The Baptism of the Lord, 2022

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Today the Season of Christmastide draws to a close, and reaches a wonderful climax in a definitive event in Jesus life: his baptism. This was a remarkable event because the baptism offered by John the Baptist was for repentance. T immersion in the waters of the Jordan was a sign of conversion, of a person changing direction in life. https://tse4.explicit.bing.net/th?id=OIP.ZB6SN35NsykxTq4K3zzLXwHaGK&pid=Api&P=0&w=183&h=152

John’s message was addressed to tax collectors, soldiers and ordinary men and women. It was a message of moral reform, of preparing for the coming of the Messiah. Jesus’ baptism began his public life and in this moment God is revealed as the Blessed Trinity.  

The Trinity is unique to Christianity. We are united to Muslims and Jews because we share a common believe in One God, but at this point our faiths depart sharply from one another because we believe that God is Three Persons in One God: Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Jesus’ baptism was the manifestation, the epiphany, of Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God.
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The unveiling of Jesus nature and mission brought forth from the Father a tender and heart-warming affirmation: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ Jesus baptism was the acceptance and inauguration of his Mission as God’s Suffering Servant. He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners; his is truly ‘the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.’

In today’s Gospel we see the ‘fulfilling of righteousness.’ We are witnesses of Jesus consenting to submit himself entirely to his Father’s will, his death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. The coming down of the Spirit at his baptism looked forward to the Spirit coming down on us – a prelude to the new creation. We commit ourselves to enter more deeply in to the mystery of our baptism, praying about it, seeking to understand it and growing in our appreciation of this wonderful grace. 

My Dear Friends in Christ,       Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, 2022

As this New Year begins, I would like to encourage all of our parishioners to make an extra special effort to resolve to be totally committed in the life of faith. I know there was a lot of sickness at Christmas, and many people were isolating, almost a repeat of the same time last year. I would say that the numbers over the Christmas Holiday were down by about 50 per cent. But as I have stated this is a New Year 2022, and it gives us the opportunity to really take seriously our life of faith, especially if we are parents with children. As today is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, think about those sacred promises you made on behalf of your child on the day they were baptised, sacred promises to Almighty God for the most precious gift of life in your child. I remember reading many years ago, Pope Saint John Paul II said that the most important day of his life was the day he was Baptised; as we truly do become members of God’s family. Do you know the day of your own baptism?    https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.-ZErZ4aw08h1pY8NJenE_QHaHa&pid=Api&P=0&w=168&h=168

WELCOME TO NORTH AMERICAN COLLEGE SEMINARIANS: On behalf of the whole parish community, I would like to welcome Deacon Michael Hoye & Deacon Dillon Bruce. Unfortunately, the other two Deacons, who were due to come with them contracted Covid while travelling in France, and had to isolate. Michael and Dillon have been with us since last Tuesday and return to Rome today to resume their studies.

Our own seminarian from the parish Frank Westcott will be helping and assisting me personally for the next two weeks. At this time every seminarian at Oscott College is assigned to a parish as part of their formation and to give them an insight into the running of a parish and parish life.  

Please continue to pray for an increase of vocations to the Priesthood, especially in our own diocese of Brentwood    
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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! 

May God Bless You All, 

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME: The classes will 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. It was extremely disappointing to see so few of our families at Holy Mass over the Christmas holidays. Please keep all of the children in your prayers as they continue their sacramental preparation

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

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.  THIS IS A FINAL CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

THRESHOLDS OF HOPE QUESTIONS: What is the point of canon law? Will be given by Fr Gary Dench, assistant priest at Brentwood Cathedral on Sundays 9th and 16th January 4.00 – 5.00 p.m.. To join this Zoom meeting simply forward a contact email to adultformationvicariate@dioceseofbrentwood.org. For more information go to www.thresholdsofhope.co.uk 

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 a large selection of Mass Cards for all occasions; also candles are extrmely popular. There is a tin available for the money. If it’s a large sum of money could you please drop it off at the presbytery

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 (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.

