St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
G.K. Chesterton famously said, ‘The Christian ideal has not been tired and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.’ It’s relatively easy to talk about or give lip-service to ideals such as loving our enemy, not judging, turning the other cheek and praying for those who mistrust us, but try doing these things when you actually have someone to forgive or indeed have an enemy who wants to harm you. It’s not as easy, is it?
So, what’s the solution? So we have to try harder, pull our socks up, regroup and buckle down to live the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes? For many this is the answer and their best response. The only problem – apart from being heretical (Pelagianism) – is that is misses the mark, because our faith isn’t about trying harder and putting in the effort. Of course, many will claim it is, and without a doubt we have to co-operate, to want to live Jesus’ teaching, but simply trying harder isn’t the answer. Grace is the answer, grace building on nature, so that we can live a new life in and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
How does this happen? As offensive and scandalous as this may sound, we need to be overwhelmed by our complete inability to live the Christian ethic; we need to touch our bankruptcy and feel deep down in our being a wretchedness born of an insight that we desperately need God’s grace. Nevertheless, we don’t need to be dismayed or overwhelmed, for the Holy Spirit’s power enables us to live holy lives, because holiness is the fruit of the Spirit.
We often believe that God helps those who help themselves, but actually God helps precisely those who cannot help themselves. When we acknowledge this, when we recognise our need for God’s grace, his grace, mercy and Holy Spirit are poured out into our hearts, so that we can love our enemy, forgive from our hearts, and pray for those who persecute and mistreat us.
My Dear Friends in Christ, 7th Sunday of the Year, 2022
As the saying goes; ‘Time and tide wait for no man’. As the Holy Season of Lent rapidly approaches, I appeal to all of our parishioners to make a very special effort during this Lenten Season commencing on Ash Wednesday 2nd March. The past two years have been very strange due to the Pandemic. An element of fear certainly has prevailed and people’s regular routines have been disrupted. Many have suffered through sickness and ill health, some contacted the Corona Virus, sadly some have passed away. Children and Young People’s lives and schooling were affected considerably. But it is only now that we are trying to regain some semblance of normality once again.
Throughout the whole world, speaking to many priest friends from United States, Australia, & Europe, many people have not returned to the practice of the faith in the parish communities, and there may be the distinct possibility that some will never return. But this Lenten Season will give us all an additional impetus to reconnect permanently with our parishes. In our RCIA talk this week we discussed the importance of Prayer in our lives, and how this daily connection with God & Jesus is the life-line of our faith. All the different methods of prayer were explored, and being present at Holy Mass is also one of those prayers. For less than one hour a week we are invited to share in the Great Paschal Mystery; being part of the community united in this great prayer of Thanksgiving to God. And yet, for some, this is even too much! Reflect on the amount of time you spend watching the TV each week; or how many hours a day you spend on your mobile phone. This short time each week with the Lord certainly transforms our lives, but no one can do this for us, it has be of our own efforts to get close to the Lord that increases our faith. Lent is the Season for this.
There are all sort of different ways that we can make our Lenten journey special. The daily reading of our Bible; attending an additional Mass each week; attending the Stations of the Cross or a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament. There are a variety of spiritual books that you can read, e.g. Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre. No Greater Love by Edward Sri. The Decline and Fall of Sacred Scripture – By Scott Hahn & Benjamin Wiker. 40 Days of Lent Journey to Easter – By Catholic Common Prayers. There are also the spiritual classics, and many more. All of these can be obtained through Amazon.
May God Bless You All
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2022: The next class after half-term will be on Sunday 27th February 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.
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS Our next meeting will take place at the Presbytery on Thursday 3rd March at 7.30pm. Theme: Sacramentals – Rosary, Benediction, Stations of the Cross, Devotions, Processions. If you want to know more about the programme, and the whole RCIA process, please contact Fr John, Tel No: 0208 508 3492
THRESHOLDS OF HOPE QUESTION: What is new about the new Evangelisation? Input will be given by Fr Paschal Uche, assistant priest at St James the Less, Colchester, today, Sunday 20th February, 4.00 – 5.00 p.m. via Zoom. To join these Zoom meetings simply forward a contact email to email@example.com. For more information go to www.thresholdsofhope.co.uk
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. They will be running their initiative to support families with food over the Easter holidays and these are the items we can help them with: UHT milk, long-life juice, tinned tomatoes, tinned meat, rice pudding, custard, packet noodles, instant mash, tinned spaghetti, tinned fruit, breakfast bars/ snack bars, jam, chocolate spread, sponge puddings, chocolate bars, bottled sauces (Ketchup/brown sauce), small jars of coffee, toilet roll, laundry powder/tablets, razors, shampoo/conditioner and washing up liquid. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/
VISITATION OF THE SICK & HOUSEBOUND: In the latest guidelines from the Bishops’ Conference 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 at the Presbytery. Tel No: 020 8508 3492 or Email: loughton@ dioceseofbrentwood.org
BCYS YOUTH MASS: Thursday 3rd March, Brentwood Cathedral. Come along from 6pm for pizza, followed by Sophie from the Walsingham House team and CAFOD, who will talk about her experiences, inspiring us to get involved and how we can take action! Mass will begin in the cathedral from 7:30pm, joined by Fr Gary Dench who will preach the Gospel. Open to all those in years 9 and above, no booking necessary. (YOUTH MASS takes place on the First Thursday of every month and groups are always welcome! Please let us know in advance if you wish to bring a group, if you are able, so that we can have an idea how much pizza to order! Any groups are always welcome!)
