Pope Francis has called the universal Church to observe the period from 8th December 2015 to 20th November 2016 as a YEAR of MERCY. A booklet has been prepared as a Pilgrimage Companion to explain the significance of the Year and to make suggestions as to who it may be used. Copies of the booklet will be found at the back of church and it is hoped that every household will take one for its own use. If you want to make a contribution towards their cost they retail at £1 - but the more important thing is that they are taken and used.
Many people have reason to thank God for the long life and ministry of Father Augustine Hoey whose 100th birthday will be celebrated in December. Pope Francis has seen fit to mark the occasion by appointing Father Hoey as a Chaplain of Honour to his Holiness which means that the centenarian now assumes the title “Monsignor”. Ad multos annos!
A sincere thank you to all who contributed towards the recent collection for the Sick & Retired Priests Fund – the total raised by the parish was £2,655.
The John Lewis Partnership (which of course includes Waitrose) is engaging on a project with Age UK to shine a light on the issue of loneliness this Christmas. You will see their ads on television and to find out more (and how you can become involved in the simplest of ways) on www.johnlewis.com or www.ageuk.org.uk/donate/moon. You might also be interested in signing Age UK’s on line petition “No one should have no one at Christmas”.
Among our regular “spots”, the Legion of Mary meets (also in the rectory) on a Monday from 6.45pm, and the hungry are fed on Mondays and Thursdays by the Order of Malta, and on Tuesdays and Fridays by the Society of St Vincent de Paul – volunteers for this important work are always welcome – ask the parish office for more details.
Those children (and their parents) who will make the First Holy Communion in 2016 are invited to a Mass at 4pm on Tuesday 8th December. After the Mass times and days will be assigned for the classes of those who have not yet expressed a preference.
The parish Christmas Carol Service will take place on Wednesday 16th December. As so many of the regular congregation go away at Christmas this is a marvellous opportunity to come together to remind ourselves of what we are preparing to celebrate. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the crypt.
Then, to mark the close of the Christmas season, an Epiphany tide carol service with Solemn Benediction is planned for Saturday 9th January at 4.40pm. The service will be followed by a drinks party with canapes. Tickets for the party are £10 each and available form Lisa Proctor by phone on 07740 798 472 or during refreshments in the social centre after the 10.30am Sunday Mass.
Last week’s giving £3,621 (includes envelopes but not bankers' orders, etc.)