St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
Good Shepherd Sunday
Good things come in small packages. Today’s brief reading carries quite a punch. It teaches us all we need to know about prayer; that it’s in the quiet and solitude of prayer that we most effectively hear the Lord’s voice. For sure, in the hustle and bustle of daily life and through the pangs of conscience the Lord prompts, urges and guides us, but it’s primarily in prayer that we, his sheep, hear his voice.
The practice of taking time out to be still with the Lord is in decline and it has become fashionable these days to speak of one’s whole life being a prayer: we can be too busy to carve out space in our busy schedules to pray so we offer up prayers as we move through our day. God is so much part and parcel of life that spontaneous, intimate chat becomes second nature. While no one can deny the importance of having an ongoing conversation with the Lord through the course of our day, the wise advice of St Teresa of Avila speaks down the centuries to us today: ‘We are always in the presence of God, yet it seems to me that those who pray are in His presence in a very different sense.’
One of the real problems we have concerning prayer is deciding to carve out the time. When we have so much to do the idea of taking time out to pray can seem impractical and unreasonable. The benefits and blessings of prayer, however, far outweigh the very real and very pressing demands of our frantic and frenetic schedules, as the Holy Spirit will reveal to us, if we allow him to. It’s the gentle voice of the Spirit who invites us into God’s presence so that we can be renewed and refreshed in body and spirit. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who dedicated service to the poor was rooted in prayer and the Eucharist, said: ‘Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of Himself.’
Dear Friends in Christ: Fourth Sunday of Easter 2022
Today is Good Shepherd Sunday and is the world day of prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. The past thirty years we have seen an incredible decline in vocations to the priesthood, especially here in our Diocese of Brentwood. We have one Ordination this year, Deacon Damian Wade on 25th June. We are also fortunate enough to have a seminarian from our own parish Frank Westcott who is completing the second year of a four year programme. But with the age of the clergy in the diocese being very top-heavy, within a matter of five years, we are going to be considerably stretched. And with the Stewards of the Gospel Programme advocating partnership with parishes, it is conceivably possible that one priest could be looking after two and three parishes.
The Lord himself tells us to ‘Ask the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers into his harvest.’ Our asking is our prayer, and I truly believe that we should pray daily for an increase of vocations to the Priesthood. As the saying goes; ‘No priest, no Mass!’ These are difficult times. The Pandemic has profoundly affected the Church. Many people have not returned to the practice of the faith, and have given up on religion. I really believed that the Pandemic would have focused people’s lives, helping them to value and see that life and faith go hand in hand. Sadly, for many it had the opposite effect. The 64 thousand dollar question is how do you encourage those who are no longer with us weekly to return to the practice of the faith
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CELEBRATIONS: I commend to your prayers all the children who will be making their First Holy Communion next weekend, 14th / 15th May & the following Saturday 21st May. This is a really special moment in these children’s lives and their families. I would like to publicly thank Kathryn Poulter & Elena Manara, our Catechists, and their young helpers who work so hard throughout the year teaching the children about the Sacraments; we are truly blessed and have a really wonderful programme of instruction. We are always looking for additional help with Catechists. Parents, if you have enjoyed being a part of the instruction programme this year, you might want to offer your help to Kathryn & Elena.
May God Bless You All,
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CELEBRATIONS: The children’s Frist Holy Communion celebrations will take place on Saturday 14th May, 12Noon (Group 1). Sunday 15th May, 1.00pm (Group 2). Saturday 21st May, 12Noon (Group 3). Please keep the children and their families in your prayers over these next couple of weeks at this important time in their faith journey. Rehearsals will take place on Wednesday 11th May: Group 1 meet at 4.00pm. Group 2 meet at 5.00pm. Group 3 meet at 6.00pm.
DATE FOR YOUR DIARY: Fr John’s Fortieth Anniversary of Ordination. Friday 8th July 2022. As this was unable to take place last year, due to the Pandemic, It has been rescheduled to this year, with a 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. If you can help in anyway whatsoever, please contact Fr John or Lorraine Leith. We will definitely need help on the day.
WEEKLY OFFERTORY ENVELOPES: If you belong to the Parish Gift Aid Scheme, could you kindly pick up your new envelopes immediately after Mass. During the Week the envelopes will be in Porch. The new financial year has begun so you’ll need your envelopes! If you would like to join the parish Gift Aid Scheme, please pick up a form, complete it and drop off at the Presbytery. I would like to encourage all those who Gift Aid to make a Standing Order, if possible.
BAPTISMS: If there are parents wishing to have their children baptised at St Edmund’s could you kindly contact Fr John as soon as possible. For first time parents there is a Baptismal Programme. Baptism take place on either Saturday or Sunday at 12.30pm
REDECORATION OF THE PARISH CHURCH: With the approval of the Diocese of Brentwood the work on the redecoration of the Church will commence on Thursday 12th May. The outside of the Church will be started first; and then, from the 6th June for four weeks the inside of the Church. In advance I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. During the month of June during the week we will celebrate holy Mass in the Parish Retreat above the Parish Hall. All of the Health & Safety protocols are being put in place in advance of the work commencing. We will be asking for some help on Friday afternoons to dust the benches in advance of Weekend Masses. Please help us if you can while the Church is being redecorated. Thank You!
AID FOR UKRAINE: The unspeakable acts of terror in the Ukraine are atrocious, many amounting to genocide. 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/
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/
CHRISTIAN AID WEEK 2022 (14th May-21st May) This year we will be doing something quite exciting for Christian Aid Week. We will be having a sponsored walk on Saturday 21st May that will visit all the churches in Loughton. It will start from St Edmund’s at 10.30am, where Father John will give us a blessing, and we will then walker together around all the Loughton Churches, ending at Loughton Methodist Church at around 1pm. Maps and directions will be provided. Please email Iain McLay (firstname.lastname@example.org) for sponsorship forms and more details or maybe just to let us know you will be doing the walk and making a donation. Full details of the route are on the Just Giving Site (search for “Loughton Christian Aid Week” on the site) or click this link https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/loughton-christian-aid-week-group-2022 where you can also make donations.
BILLY THE DOG’S WALKIES FOR CHRISTIAN AID WEEK: During Christian Aid Week Billy-The-Dog, with Iain McLay holding the lead, will be hoping to become the holiest dog in Christendom by visiting all the churches in the City of London (50) and then joining the official Christian Aid Walk on the 21st May to visit all the churches in Loughton. If you would like to sponsor Billy please go to the Just Giving Site and search “Loughton Christian Aid Week” or click on this link https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/loughton-christian-aid-week-group-2022 . Iain and Billy will be collecting sponsorship after masses this weekend.
VACANCY FOR EYFS CLASS TEACHER: The Trustees of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Multi Academy Trust wish to appoint an EYFS Class Teacher (it may be possible to consider other year groups). The closing date for application is Tuesday 17th May 2022 – 4pm TBC. For further details please visit http://www.ourladyoffatimatrust.essex.sch.uk or alternatively call Mrs Irene Nelson, H.R. Manager on 01279 425383.
PARISH SUMMER BALL: The 7th Epping Forest Scout Group Parents’ Committee will be hosting their Summer Ball on Saturday 25th June 2022 in the parish hall at St Edmunds Church. Tickets are £45pp and include a welcome drink followed by a three-course meal from your menu choice. There will be a fully licensed bar, plus the opportunity to win a bottle of Champagne or a cash prize in addition to our grand draw, offering you the chance to win one of our fabulous, donated prizes from local businesses. Dancing will continue until midnight to the live sounds provided by the wonderfully talented Adam Curto. This is our annual major fundraising event with all proceeds donated to the 7th Epping Forest Scout Group. Tickets will be on general sale after each Mass from Saturday 7th May. This event is always popular and now has limited availability tickets remaining. Should you require any further information, please speak to a member of the Parents’ Committee at the ticket stand in the car park after Mass.
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.
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 7th June at St Edmund of Canterbury Church in Loughton, at 7.00pm, commencing with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Rosary in the Church. For further information please contact Fr Mark Swires email@example.com
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 from the Church.
PARISH REPOSITORY: There is a lot of new stock in the repository. First Holy Communion gifts and items. A variety of Candles – large and small. Greetings Cards for all occasions. Mass Cards for deceased. Children’s books. 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 you request; it usually takes about a week to arrive.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.
MAY THE MONTH OF MARY: The Church gives the Month of May to Our Blessed Lady. Devotion to Mary has always been part and parcel of the Roman Catholic tradition. I would encourage every family in the parish to pray at least a decade of the Rosary each day throughout the month of May. The Rosary is a very powerful prayer, and it’s mysteries remind us not only what Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ has won for us through his act of selfless love; but also the great example of Our Blessed Lady in her response to God’s Holy will to become the Mother of His Son.
DIARY MAY 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: Josie Jaego RIP, Mary Christina Leith 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:
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!
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.
PLEASE COLLECT YOUR GIFT AID BOXES THIS WEEKEND
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 Irregular Marriage is one that has taken place outside of the Catholic Church without dispensation. For example: Marriages in hotels, and secular 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 rectify 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
ELECTRONIC EASTER OFFERING: If you have not made your Easter Offering yet, it’s still not too late! Envelopes are still available for your Easter Offering, which is your opportunity to make your Easter gift to your Parish Priest, which goes to make up his salary for the Year. This year our Easter Offering can also be made electronically. We just need to transfer the money to the parish account with the reference ‘Easter Offering’; please also quote you Gift Aid Number. Any questions please ask Iain McLay (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The details of the bank account are:
Sort Code: 40-13-22
Account Number: 11019651 Quote: ‘Easter Offering’ & Gift Aid No.
Account Name: Catholic Church Loughton St Edmund
MASS INTENTIONS – MAY 2022
|Sat 7th||10.00am||Nicole Gillen RIP (Mary Ryan)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 7th||6.00pm||Dec’d members of the Ray Family|
|Sun 8th||9.00am||People of the Parish|
|Sun 8th||11:00am||Pat & Jack Steele RIP (Maria Fray)|
|Mon 9th||10.00am||Lena Perry RIP|
|Tues 10th||10.00am||Fiona McCreesh (Christine Perrett)|
|Wed 11th||10.00am||Peter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)|
|Thurs 12th||10.00am||Mick Harrington RIP|
|Fri 13th||10.00am||Tommy & Kathleen Mullaney RIP ((Monica Maycraft)|
|Sat 14th||9.00am12Noon||Dec’d Parents of Julie Day RIP (C Perrett)Martin C Scahill (Claire Grant & Family)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 14th||6.00pm||Elizabeth Prashner RIP ((Anthony Family)|
|Sun 15th||9.00am||Brian Beveridge RIP (In memoriam)|
|Sun 15th||11:00am1.00pm||Bernard & Muriel Gilley RIP (Eileen WardFirst Holy Communion Celebration|