BCYS LENTEN REVISION RETREAT: 2nd – 3rd April, Walsingham House
In years 11 -13 and preparing for exams this year? Get a change of scenery and a fresh perspective at Walsingham House at Abbotswick this lent for times of prayer, socialising and activities, but mostly to revise, alongside friends and the Walsingham House team members. As always the chapel is here for times of quiet reflection throughout the day. Book online NOW at www.bcys.net/events.
SPONSORED SLEEPOUT: 8th – 9th April, 8pm – 8am. Wherever you are in the Diocese, take part in your gardens, schools or parishes, on your own or as part of a group and spend 12 hours sleeping rough outdoors to raise money for a local charity supporting the homeless. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to take part.
BCYS SUMMER LOURDES PILGRIMAGE: 23rd – 30th July 2022. Assist pilgrims going to Masses and services, shops and cafes of the beautiful French town, join in social time together, take part in retreats, reconciliation service, visit the baths, the stunning mountain town of Gavarnie, enjoy social nights, party and experience the amazing Lourdes processions. The cost is £625 for the week, and is open to all those in school year 11 and above (funding and grant opportunities are available). For more information and to book you can visit www.bcys.net/events/sl22 – applications close Sunday 20th February
BCYS YOUTH GATHER: 22nd – 23rd October, Mersea Island. Stay in cabins and try a brilliant range of outward bound activities from climbing high ropes, archery, zip wires and much more to keep you challenged and entertained, with guest speakers and workshops which will give you fresh insights into yourself, and your faith, by telling their stories. Open to all those in years 9 and above, book NOW at www.bcys.net/events
BOOKING FOR ALL THESE EVENTS – and all information, can be done online at www.bcys.net/events or you can email me with any questions.
THE DIOCESAN LOURDES PILGRIMAGE: led by Bishop Alan, will take place from Sunday 24 – Friday 29 July in Lourdes. Brochures for the pilgrimage, which will include costs, will be available soon. For further information contact Cathy O’Connor: email@example.com or 07813 710070.
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
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 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.
ADVERT: The Governing Body of St. Antony’s Catholic Primary School wishes to appoint a talented SEN Learning Support Assistant preferably with experience of working with children with ASD to come and join our inclusive Primary school. For more information, please visit our website http://www.stantonyscatholicps.co.uk/vacancies CLOSING DATE: Wednesday 9th March 2022(Noon) INTERVIEWS: Friday 11th March 2022
DATE FOR YOUR DIARY: Fr John’s Fortieth Anniversary of Ordination. As this was unable to take place last year, due to the Pandemic. It has been rescheduled to Friday 8th July 2022, with concelebrated Mass with Bishop Alan, Priests of the Diocese, Family & Visitors from all over the world, and of course, My Parish Family here at St. Edmund’s. It would be helpful to form a working party to arrange the event. I have already spoken to our Parish Music Director with regards to Music & the Liturgy. Please contact Fr John: Tel No: 020 8508 3492
SYNOD DAY: On Saturday 5th March 2020. 10am – 1pm. Brentwood Ursuline School Hall. If you live, work or pray in East London or Essex, We would like to invite you to join us on our Synod Day for interactive sessions that will encourage conversations that help us to delve deeper into the responses received on the themes of Our Journey Together and give you the opportunity to have further input into our Synodal Pathway. You are welcome to book a small group or come on your own. Please do book as soon as possible so we can prepare to welcome you well. Register: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ARE YOU INTERSTED IN A VOCATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD? The next “Enquirers’ Evening” for those considering or interested in a vocation to the priesthood is on Tuesday 1 March at St Edmund of Canterbury Church in Loughton. The speaker will be Fr Maurice Gordon. For further information please contact Fr Mark Swires email@example.com
CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP: We will be playing and singing at the 11am Mass on Sunday 6th March, which will be the first Sunday of Lent. It would be good if many of our singers could be there – a great way to start Lent! Any parishioners who may consider joining us would be made very welcome. Simply come along. Also, we’d like to spend some more time in practicing, so we’d really appreciate you coming along early at about 10.10am before Mass. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you.
