Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
We stand today at the beginning of Advent and joyfully anticipate the celebration of Christmastide. Our pilgrimage invites us to revisit and partake in the events surrounding Jesus’ first coming: his birth and entry into human history when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Since the beginning, Advent has been a season in which we reflect on the first coming of Christs but also prepare for his second. The deepest longing of the Holy Spirit is expressed in the cry ‘Come’, which the Spirit gives to the Church. The prayer of both the Spirit and the Church will always be ‘Come, Lord Jesus, come.’
God always has in view the end towards which the whole history of salvation is directed. Our desire to prepare for Jesus’ return is proportional to our current relationship with him. His return heralds not just the coming of a kingdom, of a new order of things, but the return of the Lord of Lords, the Servant King who loved and died for us.
The call throughout the New Testament is to be active, to prepare, be watchful and be holy as God is holy, so that we can ‘stand before the Son of man’. At Jesus’ first coming he came to save and redeem so that we would know forgiveness and liberation from our sin. At his second coming, we will know the redemption of our bodies and full deliverance for which the whole of creation longs.
Advent, then, is a time to grow in holiness through repentance and the forgiveness of sins.
‘Behold, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation: the great season of Advent. This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that holy Simeon rejoiced to see. This is the season that the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity. We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the mercy and love he has shown us in the mystery.’ (St Charles Borromeo)
Dear Friends in Christ, 1st Sunday of Advent 2021
As we have just embarked upon our Advent Journey, and begun our New Liturgical Year. We pray that the Lord will be with us in these weeks ahead as we prepare for his birth once again into our lives this Christmastide. How we prepare determines how we will celebrate the Incarnation of the Lord. Last year was strange, and if you remember many people were getting very sick of the Christmas & New Year period. Here we are twelve months on, the Pandemic is still with us, but we are slowly learning to live with the implications of it.
Obviously, during the Pandemic we should still be very conscious of one another and, hopefully most have been vaccinated by now, and many have received their booster & flu vaccines for this year. We are still maintaining certain precautions at church, with the sanitising of hands at entry and exit of the church; the wearing of face-coverings in respect of one another, and social distancing where necessary. Thank you to everyone for kindly respecting these requests!
GRAND DRAW ONLY TWO WEEKS AWAY, 12th DECEMBER
GRAND DRAW TICKETS: My dear friends, this weekend we will be distributing Grand Draw Tickets for the Grand Draw & Christmas Hampers. Once again I appeal to your generosity in taking as many books of Tickets as you can. As this is our only fund-raising even of the year please be generous in your response. The Grand Draw will take place on Sunday 12th December after the 11am Mass. We will be having a Coffee Morning at the same time, so we ask all of our parishioners to join us on this occasion.
GRAND DRAW PRIZES: My grateful thanks to those who have donated Christmas food items, bottles etc for the hampers. Could I make a special appeal to everyone for some Luxury Grand Draw Prizes, we really want to make this Draw worthwhile. Some ideas for the Grand Draw are Flat Screen TV, Laptop, Other New Electrical Goods, Restaurant Vouchers, Hotel Vouchers, National Trust Family Memberships, Crate of Wine, and Department Store Vouchers. Also Smart Tech Wearables: Fit Bits, Garmins, Air Pods, Beats, Echo & Alexa Devices, (with Black Friday approaching you may be able to get some real bargains as prizes). You can leave off prizes and Hamper items at the Presbytery anytime. There are boxes to receive gifts and items in the porch of the church, Fr John’s Garage (Big Red Box), Presbytery Front Door (Big Red Box). My thanks to those who have already
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 PLEASE BE GENEROUS IN YOUR
Account Number: 11019651 GIFT TO GOD & HIS CHURCH
PARISH FINANACES: As you can appreciate, during this pandemic the parish income took a severe hit, and we are still not back at the same levels as we were prior to 2020. My sincere and grateful thanks to those who have signed up for online giving and Gift Aid, this is helping. Many parishioners have not returned to the regular practice of faith, and many Gift Aid boxes were not collected this year. Please consider your weekly offertory to God.
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS The Presbytery at 7.30pm next session on Thursday 2nd December Theme: The Sacraments – The Sacrament of Reconciliation – Confession. If you want to know more about the programme, and the whole RCIA process, please contact Fr John, Tel No: 0208 508 3492 or Email: email@example.com
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME: The Children’s Programme will resume again on Sunday 28th November at 10.00am. Our Theme this week is Listening. Parents’ Meeting – 1st December at 7.30pm. (Please note change of date) Thank you! Please pray for all our children preparing for the sacraments. This is truly a wonderful moment of time in their lives.
OFFICE CHAIRS: Would any parishioners have a couple of redundant Office Chairs for our parish office. Just the simple swivel chairs; unfortunately the ones we have seen better days and are on their last legs. If you have please contact Fr. John directly at the Presbytery Tel No: 020 8508 3492. Thanking you in anticipation!
REPOSITORY: Available this weekend, a large selection of Religious Christmas Cards, (please think about sending religious cards, signifying the true meaning of Christmas). Advent Calendars, Christmas Candles, Cribs, and other Christmas Items. All items are marked with prices, and there is a box available for the proceeds of your items. Thank you!
ST JOHN FISHER CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL, LOUGHTON P PRIMARY SCHOOL ADMISSIONS: As your parish school, St John Fisher provide a distinctively Catholic education for your children. St John Fisher is an excellent School where we teach your children, in accordance with our Mission Statement – “The love of God helps us all to live, learn, and grow to be a happy, caring and welcoming community.” St John Fisher school is a place filled with love of learning. It is a place where, as a Catholic community, we celebrate the successes of our children in all areas of school life through our distinctive curriculum.
Visits to the school are warmly welcomed and encouraged. Please do see for yourself the excellent education and enhanced learning environment we provide. We welcome mid-year applications.
Visits are held every Monday at 9.30 am, with the Headteacher. Mr Kendal. Please contact the school on 0208 508 6315 or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a visit.
For admission to the school’s Reception Class, September 2022 please apply by 15th January 2022.
THE THRESHOLDS OF HOPE QUESTIONS: are a series of talks for adults who want to grow in understanding and confidence when questioned or speaking about their Catholic Faith. The talks and discussion take place on Zoom from 4.00 – 5.00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon.
The next talks will be on the 28th November and 5th December and the question being explored is, What are the unique insights of Catholic Social Teaching? Fr Dominic Howarth, Romford, will consider this question.
For more information about The Thresholds of Hope Questions go to www.thresholdsofhope.co.uk
ADVENT CAROL SERVICE: You are warmly invited to join us at Walsingham House at Abbotswick for our annual Advent Carol Service on Sunday 12th December. We will have Christmas carols both classic and contemporary performed by our incredibly talented BCYS musicians, accompanied with readings from scripture and Christmas poems & stories. This year we are running two concerts, at 3pm or 7pm, however there will be limited capacity at each event and this will be dependent on any current Government restrictions or social distancing, in place at the time. Tickets are £10 and the money will go towards supporting our pilgrimages to Lourdes. To book your place please contact Joe Beattie, Walsingham House manager on email@example.com or 01277 373 959.
BCYS SUMMER LOURDES PILGRIMAGE: 2022: 23rd – 30th July 2022.
Applications are now open for our summer pilgrimage to Lourdes for those in Years 11-13, with those of school leaver age (18+) invited to join us as young leaders. This is one of our most popular events and after a 2 year gap we are excited to be returning next year. The week is spent travelling alongside the main Diocesan pilgrimage as we assist the elderly and infirm with going to Masses and services, as well as visiting shops and cafes within the town. For those travelling with the BCYS the week will also include a retreat, reconciliation service, as well as social events and a party. Please see www.bcys.net/events/sl22/ for more information including visas, vaccinations and how to apply
A SUNDAY EVENING PARISH YOUTH MASS: We’ve had a couole of these popular and enjoyable Masses over the past few years and hopefully we’ll be able to organise one, possibly in the New Year. The idea would be that you could get involved with the music and the readings and make it your own celebration. Hopefully, we will also have a social gathering in the hall afterwards
PARISH ALTAR SERVERS: It had taken a number of years to build up a good team of Altar Servers. Sadly, since the Pandemic, many have not returned to serving at the Altar. As a matter of courtesy I would be sincerely grateful to know if you have any intention of returning to the regular practice of Altar Serving? If you have no intention of serving anymore more it would be good to know; and also, if you could kindly return your albs, laundered please. I really feel saddened by this, as this is a most truly wonderful ministry for our young pepople to participate in. If there are any other young pepople in the parish who would liike to start serving, could you let Fr John know as soon as possible.
IRREGULAR MARRIAGES: An Irregualr Marriage is one that 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
GRAND CHRISTMAS DRAW & CHRISTMAS HAMPERS
As we’re now into the month of November, I would like to appeal to all of our parishioners to participate in our only fund-rising event of the year. As you are well aware, since the Pandemic our finances have dropped considerably, as many people are not attending church anymore. The Bazaar Committee believe that the Grand Christmas Draw & Hampers, which was such a great success last year, can be repeated again this year. Manifestly, we are wholly dependent on your generosity. No matter how great or small a gift or item may be it will be gratefully received.
Some ideas for the Grand Draw are Flat Screen TV, Laptop, Other New Electrical Goods, Restaurant Vouchers, Hotel Vouchers, National Trust Family Memberships, Crate of Wine, and Department Store Vouchers. Also Smart Tech Wearables: Fit Bits, Garmins, Air Pods, Beats.
