Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, 2023

Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

The title “Mother of God” goes back to the third or fourth century, but the Greek term Theotokos (“The God-bearer”) was officially consecrated as Catholic doctrine at the Council of Ephesus in 431, thus becoming the first Marian dogma. At the end of the Council of Ephesus, crowds of people marched through the streets shouting: “Praised be the Theotokos!”  

This Catholic doctrine is based on the doctrine of Incarnation, as expressed by St. Paul: “God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4).

In its chapter on Mary’s role in the Church, Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution “Lumen Gentium” (“Light of the People”) calls Mary “Mother of God” 12 times.

In the encyclical <Marialis Cultus> (1974) Pope Paul VI states: “This celebration, assigned to January 1 in conformity with the ancient liturgy of the city of Rome, is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation. It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the ‘holy Mother . . . through whom we were found worthy . . . to receive the Author of life.’ It is likewise a fitting occasion for renewed adoration of the new-born Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels, and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace. For this reason . . . we have instituted the World Day of Peace, an observance that is gaining increasing support and is already bringing forth fruits of peace in the hearts of many” (no. 5).


Wishing our Parish Family a Very Happy, 

Healthy & Prosperous New Year for 2023.

Always be kind and loving to one another!

With Love & New Year Peace. 

Dear Friends in Christ,                                   Mary the Mother of God, 2023

    First and foremost, I wish you a Very Happy New Year for 2023. I would like to take this public opportunity of thanking the whole parish community most sincerely for your Christmas Offertory; also for the many personal greetings, cards and gifts for Christmas. I am always overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity. Thank you!  A big thank you to those who baked cakes, pies and various bottles and other ‘goodies’ while the Seminarians were with us! Two left last Thursday and two leave on Monday 2nd January. Fr John

SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD: Friday 6th January 2023. This is a Holiday of Obligation, which means, it has the same status as a Sunday OBLIGATION. There will be three masses on the Epiphany at 10.00a,. 12.15pm & 7.30pm. Please make every effort possible to attend one of the masses. The Magi were the final ones to arrive at the Manger of the Lord. Let us join them in bring the greatest gift we could offer the Lord Jesus, ‘our Love’! 

YOUR CRIB OFFERINGS: All your donations at the Cribs inside and outside will go towards the work of the Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society. This is one of the main forms of fund-raising for the BCCS. The Society usually sees about 5,000 clients every year from our diocese. Much of this work is done throughout Catholic Schools. The Cribs will remain up until the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord 2nd February and the Special Annual Crib Collection will take place on the weekend 31st Jan/1st Feb. thanking you all in anticipation.  

ELECTRONIC CHRISTMAS OFFERING:  It’s still not too late to make your Christmas Offering. If you were unable to be present over the Christmas period, envelopes are available to make your Christmas Offering, which is your personal Christmas gift to your Parish Priest, which forms the major part of his salary. This year your Christmas Offering can also be made electronically. You 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 ( 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.

          May God Bless You All,    

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS: Every year we all start off with good intentions with our New Year’s resolutions; but often, and very quickly they fall by the wayside. Could I make a suggestion that we all chose one thing to focus our attention – Renewal in faith – It would be wonderful if we could truly commit ourselves to the Lord Jesus in the practice of weekly faith. It’s not too much to ask to attend Holy Mass for one hour on a Saturday evening / Sunday morning. The Lord invites us to share in his life, and it’s up to us if we accept or reject that invitation. But it’s important to remember there are always consequences!      A Happy & Blessed New Year for 2023 to you all!

A VERY BIG THANK YOU: The Seminarians form the Pontifical North American College, have asked me to convey their grateful thanks to the whole parish community for your welcome and great hospitality towards them over this Christmas period. Also for the many desserts, sweets, cakes and pies dropped off at the presbytery. Please keep all the seminarians in your prayers. 

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES:  Continue on Sunday 8th January 2023 at 10.00am in the Parish Retreat. It is imperative that all children attend each of the Communion Classes. It’s also come to my attention that some children are not attending Weekly Sunday Mass, and some children have missed aa number of the Sunday sessions. If this is the case, I would think very seriously about putting your child forward for Communion; the last thing I want to do is have a weekly register, like many of the parishes throughout the diocese. It really is not fair on the child if they are absent from the weekly celebration. If you are unable to attend any session for some reason please contact Fr. John directly (not Mrs Poulter) Tel: 02085083492

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP: Will be singing and playing at the 11am Mass on Sunday, 1st January 2023 which is New Year’s Day. Kindly arrive 20 minutes or so before Mass starts. We hope that many of you can make the practice and that all of you will be at the Mass. Thank you. New singers and musicians who may like to join us will be made very welcome!

