The Lord Jesus uses many agricultural themes in his preaching and teaching. Today he talks about the seed, how small it is, but it can grow into something incredible. This imagery he uses for the faith. No matter how small or little our faith is, when we nurture and culture it, it can grow into something truly beautiful. The seed grows by itself, even when we are asleep. This is our natural curiosity and longing for God. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, ‘The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for’ (para 27).
It really doesn’t matter how small or little our faith is, God can use it and nurture it, when we allow him to do so. Some of the greatest saints in history allowed the Lord to use them in this way, and they became incredible instruments of God through the holiness of their lives by their example, their teaching and preaching: a few of examples – St Therese of Lisieux; Saint Teresa of Calcutta; Blessed Carlo Acutis; St Francis of Assisi. The potential is there for each and every one of us for that faith to grow strong in Christ.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME 2021/2022: Last week I advertised the forthcoming First Holy Communion Programme with interviews commencing Monday 14th June until Friday 18th June. Unfortunately, very few people have made appointments. Parish news is published weekly in the Newsletter; if parishioners are not reading the updates then they will have no knowledge of future event and programmes. I always make a point at the end of each of the weekend masses to stress the importance of reading the parish newsletter. If you haven’t yet booked appointment, you need to do so this weekend. Tel No: 020 8508 3492
As we were unable to run a programme over the past year, there will now be two years eligible to enrol in the programme (school years 3 & 4) as of September 2021). The Church reopened last July 4th 2020, and many families returned to the regular practice of the faith. If you didn’t return to the practice of the faith, and have been away for over a year, we will need to discuss whether it would be prudent to wait some time until you get back into a regular routine of the practice of faith once again.
Requirements of entry into the programme are that you are a baptised and practicing Roman Catholic, which means you attend weekly mass; that you live within the Parish boundaries of St. Edmund of Canterbury Parish; and that you will be totally committed to the programme sessions with separate meetings for parents throughout the year.
CONGRATULATIONS: To our 48 young people who received the Sacrament of Confirmation this week from Bishop Alan. I managed to get the Bishop to come on both days, and it was a wonderful surprise for our young people. Both masses were very beautiful; to have live music, offertory, prayers of intercession, was truly wonderful again! Grateful thanks to all of our Catechists for the incredible work and the time you gave to our young people over the past six months. I think all of our young people went home very happy each night after these beautiful ceremonies. God bless you all!
ONGOING PANDEMIC UPDATE: Unfortunately, with the recent surge in the Delta variant up and down the country, and with the numbers increasing dramatically, it looks as though the total lifting of lockdown restrictions will not take place on 21st June. Obviously, there are many opinions from the experts and scientists alike, but everyone’s Health & Safety will always come first. People will be extremely disappointed, and of course, everyone is so fed up with living this kind of life. But, when we look at the past 16 months and see how many people lost their lives through this terrible disease, we need to continue to be vigilant and careful. Sadly, I buried several parishioners over the past year that passed away from Covid 19. We will still comply with governmental guidelines in our Church and Parish Hall: hand sanitisation, one way system, face coverings, social distancing, and track & tracing.
May God Bless You All this Week,
WEEKLY OFFERTORY: My sincere thanks to those who are making their weekly contribution of Gift Aid envelopes and through the banking system that has been set up through the Diocese whereby your Offertory can be paid directly into the Parish Account, details below:
Or you can use Parish Bank Account: Using Online Banking
HSBC Sort Code 40-13-22
Account Number: 11019651
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS: If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about the Roman Catholic Faith possibly with the view of receiving the Easter Sacraments in 2022, please contact Fr. John at the Presbytery on Tel No: 020 8508 3492. The programme usually commences in September. If would be wonderful to have a number of enquirers. We follow a systematic programme of instruction, covering all aspects of Catholicism. Please spread the word about this programme. Thank you!
POSTPONEMENT OF JUBILEE: I have decided to postopone my 40th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations until a later date. With ultimate restrictions not being lifted until the latter part of June, it really doesn’t give enough time to send out invitations, and also for many friends who wanted to come from abroad to attend. I will celebrate Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday 11th July at 11am with only my Parish Family.
REQUIESCANT IN PACE: In you mercy please pray for thr epose of the soul of Shiela Murphy RIP, a long time parishioner who passed away recently. We extend our condolences to her family in this time of great loss. Her Requiem Mass will be on Wednesday 16th June at 2.00pm with the interment at Chigwell Cemetery.
Also Violet Hall RIP, who passed away recently. Violet lived in St. Edmund’s Parish for nearly 70 years, and was our oldest parishioner. Condolences to her family. Her Requiem Mass will take place on Tuesday 22nd June at 1.00pm followed by Cremation at Forest Park Crematorium.
PARISH REPOSITORY: There are a large number of gifts and cards available in the Repository. There are medals, candles, special cards, prayer crosses, and many other items that would be suitable gifts for all occasions. Please leave your money in the basket provided. Thanks
EPPING FOREST FOODBANK DONATIONS: Thank you to all parishioners who continue to generously donate items for the Foodbank during these difficult times. The Foodbank are truly grateful for the generosity our parish has shown throughout the pandemic and our donations are still needed desperately as more and more people in our community are finding it hard to make ends meet. The Foodbank have asked for support with the following items: Long-life fruit juice, tinned tomatoes, instant mash, tinned fish, tinned peas, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, small jars of instant coffee, small or medium bags of rice, sponge pudding, snack bars, chocolate bars, chocolate spread and savoury crackers Thank you! You can also keep up to date with the Foodbank news via their facebook page: www.facebook.com/EppingForestFoodbank/
IRREGULAR MARRIAGES: An irregualr marriage is one tht has taken place outside of the Catholic Church without dispensation. For example: Marriages in hotels, and secualr venues, on beaches or Las Vegas; marriage in a non Catholic Church without dispensation from the Bishop. These marriages are not recognised by the Catholic Church, and therefore are non sacramental & irregular. But there is a facility in the Church to recetify these situations called a Convalidation (this is a strictly private facility that is offered by the church). As marriage and family life is what I specialised in while studying Canon Law, if anyone wishes to speak to me confidentially please don’t hesitate to contact me: Tel No: 0208 508 3492
RETURNING TO THE WEEKLY PRACTICE OF THE FAITH: With so amny people having received their Vaccination against Covid, it would be wonderful to see many more return to the weekly practice of the faith. To be without the Sacrametns for usch a long period of time is unprecedented. It’s true that many people have just got out of the habit of going to Church, and live-streaming is not a subsititute for being together with the worhsipping community. Our Church’s opened last July 4th, and many parishioners have returned. To get back into the routine of regular practice is up to the individual, but if you have children, it is so important that this routine recommence once again. Children are guided by their parents, and if chidlren witness that this is not important to you, it will, sadly, not be important to them. There are so many challenges and threats to our lives of faith, on so many fronts these days, please don’t let Covid be another of them!
DIARY JUNE 2021
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE SICK IN OUR PARISH
Margaret Baldwin, Evelyn Bearne, Brian Beveridge, Karl Britz, Carlos Camacho, Jane Downs, Steve Dalgliesh, Pat Fenn, Veronica Godsave, Bernadette Hall, Violet Hall Ann Hawkes, Claire Howes, Pamela Houghton, Noel Johnson, Shaun Keel, Angela Long, Lilian Mothersole, Sheila Murphy, John McKernan, Rosemary O’Rourke, Kathleen Pomeroy, Geraldine Taylor, Vera Taylor, Collette Wenborn, Mary Witten, James Wright. And all our loved ones.
ANNIVERSARIES: For all whose anniversaries occur at this time and for all of our deceased loved ones, Requiescant in Pace.
OFFERTORY COLLECTION: I would like to take this public opportunity of thanking every single member of this parish Community for your incredible support of the parish over the past 16 months of Pandemic. With the church remaining open and with online daily live streaming of Holy Mass, even during those four and half months of lockdown; in completing our Financial Returns to the Diocese, you will be delighted to know that we broke even this year. My thanks to Michael Manzi our Accountant, who looks after the Parish Accounts & Maria Mosquera who looks after the Parish Gift Aid Scheme; they have both done a truly wonderful job this year. With continued thanks for your Weekly Offering. If you would like to join the Gift Aid Scheme, there are application forms in the Church Porch or ask Fr. John for a form. If you forget your envelope, there are spares in the Porch. Thank you!
SACRAMENTS CELEBRATED DURING ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS: In accordance with Government & Diocesan Guidelines, we are allowed to celebrate Funerals with 100 people present, strictly observing social distancing. 30 people are allowed to be present at a wedding. Baptisms: you are now allowed up to 30 persons at a Baptism; not too sure what the restrictions are for social event after though! These are really difficult times, and many couples were disappointed last year not being able to celebrate their marriages. We are hoping with the distribution of the vaccine, that things will change dramatically this year. If there are any couples who are thinking about getting married, please notify the parish immediately. Thank you. Obviously until restrictions are lifted all of the above applies for the foreseeable future.
MASS INTENTIONS – JUNE 2021
|Sat 12th||10.00am||Sapper Raymond Marchant RIP (Pat & Jean Marchant)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday: Confessions at 5.30pm|
|Sat 12th||6.00pm||Tony Galcius RIP ((Mike & Grainne Sheehy)|
|Sun 13th Sun 13th||9.00am10.00am||Dec’d of Bacuetes Family RIPPeople of the Parish|
|Sun 13th||11:00am||Leanne Kieran RIP (Maria Fray)|
|Mon 14th||10.00am10.30am||Fr Stewart Foster (sick) (Terry & Lucy)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament|
|Tues 15th||10.00am||Marth D’Souza (B’day Int’s) (Pat & Margaret)|
|Wed 16th||10.00am||Brendan Kelly RIP (Stephanie Hemsworth)|
|Thurs 17th||10.00am 10.30am||Tony Galcius RIP (Diana & Ferdi Tisi)Holy Hour with Exposition of the Bl Sacrament|
|Fri 18th||10.00am 10.30am||Eleanor Millar RIP (Kathy & Mark Munro)Holy Hour with Exposition of Bl. Sacrament|
|Sat 19th||10.00am||Pat Ata Int’s ( Bridget & Maree)|
|Vigil Mass for Sunday Confessions 5.30pm|
|Sat 19th||6.00pm||Kazimierz Michalik RIP (Ewa Michalik)|
|Sun 20th Sun 20th||9.00am10.00am||Tony Galcius RIP (John & Sue Campbell)People of the Parish|
|Sun 20th||11:00am||Elizabeth Nkum RIP (Maria Fray)|
Please kindly be patient with your mass requests. I will try to accommodate your requested dates, but there have been a large number of requests recently and we celebrate masses in the order in which we receive them.
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading : Ezekiel 17:22-24
The Lord says this:
‘From the top of the cedar,
from the highest branch I will take a shoot
and plant it myself on a very high mountain.
I will plant it on the high mountain of Israel.
It will sprout branches and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar.
Every kind of bird will live beneath it,
every winged creature rest in the shade of its branches.
And every tree of the field will learn that I, the Lord, am the one
who stunts tall trees and makes the low ones grow,
who withers green trees and makes the withered green.
I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.’
Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 91(92):2-3,13-16
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your truth in the watches of the night.
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.
The just will flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a Lebanon cedar.
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.
Planted in the house of the Lord
they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old,
still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just.
In him, my rock, there is no wrong.
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.
Second Reading : 2 Corinthians 5:6-10
We are always full of confidence when we remember that to live in the body means to be exiled from the Lord, going as we do by faith and not by sight – we are full of confidence, I say, and actually want to be exiled from the body and make our home with the Lord. Whether we are living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on pleasing him. For all the truth about us will be brought out in the law court of Christ, and each of us will get what he deserves for the things he did in the body, good or bad.
Gospel : Mark 4:26-34
Jesus said to the crowds: ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’
He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’
Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.
THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD