Fourth Sunday of the Year, 2023. Year A

Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

The Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes surpass even the Ten Commandments. They are the Magna Carta, the New Commandments, not etched on stone but written on our hearts. The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus’ teaching. They are the fulfilment of the teaching of the Torah, the most beautiful manifesto of what it means to live on earth as a new creation. They reveal that the kingdom of heaven isn’t about power or strength or land or wealth or possession but rather that the kingdom of heaven is within us. The kingdom of heaven is an attitude, a way of the heart, a way of thinking and acting which is shocking, radical and life-changing. https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.xmocDOG1gnD2mYUiPlfowgHaD-&pid=Api&P=0

The Beatitudes can be said to reveal the face of Christ because he lived them perfectly. They are the pathway to happiness and true fulfilment. In short, the Beatitudes are beautiful. Do you know them off by heart? Have you secured them in your memory? Are they on the tip of your tongue? Here’s another question: are you happy? And another one: do you want to live a happy life? If you do, and God knows we all do, there is only one way and this is to live the Beatitudes.

The Beatitudes show us the goal of human existence, the ultimate end of every human act. We are called to beatitude by the Beatitudes and one day beholding the beatific vision. As St. Augustine so beautifully and eloquently expressed it: ‘There we shall rest and see, we shall see and love, we shall love and praise. Behold what will be at the end without end. For what other end do we have, if not to reach the kingdom which has not ended?’ We are put in this world to know, love and serve God, and at the end of our lives enter the joy of eternal life, where death is not the end, but the beginning.

When we put into practice the light yoke and burden of the Beatitudes we begin to taste the eternal life to which we are called. For in the kingdom of heaven we encounter the poor in spirit, those who mourned but now know the joy of Christ, the meek and not the prideful and haughty, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who whilst on earth hungered and thirsted for righteousness. 

Dear Friends in Christ,                   4th Sunday of the Year 2023
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You will have seen the Parish Cribs remain in the Church and outside over the past weeks. Traditionally, the last chapter of the Nativity Narrative takes place next Thursday, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, known as Candlemas. Commemorating the occasion when the Virgin Mary, accompanied by St Joseph, in obedience to Jewish law, went to the Temple in Jerusalem both to be purified 40 days after the birth of her son, Jesus, and to present him to God as her firstborn (Luke 2:22–38).  

So the Presentation is a proclamation of Christ — Messiah and Priest, Lord and Saviour. He is the light who came into this world to dispel sin and darkness. For this reason, traditionally at least since the seventh century, candles have been blessed at Mass this day that will be used throughout the year, hence coining the term “Candlemas.” After the Gospel on the feast we will bless candles. 

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 for BCCS will take place next weekend 28th/29th January. Thanking you all in anticipation.

FIRST YEAR OF PREPARATION FOR THE HOLY YEAR OF 2025: Our Holy Father Pope Francis has announced a two-year preparation for the Holy Year 2025. This First Year, 2025, invites us to revisit the Four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council, on the Sacred Liturgy, the Church, Divine Revelation and the Church in the Modern World. The motto for the Holy Year is ‘Pilgrims of Hope’. The two words Pilgrims & hope, both represent key terms of Pope Francis’s pontificate. A Holy Year is a special year of grace, in which the Church offers the faithful the possibility of obtaining a plenary indulgence

May God Bless You All, 

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES:  Continues on Sunday 29th 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 a 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 Next Parents’ Meeting Wednesday 8th February at 7.30pm. Dr Paul Doherty OBE, Headteacher at Trinity Catholic High School will be giving the talk on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  All parents would be present at this meeting!https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.3vV_AR8lY8_rWhQrrJ294AHaFc&pid=Api&P=0

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP – NOTE TO EVERYONE: We will be next singing and playing at the 11am Mass on Sunday, 5th February and look forward to seeing all our singers and musicians there in full force! Kindly arrive 20 minutes or so before Mass starts for us to quickly run through the hymns and music. Beforehand, we’ll be having a brief practice on Tuesday, 31st January, 7pm to 8pm, so please try to make the practice as well. Thank you. Any new singers in the Parish who might like to join us would be made very welcome.

EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS & READERS: Since the Pandemic many of our Eucharistic Ministers & Readers have not resumed their ministries. It looks likely that the receiving the Precious Blood from the Chalice will not resume imminently. But a Minister to help distribute Holy Communion would be extremely helpful at each of the weekend Masses. If there are ministers who are happy to resume this important ministry at Holy Mass, please see Fr. John. Also, a regular rota of Lectors (Readers at Mass), would be really helpful. Please let Fr John know if you’re willing to read on a regular basis.  Clipart Panda - Free Clipart Images

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

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Karl Britz, Brenda Bryant, 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: Bruna Morelli RIP, Tony Rattigan RIP Maureen Barker 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: https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.PksgenkNVMwF2XWxHkXnzgHaHp&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

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.  Giving & payments go online at Mt. Olive – Mount Olive ...

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 vocprom@dioceseofbrentwood.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 knockpilgrimages@gmail.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. 

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 shazzafitzm@aol.com or Fr John. 0208 508 3492

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 e_vismara@yahoo.com Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.KxgdS7dpVdlMC8SllI_8fgHaHa&pid=Api&P=0&w=174&h=174

LEADERSHIP VACANCIES IN DIOCESAN SCHOOLS: Details of all positions can be found at the following link https://www.dioceseofbrentwood.net/departments/education /vacancies/school-vacancies/
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FROM OUR GIFT AID ORGANISER: Our Parish Gift Aid Organiser is Abbie Akinfenwa – abbie.akinfenwa@btinternet.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! 

BCYS YOUTH MASS: with Caritas Diocese of Brentwood, Thursday 2nd February. 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, and will be celebrated by Fr Dan Kelly. Everyone is welcome! See http://www.bcys.net or email gabriellafusi@dioceseofbrentwood.org for more information.

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 retrouvailleukinfo@gmail.com

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. 

MASS INTENTIONS – JANUARY – FEBRUARY 2023

Sat 28th     10.00amCharles Westcott RIP (Nancy Hands)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 28th     6.00pm Anne & Sean Connolly RIP (John Connolly)
Sun 29th     9.00amMary Walstow RIP (Esther Penn)
Sun 29th   11:00amErick Bacuetes 50th B’day Int’s (Rey & Ingrid Bacani)
Mon 30th      10.00amReynaldo del Fiero RIP (Ingrid Bacani)
Tues 31st     9.30amJohn Kane RIP (M Ryan)
Wed 1stFebruary           10.00amFrances & Sam Murray & Family (M Duffy)
Thur 2nd     Presentation10.00amOf the LordCliff Poulter RIP (Kendal Family)
Fri 3rdSt Blaise                        10.00amMaureen Barker RIIP (Mark Barker)
Sat 4th       10.00am Peter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 4th       6.00pmMel O’Riley RIP (Maureen O’Riley)
Sun 5th                                       9.00amAlois Slisz RIP (Stefan Slisz)
Sun 5th       11:00amDavid Faud RIP (Teresa Faud & Family)

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: loughton@dioceseofbrentwood.org

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading : Zephaniah 2:3,3:12-13

Seek the Lord,

all you, the humble of the earth,

who obey his commands.

Seek integrity,

seek humility:

you may perhaps find shelter

on the day of the anger of the Lord.

In your midst I will leave

a humble and lowly people,

and those who are left in Israel will seek refuge in the name of the Lord.

They will do no wrong,

will tell no lies;

and the perjured tongue will no longer

be found in their mouths.

But they will be able to graze and rest

with no one to disturb them.

Responsive Psalm : Psalm 145(146):6-10

How happy are the poor in spirit: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,

  who is just to those who are oppressed.

It is he who gives bread to the hungry,

  the Lord, who sets prisoners free.

How happy are the poor in spirit: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,

  who raises up those who are bowed down,

the Lord, who protects the stranger

  and upholds the widow and orphan.

How happy are the poor in spirit: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It is the Lord who loves the just

  but thwarts the path of the wicked.

The Lord will reign for ever,

  Zion’s God, from age to age.

How happy are the poor in spirit: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Second Reading : 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Take yourselves for instance, brothers, at the time when you were called: how many of you were wise in the ordinary sense of the word, how many were influential people, or came from noble families? No, it was to shame the wise that God chose what is foolish by human reckoning, and to shame what is strong that he chose what is weak by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen – those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything. The human race has nothing to boast about to God, but you, God has made members of Christ Jesus and by God’s doing he has become our wisdom, and our virtue, and our holiness, and our freedom. As scripture says: if anyone wants to boast, let him boast about the Lord.

Gospel : Matthew 5:1-12a

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

‘How happy are the poor in spirit;

  theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy the gentle:

  they shall have the earth for their heritage.

Happy those who mourn:

  they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:

  they shall be satisfied.

Happy the merciful:

  they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart:

  they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers:

  they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:

  theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

Third Sunday of the Year, 2023. Year A

Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

To fulfil the words of the prophet Isaiah Jesus began his public ministry in Galilee. One of the ironies of the situation – or was it a tragedy? – was that the chief priests and Pharisees familiar with the Scriptures, were so stubborn, blind and resistant, saying: ‘Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.’
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Jesus’ initial preaching began in the same way as the ministry of John the Baptist, with a simple proclamation about the need for conversion and change: ‘Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.’ The notion or idea of repentance is one that doesn’t sit very comfortable with us today. That’s because we have lost a sense of sin and consequently have also lost a sense of the need to repent and turn back to God. We strive for a different vocabulary of faith to replace concepts like sin, repentance, contrition and conversion. The problem is that this exercise is rather futile because the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church speak to the human condition and the human condition is fallen.

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The Greek word metanoia means to change one’s mind or change direction. The Holy Spirit works in us to convict us of sin and lead us towards repentance; in other words to change our minds and think differently. The Holy Spirit is the mind-changer, but more importantly the heart-changer. Repentance in this sense isn’t difficult because the Holy Spirit leads us to see how destructive and dark ways of thinking harm us and undermine our wellbeing and happiness.

God created us with the gift of free will. This is why repentance is so vital. God will assist us with grace but respects our free will and ability to choose and decide about whether to sin or not to sin, to turn back to God or to remain in our rebellion. Once we repent, once we turn back to God, once we take the first step, we open ourselves up to the healing mercy of God. Repentance will always be the key that unlocks the door to the royal road, the highway of holiness, the way of the Spirit.

Dear Friends in Christ,                 3rd Sunday of the Year 2023

It has been so encouraging over the past several weeks seeing the return of so many parishioners at our Sunday Celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. As we all well know the Pandemic caused a great upheaval in all of our lives, and it has taken a great deal of time to reach some semblance of normality once again. History will certainly include the Pandemic, which our children and grandchildren will read about for generations to come.  Sadly, many people and families did not return to the regular practice of the faith, which personally causes me great heart-ache! As I often say to you, we only pass this way but once, and it’s tragic to think of all those missed opportunities within the context of the life of faith. https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.b9k-964f8gzbcwKjajzuNAHaE-&pid=Api&P=0

Also, I find it a bit alarming with just parents being present at weekly Mass and their children absent; (and I mean children of Primary and Secondary School age). I was taught, and the teachings of the Catholic Church through the Catechism of the Catholic Church state, that to be present at the Weekly celebration of the Eucharist is obligatory for all those above the age of reason (7 years). This is not much to ask! In this secular world, commitment to football training, swimming, athletics, dancing classes and other various sports activities and clubs is obligatory, or the young person would soon realise very quickly they could lose their place if they’re not present. God is asking us for the same commitment for one hour a week to celebrate our faith and give thanks for so many graces and blessings.
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The Celebration of the Holy Mass. as the Second Vatican Council taught is the ‘source & summit’ of Christian spirituality. There is no greater expression of our faith. Holy Mass begins with the sign of the cross and concludes with the final blessing. Leaving the sacred celebration of the Holy Eucharist immediately after receiving Holy Communion doesn’t allow us to make the ‘act of thanksgiving’ to the Lord customary after receiving Him in the Sacrament. Please remain in Church until after the final blessing.     

Let us all try to make this a Special Year of the Holy Eucharist; making that extra special effort to give devotion to the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and receiving Holy Communion weekly at Holy Mass.

