Second Sunday of Lent 2021, Year B

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Dear Friends in Christ  ,
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The daily reports from the PrimeMinister are striking a more optimistic tone these days. The the number of people in the UK receiving the vaccine has toppped 19 million, and hopefully, fewer and fewer people are dying in hospital; the situation here appears to be much brighter now. But remaining attentive and still observing social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and hand sanitisation are still vitally essential to maintain good practice in protecting everyone from the spread of this terrible disease. If you get the opportunity to have the vaccine please don’t refuse it, and don’t listen to conspiacy theories, protect yourselves, and as Her Majesty the Queen said the other day, protect other people as well. As the experts tell us, the vaccine, even in the first jab, is giving up to 85% to 90% protection, The second jab will top that up. It may be that we have to live with this virus for years ahead and have to receive the jab as same as the flu vaccine each year. Imagine having to vaccinate the whole world, 7.8 billion people! 

I have spoke to a number of doctors and nurses recently who are on the frontline fighting this terrible disease; they are beginning to see the light and the end of the tunnel. Day in and day out they have put their own lives at risk in the service of the public. They truly are the real heroes in this Pandemic. I can only stand in admiration or them all. May God bless them and protect them in their chosen vocation of care for the sick     
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I would like to invite all of our parishieorns to seriously consider coming back to the regular practice of faith. Live-streaming is all well and good, but it cannot replace being together as community, and receiving Jesus in Holy Communion. As you are aware stringent safety measures are in place at our church, and the Stewards ensure your ongoing safety with social distancing and the strict cleaning of the church after each Mass and Service. Our gratitude and thanks is extended to the great service they show to the whole community. Always in times of difficulty, the best is manifested in the human spirit!

Dear Friends in Christ:                                    Second Sunday of Lent,Year B

In the Holy Gospel today, Jesus invites Peter, James and John to accompany him up the mountain. In their presence he is transfigured. Thomas Aquinas considered the transfiguration “the greatest miracle” in that it complemented baptism and showed the perfection of life in Heaven. The transfiguration is one of the five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus, the others being baptismcrucifixionresurrection, and ascension. In 2002, Pope St John Paul II introduced the Luminous Mysteries in the rosary, which includes the transfiguration. http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/65400/65437/65437_transfigurat_lg.gif

Giving the Apostles a glimpse of future glory, not only was a unique moment for them, but it also affirmed once again the Father’s love for the Son; those powerful words ‘Listen to Him’ should echo in our own lives of faith. There are so many voices out there today vying for our attention, that it is so easy to miss the voice of the Lord himself. Our Lenten Season gives us a wonderful opportunity to take out and ‘listen’ to what the Lord is saying to each one of us on our journey of faith

HOW IS YOUR LENT? We’re just about to begin the second week of Lent. Have you managed to stay faithful to the resolutions that you made on Ash Wednesday? It’s so easy to fall by the wayside very quickly. But that doesn’t mean that we have to give up. Lent can be a truly positive experience; a time of growth and understanding of the Lord Jesus. We have to remember where this journey is leading us; ultimately to the greatest event this workd has ever known. Jesus Christ, who died on Good Friday, rose triumphantly on Easter Day. Sin and death was conquered; and the Lord invites each one of us personally to share in that New Life, which we call our Catholic Faith. How we prepare for that is up to us. No one can do this for us. Prayer, Fasting, Works of Charity are all well and good, but if there is no real intention behind them it becomes only lipservice. Conversion-Change of Heart is what the Lord calls each one of us to.https://webstockreview.net/images/lent-clipart-fasting-2.jpg

SET YOURSELF LITTLE TARGETS: Morning and Evening Prayers; Reading a passesge from the Bible; Attending an additional Mass during the week; Attending Holy Hour; Praying the Stations of the Cross; Praying the Rosary, or even a decade of the Rosary each day; reading a chapter of a spiritual book (see our parish Library). My dear friends, you can chose any of these throughout the week. But please don’t let this Lent pass you by.
Fr

May God Bless You All,    

CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME 2021: Our third session in the Confrimation Programme will be streamed Via ZOOM on Wednesday 3rd March. 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.https://w0.pngwave.com/png/844/892/web-conferencing-computer-icons-meeting-internet-meeting-png-clip-art.png

THIS WEEK’S TALK: The Power of Prayer – Prayer is our lifeline with God. It’s very personal and involves making an effort to give a few minutes each day. To be quiet and still in the presence of God; to be open to listening to God, in sharing with God what is in your heart, your worries and anxieties, your joys and blessing, these are all positive ways of praying. How and where you do this is up to you. It would be tragic to think that you might go through a day and not give a thought to God, or about your relationship with Jesus, especially as you’re preparing for this Sacrament of Confirmation.   http://cliparts.co/cliparts/pi7/dX8/pi7dX8Mi9.jpg

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. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4d/15/f7/4d15f748aeb8cb4cfe2d74b49f4e508e.png
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BEING PRESENT AT HOLY MASS: For many centuries, our one obligation as Roman Catholics has been to be part of the worshipping community by attending Sunday Mass. The Eucharist, is the ‘source and summit’ of the Life of Faith. It’s the most important thing we do as Catholic Christians, and bears witness to our commitment. I notice many are already attending, but sadly 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 really strong young Catholics in the Church today. Why not try to make an extra special effort during Lent?

