Sixth Sunday of the Year 2021, Year B

Dear Friends in Christ                      

As we have approached that time of year twelve months ago when the first cases of the Corona virus hit the United Kingdom, so we look back and see the incredible response by the NHS. I’m sure we’ve all seen on our TV’s the incredible pictures of Nurses and Doctors working so hard, to save lives, and the emotional responses when lives are lost. Obviously this has a dramatitc psychological effect on everyone involved in the daily care of those who are dreadfully sick. As we approach the 15 million mark for those who have been vaccinated, all we can do is hope and pray that this will provide the protection that we need against this terrible disease. People are still very frightened to go out even after the vaccine; you do have a great deal of protection against getting very sick and having to be hospitalised. But you still need to practice hand hygeine and sanitisation, continue to wear a face covering, and also practice social distancing. It is going to take many months to get the whole country vaccinated, and also for people to have their second jab. Let us look after and care for each other.

The mental health and emotional well being of many has been profoundly affected by this Pandemic. Depression, anxiety, domestic worries, have touched the lives of many people young and old. The genuine care we take in looking after one another is extremely important. Being aware when someone starts to show signs of remoteness and isolation are key indicators that attention should be paid to the situation. People are genuinely frighthened, and sometimes all we need is the reassurance from family and loved ones. No one should ever feel completely alone. We all  desire a time when we can look back on this Pandemic, and gain some semblance of normal living once again. We are social animals, and many have talked about the lack of social contact as the worst aspect of this disease. As we enter into Lent, let us earnestly pray for the end of this Pandemic.

Dear Friends in Christ:                                                   Sixth Sunday of the Year,B

In the Gospel today we see the miraculous healing of the man with leprosy. In Our Lord’s time there was no cure for leprosy, so the fact that a man is cured visibly is a sign of great rejoicing. It would have been customary for the cured individual to have to present themselves before the priests as a testament for the cure. The man is so overjoyed at his healing that all he wants to do is publicize his cure. Of course this will draw great attention to Jesus. In St. Mark’s Gospel, we see Jesus performing many miracles as a sign of the Kingdom of God being present among his people. The fact that Jesus touched the man; in those days you would have kept as far away as possible from anyone with leprosy. Jesus showed his love and compassion in the most extreme circumstances, and of course the Glory of God is manifested.

ASH WEDNESDAY: 17th February, marks the beginning of Lent. There will be three Holy Masses with the distribution of Ashes. 10.00am, 12.15pm & 8.00pm. Due to the Pandemic the distribution of Ashes will be very different this year. We will be using the Italian custom. The Ashes will be blessed with the sprinkling of holy water – the words “remember you are dust and to dust you shall return”, will be addressed to the people.

At the end of the Mass after the final blessing, the Priest will then cleanse his hands put on the face mask and visor; each recipient comes forward in the same manner as you would approach Holy Communion, and a small portion of the sacred ashes will be sprinkled on your head without any words being spoken. There will be no hand to head contact. Then kindly leave the church. These procedures have been given the approval by Public Health England in accord with the Divine Congregation for Divine Worship.

May God Bless You All,

REQUIEM MASS FOR MARY WALSTOW RIP: C:\Users\User3\Downloads\HR_POV0138.jpg

Dear Mary’s remains will be brought into Church on Monday 15th February at 4.30pm. There will be some short prayers of Reception and the Holy Rosary for the repose of her soul. If you would like to attend we can accommodate up to 30 people. On Tuesday 16th February at 12.15pm the Requiem Mass will take celebrated. A few of Mary’s Family will be present; we already have a full complement of 30 persons for the Funeral Mass. If anyone would like to pay their final respects to dear Mary as we leave the Church, please come to the Parish Car Park at approximately 12.50pm. I will pray the prayers of final commendation in the Car Park by the Herse. Mary will be laid to rest with her parents at Loughton Cemetery. Requiescat in Pace. 

REQUIESCANT IN PACE: There have been several deaths in the Parish

Michael Barrass RIP Requiem Mass Monday 15th February at 12.30pm 

Mary Walstow RIP Requiem Mass Tuesday 16th February at 12.15pm

Kathleen Whitty RIP Funeral Service Thursday 18th February at 12.15pm

David Faud RIP Requiem Mass Saturday 20th February at 10.00am

Patricia Gardener RIP To be arranged

I commend all the deceased to your prayers, and please remember their families at this great time of great loss. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. Amen

WEEKLY OFFERTORY: My sincere thanks to those who are making their weekly contribution of Gift Aid envelopes and through the banking system that has been set up through the Diocese whereby your Offertory can be paid directly into the Parish Account, details below: 

Or you can use Parish Bank Account: Using Online Banking
HSBC Sort Code 40-13-22
Account Number: 11019651

God Bless You All     

Fr. John

FINANCIAL SITUATION IN THE PARISH: You may have noticed that the Weekly Offertory, on some occasions, is extremely low. Obviously, we are all experiencing financial issues during this Pandemic. Some parishioners have reverted to online giving since last year. Others have opted to join the Parish Gift Aid Scheme, and are using Direct Debit weekly/monthly payments. I would say that the Weekly Offertory has probably dropped by a half over the past twelve months. Manifestly we have to cut our cloth accordingly. I would like to thank all of our parishioners for your ongoing support of the parish and all its buildings. There is no other income, other than your weekly contribution. Thank you One and All!


CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME 2021: Our third session in the Confrimation Programme will be streamed Via ZOOM on Wednesday 24th February. We are using the Sycamore Programme, and it’s imperative that you attend each session. If anyone missed the first two session, could you kindly catch up with the material.  A few practical notes; you will be notified of the meeting by Mark Anthony the day before our meeting. Whichever email you submitted to Fr. John & Mark Anthony should be maintained throughout the programme, because your email addresses have been fed into the programme so we can break you up into your groups. If you intend using another e.mail you must let us know immediately. At each session of the programme you will be registered present. If you are unable to be present at a particular session through sickness please get a parent to contact Fr. John directly.  I would once again encourage parents of our candidates to be present at the sessions. It shows how we conduct the programme, but will also be a great support to your son or daughter. In our Catechists Meeting after the session it was discussed that all Candidates should kindly make themselves visibly present, and not just have a blank image only with your name. And kindly refrain from using your phone for texting during the session. We only have a little over an hour for each session, and have to cover a lot of material.

This programme is your opportunity to learn a lot about your faith, and also to prepare spiritually for the Sacrament of Confirmation. It’s so important that you engage in the programme, and not just keep your screens blank, which is quite rude to those who are leading each group. If you are talking to a friend, you wouldn’t expect to talk to a blank screen. Please make a contribution in your groups, this will not only be of benefit to you, but to the rest of the group also. I also encourage paretns to be present with your chidlren. This will be of great benefit to you also, and shows support and encouragement to your son or daughter.  

This is truly a wonderful time in a young person’s life. It’s when you personally make a decision about your ongoing life of faith. Basically, it’s about becoming a young mature adult. The decisions that we make in our lives will always affect the future for all of us. The decision to be Confirmed in Faith is no exception to that rule. It affects the decision to marry in the future; to become a committed Catholic Christian; to assume our rightful place within the life of faith and the Church. In addition, if you are able to attend Holy Mass, (and we have three on the weekend), please kindly do so. I notice many are already attending, but some I haven’t seen for the past year. Our presence at Holy Mass is not only our personal witness to Christ and our faith, but also affords us the grace that we need to become a real strong young Catholics in the Church today. As Roman Cathooic the Holy Eucharist & attendance at Holy Mass is the most impoortant thing we can ever do as a witness to our faith.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the Sacrament of Mission. Think of the first Apostles, who at Pentecost received the gift of the Holy Spirit, empowering them to, ‘Go out into the whole world and procalaim the Good News.’ The Catechism tells us that we become a Soldier of Christ at Confirmation.


All Candidates have now received a Copy of the Programme with dates and times etc. Please ensure that you start to check in about 7.20pm for each session, so that we can start on time at 7.30pm. Hopefully this will help to avoid and technical hitches 

All Zoom sessions will be attended by at least two adults – Mark Anthony and Fr John.  Where break-out rooms are used, each of these will be attended by an adult catechist and these will be monitored by Mark Anthony and Fr John.  For all sessions, the following guidelines must be followed:

• No 1:1s, groups only 

• Catechists and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household. 

• Any computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and the background should be blurred, if possible. 

• All Zoom sessions will be set up with a password, to reduce the chance of hacking. Candidates should be visibly present, and not just a blank screen with your name on it

• Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background. 

• The catechists will record, the length, time, date and attendance of any sessions held.


Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn,  James Geller, Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Pamela Houghton, Shaun Keel, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, Sheila Murphy, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Kathleen Pomeroy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones. 

ANNIVERSARIES: Bernard Harvey RIP and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: £413.60 With continued thanks for your Weekly Offering. If you would like to join the Gift Aid Scheme, there are application forms in the Church Porch or ask Fr. John for a form. If you forget your envelope, there are spares in the Porch. Thank you! 

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: Our RCIA programme continues Thursday 25th February 2021 at 8.00pm which will be a Zoom meeting. Theme: PRAYER – Why we need to Pray – Methods of Prayer. Please pray for our enquirer. This programme is a systematic study of all aspects of the Roman Catholic Faith, with the view of the enquirer deciding to receive the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation & the Holy Eucharist.RCIA | Holy Spirit Parish

SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 5 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 30 people present, strictly observing social distancing. 12 people are allowed to be present at a wedding. Baptisms are allowed to take place in the context of a Sunday Mass setting. These are really difficult times, and many couples were disappointed last year not being able to celebrate their marriages. We are hoping with the advent of the vaccine, that things will change dramatically this year. If there are any couples who are thinking about getting married, please notify the parish immediately. Thank you. Obviously until restrictions are lifted all of the above applies for the foreseeable future.

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2021: There has been little response this year to applicants for the First Holy Communion Programme. I have spoken at length to Kathryn Poulter who runs the programme; and in light of the Coronavirus restrictions at this present time, it is going to be almost impossible to run any kind of meaningful interactive programme for the children. We considered the prepration for the Sacraments of Reconciliation & the Holy Eucharist far too important to run a programme with no engagment from the children. Therefore, we will postpone the Programme this year until we know when it is safe to gather again as a community. I know this may sound very disappointing; but your Health & Safety are our first priority at this very difficult time.  Please pray for all the families of our Parish. Thank you. Fr. John. 

EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank during these difficult times. The Foodbank are truly grateful for the generosity our parish has shown throughout the pandemic and our donations are still needed desperately as more and more people in our community are finding it hard d to make ends meet. Basic staple items are always welcome including the unbranded supermarket basic ranges which can make your generous donations go even further. Currently they are in urgent need of the following items: tinned fruit, tinned ham, tinned carrots, sponge puddings, chocolate bars, Nutella, toilet rolls (2 or 4 pack), washing up liquid, laundry tablets/powder and shower gel. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with 

the Foodbank via their Facebook page:


Sat 13th    10.00amDean Staggs RIP (Mark Anthony)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: 
Sat 13th                    6.00pmMary Walstow RIP (The Pover Family)
Sun 14th     9.00amJohn Molloy RIP (John & Sue Campbell)
Sun 14th                                                     11:00amMel O’Reilly RIP (Maureen O’Reilly)
Mon 15th 

Mon 15th          

Fr John’s Birthday Intentions. Thanksgiving

Requiem Mass: Michael Barrass RIP
Tues 16th                                                                             12.15pmRequiem Mass: Mary Walstow RIP
Wed 17th    AshWednesday                  10.00am


Sarah McQuade RIP (N Ironside)

John Murray RIP (A Bacon & Potter Family)

People of the Parish
Thurs 18th

Thurs 18th 

Mary Walstow RIP (Frank Westcott)Funeral Service: Kathleen Whitty RIP
Fri 19th                 10.00am

Jim Kavanagh RIPHoly Hour with Stations of the Cross
Sat 20th                                                      9.00am

Leslie Patrick Moore RIP (Mark Anthony)

Requiem Mass: David Faud RIP
Vigil Mass for Sunday
Sat 20th                                   6.00pmNoel Anderson RIP (Pover Family)
Sun 21st        9.00amMary Walstow RIP (Sue & John Campbell)
Sun 21st                                                                         11:00am

Dorothy Joan Goodman RIP (Haydee Ylaya)

Stations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Hour.

FOR YOUR INTENTIONS: Having reached the ripe old age of 66 on Monday 15th February; not only am I able to receive my Senior Citizens Pension, but I also now qualify for a Bus Pass. As far as I’m concerned Birthdays are just numbers. I just want to let you know that I’ll be Offering Holy Mass for the whole parish community; in thanksgiving for all that you have done over the past year during this Pandemic. Your kindness and charity, in serving your brothers & sisters has been exemplary. The ongoing Stewardship in the Parish has enabled us to remain open; the cleanliness of our Church has provided a safe space and environment for all of our parishioners over these past months. Words cannot express my gratitude; the Holy Mass is the greatest gift I can give to you, and I do it with heartfelt love & thanksgiving. I feel very honoured & privileged to have served in such a wonderful parish for a long time now!

Thank you, to one and all!  Fr. John   

SIXTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR 2021 Year B, Mark’s Gospel


First Reading: Leviticus 13:1-2,44-46

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘If a swelling or scab or shiny spot appears on a man’s skin, a case of leprosy of the skin is to be suspected. The man must be taken to Aaron, the priest, or to one of the priests who are his sons.

  ‘The man is leprous: he is unclean. The priest must declare him unclean; he is suffering from leprosy of the head. A man infected with leprosy must wear his clothing torn and his hair disordered; he must shield his upper lip and cry, “Unclean, unclean.” As long as the disease lasts he must be unclean; and therefore he must live apart: he must live outside the camp.’

Responsorial Psalm: 

Psalm 31(32):1-2,5,11

You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Happy the man whose offence is forgiven,

  whose sin is remitted.

O happy the man to whom the Lord

  imputes no guilt,

  in whose spirit is no guile.

You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.

But now I have acknowledged my sins;

  my guilt I did not hide.

I said: ‘I will confess

  my offence to the Lord.’

And you, Lord, have forgiven

  the guilt of my sin.

You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord,

  exult, you just!

O come, ring out your joy,

all you upright of heart.

You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1

Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God. Never do anything offensive to anyone – to Jews or Greeks or to the Church of God; just as I try to be helpful to everyone at all times, not anxious for my own advantage but for the advantage of everybody else, so that they may be saved. Take me for your model, as I take Christ.

Gospel: Mark 1:40-45

A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.’ The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.

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