Suggested Hamper Donations: Luxury Brand Christmas Cakes & Christmas Puddings; Bottles of Champagne, Prosecco, Spirits, Port & Wine; Tinned Meats – Gammon Ham, Potted Duck Pates; Tinned Fish – Salmon, Dressed Crab & Lobster; Jars of Fruit in Syrup; Jars of Pickles, Chutneys & Olives; Festive Marmalades; Tea & Coffee, Hot Chocolate. Biscotti, Ginger Snaps & Shortbread. Diced Fruit & Nuts; Chocolate Nut selections. Sweetmeats – Turkish Delight. Biscuits & Crackers for Cheese. Boxes of Luxury Chocolates & truffles.
There are boxes in the Porch of the church, at the Presbytery front door & in Fr John’s Garage to receive your gifs and items, and or course you can always drop off personally at the Presbytery throughout the week. If there are any parishioners who would like to donate ‘Money Gifts’ these will be gratefully received. Also, if anyone has any gift baskets you could let us have, these will be good to make up the Christmas Hampers. If you can, please help us once again this year. This is the whole parish working together. The Grand Draw will take place on Sunday 12th December in the Parish Hall at about 12.30pm there will be refreshments available.
GRAND DRAW TICKETS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED THIS WEEKEND
PLEASE BE GENEROUS IN YOUR RESPONSE IN TAKING THEM
KINDLY RETURN ALL COUNTERFLOILS & MONIES BY
SUNDAY THE 12th DECEMBER. THANK YOU!
DIARY NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 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: Pat Murphy RIP, Catherine Wright RIP, Please for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, ALL OF OUR HOLY SOULS. Requiescant in Pace.
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 20 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.
ALTAR SOCIETY: If anyone else would like to join the Altar Society please contact Sharon Fitzmaurice on 07854919207 or firstname.lastname@example.org It probably works out to about an hour a month, and you can do as much or as little as you wish; the more help we have the easier it is to keep the church really clean. Thanking you in anticipation! The Grand Christmas Clean will tak place on Tuesday 21st December at 9.30am. Please join us if you can for an hour or so to prepare the Church for our Christmas Masses.
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/
MASS INTENTIONS – NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2021
|Sat 27th||10.00am||Yvonne Poulter RIP (Poulter Family) HOLY SOULS|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 27th||6.00pm||Thomas Berry RIP (Stephanie Hemsworth)HOLY SOULS|
|Sun 28th||9.00am||Miguel & Carmen Ruiz B’day Ints (Ruiz Family)|
|Sun 28th||11:00am||Buddy Oriel RIP (Bacuetes Family) HOLY SOULS|
|Mon 29th||10.00am||Frank Westcott’s Ints (Remy) HOLY SOULS|
|Tues 30th||10.00am||Dec’d of McCabe /Johnson families RIP (R & I Johnson) HOLY SOULS|
|Wed 1stDecember||10.00am||Dec’d member of the Epsom Family RIP|
|Thurs 2nd||10.00am||Vincent & Teresa McMorrow RIP|
|Fri 3rd||10.00am10.30am||Josie Sison’s Int’s (Remy) Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament|
|Sat 4th||10.00am||Nancy Ironside RIP (Maree Kavangh)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm|
|Sat 4th||6.00pm||Sandy Sandhu RIP|
|Sun 5th||9.00am||Colin Orr RIP (Catherine Mills)|
|Sun 5th||11:00am||Yvonne Poulter RIP (Steve & Teresa Wallace)|
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.
Parish Phone No: 0208 508 3492 Email: email@example.com
1st Sunday of Advent
First Reading : Jeremiah 33:14-16
See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I am going to fulfil the promise I made to the House of Israel and the House of Judah:
‘In those days and at that time,
I will make a virtuous Branch grow for David,
who shall practise honesty and integrity in the land.
In those days Judah shall be saved
and Israel shall dwell in confidence.
And this is the name the city will be called:
Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 24(25):4-5,8-9,10,14
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
for you are God my saviour.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
The Lord is good and upright.
He shows the path to those who stray,
He guides the humble in the right path,
He teaches his way to the poor.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
His ways are faithfulness and love
for those who keep his covenant and law.
The Lord’s friendship is for those who revere him;
to them he reveals his covenant.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Second Reading : 1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
May the Lord be generous in increasing your love and make you love one another and the whole human race as much as we love you. And may he so confirm your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his saints.
Finally, brothers, we urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus to make more and more progress in the kind of life that you are meant to live: the life that God wants, as you learnt from us, and as you are already living it. You have not forgotten the instructions we gave you on the authority of the Lord Jesus.
Gospel : Luke 21:25-28,34-36
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect; hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.
‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’
THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD