The Eleventh Sunday of the Year, 2021

The Lord Jesus uses many agricultural themes in his preaching and teaching. Today he talks about the seed, how small it is, but it can grow into something incredible. This imagery he uses for the faith. No matter how small or little our faith is, when we nurture and culture it, it can grow into something truly beautiful. The seed grows by itself, even when we are asleep. This is our natural curiosity and longing for God. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, ‘The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for’ (para 27). 

It really doesn’t matter how small or little our faith is, God can use it and nurture it, when we allow him to do so. Some of the greatest saints in history allowed the Lord to use them in this way, and they became incredible instruments of God through the holiness of their lives by their example, their teaching and preaching: a few of examples – St Therese of Lisieux; Saint Teresa of Calcutta; Blessed Carlo Acutis; St Francis of Assisi. The potential is there for each and every one of us for that faith to grow strong in Christ.  

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2021/2022: Last week I advertised the forthcoming First Holy Communion Programme with interviews commencing Monday 14th June until Friday 18th June. Unfortunately, very few people have made appointments. Parish news is published weekly in the Newsletter; if parishioners are not reading the updates then they will have no knowledge of future event and programmes. I always make a point at the end of each of the weekend masses to stress the importance of reading the parish newsletter. If you haven’t yet booked appointment, you need to do so this weekend. Tel No: 020 8508 3492 

As we were unable to run a programme over the past year, there will now be two years eligible to enrol in the programme (school years 3 & 4) as of September 2021). The Church reopened last July 4th 2020, and many families returned to the regular practice of the faith. If you didn’t return to the practice of the faith, and have been away for over a year, we will need to discuss whether it would be prudent to wait some time until you get back into a regular routine of the practice of faith once again.https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.2vqJtGa7XjIvbusc97u1xAHaD_&pid=Api&P=0&w=355&h=192

Requirements of entry into the programme are that you are a baptised and practicing Roman Catholic, which means you attend weekly mass; that you live within the Parish boundaries of St. Edmund of Canterbury Parish; and that you will be totally committed to the programme sessions with separate meetings for parents throughout the year.  

CONGRATULATIONS: To our 48 young people who received the Sacrament of Confirmation this week from Bishop Alan. I managed to get the Bishop to come on both days, and it was a wonderful surprise for our young people. Both masses were very beautiful; to have live music, offertory, prayers of intercession, was truly wonderful again! Grateful thanks to all of our Catechists for the incredible work and the time you gave to our young people over the past six months. I think all of our young people went home very happy each night after these beautiful ceremonies. God bless you all!

ONGOING PANDEMIC UPDATE: Unfortunately, with the recent surge in the Delta variant up and down the country, and with the numbers increasing dramatically, it looks as though the total lifting of lockdown restrictions will not take place on 21st June. Obviously, there are many opinions from the experts and scientists alike, but everyone’s Health & Safety will always come first. People will be extremely disappointed, and of course, everyone is so fed up with living this kind of life. But, when we look at the past 16 months and see how many people lost their lives through this terrible disease, we need to continue to be vigilant and careful. Sadly, I buried several parishioners over the past year that passed away from Covid 19. We will still comply with governmental guidelines in our Church and Parish Hall: hand sanitisation, one way system, face coverings, social distancing, and track & tracing.     https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.kCS1HBGM7Sn2C8WmFMW1xQHaHa&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300
Fr

May God Bless You All this Week, 

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
Account Number: 11019651

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about the Roman Catholic Faith possibly with the view of receiving the Easter Sacraments in 2022, please contact Fr. John at the Presbytery on Tel No: 020 8508 3492. The programme usually commences in September. If would be wonderful to have a number of enquirers. We follow a systematic programme of instruction, covering all aspects of Catholicism. Please spread the word about this programme. Thank you!https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.7xXPp4SxDqSildwWjCO-fAHaF5&pid=Api&P=0&w=227&h=182

POSTPONEMENT OF JUBILEE: I have decided to postopone my 40th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations until a later date. With ultimate restrictions not being lifted until the latter part of June, it really doesn’t give enough time to send out invitations, and also for many friends who wanted to come from abroad to attend. I will celebrate Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday 11th July at 11am with only my Parish Family.

REQUIESCANT IN PACE: In you mercy please pray for thr epose of the soul of Shiela Murphy RIP, a long time parishioner who passed away recently. We extend our condolences to her family in this time of great loss. Her Requiem Mass will be on Wednesday 16th June at 2.00pm with the interment at Chigwell Cemetery.

Also Violet Hall RIP, who passed away recently. Violet lived in St. Edmund’s Parish for nearly 70 years, and was our oldest parishioner. Condolences to her family. Her Requiem Mass will take place on Tuesday 22nd June at 1.00pm followed by Cremation at Forest Park Crematorium.  

PARISH REPOSITORY: There are a large number of gifts and cards available in the Repository. There are medals, candles, special cards, prayer crosses, and many other items that would be suitable gifts for all occasions. Please leave your money in the basket provided. Thanks

EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank during these difficult times. The Foodbank are truly grateful for the generosity our parish has shown throughout the pandemic 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: Long-life fruit juice, tinned tomatoes, instant mash, tinned fish, tinned peas, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, small jars of instant coffee, small or medium bags of rice, sponge pudding, snack bars, chocolate bars, chocolate spread and savoury crackers Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/https://clipground.com/images/food-bank-clip-art-3.jpg

IRREGULAR MARRIAGES: An irregualr marriage is one tht 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

RETURNING TO THE WEEKLY PRACTICE OF THE FAITH: With so amny people having received their Vaccination against Covid, it would be wonderful to see many more return to the weekly practice of the faith. To be without the Sacrametns for usch a long period of time is unprecedented. It’s true that many people have just got out of the habit of going to Church, and live-streaming is not a subsititute for being together with the worhsipping community. Our Church’s opened last July 4th, and many parishioners have returned. To get back into the routine of regular practice is up to the individual, but if you have children, it is so important that this routine recommence once again. Children are guided by their parents, and if chidlren witness that this is not important to you, it will, sadly, not be important to them. There are so many challenges and threats to our lives of faith, on so many fronts these days, please don’t let Covid be another of them! https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.jgCH2suwlCZ4JmAWyok7VwHaEK&pid=Api&P=0&w=366&h=207

DIARY JUNE 2021

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn,  Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Violet Hall Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Pamela Houghton, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, Sheila Murphy, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Kathleen Pomeroy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Collette Wenborn, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones. 

ANNIVERSARIES: For all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace. 

