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Parish newsletter, 18 December 2020

Saturday Fourth Sunday of Advent PMB page 90

10am: In honour of Mary

6.30pm: James Power


8.30am: Parish

10am: Hamilton Family Dec rel

11.30am : Priest Int

Monday No Mass

Tuesday 10am: Holy Souls MS

Wednesday 10.00am: for the sick

Thursday, Christmas Eve

10am: Holy Souls Int (MS)

3pm: Fred Stanley RIP

4.30pm: Derek and Katie Townsend RIP

6.30pm : Parish

8pm: Jenny Spencer Rec Dec

Friday, Christmas Day

8.30am: Debbie Bennett RIP

10am: Martin Cahill RIP

11.30am: Martha Strange Int


6.30pm TBA

Sunday The Holy Family PMB page105

8.30am: Parish

10am: Priest Int

11.30am: Holy Souls (MS)

Christmas Offerings It’s my pay day and whatever you give from Christmas Day until 5th January is for your Parish Priest. The extension is to make up for loss of earnings during the year. Envelopes are to be found at the back of the Church

As the birth of the child draws near, attention naturally focuses on the mother. It is no surprise then to find that Mary is at the centre of the gospel. Mary’s only concern was to do the will of God. We need salvation. We need to recognise the faithful and providential love of God, the tenderness of God who came to dwell amongst us with the cooperation of Mary full of grace.

First Reading David was king of a united kingdom and had subdued all his enemies. He had an idea that it might be a good idea to build a house for the Lord. However, he learns through Nathan who had a dream that this is not what God wants. He wants a house, different in kind, an everlasting dynasty, a community of salvation, the body of Christ, the Church. God’s promise to David is fulfilled in Jesus.

Second Reading God’s plan comes to fulfilment in Christ. The plan can be announced to the whole world.

The Gospel God takes the initiative. The Angel Gabriel approaches Mary. Mary, though frightened, agrees to accept what God is asking of her. She is full of grace. She is overtaken by the loving presence of God and will devoted herself entirely to doing God’s will and cooperating most sincerely with God’s plan for our salvation.

Christ’s Mass When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with the flocks, then the work of Christmas begins: To find the lost, to heal those broken in spirit, to feed the hungry, to release the oppressed, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among all peoples, to make a little music with the heart. And to radiate the life of Christ, every day in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say. THEN THE WORK OF CHRISTMAS BEGINS

Christmas is almost upon us. Let’s fasten our minds very firmly on the facts of the feast. In past times people had an idea of what it’s all about but, sadly, not now. The fact is that God joined us in time as a child in Bethlehem and as the man Christ on the cross in Jerusalem. We have to keep reminding ourselves that, like Christ rising from the dead at Easter, Christ being born at Christmas is not just something tagged onto the Christian faith. He whole idea is that we meet God in Christ in his birthday and try to stay with him for the rest of the year. As we know, that means moving things that get in the way, and there is no better time for healing old wounds and aiming at reconciliation. We can look towards the faith and hope and love of Mary and Joseph at this special time.

Paul There is another thought to be found in today’s readings. St Paul says we ought to remind ourselves that we are stewards of God’s mysteries, and he added that when choosing a steward it must be someone trustworthy. The mysteries are that God became man by being born of the Virgin Mary. He lived and died to prove his love for us. He left us a way of living which amounts to following his teaching. He answers the big questions for us and as stewards we are to help others ask, and find answers to, these questions, which, of course, only God can answer. The mysteries are entrusted to us and it is up to us to hand them on. If our children and our contemporaries are sadly ignorant of what Christmas is about it means that the stewards just haven’t been doing their work with sufficient zeal and enthusiasm.

The family, a School of Prayer. The family is where we learn to pray and make God the centre of our lives. The rosary is a great way forward for all of us. My grandparents said the rosary each night. I must say that it helps make prayer life a lot easier by enlisting the help of Mary the Mother of God. Children need to pray at home, to be taken to Mass, to be blessed before they go to bed. Pope John Paul ‘s father, by his quiet and consistent loyalty to prayer, shaped his son to be a saint who would in time shape the face of the earth and have so much to do with defeating atheistic communism.

Christmas Mass Arrangements. It’s all a bit stressful, working out what best to do over the festivities with the limited numbers. We must prioritize safety and do everything to remain safe in our church. The mass lists are nearly full. Please turn up and be in your seats at least ten minutes before Mass begins. Thank you for your understanding.

Christmas Gifts Please visit the repository, stocking fillers, cards. Help the Sisters’ orphanage in Minsk, Belarus’

God bless you and keep safe and holy.

Fr Martin

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