St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Second Sunday of Advent, Year C
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St Augustine of Hippo said, ‘Before God can deliver us we must undeceive ourselves.’ Repentance is precisely this process of undeceiving ourselves. The ministry of John the Baptist was focused on proclaiming the message of repentance and turning back to God – probably not the most popular message in any age and certainly not in ours! 

Pope Saint John Paul II, who was one of the prophets of the Christian life, urges us to examine how we, as a society and as individuals, have lost the sense of sin and, consequently, could lose the impetus to receive the grace of forgiveness available to us in the sacrament of reconciliation.

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Was the society, culture and the time in which John the Baptist ministered any different from ours in this regard? We all have an inbuilt self-righteousness which makes it hard, if not impossible, to say, ‘I have sinned against heaven and against you; I am not longer worthy to be called your son/daughter.’ We instinctively resist the idea that we are sinful and need to repent. This resistance and self-righteousness are whey God has to prepare the way. He did so firstly through the ministry of John the Baptist, and secondly in the liturgy of the Church today. The message and call will always be the same: repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

How do we examine our conscience? We don’t want to get immersed in introspection and a kind of pseudo mea culpa attitude, as if repentance was simply about the word ‘sorry’. 

St John Chrysostom said: ‘Repentance ranges from regretting obvious sins like murder, adultery, abuse, swearing and stealing to the realisation that not loving (your neighbour as yourself) is a murder. “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15), and that an evil look is adultery and the love of praise is stealing God’s glory.’

Dear Friends in Christ,                     2nd Sunday of Advent 2021

It’s amazing what can happen in seven days! The whole world has now been put on alert to the Omicron South African variant. It makes us realise that Covid is with us all for the foreseeable future, and we have to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our families. Obviously, this new variant is in its early stages, and as yet we still do not know how severe it will be, and whether our vaccines can protect us from this particular strain of Covid.

The last thing anyone wants again this year is the cancellation of Christmas. Let us all protect ourselves and one another by getting the vaccine our booster jabs, and flu jabs. 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 ONE WEEK AWAY, 12th DECEMBER

GRAND DRAW TICKETS: There are still plenty of Grand Draw Tickets available for purchase £5 a book. We want to see as many as possible, as this is our parishes only fund-raiser throughout the year.  We have been donated some truly wonderful prizes, Two Colour Televisions; A Nintendo Switch; Apple Air Pods Pro; £150 of Theatre Tickets; Gin Afternoon Tea for Two at London’s Iconic Gherkin; Fortnum & Mason Champagne Tea for Two in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon; £100 Gift Cash; £100 Gift Voucher for Tom, Dick & Harry’s; £80 Gift Vouch for Zizzi’s; Amazon Echo Dot; Various Amazon Vouchers: £100, £50, £25, £20; £50 M & S Voucher; There will be numerous Hampers of Food & Drink; also some children’s Hampers. https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.p7eFG5vb77Ox4SjGaqqUHAHaGn&pid=Api&P=0&w=188&h=169

I would like to thank all those parishioners who have kindly donated some truly wonderful prizes and food and drink items for the Hampers. It’s still not too late to donate as this is the final week before the Grand Draw. You can drop off your Gifts and all other items, either in the Church Porch, Fr John’s Garage, or at the Presbytery at any time throughout the week. 

There will be a Coffee Morning after the 11am Mass next Sunday where the Grand Draw will take place. I invite our parishioner to come along. Also we are looking for some voluntary help with the catering, teas and coffees, could any parishioners make some cakes and mince pies please.

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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 9th December Theme: The Sacraments – The Eucharist Part 2 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:  loughton@dioceseofbrentwood.orghttps://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.7xXPp4SxDqSildwWjCO-fAHaF5&pid=Api&P=0&w=227&h=182

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME: The next session is on Sunday 5th December at 10.00am. Our Theme this week is Caring – The Beatitudes. Please pray for all our children preparing for the sacraments. This is truly a wonderful moment of time in their lives. 

ST JOHN FISHER SCHOOL: JOB VACANCY – Full time, School Site Manager. The School are seeking to appoint a caring, resourceful, reliable, and self-motivated Site Manager, who will take great pride in the school premises and grounds. Please email school for further details Admin@st-johnfisher.essex.sch.uk 

REPOSITORY: Available this weekend, a large selection of Religious Christmas Cards, (please think about sending religious cards signifying the true meaning of Christmas). Christmas Mass Cards, Advent Calendars, Christmas Candles, Cribs – there are some truly wonderful Nativity Scenes for your homes; and other Christmas Items.  All items are marked with prices, and there is a box available for the money for items. Thank you!

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 talk will be on the 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 josephbeattie@dioceseofbrentwood.org 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 couple 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.https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.s7-pS7ljlHJkxAexkmsZ7AAAAA&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

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 

ST JOHN FISHER CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL, LOUGHTON  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:          

admissions@st-johnfisher.essex.sch.uk to arrange a visit.

For admission to the school’s Reception Class, September 2022 please apply by 15th January 2022.

GRAND CHRISTMAS DRAW & CHRISTMAS HAMPERS

Only one more week to go until the GRAND DRAW. I would like to make a final appeal to all of our parishioners to participate in our only fund-rising event of the year. As you are well aware, 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.     Xmas Raffle Clipart , Png Download - Christmas Raffle, Transparent Png, Free Download

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 

NEXT SUNDAY THE 12th DECEMBER.  THANK YOU!

DIARY NOVEMBER 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: Peter Smith RIP, Please pray for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, 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 shazzafitzm@aol.com 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. https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.MjTfuC3J02gRYGtnSWAE7QHaM_&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

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 – DECEMBER 2021

Sat 4th             10.00amNancy Ironside RIP (Maree Kavangh)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 4th                6.00pm Sandy Sandhu RIP
Sun 5th                          9.00amColin Orr RIP (Catherine Mills)
Sun 5th                                 11:00amYvonne Poulter RIP (Steve & Teresa Wallace)
Mon 6th                    10.00amPeter Smith RIP (Anni) Paul Falco
Tues 7th                                                                          10.00amJim Sullivan (Sick) (Joan O’Sullivan)
Wed 8th                                10.00amAnn Hakes (B’day Int’s) (Pat & Margaret)
Thurs 9th                10.00amThomas & Mary Lamb RIP (Margaret Duffy)
Fri 10th                        10.00am10.30amDr Brian Beveridge RIP (Beveridge Family)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament 
Sat 11th                          10.00amVeronica & Steve Short RIP (Remi)
Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm
Sat 11th                               6.00pmKathleen McDowell RIP (Gunn Family)
Sun 12th                          9.00amMarie – Yvonne Poulter RIP (Kendal Family)
Sun 12th     11:00amMichael John Bullock RIP (Steven Bullock & Family)

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: loughton@dioceseofbrentwood.org

ADVENT PENANCE SERVICE: Monday 20th December at 8.00pm. With visiting Clergy 

2nd Sunday of Advent

First Reading : Baruch 5:1-9

Jerusalem, take off your dress of sorrow and distress,

put on the beauty of the glory of God for ever,

wrap the cloak of the integrity of God around you,

put the diadem of the glory of the Eternal on your head:

since God means to show your splendour to every nation under heaven,

since the name God gives you for ever will be,

‘Peace through integrity, and honour through devotedness.’

Arise, Jerusalem, stand on the heights

and turn your eyes to the east:

see your sons reassembled from west and east

at the command of the Holy One, jubilant that God has remembered them.

Though they left you on foot,

with enemies for an escort,

now God brings them back to you

like royal princes carried back in glory.

For God has decreed the flattening

of each high mountain, of the everlasting hills,

the filling of the valleys to make the ground level

so that Israel can walk in safety under the glory of God.

And the forests and every fragrant tree will provide shade

for Israel at the command of God;

for God will guide Israel in joy by the light of his glory

with his mercy and integrity for escort.

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 125(126)

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage,

  it seemed like a dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter,

  on our lips there were songs.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

The heathens themselves said: ‘What marvels

  the Lord worked for them!’

What marvels the Lord worked for us!

  Indeed we were glad.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage

  as streams in dry land.

Those who are sowing in tears

  will sing when they reap.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

They go out, they go out, full of tears,

  carrying seed for the sowing:

they come back, they come back, full of song,

  carrying their sheaves.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

Second Reading : Philippians 1:4-6,8-11

Every time I pray for all of you, I pray with joy, remembering how you have helped to spread the Good News from the day you first heard it right up to the present. I am quite certain that the One who began this good work in you will see that it is finished when the Day of Christ Jesus comes; and God knows how much I miss you all, loving you as Christ Jesus loves you. My prayer is that your love for each other may increase more and more and never stop improving your knowledge and deepening your perception so that you can always recognise what is best. This will help you to become pure and blameless, and prepare you for the Day of Christ, when you will reach the perfect goodness which Jesus Christ produces in us for the glory and praise of God.

Gospel : Luke 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:

A voice cries in the wilderness:

Prepare a way for the Lord,

make his paths straight.

Every valley will be filled in,

every mountain and hill be laid low,

winding ways will be straightened

and rough roads made smooth.

And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.

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