May God Bless You All, 

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 for BCCS will take place next weekend 28th/29th January. Thanking you all in anticipation.  https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.Q40_crYpjHazxC3HA0M06gHaHt&pid=Api&P=0

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES:  Continues on Sunday 22nd 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 a 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 Next Parents’ Meeting Wednesday 8th February at 7.30pm. Dr Paul Doherty OBE, Headteacher at Trinity Catholic High School will be giving the talk on the Sacrament of Reconciliation  https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.3vV_AR8lY8_rWhQrrJ294AHaFc&pid=Api&P=0

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP – NOTE TO EVERYONE: We will be next singing and playing at the 11am Mass on Sunday, 5th February and look forward to seeing all our singers and musicians there in full force! Kindly arrive 20 minutes or so before Mass starts for us to quickly run through the hymns and music. Beforehand, we’ll be having a brief practice on Tuesday, 31st January, 7pm to 8pm, so please try to make the practice as well. Thank you. Any new singers in the Parish who might like to join us would 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 run by Mrs Sharon Chalk. Baptisms take place on either Saturday or Sunday at 12.30pm

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Karl Britz, Brenda Bryant, 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: https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.PksgenkNVMwF2XWxHkXnzgHaHp&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

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.  Giving & payments go online at Mt. Olive – Mount Olive ...

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 vocprom@dioceseofbrentwood.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 knockpilgrimages@gmail.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. 

ST. JOHN FISHER ASPIRATIONS WEEK: St. John Fisher Catholic Primary school will be celebrating their Aspirations Week from Monday 30th January to Friday 3rd February. During the week the children will be thinking about their hopes and aspirations for the future and, as part of that, the school would like to involve the wider parish community to help. They are keen to hear from any parishioner, relative or friend who would be willing to come to the school to share information about their careers. Any time given would be greatly appreciated. Please contact the school at 

admin@st-johnfisher.essex.sch.uk

CHARITY JAZZ CONCERT AT ST EDMUND’S On 25th February (3.00-5.00pm) there will be an afternoon jazz concert at St Edmund’s Hall in aid of The Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. The wonderful Winnie Greer and her band will be performing Jazz classics and some contemporary pieces. Tickets are £20 each, please contact Kathleen Faherty 07305817658 or go to https://bit.ly/registerforjazzloughton

SCOUT WORLD JAMBOREE: On 11th February, 7.15pm St Edmund’s Hall,  there will be a Gin tasting Event to raise funds to send some of our Scouts to the World Scout Jamboree, a wonderful experience for them. Tickets are £20 each. For full details and how to purchase tickets please email WSJ2023gin@gmail.com .

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 shazzafitzm@aol.com or Fr John. 0208 508 3492

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 e_vismara@yahoo.com Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.KxgdS7dpVdlMC8SllI_8fgHaHa&pid=Api&P=0&w=174&h=174

LEADERSHIP VACANCIES IN DIOCESAN SCHOOLS: Details of all positions can be found at the following link https://www.dioceseofbrentwood.net/departments/education /vacancies/school-vacancies/

FROM OUR GIFT AID ORGANISER: Our Parish Gift Aid Organiser is Abbie Akinfenwa – abbie.akinfenwa@btinternet.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! https://tse4.explicit.bing.net/th?id=OIP.82Iz4z848_74ROZ5P-evjQHaD8&pid=Api&P=0

BCYS YOUTH MASS: with Caritas Diocese of Brentwood, Thursday 2nd February. 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, and will be celebrated by Fr Dan Kelly. Everyone is welcome! See http://www.bcys.net or email gabriellafusi@dioceseofbrentwood.org for more information.

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 retrouvailleukinfo@gmail.com

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. 

