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Going Forth Mass for our First Communion Children

Dear Parishioners,
This Sunday should have been the Going Forth Mass for our First Communion Children. Kathryn, Elena and their helpers have been working hard with them all year, they are a lovely group and Father John and Kathryn are so proud of them. Kathryn and the children have prepared a little gift for the Parish: a video recording of the Prayer of Spiritual Communion. Please click the link below to view it, it is so beautiful.  

I know we will all keep them in our prayers.

Seventh Sunday of Easter 2020

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Dear Friends in Christ, 

We have spent the past nine weeks in lockdown. In this very strange and unusual time we have endeavoured to exercise social distancing, staying at home, and trying to keep ourselves as safe as possible. We have seen courageous witness from all those working on the front-line to keep us safe. Sadly, we all probably know someone who has passed from Covid 19. I was made aware over the past week of parishioners who had lost parents. Our hearts go out to them. Even when the lockdown is lifted, life will never be the same again. What is the ‘New Normal’? None of us really know the answer to that question. The fact that the whole world has experienced this pandemic has certainly made me think seriously about life & death issues. Ultimately, life is the most precious gift we possess, and this is God given. The preservation of life is fundamentally at the heart of our existence. We have experienced a real wakeup call from God. As we approach Pentecost and the giving of the Eternal Spirit of God promised by Jesus to his Apostles; let us echo the words of the Veni Sancte Spiritus: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle within them the fire of your love”.

GOSPEL REFELCTION: In the Gospel today, we hear the beautiful Priestly Prayer of Christ. Jesus prays earnestly for his disciples that Gospel will protect them and give them courage and strength. Jesus knows his own fate, that in his self-sacrifice to the Father, salvation will come to the whole world. His work on earth has been completed, now he entrusts the work of Gospel to those he had chosen. And so, the work of the proclamation of the Good News continues to this day. Twenty-one centuries later we are still gathering around the Table of the Lord; and we still proclaim the triumph of Jesus Christ.

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Sixth Sunday of Easter 2020

6th Sunday of Easter 2020

Dear Friends in Christ, 

With the recent announcements by the government to an easing of the lockdown, a lot of people are confused with some of the measures that have been advocated. Ultimately, the safety of every human being in our society is the prime concern for everyone. Whatever we must do to stay safe and well, by staying at home and self-isolating is fundamental to human survival. Tragically, here in the UK we’ve seen over thirty-five thousand people die from Covid 19, the highest number in Europe. We need to continue to practice social distancing and follow all the advice given for the washing of hands, cleanliness, wearing a face masks, avoid using public transport if possible. No one is invincible; I speak personally after testing positive several weeks ago, it’s not very nice. I have buried two people during the past week that died from the Corona virus, and I personally know of several others who have died from the virus. This is tragic! Please stay safe and well; stay at home if you can. Until we have a vaccine, we are all at risk. Let us continue to pray for one another.

GOPEL REFLECTION: At the Last Supper table, in his dialogue with his apostles, Jesus makes the promise of sending ‘another Advocate’ – the Holy Spirit – which is the ultimate gift of his eternal presence to be with the Apostles and the Church. The perfect love between the Father and the Son, will be the life-giving force of the Church for ever! The whole life of God, Father Son & Holy Spirit, is the gift that we are given in Baptism. The indwelling presence of God is that which makes us who we are as Christians in the world today. We need that presence to continue to perfect our lives through his grace.

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Fifth Sunday of Easter 2020

5th Sunday of Easter 2020

Dear Friends in Christ, 

I really hope that you have all had the opportunity of joining Holy Mass through Social Media. In these unusual times, it’s important to keep some semblance of normality and routine within our homes. With the lockdown of almost everything it would be easy to fall into the trap of doing nothing. But this is also an opportunity to truly value the presence of love & family; and to really evaluate the most important aspects of all our lives. We are very conscious of our health, and those who care for us through social medicine. Those working on the frontline endeavouring to protect us during this pandemic are the real heroes; and we all have so much to be grateful for. Whatever the ‘New Normal’ will be remains to be seen. But the reality is that life will never be the same again! The one conclusion that I have come to is, that it is Almighty God who is in complete control and not us. Sometimes a ‘wakeup call’ is necessary in life to point us all in the right direction. There is always a bigger picture; and there is only one Saviour, Jesus Christ!

GOPEL REFELCTION: Jesus Christ came to show us the Way to God. He did this through his life, death and resurrection. His teachings, to this day form the core of all Christian living. His words and actions are emulated and proclaimed in every Christian Community throughout our world; and most certainly have stood the test of time. Jesus continues to invite us to share in His life; it’s an invitation freely given, and it’s up to each one of us to respond personally. Let us say ‘Yes’ to the Lord!

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Fourth Sunday of Easter 2020

4th Sunday of Easter 2020

Dear Friends in Christ, 

As we continue this journey of self-isolation, I have been reflecting seriously on the future. Life will never be the same again; there will be a whole new world order. None of us have ever experienced anything quite like this in our lifetimes. Manifestly, when the number of those with C19 has peaked and we find ourselves preparing for a release from the present government restrictions. We are all going to have to look at the way we relate and deal with one another. Until a vaccine is found social distancing is going to become the ‘new norm!’ I sincerely hope all our parishioners are doing well; you have been in my daily prayers since the lockdown. I thank all our parishioners who tune in daily at weekend for the live streaming of Holy Mass. It’s wonderful that we can use social media in such a manner. Apologies for any hiccups with transmission, but I only have a mobile phone, and we’re not the BBC! Please continue to join us, daily if possible!

GOSPEL: Today is Good Shepherd Sunday, and world day of prayer for vocations to the Priesthood & Religious Life. Let us pray especially today for an increase of vocations to the Priesthood, especially here in our own diocese of Brentwood. We have two deacons due for Ordination to the Priesthood this year and two seminarians to be ordained transitional deacons. Please keep them in your prayers.

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Third Sunday of Easter 2020

3rd Sunday of Easter 2020

Dear Friends in Christ, 

As we continue during this lockdown and self-isolation, once again I draw your attention to the online streaming of Holy Mass daily at 10.00am. Parishioners have contacted me via texting on the WhatsApp Group and emails expressing their gratitude that we have this facility on a daily basis. Sadly, not all parishes are livestreaming. Apologies for the problems last Sunday: as I was on my own, I wasn’t aware that the signal had gone down until after the mass. There is a Vigil Mass for Sunday on Saturday evening at 6.00pm. I would like to take this opportunity of encouraging as many parishioners as possible to join us for daily Mass. What better way to start the day! Many people have a lot of time on their hands at present, and I truly believe that the Holy Mass is a wonderful opportunity for each one of us to deepen our faith and give us fuller appreciation for the Holy Eucharist.

GOSPEL: Once again today we listen to another Post-Resurrection account of the Risen Lord. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus encounter the risen Lord. He opens their minds to understanding all the Scriptures that were about him, and it is at the breaking of bread at the table that they recognise who he is. Jesus Christ is with each one of us on the journey of life and faith; he wants us to always recognise him. He is with us here and now in our Sacred celebration. He is ‘Emmanuel’ – ‘God with us!’

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Second Sunday of Easter 2020

2nd Sunday of Easter 2020

St. Edmund of Canterbury & St. Thomas More

Second Sunday of Easter 2020, Divine Mercy Sunday

Dear Friends in Christ, 

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the whole parish community for your wonderful response to the online streaming of all our Holy Week & Easter ceremonies. As I said last week it was completely unprecedented, and we hope and pray it never happens again. Your messages of support through texting and emails was very affirming. I am honoured and privileged to be able to offer Holy Mass each day for you each day and this will continue until further notice. It looks as though self-isolation will continue for another three weeks. If there are any parishioners in our community who are finding it difficult to get shopping or medicine, please let us know. We have an active WhatsApp Group you can join Tel No: 07806 998187. Obviously, we need to be careful, stay at home and keep well. But we also need to help one another when we can.

In the Gospel we see the famous story of Thomas missing the Risen Lord, doubting until he saw the wounds of Jesus. There are moments of doubt within all our lives, and we usually want to check out the facts for ourselves, but as the Lord said to Thomas “Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.” We can take heart in these words, and echo the words of Thomas who said, “My Lord & My God!”

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