St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
To truly grasp the Good News we have to understand the ‘bad news’: the Fall of Man or Original Sin. We can lose sight of this profound truth, which eloquently explains the darkness and evil in the human condition. For Jesus, the problem is the human heart. He shines his spotlight onto it, and what is revealed is not pretty. It can be sobering and rather disturbing to be confronted with the state of our own hearts.
The Lord is forthright and direct about the dark forces at work in the human heart. He says that inside the human person are the following dark drives and impulses: ‘evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, greed, malice, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.’ Do you recognise yourself? Does this describe your heart? Or do you find this diagnosis (so to speak) too depressing or overly negative? While without doubt the human heart, created in the image and likeness of God, is capable of great nobility, dignity and heroism, nevertheless there lurks deep within us another side to our characters and personalities. We do not shout about it, we don’t like it, and only those open to the convicting work of the Spirit can see it clearly, but the truth is that we have a ‘dark side’.
Socrates taught us, to ‘know thyself’. The Holy Spirit teaches us, too, to know ourselves because it is only the Holy Spirit who can show us sin but also show us the remedy – repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. The Spirit, too, gives us wisdom to understand.
ST JOHN FISHER SCHOOL: On behalf of the whole parish we welcome all of our children back to school this coming week on Thursday. I trust you’ve all had a good summer break and are well rested. A very special welcome to Mr Ian Kendal, one of our own parishioners, who will be acting Interim Headteacher until a new Headteacher is appointed. I truly appreciate Ian stepping in to help us during this interim period, as he is also the Head of the Harlow Academy Trust. Also we welcome Mrs Sarah Dodd who is our newly appointed Deputy Head teacher. Let us ask God’s blessing on this new academic year that it may be fruitful and filled with many graces.
Dear Friends in Christ, 22nd Sunday of the Year
This is the last public holiday weekend before Christmas. And as we rapidly approach the end of the summer holidays, and the children prepare to return to school, let us reflect on the past 8 months. At the beginning of the year we saw an incredible spike in Coronavirus cases with the Delta variant; many people were sick and also many lost their lives to this terrible disease, some from our own parish. With the advent of the vaccine we have seen approximately 90% of the population taking the opportunity of having the jab, and nearly 75% who have had both jabs. We’re not only protecting ourselves, but also protecting each other.
It would be true to say that since March 2020 our Catholic lives have been completely disrupted. We were closed on two separate occasions for a period of nearly 5 months. Personally it was very hard on a daily basis walking into an empty church and only being allowed to live-stream, but at the same time, I was so glad that you were able to access the livestreaming and have contact with the church. As more and more people have been jabbed, I have seen a slow and gradual return by many to weekly mass, this is very heartening. Sadly, the reality is that some will not return to the practice of the faith, I pray about this on a daily basis; but we all have free will, and many have found that they can manage without being practicing Catholics.
In conscience, if we are true to ourselves and to God, we know what’s asked of us is very little; to give one hour a week to express our thanks to God for everything that he gives to us is not much to ask – Our health & happiness, our families, our homes, food on the table, our employment, friendship; the list can go on and on. Life is not a dress rehearsal, every day it’s the real thing; and as we only pass this way but once, it would be a great shame if there were missed opportunities in the life of faith. Reflecting on what Jesus did for us, the least we can do for him is to give him one hour a week! The Lord is always calling us home!
PARISH WEEKLY OFFERTORY: Could I encourage our parishioners to seriously think about your weekly offertory and going on to a direct debit scheme? Please remember to quote your Gift Aid number when you set up the direct debit. My thanks to all those who have already done this! You can also give online, details on the opposite page. Our weekly offertory has taken a dramatic hit over the past 18 months. Thank you to all parishioners who give so generously each week to keep the parish afloat.
May God Bless you All,
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. I am hoping to begin our programme in September, following a systematic instruction in all aspects of Catholicism. It would be wonderful to have a few people on the programme. Could you spread the word about please! If you want to know more about the programme please contact Fr. John at the Presbytery for more detials on Tel No: 020 8508 3492. Start Date for Programme: Thursday 9th September 2021.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME: The programme will commence with a Parents’ Information Evening on Wednesday 15th September at 7.30pm in the Parish Hall. The children’s programme will commence on Sunday 19th September at 10.00, and the children will be formally presented as candidates of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist at the 11.00am Mass. Please put these dates in your diary. Thank you!
ALTAR SOCIETY: Grand Church Clean next Saturday 11th September at 9.30am PLEASE COME AND HELP US FOR AN HOUR OR SO!
Please can we appeal to all parishioners for help to keep our church clean. During lockdown we have only asked a few a few deep cleans but now things will be changing, we desperately need your help to keep a weekly rota going. Cleaning is split between the altar, sanctuary, main church, front porch/library, choir loft brass ware and candle racks. The duties include dusting, sweeping, mopping, polishing, window/door cleaning, hoovering, linens and polishing. You can do as much or as little as you are able to do (1 hour at the most, per month) and all parishioners are invited to help, regardless of age or gender. To register your interest please contacts Sharon Fitzmaurice on 07854919207 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MASS INTENTIONS: There are plenty of openings for Mass Intentions in the parish diary. If you would like a mass celebrated for a special intention; deceased family members; birthdays etc. Please complete Mass Intention envelope and return to the Presbytery as soon as possible please! Fr John will always try to accommodate the date you’ve requested. Thank you!
EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank. They 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: tinned soup, tinned spaghetti, tinned tomatoes, savoury crackers, sponge puddings, chocolate bars, small and medium bags of rice, snack bars and razors. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/
BAPTISMS: It is now permissible once again to have Baptisms with larger groups of family & guests. Manifestly, there are many people who haven’t been able to have baptisms over the past 18 months. Kindly contact Fr. John to arrange your child’s baptism as soon as possible please. There is a Baptism Programme for first time parents.
PROSPECTIVE MARRIAGES FOR 2022/23: If anyone is planning on getting married wihin the next 18 months, could you kindly make contact with the Church. As the Pandemic has delayed many marriages over the past 16 months, there is now a catch-up taking place, and many people have had to rescedule their weddings and receptions accordingly. For marriages abroad, we need at least nine months notice, as all the documentation has to be completed at least two months in advance of the wedding and sent abroad. There is also an Engaged Couple’s Marriage Prepraration Programme to complete; which is a requirement for Catholic Marriage. For those couples getting married in your own parish church, a six month notification is needed. There is now a new format for the Civil Registration of Marriage. There is no more signing of registers, this is now abrogated for a simpler form of signatures; but all of these procedures take time. So please notify the church in plenty of time for weddings. Thank you!
DIARY AUGUST 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, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones.
ANNIVERSARIES: For all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.
MASS INTENTIONS: It has always been a custom within the Roman Catholic Faith to have an Intention offered when celebrating Holy Mass. Intentions can be for all occasions: e.g. For a deceased member of a family; deceased anniversary mass; Birthday intention; Special Occasions; Get Well Mass; Success in exams; Special milestone anniversaries, Wedding, Ordination, Confirmation. In fact, you can offer a Mass for almost every occasion! There are Mass Intention envelopes and Special Mass Cards for all occasions in the Repository at the back of the Church. (Please complete Mass envelope and enclose your Mass Offering and drop off at the Presbytery); I will always try to accommodate the date you have requested, or the nearest date to it. It’s always beautiful to receive a Mass card from someone!
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
FR JOHN CAN HELP YOU, AS THIS WAS HIS AREA OF SPECIALITY WHEN STUDYING CANON LAW
MASS INTENTIONS – AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2021
|Sat 28th||10.00am||COMMUNION SERVICE|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 28th||6.00pm||Nicanor Rey Zulueta RIP (Melinda Staines)|
|Sun 29th||9.00am||Anne-Marie & Ian Kendal 25th Wedding Anniversary|
|Sun 29th||11:00am||People of the Parish|
Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
|Tues 31st||10.00am||COMMUNION SERVICE|
|Wed 1stSeptember||10.00am||COMMUNION SERVICE|
Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
|Fri 3rd||10.00am |
Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
|Sat 4th||10.00am||Frank Westcott’s Int’s (Pat & Margaret)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm|
|Sat 4th||6.00pm||Maria Julia Torrielli de Montoya RIP (Tina & David Hattrell)|
|Sun 5th||9.00am||Anne-Marie & Ian Kendal 25th Wedding Anniversary (Steve & Teresa Wallace)|
|Sun 5th||11:00am||Tom O’Donovan RIP (Moira & Brian Carter)|
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.