St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
Fifth Sunday of Easter 2021
Dear Friends in Christ
Jesus’ “I am” statements are revelation, his self-description and his explanation of what that means for us. They are therefore an ongoing invitation to relationship with him.
Today’s readings invite us into a deeper understanding of Christ and of ourselves as disciples. We can contemplate the image of the vine — like that of the shepherd, bread of life, etc. — as God’s rationale for creation and the Incarnation. Each of the statements describes how God reaches out to creation in love. Each statement also invites us to respond — to be the branches, God’s flock who seek the light, eat the bread, and know from whence comes our life.
The Gospel reminds us that we must continually choose who we truly want to be. God always offers us the option of being fruitful branches, receiving and giving divine life. We are called to choose our real identity just as really and radically as Saul chose to become an apostle. We are invited to be true, continuously growing in love. It’s not about semantics
MAY – THE MONTH OF OUR BLESSED LADY: It is a centuries-old custom of Catholics to dedicate the month of May to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The month of May is always part of the Easter season, the fifty days we celebrate in the liturgy the Resurrection of Our Lord, a time also of awaiting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The celebration of May as a Marian month fits well with the liturgical celebrations of Easter and Pentecost as we recall Mary’s great joy in her Son’s victory over death as well as her presence with the apostles in the upper room prayerfully awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Pope Francis has advocated that the Month of May should be dedicated to the praying of the rosary each day for an ending to the Universal Pandemic. A decade of the Rosary will be prayed at the end of each weekday Mass.
Dear Friends in Christ,
In the UK, the latest news on the Corona Virus front is looking extrmely optimistic. Well over half the population have received a vaccine, and nearly 15 million people have received their second vaccine. The hosptital admissions and death rates have dropped dramatically, and now many regions are reporting the lowest case rates in a year. People are feeling a lot more confident. People now in their early forties are encoruaged to receive the vaccine.
As you know the Church has been open since last July; many parishioners have been present throughout the whole of this period, but many did not feel secure enough to leave their homes or attend church. I know a high percentage of you have received your vaccines and are venturing outside. I would like to encourage all of our parishioners to seriously think about returning to the fulltime practice of faith. Many have not been present in over a year; but with Gyms & shops and many facilities opening, and our children having returned to School full time now, I think it is equally as safe to attend Holy Mass for half an hour each week. Our Governmental & Diocesan guidelines have proved extremely effective in our Church. All of the protective measures we have implemented have most certinaly kept parishioners safe over the past 8 months. We have had no cases reported at all! Obviously Health & Safety is always at the top of list of priorities. I want to thank the whole Parish Community for your support, and also encouragement. I have tried my best to offer you every opportunity for Holy Mass & all Services. Now it’s up to you! Obviously, we appear to be more fortunate than many of the European Countries with regards the vaccine and sadly the situation in India has been heartbreaking over the past week. Please keep them in your prayers.
POSTPONEMENT OF JUBILEE: As stated last weekend, I have decided to postopone my 40th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations until a later date. With ultimate restrictions not being lifted until the latter part of June, it really doesn’t give enough time to send out invitations, and also for many friends who wanted to come from abroad to attend. I will celebrate Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday 11th July at 11am with my Parish Family.
May God Bless You All,
CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME: Our next session in the Programme will take place on Wednesday 5th May at 7.30pm My Thanks to our Director and Catechists for all the hard work that has been achieved throughout this programme. As our Bishop is not able to attend the Confirmation ceremonies, delegation has been given to Fr. John to celebrate the Sacrament as the extra-ordinary Minister. In preparation for the Sacrament a Penitential Service will take place at the Church on Wednesday 2nd June, also a brief rehearsal for the celebration. The Confirmation dates are as follows: Wednesday 9th June: Groups 4,5,6. Thursday 10th June: Groups 1,2,3. Please pray for our Confirmandi.
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
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about the Roman Catholic Faith possibly with the view of receiving the Easter Sacraments in 2022, please contact Fr. John at the Presbytery on Tel No: 020 8508 3492. The programme usually commences in September. If would be wonderful to have a number of enquirers. We follow a systematic programme of instruction, covering all aspects of Catholicism. Please spread the word about this programme. Thank you!
MESSAGE FROM KATHLEEN: “I would like to thank you Fr John and everyone for your kind prayers and thoughtfulness during the whole year that I suffered two major operations – one radical cancer surgery, followed by 6 cycles of chemo. Covid of course added to the stress. However I’m certain that the intercession with Our Lord & Our Lady were vital to my survival and for my coming through that stressful and worrying time. Many thanks for the comfort you gave me during that time. I am in remission now – thanks to the Lord. And I’m now returning to attending weekly Mass and look forward to seeing you all again. With grateful thanks.” Kathleen Pampellonne.
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 to make ends meet. Here are the 40 items being requested: Laundry tablets, anti-bacterial spray, washing-up liquid, UHT milk, long-life fruit juice, squash, instant coffee, tinned ham, corned beef, vegetarian tinned meal, microwave rice, instant noodles, packet mashed potato, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, tinned sweet corn, custard, sponge pudding, rice pudding, chocolate bars, tinned spaghetti, cous-cous sachet, packet soup, hot chocolate powder, peanut butter, chocolate spread, jam, breakfast bars, cereal bars, biscuits, halal tinned meat, hand sanitiser, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face masks, strong carrier bags. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/
WEEKLY OFFERTORY ENVELOPES: There are still a large number of Gift Aid envelopes which have not been collected by those who belong to the scheme. The table will be outside the Church again this weekend for collection, and then placed in Fr. John’s garage throughout the week. As stated, the HSBC bank will be closing on 13th August, it would be good for as many parishioerns as possible to go over to the direct giving through your bank. If you wish to join the Gift Aid Scheme, please see Fr. John or Maria Mosquera. Thank you for your ongoing support to the Parish.
DIARY APRIL 2021
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH
Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, 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: Brian & Paul Street 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!
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. Obviously until restrictions are lifted all of the above applies for the foreseeable future.
MASS INTENTIONS – MAY 2021
|Sat 1st May||10.00am||Brian Perring RIP (anni) ((Eden Burn)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 1st||6.00pm||Brian & Paul Street RIP (Barbara Street)|
|Sun 2nd Sun 2nd||9.00am10.00am||People of the ParishMichael & Breege Kerrane RIP (Mary)|
|Sun 2nd||11:00am||Muriel & Bernard Gilley RIP (Eileen Ward)|
|Mon 3rd||10.00am10.30am||Rafael Samson Patas RIP (Melinda Staines)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament|
|Tues 4th||10.00am||Simon Eustace RIP (Una Machnicki)|
|Wed 5th||8.30am10.30am||Remy Birthday Int’s (Pat Margaret)Holy Hour of prayer|
|Thurs 6th||8.30am||Jim Gates RIP (Teresa Miller)|
|Fri 7th||8.00am 10.30am||Int’s of Mary O’Donoghue (G O’Donoghue)Holy Hour of Prayer|
|Sat 8th||10.00am||Letitia Fletcher RIP (Margaret Duffy)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm|
|Sat 8th||6.00pm||Tess Bowles RIP (Fr John )|
|Sun 9th Sun 9th||9.00am10.00am||Scott Sarson RIP (M Duffy & n Ironside)People of the Parish|
|Sun 9th||11:00am||Pam Houghton RIP (Maria Fray)|
Please kindly be patient with your mass requests. I will try to accommodate your requested dates, but there have been a large number of requests recently and we celebrate masses in the order in which we receive them.
5th Sunday of Easter
First Reading : Acts 9:26-31
When Saul got to Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him: they could not believe he was really a disciple. Barnabas, however, took charge of him, introduced him to the apostles, and explained how the Lord had appeared to Saul and spoken to him on his journey, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. Saul now started to go round with them in Jerusalem, preaching fearlessly in the name of the Lord. But after he had spoken to the Hellenists, and argued with them, they became determined to kill him. When the brothers knew, they took him to Caesarea, and sent him off from there to Tarsus.
The churches throughout Judaea, Galilee and Samaria were now left in peace, building themselves up, living in the fear of the Lord, and filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 21(22):26-28,30-32
You, Lord, are my praise in the great assembly.
My vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and shall have their fill.
They shall praise the Lord, those who seek him.
May their hearts live for ever and ever!
You, Lord, are my praise in the great assembly.
All the earth shall remember and return to the Lord,
all families of the nations worship before him;
They shall worship him, all the mighty of the earth;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust.
You, Lord, are my praise in the great assembly.
And my soul shall live for him, my children serve him.
They shall tell of the Lord to generations yet to come,
declare his faithfulness to peoples yet unborn:
‘These things the Lord has done.’
You, Lord, are my praise in the great assembly.
Second Reading : 1 John 3:18-24
our love is not to be just words or mere talk,
but something real and active;
only by this can we be certain
that we are children of the truth
and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,
whatever accusations it may raise against us,
because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.
My dear people,
if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience,
we need not be afraid in God’s presence,
and whatever we ask him,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.
Gospel : John 15:1-8
Jesus said to his disciples:‘I am the true vine,
and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that bears no fruit
he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit
he prunes to make it bear even more.
You are pruned already,
by means of the word that I have spoken to you.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
but must remain part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers;
these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,
and they are burnt.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,
and then you will be my disciples.’