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: I would like to take this public opportunity of thanking every single member of this parish Community for your incredible support of the parish over the past 16 months of Pandemic. With the church remaining open and with online daily live streaming of Holy Mass, even during those four and half months of lockdown; in completing our Financial Returns to the Diocese, you will be delighted to know that we broke even this year. My thanks to Michael Manzi our Accountant, who looks after the Parish Accounts & Maria Mosquera who looks after the Parish Gift Aid Scheme; they have both done a truly wonderful job this year.  With continued thanks for your Weekly Offering. If you would like to join the Gift Aid Scheme, there are application forms in the Church Porch or ask Fr. John for a form. If you forget your envelope, there are spares in the Porch. Thank you! https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.vD08PSnqAPpVs2T0JXM2lwHaFm&pid=Api&P=0&w=201&h=153

SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 100 people present, strictly observing social distancing. 30 people are allowed to be present at a wedding. Baptisms: you are now allowed up to 30 persons at a Baptism; not too sure what the restrictions are for social event after though! These are really difficult times, and many couples were disappointed last year not being able to celebrate their marriages. We are hoping with the distribution of the vaccine, that things will change dramatically this year. If there are any couples who are thinking about getting married, please notify the parish immediately. Thank you. Obviously until restrictions are lifted all of the above applies for the foreseeable future. http://infantjesus.org/home/images/articles/2016/sacraments/sacraments_-_clipart-_-150x200.png

MASS INTENTIONS – JUNE 2021

Sat 12th    10.00amSapper Raymond Marchant RIP (Pat & Jean Marchant)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 12th     6.00pm Tony Galcius RIP ((Mike & Grainne Sheehy)
Sun 13th              Sun 13th     9.00am10.00amDec’d of Bacuetes Family RIPPeople of the Parish
Sun 13th                    11:00amLeanne Kieran RIP (Maria Fray)
Mon 14th       10.00am10.30amFr Stewart Foster (sick) (Terry & Lucy)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Tues 15th                                                                                     10.00amMarth D’Souza (B’day Int’s) (Pat & Margaret)
Wed 16th                 10.00amBrendan Kelly RIP (Stephanie Hemsworth)
Thurs 17th          10.00am 10.30amTony Galcius RIP (Diana & Ferdi Tisi)Holy Hour with Exposition of the Bl Sacrament
Fri 18th                     10.00am 10.30amEleanor Millar RIP (Kathy & Mark Munro)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Sat 19th     10.00amPat Ata Int’s ( Bridget & Maree)
Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm
Sat 19th         6.00pmKazimierz Michalik RIP (Ewa Michalik)
Sun 20th      Sun 20th                     9.00am10.00amTony Galcius RIP (John & Sue Campbell)People of the Parish
Sun 20th          11:00amElizabeth Nkum RIP (Maria Fray)

Please kindly be patient with your mass requests. I will try to accommodate your requested dates, but there have been a large number of requests recently and we celebrate masses in the order in which we receive them. 

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading : Ezekiel 17:22-24

The Lord says this:

‘From the top of the cedar,

from the highest branch I will take a shoot

and plant it myself on a very high mountain.

I will plant it on the high mountain of Israel.

It will sprout branches and bear fruit,

and become a noble cedar.

Every kind of bird will live beneath it,

every winged creature rest in the shade of its branches.

And every tree of the field will learn that I, the Lord, am the one

who stunts tall trees and makes the low ones grow,

who withers green trees and makes the withered green.

I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.’

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 91(92):2-3,13-16

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,

  to make music to your name, O Most High,

to proclaim your love in the morning

  and your truth in the watches of the night.

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

The just will flourish like the palm tree

  and grow like a Lebanon cedar.

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

Planted in the house of the Lord

  they will flourish in the courts of our God,

still bearing fruit when they are old,

  still full of sap, still green,

to proclaim that the Lord is just.

  In him, my rock, there is no wrong.

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

Second Reading : 2 Corinthians 5:6-10

We are always full of confidence when we remember that to live in the body means to be exiled from the Lord, going as we do by faith and not by sight – we are full of confidence, I say, and actually want to be exiled from the body and make our home with the Lord. Whether we are living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on pleasing him. For all the truth about us will be brought out in the law court of Christ, and each of us will get what he deserves for the things he did in the body, good or bad.

Gospel : Mark 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’

  He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’

  Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.

THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi, 2021

Dear Friends in Christ                                                               Corpus Christi 2021

Today is the Feast of Corpus Christ – The feast of the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ. It goes back to the 13th century, but it celebrates something far older: the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the Last Supper. While Holy Thursday is also a celebration of this mystery, the solemn nature of Holy Week, and the focus on Christ’s Passion on Good Friday, overshadows that aspect of Holy Thursday.

In an incredible way, Jesus was able to leave with us the gift of His Body & Blood; sharing with his friends at the table of the Last Supper this eternal gift of himself for all time. The giver became the gift. After his Passion, Death & Resurrection, Jesus couldn’t be limited to time or space, and the Eucharist is the eternal reminder that the Lord is always with us. There is no more intimate expression of his love for us, and that’s what we receive every time we present ourselves for Holy Communion. He is the Bread of Life, come down from heaven; he is the food for the journey of life; He is the great ‘I am’! Let us fall on our knees before him. 

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Dear Friends in Christ,                 Corpus Christi 2021

Every week there are new announcements about the Universal Pandemic. Here in the UK, there is much speculation as to what is going to happen on the 21st June, and whether the present restrictions are going to be lifted. The science has pointed to the contagious nature of the Delta strain of the virus, which has now taken over in the UK. Obviously, the government is stressing all the while to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. And they’ve just given the go ahead for younger people to receive it. Health and Safety are of prime importance for everyone! Keep safe and well! Please continue to follow the guidelines at Church, until we are advised otherwise.

CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF COMNFIRMATION: This week on Wednesday 9th & Thursday 10th June we will be celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation with our young people. This is a very momentous moment in their Faith Journey. My thanks to all those who attended the rehearsal last Wednesday; some arrived very late and missed the practical session; but there will be another opportunity to be present on Monday 7th June at 7 pm for all those who were away during the half-term break. I commend to your prayers all our young people who will receive the Sacrament this week. Unfortunately, we are still bound by Covid restrictions, and therefore it is only the Candidates and their Sponsors, and parents who can be present. At present, due to social distancing in the Church, we can only accommodate about 100 persons; as I’ve stated all along your Health & Safety are of utmost importance. (If there are additional family members who would like to actually be present on either day, weather permitting, there is a speaker outside of the Church, and we can make some seating available).  The Confirmation ceremony will be transmitted via Social Media – St Edmund of Canterbury Website – you will be directed to the livestream.  Groups 4,5,6, Wednesday 9th June; Groups 1,2,3, Thursday 10th June; both at 7.00pmhttps://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.vnuHVMNu3FkiSnM5SZDlNgHaEE&pid=Api&P=0&w=367&h=202

PARISH REPOSITORY: There are a large number of Confirmation gifts and cards available in the Repository. There are medals, candles, special cards, prayer crosses, and many other items that would be suitable gifts for the Confirmandi. Please leave your money in the basket provided. Thanks
Fr

May God Bless You All This Week,    

SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI HOLY HOUR: On Sunday afternoon there will be a special Holy Hour at 5.00pm in honour of the Blessed Sacrament. This beautiful feast is very ancient. In the past there would have been Corpus Christi processions. I invite the whole parish to come along to Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. There will be reflections on the document produced by the Bishop’s Conference ‘The Day of the Lord’ and the centrality of the Sunday Mass in our Catholic lives.  

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

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
Account Number: 11019651

NOTE TO ALL PARISHIONERS – NEW GIFT AID ORGANISER: Due to unforeseen circumstances our Gift Aid Organiser Maria Mosquera has to step down from her role. I am making an appeal to all parishioners for a volunteer to take over the role of Gift Aid Organiser? Maria will be able to help whoever takes over to learn the role and will be available should problems arise. Obviously Computer Skills will help. I’m truly grateful to Maria for assuming this role for the past few years ago. This would be a wonderful way of serving God through the Parish Community – please think about this request, thank you! If you want to speak to me personally please call Tel No: 0208 508 3492    AS YET, NO ONE HAS RESPONDEND. PLEASE THINK SERIOULSY ABOUT THIS TO HELP THE PARISH. 

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about the Roman Catholic Faith possibly with the view of receiving the Easter Sacraments in 2022, please contact Fr. John at the Presbytery on Tel No: 020 8508 3492. The programme usually commences in September. If would be wonderful to have a number of enquirers. We follow a systematic programme of instruction, covering all aspects of Catholicism. Please spread the word about this programme. Thank you!  https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.7xXPp4SxDqSildwWjCO-fAHaF5&pid=Api&P=0&w=227&h=182

POSTPONEMENT OF JUBILEE: I have decided to postopone my 40th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations until a later date. With ultimate restrictions not being lifted until the latter part of June, it really doesn’t give enough time to send out invitations, and also for many friends who wanted to come from abroad to attend. I will celebrate Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday 11th July at 11am with only my Parish Family.

EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank during these difficult times. The Foodbank are truly grateful for the generosity our parish has shown throughout the pandemic 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: Long-life fruit juice, tinned tomatoes, instant mash, tinned fish, tinned peas, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, small jars of instant coffee, small or medium bags of rice, sponge pudding, snack bars, chocolate bars, chocolate spread and savoury crackers Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/https://clipground.com/images/food-bank-clip-art-3.jpg

IRREGULAR MARRIAGES: An irregualr marriage is one tht 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

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2021/2022: It is hoped that we will be able to run a First Holy Communion Porgramme, commencing in September this year. There will be two years eligible to apply. (school years 3 & 4 as of Septmeber 2021) You have to be a practicing Roman Catholic (which means that you attend holy mass weekly). Please contact Fr. John for interview Tel No: 020 8508 3492  – Interviews Week commencing Monday 14th June concluding Friday 18th June. 

DIARY JUNE 2021

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn,  Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Violet Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Pamela Houghton, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, Sheila Murphy, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Kathleen Pomeroy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones. 

ANNIVERSARIES: Molly Hixon RIP For all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace. 

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: I would like to take this public opportunity of thanking every single member of this parish Community for your incredible support of the parish over the past 16 months of Pandemic. With the church remaining open and with online daily live streaming of Holy Mass, even during those four and half months of lockdown; in completing our Financial Returns to the Diocese, you will be delighted to know that we broke even this year. My thanks to Michael Manzi our Accountant, who looks after the Parish Accounts & Maria Mosquera who looks after the Parish Gift Aid Scheme; they have both done a truly wonderful job this year.  With continued thanks for your Weekly Offering. If you would like to join the Gift Aid Scheme, there are application forms in the Church Porch or ask Fr. John for a form. If you forget your envelope, there are spares in the Porch. Thank you! https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.vD08PSnqAPpVs2T0JXM2lwHaFm&pid=Api&P=0&w=201&h=153

SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 100 people present, strictly observing social distancing. 30 people are allowed to be present at a wedding. Baptisms: you are now allowed up to 30 persons at a Baptism; not too sure what the restrictions are for social event after though! These are really difficult times, and many couples were disappointed last year not being able to celebrate their marriages. We are hoping with the distribution of the vaccine, that things will change dramatically this year. If there are any couples who are thinking about getting married, please notify the parish immediately. Thank you. Obviously until restrictions are lifted all of the above applies for the foreseeable future.http://infantjesus.org/home/images/articles/2016/sacraments/sacraments_-_clipart-_-150x200.png

MASS INTENTIONS – JUNE 2021

Sat 5th    10.00amLetitia Fletcher RIP (Nancy Ironside)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 5th     6.00pm John A Harvey RIP (39 anni) (Fr. John )
Sun 6th              Sun 6th     9.00am10.00amIain Campbell RIP (Brenda Bryant)People of the Parish
Sun 6th                    11:00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
Mon 7th       10.00am10.30amDavid Mills RIPHoly Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Tues 8th                                                                                     10.00amRoxanne Batashi Kani RIP
Wed 9th                 10.00am7.00pmLesley Lewis RIPConfirmation Mass.  Jim Shanahan RIP
Thurs 10th          10.00am 10.30am7.00pmPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)Holy Hour with Exposition of the Bl SacramentConfirmation Mass. Niki Bayley RIP
Fri 11th                     10.00am 10.30amIan Campbell RIP (Brenda Bryant)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Sat 12th     10.00amSappper Raymond Marchant RIP (Pat & Jean Marchant)
Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm
Sat 12th         6.00pmTony Galcius RIP ((Mike & Grainne Sheehy)
Sun 13th      Sun 13th                     9.00am10.00amDec’d of Bacuetes Family RIPPeople of the Parish
Sun 13th          11:00amLeanne Kieran RIP (Maria Fray)

Corpus Christi – Solemnity

First Reading : Exodus 24:3-8

Moses went and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. In answer, all the people said with one voice, ‘We will observe all the commands that the Lord has decreed.’ Moses put all the commands of the Lord into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he directed certain young Israelites to offer holocausts and to immolate bullocks to the Lord as communion sacrifices. Half of the blood Moses took up and put into basins, the other half he cast on the altar. And taking the Book of the Covenant he read it to the listening people, and they said, ‘We will observe all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.’ Then Moses took the blood and cast it towards the people. This’ he said ‘is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you, containing all these rules.’

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 115(116):12-13,15-18

The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name.

How can I repay the Lord

  for his goodness to me?

The cup of salvation I will raise;

  I will call on the Lord’s name.

The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name.

O precious in the eyes of the Lord

  is the death of his faithful.

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;

  you have loosened my bonds.

The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name.

A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;

  I will call on the Lord’s name.

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil

  before all his people.

The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name.

Second Reading : Hebrews 9:11-15

Now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, which is better than the one made by men’s hands because it is not of this created order; and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption for us. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer are sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement and they restore the holiness of their outward lives; how much more effectively the blood of Christ, who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God.

  He brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant.

Gospel : Mark 14:12-16,22-26

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to Jesus, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there.’ The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.

  And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’  After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives.        THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD.  

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi, 2021

Dear Friends in Christ                                                               Corpus Christi 2021

Today is the Feast of Corpus Christ – The feast of the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ. It goes back to the 13th century, but it celebrates something far older: the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the Last Supper. While Holy Thursday is also a celebration of this mystery, the solemn nature of Holy Week, and the focus on Christ’s Passion on Good Friday, overshadows that aspect of Holy Thursday.

In an incredible way, Jesus was able to leave with us the gift of His Body & Blood; sharing with his friends at the table of the Last Supper this eternal gift of himself for all time. The giver became the gift. After his Passion, Death & Resurrection, Jesus couldn’t be limited to time or space, and the Eucharist is the eternal reminder that the Lord is always with us. There is no more intimate expression of his love for us, and that’s what we receive every time we present ourselves for Holy Communion. He is the Bread of Life, come down from heaven; he is the food for the journey of life; He is the great ‘I am’! Let us fall on our knees before him. 

https://www.massexplained.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/corpuschristithumb.jpg

Dear Friends in Christ,                 Corpus Christi 2021

Every week there are new announcements about the Universal Pandemic. Here in the UK, there is much speculation as to what is going to happen on the 21st June, and whether the present restrictions are going to be lifted. The science has pointed to the contagious nature of the Delta strain of the virus, which has now taken over in the UK. Obviously, the government is stressing all the while to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. And they’ve just given the go ahead for younger people to receive it. Health and Safety are of prime importance for everyone! Keep safe and well! Please continue to follow the guidelines at Church, until we are advised otherwise.

CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF COMNFIRMATION: This week on Wednesday 9th & Thursday 10th June we will be celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation with our young people. This is a very momentous moment in their Faith Journey. My thanks to all those who attended the rehearsal last Wednesday; some arrived very late and missed the practical session; but there will be another opportunity to be present on Monday 7th June at 7 pm for all those who were away during the half-term break. I commend to your prayers all our young people who will receive the Sacrament this week. Unfortunately, we are still bound by Covid restrictions, and therefore it is only the Candidates and their Sponsors, and parents who can be present. At present, due to social distancing in the Church, we can only accommodate about 100 persons; as I’ve stated all along your Health & Safety are of utmost importance. (If there are additional family members who would like to actually be present on either day, weather permitting, there is a speaker outside of the Church, and we can make some seating available).  The Confirmation ceremony will be transmitted via Social Media – St Edmund of Canterbury Website – you will be directed to the livestream.  Groups 4,5,6, Wednesday 9th June; Groups 1,2,3, Thursday 10th June; both at 7.00pmhttps://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.vnuHVMNu3FkiSnM5SZDlNgHaEE&pid=Api&P=0&w=367&h=202

PARISH REPOSITORY: There are a large number of Confirmation gifts and cards available in the Repository. There are medals, candles, special cards, prayer crosses, and many other items that would be suitable gifts for the Confirmandi. Please leave your money in the basket provided. Thanks
Fr

May God Bless You All This Week,    

SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI HOLY HOUR: On Sunday afternoon there will be a special Holy Hour at 5.00pm in honour of the Blessed Sacrament. This beautiful feast is very ancient. In the past there would have been Corpus Christi processions. I invite the whole parish to come along to Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. There will be reflections on the document produced by the Bishop’s Conference ‘The Day of the Lord’ and the centrality of the Sunday Mass in our Catholic lives.  

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

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
Account Number: 11019651

NOTE TO ALL PARISHIONERS – NEW GIFT AID ORGANISER: Due to unforeseen circumstances our Gift Aid Organiser Maria Mosquera has to step down from her role. I am making an appeal to all parishioners for a volunteer to take over the role of Gift Aid Organiser? Maria will be able to help whoever takes over to learn the role and will be available should problems arise. Obviously Computer Skills will help. I’m truly grateful to Maria for assuming this role for the past few years ago. This would be a wonderful way of serving God through the Parish Community – please think about this request, thank you! If you want to speak to me personally please call Tel No: 0208 508 3492    AS YET, NO ONE HAS RESPONDEND. PLEASE THINK SERIOULSY ABOUT THIS TO HELP THE PARISH. 

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about the Roman Catholic Faith possibly with the view of receiving the Easter Sacraments in 2022, please contact Fr. John at the Presbytery on Tel No: 020 8508 3492. The programme usually commences in September. If would be wonderful to have a number of enquirers. We follow a systematic programme of instruction, covering all aspects of Catholicism. Please spread the word about this programme. Thank you!  https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.7xXPp4SxDqSildwWjCO-fAHaF5&pid=Api&P=0&w=227&h=182

POSTPONEMENT OF JUBILEE: I have decided to postopone my 40th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations until a later date. With ultimate restrictions not being lifted until the latter part of June, it really doesn’t give enough time to send out invitations, and also for many friends who wanted to come from abroad to attend. I will celebrate Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday 11th July at 11am with only my Parish Family.

EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank during these difficult times. The Foodbank are truly grateful for the generosity our parish has shown throughout the pandemic 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: Long-life fruit juice, tinned tomatoes, instant mash, tinned fish, tinned peas, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, small jars of instant coffee, small or medium bags of rice, sponge pudding, snack bars, chocolate bars, chocolate spread and savoury crackers Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/https://clipground.com/images/food-bank-clip-art-3.jpg

IRREGULAR MARRIAGES: An irregualr marriage is one tht 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

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2021/2022: It is hoped that we will be able to run a First Holy Communion Porgramme, commencing in September this year. There will be two years eligible to apply. (school years 3 & 4 as of Septmeber 2021) You have to be a practicing Roman Catholic (which means that you attend holy mass weekly). Please contact Fr. John for interview Tel No: 020 8508 3492  – Interviews Week commencing Monday 14th June concluding Friday 18th June. 

DIARY JUNE 2021

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn,  Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Violet Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Pamela Houghton, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, Sheila Murphy, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Kathleen Pomeroy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones. 

ANNIVERSARIES: Molly Hixon RIP For all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace. 

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: I would like to take this public opportunity of thanking every single member of this parish Community for your incredible support of the parish over the past 16 months of Pandemic. With the church remaining open and with online daily live streaming of Holy Mass, even during those four and half months of lockdown; in completing our Financial Returns to the Diocese, you will be delighted to know that we broke even this year. My thanks to Michael Manzi our Accountant, who looks after the Parish Accounts & Maria Mosquera who looks after the Parish Gift Aid Scheme; they have both done a truly wonderful job this year.  With continued thanks for your Weekly Offering. If you would like to join the Gift Aid Scheme, there are application forms in the Church Porch or ask Fr. John for a form. If you forget your envelope, there are spares in the Porch. Thank you! https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.vD08PSnqAPpVs2T0JXM2lwHaFm&pid=Api&P=0&w=201&h=153

SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 100 people present, strictly observing social distancing. 30 people are allowed to be present at a wedding. Baptisms: you are now allowed up to 30 persons at a Baptism; not too sure what the restrictions are for social event after though! These are really difficult times, and many couples were disappointed last year not being able to celebrate their marriages. We are hoping with the distribution of the vaccine, that things will change dramatically this year. If there are any couples who are thinking about getting married, please notify the parish immediately. Thank you. Obviously until restrictions are lifted all of the above applies for the foreseeable future.http://infantjesus.org/home/images/articles/2016/sacraments/sacraments_-_clipart-_-150x200.png

MASS INTENTIONS – JUNE 2021

Sat 5th    10.00amLetitia Fletcher RIP (Nancy Ironside)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 5th     6.00pm John A Harvey RIP (39 anni) (Fr. John )
Sun 6th              Sun 6th     9.00am10.00amIain Campbell RIP (Brenda Bryant)People of the Parish
Sun 6th                    11:00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
Mon 7th       10.00am10.30amDavid Mills RIPHoly Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Tues 8th                                                                                     10.00amRoxanne Batashi Kani RIP
Wed 9th                 10.00am7.00pmLesley Lewis RIPConfirmation Mass.  Jim Shanahan RIP
Thurs 10th          10.00am 10.30am7.00pmPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)Holy Hour with Exposition of the Bl SacramentConfirmation Mass. Niki Bayley RIP
Fri 11th                     10.00am 10.30amIan Campbell RIP (Brenda Bryant)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Sat 12th     10.00amSappper Raymond Marchant RIP (Pat & Jean Marchant)
Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm
Sat 12th         6.00pmTony Galcius RIP ((Mike & Grainne Sheehy)
Sun 13th      Sun 13th                     9.00am10.00amDec’d of Bacuetes Family RIPPeople of the Parish
Sun 13th          11:00amLeanne Kieran RIP (Maria Fray)

Corpus Christi – Solemnity

First Reading : Exodus 24:3-8

Moses went and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. In answer, all the people said with one voice, ‘We will observe all the commands that the Lord has decreed.’ Moses put all the commands of the Lord into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he directed certain young Israelites to offer holocausts and to immolate bullocks to the Lord as communion sacrifices. Half of the blood Moses took up and put into basins, the other half he cast on the altar. And taking the Book of the Covenant he read it to the listening people, and they said, ‘We will observe all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.’ Then Moses took the blood and cast it towards the people. This’ he said ‘is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you, containing all these rules.’

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 115(116):12-13,15-18

The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name.

How can I repay the Lord

  for his goodness to me?

The cup of salvation I will raise;

  I will call on the Lord’s name.

The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name.

