St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY: Today is the feast day of the Holy Family; but also every family’s feast day, since the Holy Family is the patron and model of all Christian families. As Rev. Edward Sutfin states: “The children must learn to see in their father the foster-father St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother as the perfect model for their own mother. The lesson to be learned is both practical and theoretical, in that the children must learn how to obey and to love their parents in thought, word and action, just as Christ was obedient to Mary and Joseph. Helping mother in the kitchen and in the housework and helping father in his odd jobs about the home thus take on a new significance by being performed in a Christ-like spirit.”
May I wish all our families of this Parish of St. Edmund of Canterbury a wonderful Feast Day. May the Holy Family of Nazareth inspire you always! All families will receive a general Special Blessing at the end of each Mass today!
UPDATE ON THE PANDEMIC: Obviously, over the past week we have seen daily reports on the Omicron variant which has taken over as the main variant in the United Kingdom, and also now throughout the world. Many people are still frightened. The Government have tried to allay fears, but at times there appear to be so many conflicting reports. But we are all trying to keep safe and well. The Health & Safety executive throughout the Catholic Church has continued to advocate the use of face-coverings when coming to Church, not only to protect ourselves, but so that we can help protect one another also. The hand sanitisers are available on entry and exit out of the Church. Our Stewards ensure that all protocols are followed correctly with the Track & Trace names and numbers.
Please try to obtain your Booster Jab as soon as possible to protect you from this dreadful disease. Sadly, we lost a number of parishioners to Covid over the past 21 months. Anything that can help against this disease can only be a good thing. The Jab & Booster protects your life!
Dear Friends in Christ, Feast of the Holy Family, 2021
As we have just celebrated the great Solemnity of the Birth of the Lord Jesus, today we rejoice with the Holy Family of Nazareth, Jesus, Mary & Joseph, and ask their intercession on all our families. Even in spite of this terrible Pandemic which continues to affect the whole world, there is much to be thankful for to Almighty God; our wonderful families who protect us and care for us; and our parish family which continues to celebrate our faith together, helping and supporting one another. Imagine what life would be like without our faith? The fact that God deigned to share our human nature changed the whole course of human history. He desires us to really share in his life, not just paying lipservice, but to be completely committed. Perhaps we can all make a renenwed effort as we rapidly approach the end of 2021 and embark upon a new year of 2022 to renewed commitment in faith.
A VERY BIG THANK YOU: First and foremost I would like to thank the whole parish community for your thoughfulness this Christmas; the many Christmas Cards and gifts I received was very humbling. I sat down and read every single card. Also I thank you most sincerely for your Annual Christmas Offering, which makes up a Priest’s salary throughout the year. Also to those who use the Online Electronic Offering. It’s still not too late, (details on the oppposite page). You are all very kind and generous!
GRATEFUL THANKS: to everyone who helped to prepare our Church for the Christmas Celebrations. Our Altar Society, and many others turned up to clean the Church last Tuesday; All of our Altar Staff – our MC’s & Servers; Our Choir Director, Sue Farrow and all Choir members who enriched our Christmas liturgies; Our Readers & Eucharistic Ministers; to our Flower Arranging team, who prepared the church so beautifully for Christmas. Thank you to Iain McLay & Martin Laffey for contructing the ourside Crib once again for us this year – It gives such wintess to the true meaning of Christmas. To Iain also, for his help and orgaisation of the Parish Stewards Teams – and to all our Stewards for the stirling work throughout the year, helping us at all our Masses to keep safe and protected. A big thank you to Frank Westcott, home from the Seminary, who has helped me personally with the Christmas celebrations – please keep Frank in your prayers as he continues in his studies for the Preisthood.
Wishing You All A Happy & Blessed Week,
With Love & Christmas Peace,
WISHING YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR: As we rapidly approach the end of 2021, let us thank God for the many graces and blessings we have received. Even though it has been a difficult year, there are always so many things to be grateful for. Next Saturday is the 1st January 2022, Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God; it would be truly wonderful if you could join us at St Edmund’s for our New Year’s Day Mass at 11.00am to ask God’s blessing on ourselves and our families as we begin this New Year. We pray that there will be a decrease in the danger of this Pandemic as we approach nearly two years since it began. We ask God’s blessing on our Community of Faith, helping us in our commitment to the Lord. We pray for those who are sick and housebound, those fearful and scared, those alone and suffering, all those seeking love and friendship. A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
ELECTRONIC CHRISTMAS OFFERING: IT IS STILL POSSIBLE TO MAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS OFFERING. This year, as always, envelopes are available for us to make our Christmas Offering, which, as you know, is an opportunity in every Catholic Church for parishioners to make a Christmas gift to your Parish Priest, which forms the major part of his salary. This year our Christmas Offering can also be made electronically. We just need to transfer the money to the parish account with the reference ‘Xmas Offering’. Please quote your Gift Aid Number also. Any questions please ask Iain McLay (firstname.lastname@example.org). The details of the bank account are:
Sort Code: 40-13-22 ‘Xmas Offering’ + GA Number
Account Number: 11019651
Account Name: Catholic Church Loughton St Edmund.
BRENTWOOD CATHOLIC CHIDLREN’S SOCIETY – Each year all the Crib Offerings go to the BCCS. This year especially when fund-raising has been at a minimum. Please be generous in your giving. Both Cribs will remain until the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 2nd February. Thank you!
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS We will now break for Christmas and resume again on Thursday 13th January 2022. 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
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: FEAST OF ST STEPHEN: As this falls on a Sunday this year, the special mass for all of our Altar Servers will take place on Sunday 26th December, it will be the Feast of the Holy Family. This is awlasy a very special Mass for our Servers and thioe families. Being a Sunday it will give the whole parish community the opportunity t thank our Altar Staff for your commitment and regular attendance Serving at the Altar. Sadly, we have lost a lot of our Altar Servers during the Pandemic, many have decided to give up serving. If there are any girls and boys out there who would be interested in learning to serve, please 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
MARRIAGES FOR 2022: If anyone is planning on getting married in 2022, please could you make contact with Fr. John at the beginning of January. For those getting married in the parish we normally ask for six months’ notice; for those getting married outside of the parish at least nine months’ notice. The documentation and preparation takes quite a long time and organising Marriage Preparation Courses through Marriage Care in the responsibility of the Couple. To avoid any disappointments, please make contact as soon as possible.
ST JOHN FISHER CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL, LOUGHTON PRIMARY SCHOOL ADMISSIONS: As your parish school, St John Fisher provides 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
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 FINANCES: 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.
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!
DIARY DECEMBER 2021
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH
Carmen Antaki, Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn, Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Bridget Kinsella, 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: Peggy McGilleycuddy 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.
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/
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME: The classes will break for the Christmas holiday and resume again on Sunday 9th January 2022. It is imperative that all the Frist Communion Children and their families are present each week at Sunday Mass. Please keep all of the children in your prayers as they continue their sacramental preparation.
PARISH REPOSITORY: A big thank you to the whole parish for your wonderful response to all the Christmas gifts and items in the repository this year. We have been able to sell a lot of the stock. There are still some Christmas items left, all available in the Repository Shop.
A Very Happy New Year to You All!
MASS INTENTIONS – DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
|Sat 25th ChristmasDay||9.00am|
|Grace McAuliffe RIP (Noreen Smith)|
Peter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
|Sat 25th||6.00pm||NO VIGIL MASS THIS EVENING|
|Sun 26th Holy Family||9.00am||People of the Parish|
|Sun 26th Holy Family||11:00am||Peter Burns RIP, Bill Warnes RIP, Dan Bennett RIP, & Dec’d Altar Servers (D Knott)|
|Mon 27th||10.00am||Philip Blackburne RIP (Ruiz Family)|
|Tues 28th||10.00am||Veronica Baker RIP (Dee Manley)|
|Wed 29th||10.00am||Irene Olivelle RIP (Ann Cocklin)|
|Thurs 30th||10.00am||Karen, David & Neil Emslie Int’s (Margaret Duffy)|
|Fri 31st||10.00am||John & Rosemary’s O’Rourke’s Int’s (Pat & Margaret)|
|Sat 1st Jan New Year’s Day 2022||11.00am||Ann Connolly RIP (John Connolly)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 1st Jan||6.00pm||Teresa & Brian Fabri’s Int’s|
|Sun 2nd||9.00am||John Dunne RIP (Sue & John Campbell)|
|Sun 2nd||11:00am||Dennis Randall RIP (Contemporary Music Group)|
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
The Holy Family
First Reading : 1 Samuel 1:20-22,24-28
Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son, and called him Samuel ‘since’ she said ‘I asked the Lord for him.’
When a year had gone by, the husband Elkanah went up again with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfil his vow. Hannah, however, did not go up, having said to her husband, ‘Not before the child is weaned. Then I will bring him and present him before the Lord and he shall stay there for ever.’
When she had weaned him, she took him up with her together with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the temple of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was with them. They slaughtered the bull and the child’s mother came to Eli. She said, ‘If you please, my lord. As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. This is the child I prayed for, and the Lord granted me what I asked him. Now I make him over to the Lord for the whole of his life. He is made over to the Lord.’
Responsive Psalm : Psalm 83(84):2-3,5-6,9-10
They are happy who dwell in your house, O Lord.
How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord, God of hosts.
My soul is longing and yearning,
is yearning for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my soul ring out their joy
to God, the living God.
They are happy who dwell in your house, O Lord.
They are happy, who dwell in your house,
for ever singing your praise.
They are happy, whose strength is in you,
in whose hearts are the roads to Zion.
They are happy who dwell in your house, O Lord
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer,
give ear, O God of Jacob.
Turn your eyes, O God, our shield,
look on the face of your anointed.
They are happy who dwell in your house, O Lord.
Second Reading : 1 John 3:1-2,21-24
Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,
by letting us be called God’s children;
and that is what we are.
Because the world refused to acknowledge him,
therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God
but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;
all we know is, that when it is revealed
we shall be like him
because we shall see him as he really is.
My dear people,
if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience,
we need not be afraid in God’s presence,
and whatever we ask him,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.
Gospel : Luke 2:41-52
Every year the parents of Jesus used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere.
Three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have, you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’
‘Why were you looking for me?’ he replied. ‘Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?’ But they did not understand what he meant.
He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority.
His mother stored up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and men.