Third Sunday of Lent, 2022

Fifth Sunday of Easter 2022 St Edmund of Canterbury

  1. Fifth Sunday of Easter 2022
  2. Fourth Sunday of Easter 2022
  3. Third Sunday of Easter 2022
  4. Second Sunday of Easter 2022
  5. Easter Sunday 2022

Disasters and tragedies have a way of focusing our minds and grabbing our attention. Think of how the collapse of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York on 11th September 2001 focused the entire world’s attention.

There is, for sure, a morbid streak in human nature, a voyeuristic tendency to dwell on the misfortunes of others in a way that is neither healthy nor helpful. Seasoned traffic officers, for example, complain bitterly of the phenomenon of ‘rubbernecking’, when traffic slows down as motorists gawp at the aftermath of a crash scene, despite knowing full well that tailbacks and congestion will follow. https://webstockreview.net/images/lent-clipart-fasting-2.jpg

In the ancient world tragedies and disasters were construed as a sign of God’s displeasure or anger because of sin. The Book of Job captures this well when Eliphaz, one of Job’s advisers, chimes in with great earnestness, ‘Consider now; who being innocent has ever perished? Where were the uptight ever destroyed? As I have observed, those who plough evil and those who sow trouble reap it.’

The view is, however, not restricted to the ancient world. It emerged very much in the aftermath of 9/11 and expresses a way of thinking about God and the world which is wrong and distorted. Jesus strongly refuted the idea that those who fall victim to tragic events were especially sinful and taught that we all need to approach life with a repentant and contrite heart. The truth is that evil and terrible things happen to both good and bad people.

Furthermore, those who choose to live a righteous life often have to endure all manner of contempt and suffering, whereas the unrighteous are embraced by the world and enjoy its rewards. This is, without a doubt, one of the mysteries of life. We need to have a deep understanding of repentance as well as a deep grasp of God’s forgiveness and mercy. Rooted and anchored in this knowledge we must learn to move through life praying with all our heart. ‘Lord have mercy on me a sinner.’

My Dear Friends in Christ, 2nd Sunday of Lent 2022

It’s been absolutely heart-breaking to watch the continual bombardment of Ukraine over the past three weeks, people homes and lives being destroyed; the displacement of three million women and children throughout Europe. The men have stayed behind to fight for their country, for democracy and freedom. What is happening is pure evil! Ukraine, unlike Russia is a predominantly Christian Country. The humanitarian response has been incredible throughout Europe, and the rest of the world. So many people have contributed to various aid agencies in a bid to offer financial help to Ukraine, and hopefully this will continue. I attach contact details for continued assistance:

AID FOR UKRAINE: We have begun Lent this year conscious of the unspeakable acts of terror in the Ukraine. Our brothers and sisters there are experiencing terrible suffering as they struggle to defend their country and preserve their human rights and life itself. We are doing what we can from afar: assisting by the charity of our prayers and also with what practical means we can muster. Aid to the Church in Need is on the frontline of charitable assistance to Ukrainians. If you can help, you will find this link takes you to the ACN website where you can donate: https://acnuk.org/news/ukraine-charity-rolls-out-emergency-aid/

HELPING THOSE IN UKRAINE & UKRAINIAN REFUGEES: Caritas Brentwood are regularly updating information on their website, covering donations, prayer and welcoming those who are fleeing the Ukraine. You will find everything at: http//www.caritasbrentwood.org/Ukraine/

THE LATIN RITE BISHOPS OF THE UKRAINE: Have asked our prayers and solidarity as they look to Mary, Mother of God for Her particular intercession, and commend the attached Prayer of Consecration for both private and public use. We learnt a couple of days ago that our Holy Father is going to Consecrate Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Next Friday 25th March Feast of the Annunciation in Union with the Holy Father we will join in that Consecration. Please make a special effort to be at Holy Mass at 10.00am

PRAYERS FOR THE CONVERSION OF RUSSIA: Many of our older parishioners would remember that at the end of Holy Mass prayers for the conversion of Russia were recited. This was the request of Our Lady of Fatima in one of her appearances.  Never before do we need those prayers as much as we do now. I also attach herewith the Prayer for conversions of Russia:

May God Bless You All This Coming Week,   

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: The traditional devotion during the Lenten Season. I would encourage all our parishioners to attend the Stations of the Cross either on Fridays at 10.30am or Sundays at 5.00pm. This beautiful devotion follows the last journey made by Jesus on Good Friday to Calvary.   

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS Our final meeting will take place at the Presbytery on Thursday 24th March at 7.30pm. Theme: The Paschal Mystery. I commend to your prayers Neil MacKinnon & Mark Shelton who are at the final stages of preparation to be received into full communion in the Roman Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. If you want to know more about the programme, please contact Fr John, 

THRESHOLDS OF HOPE QUESTION: What does it mean to talk about Christ as our Redeemer? Input will be given by Msgr John Armitage, Parish Priest of Canning Town, today, Sunday 20th March, 4.00 – 5.00 p.m. via Zoom. To join these Zoom meetings simply forward a contact email to adultformationvicariate@dioceseofbrentwood.org. 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. You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/

MASS INTENTIONS: Every day in the parish Holy Mass is offered for various intentions; these are usually at the request of you the parishioners. Most intentions are for deceased loved ones, anniversaries, etc. The origin of the Mass Stipend is very ancient, and goes back to making provision for the priest for one day, as they do not earn a salary as such. At present I only have about two weeks of Mass Intentions booked up. If any parishioner would like a mass intention for any occasion whatsoever, e.g. deceased, birthdays, anniversaries, sick, etc. please complete Mass Intention envelope in the Porch. 

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: Robert Lockheart RIP, Helen Cooper RIP Please pray for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.

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

https://www.dioceseofbrentwood.net/donations?parish=loughton

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.  https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.vURSDAn0WzLsHFbz_iM-jAHaIz&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

BCYS YOUTH MASS: Thursday 7th April, Brentwood Cathedral. Come along from 6pm for pizza; FOLLOWED BY Stations of the Cross in the Cathedral for Lent, before Youth Mass starts at 7.30pm. 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 sleepout@dioceseofbrentwood.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: cathy@dioceseofbrentwood.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. Giving & payments go online at Mt. Olive – Mount Olive ...

CHILDREN’S SUNDAY LITURGY: Thank you for starting children’s Sunday Liturgy again. But we need more help. Parents, can you spare one Sunday every two months to help the children during the 11.00am Mass? We need more parents to join our lovely group. Please contact Mrs Elena Manara at e_vismara@yahoo.com Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.KmTSLI_W0s2kCiMgol1PnAHaJn&pid=Api&P=0&w=140&h=182

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. Can you help me clipart.

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 5th April at St Edmund of Canterbury Church in Loughton, at 7.00pm. The speaker will be Msgr Kevin Hale. For further information please contact Fr Mark Swires vocprom@dioceseofbrentwood.org

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP: We will be playing and singing at the 11am Mass on Sunday 3rd April, which will be the fifth 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.

PARISH REPOSITORY: There is a lot of new stock in the repository. There are cards and gifts for Mother’s Day. A variety of Candles – large and small. Greetings Cards for all occasions. Mass Cards for deceased. Children’s books about Lent. There are also a number of CTS little books in a special stand on all sorts of different issues, the saints etc. There are Statues, rosaries, medals, bracelets. A Variety of Easter Cards. Teresa Wallace is happy to order anything your request; it usually takes about a week to arrive. Pieta Drawing Sculpture - Saint Peter's Basilica, Pietà ...

3rd Sunday of Lent

First Reading : Exodus 3:1-8,13-15

Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law priest of Midian. He led his flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the shape of a flame of fire, coming from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing but it was not being burnt up. ‘I must go and look at this strange sight,’ Moses said, ‘and see why the bush is not burnt.’ Now the Lord saw him go forward to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush. ‘Moses, Moses!’ he said. ‘Here I am,’ Moses answered. ‘Come no nearer,’ he said. ‘Take off your shoes, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your fathers,’ he said, ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this Moses covered his face, afraid to look at God.

  And the Lord said, ‘I have seen the miserable state of my people in Egypt. I have heard their appeal to be free of their slave-drivers. Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings. I mean to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that land to a land rich and broad, a land where milk and honey flow, the home of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites.’

  Then Moses said to God, ‘I am to go, then, to the sons of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” But if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am. This’ he added ‘is what you must say to the sons of Israel: “I Am has sent me to you.”’ And God also said to Moses, ‘You are to say to the sons of Israel: “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name for all time; by this name I shall be invoked for all generations to come.’

Responsive Psalm : Psalm 102(103):1-4,6-8,11

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 does deeds of justice,

  gives judgement for all who are oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses

  and his deeds to Israel’s sons.

The Lord is compassion and love.

The Lord is compassion and love,

  slow to anger and rich in mercy.

For as the heavens are high above the earth

  so strong is his love for those who fear him.

The Lord is compassion and love.

Second Reading : 1 Corinthians 10:1-6,10-12

I want to remind you, brothers, how our fathers were all guided by a cloud above them and how they all passed through the sea. They were all baptised into Moses in this cloud and in this sea; all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they all drank from the spiritual rock that followed them as they went, and that rock was Christ. In spite of this, most of them failed to please God and their corpses littered the desert.

  These things all happened as warnings for us, not to have the wicked lusts for forbidden things that they had. You must never complain: some of them did, and they were killed by the Destroyer.

  All this happened to them as a warning, and it was written down to be a lesson for us who are living at the end of the age. The man who thinks he is safe must be careful that he does not fall.

Gospel : Luke 13:1-9

Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’

  He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”

The Consecration of the Ukraine to Our Lady

Beloved Queen and Our Mother, Queen of the Holy Rosary, Help of

Christians, Salvation of the human race, Victorious Virgin, here we

humbly fall before you, that you may bring our sincere prayers to

Almighty God in the Trinity.

We come in full confidence that we beg for mercy and protection for

our Motherland in this dramatic time of war. Mother of Mercy, we ask

this not for our merits, which we do not count on, but in view of the

infinite goodness of your Heart and the saving Blood of Christ, your

Son.

May the suffering and cries for help of so many people touch you.

Have mercy on the wounded and victims of the shelling, orphans and

widows, all those who were forced to leave their homes and seek

refuge in safer places. Ask for mercy for those who gave their lives

defending their neighbours and our Motherland.

O Immaculate Mother, ask God for the grace of conversion, and we

especially ask for the conversion of Russia and all those who are

blinded by hatred or thirst for power. Pray for us first of all for those

graces which can change human hearts in an instant, and which will

prepare and bring such a coveted peace. Above all, bring us the gift of

spiritual peace so that the Kingdom of God may grow in peace and

harmony.

Queen of Peace, ask us for the grace of true reconciliation with God

and with each other, so that we can give each other a hand of help

and support.

Throne of Wisdom, inspire all rulers to make wise decisions and

strengthen the efforts of those who contribute to the end of war and

the return of peace.

Queen of the Apostles, ask for our pastors the gift of strong faith and

zeal in the celebration of the Sacraments, so that at this time we may

all be united at the Eucharistic table and in zealous prayer.

Heal the sick, strengthen all medical staff and volunteers who care for

the sick and wounded, ask for their spiritual and physical strength.

Be healing for the sick, strength for the dying and joy for their loved

ones. Just as the Church and all mankind were consecrated to the Heart of

Your Divine Son, and in Him we hope to become an inexhaustible

source of victory and salvation for all, so we dedicate ourselves forever

to You and to Your Immaculate Heart, our Mother and Queen, that

Your love and care may ensure the victory of the Kingdom of God, and

that our Ukraine and all nations reconciled among themselves and

with God may bless and glorify You. Amen!

THE LEONINE PRAYER FOR THE CONVERSION OF RUSSIA

To be said after Mass are: 

Three ‘Hail Marys,’ one ‘Hail Holy Queen’ and The Leonine Prayers

 “O God, our refuge and our strength, look down in mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the Glorious and Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph Her Spouse, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the Saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church, we ask this through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.” “Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: And do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God thrust down to hell satan and all wicked spirits, who wander throughout the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.”  

“Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.”

 “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.” 

“Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.” 

“Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.”

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2022: The next class after half-term will be on Sunday 6th March 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.https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.gbBP6oMLYKuyafheS2KCtQHaFT&pid=Api&P=0&w=233&h=167

AID FOR UKRAINE: We have begun Lent this year conscious of the unspeakable acts of terror in the Ukraine. Our brothers and sisters there are experiencing terrible suffering as they struggle to defend their country and preserve their human rights and life itself. We are doing what we can from afar: assisting by the charity of our prayers and also with what practical means we can muster. Aid to the Church in Need is on the frontline of charitable assistance to Ukrainians. If you can help, you will find this link takes you to the ACN website where you can donate: https://acnuk.org/news/ukraine-charity-rolls-out-emergency-aid/

As we commence this second week of our holy Lenten Season; ask yourself have you remained faithful to the resolutions that you made on Ash Wednesday? It’s so easy to fall by the wayside very quickly. But that doesn’t mean that we have to give up. Lent can be a truly positive experience; a time of growth and understanding of the Lord Jesus. We have to remember where this journey is leading us; ultimately to the greatest event this world has ever known. Jesus Christ, who died on Good Friday, rose triumphantly on Easter Day. Sin and death was conquered; and the Lord invites each one of us personally to share in that New Life, which we call our Catholic Faith. How we prepare for that is up to us. No one can do this for us. Prayer, Fasting, Works of Charity are all well and good, but if there is no real intention behind them it becomes only lipservice. Conversion-Change of Heart is what the Lord calls each one of us to.

SET YOURSELF LITTLE TARGETS: Morning and Evening Prayers; Reading a passesge from the Bible; Attending an additional Mass during the week; Attending Holy Hour; Praying the Stations of the Cross; Praying the Rosary, or even a decade of the Rosary each day; reading a chapter of a spiritual book (see our parish Library). My dear friends, you can choose any of these throughout the week. But please don’t let this Lent pass you by.

FIRST RECONCILIATION: The children who are preparing for their First Holy Communion will celebrate the Sacrament of reconiliation for the first time next Saturday 19th March. This is an extrmely important day for the children, and I ask that their parents also be present.  Parents, you have already been notified about which group your child is in. There are two sessions at 10.00am & 11.00am. I ask the whole praihs to pray for the children at this important time along their faith journey.   

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.
https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.d49b-2Q6wVTm3YUJ2O6MNAHaDf&pid=Api&P=0&w=367&h=172

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

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 

SPECIAL APPEAL TO ALL PARISHIONERS

DIFFERENT WAYS TO HELP YOUR PARISH: There are all sorts of ministries in the life of faith and the Church; please would you consider joining one of the following:-

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. Communicating the truths of faith to our little ones is really a wonderful ministry, and can be very rewarding spiritually to both child and Catechist alike. 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 the 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.

Volunteer Gardeners for St Edmund’s Church grounds: We don’t have a lot of property at St Edmund’s, but if anyone has green fingers, and would like to help keep the front garden and hedges, shrubs and grounds tidy, I would be most grateful. Please call Fr. John.  Tel No: 020 8508 3492 

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

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

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

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. 

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.

The Synodal Pathway: Pope Francis initiated this enquiry and consultation process throughout the whole world; a journey in which the whole Church is engaged around the theme: “‘For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission,’ three pillars. Three phases are foreseen, which will take place between October 2021 and October 2023. This itinerary was thought out as dynamism of mutual listening. I want to stress this: a dynamism of mutual listening carried out at all levels of the Church, involving all the People of God. The Cardinal Vicar and the Auxiliary Bishops must listen to one another, the priests must listen to one another, the Religious must listen to one another, the laity must listen to one another and then, all inter-listening to one another; to listen to one another; to talk to one another and to listen to one another. It’s not about gathering opinions, no. This is not a survey, but about listening to the Holy Spirit.” (Pope Francis) https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.pjeu1LEn8X6mYslnHml7fQHaJF&pid=Api&P=0&w=140&h=172

As this is a listening process, and everyone has a contribution to make in the life of faith and the Church, if you would like to make comments and suggestions by the end of February, please submit them to Fr Andrew Headon, SS Peter & Paul Parish, 342 High Road, Ilford, Essex. IG1 1QP. Email: ilfordsspp@dioceseofbrentwood.org 

Some areas you may like to consider:

Communion: 

During the pandemic, what strengths did you find in your faith and in your Parish? In what ways did the grace of God most clearly touch and uplift you? How were you disappointed or sorrowful?

Participation: 

What gives you joy in belonging to your Parish

Mission: 

What areas of mission and outreach do we need to develop in our Parish?

Each Diocese will prepare a 10 page report in light of various contributions made by parishes, individuals, groups & sodalities. We have until the end of February to submit any comments or reflections. Once ever diocese has submitted their reports, as a Country this will be forwarded to Rome for the gargantuan task of disseminating and formulating the subject matter for the World Synod in Rome in October 2023. Let us keep this process in prayer.

PRAYER FOR SYNODAL PROCESS

We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name.

With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts;

Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.

We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder.

Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality 

influence our actions.

Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.

All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever.    Amen.

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

      Pope Benedict XVI

MASS INTENTIONS: It has always been a custom within the Roman Catholic Faith to have an Intention offered when celebrating Holy Mass. Intentions can be for all occasions: e.g. For a deceased member of a family; deceased anniversary mass; Birthday intention; Special Occasions; Get Well Mass; Success in exams; Special milestone anniversaries, Wedding, Ordination, Confirmation. In fact, you can offer a Mass for almost every occasion!  There are Mass Intention envelopes and Special Mass Cards for all occasions in the Repository at the back of the Church. (Please complete Mass envelope and enclose your Mass Offering and drop off at the Presbytery); I will always try to accommodate the date you have requested, or the nearest date to it.  It’s always beautiful to receive a Mass card from someone!https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.Wf1Md-pfnInfl5p-IanHAwHaHa&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

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.

FOR A SYNODAL CHURCH: COMMUNION, PARTICIPATION & MISSION: Pope Francis wants us to be more synodal at every level of the Church which is why he has convokeda synod about synodlaity itself. Communion, participation, and mission looked very dofferent in our country during the Reformation; and manifested itself, again, in different ways, for example, after the restoration of the hierarchy in the 19th Century. Missions preceded parishes. Communities came together to build churches and schools. https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.CIDMEvmJI68yfIptmd7fFwHaJQ&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

What is the Holy Spirit saying to us now as Church? What are the opportunities that are opening up? How might the Church look tomorrow? Pope Francis is inviting us all to pray, listen and discern together what the Holy Spiriti saying to us in our own community, to our diocese and the whole Universal Church. This will be the first phase of a process which will conclude in Rome in 2023. The Pope is asking us to be more Synodal, calling each and everyone of us to have a say in how the Church could change by discerning together the signs of the times and dreaming where we would like to be. This is a chance to all to have a voice, and see where we would like to be. 

PARISH FINANCES: During the Pandemic, over the past 19 months, you may be aware that the Parish Finances took a bit of a nosedive. Unfortunately, with a large number of people not attending church anymore there has been a dramatic reduction in income. Many parishioners signed up for online giving (details across the page); some joined the Gift Aid Scheme and give through monthly direct debit. I would like to encourage all parishioners to seriously think about your weekly offertory. This is your act of thanksgiving to Almighty God, and of course, is the main source of upkeep for the parish. There are spare Gift Aid application Forms in the Porch if you would like to join the scheme; you have to be a Tax Payer to join. Also, as we are having great difficulty in paying in our weekly offertory now, due to the HSBC bank closing, and many other branches not taking counter pay-in, can I recommend more parishioners going over to GA scheme through weekly/monthly direct debit, or online giving! This would be so helpful! Thank you for your generosity!

MASS INTENTIONS – MARCH 2022

Sat 19th      9.00amEugene Kane RIP (Margaret Duffy)
Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 19th                       6.00pm Terry Barrett RIP (Margaret Hopkinson)
Sun 20th        9.00amBeth Camacho RIP (Carlos Camacho)
Sun 20th LentenDevotions        11:00am5.00pmPeople of the ParishHoly Hour / Stations of Cross / Benediction
Mon 21st                         10.00amJohn Metcalf RIP (Margaret Duffy)
Tues 22nd                                                                                    10.00amMary Walstow RIP (Pat & Margaret)
Wed 23rd                                  10.00amHelen Cooper RIP (Betty)
Thurs 24th                           10.00amNicola Prightingale Int’s ((Marjorie Fairlamb)
Fri 25th   Lenten                                Devotions10.00am10.30amVera Watts RIP (Pat & Margaret)Holy Hour / With Stations of Cross
Sat 26th                                 10.00amMary Harvey RIP (Fr John)
Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 26th                                        6.00pmPeople of the Parish
Sun 27th                                    9.00amEve Buenaventura
Sun 27th               LentenDevotions 11:00am5.00pmDenis Byrne’s Int’s (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: loughton@dioceseofbrentwood.org

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

    St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

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