Pastoral letter for the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

In today’s Gospel reading we are given a precious insight into Mary, the Mother of Jesus and Mother of God- ‘As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart’.

Mary is the unique witness to the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  From the birth of our Saviour, she accompanies Jesus through his early years, is with him as he begins his public ministry at Cana; she journeys with him through his passion and cross and is present at the birth of the Church at Pentecost.

In all of this the mother of Jesus can be seen as ‘The Great Believer’ (Pope Emeritus Benedict) and the ‘first disciple of the Lord’ (Pope John Paul II).

Saints are the great optimists of our world- ‘The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.  Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness’ (the opening words of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium at the end of his first year as Pope).

Mary, the greatest of the Saints, is an astonishing icon of the grace of God- ‘full of grace’ she models for us a life of perfect faith and discipleship.

Next year I plan to go on pilgrimage to the Marian Shrines at Fatima, Knock, Lourdes and Walsingham.  Each Shrine has its special aspect but present in them all are great numbers of pilgrims who, with Mary, seek to come closer to Jesus our Saviour and Redeemer.

All Christian pilgrimage finds its roots at Bethlehem-

‘When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished… And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen’.

I am always amazed at the generosity and service of those I encounter throughout the diocese and on my pilgrimages.  Understandably, we may wish to forget the many challenges we face regarding the world’s climate crisis, the unjust war in the Ukraine, the enduring inequalities confronted by the poor and refugees; in our own country increasing numbers of people are dependent on food banks as the cost of living becomes an increasing anxiety.

Yet in the midst of all of this, we need to believe and proclaim the enduring truth of the Gospel- ‘God so loved the world that he sent his only Son’ (John 10.10).

As we look forward to a New Year I am encouraged by the words of Pope Saint John Paul II when he spoke on the threshold of the third millennium after the birth of Christ-  ‘Faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude.  From this wonder there can come …enthusiasm… People of today and tomorrow need this enthusiasm if they are to meet and master the crucial challenges which stand before us’.

Thanks to this enthusiasm, humanity, every time it loses its way, will be able to lift itself up and set out again on the right path’.

May the wonder of Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds and all the saints of God encourage us in our pilgrimage to the house of God the Father as we follow Christ our Saviour and Redeemer.

‘May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.’

Wishing you many blessings for the New Year,

In Christ and Mary,

+Alan Williams, sm

Bishop of Brentwood

Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, 2023

Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

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The title “Mother of God” goes back to the third or fourth century, but the Greek term Theotokos (“The God-bearer”) was officially consecrated as Catholic doctrine at the Council of Ephesus in 431, thus becoming the first Marian dogma. At the end of the Council of Ephesus, crowds of people marched through the streets shouting: “Praised be the Theotokos!”  

This Catholic doctrine is based on the doctrine of Incarnation, as expressed by St. Paul: “God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4).

In its chapter on Mary’s role in the Church, Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution “Lumen Gentium” (“Light of the People”) calls Mary “Mother of God” 12 times.

In the encyclical <Marialis Cultus> (1974) Pope Paul VI states: “This celebration, assigned to January 1 in conformity with the ancient liturgy of the city of Rome, is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation. It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the ‘holy Mother . . . through whom we were found worthy . . . to receive the Author of life.’ It is likewise a fitting occasion for renewed adoration of the new-born Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels, and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace. For this reason . . . we have instituted the World Day of Peace, an observance that is gaining increasing support and is already bringing forth fruits of peace in the hearts of many” (no. 5).
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A HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR 2023

Wishing our Parish Family a Very Happy, 

Healthy & Prosperous New Year for 2023.

Always be kind and loving to one another!

With Love & New Year Peace. 

Dear Friends in Christ,                                   Mary the Mother of God, 2023

    First and foremost, I wish you a Very Happy New Year for 2023. I would like to take this public opportunity of thanking the whole parish community most sincerely for your Christmas Offertory; also for the many personal greetings, cards and gifts for Christmas. I am always overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity. Thank you!  A big thank you to those who baked cakes, pies and various bottles and other ‘goodies’ while the Seminarians were with us! Two left last Thursday and two leave on Monday 2nd January. Fr John 
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SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD: Friday 6th January 2023. This is a Holiday of Obligation, which means, it has the same status as a Sunday OBLIGATION. There will be three masses on the Epiphany at 10.00a,. 12.15pm & 7.30pm. Please make every effort possible to attend one of the masses. The Magi were the final ones to arrive at the Manger of the Lord. Let us join them in bring the greatest gift we could offer the Lord Jesus, ‘our Love’! 

YOUR CRIB OFFERINGS: All your donations at the Cribs inside and outside will go towards the work of the Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society. This is one of the main forms of fund-raising for the BCCS. The Society usually sees about 5,000 clients every year from our diocese. Much of this work is done throughout Catholic Schools. The Cribs will remain up until the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord 2nd February and the Special Annual Crib Collection will take place on the weekend 31st Jan/1st Feb. thanking you all in anticipation.  

ELECTRONIC CHRISTMAS OFFERING:  It’s still not too late to make your Christmas Offering. If you were unable to be present over the Christmas period, envelopes are available to make your Christmas Offering, which is your personal Christmas gift to your Parish Priest, which forms the major part of his salary. This year your Christmas Offering can also be made electronically. You just need to transfer the money to the parish account with the reference ‘Xmas Offering’Please quote your Gift Aid Number also. Any questions please ask Iain McLay (bloggeriain@gmail.com). The details of the bank account are:

Sort Code: 40-13-22    ‘Xmas Offering’ + GA Number

Account Number: 11019651

Account Name: Catholic Church Loughton St Edmund.

          May God Bless You All,    

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS: Every year we all start off with good intentions with our New Year’s resolutions; but often, and very quickly they fall by the wayside. Could I make a suggestion that we all chose one thing to focus our attention – Renewal in faith – It would be wonderful if we could truly commit ourselves to the Lord Jesus in the practice of weekly faith. It’s not too much to ask to attend Holy Mass for one hour on a Saturday evening / Sunday morning. The Lord invites us to share in his life, and it’s up to us if we accept or reject that invitation. But it’s important to remember there are always consequences!      A Happy & Blessed New Year for 2023 to you all!

A VERY BIG THANK YOU: The Seminarians form the Pontifical North American College, have asked me to convey their grateful thanks to the whole parish community for your welcome and great hospitality towards them over this Christmas period. Also for the many desserts, sweets, cakes and pies dropped off at the presbytery. Please keep all the seminarians in your prayers. 

