St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
The Solemnity of Pentecost
Dear Friends in Christ
Today is Pentecost Sunday, when we celebrate the brithday of the Church. On thtat day when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Apostles, it empowered them to “Go out into the whole world and proclaim the Good News.” As Jesus had told the apostles at the Last Supper, “the Holy Spirit will lead you to the complete truth.” Now the work would begin; evangelisation would become the mission of the new Church founded on Jesus Christ. A continueal outpouring of that same Holy Spirit is fundamentally at the heart of Catholic Christian life. It’s the Spirit that inspiries, encourages, motivates, gives courage & stregth, and allows the church to coninue and grow throughout the world. The Holy Spirit – the perfect love between the Father & the Son, which is that lifegiving force – is the gift extended to you and me as members of the Catholic Church today. Let us really pray today for a deeper outpouring of that same Spirit that inpired the Apostles at the first Pentecost. Let us remember especially in our prayers on this great Solemnity all those young people in our parish who are preparing for their Confirmation next month, that the Holy Spirit wiill coninute to guide them and inspire them in their Journey of Faith.
Dear Friends in Christ, Pentecost Sunday 2021
This Pentecost Sunday is the sixt anniversary of the Papal Document Laudato Si; the Catholic Bishops of England, Walesd & Scotland are issuing a Pastoral letter about the role that the Catholic Church and our faith must play in our shared care for God’s gift of creation. I have made this letter available on the Parish Website called – ‘The Day of the Lord’.
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’:
offers us an opportunity to reflect on the world around us, and to respond to the signs of the times. We are called to reject the contemporary ‘throwaway’ culture and to open our eyes to see how God is present throughout creation. We bear witness to the reality facing many of our sisters and brothers across the world, who are being pushed deeper into poverty due to the changing climate.
Whilst climate change is critical, it is one symptom of a much deeper problem about how we organise our common home. Pope Francis invites us to a change of heart; individually, as a community, and at an international level, so we may truly respond to “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” #49.
In what the Holy Father calls ‘the Gospel of Creation’, we are encouraged to bring the Good News of our faith to these situations. We are asked to adopt an attitude of profound respect and care towards ourselves, our neighbours and our beautiful sister earth, as an expression of our love for God. Laudato Si’ is a profound invitation to everyone on the planet, and its influence will be felt for many years to come.
Care for the Planet, and care for each other is ultimately the personal responsibility of each one of us. To assume that responsibility, we should be aware of all aspects of life which are destroying the planet. Knowledge of the poor, and the many situations throughout the world where people are starving, is a universal responsibility. Please read the document and reflect on its implications in your own life and the life of your family.
God Bless You All,
CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME: A big thank you to everyone who joined us for the last session of the Confirmation Programme last Thursday. Also grateful thanks to Fr. Stephen Wang, who joined us during the session. As we had followed Fr. Stephen’s Sycamore programme it was wonderful to be able to share with him and get him to answer some of your questions. In preparation for the Sacrament a Penitential Service will take place at the Church on Wednesday 2nd June at 7.00pm. 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. at 7.00pm. Please ensure that you have submitted your Confirmation name and the name of your Sponsor to Mark Anthony. Please pray for our Confirmandi. I would like to see all candidates for Confirmation present at Holy Mass over these next weeks in preparation for the reception of the Sacrament. Sadly, some candidates haven’t been present at all throughout the whole programme. I would ask them to think very seriously about the Sacrament before they receive it! (Due to Covid restrictions and Social Distancing, only the Confirmandi & their Sponsors and parents will be able to be present at the Confirmation Ceremony).
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
PARISH REPOSITORY: We have a large selection of gifts for the Sacrament of Confirmation: Beautiful cards, medals, candles, Confirmation crosses, and various other items that would be suitable gifts for Confirmandi. There are also some beautiful new Mass Cards for all occasions. There are a large number of Cards for young people who are taking exams at this present time. Thank you to Teresa & Steve Wallace for looking after the Repository and keeping it well stocked during the past year of Pandemic. I’m really pleased that so many parishioners have made use of the Repository.
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!
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. The Foodbank have asked for support with the following items: Long-life fruit juice, tinned tomatoes, instant mash, tinned fish, tinned peas, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, small jars of instant coffee, small or medium bags of rice, sponge pudding, snack bars, chocolate bars, chocolate spread and savoury crackers 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 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.
POSTPONEMENT OF JUBILEE: 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 only my Parish Family.
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, 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.
OFFERTORY COLLECTION: I would like to take this public opportunity of thanking every single member of this parish Community for your incredible support of the parish over the past 15 months of Pandemic. With the church remaining open and with online daily live streaming of Holy Mass, even during those four and half months of lockdown; in completing our Financial Returns to the Diocese, you will be delighted to know that we broke even this year. My thanks to Michael Manzi our Accountant, who looks after the Parish Accounts & Maria Mosquera who looks after the Parish Gift Aid Scheme; they have both done a truly wonderful job this year. 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 100 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 22nd||10.00am||Anthony Rattigan RIP (Maureen Rattigan)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 22nd||6.00pm||Tess Bowles RIP (Margaret Spiers)|
|Sun 23rd |
|Maura McDonald RIP (Fitzmaurice & Norgueira)|
People of the Parish
|Sun 23rd||11:00am||Patricia Reid RIP (M Ryan)|
|Malcolm Campbell RIP (Brenda Bryant)|
Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
|Tues 25th||10.00am||Pat Gardner RIP (Veronica & Steve Short)|
|Wed 26th||10.00am||Michael & Breege Kerrane RIP (Mary)|
|Thurs 27th||10.00am |
|Pat Ata’s Int’s (Frank (Westcott)|
Holy Hour with Exposition of the Bl Sacrament
|Fri 28th||10.00am |
|Molly & Stewart Mitchell Int’s (M Duffy)|
Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
|Sat 29th||10.00am||Margaret Duffy’s Int’s (Frank Westcott)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm|
|Sat 29th||6.00pm||Michael McCarthy RIP (Una Machnicki)|
|Sun 30th |
|Robin Bennett RIP (John & Sue Campbell)|
Eufemia Coronel RIP (Bacuetes Family)
|Sun 30th||11:00am||Michael Green RIP (Arthur & Jenny)|
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.
First Reading : Acts 2:1-11
When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.
Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.’
Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 103(104):1,24,29-31,34
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord God, how great you are,
How many are your works, O Lord!
The earth is full of your riches.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
You take back your spirit, they die,
returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the earth.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord last for ever!
May the Lord rejoice in his works!
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I find my joy in the Lord.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
Second Reading : Galatians 5:16-25
If you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions. If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you. When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious: fornication, gross indecency and sexual irresponsibility; idolatry and sorcery; feuds and wrangling, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels; disagreements, factions, envy; drunkenness, orgies and similar things. I warn you now, as I warned you before: those who behave like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. There can be no law against things like that, of course. You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires. Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.
Gospel : John 15:26-27,16:12-15
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness. And you too will be witnesses,because you have been with me from the outset. ‘I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now. But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come. He will glorify me,since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine. Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said: All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.’ TH GOSPEL OF THE LORD
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES Pastoral Letter for Pentecost 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Solemnity of Pentecost reminds us that everything which exists, every person and the whole of creation, is a gift of “God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.” God our loving Father creates and continues to give life to the world through His Word, Jesus Christ, in the power of His Holy Spirit. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church, which we celebrate at Pentecost, is not something separate from Creation. God’s revelation of himself in Creation is inseparable from the revelation of his love for us in Christ and in his desire to live in us through his Holy Spirit.
