Newsletter for January 2018
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR
I do hope you were able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. Many of you have been so kind and thoughtful sending me Christmas cards and gifts. I do thank you very much indeed. Some of the Advent prayers prayed that we would be ready for the celebration of ‘the coming feasts’. Apart from Christmas Day itself, the Church celebrated St Stephen, the First Martyr, St John, the Apostle and Evangelist, The Holy Innocents, St Thomas Becket (Patron of the parish clergy) and the Holy Family.
A LONELY TIME
Christmas can be a lonely time for many: those living on their own, the recently bereaved, the unemployed, members of broken families, the homeless, the victims of war and human conflict. Let us keep them all in our prayers.
EPIPHANY – SUNDAY 7th JANUARY
The second of the great feasts most closely connected with the birth of Our Saviour is that of the Epiphany – the showing forth of Jesus as the Saviour of the world.
As we start a new year I would like to place on record my gratitude to all those who play a part in the life of the parish. With Christmas still ringing in our ears I want to thank all those who make the celebration of Christmas possible here at Holy Redeemer. The sacristan and her assistants, the Master of Ceremonies and all the servers, the new Director of Music and the members of the choir, the flower ladies and church cleaners. And there are many others: Rosslyn in the Parish Office, the members of the parish council, catechists who run the Sunday children’s liturgy, those who prepare our children for their First Confession and First Holy Communion, the Welcome Group, the bean counters (Sunday collection!), the prayer and study group organisers, those who help clear up the church after the congregations leave, the newsletter collators, those who help with the coffee on a Sunday morning, the parish webmaster and the Rectory gardener.
Cardinal Nichols has issued a pastoral letter to be read at all Masses on the Feast of the Holy Family on 31st December. He invites us to pay a visit to the crib and to see images of the Holy Family. He speaks of the joys and hardships that sometimes come the way of our families. He finds it reassuring, in this time of uncertainty and stress, to see how family life continues to create well-springs of selfless love. So much of the true goodness in our society comes by way of the family. And this is true not only of stable family life, but also of families who face their difficulties with faithfulness and courage, and of families who find forgiveness after breakdown, or who bear tragedy with dignity and fortitude. Family life is so often our saving grace. As a society we neglect the support of family life at our peril.
Christmastide continues in the Church with the celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord which this year is being observed on Sunday 7th January in England and Wales. Christmastide ends, however, on Monday 8th of January with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
START UP DATES
The start-up dates for our regular classes are as follows:-
Our little persons on Tuesday evenings from 9th January at 5.00pm.
The RCIA (adult religious education) on Monday 15th January at 7.00pm.
LAST CALL FOR CONFIRMATION CANDIDATES
There are application forms on the centre porch table. Registration and the first class take place on Thursday 25th January at 7.00pm in the Monckton Room. The ceremony of Confirmation in 2018 will be shared with St Mary’s, Cadogan Street on Friday 8th June at 7pm and will take place at that church.
CARDINAL’S MASS FOR THE SICK
On Saturday 10th February 2018 at 2pm the Cardinal will celebrate the annual mass in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes in Westminster Cathedral, during which the Sacrament of the Sick will be administered by the bishops and priests present. Everyone is welcome to attend this Mass, but if there are any parishioners attending in a wheelchair, would they ask their carers to get in touch with the parish office so that we can make appropriate arrangements. Any of our sick or infirm parishioners are welcome to attend with relatives or carers.
SATURDAY 27th JANUARY
There will be no 10am mass on this day. Evening mass at 6.30pm as usual.
The official Diocesan directory is on sale in the porch (£4.50). Essential reading!
WHITE FLOWER APPEAL
This annual appeal in support of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children will take place on the week-end of 13/14th January 2018. We are facing an unprecedented attack on the lives of unborn babies and the health and welfare of their mothers. The pro-life movement is struggling hard to match the impact of the Royal College of Midwives and the British Medical Association who are in favour of the decriminalisation of abortion altogether. Taking abortion outside the law means women can self-administer an abortion at home alone using pills ordered online. SPUC’s new campaign is entitled: ‘We Care About Women’.
LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR
The December appeal realised over a thousand pounds and they have told me how grateful they are to you all.
AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED
This recent appeal also realised over a thousand pounds via the retiring collection and their sale of goods. Thank you to all who supported both these groups.
Congratulations to the parents and sponsors of Sophie Moore who was baptised here in December.
Canon Michael Brockie