St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
Dear Friends in Christ 13th Sunday of the Year
The Covid-19 global Pandemic has taught us many things but the one thing that surely stands out is that human life is fragile and short, and we must cherish and treasure it. This is as true today as it was in the first century. We can buy many things, but we can’t buy our health, and none of us truly knows what each day may bring. Someone we love may be perfectly healthy one day and the next be struck down with a life-changing diagnosis or be the victim of an accident, etc. To be sure, human life is subject to vagaries and hardships. This isn’t to make us depressed of afraid – it is simply and sobering and salutary fact of life.
The very real life situations that Jesus encountered in his daily ministry show us the power of his healing touch related, often to the faith of the individual. We can still know the healing touch of Christ today, through the sacrament of anointing, in which the healing power of Jesus is made present. Jesus encourages us not to be afraid but to be bold and to believe.
SOLEMNITY OF SS PETER & PAUL: Is a Holy Day of Obligation, and will be celebrated on Tuesday 29th June. Peter the Apostle chosen by Jesus to be the rock, on which he would establish the church. The leader of the Apostles, the first Pope, who would eventually give his life for the Lord. Paul, the fearless preacher; turns from being the persecutor of Christians to the Lord’s great preacher and evangeliser of the Gentiles; also giving his life for the Lord in the City of Rome. With the Universal Church today we proclaim these two great giants of our faith. There will be three masses today: 10.00am, 12.15pm & 8.00pm. Please make every effort to join us for Mass. ONGOING COVID PANDEMIC UPDATE: Sadly, we have seen a real increase of Covid cases over the past week. The new Delta variant has really begun to spread exponentially. It appears that the only saving factor is the vaccine, which is certainly helping to reduce hospital admissions. The high percentages of those being admitted to hospital are those who haven’t, as yet, received the vaccine. With the extension of restrictions until the 19th July, we are still technically limited to things we can do. In church, Health & Safety will always be the main concern for the protection of all of our parishioners. We will maintain our social distancing, hand sanitisation, face coverings, track & trace, one way system in the church, complete sanitisation of the church after every service. The Church has been really safe, and we now have been open for the past year. I appeal to all parishioners, especially if you have had the vaccine, to kindly return to the weekly practice of your faith. Life cannot be put on hold forever!
VICARIATE FOR ADULT FORMATION: Have produced a leaflet entitled ‘The Journey Home’ – Returning to Sunday Mass and the Practice of our Faith. Sunday is the Day of the Lord. It is on this day that we meet the Risen Christ and we are formed into a community o faith, hope and love by the power of His Holy Spirit. All of us have an opportunity to reflect honestly on the practice of our faith and to teake the decision to make the journey home to the Celebration of Sunday Mass. The welcome will be assured and warm because it there that Christ waits for us and invites us into his life. For more information about Sunday Mass, please got to the Parish Website for up to date information or contact your Parish Priest. Please visit the new Thresholds of Hope website at: http://www.thresholdsofhope.co.uk
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2021/2022: I have now completed the interviews with parents. I would like to thank all the parents that I was able to see this week regarding you children’s forthcoming First Holy Communion Programme. It was really nice to be able to meet up with you, and discuss the programme the children, hopefully, will begin in September. As you know, in light of the Covid Pandemic, we had to cancel this year’s programme; therefore there will be two years of children, Years 3 & 4. There should be about 30 children on the programme. Please keep the children and their families in your prayers.
May God Bless Your Week,
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. It would be wonderful to have a number of enquirers. We follow a systematic programme of instruction, covering all aspects of Catholicism, Doctrine, Scripture, Liturgy, Mariology, Catholic practices. Please spread the word about this programme. Thank you!
POSTPONEMENT OF JUBILEE: It is wiith great sadness that I have had to make the decision to postpone my 40th Anniversary of Ordination. Originally, I was inviting family friends, and loved ones, and from all over the world, to celebrate with us here in the parish. Unfortunately, with the extension of the lockdown, and the increase of the Delta variant, it’s almost impossible to do anything at present. Had the restrictions lifted on 21st June I was hoping we could have got together after Mass in the Car Park for a drink and a piece of cake; we can’t even do that now! I will celebrate a Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday 11th July at 11am with only my Parish Family, this will be live streamed. Msgr Kevin Hale our Vicar Genral, and one of my oldest friends, will preach at the Mass.