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES:  Continue on Sunday 8th January 2023 at 10.00am in the Parish Retreat. It is imperative that all children attend each of the Communion Classes. It’s also come to my attention that some children are not attending Weekly Sunday Mass, and some children have missed aa number of the Sunday sessions. If this is the case, I would think very seriously about putting your child forward for Communion; the last thing I want to do is have a weekly register, like many of the parishes throughout the diocese. It really is not fair on the child if they are absent from the weekly celebration. If you are unable to attend any session for some reason please contact Fr. John directly (not Mrs Poulter) Tel: 02085083492  https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.BPQt7mIS0IR5uDR3P4Ft_gHaHa&pid=Api&P=0

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP: Will be singing and playing at the 11am Mass on Sunday, 1st January 2023 which is New Year’s Day. Kindly arrive 20 minutes or so before Mass starts. We hope that many of you can make the practice and that all of you will be at the Mass. Thank you. New singers and musicians who may like to join us will be made very welcome!  https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.5XtfCB2HO5X7f8sOD7OSugHaE5&pid=Api&P=0

BAPTISMS: If there are parents wishing to have their children baptised at St Edmund’s could you kindly contact Fr John as soon as possible. For first time parents there is a Baptismal Programme. Mrs Sharon Chalk runs our Baptismal Programme. Baptisms take place on either Saturday or Sunday at 12.30pm

MASS INTENTIONS – DECEMBER / JANUARY 2022/2023

Sat 31st  New Year Eve                                                                                                   10.00amCharles Wescott RIP (Pat & Margaret)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 31st  New Year Eve                                                                              6.00pm Mary Jamieson RIP (Kathy & Mark Munro)
Sun 1st Jan                                 New Year’s Day                                        9.00amPeople of the Parish (New Year’s Blessing of Families)
Sun 1st Jan New Year’s Day11:00amPietro &Luigia Tisi, Albert & Odila Maton RIP (Ferdi & Diana Tisi)
Mon 2nd   11.00amStefano Witten Int’s (DeSouza-Brady Family)
Tues 3rd  10.00amCharles Westcott RIP (Veronica & Steve Short)
Wed 4th         10.00amAna Borges RIP (Adelaide Alves)
Thur 5th  10.00amPeter McQuade RIP (Anni) 9Margaret Duffy)
Fri 6th                        Epiphany of the Lord         10.00am12.15pm7.30pmBridget Kinsella’s Ints (Pat & Margaret)Stanley Wood RIP (Private Intn)Tylor Fallon RIP
Sat 7th   10.00am Joao Servo RIP (Adelaide Alves)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 7th   6.00pmPeople of the Parish
Sun 8th                                   9.00amA speedy recovery (I & M Binstead)
Sun 8th   11:00amChristine Slisz RIP (Stefan Slisz)

Please kindly put your Mass requests in early for anniversaries etc., this is to avoid any disappointment if a particular date has already been booked, 

Parish Phone No: 0208 508 3492      Email: loughton@dioceseofbrentwood.org

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

Sunday 1 January 2023

Mary, the Holy Mother of God – Solemnity

First Reading : Numbers 6:22-27

The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Say this to Aaron and his sons: “This is how you are to bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: 

May the Lord bless you and keep you. 

May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. 

May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”

This is how they are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.’

Responsive Psalm : Psalm 66(67):2-3,5,6,8

O God, be gracious and bless us.

O God, be gracious and bless us

  and let your face shed its light upon us.

So will your ways be known upon earth

  and all nations learn your saving help.https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.5g7d2LwFuma0nAG-MesEhAAAAA&pid=Api&P=0

O God, be gracious and bless us. 

Let the nations be glad and exult

  for you rule the world with justice.

With fairness you rule the peoples,

  you guide the nations on earth.

O God, be gracious and bless us.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

  let all the peoples praise you.

May God still give us his blessing

  till the ends of the earth revere him. 

O God, be gracious and bless us.

Second Reading : Galatians 4:4-7

When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons. The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father’, and it is this that makes you a son, you are not a slave any more; and if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.

Gospel : Luke 2:16-21

The shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.

  When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.

THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD.

DEATH OF POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI

By Vatican News

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has returned to the Father’s House.

The Holy See Press Office announced that the Pope Emeritus died at 9:34 AM on Saturday morning in his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, which the 95-year-old Pope emeritus had chosen as his residence after resigning from the Petrine ministry in 2013.

“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 AM in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible. As of Monday morning, 2 January 2023, the body of the Pope Emeritus will be in Saint Peter’s Basilica so the faithful can pay their respects.”

News of worsening health condition

Already for several days, the health conditions of the Pope Emeritus had worsened due to advancing age, as the Press Office had reported in its updates of the evolving situation.

Pope Francis himself publicly shared the news about his predecessor’s worsening health at the end of the last General Audience of the year, on 28 December.

The Pope had invited people to pray for the Pope Emeritus, who was “very ill,” so that the Lord might console him and support him “in this witness of love for the Church until the end.”

Following this invitation, prayer initiatives sprung up and multiplied on all continents, along with an outpouring of messages of solidarity and closeness from secular leaders.

Funeral plans

During a briefing at the Holy See Press office at midday, the director, Matteo Bruni, told journalists that Pope Francis will preside over the funeral of the Pope Emeritus on 5 January at 9.30 CET in St. Peter’s Square.

He added that as from Monday, the body of Benedict XVI will be lying in state in the Basilica so that the faithful who wish to do so may pay their last respects with prayers and a final farewell.

Bruni also said the Pope Emeritus on Wednesday, 28th in the afternoon, received the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick in the monastery at the end of Holy Mass.

And speaking to reporters after the briefing he said Benedict specifically asked that everything – including the funeral – be marked by simplicity, just as he lived his life.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, 2022

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

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Today we rejoice. Today we give God praise. Today, we raise our hearts and voices in worship and adoration of God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For today the promise made to the Virgin was fulfilled: ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God’. In appearance like every other baby born of a woman, this baby was God’s Son. This baby was all that God desired a human being to be – one who could reflect, without the distortion of sin, the glory of God.

The birth of Jesus of Nazareth heralded the birth of a new humanity – a revolutionary evolutionary leap resulting in a new creation. Just as Adam was the head of a fallen humanity, Jesus is to head the new humanity. Today we celebrate Jesus’ birth, but also our own. Jesus said to Nicodemus: ‘Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven. Understandably Nicodemus didn’t comprehend until the Lord explained: ‘unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit’. This is why on Christmas Day we rejoice in our heavenly birth too. This grace, this gateway into the Christian life, is also the door through which we pass for the kingdom of darkness into the glorious light of Christ. https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.nEo1L30RT7lp_HVZA3_OCgHaJU&pid=Api&P=0

Today a whole new creation has come into being and we are united to this incredible grace and blessing through the sacrament of our baptism. Through the Word becoming Flesh, through the Eternal Word of God becoming man, God proved his profound love for every one of us – God so loved the world that he gave his One and Only Son. As we give each other gifts today, we remember the greatest gift of all: the birth of Jesus, the new creation through whom we have become sharers and partakers in the life of God, even unto eternal life.

HODIE CHRISTUS NATUS EST

Dear Friends in Christ,             The Nativity of the Lord, 2022
Welcome Frame

I warmly welcome you all here this weekend for the Christmas Masses. A very special welcome to all visitors to our parish this Christmas; it’s wonderful that families are all able to get together at this very special time of the year. I trust and pray that you will have a wonderful holiday season and a very special & holy Christmas.  On behalf of the Parish I welcome four seminarians from the Pontifical North American College in Rome. One is a Deacon and the others are in the first and third year’s theology. My thanks to those who have kindly donated food stuffs and deserts while the boys are here! 
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I would like to thank everyone who has helped to prepare for our Christmas Masses this year. Our Altar Society, who have worked so hard in keeping our Church pristine throughout the year; all of our Eucharistic Ministers & Readers. Our Sunday Mass Greeters; Our Choir Director Sue Farrow – the Choir & Contemporary Music Group; Our Master Of ceremonies and all of our Altar Servers; my thanks to Veronica Short who has helped me in the Sacristy at all of our masses throughout the year. Thank you one and all! 

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the many parishioners who have sent Cards and Christmas Greetings and gifts during this Blessed Season. I pray for the whole parish community over this sacred time, that you will have the opportunity to spend time with your families, and that you will also have a good rest and be refreshed for a New Year. I know that many parishioners have gone away for the Christmas holiday this year, enjoy your time with families and friends, and have a safe journey home! Wishing you all a very Happy & Holy Christmas & Prosperous New Year for 2023. Keep safe and well and always be kind and loving to one another.https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/a6/6a/e5/a66ae55b3ec5a45841110449bc708707.jpg

        God Bless You All, with Love & Christmas Peace, 

CHRISTMAS MASSES 2023: Please note all the times of the Christmas Masses this year. This Christmas EveSaturday 24th December the evening Christmas Masses will be at 6.00pm, this is a Family Mass with Christmas Tableau acted out by the little children. There will be a 10.00pm Mass, preceded by Sung Carols at 9.45pm. This will be a sung Choral Mass with Choir. – I encourage people to attend this Mass, as the numbers were quite low last year.https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.JynaTSP1DgyfO2KsgX3hywHaKc&pid=Api&P=0

On Christmas Day Sunday 25th December Masses will be celebrated at 9.00am & 11.00am which will be a Sung Mass. Please make a very special effort to attend Holy Mass at Christmas. There is no more fitting way to welcome the Saviour Christ Child into our lives than the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. 

YOUR CHRISTMAS OFFERTORY: Is your personal gift to Fr. John, and makes up the major part of his salary throughout the year. Please use your parish Gift Aid envelopes, as we can then claim back the relevant Tax on your offerings. There are also Gift Aid envelopes in the porch of St. Edmund’s. With grateful thanks for your continued generosity! 

ELECTRONIC CHRISTMAS OFFERING: This year, as always, envelopes will be available for us to make our Christmas Offering, which, as you know, is an opportunity in every Catholic Church for parishioners to make a Christmas gift to their Parish Priest, which forms the major part of their salary. This year our Christmas Offering can also be made electronically. We just need to transfer the money to the parish account with the reference ‘Xmas offering’. Please quote your ‘Gift Aid number’ also.  Any questions please ask Iain McLay (bloggeriain@gmail.com). The details of the bank account are:     Sort Code: 40-13-22

           Account Number: 11019651

           Account Name: Catholic Church Loughton St Edmund.

FEAST OF ST STEPHEN: The traditional annual Altar Servers Mass with enrolment into the Guild of St Stephen for new Altar Servers will take place on St Stephen’s Day, Monday 26th December at 11.00am. This is always a very beautiful celebration, and I encourage as many parishioners as possible to attend.  This is also an invitation to the whole parish community for any of our young people to become Altar Servers. There’s no greater honour than serving the Lord at Holy Mass https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.WYsVrzg4b7-xchCP45fgnAHaEd&pid=Api&P=0

A VERY BIG THANK YOU: Once again a very big thank you to the whole parish community in your incredible support for our Annual Gran Draw and Hampers. We have worked out that the overall amount with donations Gift Aided will come to £5,104.00.  This is Incredible!  THANK YOU!  This year the money will be used for the utilities, heating lighting, Gas for the parish. 

MASS INTENTIONS – DECEMBER 2022

Sat 24th Christmas Eve                                                                                                   6.00pmTommy Luby RIP (R Walsh)Family Christmas Mass with Tableau
CHRISTMAS MASSES
Sat 24th Christmas Eve                                                                              10.00pm John & Mary Harvey RIP (Fr John)Carols Before Christmas Mass at 9.45pm
Sun 25th                                 Christmas Day                                        9.00amDavid Faud RIP (The Faud Family)
Sun 25th Christmas Day                                                                                    11:00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)
Mon 26th St Stephen                                                    11.00amPeter Burns RIP, Bill Warnes RIP & All Dec’d Servers of Parish. (David Knott)
Tues 27th St John      10.00amTylor Fallon RIP (Marie Corrigan)
Wed 28th        Holy Innocents                                                      10.00amFr Kieran Dodd RIP (Rosemary & Ian Johnson) 
Thur 29th S Thomas Beckett                                                           10.00amPeggy Kliber RIP (Ewa Michalik)
Fri 30th                                10.00amPaddy Bacon RIP (Bacon & Potter Families 
Sat 31st  New Year Eve                                                                                                   10.00am Charles Wescott RIP (Pat & Margaret)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 31st  New Year Eve6.00pmMary Jamieson RIP (Kathy & Mark Munro)
Sun 1st                                  New Year Day                                      9.00amPeople of the Parish (New Year’s Blessing of Families)
Sun 1st  New Year Day11:00amPietro &Luigia Tisi, Albert & Odila Maton RIP (Ferdi & Diana Tisi)

Please kindly put your Mass requests in early for anniversaries etc., this is to avoid any disappointment if a particular date has already been booked, 

Parish Phone No: 0208 508 3492      Email: loughton@dioceseofbrentwood.org

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A, Matthew, 2022

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Jesus’ birth occurred against a backdrop of scandal and disappointment. As we immerse ourselves in the mystery and drama of Jesus’ birth, we touch the crushing disappointment Joseph endured on learning that his beloved Mary was pregnant. As a devout Jew he knew that the marriage could not proceed, and that the law, if rigidly applied, would result in punishment and judgement for his fiancée. Joseph’s anguish threatened to crush and break him. He was a righteous man, zealous in keeping God’s law, and must have felt shame and embarrassment. His prerogative under the Jewish law was either to insist on the letter of the law or to divorce Mary quietly, which meant signing legal papers to dissolve the union. https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.XawsPaIPoM3EznlkAlLhMgHaJJ&pid=Api&P=0

Into this seemingly all-too-human tragedy and scandal broke the illuminating light of God through the agency of a dream. In the dream an angel spoke to Joseph, informing him that Mary’s pregnancy was the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the son she bore was to be named Jesus. Scandal, shame and tragedy gave way to light, truth, dignity and salvation. This is God’s way. He makes the crooked straight, redeems the seemingly lost desperate situation, and replaces the anguish of scandal with dignity and joy. In the midst of every human tragedy and scandal we learn that Jesus is with us because Jesus is Emmanuel, which means, ‘God with us’. 

