Twenty-Third Sunday of the Year, 2021

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

St Mark records: ‘looking up to heaven, Jesus sighed, and said to him, ‘Ephatha’ that is, ‘Be opened’. What did Jesus mean at that sigh? Did it express a sense of relief or of frustration or even exasperation and despair?  Click to see printable version of Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind Coloring page

We know for sure that Jesus was often astounded by people’s lack of faith. Strikingly, the man in today’s miracle was healed despite not expressing any explicit faith in Jesus. He was not healed against his will, but there is no evidence that he participated in the healing process. In Isaiah, God promises that the Messiah would do the very miracle that Jesus had just done: ‘Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped…the tongues of the dumb sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, the streams in the desert.’ The Holy Spirit is at work in all our lives to open our eyes and ears and loosen our tongues so that we can sing the praises of God for what he has done in Christ. 

All of this is wonderful and true and for it we praise and thank God. However, there can be no escaping that St Mark is recording for us an actual healing miracle, demonstrating Jesus’ power over sickness and disease. We need to consider the question of whether such miracles can happen today. Once again, we turn to the Catechism of the Catholic Church for its wisdom and guidance: ‘Christ invites his disciples to follow him by taking up their cross in their turn. By following him they acquire a new outlook on illness and the sick’. What is this new outlook? It must be the new outlook of Christ who said to the Apostles: ‘Heal the sick!’ The Church has received this charge from the lord himself and strives to carry it out praying for the sick. 

AS OUR SCHOOLS RE-OPEN: This past week our Catholic Primary School, St John Fisher opened after the summer recess. This coming week the remainder of our schools will reopen. We pray that all of our staff, students and children will have had a wonderful rest over the summer and return refreshed and ready for another academic year. The past 19 months have been difficult, and catching up with education is a gargantuan task. Congratulations to all of our high school young people who received their exam results. Some will now be preparing to go off to University & College; wishing them every happiness in their pursuits. Let us ask God’s blessing on this new Academic Year. 

Dear Friends in Christ,                          23rd Sunday of the Year

Unlike last year, hopefully we are able to resume all of our Catechetical Programmes. Therefore, our First Holy Communion Programme will commence in a couple of weeks’ time. This year there will be two year groups preparing for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist, Years three and four. Our RCIA Programme will commence this coming week on Thursday 9th September at 7.30pm at the Presbytery. It is hoped that there will not be any further interference with lockdowns and remote learning. Some semblance of normality needs to be maintained during the coming months.

Obviously, this Pandemic has not gone away, and I have been flabbergasted to hear the number of people still contracting Coronavirus on a daily basis. I know we will have to live with this disease for the foreseeable future, and we should all be aware and conscious of one another in our protection of our health. While in church, I would continue to recommend the use of face-coverings, hand sanitisation, track & trace slips, and respecting each other’s space. If we are all sensible we will keep ourselves safe and well.

I have been so heartened by so many of our parishioners who have faithfully who are present at Holy Mass weekly; it’s truly wonderful to see. One person who rang me regularly throughout this pandemic stated; “I don’t know what I would have done without my faith; it’s the one thing that’s kept me going.” I’m sure a sentiment shared by many! It’s strange that in the times of crisis you often see the most extraordinary responses of kindness and generosity. I commend our Stewards, our Altar Society members, and many others for your selfless acts of charity and generosity. I really do hope more and more parishioners will return to the regular practice of faith. There’s one thing I’ve realised personally, that I can’t do this on my own, and I need the family of the church around me. You are the Church, and your presence is a blessing! If you’re finding it difficult to return to church on Sunday, why not come to one of our weekday masses at 10.00am each day.welcome church clipart - Clip Art Library

Holy Mass will be live-streamed for the sick & housebound during the week at 10.00am and on Sunday’s at 11.00am Please join us!

May God Bless You All, 

PARISH WEEKLY OFFERTORY- URGENT APPEAL: 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 19 months. Thank you to all parishioners who give so generously each week to keep the parish afloat. 

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: https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.PksgenkNVMwF2XWxHkXnzgHaHp&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

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.https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.7xXPp4SxDqSildwWjCO-fAHaF5&pid=Api&P=0&w=227&h=182

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!

CHURCH CLEANING -Next Saturday 11th September at 9.30am.  If you’re able to give an hour or so we would be truly grateful, just turn up and there will be plenty to do or contact Sharon Fitzmaurice on 07854919207 or shazzafitzm@aol.com We pride ourselves on how beautiful the church is kept.

ALTAR SOCIETY: 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 shazzafitzm@aol.com

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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/

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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! 

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 

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. 

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. 

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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! 

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading : Isaiah 35:4-7

Say to all faint hearts,

‘Courage! Do not be afraid.

Look, your God is coming,

vengeance is coming,

the retribution of God;

he is coming to save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

the ears of the deaf unsealed,

then the lame shall leap like a deer

and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy;

for water gushes in the desert,

streams in the wasteland,

the scorched earth becomes a lake,

the parched land springs of water.

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 145(146):7-10

My soul, give praise to the Lord.

It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,

  who is just to those who are oppressed.

It is he who gives bread to the hungry,

  the Lord, who sets prisoners free.

My soul, give praise to the Lord.

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,

  who raises up those who are bowed down.

It is the Lord who loves the just,

  the Lord, who protects the stranger.

My soul, give praise to the Lord.

The Lord upholds the widow and orphan

  but thwarts the path of the wicked.

The Lord will reign for ever,

  Zion’s God, from age to age.

My soul, give praise to the Lord.

Second Reading : James 2:1-5

My brothers, do not try to combine faith in Jesus Christ, our glorified Lord, with the making of distinctions between classes of people. Now suppose a man comes into your synagogue, beautifully dressed and with a gold ring on, and at the same time a poor man comes in, in shabby clothes, and you take notice of the well-dressed man, and say, ‘Come this way to the best seats’; then you tell the poor man, ‘Stand over there’ or ‘You can sit on the floor by my foot-rest.’ Can’t you see that you have used two different standards in your mind, and turned yourselves into judges, and corrupt judges at that?

  Listen, my dear brothers: it was those who are poor according to the world that God chose, to be rich in faith and to be the heirs to the kingdom which he promised to those who love him.

Gospel : Mark 7:31-37

Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’

MASS INTENTIONS – SEPTEMBER 2021

Sat 4th          10.00amFrank Westcott’s Int’s (Pat & Margaret)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 4th            6.00pm Maria Julia Torrielli de Montoya RIP (Tina & David Hattrell)
Sun 5th                   9.00amAnne-Marie & Ian Kendal 25th Wedding Anniversary (Steve & Teresa Wallace)
Sun 5th                          11:00amTom O’Donovan RIP (Moira & Brian Carter)
Mon 6th               10.00am10.30amPat Pinagli RIP (Tina & David Hattrell)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Tues 7th                                                                                              10.00amCaroline Akinyemi (Get Well) (Geraldine O’Donoghue)
Wed 8th                          10.00amDominic McLaughlin Sp Int (Michael & Gemma)
Thurs 9th     10.00am10.30am Janique Stanislaus RIP (M Marc-Peterkin)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament 
Fri 10th                             10.00am 10.30amMary Gillard (get well) (G O’Donoghue)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Sat 11th               10.00amMichael & Breege Kerrane RIP (Mary)
Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm
Sat 11th                    6.00pmJane & Stephen Barrett RIP (Margaret Hopkinson)
Sun 12th               9.00amYvonne Grace RIP (O’Regan & Tuson Families)
Sun 12th                  11:00amPeople of the Parish. 

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