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.

OUR NEXT THEME IS – THE POWER OF PRAYER

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 any 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.

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

Please put your name as reference and your Gift Aid number if you have one. If you can set it up as a regular payment this would be excellent and save a lot of time in the future. If you don’t have GIFT AID this is a good time to start, you can do this by e-mailing Maria Mosquera (mjm70@hotmail.com).
With continued thanks for your generosity.Fr

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!  http://morethankyounotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Donation-Thank-You-Card.png

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: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/

REQUIESCAT IN PACE: In your mercy please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Patricia Gardener RIP, who passed away recently. Her Requiem Mass will take place on Wednesday 10th March at 12.15pm. We extend our condolences to her family in this time of great loss. May she rest in peace. 

CAFOD LENTEN FAST DAY COLLECTION: Last Friday 26th February was Cafod Lenten Fast Day. Abdella lives in an extremely remote and mountainous part of Ethiopia. It takes him ten hours a day to collect water. He says his life is being wasted as he has no time for anything else. Please give today to reach vulnerable communities around the world with water and to provide other vital support. Donate online at cafod.org.uk/give or by using one of the envelopes available with this newsletter or as you leave the church. You can also give easily via text. Text LENT to 70460 to donate £10 https://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/cafod_logo_before_after.png

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION: Lent is a Penitential Season – which means that every Catholic should avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We all need to celebrate Christ’s forgiveness, Confession and Penance. This has always been a spiritual custom during the Special Holy Seasons of the Year. Not one of us is perfect, and our faults and failings can mount up over a period of time. The Sacrament affords us the opportunity to be released from the burden of sin, to be free or those things which create barriers between ourselves and Almighty God. I will be hearing Confessions throughout the weeks of Lent on various different days, please try to prepare for Easter by celebrating the Sacrament. Thank you!https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.TEWrufmxjCV_nHW1mR-bFgHaMu&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

DIARY 2021 

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn,  Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Pamela Houghton, Noel Johnson, 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: Thomas Mitchley RIP, and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: 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! 
RCIA | Holy Spirit Parish

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: Our RCIA programme continues Thursday 4th March 2021 at 8.00pm which will be a Zoom meeting. Theme: SACRAMENTALS – Devotions, Benediction, The Rosary, Stations of the Cross, The Saints. Please pray for our Catechumen Stephen Bullock who is preparing to receive the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation & the Holy Eucharist.
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SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 4 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. 

MASS INTENTIONS – FEBRUARY / MARCH 2021

Sat 27th    10.00amNancy Langan (Get Well) (Bridget Kinsella) 
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm 
Sat 27th                    6.00pmMary Walstow RIP (Tina & David Hattrell)
Sun 28th       9.00amInauguration of President Joe Biden. (John & Sue Campbell)
Sun 28th                                                       11:00am5.00pmStella Peace RIP (John Gormley & Family)Stations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Hour.
Mon 1stMarch  10.00amMary Walstow RIP (Anne & John Knott)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Tues 2nd                                                                               10.00amDermot McCabe RIP (R & I Johnson)
Wed 3rd                        10.00amInt’s of Frank Westcott (Remy)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Thurs 4th 10.00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
Fri 5th                   10.00am10.30am Mary Walstow RIP (Irene Olivelle)Holy Hour with Stations of the Cross & Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Sat 6th                                                        10.00amTony Rattigan RIP (Maureen Rattigan)Confessions after Mass
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 6th                                    6.00pmMichael Carrig RIP
Sun 7th          9.00amMary Walstow RIP (Esther Penn)
Sun 7th                                                                           11:00am5.00pmEllen Manley RIP (M Ryan)Stations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Hour.

2nd Sunday of Lent

First Reading : Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18

God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he called. ‘Here I am’ he replied. ‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.’

  When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.

  But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he said. ‘I am here’ he replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.’ Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son.

  The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self – it is the Lord who speaks – because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.’

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 115(116):10,15-19

I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

I trusted, even when I said:

  ‘I am sorely afflicted,’

O precious in the eyes of the Lord

  is the death of his faithful.

I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;

  you have loosened my bonds.

A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;

  I will call on the Lord’s name.

I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil

  before all his people,

in the courts of the house of the Lord,

      in your midst, O Jerusalem.

    I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

Second Reading : Romans 8:31-34

With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.

Gospel : Mark 9:2-10

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.

  As they came down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.

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