St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
Jesus was a carpenter and was no doubt familiar with the occupational hazard of wood chippings inadvertently landing in the eye. He draws on this experience to tach us about the all-too-human tendency to judge others harshly. It’s part of the human condition to see more readily what’s wrong with others (the splinter) before addressing issues in our own lives (the plank). Why is this? Is it insecurity, low self-esteem, boredom or even just plain old envy or malice? God knows we all do it frequently, clergy and laity alike.
St Teresa of Calcutta said: If you judge people, you have no time to love them.’ Furthermore, Thomas à Kempis stated ‘Be not angry that you cannot make others as you would wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.’
Jesus encourages us to first examine our own lives before we judge anyone else. The Christian way is to put God’s spotlight on yourself before you judge someone else. A great mantra to help us with this is: ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’ If we lived like this, we would usher in a spiritual revolution, both in our own lives and in our parishes and wider society. We would gossip less, criticize less and condemn less, and have a better understanding that we are all fallen, wounded and prone to darkness, sin and confusion.
Some will protest that we need to judge and discern people and situations – how else can we help? Apart from the self-righteousness of this view, it’s wrong because it presumes we know how and what God thinks. God’s thinking is as far away for our thinking as the east is from the west. We should practice not judging. The next time you come across a story about someone’s fall (through any human weakness), instead of judging them, pray for them; offer them up to God’s mercy and love. When we think and act like this, we think and act like the Father.
My Dear Friends in Christ, 8th Sunday of the Year, 2022
ASH WEDNESDAY is on the 2nd March 2022 and marks the beginning of the Holy Season of Lent. This Penitential Season is given to us by the Church to help us prepare ourselves spiritually for the ‘Great Holy Week’, which retraces the Lord Jesus’ last days here on earth. We journey with Him through His Passion, Death & Resurrection. This is a familiar journey, and as Catholic Christians, let us make a very special effort to enter this Holy Season with renewed faith and vigour!
PRAYER: The Three main disciplines of Lent are Prayer, Fasting & Almsgiving (Charity). These next Forty days will give us the opportunity to really make a special effort in our spiritual lives with our personal prayer. Why not put aside a few moments every day as your very special prayer time! We have little Prayer Reflection Books available at £1 each called ‘WALK WITH ME’, these can be kept in your inside pocket or a lady’s handbag and can be used to help with prayer. As you know we have a library at the back of St. Edmund’s. There are many spiritual books that can be borrowed. (Please kindly return the books when you’ve read them).
FRIDAY FASTING: Was restored in England & Wales. Personal Penance identifies us with the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ. Friday has always been the traditional Fast Day, as it reminds us of Good Friday, the day on which the Lord gave himself completely for the Salvation of Humanity. The re-establishment of this Friday Fast means that we abstain from the eating of meat every Friday! (Not just during Lent). A little sacrifice in our diet once a week will certainly not harm our health. As families, it would be good to pray grace before & after meals together. These are practical and visible ways of our personal self-sacrifice!
ALMSGIVING: or works of Charity have always been associated with the Catholic Faith. We have a special Fast Day for CAFOD during Lent, Friday 11th March 2020. This is a very practical way to associate ourselves with those who are far less fortunate than ourselves. You may like to adopt a Third World Project, or, you may know of someone who is housebound and might like to visit them or shop for them. Also, FOOD BANK boxes will be in Fr John’s Garage to receive your food items. Anything that reaches out to someone else in charity can only be a good thing! Please make a very special effort to enter this Holy Season of Lent in faith and Love!
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. The children will make their Frist reconciliation on Saturday 19th March – there will be two sessions at 10am & 11am. 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 27th 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
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.
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 INTERESTED 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.
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/
CHILDREN’S SUNDAY LITURGY: Hopefully will be back very soon. But we need your help. Parents, can you spare one Sunday every two months to helpt the children during the 11.00am Mass? We need more parents to join our lovely group. Please contact Mrs Elena Manara at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.
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
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!
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.
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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
DIARY FEBRUARY – MARCH 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: Thomas Mitchley RIP. Please pray for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.
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.
MASS INTENTIONS – FEBRUARY / MARCH 2022
|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)|
|Mon 28th||10.00am||Merle Rodden’s Int’s (Marjorie Fairlamb)|
|Tues 1st March||10.00am||Emma Dorn Int’s (John O’Rourke)|
|Wed 2nd Ash Wednesday||9.00am12.15pm7.30pm||People of the ParishCharlie Brady RIPVeronica Baker’s Int’s (D & G Manley)|
|Thurs 3rd||10.00am||Len Rice RIP|
|Fri 4th Lenten Devotions||10.00am10.30am||Nancy Ironside RIP Maureen KisleyHoly Hour / With Stations of Cross|
|Sat 5th||8.30am||Moira & Baby’s Safety (Maree Kavanagh)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 5th||6.00pm||David Faud RIP (Teresa & Family)|
|Sun 6th||9.00am||People of the Parish|
|Sun 6th LentenDevotions||11:00am5.00pm||Mary McQuillan RIP (M Ryan)Holy Hour / Stations of Cross / Benediction|
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: email@example.com
The Brentwood Diocesan Trust Registered Charity No. 234092
8th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading : Ecclesiasticus 27:5-8
In a shaken sieve the rubbish is left behind,
so too the defects of a man appear in his talk.
The kiln tests the work of the potter,
the test of a man is in his conversation.
The orchard where a tree grows is judged on the quality of its fruit,
similarly a man’s words betray what he feels.
Do not praise a man before he has spoken,
since this is the test of men.
Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 91(92):2-3,13-16
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your truth in the watches of the night.
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.
The just will flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a Lebanon cedar.
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.
Planted in the house of the Lord
they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old,
still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just.
In him, my rock, there is no wrong.
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.
Second Reading : 1 Corinthians 15:54-58
When this perishable nature has put on imperishability, and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the words of scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Never give in then, my dear brothers, never admit defeat; keep on working at the Lord’s work always, knowing that, in the Lord, you cannot be labouring in vain.
Gospel : Luke 6:39-45
Jesus told a parable to his disciples: ‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? The disciple is not superior to his teacher; the fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,” when you cannot see the plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.
‘There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. For every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles. A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart; a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart.’
THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD