St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Fourth Sunday of the Year, 2022

People either loved or despised Jesus. It was impossible to be indifferent to him, as his message was both sweet and bitter, Many hearts and minds were won over; yet many were repulsed.

Jesus’ reading from Isaiah had been received with reverence. Afterwards, Jesus makes a shocking declaration. ‘Today this reading is fulfilled in your hearing.’  The response of the people is fascinating. Amazed by his gracious words and conscious of his background, ‘All spoke well of him.’ All seems well with the world; the prophet is honoured and the people are happy. Bit Jesus shatters this illusion, realising that they have missed the implications of what he said.  https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.E1YF0t0eUwzCy8l5szqJZAHaG0&pid=Api&P=0&w=193&h=178

He challenges them to understand that God works outside their predetermined mind-set and ideas. Jesus uses the examples of the widow in Zaraphath, and Naaman the Syrian, both Gentiles who were helped by God’s prophets. Israel, in contrast, had a history of turning its back on God’s chosen messengers. Now, in their presence, stood the One to whom the law and the prophets testified. Jesus declares that to reject him is much more severe than to reject the previous prophets.

God’s plan of Salvation is made present in Jesus. Listening to his teaching, the people’s approval of Jesus quickly wanes. Their thoughts turn from praise to murder in a matter of seconds. This incident highlights a fundamental question: Who do you think Jesus is? A prophet? A holy man? An impressive religious leader? We can’t go through life and not address this question. The synagogue congregation couldn’t ignore him; he challenged and rocked their world and he challenges and rocks ours too. Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit Of The Lord Is Upon Me (white)

Lord Jesus, you endured the humiliation of being a prophet without honour. But you are much more than a prophet; you are true God and true man. You are the light of the world and you call us to be prophetic witnesses to your life.

My Dear Friends in Christ,               4th Sunday of the Year, 2022

LATEST COVID GUIDELINES: From the Bishop’s Conference of England & Wales: England has returned to Plan A with regard to measures to protect against COVID-19. People are advised to continue to wear a face-covering in crowded indoor spaces; allow in plenty of fresh air when meeting/ gathering indoors and follow test and self-isolation rules where necessary. Bear in mind that although the Plan B rules have now been relaxed and we are moving towards learning to live with the virus, COVID-19 is still in circulation in our communities. COVID-19 risk assessments will still need to be kept up to date. The precautions you apply in your parishes should continue to be based on the position in your local community to ensure that clergy, employees and volunteer workers stay safe and individuals participating in services, activities and events can be confident about taking personal responsibility for their own risk.

Please read the Guidance for Churches on the Parish Website:

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact hs@dioceseofbrentwood.org

AT ST EDMUND’S: As of this weekend, there will be no further ‘track & trace’ filling in of slips of paper with your details. Also the QR Cod will be removed. This is not required by law anymore.   As you know there is plenty of ventilation in the church as the back doors are left open. Please be aware of this when you come to Mass, by wearing appropriate overcoats. Ventilation is the key to keeping people safe.

Face  Coverings:  It is still recommended that Face Coverings be worn at Mass and services in the church. 

Offertory Collection: Will resume this weekend. With the knowledge that transmission through contact is rare bishops have given permission for collections using baskets. (We will not use the money pouches with metal handles, only baskets from now on). Many churches have introduced baskets which have multiple places to touch. The assistance of the Stewards with regards the Offertory Collection would be very helpful. 

Hymn Books: I have just purchased some beautiful New Hymn Books for the Parish; it’s nearly twenty years since the last books were purchased. As they will only be used by one person during Holy Mass it is a personal choice as to whether you wish to take one or not! I really would like us to be able to sing properly once again.

HAND SANITISERS: Will still be available at all the masses on the weekend and during the week. Thankfully we have got into a good routine with the cleaning of hands. Also Fr John & The Eucharistic Minister will thoroughly clean their hands prior to the distribution of Holy Communion.

God Bless You All  Fr

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, Wednesday 2nd February 2022 will be forwarded to the BCCS, which will help assist them in their extremely important work.  This Weekend we will collect in Gift Aid envelopes for the 2nd February & any additional offerings. I thank you on behalf of the Catholic Children’s Society, in anticipation of your offerings.  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 30th 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. Dr Paul Doherty will give the talk.  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 27th January 2022. Theme: The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. 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

THRESHOLDS OF HOPE QUESTIONS: Will be given by Fr Paul Keane, Priest of the diocese, presently Vice Rector of Oscott Seminary, Birmingham on Sunday 30th January 2022,  4.00 – 5.00 p.m. Theme Question: What do the Martyrs teach us about the life of faith? If you would like to join this  Zoom meeting simply forward a contact email to adultformationvicariate@dioceseofbrentwood.org. For more information go to www.thresholdsofhope.co.uk  https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.2kuoi1TlIwYg7O0RKH-IqAHaE8&pid=Api&P=0&w=264&h=176

VISITATION OF THE SICK & HOUSEBOUND: In the latest guidelines from the Bishops, we have now been given permission once again to resume our visitation of sick & housebound parishioners. If anyone would like a visit or receive Holy Communion at home, please contact Fr John.

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 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: UHT milk, laundry powder and tablets, tinned tomatoes, sponge puddings, cleaning spray / cloths, instant mash, toilet paper, chocolate bars, rice pudding and jam. 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 – FEBRUARY 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, Jackie Ilines, 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: Frederick Burgess RIP, Bruna Morelli 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. 

https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.PksgenkNVMwF2XWxHkXnzgHaHp&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

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

We really would love more parishioners to go over to Direct Debit giving, as there is no HSBC bank in Loughton anymore. Please think about this and use the necessary forms available in the porch of the the Church. If you need any help please let Fr. John know. 

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

WHAT IS A MASS INTENTION?: Anyone can request a Mass intention. They can be offered for all occasions: – For someone who has recently passed away; Anniversary of a death, Birthdays, for someone who is sick, A person’s feast day, Private & special intentions, for success in exams or an interview, the beginning of a new school year. Etc.  Their origin goes back to medieval times, when people would make a request for a Mass and as an offering would provide the priest with his daily allowance. So the Mass Stipend (the offering given) was to keep the priest for a day. If anyone would like to Book a Mass Intention, there are Mass envelopes in the porch of the church, complete the Intention and place your offering inside, and leave at the Presbytery. The priest will try to accommodate your request as soon as possible. For anniversary Masses, please ensure that you drop your Mass Intention Envelope off several weeks in advance, as many people book their anniversary masses at the beginning of the year. This saves any disappointment if a particular date has already been requested.https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.-so2fYow6Fa0kE_XWY4VPgHaE8&pid=Api&P=0&w=245&h=164

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

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 29th    10.00amJo Colebrook RIP (Remy)
Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 29th                     6.00pm Dr Philip Prashner RIP (Anthony Family
Sun 30th      9.00amPeople of the Parish
Sun 30th      11:00amDennis Randall RIP (Tisi Family)
Mon 31st                         10.00amJim Sullivan (sick) (Joan O’Sulivan)
Tues 1stFebruary                                                                               10.00amMel O’Reilly RIP (Maureen O’Reilly)
Wed 2nd                                      10.00amPeter Webber (sick)  (Mike & Maggie Duley)  
Thurs 3rd                      10.00amMaureen Barker RIP (Mark Barker)
Fri 4th                              10.00amElizabeth Brown RIP (G Taylor)
Sat 5th                             10.00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 5th                                    6.00pmDavid Faud RIP (1st Anni) (Teresa Faud & Family)
Sun 6th                                9.00amDennis Randall RIP (Daly Family)
Sun 6th            11:00amAlois Slisz RIP (Stefan Slisz)

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

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading : Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19

In the days of Josiah, the word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying:

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;

before you came to birth I consecrated you;

I have appointed you as prophet to the nations.

‘So now brace yourself for action.

Stand up and tell them

all I command you.

Do not be dismayed at their presence,

or in their presence I will make you dismayed.

‘I, for my part, today will make you

into a fortified city,

a pillar of iron,

and a wall of bronze

to confront all this land:

the kings of Judah, its princes,

its priests and the country people.

They will fight against you

but shall not overcome you,

for I am with you to deliver you –

it is the Lord who speaks.’

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 70(71):1-6,15,17

My lips will tell of your help.

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;

  let me never be put to shame.

In your justice rescue me, free me:

  pay heed to me and save me.

My lips will tell of your help.

Be a rock where I can take refuge,

  a mighty stronghold to save me;

  for you are my rock, my stronghold.

Free me from the hand of the wicked.

My lips will tell of your help.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,

  my trust, O Lord, since my youth.

On you I have leaned from my birth,

  from my mother’s womb you have been my help.

My lips will tell of your help.

My lips will tell of your justice

  and day by day of your help.

O God, you have taught me from my youth

  and I proclaim your wonders still.

My lips will tell of your help.

Second Reading : 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them.

  If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

  Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

  Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.

  In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

Gospel : 

Luke 4:21-30

Jesus began to speak in the synagogue: ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’

  But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside.”’

  And he went on, ‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.

  ‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.’

  When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.

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