St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
Shortly after his death Jesus gave his disciples, and us, a new commandment: ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another’. To be a disciple is to be called to a life of love. And in particular to agape love, which is rooted in self-sacrifice, in loving without thought of return, freely and unconditionally. Christian love is probably both the most important of all Christian virtues and the hardest to achieve. We may have faith, we may have hope, but don’t always have love.
Here’s the thing about love: we all want to be loved – more than anything else in the world we crave love. The Greek philosopher Aristotle said: ‘No one would choose a friendless existence on condition of having all the other things in the world.’ In other words, we were created to receive love and to give love. None of us is an island; none of us is without the capacity to love and be loved. Love, however, is rather like mercy: to show mercy we must first receive mercy; to love, we must first know we are loved.
So we see that to be a Christian is to be called to a life of love. But how far short we fall! None of us loves as we should love. Our hearts incline so easily to malice, envy, jealousy and rage. How can this be when we are called to love? We cannot love with our old hearts – they are callous and hard. No, a new commandment requires a new heart: the heart of the new creation, the heart of Christ.
This new heart of love is a blessing of the Spirit which we receive when we call upon God’s help, grace and strength to love in those situations where we find it hard to love, to forgive, and to show mercy where we, left to our own devices, are devoid of mercy. This kind of love, agape love, is the blessing and fruit of the Spirit and to this we are called and for this we receive every spiritual blessing and grace.
Dear Friends in Christ, 5th Sunday of Easter
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION MASSES: This weekend we congratulate the first two groups of children from our parish who made / will be making their First Holy Communion, yesterday at 12Noon & Sunday at 1.00pm. This is truly a wonderful moment in their young lives of faith. They will remember this day for the rest of their lives. I encourage all our parents of our First Communicant’s to continue to bring your chidlren to Holy Mass each week, so that they can fully participate in the Eucharistic Liturgy, and truly be an active member of the Parish Community. Next Saturday 21st May the final group of children will celebrate their Holy Communion, and on Sunday 22nd May all three groups of 31 children will gather together at the 11.00am for the Going Forth Mass. It is always an honour and great privilege to be able to celebrate the First Holy Communion Masses. ‘May God who has begun this good work in you bring it to fulfilment!’
On behalf of the Parish I would like to thank our Programme Director Kathryn Poulter and Elena Manara, and their young helpers, who have given of their time and talent throughout the past nine months in preparing our children for the Sacraments. This is no mean task! Also thank you to the many parents, some of whom came each week, to help with the classes. If there are any parents who would like to continue to volunteer to become Catechists for the Sacramental Programme, please see Fr John or Kathryn Poulter. Big thank you also to Sue Farrow our Music Director for the lovely music at the masses; and also the ladies who did the beautiful flowers for the celebrations.
EXAMINATION TIME: I would like to commend all our GCSE & A Level Students to your prayers over the next few weeks as they prepare to sit their respective exams. This is an important time in their lives as they plan for the future. May all their efforts and study be rewarded over the next months. And may the Holy Spirit give them the guidance and strength to perform well in the exams.
May God Bless You All
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 takes 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 soon. 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!
REDECORATION OF PARISH HALL: If you have been into the parish hall recently you will see that it has been beautifully redecorated. Obviously work on this scale is not cheap, and I’m grateful that we can call on the some of the proceeds of the sale of St Thomas More Site; likewise with the redecoration inside and outside of the Church. REQUEST: Could I ask all hall users to please respect the hall, and try to keep it as pristine as possible. I request that nothing be stuck on the walls or surfaces at all, as it tends to rip off the paint afterwards and spoil the decoration. 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/
May God Bless You All This Coming Week,
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.
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 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 your 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 prpayer, 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: Josei 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 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
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 14th||9.00am12Noon||Dec’d Parents of Julie Day RIP (C Perrett)Martin C Scahill RIP (C 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 Ward)First Holy Communion Celebration|
|Mon 16th||10.00am||Margaret & Pat Lawless RIP (The Ryan Family)|
|Tues 17th||10.00am||Philomena Joseph RIP (Mariet)|
|Wed 18th||10.00am||Rita Appleby (Get Well) Mrs O’Donoghue|
|Thurs 19th||10.00am||Emma O’Rourke-Dorn Int’s (John O’Rourke)|
|Fri 20th||10.00am||Dec’d Parents of Angela Exley (Christine Perrett)|
|Sat 21st||9.00am12Noon||Fr Patrick Hayward Int’s (M Duffy)First Holy Communion Celebration|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 21st||6.00pm||Elizabeth Quigley RIP (Veronica & Steve)|
|Sun 22nd||9.00am||Philomena Joseph RIP (Doris DeSouza)|
|Sun 22nd||11:00am||David Bloomfield RIP (The Munro Family)|
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME: Please keep all 3 groups of children in your prayers as they receive First Holy Communion this weekend 14th / 15th May, and Next Saturday 21st May. On Sunday 22nd May, 11.00am The Going Forth Mass will be celebrated. This will be followed in the Parish Hall by the Children’s Communion Party. May God bless these children and their families.
5th Sunday of Easter
First Reading : Acts 14:21-27
Paul and Barnabas went back through Lystra and Iconium to Antioch. They put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith. ‘We all have to experience many hardships’ they said ‘before we enter the kingdom of God.’ In each of these churches they appointed elders, and with prayer and fasting they commended them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.
They passed through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. Then after proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia and from there sailed for Antioch, where they had originally been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
On their arrival they assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans.
Responsive Psalm : Psalm 144(145):8-13a
I will bless your name for ever, O God my King.
The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.
I will bless your name for ever, O God my King.
All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God,
to make known to men your mighty deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.
I will bless your name for ever, O God my King.
Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
your rule lasts from age to age.
I will bless your name for ever, O God my King.
Second Reading : Apocalypse 21:1-5
I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, ‘You see this city? Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them; they shall be his people, and he will be their God; his name is God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone.’
Then the One sitting on the throne spoke: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new.’
Gospel : John 13:31-33,34-35
When Judas had gone Jesus said:
‘Now has the Son of Man been glorified,
and in him God has been glorified.
If God has been glorified in him,
God will in turn glorify him in himself,
and will glorify him very soon.
‘My little children,
I shall not be with you much longer.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another;
just as I have loved you,
you also must love one another.
By this love you have for one another,
everyone will know that you are my disciples.