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. Mrs Sharon Chalk runs our Baptismal Programme. Baptisms take place on either Saturday or Sunday at 12.30pm


Sat 31st  New Year Eve                                                                                                   10.00amCharles Wescott RIP (Pat & Margaret)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 31st  New Year Eve                                                                              6.00pm Mary Jamieson RIP (Kathy & Mark Munro)
Sun 1st Jan                                 New Year’s Day                                        9.00amPeople of the Parish (New Year’s Blessing of Families)
Sun 1st Jan New Year’s Day11:00amPietro &Luigia Tisi, Albert & Odila Maton RIP (Ferdi & Diana Tisi)
Mon 2nd   11.00amStefano Witten Int’s (DeSouza-Brady Family)
Tues 3rd  10.00amCharles Westcott RIP (Veronica & Steve Short)
Wed 4th         10.00amAna Borges RIP (Adelaide Alves)
Thur 5th  10.00amPeter McQuade RIP (Anni) 9Margaret Duffy)
Fri 6th                        Epiphany of the Lord         10.00am12.15pm7.30pmBridget Kinsella’s Ints (Pat & Margaret)Stanley Wood RIP (Private Intn)Tylor Fallon RIP
Sat 7th   10.00am Joao Servo RIP (Adelaide Alves)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 7th   6.00pmPeople of the Parish
Sun 8th                                   9.00amA speedy recovery (I & M Binstead)
Sun 8th   11:00amChristine Slisz RIP (Stefan Slisz)

Please kindly put your Mass requests in early for anniversaries etc., this is to avoid any disappointment if a particular date has already been booked, 

Parish Phone No: 0208 508 3492      Email:

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

Sunday 1 January 2023

Mary, the Holy Mother of God – Solemnity

First Reading : Numbers 6:22-27

The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Say this to Aaron and his sons: “This is how you are to bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: 

May the Lord bless you and keep you. 

May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. 

May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”

This is how they are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.’

Responsive Psalm : Psalm 66(67):2-3,5,6,8

O God, be gracious and bless us.

O God, be gracious and bless us

  and let your face shed its light upon us.

So will your ways be known upon earth

  and all nations learn your saving help.

O God, be gracious and bless us. 

Let the nations be glad and exult

  for you rule the world with justice.

With fairness you rule the peoples,

  you guide the nations on earth.

O God, be gracious and bless us.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

  let all the peoples praise you.

May God still give us his blessing

  till the ends of the earth revere him. 

O God, be gracious and bless us.

Second Reading : Galatians 4:4-7

When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons. The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father’, and it is this that makes you a son, you are not a slave any more; and if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.

Gospel : Luke 2:16-21

The shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.

  When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.



By Vatican News

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has returned to the Father’s House.

The Holy See Press Office announced that the Pope Emeritus died at 9:34 AM on Saturday morning in his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, which the 95-year-old Pope emeritus had chosen as his residence after resigning from the Petrine ministry in 2013.

“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 AM in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible. As of Monday morning, 2 January 2023, the body of the Pope Emeritus will be in Saint Peter’s Basilica so the faithful can pay their respects.”

News of worsening health condition

Already for several days, the health conditions of the Pope Emeritus had worsened due to advancing age, as the Press Office had reported in its updates of the evolving situation.

Pope Francis himself publicly shared the news about his predecessor’s worsening health at the end of the last General Audience of the year, on 28 December.

The Pope had invited people to pray for the Pope Emeritus, who was “very ill,” so that the Lord might console him and support him “in this witness of love for the Church until the end.”

Following this invitation, prayer initiatives sprung up and multiplied on all continents, along with an outpouring of messages of solidarity and closeness from secular leaders.

Funeral plans

During a briefing at the Holy See Press office at midday, the director, Matteo Bruni, told journalists that Pope Francis will preside over the funeral of the Pope Emeritus on 5 January at 9.30 CET in St. Peter’s Square.

He added that as from Monday, the body of Benedict XVI will be lying in state in the Basilica so that the faithful who wish to do so may pay their last respects with prayers and a final farewell.

Bruni also said the Pope Emeritus on Wednesday, 28th in the afternoon, received the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick in the monastery at the end of Holy Mass.

And speaking to reporters after the briefing he said Benedict specifically asked that everything – including the funeral – be marked by simplicity, just as he lived his life.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen

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