‘God’s Spirit is always and everywhere “the Lord, the Giver of Life”, and the voice of Pentecost is echoed in the voice of creation being transformed into the glorious liberty of God’s children.’ In this liberty, as God’s children, we call on the Spirit to ‘renew the face of the Earth’, and as his children, we are called, in turn, to use this liberty for the good of creation and for the good of all that brings life. Our world, God’s creation, is a precious gift to us. It is our common home entrusted to each generation. But how have we used that glorious liberty? How do we honour this precious gift? Are we really demonstrating love, care and respect for our common home?
As we celebrate Pentecost this year, we are acutely aware of the damage that continues to be inflicted on the Earth, and the repercussions for the well-being of our brothers and sisters, both here in our own countries and, more especially, in the poorest countries of our world. Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have both taught us that everything is interconnected and interdependent. The way we live our everyday lives has an impact on everyone and on the earth. The urgency of the situation, and the enormity of the challenges we face, have spurred us to speak out together this Pentecost Sunday, as bishops of England, Wales and Scotland, about the role that the Catholic Church and our faith must play in our shared care for God’s gift to us.
For all too long we have either been ignorant of, or ignored, the systematic exploitation of our planet and the unsustainable consumption of its resources. While accepting the crucial need and demand for energy for the benefit of the poorest of our brothers and sisters, the provision of our energy must, nonetheless, be by means which radically reduce the use of carbon-based fuels. In our political thinking, there must be a new global understanding of our world, where nations recognise our common responsibility for the dignity of all people and their rights to sustainable livelihoods, in authentic freedom. Pope Francis speaks of a global politics that looks beyond our own needs to the needs of all, most especially the poor and the marginalised.
But we cannot leave the healing of our common home and the wellbeing and care of our brothers and sisters merely to a response from industry and governments. Our own local concern and action is necessary and has far-reaching consequences. We all have a part to play, each and every one of us, in the routines, choices and decisions of our everyday lives and our aspirations for the future. The actions of parishes, families, schools, and individuals will have a significant impact on our efforts to restore our common home. There are now many resources, freely available, to advise us on our choice of food, saving of water and electricity, suggestions about travel, waste, and re-use. These are measures that everyone can employ, in some degree, with minimal inconvenience and change. They are effective ways in which we can each reaffirm our personal vocation to be stewards of creation.
This Pentecost comes at a time of remarkable challenge and opportunity. We are gradually emerging from the tragedies and restrictions of the pandemic. We have the ability to make changes. Our countries are also hosting two most important meetings this year, the G7 in June and COP26 in November. These meetings will gather together men and women who have the power to make defining choices and policies which will help us build back better, provide for our brothers and sisters, and take care of our common home.
In all our human endeavours, we need the presence of the Holy Spirit, “the Lord, the Giver of Life”, whose gift to the Church and the world we celebrate again at Pentecost. Let us keep this Feast with that enduring hope that we can begin to repair the damage we have done and provide a healthy home for future generations. Our hope will be strengthened by our prayer. May our constant request be that the Holy Spirit guide us, strengthen our resolve and ‘renew the face of the earth’.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES
Reflection by the Bishops of England and Wales
The Day of Lord
Gathering as Bishops in Conference this week, we wish to pay tribute to all in the Catholic community who have shown such courage, generosity and understanding in the face of adversity this past year. Across England and Wales, families and parish communities have risen to the challenge of sustaining one another through times of great isolation, loneliness and grief in an impressive variety of ways, spiritual, emotional and practical. We thank all who have worked tirelessly in prisons, in hospitals, care-homes and across the medical profession for giving of themselves so generously. We thank all who have worked valiantly in our schools, facing unforeseen demands and meeting them with characteristic professionalism and dedication.
We wish also to pay tribute to those who have given of their time and energy to keep open our churches as havens of peace and prayer. Churches up and down the land have realised the vision of Pope Francis that they be like village-wells where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey; and centres of “constant missionary outreach.” We thank all who have developed diverse new patterns of outreach – of prayer, catechesis, study and spiritual solidarity; all who have made participation in the Mass possible through the internet.
Also prominent in this tribute should be thanks to all who have contributed to the immense effort of providing food for those most in need. The generosity shown in the distribution of so very many meals has given eloquent expression to the mercy, love and compassion which are at the very heart of God. Many have been touched by the joy of meeting Christ in the poor; and many of the poor by the joy of meeting Christ in selfless parishioners. The provision of food is often the first step into a deeper relationship of help and accompaniment, including the sharing of the gift of faith in our Blessed Lord.
‘Vibrant’ is a word which seems to have characterised so many of our parishes throughout the pandemic. We wish to salute our priests in particular for the leadership they have shown in this time of crisis. We thank them for their deep devotion to both the liturgy and to their parishioners. We commend every priest who made of his parish “a ‘sanctuary’ open to all” and with a particular care for the poor; and the many Deacons who have exercised with such generosity their mission of charity.
What will be the pace of our emerging from this pandemic remains as yet unclear. What is clear is the challenge we face of bringing our communities and the practice of the faith to a still greater expression and strength. As your bishops, we are aware of a threefold pattern to this challenge.
- There are the fearful and weary, anxious about coming into the enclosed spaces of our churches; those who have simply lost the habit of coming to church. Personal contact, clear reassurance, and sensitive invitations will all be needed.
b) There are those who will have reassessed their pattern of life and priorities. The practice of faith within the community of the Catholic Church may not be among those priorities. A gap may have opened up, or widened, between the spiritual dimension of their lives and any communal expression of that spiritual quest. They represent a particular focus and concern for our outreach.
- There are those whom we might describe as the ‘Covid curious’, those who have come into contact with the Catholic Church through our presence on the internet – a contact we may be able to develop through our continuing presence across diverse media platforms.
In facing these challenges, we are endowed with veritable treasures which serve to resource and enrich us. Among them are our schools, in which so many are regaining confidence to come together with others. We believe our schools can indeed be bridges back to church. There is also the remarkable work of social outreach which has grown exponentially during these long months of pandemic. On this, too, we must build. But the greatest treasure is, of course, the sacramental life of the Church, and, pre-eminently, the Eucharist.
It is the Eucharist, the celebration of the Mass, that makes the Church; and it is the Church, in the gift of the Holy Spirit, which makes the Eucharist. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the lifeblood of the Church. It requires our active participation and, to be fully celebrated, our physical presence.
At this moment, then, we need to have in our sights the need to restore to its rightful centrality in our lives the Sunday Mass, encouraging each to take his or her place once again in the assembly of our brothers and sisters. We face the task of seeking to nurture the sense of Sunday as “a weekly gift from God to his people” , and something we cannot do without; to see Sunday as the soul of the week, as giving light and meaning to all the responsibilities we live out each day; to see the Sunday Eucharist as food for the unique mission with which we have been endowed.
In the time to come we can do no better than to rekindle in our hearts, foster and encourage, a yearning for the Real Presence of the Lord and the practice of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, a gift so deeply appreciated in these times of lockdown. We need to begin by fostering this in ourselves. For the Eucharist should be the cause of our deepest joy, our highest manner of offering thanks to God and for seeking his mercy and love. We need to make it the foundation stone of our lives.
The invitation to Sunday Mass resonates all the more deeply when we consider, as Pope St John Paul II reminds us in the Encyclical Letter Dies Domini, that the Sabbath rest is nothing if not a call to remember the gift of God’s Creation. The Eucharist is indeed a celebration of the created world, called into life by the Eternal Word, for the bread and wine of the earth becomes the Body and Blood of Christ who is that same Lord of all life. The Christ to whom we come so close in the Eucharist must be the foundation of our strivings, not least in the urgent task we face of caring for creation and our environment.
Pope St John Paul II spoke of our amazement at the gift of the Mass and the abiding Presence of our Blessed Lord in the Sacrament of the Altar. Herein lies our treasure, enriching our relationship with Jesus and bringing together every aspect of our life and mission. This is such an important focus for our task in the coming months. 22nd April 2021 FINAL