Second Sunday after Christmas, 2022

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR: I would like to take this opportunity of wishing the whole parish community a Very Happy New Year for 2022. The past couple of years have been extremely difficult for everyone; let us pray that 2022 will be a little kinder to all of us! Even though the Pandemic continues to affect all of our lives, we just have to get on a live as best we can and take all precautions necessary with regards our health and safety. https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.-7-qbVnXcXg52eRna1X6xgHaE4&pid=Api&P=0&w=292&h=193

A New Year is always a new beginning for so many different things. The Church has been affected profoundly since the beginning of the Pandemic. Personally, I have tried to maintain a programme of normality throughout the whole of this time. Mass is scheduled daily and at weekends. Of course, your health and safety has always been at the forefront of my mind. Following the guidelines from the Government and the Diocese it has been fairly successful in protecting everyone. We will continue to wear face coverings, use the sanitiser on entry and exit from the Church, and continue to sign our slips of paper for the track & trace system.  It has been wonderful to see so many people return to the practice of the faith once again. 

I know there has been a lot of sickness over the Christmas holiday, and if you were unable to attend any of the Christmas Masses, you may like to make that extra special effort to attend Mass this weekend at the beginning of this New Year 2022. What greater gift could you give the New Born Saviour than to celebrate the greatest gift that he left us, in the Holy Mass. It would be truly wonderful if everyone returned to the full-time practice of their faith. 
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Today we listen to the Prologue from St John Ch. 1 vv1-18. Probably one of the most beautiful pieces of Scripture ever written! St John talks of Jesus as the Logos – Word who becomes flesh. That God would deign to share our human condition in the Christ-child of Bethlehem far surpassed the expectations of the Chosen People. God would dwell among his people; the child would grow and Jesus would show us a way of life that millions have followed for the past two millennia. This Way of Life we call our Catholic Faith. How we respond to the Lord’s invitation is something which is very personal; but it can also be life changing when we make true commitment to Jesus Christ. The New Year affords us this opportunity to commit. 

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WELCOME TO NORTH AMERICAN COLLEGE SEMINARIANS: On behalf of the whole parish community, I would like to welcome 4 Deacons from the Pontifical North American College, who arrive on Tuesday 4th January for a few days. It’s two years since any seminarians have joined us. Please make them welcome if you see them.  A Request: I hope you don’t mind me asking; could anyone provide some sweet desserts, home-made apple pie, etc. As I’m not a desert eater, I’m not too sure what’s popular these days. The boys will be with us until Sunday 9th January. 

SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD: 6th January 2022, Holy Day of Obligation. In the Infancy Narrative of St Matthew we read that the wise men came from the east, following the Star to Bethlehem. The Magi represent the outside world coming and doing homage before in the infant king, they travel a long distance to encounter the King of Kings. https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.JXK-Ltu1r0d-7ASZaNSM6wAAAA&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

The Greek word ‘epiphania’ means manifestation. The Magi recognise Jesus being the Son of God; they come in bow low and worship him. This evocative event unveils the truth that Christ came to redeem all of humanity: Gentile & Jew. The Magi were men of good will and seekers of the truth and were attracted by the light of Christ. Many today are just like them; people of good will, seekers of truth attracted by the light of Christ.

The Magi’s journey of discovery led them to the Christ-child. Hopefully our journey of discovery will reveal the truth of Christ; the one whom we place our hope, our trust and our love.      
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YOUR CRIB OFFERINGS: Every year your offerings donated at the Crib are for the benefit of the Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society. Founded in our own diocese, it has helped literally thousands of children and families throughout the diocese. As it is a charitable organisation it is heavily dependent on donations. Your Crib Offerings from Christmas until the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord 2nd February 2022 will be forwarded to the BCCS, which will help assist them in their extremely important work. Thank You! 

Wishing You All A Happy & Blessed Week,

     With Love & Peace for the New Year 2022   

  

ELECTRONIC CHRISTMAS OFFERING: IT IS STILL NOT TOO LATE 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 (bloggeriain@gmail.com). 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.

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NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS 2022: As we have just begun our New Year 2022, you may like to think about the resolutions you would like to make and ask God’s blessings on your lives. All we seem to have heard about over the past 22 months is Covid; and sadly many people have left the practice of the faith during that period of time. They may have got out of the habit. Many have returned, but very sadly, a lot of families have not! There will most definitely come a time when you will need God and your faith. Perhaps you could ask the Lord God Almighty to give you a faithful and true heart of commitment to Jesus Christ through the practice of your faith in this New Year 2022.   

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:  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 classes will break for the Christmas holiday and resume again on Sunday 9th January 2022. It is imperative that all the First 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.

Wishing You All A Very Happy New Year for 2022

May the lord’s blessing be with you 

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. https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.vURSDAn0WzLsHFbz_iM-jAHaIz&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

DIOCESAN YEAR BOOK: Is now available for purchase from the Parish Repository. It cost £2.80.  It really is worth investing in a Yearbook, as it gives all the latest details of parishes, priests’ addresses, statistics, general information about the Catholic Faith and the Church. PLEASE BUY ONE! Available in the Porch. 

PARISH ALTAR SERVERS: Sincere congratualtions to Tom Ruiz, Sophie Owers & Natalie Poulter who received their Silver Altar Servers Medal last weekend for 10 years long-term service. I would like to thank all of our altar Servers for their commitment in their Serving throughout the years.  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.  If there are any Albs that have not been returned yet please kindly do so as soon as possible please.https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.s7-pS7ljlHJkxAexkmsZ7AAAAA&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

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:          

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

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.

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 PLEASE BE GENEROUS IN YOUR
Account Number: 11019651 GIFT TO GOD & HIS CHURCH

GIDEA PARK STUDY DAY: THE EVOLUTION OF THE MASS: On Saturday 15th January 2022 Professor John Morrill will lead a Study Day on ‘The Evolution of the Mass’, tracing the development of the Eucharistic liturgy from the earliest centuries to the present day. He will explore in particular the teaching of Trent and Vatican II, and the latest papal instructions on the celebration of Mass. To access this free live stream event simply go to www.whatgoodnews.org The event begins at 11.00 GMT and ends by 13.30. No prior registration is needed. To be added to our mailing lists simply follow the instructions on the home page of the website.

For access to this free live stream event go to http://www.whatgoodnews.org and follow the instructions. No registration needed. Talks will be available subsequently on http://www.whatgoodnews.org To join the http://www.whatgoodnews.org mailing list please email gideapark@dioceseofbrentwood.org

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: Helen Munro 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/

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 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

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

MASS INTENTIONS – JANUARY 2022

Sat 1st New Year’s Day         11.00amAnn Connolly RIP (John Connolly)
Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 1st                  6.00pm Teresa & Brian Fabri’s Int’s
Sun 2nd   9.00amJohn Dunne RIP (Sue & John Campbell)
Sun 2nd   11:00amDennis Randall RIP (Contemporary Music Group)
Mon 3rd                      10.00amRelatives & Recently Departed,  (Jenny & Arthur Catterall)
Tues 4th                                                                             12.15pmTeresa Walstow’s Int’s (Nallan Hassan)
Wed 5th                                   10.00amAndrew Jeffreys RIP (Barbara Jeffreys)
Thurs 6th                    Epiphany9.00am12.15pm7.30pmSr. Raphael’s Int’s (Maureen Perry)Stanley Wood RIP (Fr. John)David Jeffreys RIP (Barbara Jeffreys)
Fri 7th                          10.00amMike Shead RIP (Margaret Duffy)
Sat 8th Jan                         10.00amKay & Harry Thain RIP (Thain Family)
Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 8th                                6.00pmDavid Faud RIP (Teresa & Family)
Sun 9th                            9.00amChristine Slisz RIP (Stefan Slisz)
Sun 9th        11:00amDavid Bloomfield RIP (Eileen Ward)

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

A NEW YEAR’S BLESSING 2022

“Dear brothers and sisters, it is only by pondering in the heart, in other words, by piecing together and finding unity in all we experience, that, following Mary, we can penetrate the mystery of a God who was made man out of love and who calls us to follow him on the path of love; a love to be expressed daily by generous service to the brethren. May the New Year which we are confidently beginning today be a time in which to advance in that knowledge of the heart, which is the wisdom of saints? Let us pray, as we heard in the First Reading, that the Lord may “make his face to shine” upon us, “and be gracious” to us (cf. Nm 6: 24-7) and bless us. We may be certain of it: if we never tire of seeking his Face, if we never give in to the temptation of discouragement and doubt, if also among the many difficulties we encounter we always remain anchored to him, we will experience the power of his love and his mercy. May the fragile Child who today the Virgin shows to the world make us peacemakers, witnesses of him, the Prince of Peace? Amen!”

       Pope Benedict XVI

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