Welcome to the web site for the Roman Catholic parish of St. Mary Magdalen Ipswich. We welcome all visitors and newcomers to the Church, and hope that you find everything you are looking for on this site. Our aim is to keep this web space up to date with current parish news, information and events, aiming to be accessible for the people of the parish and the community in which we are situated.
Under the guidance and leadership of our parish priest, Fr Luke Goymour and his assistant priest Fr Paul Chanh, we are looking to expand and enrich our community in youth projects, music in worship, children's liturgy and other areas. If you want to be active in our future please speak with Fr Paul at the church, or use the contact page.
If you have any comments about this site, its content or suggestions for additional content, particularly if you could not find the information you were looking for, please use the contact form to send a message to the webmaster.
During the times when our ability to attend church in person was impacted by Coronavirus restrictions, on-line donations to our offertory collection were a lifeline for the parish. Even if you are now attending again in person, please consider donating on-line to our offertory by setting up a regular payment by standing order from your bank account, or alternatively you can make a one-off payment. This is easy to do - you can find details here.
A Prayer for Ukraine
God of peace and justice, we pray for the people of Ukraine today. We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons. We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow, that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them. We pray for those with power over war or peace, for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions. Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear, that you would hold and protect them. We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen
Prayers for the Sick
Almighty and Eternal God, You are the everlasting health of those who believe in You. We ask you to remember those in our parish who are unwell, afflicted or distressed. Grant them comfort, relief and consolation of your Holy Spirit and through the aid of Your tender mercy, restore them to bodily health. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Find our Facebook Page
Use the QR Code below to find the St Mary Magdalen Facebook group which you can join.
St Mary Magdalen's Parish Newsletter
The latest issue of the parish newsletter is available on-line: you can find it here.
The Diocesan Newspaper
You can read the latest edition of Catholic East Anglia, the Diocesan newspaper on-line: you can find it here.
Fr Luke's Homilies
Each week, Fr Luke Goymour records and publishes his homily. You can listen to these recordings by clicking here.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - 26th November 2023
Today’s Gospel passage is the conclusion of Jesus’ discourse with his disciples. It is about the end of time, the coming of the Son of Man, and the final judgment. We hear this description of the final judgment at the conclusion of our liturgical year, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King. In the context of Matthew’s Gospel, this passage might also be read as a conclusion of Matthew’s report on Jesus’ life and ministry; the remaining chapters report the events of Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus describes to his disciples the scene of the judgment of the Son of Man. All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate them as a shepherd separates sheep and goats upon their return from the pasture. The judgments made by the Son of Man will be based upon the acts of mercy shown to the least ones—the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the ill, and the imprisoned. Indeed, Jesus, who suffered on the Cross, identifies himself with the least ones.
Recall that last week’s parable of the talents taught us that the gifts that we have been given are intended to be used for the service of others, especially the least among us. Our judgment before God will be based not only on how we have used these gifts and talents, but also on how we have extended ourselves in service to these least ones. Indeed, Jesus tells us that whenever we have served these least ones, we have served Christ himself.
When we read today’s Gospel in the context of the chapters that follow in Matthew’s Gospel, we learn the extent to which Jesus identifies with the least ones. In accepting death on the cross, Jesus shows himself to be one of the hungry, the naked, the ill, and the imprisoned. To accept Jesus is to accept him who suffered and died on the Cross as one of the least ones. Courtesy Loyola Press
First Sunday of Advent - 3rd December 2023
Today we begin the season of Advent, which marks the start of a new liturgical year for the Church. The readings for Sunday Mass are arranged on a three-year cycle. Each year features a different Gospel—Matthew, Mark, or Luke. Readings from the Gospel of John are interspersed throughout all three years. With this year’s first Sunday of Advent, we begin Cycle B of the Lectionary, which focuses our attention on the Gospel of Mark. This week and next week, our readings from Mark’s Gospel present two important Advent themes: the Lord’s return at the end of time and John the Baptist’s preparation for Jesus.
