Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More
Today the Season of Christmastide draws to a close, and reaches a wonderful climax in a definitive event in Jesus life: his baptism. This was a remarkable event because the baptism offered by John the Baptist was for repentance. The immersion in the waters of the Jordan was a sign of conversion, of a person changing direction in life.
John’s message was addressed to tax collectors, soldiers and ordinary men and women. It was a message of moral reform, of preparing for the coming of the Messiah. Jesus’ baptism began his public life and in this moment God is revealed as the Blessed Trinity.
The Trinity is unique to Christianity. We are united to Muslims and Jews because we share a common belief in One God, but at this point our faiths departs sharply from one another because we believe that God is Three Persons in One God: Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Jesus’ baptism was the manifestation, the epiphany, of Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God.
The unveiling of Jesus nature and mission brought forth from the Father a tender and heart-warming affirmation: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ Jesus’ baptism was the acceptance and inauguration of his Mission as God’s Suffering Servant. He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners; he is truly ‘the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.’
In today’s Gospel we see the ‘fulfilling of righteousness.’ We are witnesses of Jesus consenting to submit himself entirely to his Father’s will, his death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. The coming down of the Spirit at his baptism looked forward to the Spirit coming down on us – a prelude to the new creation. We commit ourselves to enter more deeply in to the mystery of our baptism, praying about it, seeking to understand it and growing in our appreciation of this wonderful grace.
Dear Friends in Christ, The Baptism of the Lord, 2023
Do you know that date you were baptised? The late Pope St John Paul II believed the day of his baptism was the greatest day of his life. Our initiation into the Christian life commences on the day of our Baptism. In the Gospel today we see Jesus’ baptism. It actually wasn’t necessary for him to be baptised as he was free from sin; but he uses it as a witness to those around, how he wishes to be associated with sinful humanity, as Saviour. The sacred promises made by our loving parents on the day of a child’s baptism are an eternal legacy to the child, that they will do everything in their path to keep that child on the path of Jesus Christ, and ultimately, leading to God. Baptism, is the gateway to the Sacramental Life; we begin that great journey of discovery, and live out daily those promises so solemnly made on our behalf. Perhaps, you can look at your Baptismal Certificate today and memorise the date of your Baptism. (Picture: Baptism of Jesus, Los Angeles Cathedral)
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 (email@example.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.
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!
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
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 run by Mrs Sharon Chalk. Baptisms take place on either Saturday or Sunday at 12.30pm
CAN YOU HELP? We are desperately in need of additional help for the Altar Society; over the past year or so, we’ve lost a number of our regular helpers who clean the church. If you are able to give half an hour or so every month to help keep our Church beautifully clean and tidy, this is all we ask. If you’re able to help please contact Sharon Fitzmaurice 07854919207 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Fr John. 0208 508 3492 THE NEXT BIG CLEAN IS ON WEDNESDAY 11th January at 10.30am. PLEASE JOIN US!
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: If you know of someone who doesn’t attend weekly mass at present, whether it be a family member or friend, please encourage them to return to the regular practice of the faith. Even offer to accompany them to the celebration of the Holy Mass. What a wonderful testimony to the lived life of faith, helping another to return to the Sacraments.
DIARY DECEMBER 2023
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH
Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Jackie Ilines, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Bridget Kinsella, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Remy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary & Steve Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones.
ANNIVERSARIES: 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
THESE DETAILS CAN BE ALSO BE USED FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS OFFERING TO Fr JOHN, PLEASE QUOTE CHRISTMAS OFFERING & YOUR GIFT AID NUMBER. THANK YOU!
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.
FROM OUR GIFT AID ORGANISER: Our Parish Gift Aid Organiser is Abbie Akinfenwa – email@example.com or text to 0775470934 with your name and gift aid number. I would encourage all parishioners to join the Parish Gift Aid Scheme. If you are a Tax Payer, it’s a really painless process, all we need is you name and address, there are Gift Aid Application Forms in the Porch of the Church, and Abbie can give you all the help you need re information. We are able to claim back 25 pence in every pound donated to the church, when you use you envelopes or pay by Standing Order. Please think about joining, and thanks to those who already belong!
ALTAR SERVERS: I would like to make an appeal to the whole parish community for some more children to volunteer to become Altar Servers. It is a wonderful way of serving God and the community. Just speak to Fr John directly and he will arrange for training and for you to receive and Alb & Cincture.
If there are children who no longer serve at St Edmund’s, would you kindly return your Alb & Cincture as soon as possible please
REGISTERING AT THE PARISH: It’s always important to have details of all of our parishioners. There are Parish Registration Forms in the Porch of the Church. Please complete and return to the Presbytery.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN A VOCATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD? At present we only have five seminarians training for the Priesthood in the Diocese of Brentwood. The period of formation for each is several years. If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about the priesthood, or who feels they may have a vocation to the Priesthood please contact Fr Mark Swires firstname.lastname@example.org
ESCORTED PILGRIMAGE TO KNOCK SHRINE, IRELAND on 29th May 2023, led by Bishop Alan Williams. £699.00 per person, sharing; single supplement £150.00. Price includes flight, all transfers, 4 nights in Knock House Hotel with full board. All entertainment and excursions included. Day trips to Westport, Ballintubber Abbey, Croagh Patrick, Fr. Peyton Centre & National Museum. Contact Patricia on 01268 762278 or 07740 175557 or email email@example.com.
PARISH REPOSITORY: There is a lot of new stock in the repository. Mass Cards for all occasions. Children’s books. Rosaries, medals, holy picture cards, candles, baptismal gifts, and many more items. 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. Teresa Wallace is happy to order anything your request; it usually takes about a week to arrive.
DO YOU LIKE SINGING? As you know we have a wonderful Choir and Choir Director in Sue Farrow. We are looking for new choir members who like singing with others. We learn traditional and contemporary pieces of music, and also sing Motets in four parts. If you’re interested please speak to Sue or Fr John. Choir practice on Wednesdays & Saturdays.
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. The Foodbank have asked for support with the following items: pasta sauce, rice pudding, jam, tinned fruit, snack / breakfast bars, chocolate bars, shower gel, toilet roll and deodorant. URGENTLY NEEDED: Small jars of coffee, washing up liquid, sponge pudding desserts and instant mash. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/
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
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.
MASS INTENTIONS – JANUARY 2023
|Sat 7th||10.00am||Joao Servo RIP (Adelaide Alves)|
|Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 7th||6.00pm||People of the Parish|
|Sun 8th||9.00am||A speedy recovery (I & M Binstead)|
|Sun 8th||11:00am||Christine Slisz RIP (Stefan Slisz)|
|Mon 9th||10.00am||Derek Bird RIP (Denis O’Donoghue)|
|Tues 10th||10.00am||Giordano Mattea RIP (Tina & David Hattrell)|
|Wed 11th||10.00am||Eugene Kane (Margaret Duffy)|
|Thur 12th||9.00am||Sr Raphael’s Int’s (Maureen Perry)|
|Fri 13th||10.00am||Peter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)|
|Sat 14th||10.00am||Esterlita Garcia RIP (Ingrid Bacani)|
|Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 14th||6.00pm||Aoife Hogan RIP (Sue & Frank Hogan)|
|Sun 15th||9.00am||Sara Sanchez RIP (Anthony Family)|
|Sun 15th||11:00am||Mrs J Taylor’s Int’s (Eileen Lee)|
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: email@example.com
The Brentwood Diocesan Trust Registered Charity No. 234092