family; I think it is because we all had a bee in our bonnet and that eventually buzzed our lives away...."

"..So I thought I would celebrate my seventieth birthday in case God was a little tired of seeing me around and would decide to take me away before my next Feast Day/. Therefore I set my mind to worry out what I should do and the whole problem was settled for me by [a] nice old lady who wanted to give me a chalice and I started off a chalice fund asking her to contribute £10. Some three hundred people subscribed to the fund and it was over subscribed, so I had another idea.."

In an impulse of generosity, Elias found a beautiful Italian eighteenth-century chalice which he gave to Aylesford for concelebrations. Within a few weeks of his seventieth birthday, Elias had died. He died in the Cottage Hospital in Faversham on All Saints Day, 1 November 1967.

Thank you God for bringing this man to the Carmelites - we have a lot to be grateful for. You can read more about Elias in Friar Beyond the Pale by Fr Wilfrid McGreal, O.Carm via our online shop.

May Elias Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory.

Saint Jude, pray for us.


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Feast of Saint Jude - 2017 - great weekend

We had a great weekend for the Feast celebrations.

On Saturday, the Feast masses were celebrated by the Prior Provincial, Fr Kevin Alban, O.Carm in the church; and simultaneously, the Shrine's Chaplain, Fr Brendan Grady, O.Carm celebrated Mass in the Welcome Centre. All the friends of Saint Jude were prayed for.

On Sunday, we were pleased to welcome the Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Rev. Peter Smith who celebrated our 2.30pm Mass. The Mass was concelebrated by Fr Kevin Alban, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the Carmelites; Fr Brendan Grady, O.Carm., Chaplain at the Shrine; and Fr Francis Kemsley, Prior of Aylesford. Fr Kevin preached.

After this special Mass, the Archbishop and Prior Provincial officially opened the small meeting room and renamed it the Brother Anthony McGreal room.
Brother Anthony McGreal, O.Carm assisted the founder, Father Elias Lynch, O.Carm in establishing the Shrine of Saint Jude and the work of the Carmelite Press. His work with Father Elias created the groundwork for this special place – this special Apostolate continues sixty-two years later. Brother Anthony’s nephew, Father Wilfrid McGreal, O.Carm was in attendance for this special Mass and renaming of the room and said a few words about his uncle: a great and hard-working man.

Thank you to all the friends of Saint Jude. Saint Jude, pray for us!