Today’s Gospel is taken from the end of Mark’s Gospel, the chapter that immediately precedes Mark’s account of Jesus’ Passion. Having been questioned repeatedly by the scribes and the Pharisees, Jesus is now questioned by his disciples—Peter, James, John, and Andrew - who want details about his prediction of the destruction of the Temple. Jesus answers with many warnings about the difficulties that the disciples will face.
Today’s passage comes at the conclusion of Jesus’ warnings to his disciples. Jesus emphasizes the need for watchfulness. The Son of Man will come without warning; only the Father knows the exact hour. The disciples must not be caught unprepared when this time comes.
Scholars believe that Mark’s Gospel was written around the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70. Mark’s audience consisted of Christians who were living in difficult social and political times, times of conflict. They were likely beginning to face persecution as followers of Jesus. In this difficult time, it helped to recall that Jesus had foretold of such difficulties. Early Christian communities took courage from Jesus’ warning to remain alert and watchful, and they found in his words a way to persevere through suffering.
Today’s Gospel reminds us that Advent is about more than our preparation for the Church’s celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas. Advent is also about preparing ourselves for Christ’s return in glory at the end of time. Like the disciples and the faithful in Mark’s community, we must also stay alert and watchful. Our faithfulness to God, through the good times as well as the difficult times, shows us to be ready for the coming of the Son of Man. Courtesy Loyola Press
Second Sunday of Advent - 10th December 2023
Today’s Gospel is taken from the beginning of Mark. Unlike Luke and Matthew, Mark does not include any details of Jesus’ birth. Instead Mark begins with the appearance of John the Baptist in the desert. On this the Second Sunday of Advent, we are invited to reflect upon the role of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus and the salvation that he would bring to us.
Mark’s description of the appearance of John the Baptist highlights John’s continuity with the Jewish prophetic tradition. Mark combines quotations from the Old Testament books of Malachi, Isaiah, and Exodus. Mark’s description of John as an ascetic, living in the desert, clothed in camel hair, and eating locusts and wild honey, is reminiscent of the description of the prophet Elijah found in Second Kings. The people of Judea and Jerusalem flock to him, listening to his message of repentance and forgiveness; they also come to him to be baptized. Mark’s Gospel is clear, however, that John the Baptist’s role is only to prepare the way for another who will come, one who is greater than John.
Many scholars believe that the Gospels reflect the tension that likely existed between followers of John the Baptist and disciples of Jesus. Each of the four Evangelists report on John’s preaching and baptizing, and they each emphasize the importance of Jesus’ baptism by John. The four Gospels also explain that John was sent to preach in preparation for another. In the Gospel of Luke, the question is raised as to whether John the Baptist was himself the Messiah. Just as in today’s Gospel, however, John speaks quite explicitly that the Messiah was to come after him.
In today’s Gospel we hear John the Baptist contrast his baptism of repentance with the baptism that Jesus will inaugurate. John says that he has baptized with water, but that the one who is to come will baptize with the Holy Spirit. John’s baptism was not yet a Christian baptism, but a preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism through which sins are forgiven and the gift of the Holy Spirit is received.
John the Baptist is presented to us as a model during Advent. We, too, are called upon to prepare a way for the Lord. Like John the Baptist, we are messengers in service to one who is greater than we are. Our Baptism commissions us to call others to life as disciples of Jesus. Courtesy Loyola Press
Prayer for Peace in the Middle East
They will hammer their swords into ploughshares and their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, no longer will they learn how to make war.
God of peace, bearer of hope, we seek your help for the peoples of the Middle East.
Quiet the clamour of war and guide us towards peace.
Where there is hatred and division, sow seeds of calm and openness.
Where there is destruction, help us to rebuild.
Where children are crying, bring an end to tears.
Shelter your peoples and protect them.
Guide them and keep them from harm.
Show us how to break down the barriers of history and fear and breathe whispers of hope.
Linda Jones / CAFOD
Prayer of the Icon of St Joseph
St Joseph, watch over and care for me,
just as you cared for Jesus when he was a child:
and by your help may I come to know Jesus, the Son of God,
and so grow in love, strength and wisdom. Amen
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ grew to maturity.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen