Third Sunday of Lent 2021

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Dear Friends in Christ                                  

On a more optimistic note this week we have seen an incredible decrease in the number of people in hospital with Covid by a third; and the number of deaths is decreasing almost daily compared to a month ago. Obviously we still have to keep vigilant and continue to protect ourselves against this terrible disease. Many of our parishioners have received the first ‘jab’, giving them a little more confidence and hope about the future. The reports through the media, and the scientific assessments, has far surpassed the expectations of all those who have produced the vaccine. We are now starting to see the results after a few months of distributing the vaccine, and these are really positive, so much so, that Europe has changed it minds about our Oxford vaccine and are now distributing it in the various countries. Manifestly, according to reports, this may well be something we may have to live with for the foreseeable future. We may need ‘top-up’ vaccines that coincide with our annual flu vaccine. Obviously it’s an unknown quantity at present, but if you have the opportunity to receive the vaccine, please don’t refuse it. It is most definitely saving lives!https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/177/2020/11/vaccine-yoast-fb.png

This week we will welcome all of our children back to school. Throughout the Pandemic, we have to remember our schools have always been open, for those children of key and front-line workers. I would like to commend our Headteacher and Staff who have maintained a great disci0line in trying to teach online classes for our children. Obviously, this is a completely new phenomenon for many of them, and they have had to adapt very quickly to ensure that the children receive as much learning as possible. The Government are certainly erring on the side of caution with regards to opening all sectors at once. There will be close assessment of how these next five weeks will fare, once the schools, colleges & universities are opened up once again. Please God; this will be the last lock-down that we have to experience. We have been closed up approximately 26 weeks over the past twelve months. https://iknowallnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ccelebritiesschools1-795x385.jpg

Dear Friends in Christ:                                   

In the scriptures today, Jesus drives the money-changers out of the Temple, quoting the scriptures saying: ‘my house shall be a house of prayer’. The Lord’s anger was righteous; they have turned the House of God into a Market selling their wares animals and changing money. Obviously this really angered those who were present, and even the scribes and Pharisees should have known better than to allow this happen. But once again, they turned a blind eye. The Temple was the most sacred place and was the House of God. As far as the Lord was concerned they were desecrating this sacred place. The Jews enraged question Jesus about his authority to do such a thing. His reply was somewhat of an enigma to them; ‘destroy this Temple and I will raise it up in three days’; manifestly he is talking about the Temple that was his body. But they failed to understand. It’s only after the resurrection that the Apostles really understood what he meant. https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.cdi5jq4Zgcnsr0t6hKXEPgHaFj&pid=Api&P=0&w=264&h=199

I wrote to the Parish last Thursday informing you that I would reintroduce the additional Mass at 10.00am on Sunday Mornings. I trust the majority of you will have received this news by now. I want every parishioner to know that you are always welcome at Sunday Mass. Last weekend there was an extremely good attendance, that’s why I’ve reintroduced this additional Mass. With an increase of those who have received the vaccine, and people’s confidence growing, I’m really hoping that the faithful will seriously return to the practice of the faith in person. Virtual screening is all well and good, but it is not the same as the faith community gathered together, and being able to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. I encourage all of our families to seriously consider this invitation. As we are now well into our Lenten Season, it’s an opportunity to really enter into the spirit of this Penitential Season. There are a number of spare places available at the 6.00pm Vigil Mass on Saturday evenings. Also when I was celebrating the 10.00am before there were a good number of spaces at this particular celebration.https://webstockreview.net/images/lent-clipart-fasting-2.jpghttps://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.8s6iZbTH5Plm0ZJu1DCZBgHaJb&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300
Fr

May God Bless You All This Week,

DIARY 2021 

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, 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: Anthony Rattigan RIP, Pat Steele RIP, and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: 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! 

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: Our RCIA programme continues Thursday 11th March 2021 at 8.00pm which will be a Zoom meeting. Theme: THE HOLY TRINITY of Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Please pray for our Catechumen Steven Bullock who is preparing to receive the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation & the Holy Eucharist.RCIA | Holy Spirit Parish

SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 30 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

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

Please put your name as reference and your Gift Aid number if you have one. If you can set it up as a regular payment this would be excellent and save a lot of time in the future. If you don’t have GIFT AID this is a good time to start, you can do this by e-mailing Maria Mosquera (mjm70@hotmail.com).
With continued thanks for your generosity.Fr

God Bless You All      Fr. John

FINANCIAL SITUATION IN THE PARISH: You may have noticed that the Weekly Offertory, on some occasions, is extremely low. Obviously, we are all experiencing financial issues during this Pandemic. Some parishioners have reverted to online giving since last year. Others have opted to join the Parish Gift Aid Scheme, and are using Direct Debit weekly/monthly payments. I would say that the Weekly Offertory has probably dropped by a half over the past twelve months. Manifestly we have to cut our cloth accordingly. I would like to thank all of our parishioners for your ongoing support of the parish and all its buildings. There is no other income, other than your weekly contribution. Thank you One and All!  http://morethankyounotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Donation-Thank-You-Card.png

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2021: There has been little response this year to applicants for the First Holy Communion Programme. I have spoken at length to Kathryn Poulter who runs the programme; and in light of the Coronavirus restrictions at this present time, it is going to be almost impossible to run any kind of meaningful interactive programme for the children. We considered the prepration for the Sacraments of Reconciliation & the Holy Eucharist far too important to run a programme with no engagment from the children. Therefore, we will postpone the Programme this year until we know when it is safe to gather again as a community. I know this may sound very disappointing; but your Health & Safety are our first priority at this very difficult time.  Please pray for all the families of our Parish. Thank you. Fr. John.   https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.TEWrufmxjCV_nHW1mR-bFgHaMu&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

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 has a list of 40 items needed during Lent and they are also supporting families with packed lunches and food parcels during the Easter holidays. Here are the 40 items being requested during Lent: Laundry tablets, anti-bacterial spray, washing-up liquid, UHT milk, long-life fruit juice, squash, instant coffee, tinned ham, corned beef, vegetarian tinned meal, microwave rice, instant noodles, packet mashed potato, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, tinned sweet corn, custard, sponge pudding, rice pudding, chocolate bars, tinned spaghetti, cous-cous sachet, packet soup, hot chocolate powder, peanut butter, chocolate spread, jam, breakfast bars, cereal bars, biscuits, halal tinned meat, hand sanitiser, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face masks, strong carrier bags.  Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/

REQUIESCAT IN PACE: In your mercy please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Patricia Gardener RIP, who passed away recently. Her Requiem Mass will take place on Wednesday 10th March at 12.15pm. We extend our condolences to her family in this time of great loss. May she rest in peace. 

THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE: For those who postponed marriage last year, and for those who are thinking about getting marriage, could you kindly let Fr. John know your plans. Obviously, a great dealing of preparation has to go into marriage. It is good to know well in advance please.

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION: Lent is a Penitential Season – which means that every Catholic should avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We all need to celebrate Christ’s forgiveness, Confession and Penance. This has always been a spiritual custom during the Special Holy Seasons of the Year. Not one of us is perfect, and our faults and failings can mount up over a period of time. The Sacrament affords us the opportunity to be released from the burden of sin, to be free or those things which create barriers between ourselves and Almighty God. I will be hearing Confessions throughout the weeks of Lent on various different days, please try to prepare for Easter by celebrating the Sacrament. Thank you!https://w0.pngwave.com/png/844/892/web-conferencing-computer-icons-meeting-internet-meeting-png-clip-art.png

CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME 2021: Our fourth session in the Confrimation Programme will be streamed Via ZOOM on Wednesday 10th March. There were a number of our young people missing from the programme last week. As a matter of courtesy kindly notify Fr. John if you’re unable to attend the Zoom meeting. Thank you! You can catch up on this session, Mark Anthony wiill be able to forward you’re the details. Parents please remind your sons and daughters of the importance of each session; you are also welcome to attend the sessions, and see how the programme is taught.  

THIS WEEK’S TALK: Findiing True Freedom – Is there such a thing as right and wrong? Are there any limits to our freedom? People have such different views about moral issues, but most people have some kind of moral code. What are the values that shape our lives? How can we find moral guidance when we need it. Ask yourselves the question, who are the people in your lives that have given you a moral compass? Do your Catholic Christian morals truly affect your lives? This session on the Sycamore programme will help to explore these important questions and many more.  https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/t/freedom-concept-chart-16241999.jpg

As you begin grow in your understanding of the whole meaning of the Sacrament of Confirmation, hopefully this will give you the information necessary to make the right decisions in your young lives. Every action has a consequence; e.g. every time we say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ it has a domino effect in our lives, and can profoundly touch the lives of so many different people. Even the most private actions of our lives, effect, not only our person bu the lives of those around us. We all make mistakes, but our lives are not determined by our faults and failings, but on how much we learn can learn and grow through these issues. That’s why the Church has always advocated the Sacrament of Reconciliation to assist and help us.   

You may not always consider your presence at Holy Mass important, but it is. You are part of this bigger familiy, God’s family; and to be an active participant in the family can only enrich the whole family. You are precious in the sight of God, and your expressions of your love for him, even for half and hour each week, is something that will continue to transform your lives. Being a Roman Catholic isn’t just an Sunday exercise, it affects everything that we are, and who we are trying to become in life. Let God in!http://clipground.com/images/mass-clipart-5.jpg

Lilies at Easter 2021http://www.fotosearch.com/bthumb/LIQ/LIQ123/vl0012b046.jpg

Every year at Easter we remember 

our deceased loved one by decorating 

the Church with White Lilies.

If you would like to have a stem of lilies placed in 

the arrangements throughout the Easter Season, 

in memory of a deceased loved one, relatives or friends.

Please complete this form below and return to the 

Presbytery in an envelope by Maundy Thursday 1st 

April 2021

…………………………………………………………………

St. Edmund of Canterbury: _________

Names: of those remembered: (Please print clearly)

………………………………        ………………………………

………………………………        ………………………………

………………………………        ………………………………

……………………………….        .……………………………..

Amount enclosed     £……………… Gift Aid No:……………..

From:……………………………………………………

ALL DONATIONS CAN BE GIFT AIDED

Please Use Your Spare Gift Aid Envelopes

MASS INTENTIONS – MARCH 2021

Sat 6th    10.00amTony Rattigan RIP (Maureen Rattigan)
Vigil Mass for Sunday: 
Sat 6th                    6.00pmMichael Carrig RIP
Sun 7th       9.00am10.00amMary Walstow RIP (Esther Penn)People of the Parish
Sun 7th                                                       11:00am5.00pmEllen Manley RIP (M Ryan)Stations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Hour.
Mon 8th March  9.00amMary Walstow RIP (Frank Westcott)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Tues 9th                                                                                10.00amDavid Faud RIP (John O’Rourke)
Wed 10th                         10.00am10.30am12.15pmMark Rowley RIP (Marjorie Fairlamb)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. SacramentRequiem Mass; Patricia Gardner RIP
Thurs 11th  12.15pmEdward Martin Duffy RIP (M Duffy)
Fri 12th                    10.00am10.30am Mary Walstow RIP (Irene Olivelle)Holy Hour with Stations of the Cross & Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Sat 13th                                                         10.00amDavid Faud RIP
Vigil Mass for Sunday
Sat 13th                                     6.00pmPatrick O’Donoghue Int’s (G O’Donoghue)
Sun 14th           9.00am10.00amBernie (Get Well) (Bridget Kinsella)People of the Parish
Sun 14th                                                                            11:00am5.00pmMary Walstow RIP (The Poulter FamilyStations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Hour.

MASS INTENTIONS: If you wish to book a Mass for a particular intention, please let us have it well in advance of the date. This will avoid disappointments if that date has already been taken. Thank you! 

3rd Sunday of Lent

First Reading : 

Exodus 20:1-17

God spoke all these words. He said, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

  ‘You shall have no gods except me.

  ‘You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God and I punish the father’s fault in the sons, the grandsons, and the great-grandsons of those who hate me; but I show kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

  ‘You shall not utter the name of the Lord your God to misuse it, for the Lord will not leave unpunished the man who utters his name to misuse it.

  ‘Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath for the Lord your God. You shall do no work that day, neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals nor the stranger who lives with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that these hold, but on the seventh day he rested; that is why the Lord has blessed the sabbath day and made it sacred.

  ‘Honour your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God has given to you.

  ‘You shall not kill.

  ‘You shall not commit adultery.

  ‘You shall not steal.

  ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

  ‘You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his servant, man or woman, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is his.’

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 18(19):8-11

You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.

The law of the Lord is perfect,

  it revives the soul.

The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,

  it gives wisdom to the simple.

You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.

The precepts of the Lord are right,

  they gladden the heart.

The command of the Lord is clear,

  it gives light to the eyes.

You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.

The fear of the Lord is holy,

  abiding for ever.

The decrees of the Lord are truth

  and all of them just.

You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.

They are more to be desired than gold,

  than the purest of gold

and sweeter are they than honey,

  than honey from the comb.

You, Lord, have the message of eternal life.

Second Reading : 

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

While the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Gospel : 

John 2:13-25

Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money-changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me. The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’ Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.

  During his stay in Jerusalem for the Passover many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he gave, but Jesus knew them all and did not trust himself to them; he never needed evidence about any man; he could tell what a man had in him.

TO THE PEOPLE OF ST EDMUND OF CANTERBURY and ST THOMAS MORE PARISH, LOUGHTON

Dear Friends in Christ,
As we continue our Journey through this Lenten Season, you receive our Weekly Newsletter encouraging you all in the disciplines of Lent.
You may have been following all the News Reports about the success of the Vaccine in the United Kingdom, and how we are further advanced than the whole of Europe in the numbers of persons who have already been vaccinated.  Speaking to many of our parishioners who have received their first ‘jab’, it has really given them a deep sense of security and of course hope for the future.  As I shared with you a couple of weeks ago advice from two scientists that I had spoken to, and this has been confirmed recently in the press and the news, the first jab is giving up to 85% to 90% protection against Coronavirus. This is truly a wonderful advancement in science over the past twelve months. 
Locally the numbers of people catching Coronavirus has drastically decreased, and we are now below  average in this particular locality. With the return our our children to school next Monday, it is hoped that this will be the final lockdown. Obviously, the Government is erring on the side of caution and that’s why there are 5 weeks in between each opening of the public sectors.
Throughout this Pandemic, our prime concern here at St. Edmund’s has always been the Health & Safety of everyone who walks through the doors of the Church. Every single parish has been affected by the absence of so many of the faithful at Church. People have spoken about the desire to return to normal, whatever normal is, but many people are still frightened.  I personally want to reassure all of our parishioners here at St. Edmunds that we have taken every single precaution necessary in accord with Government, Public Health England & Diocesan Guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone. We have followed a track & trace scheme since we opened last July, and not one case has been reported in that period of time; we request hand sanitisation as you enter and leave the Church; We ask that you follow the Stewards directions to your seats and at the distribution of Holy Communion; It is Law to wear face masks in enclosed buildings; we have ensured that there is plenty of ventilation in the Church before, during and after each Mass & Service; The Church is sanitised by the stewards after each communal celebration. I would like to thank our team of Stewards who have made it possible for our Church to remain open.
As our numbers have been increasing again over the past couple of weeks, our people are returning, I will be reintroducing the additional 10.00am Mass on a Sunday morning. Last weekend our 11.00am Mass reached full capacity, and some people were standing outside the Church. I never want to turn anyone away from Holy Mass, that’s why I’m reintroducing the 10.00am Mass again.   I invite all of our parishioners to seriously think about attending Holy Mass, especially if you’ve been absent over the past twelve months. Therefor Sunday Masses are as follows:  Vigil Mass on Saturday evening at 6.00pm. Sunday Morning Masses 9.00am, 10.00am & 11.00am. Please consult your Parish Newsletter weekly for Times and Intentions of all masses, and all the special Lenten Services. Thank you!
May God Bless You All; and my continued thanks for your generous support an upkeep of the parish, especially during this Pandemic.
Fr. John 

Second Sunday of Lent 2021, Year B

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Dear Friends in Christ  ,
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The daily reports from the PrimeMinister are striking a more optimistic tone these days. The the number of people in the UK receiving the vaccine has toppped 19 million, and hopefully, fewer and fewer people are dying in hospital; the situation here appears to be much brighter now. But remaining attentive and still observing social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and hand sanitisation are still vitally essential to maintain good practice in protecting everyone from the spread of this terrible disease. If you get the opportunity to have the vaccine please don’t refuse it, and don’t listen to conspiacy theories, protect yourselves, and as Her Majesty the Queen said the other day, protect other people as well. As the experts tell us, the vaccine, even in the first jab, is giving up to 85% to 90% protection, The second jab will top that up. It may be that we have to live with this virus for years ahead and have to receive the jab as same as the flu vaccine each year. Imagine having to vaccinate the whole world, 7.8 billion people! 

I have spoke to a number of doctors and nurses recently who are on the frontline fighting this terrible disease; they are beginning to see the light and the end of the tunnel. Day in and day out they have put their own lives at risk in the service of the public. They truly are the real heroes in this Pandemic. I can only stand in admiration or them all. May God bless them and protect them in their chosen vocation of care for the sick     
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I would like to invite all of our parishieorns to seriously consider coming back to the regular practice of faith. Live-streaming is all well and good, but it cannot replace being together as community, and receiving Jesus in Holy Communion. As you are aware stringent safety measures are in place at our church, and the Stewards ensure your ongoing safety with social distancing and the strict cleaning of the church after each Mass and Service. Our gratitude and thanks is extended to the great service they show to the whole community. Always in times of difficulty, the best is manifested in the human spirit!

Dear Friends in Christ:                                    Second Sunday of Lent,Year B

In the Holy Gospel today, Jesus invites Peter, James and John to accompany him up the mountain. In their presence he is transfigured. Thomas Aquinas considered the transfiguration “the greatest miracle” in that it complemented baptism and showed the perfection of life in Heaven. The transfiguration is one of the five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus, the others being baptismcrucifixionresurrection, and ascension. In 2002, Pope St John Paul II introduced the Luminous Mysteries in the rosary, which includes the transfiguration. http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/65400/65437/65437_transfigurat_lg.gif

Giving the Apostles a glimpse of future glory, not only was a unique moment for them, but it also affirmed once again the Father’s love for the Son; those powerful words ‘Listen to Him’ should echo in our own lives of faith. There are so many voices out there today vying for our attention, that it is so easy to miss the voice of the Lord himself. Our Lenten Season gives us a wonderful opportunity to take out and ‘listen’ to what the Lord is saying to each one of us on our journey of faith

HOW IS YOUR LENT? We’re just about to begin the second week of Lent. Have you managed to stay faithful to the resolutions that you made on Ash Wednesday? It’s so easy to fall by the wayside very quickly. But that doesn’t mean that we have to give up. Lent can be a truly positive experience; a time of growth and understanding of the Lord Jesus. We have to remember where this journey is leading us; ultimately to the greatest event this workd has ever known. Jesus Christ, who died on Good Friday, rose triumphantly on Easter Day. Sin and death was conquered; and the Lord invites each one of us personally to share in that New Life, which we call our Catholic Faith. How we prepare for that is up to us. No one can do this for us. Prayer, Fasting, Works of Charity are all well and good, but if there is no real intention behind them it becomes only lipservice. Conversion-Change of Heart is what the Lord calls each one of us to.https://webstockreview.net/images/lent-clipart-fasting-2.jpg

SET YOURSELF LITTLE TARGETS: Morning and Evening Prayers; Reading a passesge from the Bible; Attending an additional Mass during the week; Attending Holy Hour; Praying the Stations of the Cross; Praying the Rosary, or even a decade of the Rosary each day; reading a chapter of a spiritual book (see our parish Library). My dear friends, you can chose any of these throughout the week. But please don’t let this Lent pass you by.
Fr

May God Bless You All,    

CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME 2021: Our third session in the Confrimation Programme will be streamed Via ZOOM on Wednesday 3rd March. We are using the Sycamore Programme, and it’s  imperative that you attend each session. If anyone missed the first two session, could you kindly catch up with the material.  A few practical notes; you will be notified of the meeting by Mark Anthony the day before our meeting. Whichever email you submitted to Fr. John & Mark Anthony should be maintained throughout the programme, because your email addresses have been fed into the programme so we can break you up into your groups. If you intend using another e.mail you must let us know immediately. At each session of the programme you will be registered present. If you are unable to be present at a particular session through sickness please get a parent to contact Fr. John directly.  I would once again encourage parents of our candidates to be present at the sessions. It shows how we conduct the programme, but will also be a great support to your son or daughter. In our Catechists Meeting after the session it was discussed that all Candidates should kindly make themselves visibly present, and not just have a blank image only with your name. And kindly refrain from using your phone for texting during the session. We only have a little over an hour for each session, and have to cover a lot of material.https://w0.pngwave.com/png/844/892/web-conferencing-computer-icons-meeting-internet-meeting-png-clip-art.png

THIS WEEK’S TALK: The Power of Prayer – Prayer is our lifeline with God. It’s very personal and involves making an effort to give a few minutes each day. To be quiet and still in the presence of God; to be open to listening to God, in sharing with God what is in your heart, your worries and anxieties, your joys and blessing, these are all positive ways of praying. How and where you do this is up to you. It would be tragic to think that you might go through a day and not give a thought to God, or about your relationship with Jesus, especially as you’re preparing for this Sacrament of Confirmation.   http://cliparts.co/cliparts/pi7/dX8/pi7dX8Mi9.jpg

This is truly a wonderful time in a young person’s life. It’s when you personally make a decision about your ongoing life of faith. Basically, it’s about becoming a young mature adult. The decisions that we make in our lives will always affect the future for all of us. The decision to be Confirmed in Faith is no exception to that rule. It affects the decision to marry in the future; to become a committed Catholic Christian; to assume our rightful place within the life of faith and the Church. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4d/15/f7/4d15f748aeb8cb4cfe2d74b49f4e508e.png
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BEING PRESENT AT HOLY MASS: For many centuries, our one obligation as Roman Catholics has been to be part of the worshipping community by attending Sunday Mass. The Eucharist, is the ‘source and summit’ of the Life of Faith. It’s the most important thing we do as Catholic Christians, and bears witness to our commitment. I notice many are already attending, but sadly some I haven’t seen for the past year. Our presence at Holy Mass is not only our personal witness to Christ and our faith, but also affords us the grace that we need to become really strong young Catholics in the Church today. Why not try to make an extra special effort during Lent?

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the Sacrament of Mission. Think of the first Apostles, who at Pentecost received the gift of the Holy Spirit, empowering them to, ‘Go out into the whole world and procalaim the Good News.’ The Catechism tells us that we become a Soldier of Christ at Confirmation.

OUR NEXT THEME IS – THE POWER OF PRAYER

All Candidates have now received a Copy of the Programme with dates and times etc. Please ensure that you start to check in about 7.20pm for each session, so that we can start on time at 7.30pm. Hopefully this will help to avoid any technical hitches 

All Zoom sessions will be attended by at least two adults – Mark Anthony and Fr John.  Where break-out rooms are used, each of these will be attended by an adult catechist and these will be monitored by Mark Anthony and Fr John.  For all sessions, the following guidelines must be followed:

• No 1:1s, groups only 

• Catechists and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household. 

• Any computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and the background should be blurred, if possible. 

• All Zoom sessions will be set up with a password, to reduce the chance of hacking. Candidates should be visibly present, and not just a blank screen with your name on it

• Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background. 

• The catechists will record, the length, time, date and attendance of any sessions held.

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

Please put your name as reference and your Gift Aid number if you have one. If you can set it up as a regular payment this would be excellent and save a lot of time in the future. If you don’t have GIFT AID this is a good time to start, you can do this by e-mailing Maria Mosquera (mjm70@hotmail.com).
With continued thanks for your generosity.Fr

God Bless You All      Fr. John

FINANCIAL SITUATION IN THE PARISH: You may have noticed that the Weekly Offertory, on some occasions, is extremely low. Obviously, we are all experiencing financial issues during this Pandemic. Some parishioners have reverted to online giving since last year. Others have opted to join the Parish Gift Aid Scheme, and are using Direct Debit weekly/monthly payments. I would say that the Weekly Offertory has probably dropped by a half over the past twelve months. Manifestly we have to cut our cloth accordingly. I would like to thank all of our parishioners for your ongoing support of the parish and all its buildings. There is no other income, other than your weekly contribution. Thank you One and All!  http://morethankyounotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Donation-Thank-You-Card.png

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2021: There has been little response this year to applicants for the First Holy Communion Programme. I have spoken at length to Kathryn Poulter who runs the programme; and in light of the Coronavirus restrictions at this present time, it is going to be almost impossible to run any kind of meaningful interactive programme for the children. We considered the prepration for the Sacraments of Reconciliation & the Holy Eucharist far too important to run a programme with no engagment from the children. Therefore, we will postpone the Programme this year until we know when it is safe to gather again as a community. I know this may sound very disappointing; but your Health & Safety are our first priority at this very difficult time.  Please pray for all the families of our Parish. Thank you. Fr. John.  

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 d to make ends meet. Basic staple items are always welcome including the unbranded supermarket basic ranges which can make your generous donations go even further. Currently they are in urgent need of the following items: tinned fruit, tinned ham, tinned carrots, sponge puddings, chocolate bars, Nutella, toilet rolls (2 or 4 pack), washing up liquid, laundry tablets/powder and shower gel. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with 

the Foodbank via their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/

REQUIESCAT IN PACE: In your mercy please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Patricia Gardener RIP, who passed away recently. Her Requiem Mass will take place on Wednesday 10th March at 12.15pm. We extend our condolences to her family in this time of great loss. May she rest in peace. 

CAFOD LENTEN FAST DAY COLLECTION: Last Friday 26th February was Cafod Lenten Fast Day. Abdella lives in an extremely remote and mountainous part of Ethiopia. It takes him ten hours a day to collect water. He says his life is being wasted as he has no time for anything else. Please give today to reach vulnerable communities around the world with water and to provide other vital support. Donate online at cafod.org.uk/give or by using one of the envelopes available with this newsletter or as you leave the church. You can also give easily via text. Text LENT to 70460 to donate £10 https://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/cafod_logo_before_after.png

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION: Lent is a Penitential Season – which means that every Catholic should avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We all need to celebrate Christ’s forgiveness, Confession and Penance. This has always been a spiritual custom during the Special Holy Seasons of the Year. Not one of us is perfect, and our faults and failings can mount up over a period of time. The Sacrament affords us the opportunity to be released from the burden of sin, to be free or those things which create barriers between ourselves and Almighty God. I will be hearing Confessions throughout the weeks of Lent on various different days, please try to prepare for Easter by celebrating the Sacrament. Thank you!https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.TEWrufmxjCV_nHW1mR-bFgHaMu&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

DIARY 2021 

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, 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: Thomas Mitchley RIP, and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: 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! 
RCIA | Holy Spirit Parish

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: Our RCIA programme continues Thursday 4th March 2021 at 8.00pm which will be a Zoom meeting. Theme: SACRAMENTALS – Devotions, Benediction, The Rosary, Stations of the Cross, The Saints. Please pray for our Catechumen Stephen Bullock who is preparing to receive the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation & the Holy Eucharist.
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SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 30 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. 

MASS INTENTIONS – FEBRUARY / MARCH 2021

Sat 27th    10.00amNancy Langan (Get Well) (Bridget Kinsella) 
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm 
Sat 27th                    6.00pmMary Walstow RIP (Tina & David Hattrell)
Sun 28th       9.00amInauguration of President Joe Biden. (John & Sue Campbell)
Sun 28th                                                       11:00am5.00pmStella Peace RIP (John Gormley & Family)Stations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Hour.
Mon 1stMarch  10.00amMary Walstow RIP (Anne & John Knott)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Tues 2nd                                                                               10.00amDermot McCabe RIP (R & I Johnson)
Wed 3rd                        10.00amInt’s of Frank Westcott (Remy)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament
Thurs 4th 10.00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
Fri 5th                   10.00am10.30am Mary Walstow RIP (Irene Olivelle)Holy Hour with Stations of the Cross & Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Sat 6th                                                        10.00amTony Rattigan RIP (Maureen Rattigan)Confessions after Mass
Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 6th                                    6.00pmMichael Carrig RIP
Sun 7th          9.00amMary Walstow RIP (Esther Penn)
Sun 7th                                                                           11:00am5.00pmEllen Manley RIP (M Ryan)Stations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Hour.

2nd Sunday of Lent

First Reading : Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18

God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he called. ‘Here I am’ he replied. ‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.’

  When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.

  But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he said. ‘I am here’ he replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.’ Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son.

  The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self – it is the Lord who speaks – because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.’

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 115(116):10,15-19

I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

I trusted, even when I said:

  ‘I am sorely afflicted,’

O precious in the eyes of the Lord

  is the death of his faithful.

I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;

  you have loosened my bonds.

A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;

  I will call on the Lord’s name.

I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

My vows to the Lord I will fulfil

  before all his people,

in the courts of the house of the Lord,

      in your midst, O Jerusalem.

    I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

Second Reading : Romans 8:31-34

With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.

Gospel : Mark 9:2-10

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.

  As they came down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.

First Sunday of Lent 2021, Year B

Dear Friends in Christ                               First Sunday of Lent 2021

The Latest Statistics with regards the Covid situation in our country appear quite promising, but as the Prime Minister has stated, ‘we must proceed with caution’; the last thing we want to do is to come out too quickly from the lockdown, and within a few weeks find ourselves in a worse situation once again. Unfortunately, at times the way things are reported through the media, we are often presented with the worst case scenario, hence conspiracy theories about the vaccine, and the injection of microchips into the recipients, or altering our DNA. This peddling of misinformation undermines the incredible work that our scientists have done over the past year in producing a vaccine so quickly. You may have seen the recent TV promotion of the vaccine and the positive nature of its effects on the whole of our society dispelling these myths and conspiracy theories. This week I spoke to two scientists, one of whom works with Covid 19; they spoke about the effective nature of the first jab given to nearly 17 million people now; three weeks after the jab it should give up to 85% to 90% protection from the virus. Obviously, there are variants emerging all the time, and the scientific laboritoiries are working around the clock to address these variants. This should give us a great deal of hope for the future, and the returning to some semblance of normality by the end of the year. https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/177/2020/11/vaccine-yoast-fb.png

The incredible safety guidelines that we have employed here at St. Edmund’s has certinaly been very effective during this Pandemic. The track & trace system hasn’t flagged up a single person over the past several months. This is thanks to our wonderful Stewards and helpers who have kept the Church spotlessly clean after each Mass and Service. I re-iterate once again the health and safety measures we have in place are there to protect each person who comes through the doors of the Church. Could I make a special appeal to the whole parish community; if you haven’t been coming to Church to seriously consider returning to the practice of faith. With the R level dropping rapiidly, many people are resuming their other daily tasks, such as Grocery Shopping etc. We are here for you! https://cdn1.vectorstock.com/i/1000x1000/45/10/stay-healthy-and-safe-slogan-concept-vector-30704510.jpg

Dear Friends in Christ:                                            First Sunday of Lent,Year B
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On this First Sunday of Lent we are presented with Our Lord’s temptations in the wilderness. Jesus has just been baptized by John, and now the spirit drives him out into the desert for 40 days and nights. He doesn’t succumb to the temptations of the devil; this test prepares him for the beginning of his Public Ministry where he will proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God and the repentance from sins. This Lenten Season takes up this important message, which still has as much relevance today as it did when Lord shared it so long ago. 
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How we personally enter this Holy Lenten Season is up to each one of us. The greatest tragedy would be to allow these weeks to pass by and not truly enter into the spirit of this Penitential Season. Even during this Pandemic we can practice the various disciplines of Lent. Personal Prayer: Morning and evening prayers; praying the Rosary; praying the Stations of the Cross; praying the scriptures; attending an additional Mass during the week; attending Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Fasting: is very personal to each individual. Some may decide to give up some food or alcohol luxury throughout Lent. But this sacrifice one day a week is a good way of associating ourselves with Our Lord during Lent; He gave up everything for us, including his life. Works of Charity: For example next Friday 26th February is CAFOD Lenten Fast Day – whatever we save we donate to Cafod. Works of charity are many and various:- keeping and eye on elderly relatives and neighbors, especially during lockdown; doing shopping for people unable to get out; helping our parents at home; providing items for the Foodbank weekly. Even during this Pandemic – we can enter into the spirit of this Lenten Season.  

Please try to attend our Weekend Masses: Saturday Vigil Mass at 6.00pm. Sunday Masses at 9.00am & 11.00am. If there are parishioners who still feel apprehensive attending a Weekend Mass, there is the opportunity of coming during the week, where there are fewer people in the Church. We should all attempt to make an effort in one way or another. Livestreaming can never replace being present with the Community and receiving the Sacrament of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist
Fr

May God Bless You All, 

MAKING LENT REALLY PERSONAL: Spiritual Reading has always been a part of our Christian Heritage. Lent is a wonderful opportunity for us to develop our expanse of spiritual literature and insights. Every spiritual book gives us a perspective on Jesus Christ from the life of the writer. At present I’m reading a wonderful Book called The Consecration to St. Josephe by Donald Calloway; In this Year of St. Joseph, designated by Pope Francis, it gives a truly wonderful perspective on Joseph’s role in the whole of God’s plan of Salvation, not only as the husband of Mary, but the only man singled out by God to be the earthly Father to his Son. There are so many wonderful books out there at present; all you have to do is consult the internet for current Catholic literature. 

CAFOD LENTEN FAST DAY COLLECTION: Next Friday 26th February is Cafod Lenten Fast Day. Abdella lives in an extremely remote and mountainous part of Ethiopia. It takes him ten hours a day to collect water. He says his life is being wasted as he has no time for anything else. Please give today to reach vulnerable communities around the world with water and to provide other vital support. Donate online at cafod.org.uk/give or by using one of the envelopes available with this newsletter or as you leave the church. You can also give easily via text. Text LENT to 70460 to donate £10 https://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/cafod_logo_before_after.png

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

Please put your name as reference and your Gift Aid number if you have one. If you can set it up as a regular payment this would be excellent and save a lot of time in the future. If you don’t have GIFT AID this is a good time to start, you can do this by e-mailing Maria Mosquera (mjm70@hotmail.com).
With continued thanks for your generosity.Fr

God Bless You All      Fr. John

FINANCIAL SITUATION IN THE PARISH: You may have noticed that the Weekly Offertory, on some occasions, is extremely low. Obviously, we are all experiencing financial issues during this Pandemic. Some parishioners have reverted to online giving since last year. Others have opted to join the Parish Gift Aid Scheme, and are using Direct Debit weekly/monthly payments. I would say that the Weekly Offertory has probably dropped by a half over the past twelve months. Manifestly we have to cut our cloth accordingly. I would like to thank all of our parishioners for your ongoing support of the parish and all its buildings. There is no other income, other than your weekly contribution. Thank you One and All!  http://morethankyounotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Donation-Thank-You-Card.png

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2021: There has been little response this year to applicants for the First Holy Communion Programme. I have spoken at length to Kathryn Poulter who runs the programme; and in light of the Coronavirus restrictions at this present time, it is going to be almost impossible to run any kind of meaningful interactive programme for the children. We considered the prepration for the Sacraments of Reconciliation & the Holy Eucharist far too important to run a programme with no engagment from the children. Therefore, we will postpone the Programme this year until we know when it is safe to gather again as a community. I know this may sound very disappointing; but your Health & Safety are our first priority at this very difficult time.  Please pray for all the families of our Parish. Thank you. Fr. John.

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 d to make ends meet. Basic staple items are always welcome including the unbranded supermarket basic ranges which can make your generous donations go even further. Currently they are in urgent need of the following items: tinned fruit, tinned ham, tinned carrots, sponge puddings, chocolate bars, Nutella, toilet rolls (2 or 4 pack), washing up liquid, laundry tablets/powder and shower gel. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with 

the Foodbank via their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/

REQUIESCAT IN PACE: In your mercy please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Patricia Gardener RIP, who passed away recently. Her Requiem Mass will take place on Wednesday 10th March at 12.15pm. We extend our condolences to her family in this time of great loss. May she rest in peace. 

CONFIRMATION PROGRAMME 2021: Our third session in the Confrimation Programme will be streamed Via ZOOM on Wednesday 24th February. We are using the Sycamore Programme, and it’s  imperative that you attend each session. If anyone missed the first two session, could you kindly catch up with the material.  A few practical notes; you will be notified of the meeting by Mark Anthony the day before our meeting. Whichever email you submitted to Fr. John & Mark Anthony should be maintained throughout the programme, because your email addresses have been fed into the programme so we can break you up into your groups. If you intend using another e.mail you must let us know immediately. At each session of the programme you will be registered present. If you are unable to be present at a particular session through sickness please get a parent to contact Fr. John directly.  I would once again encourage parents of our candidates to be present at the sessions. It shows how we conduct the programme, but will also be a great support to your son or daughter. In our Catechists Meeting after the session it was discussed that all Candidates should kindly make themselves visibly present, and not just have a blank image only with your name. And kindly refrain from using your phone for texting during the session. We only have a little over an hour for each session, and have to cover a lot of material.https://w0.pngwave.com/png/844/892/web-conferencing-computer-icons-meeting-internet-meeting-png-clip-art.png
http://cliparts.co/cliparts/pi7/dX8/pi7dX8Mi9.jpg

This programme is your opportunity to learn a lot about your faith, and also to prepare spiritually for the Sacrament of Confirmation. It’s so important that you engage in the programme, and not just keep your screens blank, which is quite rude to those who are leading each group. If you are talking to a friend, you wouldn’t expect to talk to a blank screen. Please make a contribution in your groups, this will not only be of benefit to you, but to the rest of the group also. I also encourage paretns to be present with your chidlren. This will be of great benefit to you also, and shows support and encouragement to your son or daughter.   
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4d/15/f7/4d15f748aeb8cb4cfe2d74b49f4e508e.png

This is truly a wonderful time in a young person’s life. It’s when you personally make a decision about your ongoing life of faith. Basically, it’s about becoming a young mature adult. The decisions that we make in our lives will always affect the future for all of us. The decision to be Confirmed in Faith is no exception to that rule. It affects the decision to marry in the future; to become a committed Catholic Christian; to assume our rightful place within the life of faith and the Church.  

In addition, if you are able to attend Holy Mass, (and we have three on the weekend), please kindly do so. I notice many are already attending, but some I haven’t seen for the past year. Our presence at Holy Mass is not only our personal witness to Christ and our faith, but also affords us the grace that we need to become a real strong young Catholics in the Church today. As Roman Cathooic the Holy Eucharist & attendance at Holy Mass is the most impoortant thing we can ever do as a witness to our faith. Try to make an extra special effort during Lent. 

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the Sacrament of Mission. Think of the first Apostles, who at Pentecost received the gift of the Holy Spirit, empowering them to, ‘Go out into the whole world and procalaim the Good News.’ The Catechism tells us that we become a Soldier of Christ at Confirmation.

OUR NEXT THEME IS – JESUS CHRIST

All Candidates have now received a Copy of the Programme with dates and times etc. Please ensure that you start to check in about 7.20pm for each session, so that we can start on time at 7.30pm. Hopefully this will help to avoid any technical hitches 

All Zoom sessions will be attended by at least two adults – Mark Anthony and Fr John.  Where break-out rooms are used, each of these will be attended by an adult catechist and these will be monitored by Mark Anthony and Fr John.  For all sessions, the following guidelines must be followed:

• No 1:1s, groups only 

• Catechists and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household. 

• Any computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and the background should be blurred, if possible. 

• All Zoom sessions will be set up with a password, to reduce the chance of hacking. Candidates should be visibly present, and not just a blank screen with your name on it

• Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background. 

• The catechists will record, the length, time, date and attendance of any sessions held.

DIARY 2021 

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn,  James Geller, Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Pamela Houghton, 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: Gerald Falco RIP, Thomas James McCarthy RIP, and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.

OFFERTORY COLLECTION: 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! 

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: Our RCIA programme continues Thursday 25th February 2021 at 8.00pm which will be a Zoom meeting. Theme: PRAYER – Why we need to Pray – Methods of Prayer. Please pray for our enquirer. This programme is a systematic study of all aspects of the Roman Catholic Faith, with the view of the enquirer deciding to receive the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation & the Holy Eucharist.RCIA | Holy Spirit Parish

SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 5 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 30 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 – FEBRUARY 2021

Sat 20th    9.00am10.00am Leslie Patrick Moore RIP (Mark Anthony)Requiem Mass: David James Faud RIP
Vigil Mass for Sunday: 
Sat 20th                    6.00pmNoel Anderson RIP (Pover Family)
Sun 21st      9.00amMary Walstow RIP (Sue & John Campbell)
Sun 21st                                                      11:00am5.00pmDorothy Joan Goodman RIP (Haydee Ylaya)Stations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Hour.
Mon 22nd  9.00amGerald Kearney (In hospital with Covid)(Ray Kearney)
Tues 23rd                                                                              10.00amMargaret & Robert Crooks RIP (M Duffy)MASS LIVESTREAMED ONLY TODAY
Wed 24th                       10.00amMichael & Breege Kerrane RIP (Mary)MASS LIVESTREAMED ONLY TODAY
Thurs 25th 12.15pmMary Walstow RIP (Nancy Hands)
Fri 26th                  10.00am10.30am Sarah McQuade RIP (M Duffy)Holy Hour with Stations of the Cross & Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Sat 27th                                                       10.00amNancy Langan (Get Well) (Bridget Kinsella) 
Vigil Mass for Sunday
Sat 27th                                   6.00pmMary Walstow RIP (Tina & David Hattrell)
Sun 28th         9.00amInauguration of President Joe Biden. (John & Sue Campbell)
Sun 28th                                                                          11:00am5.00pmStella Peace RIP (John Gormley & Family)Stations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Hour.

FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR B

First Reading : Genesis 9:8-15

God spoke to Noah and his sons, ‘See, I establish my Covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; also with every living creature to be found with you, birds, cattle and every wild beast with you: everything that came out of the ark, everything that lives on the earth. I establish my Covenant with you: no thing of flesh shall be swept away again by the waters of the flood. There shall be no flood to destroy the earth again.’

  God said, ‘Here is the sign of the Covenant I make between myself and you and every living creature with you for all generations: I set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the Covenant between me and the earth. When I gather the clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the Covenant between myself and you and every living creature of every kind. And so the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all things of flesh.’  The Word of the Lord – Thanks be to God

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 24(25):4-6,7b-9

Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant.

Lord, make me know your ways.

  Lord, teach me your paths.

Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:

  for you are God my saviour.

Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant.

Remember your mercy, Lord,

  and the love you have shown from of old.

In your love remember me,

  because of your goodness, O Lord.

Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant.

The Lord is good and upright.

  He shows the path to those who stray,

He guides the humble in the right path,

  He teaches his way to the poor.

Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant

.

Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22

Christ himself, innocent though he was, died once for sins, died for the guilty, to lead us to God. In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life, and, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison. Now it was long ago, when Noah was still building that ark which saved only a small group of eight people ‘by water’, and when God was still waiting patiently, that these spirits refused to believe. That water is a type of the baptism which saves you now, and which is not the washing off of physical dirt but a pledge made to God from a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has entered heaven and is at God’s right hand, now that he has made the angels and Dominations and Powers his subjects.  The Word of the Lord  –  Thank be to God

Gospel : Mark 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him.

  After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.

Beaver Scout Leader needed.

The 7th Epping Forest Scout Group has an upcoming vacancy for a Beaver Scout leader. We are looking for someone to manage and lead our great team of volunteer adults who help to run our term time weekly Beaver Colony of 6–8-year olds. A typical week may involve simple task setting, helping our Beavers achieve their award badges, helping to organise and coordinate craft activities, organising outdoor activities, indoor games and of course, the much-loved Beaver camps. Good communication skills are needed as you will be liaising with parents and other Scout section leaders within our Group.  Basic administration skills are required to keep weekly records up to date. Being one of the Scout Leaders at St Edmund’s is a rewarding role. We have many experienced leaders within our group, some of whom were Scouts themselves back in the day.  By joining us you will be part of a valued group of leaders who give the children in our Group the knowledge and chance to learn valuable skills for life. If you want to have an amazing life experience and volunteer in your community, please call James Geller on 07554 456844.  Volunteering with us is easier than you think, full support and training is given.