27th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B - 4th October, 2015

New Stained Glass Windows

It is in a spirit of joy and thanksgiving that we gather here this weekend to celebrate the erection and blessing of two beautiful stained glass windows in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary to whom our Church is dedicated.

In the final decades of the nineteenth century Catholics in Mill Hill attended Sunday Mass and had their children baptised in the chapel of the Daughters of Charity on the Ridgeway. In 1922 they received approval from the Archbishop of Westminster to establish their own parish. Not surprisingly they opted to dedicate the new parish to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

I say not surprisingly as the Daughters of Charity had introduced them to the Miraculous Medal and freely distributed them among the people. The purchase of a suitable site for their new Church proved to be difficult. They had their hearts set on the current site – the junction of the Broadway and Flower Lane but they were outbid by a local man who was somewhat opposed to the idea of a Catholic church being erected on that site. Secretly some miraculous medals were buried on the property and the people prayed. Much to everyone’s joy the original deal fell through and the site was offered to the Catholics.

In keeping with this long tradition the motifs for our new stained glass windows were taken from the miraculous medal. At the reverse side of the medal Mary asked for the image of two hearts, the Heart of Jesus surrounded by a crown of thorns, and her own heart pierced by a sword.

We are most grateful to the late Vera Moore who left a legacy to our parish. In my conversation with her some days before she died, she told me of her desire to leave something to the church in memory of her family. I suggested that a nice stained glass window would do much to enhance the sanctuary and her immediate response “Oh, yes in honour of the Sacred Heart” and quickly added “but we must not forget His Blessed Mother”

In 8 years time we will celebrate the centenary of the foundation of our parish and hopefully in the intervening years these icons of the hearts of Jesus and Mary will be constant reminder of their love and concern for us. May our devotion to Jesus and Mary be a source of spiritual renewal in our parish.

In our prayers let us pray for Vera Moore and her husband Frank who predeceased her.

Fr Kevin O'Shea, C.M.