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham – 28th May 2022: Join Bishop Alan and other parishes around the Diocese of Brentwood in Walsingham as we celebrate the Year of the Family ‘Hearing and Doing the Word of God’. We will celebrate Mass at the Basilica before walking the Holy Mile to the grounds of Walsingham Abbey to celebrate Vespers and Benediction on the site of the Holy House. If you would like to come we would need to organise a Parish pilgrimage form the Church.
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, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones.
ANNIVERSARIES: Celia Rowe RIP, Patricia Gardner RIP, Eileen Bevan RIP. Please pray for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.
SPECIAL APPEAL To all our parishioners who contribute to your parish weekly. Would you please consider to transferring your weekly offertory over to a Direct Debit. With the closing of the local HSBC Bank it has been quite difficult paying in the Offertory, and with many banks now only offering a machine deposit service. Please think about this request. Thank you!
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.
MASS INTENTIONS – FEBRUARY 2022
|Sat 19th||10.00am||Sylvester Duff Int’s (M Ryan)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 19th||6.00pm||Mary Yeung (Esther Penn)|
|Sun 20th||9.00am||James McLay RIP (Sue & John Campbell)|
|Sun 20th||11:00am||David Bloomfield RIP (Doris DeSouza Brady)|
|Mon 21st||10.00am||John Francis Curran RIP (Geraldine O’Donoghue)|
|Tues 22nd||10.00am||James McLay RIP (Kendal Family)|
|Wed 23rd||10.00am||Paddy Mulhern RIP (R Ward)|
|Thurs 24th||10.00am||Yvonne Maria Westcott RIP ( Frank Westcott)|
|Fri 25th||10.00am||Joseph Campbell RIP ( John O’Rourke)|
|Sat 26th||10.00am||Jim Sullivan’s B’day Ints|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 26th||6.00pm||Kath Pomeroy RIP (Kathy Forwood)|
|Sun 27th||9.00am||Adrian Jarvis RIP (John & Sue Campbell)|
|Sun 27th||11:00am||James McLay RIP (Ruiz 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Brentwood Diocesan Trust Registered Charity No. 234092
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading : 1 Samuel 26:2,7-9,11-13,22-23
Saul set off and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, accompanied by three thousand men chosen from Israel to search for David in the wilderness of Ziph.
In the dark David and Abishai made their way towards the force, where they found Saul lying asleep inside the camp, his spear stuck in the ground beside his head, with Abner and the troops lying round him.
Then Abishai said to David, ‘Today God has put your enemy in your power; so now let me pin him to the ground with his own spear. Just one stroke! I will not need to strike him twice.’ David answered Abishai, ‘Do not kill him, for who can lift his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be without guilt? The Lord forbid that I should raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed! But now take the spear beside his head and the pitcher of water and let us go away.’ David took the spear and the pitcher of water from beside Saul’s head, and they made off. No one saw, no one knew, no one woke up; they were all asleep, for a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen on them.
David crossed to the other side and halted on the top of the mountain a long way off; there was a wide space between them. He called out, ‘Here is the king’s spear. Let one of the soldiers come across and take it. The Lord repays everyone for his uprightness and loyalty. Today the Lord put you in my power, but I would not raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed.’
Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 102(103):1-4,8,10,12-13
The Lord is compassion and love.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all his blessings.
The Lord is compassion and love.
It is he who forgives all your guilt,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion.
The Lord is compassion and love.
The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He does not treat us according to our sins
nor repay us according to our faults.
The Lord is compassion and love.
As far as the east is from the west
so far does he remove our sins.
As a father has compassion on his sons,
the Lord has pity on those who fear him.
The Lord is compassion and love.
Second Reading : 1 Corinthians 15:45-49
The first man, Adam, as scripture says, became a living soul; but the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit. That is, first the one with the soul, not the spirit, and after that, the one with the spirit. The first man, being from the earth, is earthly by nature; the second man is from heaven. As this earthly man was, so are we on earth; and as the heavenly man is, so are we in heaven. And we, who have been modelled on the earthly man, will be modelled on the heavenly man.
Gospel : Luke 6:27-38
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly. To the man who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too; to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’