Second Sunday of Lent, 2023. Year A

Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

With Lent well underway, with its emphasis on prayer, fasting and alms giving, the liturgy of the Word leads us to contemplate not a penitential theme but rather a glimpse of the glory of Jesus. It’s as if we have only just started running a marathon and the crowd start cheering as if we were passing the finishing post. Too much, too soon! Yet, from the beginning catechumens, those seeking baptism on Holy Saturday, would be encouraged to contemplate this remarkable event in Jesus’ life. The Transfiguration was a moment when the Father permitted three favoured disciples to glimpse the true glory and power of Jesus as the Eternal Son of the Father. It is also a peep, if you like, into our destiny as children of God and the gift of eternal life, the hope of the life to come.

An early Christian homily captured beautifully this living hope: ‘ Just as the body of the Lord was glorified on the mountain when it was transfigured in the glory of God and in infinite light, so the bodies of the saints will be glorified and shine like lightening. “The glory which you have given to me I have given to them”. As countless candles are lighted from a single flame, so the bodies of all Christ’s members will be what Christ is. Our human nature is transformed into the fullness of God; it becomes wholly fire and light’. Jesus revealed who he was, and who we would become in Christ. He was revealing what had already begun and giving us a vision that would forever change the way we think about our dignity and destiny.

Jesus revealed before mortal eyes the transcendent truth of who he is, and who Peter, James and John – and each one of us – would become in him. We can rely on Peter’s witness of his experience of Christ’s Transfiguration which assures us of hope of eternal life:

‘For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitness of his majesty. He received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.’ (2 Peter. 1:16-18)

Dear Friends in Christ,                 Second Sunday of Lent 2023

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.Clipart Panda - Free Clipart Images

FIRST RECONCILIATION: The children who are preparing for their First Holy Communion will celebrate the Sacrament of Reconiliation for the first time next Saturday 11th 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 parish to pray for the children at this important time along their faith journey. There will be a visiting priest who will be avialable to hear parent’s Confessions. 

LENTEN COURSE:  The God who Speaks – ‘The Big Picture Course’, exploring the Sacred Scriptures to understand and deepen our awareness of God & Jesus Christ. Course dates: March 8th, 15th 22nd at 7.30pm in the Parish Retreat. There is a Study Book with personal Diary & CD costs but it’s not imperative that you have this! It would be truly wonderful to see as many people as possible 

May God bless you all throughout Lent

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES:  The next session for our children will take place on Sunday 5th March at 10.00am in the Parish Retreat. The children are being prepared for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. PLEASE NOTE: The Children’s First Reconciliation will take place on Saturday 11th March at 10am & 11am. 

REQUIESCANT IN PACE: In your mercy please pray for the repose of the soul of Jackie Ilines RIP, long-time parishioner here in Loughton, who passed away recently. We extend our sincere condolences to her husband Gary & two sons Jack & Jimmy in this time of great loss. Jackie was only 57 years of age. She was well known in the parish; and also helped many families with the loss of loved ones, as she ran the local Cribbs Funeral Parlour. Jackie’s Requiem Mass will take place on Saturday 25th March.

Also, Please pray for the repose of the soul of Jean Dalgliesh RIP, whose Requiem Mass will take place on Thursday 23rd March at 12.15pm, we extend our condolences to her husband Steve and family in this time of great loss. 

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR OUR PARISH EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS AND READERS: Following the recent appeal for our ministers and readers to come forward, Julie Callander, who organised our minister and reader rotas pre-pandemic, has very kindly offered to set up a fresh rota. This rota will simply consist of one Eucharistic minister (to distribute the Host alongside Fr. John) and one reader to cover each of the weekend Masses – the 6pm Saturday Mass and the 9am and 11am Masses on Sunday. We hope that a good number of our ministers and readers are willing to join the rota and Julie would very much like to hear from you. Kindly speak to Julie or send her emails, letting her know if you would like to minister and/or read and giving her your Mass time preference. Julie’s ‘phone numbers are 07834 088661 (mobile – preferred) and 020 8502 3854 (land line) and her email is It would be very helpful if you could contact Julie by, say, the end of February so that she can set up the rota and then circulate it to everyone. Your involvement in these important ministries would be much appreciated and Julie looks forward to hearing from you shortly. Thank you.     Ferdi Tisi

BIG CLEAN OF THE CHURCH: Our next monthly big Clean will take place on Thursday 9th March at 10.30am.  If you’re able to give half an hour to help with the clean, all help will be gratefully accepted Thank you!


Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Karl Britz, Brenda Bryant, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, 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: Anthony Rattigan RIP, Pat Steele 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
Account Number: 11019651 GIFT TO GOD & HIS CHURCH

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 ...

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

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.

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

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. NEW: There are a variety of New Easter Cards. 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. 

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 struggling during this cost of living crisis. The Foodbank have asked for support with the following items: sponge pudding desserts, custard, juice, tinned meat, noodles, snack bars, small chocolate bars, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, toilet roll and deodorant. Please place any donations in the dedicated plastic boxes in the garage. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page:

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 Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.

FROM OUR GIFT AID ORGANISER: Our Parish Gift Aid Organiser is Abbie Akinfenwa – 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! 

BCYS YOUTH MASS: with Caritas Diocese of Brentwood, Thursday 2nd March. Join us in the Brentwood Cathedral Parish Hall from 6.00 p.m. for pizza, refreshments and a chance to hear from guest speakers from Caritas and the SVP, helping us to think about charitable giving as we begin to prepare for the season of Lent. Youth Mass is in the Cathedral at 7.30pm, Everyone is welcome! See or email for more information.

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: Journey of Faith. Is there anyone who may be interested in the RCIA Programme, possibly with the view of being received into full-communion with the Roman Catholic Faith, Please see Fr John who will explain the whole process to you. 

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.  

RETROUVAILLE: Help Your Marriage – Do you feel alone? Are you frustrated or angry with each other? Do you argue … or have you just stopped talking to each other? Does talking about it only make it worse? Retrouvaille is a programme to support couples who have difficulties in their marriage. It brings a positive focus, new hope and helps nourish and grow your marriage. Tens of thousands of couples headed for divorce have successfully saved their marriages by attending and using the tools provided. The programme helps spouses uncover or reawaken the love, trust and commitment that originally brought them together. It helps them through difficult times whether they are disillusioned or in deep misery. There is no group therapy or group work. For confidential information about ‘Retrouvaille’ or to register for the next programme commencing with a face-to-face weekend in Welwyn Garden City on 24 – 26 February 2023, or a virtual weekend on 6 – 9 July 2023, call or text 07887 296983 or 07973 380443. Alternatively, email

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

LEADERSHIP VACANCIES IN DIOCESAN SCHOOLS: Details of all positions can be found at the following link /vacancies/school-vacancies/

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES 2023 Join Bishop Alan in Lourdes from Monday 24th to Saturday 29th July. We can support those with medical needs. For further information, please ‘phone Tangney Tours on 01732 886 666 or book online: Brentwood Lourdes – Lourdes – Tangney Tours (

PARISH ALTAR SERVERS: Quite a number of Altar Servers ceased serving at Mass since the Pandemic. I’m making a special appeal to all former Altar Servers to kindly return their Albs to the Sacristy.  Albs are extremely expensive to buy these days, and I believe there a quite a few still out there not being used anymore.  If any young person wishes to become an Altar Server, please see Fr. John as soon as possible; we can help to prepare you to serve at the Altar. This is a truly wonderful ministry, and it is a special way of serving God and the whole community of faith.


Sat 4th        10.00amMary Walstow RIP (Frank Westcott)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 4th        6.00pm Charlie Fitzsimons RIP (H & B Walsh, M & F Rathe)
Sun 5th        9.00amKeith (Get Well Soon) (Kendal Family)
Sun 5th      11:00amDennis Randall RIP (Contemporary Music Group)
Mon 6th         10.00amJames Ryan RIP
Tues 7th          10.00am Peter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
Wed 8th    10.00am Tony Rattigan RIP (Maureen Rattigan)
Thur 9th          10.00amDec’d of Tisi & Maton Families RIP (Ferdi & Diana Tisi)
Fri 10th     10.00am10.30amPat & Jack Steele RIP (M Fray)Stations of the Cross / Exposition of Bl Sac
Sat 11th           10.00am Edward Martin Duffy RIP (Margaret Duffy)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 11th           6.00pmNemesio Gonzalo RIP (Ray & Ingrid Bacani)
Sun 12th                                           9.00amMaureen Allen RIP (Sue & John Campbell)
Sun 12th           11:00amDuncan Lowther RIP (Brenda Bryant)

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

IN CASES OF EMERGENCY: Tuesday is usually Fr. John’s Day Off. In cases of emergency please call one of the local parishes, either in Epping – Tel: 01992 572516, or the St. Thomas of Canterbury Friary at Woodford Green – Tel: 020 8504 1688.  This would also apply if Fr. John is away for a few days break or on Retreat. All the local funeral directors have a contact number for Fr. John if a funeral needs to be arranged in his absence.   

             2nd Sunday of Lent

First Reading: Genesis 12:1-4

The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your family and your father’s house, for the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name so famous that it will be used as a blessing.

‘I will bless those who bless you:

I will curse those who slight you.

All the tribes of the earth

shall bless themselves by you.’

So Abram went as the Lord told him.

Responsive Psalm : Psalm 32(33):4-5,18-20,22

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

The word of the Lord is faithful

  and all his works to be trusted.

The Lord loves justice and right

  and fills the earth with his love.

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

The Lord looks on those who revere him,

  on those who hope in his love,

to rescue their souls from death,

  to keep them alive in famine.

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord.

  The Lord is our help and our shield.

May your love be upon us, O Lord,

  as we place all our hope in you.

May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.

Second Reading : 2 Timothy 1:8-10

With me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God who has saved us and called us to be holy – not because of anything we ourselves have done but for his own purpose and by his own grace. This grace had already been granted to us, in Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time, but it has only been revealed by the Appearing of our saviour Christ Jesus. He abolished death, and he has proclaimed life and immortality through the Good News.

Gospel : Matthew 17:1-9

Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone. There in their presence he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them; they were talking with him. Then Peter spoke to Jesus. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and from the cloud there came a voice which said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him.’ When they heard this the disciples fell on their faces, overcome with fear. But Jesus came up and touched them. ‘Stand up,’ he said ‘do not be afraid.’ And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but only Jesus.

  As they came down from the mountain Jesus gave them this order, ‘Tell no one about the vision until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.’


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