• image1 St.Mary Magdalen's RC Church 6 Athenaeum Road, London N20 9AE
  • image2 St.Mary Magdalen's RC Church 6 Athenaeum Road, London N20 9AE
  • image3 St.Mary Magdalen's RC Church 6 Athenaeum Road, London N20 9AE

The sacramental life of the Parish

THE SACRAMENTS OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION: Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist.


The Risen Christ said to his Apostles “Go into the whole world, proclaim the Gospel to the whole of Creation”. (Mark 16 v 15)


These three Sacraments give to those who receive them the full stature of being a Christian, giving to a person all that is necessary to be fully a child of God in the world. Each Sacrament requires careful preparation, both for children and adults.

The Baptism of infants. Children of Catholic Christian parents should be baptised as soon as possible after birth. This becomes a sign of the parents’ strong desire for their child to receive the gift of eternal life offered by Christ. Baptisms usually take place on Sundays during Mass or at 12.30pm. To arrange for the baptism of an infant contact the Presbytery. The Church expects Catholic parents to be practising, and at least one Godparent must be a practising Catholic. The Baptism of children of families who live outside the parish can only take place with a letter of permission from the priest where the family lives.

The Baptism of Adults. A period of study, prayer and discernment allows time for an adult to prepare for baptism. Usually the baptism of adults is celebrated with Confirmation and reception of Holy Communion, all at the same ceremony. This, by tradition, should be preferably at the Vigil of Easter. Contact the Presbytery.




The Sacrament of Confirmation. This sacrament is administered to those baptised as infants when they have reached their early teens. In this Diocese the age of Confirmation is around 13 to 14 years. There is a course of preparation for young people each year which begins about mid-September. The bishop administers the Sacrament in the parish the following Eastertide. Contact Winnie Brady Tel: 07702 094650.

The Sacrament of the Eucharist. Young people prepare to receive Holy Communion usually when they are aged 7 to 8. Prior to that, they are prepared for the Sacrament of Penance, as they must go to Confession before their First Communion. Preparation for both these Sacraments takes place through instruction classes arranged in the parish. Children preparing for both of these Sacraments must be supported by the witness and example of their Catholic parents by their own reception of these. Sacraments and regular attendance at Sunday Mass. Links to: “Children and Young People”





Jesus said “Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life, the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you.” (John 6v27)


The celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the Mass, is at the heart of the life of the Parish, and is celebrated daily. For times see the weekly newsletter. However, the essence of our celebration of the Mass centres on Sunday, the Day of the

Resurrection. The Church gathers to be with Her Risen Lord as He commanded at the last Supper, “Do this in remembrance of Me”. All Catholics should make this celebration a priority in their lives and their Sundays. The Sunday Mass is the realisation of the Church in any locality. Attendance at Sunday Mass is the expression of our membership of the family of Christ. It is a weekly obligation that fulfils the first two Commandments.

Times of the Sunday Mass are the Vigil Mass (on Saturday at 6pm) and Sunday at 9.00am and  11.00am Solemn Mass, and 4.00pm Mass (in Polish). On Holy Days of Obligation, Mass is at 9.30am & 7.00pm. There is a liturgy of the Word for young children in connection with the 9am and 11am Mass on Sunday. Periods of Adoration of the Blessed Eucharist take place each Saturday from 4.45-5.45pm and an annual 40 Hours devotion. The Polish Community holds First Friday Adoration from 6.00-8.00pm.





After His Resurrection Jesus said to His disciples “Those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven.” (John 20 v 23)


To receive the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) is to open one’s heart to the mercy of God, who came to earth not to condemn but to save. The Church requires that Catholics should regularly celebrate this Sacrament, especially in the season of Lent in preparation for the Pascal Mysteries. Confessions are heard in church each Saturday at 10-10.30am and 4.45-5.45pm. Before Christmas and Easter there are extra times for Confession arranged as well as Confessors from outside the parish. Confessions can be arranged by appointment at any time. Contact the Presbytery.





Jesus said to His disciples “In this way man and woman are no longer two but one body. So, what God has joined together no man can separate”. (Matthew 19 v6)


The Church welcomes with great joy those who want to receive this Sacrament, which for Christians is both important and serious. However, certain requirements are involved regarding both the teachings of the Church and the Law of the Land. It is necessary that both partners are free to marry, that is that neither has been married before or contracted a civil partnership. Also six months notice must be given of the proposed wedding, to give a period of instruction and preparation for the Sacrament. The wedding should take place in the church where one of the couple resides. If neither person is resident in this parish the written permission of the parish priest of the Catholic partner is necessary. A course of instruction in the Christian Doctrine of Marriage takes place in the Parish, involving three talks. This generally takes place in January, February and March of each year. Courses are also available in other parts of the diocese for those unable to attend these. Contact the Presbytery.





“The people of Gennesaret, having recognised Jesus, took all who were sick to him, begging Him just to let them touch the hem of his cloak. And all those who touched it were cured.”


The Sacrament of the Sick is not just for the dying – “the last Rites” – but for all those ill or anxious who would desire the help of God at a trying time. The Sacrament can be celebrated either at home or during the Liturgy with the Christian community. Those who are sick or housebound, and also those who wish regular Holy Communion to be brought to them, please contact the Presbytery.





Jesus said “I tell you, whoever listens to my voice has eternal life. The dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and all who hear it will live” (John 5 v 24, 25).


The celebration of Funeral Rites is, even in the heart of grief, a proclamation of the hope of Resurrection. To arrange a funeral it is necessary to contact both the Church and Funeral Director. Both will need to agree on the time and place of the ceremony. An opportunity for the celebrant of the funeral and the family of the deceased to meet to discuss the service will be arranged. If a Requiem Mass is required that will usually take place at the time of a weekday Mass (9.30am). It is a venerable tradition that the deceased should rest in church overnight before the funeral. Masses for recently departed and anniversaries can be booked through the Parish office. In November, there is special devotions to pray for the faithful departed.





“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, naked and clothe you, sick or in prison and go to see you?” (Matthew 25 v28)


Christ commands us as individuals and a community to serve Him in those in need. In the parish the Society of St Vincent de Paul is dedicated to the spiritual and material help of those in need. Contact the Presbytery re SVP.


ALTAR SERVERS The Guild of St Stephen in this parish was founded on 8th July 1934. The Guild provides the opportunity for people of all ages to take an active part in the Church's liturgy, assisting the Priest by serving at Mass and leading the congregation in the responses.  New servers attend a course of instruction lasting about eight weeks and are then asked to commit to serving with reverence, regularity and understanding. After a year's probation, they are invited to join the Guild and receive the Bronze Medal. The Ministry is open to those who have made their First Holy Communion. For further information please telephone Francis Ayers on 020 8445 8949

CHOIR The music at the Sunday Mass at 11am and special occasions is led by the church Choir. It always welcomes new singers and instrumentalists. Extra choir practices are held before Christmas, Holy Week and special events. Contact: Vicky Dearing Tel: 0208 449 3891.

CHURCH CLEANING A rota of helpers provide a service to keep the church clean and tidy. To join, contact

FLOWERS A group organises a rota for the provision of floral decoration and arrangements in the church. To get involved contact Pat Elliot Tel: 020 8445 8151

SEWING GUILD A group of people help to maintain the vestments, linen and fabric associated with the Liturgy. If you have time and skill to help contact the Presbytery.

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