MASS INTENTIONS – JANUARY 2023

Sat 21st    10.00amFr Patrick Hayward’s B’day Int’s (Margaret Duffy)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 21st    6.00pm Reynaldo Del Fiero RIP (Bacuetes Family)
Sun 22nd    9.00amPeople of the Parish
Sun 22nd  11:00amTessie Houston RIP (Ann & Jean Cocklin)
Mon 23rd     10.00amCommunion Service
Tues 24th    10.00amCommunion Service
Wed 25th           10.00amCommunion Service
Thur 26th    10.00amCommunion Service
Fri 27th                        10.00amCommunion Service
Sat 28th      10.00am Charles Westcott RIP (Nancy Hands)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 28th      6.00pmAnne & Sean Connolly RIP (John Connolly)
Sun 29th                                      9.00amMary Walstow RIP (Esther Penn)
Sun 29th      11:00amErick Bacuetes 50th B’day Int’s (Rey & Ingrid Bacuetes)

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: loughton@dioceseofbrentwood.org

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Isaiah 8:23-9:3

In days past the Lord humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in days to come he will confer glory on the Way of the Sea on the far side of Jordan, province of the nations.

The people that walked in darkness

has seen a great light;

on those who live in a land of deep shadow 

a light has shone.

You have made their gladness greater,

you have made their joy increase;

they rejoice in your presence

as men rejoice at harvest time,

as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils.

For the yoke that was weighing on him,

the bar across his shoulders,

the rod of his oppressor –

these you break as on the day of Midian.

Responsive Psalm : Psalm 26(27):1,4,13-14

The Lord is my light and my help.

The Lord is my light and my help;

  whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

  before whom shall I shrink?

The Lord is my light and my help.

There is one thing I ask of the Lord,

  for this I long,

to live in the house of the Lord,

  all the days of my life,

to savour the sweetness of the Lord,

  to behold his temple.

The Lord is my light and my help.

I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness

  in the land of the living.

Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.

  Hope in the Lord!

The Lord is my light and my help.

Second Reading : 1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17

I appeal to you, brothers, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, to make up the differences between you, and instead of disagreeing among yourselves, to be united again in your belief and practice. From what Chloe’s people have been telling me, my dear brothers, it is clear that there are serious differences among you. What I mean are all these slogans that you have, like: ‘I am for Paul’, ‘I am for Apollos’, ‘I am for Cephas’, ‘I am for Christ.’ Has Christ been parcelled out? Was it Paul that was crucified for you? Were you baptised in the name of Paul?

  For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the Good News, and not to preach that in the terms of philosophy in which the crucifixion of Christ cannot be expressed.

Gospel : Matthew 4:12-23

Hearing that John had been arrested, Jesus went back to Galilee, and leaving Nazareth he went and settled in Capernaum, a lakeside town on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled:

‘Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali!

Way of the sea on the far side of Jordan,

Galilee of the nations!

The people that lived in darkness has seen a great light;

on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death

a light has dawned.’

From that moment Jesus began his preaching with the message, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’

  As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they left their nets at once and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. At once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.

  He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness among the people.

Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More Second Sunday of the Year, 2023.

OTA_02DAt his baptism Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit filled Jesus with the power to be ‘a light to the nations’. Living his life in purity, truth, humility, love, faithfulness and obedience to his Father, Jesus reflected God’s light into a sinful world, dispelling the darkness of sin, unbelief and ignorance: ‘I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness’. He brought us the light of faith and true knowledge so we could know the Father and do the Father’s will.

OTA_02GThe Spirit filled Jesus with the power to offer his life in sacrifice for the sins of the world in order that God’s ‘salvation may reach to the end of the earth’. That is why John said to Jesus, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ As God’s Chosen One, faithful and obedient, Jesus baptises with the Holy Spirit’ so that the Spirit will give believers the power to be light to the world and to bring God’s salvation to the ends of the earth. We are light to the world as we live our lives in ‘compassion, kindness, lowliness meekness and patience’. These virtues dispel the darkness around us just as a lamp placed on a stand ‘gives light to all in the house’. We bring God’s salvation to the ends of the earth as we seek to live righteous and holy lives, rejecting the temptations that assail us, repenting of the sins we have committed, ‘forbearing one another, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other’.

            By being light to the nations and bringing God’s salvation to the ends of the earth. Jesus glorified his Father: ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified’. Like Jesus, we give glory to the Father by being light to the world and pursuing righteousness and peace. Ask the Spirit to fill you with power so that you may be light to her world and bring God’s salvation – mercy, love, peace and forgiveness – to those around you.