At the dawn of history God’s plan of Salvation began with a couple, Adam and Eve, and at the heart of God’s emerging plan of salvation we also find a couple, Joseph and Mary. This teaches us that the family is sacred ground. Intended as a safe place where we can work out our salvation. Here we learn that God is with us. We learn that no scandal, drama, disappointment, hurt or upset, no tragedy, disgrace, indignity or outrage is beyond the healing mercy and forgiveness of God.https://tse3.explicit.bing.net/th?id=OIP.uqKkSl6mN1luELktYiQwNQHaEK&pid=Api&P=0

Today we rejoice in Mary and Joseph’s witness – especially their obedience and responsiveness to God’s will. Mary’s ‘yes’ to God began our salvation and Joseph’s acceptance of God’s plan ensured the safety and protection of mother and child.  

Dear Friends in Christ,             4th Sunday of Advent 2022

As we enter into this fourth week of Advent, we continue to prepare ourselves for the Birthday of Our Lord & Saviour once again into our lives this Christmas. This is not just some nostalgic remembering, but a real journey of faith. If Jesus Christ is truly our Saviour, then the remembering of these significant events in his life, are also significant moments of faith in our own lives. The fact that God, the Creator of all, deigned to share our human nature in the innocence of the Christ child of Bethlehem, is the greatest event in the whole of the history of creation and the world. God who becomes one of us, in all things but sin, invites us to share in his life forever; this truly is something to celebrate and savour. Let us pray in these day head of the Incarnation ‘COME LORD JESUS!’

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PARISH ADVENT PENITENTIAL SERVICE: Monday 19th December at 7.30pm. As part of our spiritual preparation for Christmas, it’s so important to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As part of our Catholic Spirituality, the Catholic Church requires us to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year. This will be a wonderful opportunity to avail yourselves of the Sacrament of God’s healing and forgiving love through Confession. There will be visiting priests, including a Polish priest, to hear confessions. Please make every effort possible to attend the Penance Service. 

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CHRISTMAS MASSES 2023: Please note all the times of the Christmas Masses this year: 

This Christmas EveSaturday 24th December the evening Christmas Masses will be at 6.00pm, this is a Family Mass with Christmas Tableau acted out by the little children. There will be a 10.00pm Mass, preceded by Sung Carols at 9.45pm. This will be a sung Choral Mass with Choir. – I encourage people to attend this Mass, as the numbers were quite low last year.

On Christmas Day Sunday 25th December Masses will be celebrated at 9.00am & 11.00am which will be a Sung Mass. Please make a very special effort to attend Holy Mass at Christmas. There is no more fitting way to welcome the Saviour Christ Child into our lives than the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.  

        May God Bless You All,

A VERY BIG THANK YOU: Since Covid our lives have changed dramatically; also in light of the latest political and economic situation in our country, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the whole parish community for your incredible response and generosity in our recent Christmas Grand Draw and Hampers. You donated some incredibly generous prizes. Also the food items and bottles helped to make up over thirty hampers. It’s true, that many people miss the Community and Social aspects of a Parish Bazaar, but in light of circumstances over the past few years, we have tried to do our best. Obviously, these events cannot happen without the efficient and helpful co-ordination and guidance of our Bazaar organisers. I personally thank Kelsey Howard & Lorrain Leith and their many helpers, who do so much in the back ground in preparation for such an event. Also, the many volunteers who helped us on the day with Teas & Coffees and a Bake Sale. It was truly wonderful to see so many people in the Parish hall last Sunday. With Donations and the Sale of Draw Tickets and Coffee morning we raised nearly £4,500.00 which is phenomenal!  The money this year will be used to offset the increase in utility bills; lighting and heating in the Parish Church & Hall & Presbytery. Thank you, one and all!   https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.ZJ0c-_CV06sHLL0dnJ2aHwHaHa&pid=Api&P=0

Pontifical North American College, HD Png Download - harvard png

WELCOME TO OUR GUESTS: This week we welcome four Seminarians from the Pontifical North American College joining us for Christmas and the New Year. It’s always a great pleasure welcoming the Seminarians. One of them is a Deacon, which is extremely helpful to me. For some it’s their first time to the UK.  As you can appreciate these young men all have healthy appetites, and love English desserts, apple pies, crumbles, mince pies, trifles, etc. also, if anyone has any spare bottles; Whiskey, Gin Port. If anyone could oblige over the Christmas period I’d be most grateful; they start arriving from 20th December onwards.

POINSETTIAS: If anyone would like to donate a Poinsettia to the Church in remembrance of a deceased loved one, please bring them to the Church at your convenience, and kindly put the name of your deceased loved one on the pot. This is a lovely and tangible way to remember our deceased loved ones at Christmas.  They will help to decorate the Church and the Crib on the Sanctuary. There are some really full beautiful Poinsettias at Marks & Spencer’s.https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.6yEYDdY88j_6Xha5ImPV9QHaFK&pid=Api&P=0

DIARY DECEMBER  2022

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Jackie Ilines, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Bridget Kinsella, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Remy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary & Steve Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones.  

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

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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 PLEASE BE GENEROUS IN YOUR
Account Number: 11019651 GIFT TO GOD & HIS CHURCH

THESE DETAILS CAN BE ALSO BE USED FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS OFFERING TO Fr JOHN, PLEASE QUOTE CHRISTMAS OFFERING & YOUR GIFT AID NUMBER. THANK YOU!

SPECIAL APPEAL To all our parishioners who contribute to your parish weekly. Would you please consider to transferring your Weekly Offertory over to a Direct Debit. With the closing of the local HSBC Bank it has been quite difficult paying in the Offertory, and with many banks now only offering a machine deposit service. Please think about this request. Thank you! 

PARISH FINANCES: As you can appreciate, during this pandemic the parish income took a severe hit, and we are still not back at the same levels as we were prior to 2020. My sincere and grateful thanks to those who have signed up for online giving and Gift Aid, this is helping. Many parishioners have not returned to the regular practice of faith, and many Gift Aid boxes were not collected this year. Please consider your weekly offertory to God.  Giving & payments go online at Mt. Olive – Mount Olive ...

ALTAR SERVERS: I would like to make an appeal to the whole parish community for some more children to volunteer to become Altar Servers. It is a wonderful way of serving God and the community. Just speak to Fr John directly and he will arrange for training and for you to receive and Alb & Cincture.  With enrolment of New Altar Servers Monday 26th December at 11.00am. A beautiful Mass for the Family

If there are children who no longer serve at St Edmund’s, would you kindly return your Alb & Cincture as soon as possible please

REGISTERING AT THE PARISH: It’s always important to have details of all of our parishioners. There are Parish Registration Forms in the Porch of the Church. Please complete and return to the Presbytery.

PARISH UTILITIES: Thankfully, the weather has been pretty mild up to now. May I make an appeal to the whole parish community to kindly remember in your weekly offertory, and especially during these winter months, the use of the utilities in our very big buildings? We are now all on the receiving end of larger Utility Bills. I’m sure we’re all being very careful with the usage of heating and lighting. I don’t think this is something that is going to go away!

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN A VOCATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD? At present we only have five seminarians training for the Priesthood in the Diocese of Brentwood. The period of formation for each is several years. If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about the priesthood, or who feels they may have a vocation to the Priesthood   please contact Fr Mark Swires vocprom@dioceseofbrentwood.org

ESCORTED PILGRIMAGE TO KNOCK SHRINE, IRELAND on 29th May 2023, led by Bishop Alan Williams. £699.00 per person, sharing; single supplement £150.00. Price includes flight, all transfers, 4 nights in Knock House Hotel with full board. All entertainment and excursions included. Day trips to Westport, Ballintubber Abbey, Croagh Patrick, Fr. Peyton Centre & National Museum. Contact Patricia on 01268 762278 or 07740 175557 or email knockpilgrimages@gmail.com.

PARISH REPOSITORY: There is a lot of new stock in the repository. Christmas Greetings Cards, Cribs, Advent Calendars, Christmas Candles. Mass Cards for deceased. Children’s books. There are also a number of CTS little books in a special stand on all sorts of different issues, the saints etc. There are Statues, rosaries, medals, bracelets. Teresa Wallace is happy to order anything your request; it usually takes about a week to arrive. 

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES:  Continue on Sunday 18th December at 10.00am in the Parish Retreat. There will be Christmas Activities.  It is imperative that all children attend each of the Communion Classes. It’s also come to my attention that some children are not attending Weekly Sunday Mass. If this is the case, I would think very seriously about putting your child forward for Communion; the last thing I want to do is have a weekly register, like many of the parishes throughout the diocese. It really is not fair on the child if they are absent from the weekly celebration. After next Sunday the children will break for the Christmas holidays and return on Sunday 8th January at 10.00am   If you are unable to attend any session for some reason please contact Fr. John directly (not Mrs Poulter) Tel: 02085083492  https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.EjBJqvhUq7EU-XJ4j2DJNwHaI-&pid=Api&P=0

CAN YOU HELP? We are desperately in need of additional help for the Altar Society; over the past year or so, we’ve lost a number of our regular helpers who clean the church. If you are able to give half an hour or so every month to help keep our Church beautifully clean and tidy, this is all we ask. If you’re able to help please contact Sharon Fitzmaurice 07854919207 or shazzafitzm@aol.com or Fr John. 0208 508 3492 GRAND CLEAN OF CHURCH FOR CHRISTMAS THURSDAY 22nd DECEMBER 10.00am 

BAPTISMS: If there are parents wishing to have their children baptised at St Edmund’s could you kindly contact Fr John as soon as possible. For first time parents there is a Baptismal Programme. Mrs Sharon Chalk runs our Baptismal Programme. Baptisms take place on either Saturday or Sunday at 12.30pm

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP: Will be singing and playing at the 11am Mass on Sunday, 1st January 2023 which is New Year’s Day. Kindly arrive 20 minutes or so before Mass starts. We hope that many of you can make the practice and that all of you will be at the Mass. Thank you. New singers and musicians who may like to join us will be made very welcome! https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.5XtfCB2HO5X7f8sOD7OSugHaE5&pid=Api&P=0

DO YOU LIKE SINGING? As you know we have a wonderful Choir and Choir Director in Sue Farrow. We are looking for new choir members who like singing with others. We learn traditional and contemporary pieces of music, and also sing Motets in four parts. If you’re interested please speak to Sue or Fr John. Choir practice on Wednesdays & Saturdays.

EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank. They are truly grateful for the generosity our parish has shown and our donations are still needed desperately as more and more people in our community are finding it hard to make ends meet. The Foodbank have asked for support with the following items: pasta sauce, rice pudding, jam, tinned fruit, snack / breakfast bars, chocolate bars, shower gel, toilet roll and deodorant. URGENTLY NEEDED: Small jars of coffee, washing up liquid, sponge pudding desserts and instant mash. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/

IRREGULAR MARRIAGES: An Irregualr Marriage is one that has taken place outside of the Catholic Church without dispensation. For example: Marriages in hotels, and secualr venues, on beaches or Las Vegas; marriage in a non-Catholic Church without dispensation from the Bishop. These marriages are not recognised by the Catholic Church, and therefore are  non sacramental & irregular. But there is a facility in the Church to recetify these situations called a Convalidation (this is a strictly private facility that is offered by the church). As marriage and family life is what I specialised in while studying Canon Law, if anyone wishes to speak to me confidentially please don’t hesitate to contact me: Tel No: 0208 508 3492

CHILDREN’S SUNDAY LITURGY: Thank you for starting children’s Sunday Liturgy again. But we need more help. Parents, can you spare one Sunday every two months to help the children during the 11.00am Mass? We need more parents to join our lovely group. Please contact Mrs Elena Manara at e_vismara@yahoo.com Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.KxgdS7dpVdlMC8SllI_8fgHaHa&pid=Api&P=0&w=174&h=174

FROM OUR GIFT AID ORGANISER: Our Parish Gift Aid Organiser is Abbie Akinfenwa – abbie.akinfenwa@btinternet.com or text to 0775470934 with your name and gift aid number.  I would encourage all parishioners to join the Parish Gift Aid Scheme. If you are a Tax Payer, it’s a really painless process, all we need is you name and address, there are Gift Aid Application Forms in the Porch of the Church, and Abbie can give you all the help you need re information. We are able to claim back 25 pence in every pound donated to the church, when you use you envelopes or pay by Standing Order.  Please think about joining, and thanks to those who already belong! https://tse4.explicit.bing.net/th?id=OIP.82Iz4z848_74ROZ5P-evjQHaD8&pid=Api&P=0

MASS INTENTIONS – DECEMBER 2022

Sat 17th                 10.00amRemy’s Int’s (Frank Westcott)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 17th                                                6.00pm People of the Parish
Sun 18th                        9.00amLeonard & Phyllis Attard RIP (Frances Beck)
Sun 18th                       11:00amStephen Griffiths RIP (Mylena)
Mon 19th                                                   10.00am7.30pmDavid Faud RIP (The Faud Family)Parish Advent PENITENTIAL SERVICE
Tues 20th      10.00amGiordano Mattea RIP (Peter & Christine Burrowes)
Wed 21st                                                             10.00amMatt McLoughlin RIP (Celine Sullivan) 
Thur 22nd                                                           10.00amMichelina Ziolkowska (Ewa Michalik)
Fri 23rd                               10.00amJim Sullivan RIP (Celine Sullivan)
Sat 24th Christmas Eve                                                                                                   6.00pmTommy Luby RIP (R Walsh)Family Christmas Mass with Tableau
CHRISTMAS MASSES
Sat 24th Christmas Eve                                                                              9.45pm10.00pmCarols Before Christmas MassJohn & Mary Harvey RIP (Fr John)
Sun 25th                                 Christmas Day                                      9.00amDavid Faud RIP (The Faud Family)
Sun 25th Christmas Day                                                                                    11:00amPeter Smith RIP (Paul Falco)

Please kindly put your Mass requests in early for anniversaries etc., this is to avoid any disappointment if a particular date has already been booked,

Parish Phone No: 0208 508 3492      Email: loughton@dioceseofbrentwood.org

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

4th Sunday of Advent

First Reading : Isaiah 7:10-14

The Lord spoke to Ahaz and said, ‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign for yourself coming either from the depths of Sheol or from the heights above.’ ‘No,’ Ahaz answered ‘I will not put the Lord to the test.’

Then Isaiah said:

‘Listen now, House of David:

are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men

without trying the patience of my God, too?

The Lord himself, therefore,

will give you a sign.

It is this: the maiden is with child

and will soon give birth to a son

whom she will call Immanuel,

a name which means “God-is-with-us.”’

Responsive Psalm : Psalm 23(24):1-6

Let the Lord enter! He is the king of glory.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,

  the world and all its peoples.

It is he who set it on the seas;

  on the waters he made it firm.

Let the Lord enter! He is the king of glory.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?

  Who shall stand in his holy place?

The man with clean hands and pure heart,

  who desires not worthless things.

Let the Lord enter! He is the king of glory.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord

  and reward from the God who saves him.

Such are the men who seek him,

  seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Let the Lord enter! He is the king of glory.

Second Reading : Romans 1:1-7

From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus who has been called to be an apostle, and specially chosen to preach the Good News that God promised long ago through his prophets in the scriptures.

  This news is about the Son of God who, according to the human nature he took was a descendant of David: it is about Jesus Christ our Lord who, in the order of the spirit, the spirit of holiness that was in him, was proclaimed Son of God in all his power through his resurrection from the dead. Through him we received grace and our apostolic mission to preach the obedience of faith to all pagan nations in honour of his name. You are one of these nations, and by his call belong to Jesus Christ. To you all, then, who are God’s beloved in Rome, called to be saints, may God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send grace and peace.

Gospel : Matthew 1:18-24

This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son 

and they will call him Emmanuel,

a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home.

Third Sunday of Advent, Year A, Matthew, 2022

 Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Faith isn’t always a bright glowing light but rather a faint flicker to which we cling. We walk by faith and by sight and perceive God as in a mirror, dimly and only in part. The truth is that, for many, faith is lived in a fog of darkness and is often put to the test. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church so eloquently expresses it: ‘The world we live in often seems very far from the one promised us by faith. Our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice and death, seems to contradict the Good News; they can shake our faith and become a temptation against it’.
http://uvoc.org/St_John_Baptist/St_John_Baptist_Pic.jpg

This was the experience of John the Baptist as he languished in Herod’s prison. As he awaited his fate, this great forerunner of the Lord, the last Old Testament prophet, probably shackled and no doubt hungry and tired, succumbed to doubt and uncertainty. Needing reassurance, he sent his disciples to ask the Lord, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else? Jesus pointed to his miracles and the power of God as signs that he is the Messiah, the Lord’s anointed. 

Even John the Baptist, this outstanding herald of faith, wavered as his faith was tested. Nevertheless, Jesus held him up as the greatest man ever born while in the very next breath asserting that even the very least in Jesus’ kingdom is greater than this giant of faith. Clinging to Jesus through the ups and downs of life, the times of challenge and testing, the periods of darkness and near despair, is what makes even the least in the kingdom great. Faith we learn, it what most pleases God: faith in his Son Jesus. 

During this holy season of Advent we turn to the great witnesses of faith: to St. John the Baptist, to Abraham, our father in faith, who believed against hope, to Mary our Mother who often walked her pilgrimage in the light of faith, and many others.   AA_03G2

Come Lord Jesus, Come!’

Dear Friends in Christ,           3rd Sunday of Advent 2022

Today is Gaudete Sunday, and marks the mid-way point of our Holy Advent Season. The word ‘Gaudete’ means to ‘Rejoice’, and we look forward in anticipation rejoicing that the Saviour Jesus Christ will be born for us once again this Christmas. This is such a beautiful time of the year, as we prepare for Christmas. We are given the great mission to be able to ‘Prepare the Way for the Lord’, just like John the Baptist did. We can do this in so many ways in our homes and in our lives. Don’t let this Advent Season pass you by and do nothing!http://www.clipartkid.com/images/634/advents-tas-ir-laiks-kas-m-s-gatavo-kristus-piedzim-anai-tiem-n1TIxp-clipart.gif

OUR PARISH GRAND CHRISTMAS DRAW & HAMPERS: I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the whole parish community for your incredible generous giving for our Christmas Event. To all those who donated Prizes for the Grand Draw a BIG THANK YOU! There were three Colour Televisions donated, a Nintendo Switch, Air Pods, Echo & Alexa Devices, Air Fryer, Various Marco Pierre White London Restaurant Vouchers, Zizzi Restaurant Voucher. Also a BIG THANK YOU to all who donated food stuffs for the making of Hampers. Some parishioners made up Hampers themselves. 

Also this is a last call for the return of Draw Tickets please!  

If you have Cakes, Mince Pies, Apple Pies, please bring them to the Parish Hall Saturday or Sunday Morning. And finally please come and support us on Sunday 11th December after the 11.00am Mass.   

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PARISH PENITENTIAL SERVICE: Monday 19th December at 7.30pm. As part of our spiritual preparation for Christmas, it’s so important to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As part of our Catholic Spirituality, the Catholic Church requires us to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year. This will be a wonderful opportunity to avail yourselves of the Sacrament of God’s healing and forgiving love through Confession. There will be visiting priests, including a Polish priest, to hear confessions. Please make every effort possible to attend the Penance Service. 

Attached to your Parish Newsletter this week is my Christmas Card to you all. I wish you all the Season’s Greetings.

May God Bless You All,  

PARISH REPOSITORY: There is a lot of new stock in the repository. Christmas Greetings Cards, Cribs, Advent Calendars, Christmas Candles. Mass Cards for deceased. Children’s books. There are also a number of CTS little books in a special stand on all sorts of different issues, the saints etc. There are Statues, rosaries, medals, bracelets. Teresa Wallace is happy to order anything your request; it usually takes about a week to arrive. 

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES:  Continue on Sunday 11th December at 10.00am in the Parish Retreat. It is imperative that all children attend each of the Communion Classes. Very sadly, a large number of parents didn’t attend the Parents’ Meeting recently, a few had apologised. It’s also come to my attention that some children are not attending Weekly Sunday Mass. If this is the case, I would think very seriously about putting your child forward for Communion; the last thing I want to do is have a weekly register, like many of the parishes throughout the diocese. It really is not fair on the child if they are absent from the weekly celebration. This is really a serious issue! Next Sunday, 11th the Children will be leading the 11.00am Mass, all the children will be present.   If you are unable to attend any session for some reason please contact Fr. John directly (not Mrs Poulter) Tel: 02085083492  https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.BPQt7mIS0IR5uDR3P4Ft_gHaHa&pid=Api&P=0

CAN YOU HELP? We are desperately in need of additional help for the Altar Society; over the past year or so, we’ve lost a number of our regular helpers who clean the church. If you are able to give half an hour or so every month to help keep our Church beautifully clean and tidy, this is all we ask. If you’re able to help please contact Sharon Fitzmaurice 07854919207 or shazzafitzm@aol.com or Fr John. 0208 508 3492 GRAND CLEAN OF CHURCH FOR CHRISTMAS THURSDAY 22nd DECEMBER 10.00am 

WELCOME:  I would like to let you know in advance that we have four Seminarians from the Pontifical North American College joining us for Christmas and the New Year. It’s always a great pleasure welcoming the Seminarians. One of them is a Deacon, which is extremely helpful to me. As you can appreciate these young men all have healthy appetites, and love English desserts, apple pies, crumbles, trifles, etc. Also, if anyone has any spare bottles; Whiskey, Gin Port. If anyone could oblige over the Christmas period I’d be most grateful; they start arriving from 20th December onwards.Pontifical North American College, HD Png Download - harvard png

DIARY DECEMBER  2022

PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH

Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn, Bernadette Hall, Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Jackie Ilines, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Bridget Kinsella, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Remy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones.  

ANNIVERSARIES: Peter Smith RIP & All our Holy Souls.  Please pray for all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.

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: https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.f3Dybiij-xnKe7D8amsmGgHaHt&pid=Api&P=0

https://www.dioceseofbrentwood.net/donations?parish=loughton

Or you can use Parish Bank Account: Using Online Banking
HSBC Sort Code 40-13-22 PLEASE BE GENEROUS IN YOUR
Account Number: 11019651 GIFT TO GOD & HIS CHURCH

SPECIAL APPEAL To all our parishioners who contribute to your parish weekly. Would you please consider to transferring your Weekly Offertory over to a Direct Debit. With the closing of the local HSBC Bank it has been quite difficult paying in the Offertory, and with many banks now only offering a machine deposit service. Please think about this request. Thank you! 

PARISH FINANCES: As you can appreciate, during this pandemic the parish income took a severe hit, and we are still not back at the same levels as we were prior to 2020. My sincere and grateful thanks to those who have signed up for online giving and Gift Aid, this is helping. Many parishioners have not returned to the regular practice of faith, and many Gift Aid boxes were not collected this year. Please consider your weekly offertory to God.  Giving & payments go online at Mt. Olive – Mount Olive ...

ADVANCED NOTICE OF CHRISTMAS MASSES: Christmas Eve there will be two Masses at 6.00pm Family Mass & 10.00pm (with carols at 9.45pm).  Christmas Day two Masses at 9.00am & 11.00am. Please note the times of all the Christmas Masses this year.

ALTAR SERVERS: Recently we had over 30 children make their First Holy Communion. A couple of them have already started Altar Serving. I would like to make an appeal to the whole parish community for some more children to volunteer to become Altar Servers. It is a wonderful way of serving God and the community. Just speak to Fr John directly and he will arrange for training and for you to receive and Alb & Cincture.

If there are children who no longer serve at St Edmund’s, would you kindly return your Alb & Cincture as soon as possible please

REGISTERING AT THE PARISH: It’s always important to have details of all of our parishioners. There are Parish Registration Forms in the Porch of the Church. Please complete and return to the Presbytery.

PARISH UTILITIES: Thankfully, the weather has been pretty mild up to now. May I make an appeal to the whole parish community to kindly remember in your weekly offertory, and especially during these winter months, the use of the utilities in our very big buildings? We are now all on the receiving end of larger Utility Bills. I’m sure we’re all being very careful with the usage of heating and lighting. I don’t think this is something that is going to go away!

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN A VOCATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD? At present we only have five seminarians training for the Priesthood in the Diocese of Brentwood. The period of formation for each is several years. If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about the priesthood, or who feels they may have a vocation to the Priesthood   please contact Fr Mark Swires vocprom@dioceseofbrentwood.org

ESCORTED PILGRIMAGE TO KNOCK SHRINE, IRELAND on 29th May 2023, led by Bishop Alan Williams. £699.00 per person, sharing; single supplement £150.00. Price includes flight, all transfers, 4 nights in Knock House Hotel with full board. All entertainment and excursions included. Day trips to Westport, Ballintubber Abbey, Croagh Patrick, Fr. Peyton Centre & National Museum. Contact Patricia on 01268 762278 or 07740 175557 or email knockpilgrimages@gmail.com.

DAILY MASS AT ST EDMUND’S: I would like to make this special appeal, especially to those who may be retired, to think seriously about attending one or more of our daily masses at 10.00am Monday – Saturday. Daily Mass is truly a wonderful gift that is offered in nearly every parish. I get saddened sometimes as to how few people attend our weekday masses. We teach that the Holy Mass is the ‘source & summit’ of our Catholic Lives of faith. There is no greater gift that Christ gave us before his Passion, Death & Resurrection. Please think seriously about attending an additional Mass during the week; the Lord will afford you many graces and blessings.

BAPTISMS: If there are parents wishing to have their children baptised at St Edmund’s could you kindly contact Fr John as soon as possible. For first time parents there is a Baptismal Programme. Mrs Sharon Chalk runs our Baptismal Programme. Baptisms take place on either Saturday or Sunday at 12.30pm

THIS IS AN APPEAL TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVEN’T RETURNED TO THE PRACTICE OF FAITH SINCE THE PANDEMIC: The greatest tragedy of the Pandemic is that so many of the faithful haven’t returned to the practice of their faith. It’s so easy to get out of the routine and habit of going to church, and as the passage of time passes, the conscience eases, until you reach a point when you don’t even think about it anymore. We all have so much to be grateful to Almighty God for; and being part of a Catholic Christian Community gives us all a great sense of belonging and identity. As we enter the Advent season I would like to invite all those Catholics who have not returned to the regular practice of faith to seriously think about your Catholic Vocation to be part of the life of Jesus Christ. As we prepare for his birth once again into our lives this Christmas, it would be a wonderful opportunity to return to the practice of faith. When you reflect on the shortness of our lives, you begin to realise that life is not a dress-rehearsal, every day counts, and before you know it life and passed and we stand alone before God accounting for our life. Never let there be missed opportunities!

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP: Will be singing and playing at the 11am Mass on Sunday, 1st January New Year’s Day. Kindly arrive 20 minutes or so before Mass starts. We hope that many of you can make the practice and that all of you will be at the Mass. Thank you. New singers and musicians who may like to join us will be made very welcome! https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.5XtfCB2HO5X7f8sOD7OSugHaE5&pid=Api&P=0

CHARITY JAZZ CONCERT AT ST EDMUND’S On 25th February (3.00-5.00pm) the here will be a an afternoon jazz concert at St Edmund’s Hall in aid of The Essex based Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. The wonderful Winnie Greer, “science teacher by day Jazz singer by night”, will be performing Jazz classics and some contemporary pieces. It should be a wonderful afternoon raising money for a great cause. Tickets are £20 each and available from the link below

EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank. They are truly grateful for the generosity our parish has shown and our donations are still needed desperately as more and more people in our community are finding it hard to make ends meet. The Foodbank have asked for support with the following items: pasta sauce, rice pudding, jam, tinned fruit, snack / breakfast bars, chocolate bars, shower gel, toilet roll and deodorant. URGENTLY NEEDED: Small jars of coffee, washing up liquid, sponge pudding desserts and instant mash. Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/

IRREGULAR MARRIAGES: An Irregualr Marriage is one that has taken place outside of the Catholic Church without dispensation. For example: Marriages in hotels, and secualr venues, on beaches or Las Vegas; marriage in a non-Catholic Church without dispensation from the Bishop. These marriages are not recognised by the Catholic Church, and therefore are  non sacramental & irregular. But there is a facility in the Church to recetify these situations called a Convalidation (this is a strictly private facility that is offered by the church). As marriage and family life is what I specialised in while studying Canon Law, if anyone wishes to speak to me confidentially please don’t hesitate to contact me: Tel No: 0208 508 3492

CHILDREN’S SUNDAY LITURGY: Thank you for starting children’s Sunday Liturgy again. But we need more help. Parents, can you spare one Sunday every two months to help the children during the 11.00am Mass? We need more parents to join our lovely group. Please contact Mrs Elena Manara at e_vismara@yahoo.com Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.KxgdS7dpVdlMC8SllI_8fgHaHa&pid=Api&P=0&w=174&h=174

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FROM OUR GIFT AID ORGANISER: Our Parish Gift Aid Organiser is Abbie Akinfenwa – abbie.akinfenwa@btinternet.com or text to 0775470934 with your name and gift aid number.  I would encourage all parishioners to join the Parish Gift Aid Scheme. If you are a Tax Payer, it’s a really painless process, all we need is you name and address, there are Gift Aid Application Forms in the Porch of the Church, and Abbie can give you all the help you need re information. We are able to claim back 25 pence in every pound donated to the church, when you use you envelopes or pay by Standing Order.  Please think about joining, and thanks to those who already belong!

MASS INTENTIONS – DECEMBER 2022

Sat 10th                 10.00amJoe Hynes RIP (Manley Family)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 10th                                                6.00pm PC Joseph RIP (Anni) (Kumar Family)
Sun 11th                        9.00amEllen & Eugene Carney RIP (Catherine Knight)
Sun 11th                       11:00amDavid Bloomfield RIP 1st Anni (Geraldine Bloomfield)
Mon 12th                                                   9.00amDeryk Dodd RIP (Anthony Family)
Tues 13th      9.00amVeronica Godsave RIP (Peter & Christine Burrowes)
Wed 14th                                                            10.00amTheresa, Tony, Lynn & Peter Faud’s Int’s
Thur 15th                                                          10.00amReuben Dorn’s Int’s (John O’Rourke)
Fri 16th                              10.00amVeronica Godsave RIP (Esther Penn)
Sat 17th                    10.00amRemy’s Int’s (Frank Westcott)
Confessions 11am – 12Noon or on demandVigil Mass for Sunday. Confessions at 5.30pm
Sat 17th                                                                             6.00pmPeople of the Parish
Sun 18th                                                                      9.00amLeonard & Phyllis Attard (Frances Beck)
Sun 18th                                              11:00amStephen Griffiths RIP (Mylena)

Please kindly put your Mass requests in early for anniversaries etc., this is to avoid any disappointment if a particular date has already been booked,

Parish Phone No: 0208 508 3492      Email: loughton@dioceseofbrentwood.org

The Brentwood Diocesan Trust     Registered Charity No. 234092

3rd Sunday of Advent

First Reading : Isaiah 35:1-6,10

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult,

let the wasteland rejoice and bloom,

let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,

let it rejoice and sing for joy.

The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it,

the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;

they shall see the glory of the Lord,

the splendour of our God.

Strengthen all weary hands,

steady all trembling knees

and say to all faint hearts,

‘Courage! Do not be afraid.

‘Look, your God is coming,

vengeance is coming,

the retribution of God;

he is coming to save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

the ears of the deaf unsealed,

then the lame shall leap like a deer

and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy

for those the Lord has ransomed shall return.

They will come to Zion shouting for joy,

everlasting joy on their faces;

joy and gladness will go with them

and sorrow and lament be ended.

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

Come, Lord, and save us.

It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,

  who is just to those who are oppressed.

It is he who gives bread to the hungry,

  the Lord, who sets prisoners free,

Come, Lord, and save us.

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,

  who raises up those who are bowed down,

the Lord, who protects the stranger

  and upholds the widow and orphan.

Come, Lord, and save us.

It is the Lord who loves the just

  but thwarts the path of the wicked.

The Lord will reign for ever,

  Zion’s God, from age to age.

Come, Lord, and save us.

Second Reading : James 5:7-10

Be patient, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. Think of a farmer: how patiently he waits for the precious fruit of the ground until it has had the autumn rains and the spring rains! You too have to be patient; do not lose heart, because the Lord’s coming will be soon. Do not make complaints against one another, brothers, so as not to be brought to judgement yourselves; the Judge is already to be seen waiting at the gates. For your example, brothers, in submitting with patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Gospel : Matthew 11:2-11

John in his prison had heard what Christ was doing and he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or have we got to wait for someone else?’ Jesus answered, ‘Go back and tell John what you hear and see; the blind see again, and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor; and happy is the man who does not lose faith in me.’

  As the messengers were leaving, Jesus began to talk to the people about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the breeze? No? Then what did you go out to see? A man wearing fine clothes? Oh no, those who wear fine clothes are to be found in palaces. Then what did you go out for? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet: he is the one of whom scripture says:

‘Look, I am going to send my messenger before you;

he will prepare your way before you.

‘I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women, a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is.’

THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD