St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Second Sunday of the Year, 2022

In today’s Gospel, we encounter John’s ‘sign theology’ for the first time. He puts it so beautifully: ‘This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee.’ As usual, the question is: ‘What does this sing mean?’ Like all the signs the meaning is profound and many-faceted. St Thomas More said that the Scriptures were such that a mouse could put his tiny foot in them whilst an elephant wade in their deep waters!
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The changing of water into wine is many people’s favourite miracle. A wedding in first-century Palestine was a joyous affair with plenty of food and wine, and lasted a whole week. Quite some party, that’s for sure! Running out of wine was clearly embarrassing for the bride’s father but a sign perhaps of how much people were enjoying themselves. The water used in the miracle was not ordinary water, but had been blessed for ceremonial washing. This special water was not changed into vin ordinaire, as the French say, but a top-vintage; six jars of it, holding up to 25 gallons. What a miracle! Indeed, it dumbfounded the guests. 

Believer or unbeliever, we all understand the message a superabundance of wine gives. It conveys joy, celebration, etc. In Israel and abundance of wine was associated with a prophetic turn of speech for the new Messianic Age. There is also a passage in 2 Baruch which echoes this sentiment: ‘On each vine there shall be a thousand branches, and each branch shall bear a thousand clusters, and each grape produce a cor (120 gallons of wine)…because these are they who have come to the consummation of time. 

For John the miracle was a sign of Messianic Age, the passing form the old to the new. The wedding feast illustrated the heavenly banquet to which we’re all invited by virtue of our baptism. The bridegroom is Jesus, and the joy of the heavenly banquet would come after the ‘hour’ of Jesus’ suffering: the cross, his death, his glory. 

My Dear Friends in Christ,             2nd Sunday of the Year, 2022
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RENEWAL IN THE FAITH: As we are now into the third week of the New Year; and as the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has asked all parishes to think about what it means to be Church in 2022. I make this special appeal to the whole parish community, also to those who may be lapsed from the practice of the faith, to think very seriously about what it means to be Roman Catholic, and also how commitment in faith involves every aspect of our lives, our marriages and family life, our community, the way we relate to one another, the practice of our faith by being actively present and involved in the Sacred Liturgy of the Mass. Our time, our treasure and our talent, are all contributing factors to leading an active committed life of faith.  

To know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour is fundamentally at the heart of what it means to be Catholic. I ask every Catholic in this parish to seriously think about their personal commitment to Jesus Christ. To be Catholic is to make a personal witness to the Lord in every aspect of our lives. Parents witness to children by showing them the best values of life; but as Catholic parents, the sacred promises made on the day of your child’s baptism are binding forever, and should never be taken lightly. I suppose how we prioritise our faith is at the heart of how we live out our faith. These are challenging times, The Pandemic over the past two years has most certainly had a detrimental effect on the life of faith and the Church; but we can’t allow it to dictate and control our lives, we need to take back again the sacred & holy in our lives of faith. 

CHURCH PRACTICES: During the past two years we have had to adapt to living with the Governmental and Diocesan guidelines with regard to the Pandemic. The objective has been and will continue to be so, to protect the health and safety of all our parishioners. Our Stewards have assisted and really helped in this process in every parish. It has been very hard to try and maintain a sense of real dignity and reverence in the Sacred Liturgy, but I feel we have most definitely achieved this, with the assistance of the Choir & Contemporary Music Group.  I will be ordering new Hymn Books for the Parish, enabling us once again to be able to participate fully in the singing at Holy Mass. Also, we will resume with the Weekly Offertory Collection, and Offertory Procession; most parishes in the diocese resumed this some months ago. We need to get back to some semblance of normality once again. 

May God Bless You All, 

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! https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.DKrcrY1-bBP6oycrULe1oQHaG0&pid=Api&P=0&w=194&h=180


FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2022: The class will be on Sunday 16th January 2022. It is imperative that all the First Communion Children and their families are present each week at Sunday Mass. Please note that the next Parents’ Meeting will take place on Wednesday 9th February at 7.30pm. The subject will be the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 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 20th January 2022. Theme: The Sacred Priesthood. 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
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THRESHOLDS OF HOPE QUESTIONS: What is the point of canon law? Will be given by Fr Gary Dench, assistant priest at Brentwood Cathedral on Sunday 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  

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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.

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/

WAYS TO HELP YOUR PARISH: There are all sorts of ministries in the life of faith and the Church, can you help in any way?

Parish Readers: You may have thought it would be good to become a Reader at Holy Mass; please see Fr John if you’re interested.

The Parish Altar Society: has been running for over 70 years. This involves keeping the Church in pristine condition through cleaning and care. It’s always good to have more volunteers to go onto the Rota. E.g. there is the cleaning of the church, cleaning of windows, Cleaning of Sacristies, Cleaning of the Organ Loft, Care of Sanctuary, Washing of Altar Linens, Cleaning of the Brass; if you can help in any way whatsoever, please contact Fr John or Sharon Fitzmaurice.

Additional Catechists: Helping to teach the faith to our Children through Sacramental Preparation. There is always need for further help with this very important ministry.

Altar Serving: We are always looking for new altar Servers. Sadly, we lost a lot of our Severs during the Pandemic, who have decided not to return to weekly serving. If your child has made their First Holy Communion, and would like to serve please speak to Fr. John.

Joining Choir or Contemporary Music Group: If you enjoy singing, or that you’re a musician, you may consider joining our Choir or the Contemporary Music Group. These two groups meet regularly for practice, and enrich our Sunday Liturgy. 

PLEASE CONSIDER THESE SUGGESTIONS; WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER ALMIGHTY GOD THROUGH OUR TALENTS.

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: Michael Barrass RIP, Brenda Deamer RIP, William Hatley 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 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.

JOB VACANCY: School site Manage, at St John Fisher Catholic Primary School. St John Fisher Catholic Primary School is seeking to appoint a Resourceful and self-motivated Site Manager, who will take great pride in the school and school grounds. This is a full-time post 37 hours per week. Closing date for application Friday 28th January 2022. Please email the school for further details. Admin@st-johnfisher.essex.sch.uk.

Spiritual Thought

God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work.

St John Henry Newman

MASS INTENTIONS – JANUARY 2022

Sat 15th  10.00amMary Falzon RIP (Pat Bentley)
Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 15th                   6.00pm Geraldine Staines Int’s. (Kathy Forwood)
Sun 16th    9.00amPeople of the Parish
Sun 16th    11:00amRichard Marian Melon RIP (Monika Melon)
Mon 17th                       10.00amRose McMorrow’s Int’s (John & Sara)
Tues 18th                                                                              10.00amMary Walstow RIP (1st Anni) (Teresa Walstow)
Wed 19th                                    9.00amDennis Moriarty RIP (Geraldine & Robert Taylor)
Thurs 20th                    10.00amInt’s Francis & Sam Murray & Family (M Duffy)
Fri 21st                            10.00amBridget Burrowes RIP (Geraldine Taylor)
Sat 22nd                           10.00amCOMMUNION SERVICE
Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 22nd                                  6.00pmCecilia Adams RIP (Mary & Eddie Pointer)
Sun 23rd                              9.00amPeople of the Parish
Sun 23rd          11:00amDerek Dodd RIP (Anthony 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

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading : Isaiah 62:1-5

About Zion I will not be silent,

about Jerusalem I will not grow weary,

until her integrity shines out like the dawn

and her salvation flames like a torch.

The nations then will see your integrity,

all the kings your glory,

and you will be called by a new name,

one which the mouth of the Lord will confer.

You are to be a crown of splendour in the hand of the Lord,

a princely diadem in the hand of your God;

no longer are you to be named ‘Forsaken’,

nor your land ‘Abandoned’,

but you shall be called ‘My Delight’

and your land ‘The Wedded’;

for the Lord takes delight in you

and your land will have its wedding.

Like a young man marrying a virgin,

so will the one who built you wed you,

and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride,

so will your God rejoice in you.

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 95(96):1-3,7-10

Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.

O sing a new song to the Lord,

  sing to the Lord all the earth.

  O sing to the Lord, bless his name.

Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.

Proclaim his help day by day,

  tell among the nations his glory

  and his wonders among all the peoples.

Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.

Give the Lord, you families of peoples,

  give the Lord glory and power;

  give the Lord the glory of his name.

Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.

Worship the Lord in his temple.

  O earth, tremble before him.

Proclaim to the nations: ‘God is king.’

  He will judge the peoples in fairness.

Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.

Second Reading : 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose. One may have the gift of preaching with wisdom given him by the Spirit; another may have the gift of preaching instruction given him by the same Spirit; and another the gift of faith given by the same Spirit; another again the gift of healing, through this one Spirit; one, the power of miracles; another, prophecy; another the gift of recognising spirits; another the gift of tongues and another the ability to interpret them. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who distributes different gifts to different people just as he chooses.

Gospel : John 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said ‘Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’, and they filled them to the brim. ‘Draw some out now’ he told them ‘and take it to the steward.’ They did this; the steward tasted the water, and it had turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from – only the servants who had drawn the water knew – the steward called the bridegroom and said, ‘People generally serve the best wine first, and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink; but you have kept the best wine till now.’

  This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galilee. He let his glory be seen, and his disciples believed in him.

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