PARISH REPOSITORY: There are a large number of gifts and cards available in the Repository. There are rosaries, statues, medals, candles, special cards, prayer crosses, Anniversary Cards for all occasions, and many other items that would be suitable gifts for all occasions. Please leave your money in the basket provided. Thanks
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/
IRREGULAR MARRIAGES: An irregualr marriage is one tht has taken place outside of the Catholic Church without dispensation. For example: Marriages in hotels, and secualr venues, on beaches or Las Vegas; marriage in a non Catholic Church without dispensation from the Bishop. These marriages are not recognised by the Catholic Church, and therefore are non sacramental & irregular. But there is a facility in the Church to recetify these situations called a Convalidation (this is a strictly private facility that is offered by the church). As marriage and family life is what I specialised in while studying Canon Law, if anyone wishes to speak to me confidentially please don’t hesitate to contact me: Tel No: 0208 508 3492
RETURNING TO THE WEEKLY PRACTICE OF THE FAITH: With so amny people having received their Vaccination against Covid, it would be wonderful to see many more return to the weekly practice of the faith. To be without the Sacrametns for usch a long period of time is unprecedented. It’s true that many people have just got out of the habit of going to Church, and live-streaming is not a subsititute for being together with the worhsipping community. Our Church’s opened last July 4th, and many parishioners have returned. To get back into the routine of regular practice is up to the individual, but if you have children, it is so important that this routine recommence once again. Children are guided by their parents, and if chidlren witness that this is not important to you, it will, sadly, not be important to them. There are so many challenges and threats to our lives of faith, on so many fronts these days, please don’t let Covid be another of them!
DIARY JUNE 2021
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH
Carmen Antaki, 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, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Kathleen Pomeroy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Collette Wenborn, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones.
ANNIVERSARIES: Kazimierz Michalik RIP, Tom Smith RIP, and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.
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 16 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. 30 people are allowed to be present at a wedding. Baptisms: you are now allowed up to 30 persons at a Baptism; not too sure what the restrictions are for social event after though! These are really difficult times, and many couples were disappointed last year not being able to celebrate their marriages. We are hoping with the distribution 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.
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading : Wisdom 1:13-15,2:23-24
Death was not God’s doing,
he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living.
To be – for this he created all;
the world’s created things have health in them,
in them no fatal poison can be found,
and Hades holds no power on earth;
for virtue is undying.
Yet God did make man imperishable,
he made him in the image of his own nature;
it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world,
as those who are his partners will discover.
Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 29(30):2,4-6,11-13
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me
and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead,
restored me to life from those who sink into the grave.
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.
Sing psalms to the Lord, you who love him,
give thanks to his holy name.
His anger lasts a moment; his favour all through life.
At night there are tears, but joy comes with dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.
The Lord listened and had pity.
The Lord came to my help.
For me you have changed my mourning into dancing:
O Lord my God, I will thank you for ever.
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.
Second Reading : 2 Corinthians 8:7,9,13-15
You always have the most of everything – of faith, of eloquence, of understanding, of keenness for any cause, and the biggest share of our affection – so we expect you to put the most into this work of mercy too. Remember how generous the Lord Jesus was: he was rich, but he became poor for your sake, to make you rich out of his poverty. This does not mean that to give relief to others you ought to make things difficult for yourselves: it is a question of balancing what happens to be your surplus now against their present need, and one day they may have something to spare that will supply your own need. That is how we strike a balance: as scripture says: The man who gathered much had none too much, the man who gathered little did not go short.
Gospel : Mark 5:21-43
When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and he stayed by the lakeside. Then one of the synagogue officials came up, Jairus by name, and seeing him, fell at his feet and pleaded with him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her to make her better and save her life.’ Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him; they were pressing all round him.
Now there was a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years; after long and painful treatment under various doctors, she spent all she had without being any the better for it, in fact, she was getting worse. She had heard about Jesus, and she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his cloak. ‘If I can touch even his clothes,’ she had told herself ‘I shall be well again.’ And the source of the bleeding dried up instantly, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint. Immediately aware that power had gone out from him, Jesus turned round in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ His disciples said to him, ‘You see how the crowd is pressing round you and yet you say, “Who touched me?”’ But he continued to look all round to see who had done it. Then the woman came forward, frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her, and she fell at his feet and told him the whole truth. ‘My daughter,’ he said ‘your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free from your complaint.’
While he was still speaking some people arrived from the house of the synagogue official to say, ‘Your daughter is dead: why put the Master to any further trouble?’ But Jesus had overheard this remark of theirs and he said to the official, ‘Do not be afraid; only have faith.’ And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. So they came to the official’s house and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child’s father and mother and his own companions, he went into the place where the child lay. And taking the child by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha, kum!’ which means, ‘Little girl, I tell you to get up.’ The little girl got up at once and began to walk about, for she was twelve years old. At this they were overcome with astonishment, and he ordered them strictly not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.
NOTE TO ALL PARISHIONERS – NEW GIFT AID ORGANISER: Due to unforeseen circumstances our Gift Aid Organiser Maria Mosquera has to step down from her role. I am making an appeal to all parishioners for a volunteer to take over the role of Gift Aid Organiser? Maria will be able to help whoever takes over to learn the role and will be available should problems arise. Obviously Computer Skills will help. I’m truly grateful to Maria for assuming this role for the past few years ago. This would be a wonderful way of serving God through the Parish Community – please think about this request, thank you! If you want to speak to me personally please call Tel No: 0208 508 3492 AS YET, NO ONE HAS RESPONDEND. PLEASE THINK SERIOULSY ABOUT THIS TO HELP THE PARISH.