O precious in the eyes of the Lord

  is the death of his faithful.

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;

  you have loosened my bonds.

The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name.

A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;

  I will call on the Lord’s name.

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil

  before all his people.

The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name.

Second Reading : Hebrews 9:11-15

Now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, which is better than the one made by men’s hands because it is not of this created order; and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption for us. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer are sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement and they restore the holiness of their outward lives; how much more effectively the blood of Christ, who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God.

  He brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant.

Gospel : Mark 14:12-16,22-26

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to Jesus, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there.’ The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.

  And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’  After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives.        THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD.  

Trinity Sunday 2021

Trinity Sunday 2021 St Edmunds of Canterbury

This episode is also available as a blog post: https://stedmundsloughton979132691.blog/2021/05/29/trinity-sunday-2021/
  1. Trinity Sunday 2021
  2. Pentecost Sunday 2021
  3. Pentecost Sunday 2021
  4. Pentecost Sunday 2021
  5. Seventh Sunday of Easter 2021

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Dear Friends in Christ                                                      

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is always celebrated a week after Pentecost. Trinity Sunday honors the most fundamental of Christian beliefs—belief in the Holy Trinity. The human mind can never fully understand the mystery of the Trinity, but we can sum it up in the following formula: God is three Persons in one Nature. There is only one God, and the three Persons of God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—are all equally God, and they cannot be divided. At Holy Mass the Sacred Liturgy lifts the heart, mind and soul up to God, who is Father Son & Spirit. We not only praise the Holy Trinity in the Gloria at the beginning of Mass, but we also make a profession of faith to God in the Trinity while praying the Nicene Creed.  The Council of Nicaea was called by the Emperor Constantine in the year 325AD. The Early Fathers of the Church, in response to various heresies rife at that time, formulated a Universal Creed of Belief, formulating not only the belief on the Most Holy Trinity, but also about the Church, Baptism, and Resurrection from the Dead, and Our Blessed Lady’s role in God’s plan of Salvation.  Let us pray the Creed with true faith and fervour! 

Illustration of the Hospitality of Abraham

Dear Friends in Christ,         Trinity Sunday 2021

In light of the latest variant in Corona virus in this country, there is a certain amount of speculation as to whether we are going to be able to open up completely on 21st June. Manifestly, many people have already had the first shot of the vaccine, and many the second. Social distancing, and the wearing of face coverings are still in place, and everyone is being advised to be cautious. The past 15 months have certainly taken its toll on many people’s lives, and many are just fed up with living this way, but health & Safety is important for all, and letting one’s guard down now could set back the whole process of trying to preserve everyone’s life. Please continue to adhere to all the Governmental guidelines.  We will continue to follow Governmental & Diocesan guidelines here at Church until we’re given guidance that we can lift all restrictions.

I would like to commend all of our parishioners who have faithfully returned to the weekly practice of the faith. In speaking to many of you at different times, I know how hard it was to be away; but to be able to receive the sacraments once again is truly wonderful. To those who have not returned, can I make an impassioned appeal to you all, Church is a very safe place, we haven’t had one report of anyone contracting the virus here at St. Edmund’s in all the months we’ve been open.  It’s likely that some will never return to the regular practice of faith, either from getting out of the habit, or those who may feel that they don’t need formal religion in their lives anymore. I ask everyone to think seriously about the whole meaning of your Catholic Faith, and whether you can permanently live without it?

CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME: A note to all of our Confirmandi, that the Rehearsal (with sponsors), and Penance Service will take place on Wednesday 2nd June at 7.00pm at St. Edmund’s. If Catechists could also be present I’d be most grateful. Some candidates have not been present at Mass throughout the whole programme; as a priest I find this really sad, especially when everyone is now back in full time education. Please think very carefully about this commitment through the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Confirmation dates are as follows: Wednesday 9th June: Groups 4,5,6. Thursday 10th June: Groups 1,2,3. at 7.00pm. (Due to Covid restrictions and Social Distancing, only the Confirmandi & their Sponsors and parents will be able to be present at the Confirmation Ceremony).  Frhttps://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.4c1W_SidSYqszA1Vs8BXXQHaG-&pid=Api&P=0&w=176&h=167

May God Bless You All This Week, 

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

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
Account Number: 11019651

NEW GIFT AID ORGANISER: Due to unforeseen circumstances our Gift Aid Organiser Maria Mosquera has to step down from her role. I am making an appeal to all parishioners for a volunteer to take over the role of Gift Aid Organiser? Maria will be able to help whoever takes over to learn the role and will be available should problems arise. Obviously Computer Skills will help. I’m truly grateful to Maria for assuming this role for the past few years ago. This would be a wonderful way of serving God through the Parish Community – please think about this request, thank you! If you want to speak to me personally please call Tel No: 0208 508 3492

PARISH REPOSITORY: We have a large selection of gifts for the Sacrament of Confirmation: Beautiful cards, medals, candles, Confirmation crosses, and various other items that would be suitable gifts for Confirmandi. There are also some beautiful new Mass Cards for all occasions. There are a large number of Cards for young people who are taking exams at this present time. Thank you to Teresa & Steve Wallace for looking after the Repository and keeping it well stocked during the past year of Pandemic. I’m really pleased that so many parishioners have made use of the Repository. https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.1BJVNWnaCVavw7A_rMef3QHaEo&pid=Api&P=0&w=272&h=171

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about the Roman Catholic Faith possibly with the view of receiving the Easter Sacraments in 2022, please contact Fr. John at the Presbytery on Tel No: 020 8508 3492. The programme usually commences in September. If would be wonderful to have a number of enquirers. We follow a systematic programme of instruction, covering all aspects of Catholicism. Please spread the word about this programme. Thank you!  https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.7xXPp4SxDqSildwWjCO-fAHaF5&pid=Api&P=0&w=227&h=182

POSTPONEMENT OF JUBILEE: I have decided to postopone my 40th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations until a later date. With ultimate restrictions not being lifted until the latter part of June, it really doesn’t give enough time to send out invitations, and also for many friends who wanted to come from abroad to attend. I will celebrate Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday 11th July at 11am with only my Parish Family.

https://clipground.com/images/food-bank-clip-art-3.jpg

EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank during these difficult times. The Foodbank are truly grateful for the generosity our parish has shown throughout the pandemic 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: Long-life fruit juice, tinned tomatoes, instant mash, tinned fish, tinned peas, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, small jars of instant coffee, small or medium bags of rice, sponge pudding, snack bars, chocolate bars, chocolate spread and savoury crackers Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/

GRAND CHURCH CLEAN: Could I make an appeal to all parishioners to come and help with a Grand Church Clean on Saturday 5th June at 10.30am. I’m truly grateful to Sharon Fitzmaurice & Veronica Short who have, for the most part, kept the Altar Society going over the past 15 months, cleaning the church and doing the altar laundry. But to have a grand clean periodically, apart from the sanitisation of benches after each service gets into all those nooks and crannies that can sometimes be forgotten.

IRREGULAR MARRIAGES: An irregualr marriage is one tht 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

DIARY MAY – JUNE 2021

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn,  Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Pamela Houghton, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, Sheila Murphy, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Kathleen Pomeroy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones. 

ANNIVERSARIES: For all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace. 

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: I would like to take this public opportunity of thanking every single member of this parish Community for your incredible support of the parish over the past 15 months of Pandemic. With the church remaining open and with online daily live streaming of Holy Mass, even during those four and half months of lockdown; in completing our Financial Returns to the Diocese, you will be delighted to know that we broke even this year. My thanks to Michael Manzi our Accountant, who looks after the Parish Accounts & Maria Mosquera who looks after the Parish Gift Aid Scheme; they have both done a truly wonderful job this year.  With continued thanks for your Weekly Offering. If you would like to join the Gift Aid Scheme, there are application forms in the Church Porch or ask Fr. John for a form. If you forget your envelope, there are spares in the Porch. Thank you! 

SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 100 people present, strictly observing social distancing. 12 people are allowed to be present at a wedding. Baptisms: you are now allowed up to 30 persons at a Baptism; not too sure what the restrictions are for social event after though! These are really difficult times, and many couples were disappointed last year not being able to celebrate their marriages. We are hoping with the advent of the vaccine, that things will change dramatically this year. If there are any couples who are thinking about getting married, please notify the parish immediately. Thank you. Obviously until restrictions are lifted all of the above applies for the foreseeable future.http://infantjesus.org/home/images/articles/2016/sacraments/sacraments_-_clipart-_-150x200.png

MASS INTENTIONS – MAY / JUNE 2021

Sat 29th    10.00amMargaret Duffy’s Int’s (Frank Westcott)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 29th     6.00pm Michael McCarthy RIP (Una Machnicki)
Sun 30th              Sun 30th     9.00am10.00amRobin Bennett RIP (John & Sue Campbell)People of the Parish
Sun 30th                    11:00amMichael Green RIP (Arthur & Jenny)
Mon 31st       10.00am10.30amRichard Okorogheye RIP (Laffey Family)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Tues 1st                 June                                                                    10.00amJoyce & Keith Sarson   (M Duffy  N Ironside)
Wed 2nd                10.00amLetitia Fletcher RIP ( K & A Sinclair)
Thurs 3rd         10.00am 10.30amTommy Reilly’s Int’s (M Ryan)Holy Hour with Exposition of the Bl Sacrament
Fri 4th                    10.00am 10.30amNancy Hands Int’s (Remy)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Sat 5th    10.00amLetitia Fletcher RIP (Nancy Ironside)
Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm
Sat 5th        6.00pmJohn A Harvey RIP (39 anni) (Fr. John )
Sun 6th     Sun 6th                    9.00am10.00amIain Campbell RIP (Brenda Bryant)People of the Parish
Sun 6th         11:00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)

Please kindly be patient with your mass requests. I will try to accommodate your requested dates, but there have been a large number of requests recently and we celebrate masses in the order in which we receive them. We are running short on Mass intentions at present

The Most Holy Trinity – Solemnity

First Reading : Deuteronomy 4:32-34,39-40

Moses said to the people: ‘Put this question to the ages that are past, that went before you, from the time God created man on earth: Was there ever a word so majestic, from one end of heaven to the other? Was anything ever heard? Did ever a people hear the voice of the living God speaking from the heart of the fire, as you heard it, and remain alive? Has any god ventured to take to himself one nation from the midst of another by ordeals, signs, wonders, war with mighty hand and outstretched arm, by fearsome terrors – all this that the Lord your God did for you before your eyes in Egypt?

  ‘Understand this today, therefore, and take it to heart: the Lord is God indeed, in heaven above as on earth beneath, he and no other. Keep his laws and commandments as I give them to you today, so that you and your children may prosper and live long in the land that the Lord your God gives you for ever.’

Responsorial  Psalm : Psalm 32(33):4-6,9,18-20,22

Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.

For 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.

Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.

By his word the heavens were made,

  by the breath of his mouth all the stars.

He spoke; and it came to be.

  He commanded; it sprang into being.

Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.

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.

Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.

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.

Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.

Second Reading : Romans 8:14-17

Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.

Gospel : Matthew 28:16-20

The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

Pentecost Sunday 2021

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

The Solemnity of Pentecost

Dear Friends in Christ                                              

Today is Pentecost Sunday, when we celebrate the brithday of the Church. On thtat day when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Apostles, it empowered them to “Go out into the whole world and proclaim the Good News.” As Jesus had told the apostles at the Last Supper, “the Holy Spirit will lead you to the complete truth.” Now the work would begin; evangelisation would become the mission of the new Church founded on Jesus Christ. A continueal outpouring of that same Holy Spirit is fundamentally at the heart of Catholic Christian life. It’s the Spirit that inspiries, encourages, motivates, gives courage & stregth, and allows the church to coninue and grow throughout the world. The Holy Spirit – the perfect love between the Father & the Son, which is that lifegiving force – is the gift extended to you and me as members of the Catholic Church today. Let us really pray today for a deeper outpouring of that same Spirit that inpired the Apostles at the first Pentecost. Let us remember especially in our prayers on this great Solemnity all those young people in our parish who are preparing for their Confirmation next month, that the Holy Spirit wiill coninute to guide them and inspire them in their Journey of Faith.  
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Dear Friends in Christ, Pentecost Sunday 2021

This Pentecost Sunday is the sixt anniversary of the Papal Document Laudato Si; the Catholic Bishops of England, Walesd & Scotland are issuing a Pastoral letter about the role that the Catholic Church and our faith must play in our shared care for God’s gift of creation. I have made this letter available on the Parish Website called – ‘The Day of the Lord’.

Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.WXtAort4x6QirJvyhCj0ogHaDt&pid=Api&P=0&w=310&h=156

offers us an opportunity to reflect on the world around us, and to respond to the signs of the times. We are called to reject the contemporary ‘throwaway’ culture and to open our eyes to see how God is present throughout creation. We bear witness to the reality facing many of our sisters and brothers across the world, who are being pushed deeper into poverty due to the changing climate. 

Whilst climate change is critical, it is one symptom of a much deeper problem about how we organise our common home. Pope Francis invites us to a change of heart; individually, as a community, and at an international level, so we may truly respond to “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” #49. 

In what the Holy Father calls ‘the Gospel of Creation’, we are encouraged to bring the Good News of our faith to these situations. We are asked to adopt an attitude of profound respect and care towards ourselves, our neighbours and our beautiful sister earth, as an expression of our love for God. Laudato Si’ is a profound invitation to everyone on the planet, and its influence will be felt for many years to come.

Care for the Planet, and care for each other is ultimately the personal responsibility of each one of us. To assume that responsibility, we should be aware of all aspects of life which are destroying the planet. Knowledge of the poor, and the many situations throughout the world where people are starving, is a universal responsibility. Please read the document and reflect on its implications in your own life and the life of your family.     

God Bless You All, 

CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME: A big thank you to everyone who joined us for the last session of the Confirmation Programme last Thursday. Also grateful thanks to Fr. Stephen Wang, who joined us during the session. As we had followed Fr. Stephen’s Sycamore programme it was wonderful to be able to share with him and get him to answer some of your questions. In preparation for the Sacrament a Penitential Service will take place at the Church on Wednesday 2nd June at 7.00pm. Also a brief rehearsal for the celebration. The Confirmation dates are as follows: Wednesday 9th June: Groups 4,5,6. Thursday 10th June: Groups 1,2,3. at 7.00pm. Please ensure that you have submitted your Confirmation name and the name of your Sponsor to Mark Anthony.  Please pray for our Confirmandi. I would like to see all candidates for Confirmation present at Holy Mass over these next weeks in preparation for the reception of the Sacrament. Sadly, some candidates haven’t been present at all throughout the whole programme. I would ask them to think very seriously about the Sacrament before they receive it! (Due to Covid restrictions and Social Distancing, only the Confirmandi & their Sponsors and parents will be able to be present at the Confirmation Ceremony).     https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.4c1W_SidSYqszA1Vs8BXXQHaG-&pid=Api&P=0&w=176&h=167
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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
Account Number: 11019651

PARISH REPOSITORY: We have a large selection of gifts for the Sacrament of Confirmation: Beautiful cards, medals, candles, Confirmation crosses, and various other items that would be suitable gifts for Confirmandi. There are also some beautiful new Mass Cards for all occasions. There are a large number of Cards for young people who are taking exams at this present time. Thank you to Teresa & Steve Wallace for looking after the Repository and keeping it well stocked during the past year of Pandemic. I’m really pleased that so many parishioners have made use of the Repository.https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.1BJVNWnaCVavw7A_rMef3QHaEo&pid=Api&P=0&w=272&h=171

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about the Roman Catholic Faith possibly with the view of receiving the Easter Sacraments in 2022, please contact Fr. John at the Presbytery on Tel No: 020 8508 3492. The programme usually commences in September. If would be wonderful to have a number of enquirers. We follow a systematic programme of instruction, covering all aspects of Catholicism. Please spread the word about this programme. Thank you!  https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.7xXPp4SxDqSildwWjCO-fAHaF5&pid=Api&P=0&w=227&h=182

EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank during these difficult times. The Foodbank are truly grateful for the generosity our parish has shown throughout the pandemic 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: Long-life fruit juice, tinned tomatoes, instant mash, tinned fish, tinned peas, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, small jars of instant coffee, small or medium bags of rice, sponge pudding, snack bars, chocolate bars, chocolate spread and savoury crackers Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/https://clipground.com/images/food-bank-clip-art-3.jpg

WEEKLY OFFERTORY ENVELOPES: There are still a number of Gift Aid envelopes which have not been collected by those who belong to the scheme. The table will be outside the Church again this weekend for collection, and then placed in Fr. John’s garage throughout the week. As stated, the HSBC bank will be closing on 13th August, it would be good for as many parishioerns as possible to go over to the direct giving through your bank. If you wish to join the Gift Aid Scheme, please see Fr. John or Maria Mosquera.   Thank you for your ongoing support to the Parish.

POSTPONEMENT OF JUBILEE: I have decided to postopone my 40th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations until a later date. With ultimate restrictions not being lifted until the latter part of June, it really doesn’t give enough time to send out invitations, and also for many friends who wanted to come from abroad to attend. I will celebrate Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday 11th July at 11am with only my Parish Family.

DIARY APRIL 2021

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn,  Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, Sheila Murphy, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Kathleen Pomeroy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones. 

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: I would like to take this public opportunity of thanking every single member of this parish Community for your incredible support of the parish over the past 15 months of Pandemic. With the church remaining open and with online daily live streaming of Holy Mass, even during those four and half months of lockdown; in completing our Financial Returns to the Diocese, you will be delighted to know that we broke even this year. My thanks to Michael Manzi our Accountant, who looks after the Parish Accounts & Maria Mosquera who looks after the Parish Gift Aid Scheme; they have both done a truly wonderful job this year.  With continued thanks for your Weekly Offering. If you would like to join the Gift Aid Scheme, there are application forms in the Church Porch or ask Fr. John for a form. If you forget your envelope, there are spares in the Porch. Thank you!  https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.vD08PSnqAPpVs2T0JXM2lwHaFm&pid=Api&P=0&w=201&h=153

SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 100 people present, strictly observing social distancing. 12 people are allowed to be present at a wedding. Baptisms are allowed to take place in the context of a Sunday Mass setting. These are really difficult times, and many couples were disappointed last year not being able to celebrate their marriages. We are hoping with the advent of the vaccine, that things will change dramatically this year. If there are any couples who are thinking about getting married, please notify the parish immediately. Thank you. Obviously until restrictions are lifted all of the above applies for the foreseeable future.http://infantjesus.org/home/images/articles/2016/sacraments/sacraments_-_clipart-_-150x200.png

MASS INTENTIONS – MAY 2021

Sat 22nd   10.00amAnthony Rattigan RIP (Maureen Rattigan)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 22nd    6.00pm Tess Bowles RIP (Margaret Spiers)
Sun 23rd             


Sun 23rd    
9.00am


10.00am
Maura McDonald RIP (Fitzmaurice & Norgueira)


People of the Parish
Sun 23rd                   11:00amPatricia Reid RIP (M Ryan)
Mon 24th      10.00am


10.30am
Malcolm Campbell RIP (Brenda Bryant)


Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Tues 25th                                                                                     10.00amPat Gardner RIP (Veronica & Steve Short)
Wed 26th               10.00amMichael & Breege Kerrane RIP (Mary)
Thurs 27th        10.00am 


10.30am
Pat Ata’s Int’s (Frank (Westcott)


Holy Hour with Exposition of the Bl Sacrament
Fri 28th                   10.00am 


10.30am
Molly & Stewart Mitchell Int’s (M Duffy)


Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Sat 29th   10.00amMargaret Duffy’s Int’s (Frank Westcott)
Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm
Sat 29th       6.00pmMichael McCarthy RIP (Una Machnicki)
Sun 30th    


Sun 30th                   
9.00am


10.00am
Robin Bennett RIP (John & Sue Campbell)


Eufemia Coronel RIP (Bacuetes Family)
Sun 30th        11:00amMichael Green RIP (Arthur & Jenny)

Please kindly be patient with your mass requests. I will try to accommodate your requested dates, but there have been a large number of requests recently and we celebrate masses in the order in which we receive them. 

Pentecost

First Reading : Acts 2:1-11

When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.

  Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.’

Responsorial Psalm :  Psalm 103(104):1,24,29-31,34

Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

Bless the Lord, my soul!

  Lord God, how great you are,

How many are your works, O Lord!

  The earth is full of your riches.

Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

You take back your spirit, they die,

  returning to the dust from which they came.

You send forth your spirit, they are created;

  and you renew the face of the earth.

Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the Lord last for ever!

  May the Lord rejoice in his works!

May my thoughts be pleasing to him.

  I find my joy in the Lord.

Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

Second Reading : Galatians 5:16-25

If you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions. If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you. When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious: fornication, gross indecency and sexual irresponsibility; idolatry and sorcery; feuds and wrangling, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels; disagreements, factions, envy; drunkenness, orgies and similar things. I warn you now, as I warned you before: those who behave like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. There can be no law against things like that, of course. You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires. Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.

Gospel : John 15:26-27,16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness. And you too will be witnesses,because you have been with me from the outset. ‘I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now. But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come. He will glorify me,since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine. Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said: All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.’   TH GOSPEL OF THE LORD

CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES Pastoral Letter for Pentecost 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Solemnity of Pentecost reminds us that everything which exists, every person and the whole of creation, is a gift of “God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.” God our loving Father creates and continues to give life to the world through His Word, Jesus Christ, in the power of His Holy Spirit. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church, which we celebrate at Pentecost, is not something separate from Creation. God’s revelation of himself in Creation is inseparable from the revelation of his love for us in Christ and in his desire to live in us through his Holy Spirit. 

‘God’s Spirit is always and everywhere “the Lord, the Giver of Life”, and the voice of Pentecost is echoed in the voice of creation being transformed into the glorious liberty of God’s children.’ In this liberty, as God’s children, we call on the Spirit to ‘renew the face of the Earth’, and as his children, we are called, in turn, to use this liberty for the good of creation and for the good of all that brings life. Our world, God’s creation, is a precious gift to us. It is our common home entrusted to each generation. But how have we used that glorious liberty? How do we honour this precious gift? Are we really demonstrating love, care and respect for our common home? 

As we celebrate Pentecost this year, we are acutely aware of the damage that continues to be inflicted on the Earth, and the repercussions for the well-being of our brothers and sisters, both here in our own countries and, more especially, in the poorest countries of our world. Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have both taught us that everything is interconnected and interdependent. The way we live our everyday lives has an impact on everyone and on the earth. The urgency of the situation, and the enormity of the challenges we face, have spurred us to speak out together this Pentecost Sunday, as bishops of England, Wales and Scotland, about the role that the Catholic Church and our faith must play in our shared care for God’s gift to us. 

For all too long we have either been ignorant of, or ignored, the systematic exploitation of our planet and the unsustainable consumption of its resources. While accepting the crucial need and demand for energy for the benefit of the poorest of our brothers and sisters, the provision of our energy must, nonetheless, be by means which radically reduce the use of carbon-based fuels. In our political thinking, there must be a new global understanding of our world, where nations recognise our common responsibility for the dignity of all people and their rights to sustainable livelihoods, in authentic freedom. Pope Francis speaks of a global politics that looks beyond our own needs to the needs of all, most especially the poor and the marginalised. 

But we cannot leave the healing of our common home and the wellbeing and care of our brothers and sisters merely to a response from industry and governments. Our own local concern and action is necessary and has far-reaching consequences. We all have a part to play, each and every one of us, in the routines, choices and decisions of our everyday lives and our aspirations for the future. The actions of parishes, families, schools, and individuals will have a significant impact on our efforts to restore our common home. There are now many resources, freely available, to advise us on our choice of food, saving of water and electricity, suggestions about travel, waste, and re-use. These are measures that everyone can employ, in some degree, with minimal inconvenience and change. They are effective ways in which we can each reaffirm our personal vocation to be stewards of creation. 

This Pentecost comes at a time of remarkable challenge and opportunity. We are gradually emerging from the tragedies and restrictions of the pandemic. We have the ability to make changes. Our countries are also hosting two most important meetings this year, the G7 in June and COP26 in November. These meetings will gather together men and women who have the power to make defining choices and policies which will help us build back better, provide for our brothers and sisters, and take care of our common home. 

In all our human endeavours, we need the presence of the Holy Spirit, “the Lord, the Giver of Life”, whose gift to the Church and the world we celebrate again at Pentecost. Let us keep this Feast with that enduring hope that we can begin to repair the damage we have done and provide a healthy home for future generations. Our hope will be strengthened by our prayer. May our constant request be that the Holy Spirit guide us, strengthen our resolve and ‘renew the face of the earth’.

CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES

Reflection by the Bishops of England and Wales 

The Day of Lord

Gathering as Bishops in Conference this week, we wish to pay tribute to all in the Catholic community who have shown such courage, generosity and understanding in the face of adversity this past year. Across England and Wales, families and parish communities have risen to the challenge of sustaining one another through times of great isolation, loneliness and grief in an impressive variety of ways, spiritual, emotional and practical. We thank all who have worked tirelessly in prisons, in hospitals, care-homes and across the medical profession for giving of themselves so generously. We thank all who have worked valiantly in our schools, facing unforeseen demands and meeting them with characteristic professionalism and dedication. 

We wish also to pay tribute to those who have given of their time and energy to keep open our churches as havens of peace and prayer. Churches up and down the land have realised the vision of Pope Francis that they be like village-wells where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey; and centres of “constant missionary outreach.” We thank all who have developed diverse new patterns of outreach – of prayer, catechesis, study and spiritual solidarity; all who have made participation in the Mass possible through the internet. 

Also prominent in this tribute should be thanks to all who have contributed to the immense effort of providing food for those most in need. The generosity shown in the distribution of so very many meals has given eloquent expression to the mercy, love and compassion which are at the very heart of God. Many have been touched by the joy of meeting Christ in the poor; and many of the poor by the joy of meeting Christ in selfless parishioners. The provision of food is often the first step into a deeper relationship of help and accompaniment, including the sharing of the gift of faith in our Blessed Lord.

‘Vibrant’ is a word which seems to have characterised so many of our parishes throughout the pandemic. We wish to salute our priests in particular for the leadership they have shown in this time of crisis. We thank them for their deep devotion to both the liturgy and to their parishioners. We commend every priest who made of his parish “a ‘sanctuary’ open to all” and with a particular care for the poor; and the many Deacons who have exercised with such generosity their mission of charity. 

What will be the pace of our emerging from this pandemic remains as yet unclear. What is clear is the challenge we face of bringing our communities and the practice of the faith to a still greater expression and strength. As your bishops, we are aware of a threefold pattern to this challenge. 

  1. There are the fearful and weary, anxious about coming into the enclosed spaces of our churches; those who have simply lost the habit of coming to church. Personal contact, clear reassurance, and sensitive invitations will all be needed.

 b) There are those who will have reassessed their pattern of life and priorities. The practice of faith within the community of the Catholic Church may not be among those priorities. A gap may have opened up, or widened, between the spiritual dimension of their lives and any communal expression of that spiritual quest. They represent a particular focus and concern for our outreach.

  1. There are those whom we might describe as the ‘Covid curious’, those who have come into contact with the Catholic Church through our presence on the internet – a contact we may be able to develop through our continuing presence across diverse media platforms. 

In facing these challenges, we are endowed with veritable treasures which serve to resource and enrich us. Among them are our schools, in which so many are regaining confidence to come together with others. We believe our schools can indeed be bridges back to church. There is also the remarkable work of social outreach which has grown exponentially during these long months of pandemic. On this, too, we must build. But the greatest treasure is, of course, the sacramental life of the Church, and, pre-eminently, the Eucharist. 

It is the Eucharist, the celebration of the Mass, that makes the Church; and it is the Church, in the gift of the Holy Spirit, which makes the Eucharist. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the lifeblood of the Church. It requires our active participation and, to be fully celebrated, our physical presence. 

At this moment, then, we need to have in our sights the need to restore to its rightful centrality in our lives the Sunday Mass, encouraging each to take his or her place once again in the assembly of our brothers and sisters. We face the task of seeking to nurture the sense of Sunday as “a weekly gift from God to his people” , and something we cannot do without; to see Sunday as the soul of the week, as giving light and meaning to all the responsibilities we live out each day; to see the Sunday Eucharist as food for the unique mission with which we have been endowed. 

In the time to come we can do no better than to rekindle in our hearts, foster and encourage, a yearning for the Real Presence of the Lord and the practice of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, a gift so deeply appreciated in these times of lockdown. We need to begin by fostering this in ourselves. For the Eucharist should be the cause of our deepest joy, our highest manner of offering thanks to God and for seeking his mercy and love. We need to make it the foundation stone of our lives. 

The invitation to Sunday Mass resonates all the more deeply when we consider, as Pope St John Paul II reminds us in the Encyclical Letter Dies Domini, that the Sabbath rest is nothing if not a call to remember the gift of God’s Creation. The Eucharist is indeed a celebration of the created world, called into life by the Eternal Word, for the bread and wine of the earth becomes the Body and Blood of Christ who is that same Lord of all life. The Christ to whom we come so close in the Eucharist must be the foundation of our strivings, not least in the urgent task we face of caring for creation and our environment. 

Pope St John Paul II spoke of our amazement at the gift of the Mass and the abiding Presence of our Blessed Lord in the Sacrament of the Altar. Herein lies our treasure, enriching our relationship with Jesus and bringing together every aspect of our life and mission. This is such an important focus for our task in the coming months. 22nd April 2021 FINAL