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Parish newsletter, 25 December 2022


4.30pm: Julie Robertson RIP

6.30pm: Derek and Katie Townsend RIP

8pm: Parish

Sunday Christmas Day

8.30pm: Debbie Bennett RIP

10 am: Philip Borg

11.30am: Adrien Thibault


No Mass

Tuesday St John the Evangelist

10am: Cledwin Lobo RIP

Wednesday Holy Innocents

10am: for those who have suffered after abortion

Thursday St Thomas of Canterbury

10am: McCarthy McNamara McEvoy O'Hanlon Cox

Friday Holy Family

10am: Peace in Ukraine

Saturday Mary the Holy Mother of God

6.30pm: Pascal Greeney RIP

8.30am: Parish

10am: Union of Catholic Mothers

11.30am: Kath Tarn Rec Dec

An Old Story. Words are often the weakest method of communication. But we do have to use words (rather than swords) 'Today's gospel is an attempt in simple language to describe what happened all those years ago. Jesus is born - the second meeting of heaven and earth. The story of salvation still goes on. May be we need to ask ourselves he question "Do we really think we need salvation" or have we got enough to be going on with. The Christ born at Bethlehem is with us always. In the outstretched arms of a tiny baby we can already see the arms that grew to embrace the cross. In this new birth in a stable we see the one who was born anew by rising from the empty tomb. (note the easter garden) As we ponder with love, may the words of the angel fill our minds and hearts: "Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all people on earth."

Don't just spiritually drift into Christmas. Take some definite time out, not a great deal, to really reflect on what Christmas is all about.

It's not easy to concentrate the mind on that which is most important. Life is difficult and very fragile. One heart attack and it's all over. God does not force anything on me. He offers me everything. He offers me peace as opposed to inner turmoil and anger and anxiety and an all-pervasive sadness. We can live in misery and die of anger if we so wish. He is constantly reminding me, offering me, calling me, inviting me. This Christmas is another invitation to listen afresh and to respond afresh.

The childhood experience of Christmas is vivid in our. memories and perhaps we long to recreate that joyful excitement and feeling of expectation. The message is yes - it can be done. "Don't be afraid" the Angel said to Joseph. Great joy is promised. The Lord is wit you. This sense of joy should be widespread - encompassing the whole of our lives. The reason?

Salvation is a real possibility. We are invited to pursue a life free from sin in which we rejoice because death has been defeated. We don't arrange our first visit to the church - as tiny babes in arms - nor do we arrange our final visit to the church - in a wooden (or wicker if we're hard up) coffin!

Talks on the faith for parents. These will be for parents who are hoping that their children will receive First Sacraments. They must be at Mass each. Parents are the first and best teachers of the faith. Passing on the faith must be a priority.

Heating bills are high. Please keep Church doors closed except when you're coming through them.

Baptism Preparation next course in January. Let me know if you intend coming. Parents need to think seriously about what baptism means. It means evervthing. It requires our fullest attention and prayerful commitment. Godparents must have letter from their parish priest.

The Liturgy of the Word. We are glad to welcome new readers. No jobs for life. Readers need to spend, I suggest, at least 30 minutes studying the readings.

Reading at Mass is an immense privilege and a huge responsibility - not to be taken lightly.

Ukraine- Urgently needed- Sleeping bags, duvets and warm clothing both for people here and those in Ukraine. Another van departing on Wednesday.

Ukrainians living in our area in emergency accommodation have been given Christmas hampers.

Purley Food Hub squash, sugar, long grain rice, peas, carrots, potatoes, rice pudding, long life milk. sweet biscuit, shampoo and washing powder

Ukraine Children are starving. I have assured Ukrainians they can continue using the hall. It's big enough for everybody

Christmas Offerings Envelopes available. Please remember your poor threadbare parish priest on his payday. You're in the "Coolest" and "warmest' church in town. Wishing you peace and happiness this Christmas.

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