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/

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 JANUARY 2022

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: Barbara Pope 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. 
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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

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

Bishop’s Certificate in Catechesis and Youth Ministry: The Bishop’s Certificate is designed to be an entry level qualification to help in the ongoing formation of adults involved in sacramental preparation or youth ministry in the Diocese of Brentwood. It includes both the development of practical skills & the deepening of theological knowledge. The course is online and taught through engaging, short videos with expert interviews. The course will begin on the evening of 24th February, with an introduction and welcome evening, held at Walsingham House at Abbotswick. For more information please see our website: https://bcys.net/bishops-cert/ or email your expression of interest to bishopscertificate@dioceseofbrentwood.org by Monday 22nd February.

BE PART OF THE WALSINGHAM HOUSE TEAM 2022/23 

If you are 18+ and looking for an exciting gap year opportunity, then a year on the Walsingham House Team could be for you. Spend a year as a volunteer in a thriving young Catholic Community, working with thousands of young people from Essex and East London. We are looking for inspiring individuals who want to share their faith with other young people and are also looking to learn new skills, grow deeper in their own faith and enjoy a challenge. For more information please contact Joseph Beattie, manager of Walsingham House, by emailing josephbeattie@dioceseofbrentwood.org or calling 01277 373959. There is more information about our work on our website (www.bcys.net) and social media @Brentwoodcys

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

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: 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

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 – JANUARY 2022

Sat 8th  10.00amKay & Harry Thain RIP (Thain Family)
Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 8th                   6.00pm David Faud RIP (Teresa & Family)
Sun 9th    9.00amChristine Slisz RIP (Stefan Slisz)
Sun 9th    11:00amDavid Bloomfield RIP (Eileen Ward)
Mon 10th                       10.00amSean Connolly RIP (John Connolly)
Tues 11th                                                                              10.00amRose McMorrow’s Int’s. (Maureen Perry)
Wed 12th                                    10.00amMolly Miitchell sick, (Margaret Duffy)
Thurs 13th                    10.00amLuigia & Pietro Tisi RIP,  Odilia & Albert Maton RIP. (Diana & Ferdi Tisi)
Fri 14th                           10.00amAoife Hogan RIP. (The Hogan Family)
Sat 15th                          10.00amMary Falzon RIP (Pat Bentley)
Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 15th                                 6.00pmGeraldine Staines Int’s. (Kathy Forwood)
Sun 16th                             9.00amPeople of the Parish
Sun 16th         11:00amRichard Marian Melon RIP (Monika Melon)

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

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

The Baptism of the Lord – Feast

First Reading: Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11

‘Console my people, console them’

Says your God.

‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem

and call to her

that her time of service is ended,

that her sin is atoned for,

that she has received from the hand of the Lord

double punishment for all her crimes.’

A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness

a way for the Lord.

Make a straight highway for our God

across the desert.

Let every valley be filled in,

every mountain and hill be laid low.

Let every cliff become a plain,

and the ridges a valley;

then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed

and all mankind shall see it;

for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

Go up on a high mountain,

joyful messenger to Zion.

Shout with a loud voice,

joyful messenger to Jerusalem.

Shout without fear,

say to the towns of Judah,

‘Here is your God.’

Here is the Lord coming with power,

his arm subduing all things to him.

The prize of his victory is with him,

his trophies all go before him.

He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,

gathering lambs in his arms,

holding them against his breast

and leading to their rest the mother ewes.

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 103(104):1-4,24-25,27-30

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.

Lord God, how great you are,

  clothed in majesty and glory,

wrapped in light as in a robe!

  You stretch out the heavens like a tent.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.

Above the rains you build your dwelling.

You make the clouds your chariot,

  you walk on the wings of the wind,

you make the winds your messengers

  and flashing fire your servant.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.

How many are your works, O Lord!

  In wisdom you have made them all.

  The earth is full of your riches.

There is the sea, vast and wide,

  with its moving swarms past counting,

  living things great and small.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.

All of these look to you

  to give them their food in due season.

You give it, they gather it up:

  you open your hand, they have their fill.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.

You hide your face, they are dismayed;

  you take back your spirit, they die.

You send forth your spirit, they are created;

  and you renew the face of the earth.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.

Second Reading : Titus 2:11-14,3:4-7

God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus. He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.

  But when the kindness and love of God our saviour for mankind were revealed, it was not because he was concerned with any righteous actions we might have done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own compassion that he saved us, by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour. He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.

Gospel : 

Luke 3:15-16,21-22

A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Now when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily shape, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’

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