Today's gospel has two simple sentences that we could meditate on richly. The first one is:
What have you to say about yourself? (John 1.22)
This was the question put to John the Baptist. Sooner or later it will be addressed to us. If you believe in Christ, then people will get to hear about it. You may let slip the fact that you go to Mass. Or one Ash Wednesday you may forget to wash the mark off your forehead. Or you may ask not to work on Good Friday. Or people will note that your children go to a Catholic school. And the question put to John the Baptist will be put to you in some form or another. Why do you try to align your life in keeping with your belief in Christ? What difference does faith make? Why believe in God? You see, the question put to John the Baptist was not really a question about him at all. It was a question about his faith in the one who was coming, the Lord.
What would you say? I think that we find the answer...
Fr Terry enthuses: This might be the most successful Christmas Fair ever, in terms of the amount raised. It was a splendid result: at least £4100, which is £1000 more than the year before. Our thanks to all those who make this possible. Special thanks to the main organiser, Helen Doran. It took a lot of hard work by her but also organisational skill and careful preparation. On behalf of all the parish, our thanks to Helen and the many helping hands! Finally, the gain is not only material. There was a happy atmosphere on the day, many people came from round about, and it was a good example to them of our wonderful community.
Break-in at the hall
Unfortunately we had a break-in at the hall on the night of Wednesday 13th December. Nothing appears to have been stolen but damage to doors and windows will probably amount to £1-2k. We may need to look again at security.
Bishop Douglass School looking for a French native speaker
Manisha Saleem, PA to Headteacher at Bishop Doug...
‘I am not fit to undo the strap of sandals’ says John the Baptist of Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ. The goodness, the love, the integrity, in short the sheer holiness of Jesus makes John the Baptist feel unworthy. It might surprise you to know that priests sometimes have that John the Baptist moment. Let me explain. In every parish a priest finds hidden saints. People who care without murmur of complaint for loved ones with illnesses or disabilities that will never go away. People who despite their limited means reach out to others less fortunate to help them. People who have suffered great and cruel calamities, and yet who maintain an unshakeable faith. The hidden saints of each parish take different forms. They have one thing in common, though – they think of themselves as ordinary people, ordinary struggling Christians. And yet they are extraordinary.
I think of one woman, a mother of four that I knew. She was a school nurse. One of the pupils at her school came from very challengi...
There is a Funeral Mass place at the 10 am Mass on Monday 18th December. The anniversary Mass intention for Sergio and Luigi Castello has had to be moved to the 12 noon Mass on Sunday 17th December. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
On Thursday 14th December at 10 am, we have the Funeral Mass for Stanislaw Dziadzio.
On Friday 15th December at 10 am we have the Funeral Mass for Nuccio Santi. May they rest in peace.
A huge thank you from the AYSANEW KASSA TRUST
Jean Bailey and trustees of the Aysanew Kassa trust thank the many parishioners who have helped the blind children and girls to complete their education in Azezo, Ethiopia again this year. Jean is going to Ethiopia to work with the children over the Christmas and New Year period. The annual AKT newsletter is in the porch to update you on its achievements. Please take one.
Are you not a Catholic and wondering whether to take the step of joining the Catholic Church? Or are...
Each Advent we place ourselves in the position of people who are waiting for the coming of the Lord. When you think of it, it is a rather strange thing to do. After all, Christ has been among us in human flesh. God has been revealed in and through him. Moreover, Christ is with us still, not least in the sacraments and in the hearts of all believers. So why this season of waiting?
First of all, waiting helps us to prepare. Imaging preparing for a much-loved visitor from overseas. You would plan special food, you might organise excursions, you would spring-clean the accommodation. In all of these things you would also be preparing psychologically. So, too, with Advent, as we await Christ we prepare. At the very least, it teaches us not to take Christ for granted. It urges us to make our lives and our homes places where Christ will be welcome.
Second, we recall the repeated words of Jesus in today’s gospel, Mark 13.33-37: ‘Stay awake....
We look forward to meeting all parents on Monday 4th December at 8 pm in the parish centre. Please bring a photocopy of your child’s baptism certificate and the course contribution of £20 with you. Many thanks. Registration is now closed.
Ask God’s blessing on Samuel James Bacarese-Hamilton who was baptised here yesterday Saturday 2nd December.
Supporting Local Refugees: Eggs Please!
Many thanks for your generous support for the local drop in centre for destitute refugees and asylum seekers. We will be taking your donations of hard-boiled eggs to the centre at 12 noon today. Contact: email@example.com
Nativity Play for Christmas Eve
This year our First Communion children will rehearse and perform a Nativity Play for the Family Mass on Christmas Eve. All children of the parish are welcome to join in on 24th December by coming to Mass dressed as either angels or shepherds.