Dear Friends in Christ,                                                                                    2nd Sunday of the Year 2023

            This week we were privileged to have Bishop Alan visit our Parish School of St John Fisher. He blessed the New Altar (with a beautiful carved image of St John Fisher on the front) which the parish purchased for the school. After the Mass Bishop Alan visited all the children in their classes. It was a truly beautiful visit, and the Bishop shared with the children the meaning of the concept of shepherd, and how every Bishop is a shepherd to his people. My thanks to Mr Iain Kendal, our executive Headteacher for the newly formed Academy Trust. Please keep our parish school in your prayers.  If there are any final applications for Reception places for September 2023, the deadline is Sunday 15th January.

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT: Could I ask all parishioners to seriously think about attending an extra mass during the week. In this New Year of 2023 it would be truly wonderful to make an extra special effort of commitment in faith on a regular basis. Our daily Mass is at 10.00am, not too early! The Holy Mass is for Roman Catholics the greatest expression of our faith. Also, could I make a special appeal to the many parishioners and families who didn’t return to the regular practice of faith after the Pandemic to seriously think about the whole life of faith? It would be tragic to think that a decision not to attend the weekly mass and practice faith anymore would have a generational effect on families. All it takes is one person to stop the practice of faith, and literally generations of Catholic practice comes to an end. These are really important issues to think about at the beginning of this New Year.

FrYOUR 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. 

                                    May God Bless You All,     

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 (bloggeriain@gmail.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.                                                                          

https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.3vV_AR8lY8_rWhQrrJ294AHaFc&pid=Api&P=0

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES:  Continue on Sunday 15th 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 a 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 Next Parents’ Meeting Wednesday 8th February at 7.30pm  

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 shazzafitzm@aol.com or Fr John. 0208 508 3492

STUDY DAY ON THE APOSTLE PAUL: The next Gidea Park Study Day will be on Saturday 21st January 2023 from 11 am until 1.30 pm at the Catholic Church of Christ the Eternal High Priest, Gidea Park. The speaker is Dr Sean Michael Ryan, chair of the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain, and research associate at the Margaret Beaufort Institute in Cambridge. Dr Ryan will speak about ‘The Gospel according to St Paul’. The event is either in-person or live-stream. Coffee will be available for those attending in-person from 10.30 am. Please bring a packed lunch. Gidea Park Station (Elizabeth Line) is five minutes from the church. For those attending via livestream simply go to http://www.whatgoodnews.org on the day. Recording of the talks will be made available after the event on the same website.

CHARITY JAZZ CONCERT AT ST EDMUND’S On 25th February (3.00-5.00pm) there will be an afternoon jazz concert at St Edmund’s Hall in aid of The Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. The wonderful Winnie Greer and her band will be performing Jazz classics and some contemporary pieces. Tickets are £20 each, please contact Kathleen Faherty 07305817658 or go to https://bit.ly/registerforjazzloughton

SCOUT WORLD JAMBOREE On 11th February, 7.15pm St Edmund’s Hall,  there will be a Gin tasting Event to raise funds to send some of our Scouts to the World Scout Jamboree, a wonderful experience for them. Tickets are £20 each. For full details and how to purchase tickets please email WSJ2023gin@gmail.com .

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: Michael Barrass RIP, Brenda Deamer RIP, William Hatley 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

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!

Giving & payments go online at Mt. Olive – Mount Olive ...

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.

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 vocprom@dioceseofbrentwood.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 knockpilgrimages@gmail.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 e_vismara@yahoo.com Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.

FROM OUR GIFT AID ORGANISER: Our Parish Gift Aid Organiser is Abbie Akinfenwa – abbie.akinfenwa@btinternet.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!

MASS INTENTIONS – JANUARY 2023

Sat 14th    10.00am  Esterlita Garcia RIP (Ingrid Bacani)
  Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demand Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 14th    6.00pmAoife Hogan RIP (Sue & Frank Hogan)
Sun 15th    9.00amSara Sanchez RIP (Anthony Family)
Sun 15th  11:00am  Mrs J Taylor’s Int’s (Eileen Lee)
Mon 16th     10.00am  James (Maureen Perry)
Tues 17th    10.00am  Thomas & Mary Lamb RIP (Margaret Duffy)
Wed 18th           10.00am  Mary Walstow RIP (2nd Anni) Teresa Walstow)
Thur 19th    10.00am  Karen, David & Neil Emslie’s Int’s (M Duffy)
Fri 20th                       10.00am  Eileen & George Whatmore RIP & John & Rose Leonard RIP (Margaret Duffy)
Sat 21st      10.00am  Fr Patrick Hayward’s B’day Int’s (Margaret Duffy)
  Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demand Vigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 21st      6.00pmRaynaldo Del Fiero RIP (Bacuetes Family)
Sun 22nd                                       9.00amPeople of the Parish
Sun 22nd      11:00am  Tessie Houston RIP (Ann & Jean Cocklin)

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: loughton@dioceseofbrentwood.org

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading : Isaiah 49:3,5-6

The Lord said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel,

in whom I shall be glorified’;

I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord,

my God was my strength.

And now the Lord has spoken,

he who formed me in the womb to be his servant,

to bring Jacob back to him,

to gather Israel to him:

‘It is not enough for you to be my servant,

to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel;

I will make you the light of the nations

so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 39(40):2,4,7-10

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

I waited, I waited for the Lord

  and he stooped down to me;

  he heard my cry.

He put a new song into my mouth,

  praise of our God.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings,

  but an open ear.

You do not ask for holocaust and victim.

  Instead, here am I.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

In the scroll of the book it stands written

  that I should do your will.

My God, I delight in your law

  in the depth of my heart.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

Your justice I have proclaimed

  in the great assembly.

My lips I have not sealed;

  you know it, O Lord.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

Second Reading : 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

I, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle, together with brother Sosthenes, send greetings to the church of God in Corinth, to the holy people of Jesus Christ, who are called to take their place among all the saints everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ; for he is their Lord no less than ours. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace.

Gospel : John 1:29-34

Seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is the one I spoke of when I said: A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me. I did not know him myself, and yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptising with water.’ John also declared, ‘I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptise with the Holy Spirit.” Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.

            THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, 2023

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.  https://tse4.explicit.bing.net/th?id=OIP.ZB6SN35NsykxTq4K3zzLXwHaGK&pid=Api&P=0&w=183&h=152

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.https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.yc9ADtcS9Bc6nHTDmvTvJQHaHo&pid=Api&P=0&w=152&h=157

Dear Friends in Christ,         The Baptism of the Lord, 2023
Baptism of Jesus-Los Angeles Cathedral of Our Lady | Arte cristiano, Arte  de jesús, San juan bautista

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)  
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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 (bloggeriain@gmail.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  https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.BPQt7mIS0IR5uDR3P4Ft_gHaHa&pid=Api&P=0

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 shazzafitzm@aol.com 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: https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.PksgenkNVMwF2XWxHkXnzgHaHp&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

Donate

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.  Giving & payments go online at Mt. Olive – Mount Olive ...

FROM OUR GIFT AID ORGANISER: Our Parish Gift Aid Organiser is Abbie Akinfenwa – abbie.akinfenwa@btinternet.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! https://tse4.explicit.bing.net/th?id=OIP.82Iz4z848_74ROZ5P-evjQHaD8&pid=Api&P=0

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 vocprom@dioceseofbrentwood.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 knockpilgrimages@gmail.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 e_vismara@yahoo.com Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.KxgdS7dpVdlMC8SllI_8fgHaHa&pid=Api&P=0&w=174&h=174

MASS INTENTIONS – JANUARY 2023

Sat 7th   10.00amJoao 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   9.00amA speedy recovery (I & M Binstead)
Sun 8th 11:00amChristine Slisz RIP (Stefan Slisz)
Mon 9th    10.00amDerek Bird RIP (Denis O’Donoghue)
Tues 10th   10.00amGiordano Mattea RIP (Tina & David Hattrell)
Wed 11th          10.00amEugene Kane (Margaret Duffy)
Thur 12th   9.00amSr Raphael’s Int’s (Maureen Perry)
Fri 13th                       10.00amPeter 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    6.00pmAoife Hogan RIP (Sue & Frank Hogan)
Sun 15th                                    9.00amSara Sanchez RIP (Anthony Family)
Sun 15th    11:00amMrs 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: loughton@dioceseofbrentwood.org

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

DEATH OF POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI

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